Communist CSA?

So, as has been effectively proven, or at least I think so, in previous threads a CSA that survives or perhaps even wins the Civil War (one could argue that surviving would be winning) would eventually (if not immediately) be economically stagnant and slow to industrialize. Furthermore, the CSA would be a nation saddled with extreme wealth inequality (even more so than OTL's USA).

Now, knowing all this, what is the possibility/plausibility/coolness level of a *Communist revolution occurring in the CSA?

I'm not talking about a strictly Black Marxist revolt, as been done by Turtledove, although the race relations of such a nation/revolution would be interesting.

Thoughts?
 
I think that it's possible you could see a Communist REVOLT in a surviving CSA, but a Commie state? Unlikely. Not because it wouldn't succeed, I think it very well might, but because the USA would certainly use such a revolution as a pretext to invade. They would spout some propoganda about "Restoring Order" and then just take over. The US vehemently hates all forms of communism/socialism, having thier old enemy suddenly turn communist would give them plenty of reasons to kill them off.
 

The Vulture

Banned
I think it's eminently possible for it to at least be attempted or for there to be a large leftist radical movement.

I mean, look at the south, with the landed aristocracy, classist elitism, and enforced inequality. Combine that with crippling economic problems and Marxism will begin to look very attractive to both the blacks and the poor whites.
 
I think it's eminently possible for it to at least be attempted or for there to be a large leftist radical movement.

I mean, look at the south, with the landed aristocracy, classist elitism, and enforced inequality. Combine that with crippling economic problems and Marxism will begin to look very attractive to both the blacks and the poor whites.
Combine that with the fact that IOTL some of the largest political movements were the kind of agrarian populist ones that grew in the Midwest too, and I'd say a movement's near inevitable, and a revolt easily possible if reforms are fought off by the landed aristocracy.
 
Depends on how you choose to define communism. I think it's safe to say that Southern society is, even currently, too racialized for a Communist CSA to resemble any historical Communist societies closely.

I could see a communal-fascist sort of state, with a return to slavery and the nationalization of business where slaves are owned by the state. But given how much of the Confederate justification for their dirty litle war was based in private enterprise I don't see that as likely either.

I think it's a pipe dream.
 
I'm not sure, it depends on how large the CSA is and how much of the rail system is left intact after the war. If it's over before Gettysburg with favorable conditions for the South (KY, OK, WV, maybe NM/AZ stay grey) then I see Birmingham becoming the Confederate Pittsburg with half-a-dozen major industrial centers and another dozen minor ones. If the war ends later and there are only 11 states +/- OK with no notable rail system then I'm not sure it's even a viable nation, reconstruction in that case will be very difficult and your scenario is much more likely.
 
Depends on how you choose to define communism. I think it's safe to say that Southern society is, even currently, too racialized for a Communist CSA to resemble any historical Communist societies closely.
I have to agree that race is going to be a big issue to deal with for any Communist movement in the CSA. Poor whites and blacks have plenty of economic interests in common, but OTL repeatedly showed that poor Southern whites could easily be convinced to vote against their economic interests with race-baiting. I don't think you can have successful communist movement when the proletariat is essentially split down the middle into two racial camps that will not able to work together.
 
Any alternate Confederate revolution, by virtue of being in a mostly-agrarian society, will look like an Anglosphere Maoism. I will simply leave it at that.
 
the deep south was majority black, Alabama 45%, Louisiana 47%, Mississippi 55% South Carolina 57%, so maybe of us have long thought a communist based black national revolution in those state seemed likely 1900-1930
 
the deep south except Georgia was majority black, Alabama 45%, Louisiana 47%, Mississippi 55% South Carolina 57%, so maybe of us have long thought a communist based black national revolution in those state seemed likely 1900-1930
I agree here except I always thought that Georgia and the Carolinas would go the way of fascism by the whites (NOT good for SC's black majority...). I could see Georgia and SC falling to black-dominated communism however. Florida was also majority black for a time IIRC, but it remained backwater swamp until Disneyworld + Retirement homes + Castro.
 
