The Future's Promise
The grav-train comes to a gentle stop and a friendly voice speaks up from the cab's speakers; telling you that the monorail has reached the station and that all passengers can now step out. The autumn air is crisp and fresh; with Tesla power providing clean and green energy for the city and the last remains of pollution from prior eras being dealt with by aggressive planting of flora and ingenious pollutant scrubbing machines and the station is filled with people either getting in or getting out.
You take the lift down to the streets and share a quick chat with a fresh faced young woman, her glasses covered eyes eager and her questions were many. Everyone else on the lift was sharing a conversation; it seemed like even complete strangers were worth having a conversation with in this land.
Within thirty seconds of chitchat you've found yourself invited to a cafe with her and some friends she's planning to meet with, and feeling a bit peckish with nowhere to go to for now you decide to accept; shaking her hand to seal the deal.
The streets are filled with campaigning for the upcoming local elections. Party names like the Social Ecology Union, the Liberation Communist Party, the Communist Labor Party, the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, the Democratic Republican Party and the True Democrat Party were everywhere.
The actual television boards were placed only where their light pollution could be minimized. you remember that particular vote; the city soviet put it up to a direct vote by the people when they felt that the issue was one to be decided by all the citizens rather than their delegates.
A mousey little black woman of a municipal militia officer and her partner, a modestly built black man both give you a nod and a wish for a good day as the young woman is just about dragging you through the streets by the elbow, her hip length red hair flowing behind her and the widest grin you've ever seen on her face.
She drags you to the Cafe for a seat, enjoying the warmth and comfort of its chic design and the convenience of the drone waiters offering you the basic water and bread to start you off with.
You thank the drones and relax a bit and all around you, you can hear talking. People talking about their lives, people talking about their day, people talking about the news, people talking about politics, people talking about sex in undisguised terms.
At last the guests arrive, two women holding hands who take their seats and exchange their greetings. No one gives them an odd look, this is normal here.
"So, what will we talk about while we wait for the waiter?" You ask.
"Well...what do you think of Secretary Miller's job with the grav-rails?" Ah yes, politics.
The International Internationale
Internationalism has always been the rallying call of Socialism. People from nearly all of the world's inhabited continents live under a great alliance of movements and arms. To call the Communist International a simple military alliance would be a tremendous mistake. Free trade and open borders exist throughout the Comintern, all currencies are made to be easily interchangeable, professionals from across the world gather together to share knowledge, advances, and ideas, and the political apparatuses of all members are closely intertwined. Though relationships were at times rather rocky before the second world war; as the Stalinists in the USSR repeatedly struggled with the DeLeonists in the UASR for political supremacy, the Comintern these days stands highly unified and strongly cooperative with each other, with many people saying that the world now revolves in the chosen headquarters of the International, Panama City; chosen for being relatively accessible for the delegates of all the member states of the Comintern.
The Comintern openly refutes the idea of the nation-state; saying that the world must become a nation of nations, looking to the highly cosmopolitan UASR for a shining example of this, with the similarly diverse USSR and UMSR following behind. Though there are plenty of Left-Wing Nationalists, statists, and other more rightist parties and individuals who rail against the Comintern's desire to erode the idea of the state and the nation into oblivion; many others embrace this coming unity. Rhetorical commitment to the ideal of brotherhood among all nations was only strengthened as the veterans of the second world war returned home; men and women coming home with new ideas and new perspectives on the world. They had seen the horrors of Ultranationalism battling the dictatorships of Europe and wanted none of that in their home countries, while the first generations to grow up in socialist nations began to come of age and assumed political power and relevance in their countries and pushed to make rhetoric reality.
As an organization, the Comintern wields a great deal of political power and influence, and its members have colluded to help bring the entirety of the Comintern to an equal footing in terms of development and the promotion of rights and a culture of fairness and not just tolerance; but love. International laws and standards have been pushed through the Comintern to make sure what applies in America and Russia will apply in Korea and Liberia. As citizens of the world (or at least; the parts of the world where the Communist International holds sway), people can expect a wide array of rights; both positive and negative. Not just rights to things like free speech and religion, but rights to a comfortable standard of living, to a clean and healthy environment, and to a quality education. Governments funded by taxpayers in turn fund the Comintern's central structures, and for many; the Comintern is just another level of society.
The Red Cops
The International has two levels of "professional" militaries (disregarding special paramilitary task forces), the national/bloc armies and the international military. National or bloc militaries can be equipped with weapons that while not approved for distribution across the entire comintern; are well suited to the particular situations of the nation or the bloc. The International military however, is drawn from the ranks of all such national and bloc armed forces to create a unified and diverse army capable of functioning in any environment and against any enemy on the planet. More than just an international military force though; the Workers and Farmers International Revolutionary Military is also a peacekeeping and if need be; policing force, much like their mirror in the Alliance Peacemaker corps.
Though perhaps their most visible role in the world has been combating the forces of the Alliance, the Axis, the Chinese, the Dominion, and others; the WAFIRM has also served as an instrument of creating peace. While the Comintern primarily hopes to end armed and destructive conflict by eliminating the conditions that cause conflict; such as poverty, desperation, or national disputes and boundaries, sometimes peace can only be won through violence. Peace in both world wars was only wrested after years of conflict and bloodshed with opposing power blocs until they were convinced that further war with the Communist International was no longer sustainable. And so the WAFIRM has become a large, powerful, and active force equipped with high end weapons and has seen numerous global deployments to ensure peace and prosperity in the world.
