Walden Two

Community governance

Walden Two consists of four loose classes or groupings of people (though they are not akin to strict economic classes): Planners, Managers, Workers, and Scientists. Walden Two has a constitution that provides for a "Board of Planners", which is Walden Two's "only government,"[11] though the power they wield only amounts to that, approximately, of community organizers. The "Board of Planners" was conceived of while Walden Two was still in its earliest theoretical stages, and there are "six Planners, usually three men and three women,"[11] who are "charged with the success of the community. They make policies, review the work of the Managers (heads of each area of labor), keep an eye on the state of the nation in general. They also have certain judicial functions."[11] A Planner "may serve for ten years, but no longer."[11] A vacancy on the Board of Planners is filled by the Board "from a pair of names supplied by the Managers".[11] Furthermore, the Walden Two constitution "can be changed by a unanimous vote of the Planners and a two-thirds vote of the Managers".[12]

Frazier and five other people constitute the current Board of Planners during Burris's visit to Walden Two. Planners hold office in staggered, limited terms. They do not rule with any kind of force and are so extremely opposed to creating a cult of personality, system of favoritism, or other possibilities for corruption going against the common good that they do not even publicly announce their office, and, likewise, most of the community members do not bother to know the Planners' identities. Due to this and also as a result of this, the Planners live as modestly as the other members of the community; ostentatious displays of wealth and status simply have no opportunity to arise from Walden Two's egalitarian cultural structure.

Managers, meanwhile, are "specialists in charge of the divisions and services of Walden Two".[11] A member of the community can "work up to be a Manager--through intermediate positions which carry a good deal of responsibility and provide the necessary apprenticeship".[13] The Managers are not elected by the members of Walden Two in any kind of democratic process.[13] The method of selecting Managers is not specified, though they are likely appointed by the Board of Planners: Walden Two's "only government."[11]

The regular community members are known (though only for official reasons) as Workers, and they have the flexible option of changing their field and location of employment every single day, so as not to grow bored or stagnant during the week with their four-on-average daily hours of work. Available work often includes the necessary physical labor that goes into maintaining a community, such as basic building or repairing projects, cleaning duties, or agricultural work. Labor in Walden Two operates using a simple point system of units called "credits," in which more menial or unpleasant jobs (such as waste management) earn a Worker a higher number of credits than more relaxing or interesting jobs, ultimately allowing more free time for that Worker.

The final grouping within Walden Two is the Scientists, who conduct experiments "in plant and animal breeding, the control of infant behavior, educational processes of several sorts, and the use of some of [Walden Two's] raw materials".[14] Scientists are the least discussed group in the novel; little is said about the selection, total number, specific duties, or methods of the Scientists, though they presumably carry out the ongoing social experiments that help determine the most beneficial social strategies for the Walden Two community.


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