1960s Tropes

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by The-Artist-64, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    I've had a '60s-punk map underway for a while now. This is essentially a world that extrapolates the trends of the time to an absurd degree, also incorporating things that were considered 'inevitable' at the time. For example, the southern United States has suffered through a race war and "New Afrika" has been jettisoned from the union, Vietnam is still a problem even a century after it started, communes are a legitimate political force, and space stations are ubiquitous. Any thoughts on some other tropes that I could include in the map?
     
  2. Temeraire Well-Known Member

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    Proliferation of drugs, both hard and soft. Psychedelic/hippie music. Wide-scale anti-establishment protests, maybe with some new far-left parties. Active black nationalist movements in de facto control of urban ghettos. Those are just a few trends to exaggerate that were fairly common in the 60s.
     
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  3. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    Of course, for this to make sense/work you also need a firm "Leave it to Beaver" mainstream culture and strongly entrenched establishment for the counterculture to be opposing and getting muffled out by to the broader population... lest you beg the question of why the script isen't flipped ( is a short video to describe the kind of logic problem that could arise ). Outside of the urban ceasepits, likely hidden safely behind walls and police presence, I suggest large swaths of land of neat, nearly-identical houses in the suburbs and picturesque "Green Acres"-style small towns, booming along the local factory or mine in the great economic expansions of the period (The Rust Belt before it became the rust belt), with local morality enforced by strong social pressure and, on occasion, by the brown-trench coated "G-Man" type government characters on the lookout for anti-establishment groups trying to terrorize or "propagandize"... though he always does it with a smile and the lawman is generally considered the toast of the town. Express the wealth-generating and liberating aspects of capitalism as well as its flaws and tendencies towards inequality by physically concentrating its misery that certain areas just reek of it, to contrast with the Soviet style "Whole nation is uniform grey"
     
  4. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    Eastern religions continue their rise in popularity, with India and East Asia replacing Europe as the No. 1 destination for college kids doing their overseas travel. Western philosophy is still taught, but most univerisities have entirely separate departments for Eastern philosophy, which rival if not surpass the western tradition in popularity.

    Politicians actively court the votes of western-born Hindus and the more politically oriented Buddhists. On the somewhat negative side, the fringes of these communities link up, Boston Irish-style, with some of their more militant co-religionists overseas. Fundraising by Hindu-fasicst and Sinhalese militant groups becomes a thing in the trendy coffee shops of hip urban districts.
     
  5. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    Persuant to the above, militant animal-rights groups, primarily focussed on vegetarianism, become an entrenched part of the political landscape, similar to anti-abortion groups IOTL.
     
  6. freivolk Well-Known Member

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    Either there had been a soviet-chinese war or there is a US-SU alliance to contain China. On the other side, both superpowers disengage in Europe. Germany stays divided or just get united as a lose confederation. There are dotzend of nuclear powers, including both german states and Japan.
     
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  7. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    That's a given. Most hippies have probably graduated to hard psychedelics at this point. :winkytongue:

    Maybe an anarchist France, or Western Europe? Great idea with the black nationalists, I've got them covered with New Afrika.

    Great suggestions! Maybe the Jetsons' vision of an urbanized atmosphere becomes a literal expression of social stratum. As for the G-Men, that also helps cover the themes of espionage found throughout techno-thrillers of the period: a lot of CIA, FBI, and maybe some oppressive departments in the American government ostensibly to unearth communist plots to further destabilize the west.

    I guess India will be doing better than OTL given its cultural influence. Great suggestion with the eastern-inspired subversives. :)

    Tough one. Mao was such a prolific figure during the period, but then his society was also seen as incredibly unstable. Sino-Soviet War is probably the more likely of the two, and we all know who would win that one. Maybe Tibet got cleaved from China after the war and joined India's sphere of influence. Maybe violent anarchist revolutionaries have thrown both sides of the Cold War out of Europe, but West Berlin is secure under a dome and a few layers of energy shielding.
     
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  8. Tanc49 On Faraway Seas

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    On a wider scale, you might want to read Barjavel, a French scifi author from the period.

    You get a stale society, big powers playing each other with doomsday weapons. In one of his novels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_diable_l'emporte), a race for feeding an overcrowded humanity creates outlandish species (50 meters tall chicks with radioactive eggs)
     
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  9. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    Any thoughts on what I should do with Africa? I was considering making the continent a little wealthier and more successful than OTL based on initial optimism immediately after decolonization.
     
