To many outside observers, the Free City of Tesla seems less like a state and more like a cult. This is not necessarily a false view. With great fervor, the citizens speak of transcending human conditions, life without want, and remaking society into a more functional paradigm. Nor is it false to say that they have made some progress in these claims. It would be untrue, however, to say they have gotten very far.
Post scarcity is not strictly possible - food may be available to all and electricity easily produced, but some things will always be limited. Unless the venue is infinitely large, there will be only so many tickets to the concert, and the bathrooms or front row seats even more limited. (And from what I've heard, even if the venue was infinite, bathrooms would still be rare). From the viewpoint of Tesla's inhabitants - food and energy are available in both greater amounts and types than in many other city-states but it is still not so abundant as to be free. Materials for their social experiments - whether it be nano-feed-stock, superconductor-magnets, magnetic uranium data-storage drives, or biologically safe materials for implants are all limited and neither minded nor produced in Telsa's facilities. Hence there is always a struggle to validate one project versus another.
Living space is also limited, and without access to large tunnel boring machines - the underground portions are not going to increase anytime soon. Although the lifestyles within Tesla de-emphasize personal space - there are far too many hopeful settlers waiting outside the main security perimeter.
Fortunately, most of the competition has not taken a deadly turn yet. Poetry slams, duels with wooden broken, quiz show challenges, and Go tournaments have helped decide things at times, but shootings and poisonings have been rare. More dangerous competitions is usually preformed by outsiders - groups competing by proxy by making teams of hopeful applicants retrieve materials or machines for Tesla. In turn this leads to one of the bigger resentments of Tesla - the Free City dangles to hope of entry above others heads, and forces them to take risks for the privilege, while those inside remain safe.
It is not just the projects that matter, but who gets to work on the projects. Even as Tesla claims to be working towards a total human society, how to grant citizenship is a troubling issue. Should they only accept children to ensure every citizen understands the technology and ideals - or can adults be allowed for practical skills? How much effort does it take to buy in a single person versus a family? Is the buy in enough - or should there be an IQ test or other qualification, for that mater could the other qualifiers override the need for tribute? Does anyone showing up with gifts get to trade, or only those who go on Tesla approved missions?
Tesla is safe and far less concerned with daily survival than most settlements. However, its ability to expand is limited, and the materials for its long term projects in short supply. Meanwhile more hopefuls show up at their gates every day seeking entrance to the great city under the hill, and dealing with these restless crowds is a confusing issue.