ATL Cold War: Communist America Vs. Capitalist British Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Zyobot, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Zyobot Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    IOTL, the Cold War was a global gridlock between the democratic, civil liberties-supportive United States and the authoritarian, utopia-fixated Soviet Union. Through espionage, propaganda and political power plays aplenty, they sought to determine which way of life the world would ultimately adopt: capitalism or communism.

    If we were to keep these two ideologies but swap which nations championed which ones, would it be possible to get something similar between a revolution-founded, zealously socialistic People's States of America and an imperialistic, commerce-loving United Kingdom that manages to retain its empire and attain superpower status?

    Thank you in advance,
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  2. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

    Aug 26, 2017
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  3. Arthur Marston Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2019
    There's an AAR for Hearts of Iron 2 with this very premise: Against All Odds.
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  4. Zyobot Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    Even though it was in the background, the U.K. was basically the ultra-capitalistic superpower of Back In The USSA instead of (albeit not-communist) Russia, was it not?

    If so, then I wonder how that particular Britain must be faring outside of what's already explained in the book. It seems to fit the bill for this thread.
  5. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2017
    • J Edgar Hoover's FBI, if dialed up a bit, basically serves the role of the Secret Police that can bully congress into line
    • FDR straight up threw people in concentration camps and took over large swaths of the economy
    • FDR's attempt at packing the courts was part of a wider questioning of the Supreme Court in the period. This could be utilized for authoritarian purposes.
    • In the 1920s and 1930s Mussolini was seen as somebody somewhat progressive and modern. A socialist-ish strongman president
    • Huey Long was dictatorial in Louisiana. The idea of a dictatorship on US soil isn't that whacky.

    Some kind of combination of neutering of the Republicans and Democrats in favor of a Socialist Party (or a Socialist takeover of one of the parties), transformation of the courts, consolidation of power in the executive branch, an intelligence services/secret police that bullies and blackmails folks into staying in line, and the establishment of a highly partisan self-perpetuating civil service (think of how the present-day Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was supposed to have a director who appointed their own successor) could collectively result in some kind of situation in which the US is nominally democratic but functionally not very much. The Socialist USA proceeds to export this model to other nations.

    Without the neutering of the American left by Wilson, I can see a stronger Socialist movement (think 10-12%, rather the OTL peak of 6% in 1912) folding into a wider progressive movement (Minnesota Farmer-Labour, North Dakota NPL, the Progressive party founded by La Follete, Huey Long's machine in Louisiana, father coughlin, etc) that can serve the role of the socialist party that takes over the nation. Huey Long would make for an excellent dictator, I think.
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  6. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    That's a really big Iron Curtain.
  7. Zyobot Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    @Jackson Lennock
    Thank you for those ideas. Out of curiosity, any thoughts on what to do about the British Empire?

    To get tangential, I feel as if America and Britain would be more evenly matched up, in large part since the latter would be more industrialized than the USSR IOTL.
  8. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2017
    Well, do you mean British Empire or the United Kingdom?

    The Trucial States, Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Kuwait, etc were pretty content with British Suzerainty OTL.

    To quote myself from an earlier thread today:

    The UK meanwhile serves as the critical nexus of the capitalist world between a unifying Europe and the broader British Commonwealth.

    The UK pretty much shot itself repeatedly economically post-WW2 onwards. Avoiding the shift to a socialist economy would be important. A bigger UK population would also be important.
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