Any alternate Confederate revolution, by virtue of being in a mostly-agrarian society, will look like an Anglosphere Maoism. I will simply leave it at that.
Then the question becomes "Will the USA stand for a Maoist state on the doorstep of DC?" and I think we know the answer to that one.

I think you could have localized communist polities, though, on the model of the Paris Commune. New Orleans would be an excellent spot - you could practically make it a subtropical Barcelona.

That's probably worth some fiction all by itself - a Spanish Civil War analogue in the Confederacy, with Huey Long as Franco...
 
the deep south was majority black, Alabama 45%, Louisiana 47%, Mississippi 55% South Carolina 57%, so maybe of us have long thought a communist based black national revolution in those state seemed likely 1900-1930
45% and 47% are not majorities, and outside of the deep south the demographics are more in favor of whites, and there's no way you could have part of the CSA go Black Communist without the rest of the CSA doing everything in its power to destroy it and restore white rule. That's not to mention the fact that any black revolutionary group would have very limited access to the sinews of war, which would make building up such a group difficult without some form of external sponsorship.

The main problem I can see there is that an explicitly communist and explicitly racial revolutionary group is practically tailor-made to be the ultimate nightmare of every white Confederate in the 1900-1930 period. If a black revolutionary group actually managed to mobilize a force capable of overthrowing the Confederate government, the ensuing conflict would probably make the Russian Civil War look like a very nice and restrained conflict by comparison. In all likelihood, a successful Black Communist Revolution in the CSA would require a war that was so utterly destructive that the state simply wouldn't be viable; as Cyrano said, you probably see the US sweeping in to crush and re-annex what's left of the South.

The only way to get viable communist CSA is to get blacks and poor whites to put race aside and focus on their common economic interests; as long as these two groups don't work together the population is too divided for a Communist regime to take power without being preceded by a devastating, brutal, and heavily race-driven war.
 
Then the question becomes "Will the USA stand for a Maoist state on the doorstep of DC?" and I think we know the answer to that one.

I think you could have localized communist polities, though, on the model of the Paris Commune. New Orleans would be an excellent spot - you could practically make it a subtropical Barcelona.

That's probably worth some fiction all by itself - a Spanish Civil War analogue in the Confederacy, with Huey Long as Franco...
:eek: Oh wow I like that idea. If only I didn't have a TL going as we speak. Gah. I will have to remember that...
 
Then the question becomes "Will the USA stand for a Maoist state on the doorstep of DC?" and I think we know the answer to that one.

I think you could have localized communist polities, though, on the model of the Paris Commune. New Orleans would be an excellent spot - you could practically make it a subtropical Barcelona.

That's probably worth some fiction all by itself - a Spanish Civil War analogue in the Confederacy, with Huey Long as Franco...
Another thing one should consider, is Appalachia. It is riddled with poor whites that don't particularly like the planter elites, generally opposed the creation of the confederacy, and have their own distinct sense of identity. In the event of an indepenedent confederacy, Appalachia would almost certainly be politically marginalized, and its population would largely constitute a laboring proletariat of coal miners and loggers.

Essentially what I'm trying to propose here is a hillbilly basque state. One whose existence cripples a great deal of the revolutionary confederacy's industry greatly complicating the war.
 
I'm reading up on the Civil War and Reconstruction era South for an AAR over on the Paradox forums and I believe there is room for multi-racial radicalism. After all, race relations would probably be equally unequal de jure when slavery is eventually abolished in a free Confederacy but de facto I doubt it would quite so bitter, at least on the white side.

The southern wing of the Populist movement, the Farmer's Alliance, did have cross-race support and although it was segregated with 'Coloured' sections, its leaders often spoke of striving for class-based rather than race-based unity.

Most importantly I don't think Marx would hold much sway in the CSA - Proudhon however. Any radical left-wing movement in my mind would be syndicalist.

Using the rather clunky method of comparing real-world American radicalism, with societies like Russia and Spain, its obvious that Unions, Agrarian collectives and the cooperative movement are the obvious ways forward.

After all, if the comparison to Russia, the Bolsheviks only came to power through very specific circumstances, while in Spain, it was the Anarcho-Syndicalists that held the most support.

I can imagine in the early 20th century, a Farmer-Labour Party forming, based off the remnents of the Populist movement, and inbedded in the cooperative societies.

