The Plan Itself Edit
The Eighteenth five-year plan called for the massive expansion of the Tri-Net network as part of a push towards the eventual automation of the entire Soviet Economy. The final objective was the total elimination of farmers, menial workers, and peasants as a class, along with giving the state a greater degree of control over the precise specifics of production.
In the agricultural sector, the motorized tractor stations first established in the days of de-kulakization were ordered to be reconfigured into networking hubs for the newly automated collective and state farms. The objective was the eventual complete automation of all farm work, retaining humans only for oversight and for dealing with problems that might occur. Beyond that, the plan called for a further decentralization and automation of food production, so as to prevent the nations food supply from being affected by the shifting climate. Vertical farms were to be built in major cities, especially ones in the remote areas of the USSR to address the problem of shipping food to those locations in the winter, and the workers displaced from their jobs on the conventional farms were to be reassigned to the vertical farms, which were expected to require closer supervision.
The industrial base of the USSR was likewise slated to be fully automated, with all assembly line jobs that did not require Type-II individuals being taken over by robots. Jobs that did absolutely require Type-II individuals were centralized and reorganized to compensate for the lack of companionship and human contact that would otherwise have resulted from the elimination of all other workers. Solutions for these cases were also to be sought, as scientists studying the precise effects of Red Matter attempted to find ways to duplicate and automate the required ones for each individual job. Additional connections between the design bureaus and the factories were created, allowing prototypes to be quickly created and tested as part of the design process, not simply the final step.
The final part of the plan dealt with the issues regarding the newly jobless section of the workforce, such as expanded schools and other sources of education, including temporary courses designed for the workers whose jobs had been replaced due to the surge in automation. New automated factories were built to create supervisory positions for the workers who had until recently be the ones on the assembly line themselves. Many workers were to be reassigned directly to design bureaus as advisors so as to continue to utilize their expertise while they were re-educated for a different job.
Implementation, Issues, and Aftermath Edit
Unsurprisingly, such an upheaval produced a great deal of social discontent and protest. Work in the USSR had been monotonous and unchanging for a very long time, and the sudden shift resulted in many finding themselves unable to continue as they had. Official policy was that if someone is not serving the society in some way, whether through work or being educated to work, then, barring exceptional circumstances, the society is not obligated to serve them. Authorities found determining the difference between those who did not want to work and those who did but could not manage to adapt difficult, and undoubtedly some were erroneously assigned to the wrong category and dealt with in an unsuitable fashion. The elder generations were hardest hit by this, and by 2024 a significant number of them had not returned to the workforce as had been expected. Though the physical aspects of the plan were completed ahead of schedule, these NEETs, proved a lingering issue which had to be dealt with and continues to be a problem to this day. It is expected that the Nineteenth Five-Year Plan will include measures to address this issue.