  10. Masteroftheuniverse Enemy of the people

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    That would be a good idea. Might also be a good idea to have Pan-Africanism achieve some successes- in OTL it had some support early on, especially since Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah was an avid promoter. Since the early 60's was a good time for Nasser Pan-Arabism is probably also doing well.

    Also, don't forget to have ridiculously liberal and decadent Britain and France as global centres of culture.
     
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  11. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    Maybe parts of West and Central Africa have federated, challenging South Africa for control of the Sub-Saharan region? Nasser's dream should definitely be a reality in this setting, which opens up some interesting possibilities for Israel. To be original, I guess they could be an insane Zionist dictatorship based on the aura of invincibility they had during the Six-Day War.

    France, and perhaps some of its immediate neighbors, could be governed by wild hippie communes based on the events of May '68. Britain might be a little harder to sort out, given that you also had a whole scene running parallel to the mods of a United Kingdom passionately devoted to global conservatism (see James Bond, The Avengers).

    Oh, and here's another idea: a neutral, liberal Afghanistan, better off than OTL as the world's poppy dealer. ;)
     
  12. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    Would anyone happen to have ideas for Latin America? I was thinking that all of Central and South America would be under a bunch of hard-right tinpot dictatorships, mostly to fill out the Western Bloc and give the CIA a playground.

    Having seen a few other '60s-punk maps on here, something that strikes me as interesting would be the U.S. going on a crusade to regain its strength after the humiliation of the race war by annexing Canada and its closest partners in East Asia. After all, once you've got undersea resorts, hotel satellites, and cities on the surface of the Moon, why not plant the American flag on Saigon?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  13. freivolk Well-Known Member

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    I think a revolutionary commune of West Berlin would fit better. Surrounded by the Wall, its the place, where both german states send their troublemakers.
     
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  14. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    I like it! Maybe the two could meet in the middle: West Berlin has grown so vertical that its more conservative inhabitants spend their entire lives in the air. They don't even want to see the chaos down below.

    On Europe, I'm guessing that Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and maybe Italy, Norway, and the U.K. would be locked into some ultra-conservative alliance descended from NATO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  15. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Hm....

    Second Freach Revolution: NATO forces lock in a bloody battles with Reds and the Gaullists. (With a Imperial France that took over Algeria.)


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    Hippie communes and cities litter the USA and Canada that fights the power and the Man with Crystals and Drugs.

    DC REALLY regents annexing with a glowing Canadian Freedom Cell that put the fear of God into even the G-Man and US Marines.

    Central America: Guatemala that site.

    South America: Colombian conflict still going strong.

    Swinging London puts America to shame. Global conservatism was kick to the side of the road years ago.
     
  16. freivolk Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a neo-facist mediterainian alliance, including Italy, which had a coup. The U.K. on the other side, I see more of a overbearing welfare state, in Clockwork Orange style.
     
  17. Wallet Progressive

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    Cuba becomes a super power with year bomb strength missiles and a member of the Warsaw Pact

    Israel is a hyper expansionist state stretching from the Nile to the Tigris. The non occupied Arab states are united in the UAR, under Nasser. Nasser and the other Arab leaders are in exile in Uganada.

    Hippies have taken over San Francisco and formed the Democratic People's Republic of Peace and Love. (With lots of Soviet support)
     
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  18. The-Artist-64 Life is a Funeral

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    Reasonable. After all, the European communes need some kind of reactionary antithesis.

    Definitely still a Soviet ally these days, and home to WMDs a lot scarier than the ICBMs parked there back in 1962. I was thinking that the Soviets just directly absorbed the Warsaw Pact states- or, at least those they could salvage- at this point.

    The People's Republic of California, still mourning the death of Chairman Brown. :p
     
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  19. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Moscow still kicking itself for letting go of Czechoslovakia, and pulling it tanks out.
     
  20. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered how the 60s musclecars kept developing into the 70s; they'd have the lairy styling but with the continuing engine development rather than being choked by emissions controls. Imagine the alloy-head 454 tri-carb 71 Corvette, or the Ford Boss 429 engine being more widely fitted.

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