Also looking at how the Democrats dealt with Populism, by co-opting and race baiting, I imagine they themselves will become 'populist' and develop something of a Tory Democracy bent. Actually I can see them becoming similar to the Ulster Unionist Party, during its supremacy over the Northern Irish Parliament in the 1920s-1960s. They will be a 'massenpartei', with rather cliqueish control over certain areas, ultimately leading to certain people becoming marginalised, such as the Hill-Billies, Blacks, Trade Unionists, Cooperators, etc.

Its from this exclusion, I think you could see poor whites look to their black neighbours as allies. That said, I still imagine such a movement to be massively dominated by whites at the top, while seperate organisations focus on black issues.

Due to white control of the state and the economy, I imagine radicalised blacks will ultimately look to Anarchism, as natural extension of the mutualist experiments of the freed sharecroppers. Some will then ultimately go further, and become adherents of Propaganda of the Deed.

Ultimately I think you'd need a major upheaval such as *WWI to do it, but a revolutionary socialist state is just about possible IMO. Its just how long it will last with the USA sitting up top. I think the Federation in EdT's TL offers some ideas of how I imagine the People's Confederacy to look. Ultimately a state similar to the USSR in some respects but syndicalist in intent and little to do with Marx or Lenin.

It would be interesting to see how Africanism develops in the CSA, or how many blacks might emigrate up North, if they're allowed that is.
 
Another thing one should consider, is Appalachia. It is riddled with poor whites that don't particularly like the planter elites, generally opposed the creation of the confederacy, and have their own distinct sense of identity. In the event of an indepenedent confederacy, Appalachia would almost certainly be politically marginalized, and its population would largely constitute a laboring proletariat of coal miners and loggers.

Essentially what I'm trying to propose here is a hillbilly basque state. One whose existence cripples a great deal of the revolutionary confederacy's industry greatly complicating the war.
That's an excellent idea. And that's probably the factor that makes a Confederate Civil War resemble the Spanish one, yeah.

It's totally possible to get multi-racial radicalism, but the question is how long it will last against a society where the majority disagree and are willing to kill to enforce their disagreement, and with a USA that is likely to stomp a full-blown communist state into the ground if it looks like a threat.
 
Another thing one should consider, is Appalachia. It is riddled with poor whites that don't particularly like the planter elites, generally opposed the creation of the confederacy, and have their own distinct sense of identity. In the event of an indepenedent confederacy, Appalachia would almost certainly be politically marginalized, and its population would largely constitute a laboring proletariat of coal miners and loggers.

Essentially what I'm trying to propose here is a hillbilly basque state. One whose existence cripples a great deal of the revolutionary confederacy's industry greatly complicating the war.
Not to mention the legacy of Confederate repression during and after the ATL War of Secession. That would if anything amplify the Basque analogy here. An interesting question is which the Confederate government would see as the worse threat? The Appalachian separatists or black revolutionaries? Another question is what would happen if both had a type of United Front, WWII-style. :D

That's an excellent idea. And that's probably the factor that makes a Confederate Civil War resemble the Spanish one, yeah.

It's totally possible to get multi-racial radicalism, but the question is how long it will last against a society where the majority disagree and are willing to kill to enforce their disagreement, and with a USA that is likely to stomp a full-blown communist state into the ground if it looks like a threat.
OTOH, if one goes for a slightly different alternative and has the Appalachians retaining a separatism heavily influenced by sympathy for the USA and the blacks as the Maoist analogues, the prospect of simultaneous struggles against organized rebellions by both might present the ATL Confederate government with a real quandary.....:D
 
I’ve been thinking about the background for this scenario. I personally think a stronger confederacy makes everything a great deal more entertaining, even if it might not be entirely realistic.

A POD could be a confederate triumph at Bull Run. The victorious confederate army capitalizing upon its victory and takes Washington DC, and sucedes in holding the capital against a union counteract. These victories give the confederacy duel recognition by Britain and France, as well as a massive influx of war loans and material. In the face of this humiliation, peace is declared and neutral Kentucky ends up joining the confederacy on the basis of a somewhat rigged plebiscite.

