When my SF class here in Leipzig finished reading Le Guin's The Dispossessed, I asked them a key question. We had discussed the two planets LeGuin created, Anarres and Urras, and the various issues the novel raises: competition versus cooperation, safety versus freedom, the individual good versus the social good, equality versus merit. We looked at how LeGuin does not assume all good lies on one planet or the other, and why she subtitles her novel "An Ambiguous Utopia." We discussed the physical basis of each society: the geographically rich homeworld of Urras, and the relatively poor fertility of Anarres, the moon upon which humans had not originally evolved. We looked at the political structure of each: capitalistic Urras and anarchistic, non-money, non-propertarian Anarres. After all these points had been made, I asked them (with great curiosity on my part) this question:
"If you had to live on either Urras or Anarres, which would you choose? Urras, with its luxurious rich and starving poor, or Anarres, where all is shared equally and without law or government or ownership, but there isn't much to share in the first place?"
One student asked -- sensibly -- "Do I get to be at the top or the bottom on Urras?" But I said he wouldn't know until he got there.
The vote was four for Anarres, twenty-one for Urras, a few students abstaining. I'm not sure what this says about the young in the former East Germany, but it's sure interesting.