Utilitopia is Cargo Cult on Caledon and like many, it is considered one step above barbarism by the other human civilizations. It began as a colony founded by Rational Christians – believers in Rational Christianity. Some tenets of which are:
- Everything, absolutely everything, has a known value.
- Work is how He teaches us to reason and become thinking beings, because in a moral society the morally correct choice always gets the largest rewards.
- The market, as the one true instrument of God, will reveal who's a good person and who is not.
- It's not a sin to realize that you are not part of God's evolutionary plan for the universe, and removing yourself before you spread your unfitness is perfectly rational.
- Cash transactions are the only moral form of social communication.
There are more, but those are the high points. The local language is Reason, a mathematically derived language to help prove the theorems of Rational Christianity. Inherent in Rational Christianity are the forbidden theorems. There are just under one hundred forbidden theorems in Rational Christian theology, all of which are demonstrations that one axiom can be brought into conflict with another. It's part of the basic creed that somehow those contradictions are resolved within the Mind of God. Nearly every significant theorem involves the problem of rational pursuit of irrational pleasure.
Ostensibly a free markete paradise, it became a civilization of centralized pricing authorities, central job banks with private property is a rarity as the Council of Rationalizers decided it was more rational than the people it ruled. Thus, it came up with ways to make people rationally want the things it wanted, usually by taxes, fees and the like. One notable law is the Balance of Utility (which forces the more pleasant parts of the human environment in the nastier parts of the physical environment and vice versa) and similar things.
Another is the Market Prayer. Once a day, a Utilitopian calls into the job bank and finds out which humaniform robot whose labor will be replaced for four hours. This is grating, unpleasant work and one of the least liked aspects of Utilitopian society.
The element that makes them a Cargo Cult is the General Consultancy, a collection of AI's that determines what is Rational and Holy in their society. The AI's make decisions based on precedent and change only slowly. Any pleasure that cannot be traced back to a full stomach, a good orgasm or regular church attendance is highly suspect in their 'eyes.'
Most of the buildings in the single city look like concrete blocks with forward pitched roofs. The churches are identical with very low narthexes and very high double peaked transept, looking like they are about to plunge down into the street like giant birds of prey.
Officially, there are no competitive sports, entertainment and similar things – since they are not good or rational. One exception to this are their music festivals. In Utilitopian music festivals, there are no live audiences. Instead, the musicians sit in sound proof booths and try to duplicate, in live performance, the 'perfect' performance generated from the score by an AI. Three other AI's would compare them to generated version and score them on it, deducting points for any deviations
Quotes from Utilitopia
“They say that even though you don't exchange money, you do exchange favors, and that unlike money, you can't really compare favors, so anyone in a relationship is going to feel both guilty and exploited at the same time.”
“Guilty and exploited about what?”
“Well, inequality I guess. The feeling that you either got a deal that was too good from the other guy, or gave him more than it was worth.”
“They don't torture or imprison dissidents. What they do is shut them completely out of public discourse. Heretics spend years of living on nothing but naked anger, doing god awful jobs and never having more than basic material comfort, ignored by everyone except the other angry cranks like themselves – until one day in their midforties or so, they realize their lives stink and there's no pint in any of it anymore, and then they go in for a big public confession, recant and get a belated slice of decent life. It's a lot more effective than police repression – they just demonstrate that they can live with being called names a lot longer than most dissidents can live with being invisible.”
They don't believe in allowing cultural contradiction. So it's for our own good they won't let us use all this freedom, prosperity and happiness to attack and undermine the source of all this freedom, prosperity and happiness.
They're so dedicated to logic and reason that common sense hasn't got much to do with it.