There are 2 brother planets Anarres and Urras. 2 different cultures, ideologies, economic regimes. In Anarres near-absolute freedom is achieved. The writer described it as “non-authoritarian communism”. Mark it. The writer keeps pro-communistic tendencies through the book. Which I didn’t like at all. The economic system in Anarres is socialism with a touch of anarchism.
Women work hand in hand with men. There is no gender discrimination. Also there’s absolute freedom in finding sexual partners. When I say -absolute freedom I mean it. Because in Anarres polygamy and homosexuality are widely spread. This is the second thing I didn’t like at all. Well, in short let me refresh the basic purposes of communism:1-
Liquidation of a state. Realized. There is no state in Anarres. No nations. They feel very proud about it. All people have one, and only one language, Pravic. 2-
No classes. No economic rivalry. All people in Anarres are satisfied with their incomes. Though, as a result of it they admit they lag far off behind in scientific advance from Urras people.3-
No family, no law-enforced parenthood over children. As I mentioned they feel free and unashamed in choosing their sexual partners. But one of the women really wants a strong family bond.
In Urras the situation is entirely different. Corporations rule the planet. Capitalist mode of production is overwhelming. There IS a gender and a racial discrimination. Women are not free they are oppressed and subsided. But I think the author deliberately exaggerated here a lot, to kind of back up her description of Anarrean social life. I don’t believe in the USA or in any developed country you will find a gender or racial discrimination. But it’s literature you are allowed to write anything within law. Also there WAS a good deal of discrimination of any kind in the former socialist countries. Take my word for it.
There are nations with their own states in Urras. of course, they want to gain something useful out of each other, many a time rashly. But what a boring world it would be without nations, their languages, their cultures, customs, literature and history etc. Just think of a billion people having the one and the same face on each one.
Technologically people on Urras are very strong. Most likely as a result of rivalry between corporations. The disadvantage of it is they sometimes look to Anarreans as the inferior people. They make fun of their customs, their way of life. I think the author tried to give us a choice with her slight inclination towards utopian communism. What would you prefer? A good life with stronghold of science at hand but with discriminations or a moderate puritan-type life without prejudices? 5 huge stars. though I might give it less because something I didn't like in the book. they are very very minor things. I ascribe them to the author's own prejudices rather than deliberate action. I would give it 4.6 stars if it were possible but it's not. And 4.6(B+) :D is close to 5 than to 4.)))