The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Implausible television series

Now that we're all stuck in the one with the Black president and the flying killer robots, there's a certain melancholy comfort in realising that earlier generations had to live through even more unbelievable story arcs. (Via.)

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10 Comments:

As a great Irishman once said, 'history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake'.

Is it accurate to regard the Reich and the SU as 'allies' between the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and Barbarossa, though?

And wasn't there quite a bit of debate on whether the US should use The Bomb in Vietnam?

yes. The radical right of that day wanted to use the bomb in 'nam. IIRC Nixon's "secret plan to end the war" involved nuclear brinksmanship. Fortunately, the mass-murderer Kissinger talked him out of it.

Nah, not plausible at all.

I've always vaguely wondered how many of our current cultural norms of "good vs. evil" are directly influenced by WWII, particularly vis a vis racism, imperialism, colonialism.

The War Nerd says somewhere that what doesn't seem to be understood about Europe before the War is that *everyone* was racist ('Fascist' in his words) to some extent. Then there's that essay where Orwell points out that in 1939 the population of the British Empire consisted of large numbers of what the rulers of said Empire considered to be Untermenschen.

If WWII hadn't happened, would racialist ideas still be accepted? Would (often overtly racist) European imperialism have survived?

Questions questions.

Pretty much true in the USA as well, with one notable exception: the Communists.

There is an alternate history novel, THE RESURRECTION, by Simon Louvish, written in 1994 and set in 1967 and 1968, in which World War Two has never taken place, and the world is pretty much as T.J. postulates.

Racism and anti-Semitism have never been discredited, and Britain, France and Fascist Italy still are trying to hold onto their empires. Adolf Hitler is a former U.S. Senator from Illinois, having emigrated after the Communists took power in Germany in 1919. Leon Trotsky, the revered leader of the USSR, has just died, and Che Guevara is leading anti-Italian guerrillas in Ethiopia.

Pardon, that's THE RESURRECTIONS (plural)

There was a story called "Letter from a Higher Critic" in John Campbell's Analog (Nov. 1966) that demonstrated that WWII was too improbable to have actually occurred, and must have been mythical. ("Leaders named 'Church on the Hill' and 'Field of Roses'? Be serious.")

Bob - yes, I remember that one, from an anthology. Another example of an obviously symbolic name was 'Eisenhower' (translated, whether rightly or wrongly doesn't matter, as 'Iron-Hewer').

Raven - the early Communist Party (in the 1920s) had to be kncked about the head with the clue stick by the Russians over the importance of 'the Negro question', according to James P Cannon anyway. But the lesson did get learned.

TJ - yes.

The end of 'WWII' was nicked from 'Genesis of the Daleks' anyway - all that stuff in the bunker.

Anyone seen 'Downfall'? It's a feature length version of those 4 minute sketches about iPads and the like you find on YouTube. I don't think it works stretching it to two hours though. I was a bit bummed out by the time they started taking the black pills.

Well ... to be fair I was impressed with the way 'Downfall' built on all the little clues in the sketch. For instance, someone must have figured that the tearful women outside the room had obviously never seen the carpet-chewing side of the little guy's personality, and from this we get a whole back-story about how charming he was to his secretaries. And then there's the business of brown and grey uniforms, which gets extrapolated into two entire organizations, the Party and the Army - and the Party looks militaristic because it arose out of resentment about losing a previous 'World War'.

Maybe 'Downfall' is overlong, but as an exercise in obsessive fanfic and world-building it's really in a class of its own.

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