All too often, aid sent by the Comintern is confiscated by warlords in the region. One of the most common WAFIRM tasks is to safeguard relief supplies to crises points. This can be as little as a few Peacekeepers armed only with beanbag shotguns, to an entire convoy of mechanized vehicles, with air or even naval support. Sometimes the removal of these warlords is in order, in which case the region is cleared of militias and paramilitaries while socialist revolutionary movements are supported. The WAFRIM's troops are well trained in anti-insurgency as well as support of revolutionary movement; vehicles are proofed against IEDs, while the WAFIRM's gear is highly survivable and rugged. Forces are highly mobile and precise; helping to either deal with anti-communist paramilitaries or support left wing freedom fighters.
The comintern has many enormous countries with vast empty spaces between densely populated areas. Domestic air travel, a ridiculous proposition in the far smaller nations of Europe or the confines of Japan; is the norm in these vast countries. Within its cities, gravitic monorails link every district and neighborhood while wheeled and walking vehicles ply the neatly organized and planned streets, wide and spacious and designed to accommodate substantial volumes of public transport. The walkers can both lower themselves to ground level to help cargo or the inform on board; or raise themselves to dock with high rises or cargo feeds, and thanks to fine tuned gyroscopic devices can provide an incredibly smooth ride. Personal cars; everywhere in the Alliance, are substantially rarer in the Comintern; families tend to only have one; maybe two in some rare cases; or often not even have one at all, and are only taken out rarely. The streets are all pedestrian and cyclist friendly, and the average person spends far more time walking than they would in other places.
With such great distances, trains also have to be fast. The gravity trains that have become ubiqutous in the Comintern have taken high speed train travel to new limits. Replacing the old high speed trains that once criss-crossed the communist bloc in the inter-war period and supplanting even the forrays into mag-levs that became somewhat popular in the second world war as a derivative of Tesla technology, the grav-trains can reach tremendous speeds as they motor forward; powered by their potent Tesla turbines and careful usage of gravitic attraction to race ahead at an average speed of 400 kilometers per hour. Intra-city monorails of course go a bit slower to deal with much more frequent stops and turns; generally going at a more leisurely 100 kilometers per hour, but some experimental models of train have even breached the sound barrier; setting a record of 973 kilometers per hour.
The stately aircraft of the Comintern ply the skies constantly, ranging from small planes for little domestic hops to enormous jumbo aircraft capable of housing hundreds of passengers as they take such enormous trips as D.C to Moscow, Seattle to Santiago, Panama City to Tehran, and Mexico City to Pyongyang. Aircraft are made to be comfortable and safe over packing as many passengers as possible. Passengers can expect a wide array of entertainment options, from the latest movies to the new phenomenom of computer games. Large planes tend to even have places where people can walk around and stretch their legs, and some have even experimented with showers. While perhaps not as majestic as the Alliance's airships and not being able to match the opulence of first class seatings in luxury zeppelins, the average man can find a long flight as relaxing rather than tedious.
The cities of Tomorrow
One of the heartlands of the American revolution, Chicago is the heart of the Autonomous Commune of Chicagoland, split from the states the metropolitan area once encompassed. A sprawling, modern metropolis, Chicago is governed under some of the most democratic systems in the world; a schemata designed by the American General Union of Anarchists in the lead up to the revolution that has been refined over the years. As networking technology has improved, the democratization of the city has only progressed. As part of the Cybersyn programs established in the 50s everyone has access to multiple terminals at any given time, including portables.
The massive urban center is designed to be both ecologically friendly and highly accessible, public transportation crisscrosses the entire city and no place is more than a five minute walk from the nearest light rail stop. Heavy rail also imports and exports materials and goods from the manufacturing sites in the city. Ground level transport is offered by walkers and anti-gravity vehicles. Wheeled and tracked vehicles only make their presence known when needed, so as to keep the streets clear for pedestrians.
The city is built vertically, going both above and below the ground with some of the most impressive sky and groundscrapers in the world. This has allowed a substantial density of people without overcrowding and also has allowed the degree of sprawl to be managed. Each of the towering buildings is self sufficient in terms of power generation and food supply, and each contains indoor parks for those who can't travel all the way to one of the outdoor parks. Drones are widespread throughout the buildings taking care of menial tasks. Each tower also contains schools and medical facilities, and some manufacturing capacity.
In addition, it is also one of the most culturally libertine places in the whole of the Comintern. People experiment as they desire, though the windy nature of the city does impact people's choices in clothing as much as fashion. Comintern birthrates have generally always been high thanks to the support for those raising children. And as such the youth culture in Chicago is vibrant, young people spend their free time messing around in whichever hobbies hold their interest and create as much as they consume.
Due to its importance to the anarchist movement, Chicago is a hub for both the Zephyr Revolt and the Generation of Gaea. Permanent outposts by both are present at all times, and the bastions and airships of the Revolt are a permanent fixture at the city, while the genetic creations of the Generation are spread throughout. A major FOLKNET mainframe is present near the city centre, facing the Chicago Jurassic park where the generation's genetic creations primarily congregate.
Justice and Redemption
While the UASR was somewhat able to tolerate Stalin's gulags for some time; albeit with pressure to make them more humane and itself opened up facilities such as Alcatraz, these days the Comintern has done away with such things. But as the Alliance is quick to point out, the Red Terror was very real and many found themselves imprisoned or even executed as a result of the many new socialist regimes consolidating their power. J Edgar Hoover and Beria in particular were the