The Confederacy enjoys a nearly 30 year cotton boom which ends with a massive recession when the cotton futures market collapses. Popular uprisings occur and martial law is declared, with a putsch of army officers and prominent Virginians basically rewriting the confederate constitution.

The confederate state is greatly centralized, compensated emancipation is enacted in exchange for British loans, an apartheid like system is put into place in order to control the freedmen, industry domestic and otherwise are subsidized through western land sales and coal concessions, finally suffrage is subtlety curtailed throughout the nation.

The confederacy begins a process of rapid and uneven industrialization. The state subsidies for the industry are heavy, with most of them going towards the industrial concerns associated with confederate politicians. Several regional centers of heavy industry emerge. The largest belt stretches from Birmingham to Atlanta comprising steel, manufacturing, and textiles. The second largest belt stretches from Richmond to Charlotte, and consists of a more sporadic amalgamation of light and heavy industry. New Orleans is a center for shipbuilding and a nescient oil industry. Louisville, is the confederate’s gateway to the north, and is a center of northern investment.

Yet, this development has been uneven. Much of this industry is foreign owned, with the resulting profits fleeing the country. The confederate population is still primarily agrarian with sharecroppers and tenant farmers subsisting below the poverty line. Those who aren’t farming in the rural areas tend to be in the employ of coal and timber barons, who treat their workers like slaves. Property requirements and poll taxes have reduced suffrage to under 20% of the population. The confederacy has gigantic debts stemming from both its industrial subsidies, and its compensated emancipation. The military is bloated, and its primary purpose is to preserve the rule of its masters in Richmond and Atlanta. The frontier regions are neglected and used as cash cows for the eastern states. Finally the confederacy’s black population is chaffing under a harsh apartheid like regime. Passbooks restrict their opportunities for movement and employment, and secret police are employed in order to keep them in line.

The house of cards is brought down by a global financial crises. The confederacy goes bankrupt and defaults upon its debts. Wildcat strikes erupt from every end of the nation, and are met with brutal military force. Martial law is declared once again, but this time the response is revolution.
 
I’ve been thinking about the background for this scenario. I personally think a stronger confederacy makes everything a great deal more entertaining, even if it might not be entirely realistic.

A POD could be a confederate triumph at Bull Run. The victorious confederate army capitalizing upon its victory and takes Washington DC, and sucedes in holding the capital against a union counteract. These victories give the confederacy duel recognition by Britain and France, as well as a massive influx of war loans and material. In the face of this humiliation, peace is declared and neutral Kentucky ends up joining the confederacy on the basis of a somewhat rigged plebiscite.

The Confederacy enjoys a nearly 30 year cotton boom which ends with a massive recession when the cotton futures market collapses. Popular uprisings occur and martial law is declared, with a putsch of army officers and prominent Virginians basically rewriting the confederate constitution.

The confederate state is greatly centralized, compensated emancipation is enacted in exchange for British loans, an apartheid like system is put into place in order to control the freedmen, industry domestic and otherwise are subsidized through western land sales and coal concessions, finally suffrage is subtlety curtailed throughout the nation.

The confederacy begins a process of rapid and uneven industrialization. The state subsidies for the industry are heavy, with most of them going towards the industrial concerns associated with confederate politicians. Several regional centers of heavy industry emerge. The largest belt stretches from Birmingham to Atlanta comprising steel, manufacturing, and textiles. The second largest belt stretches from Richmond to Charlotte, and consists of a more sporadic amalgamation of light and heavy industry. New Orleans is a center for shipbuilding and a nescient oil industry. Louisville, is the confederate’s gateway to the north, and is a center of northern investment.

Yet, this development has been uneven. Much of this industry is foreign owned, with the resulting profits fleeing the country. The confederate population is still primarily agrarian with sharecroppers and tenant farmers subsisting below the poverty line. Those who aren’t farming in the rural areas tend to be in the employ of coal and timber barons, who treat their workers like slaves. Property requirements and poll taxes have reduced suffrage to under 20% of the population. The confederacy has gigantic debts stemming from both its industrial subsidies, and its compensated emancipation. The military is bloated, and its primary purpose is to preserve the rule of its masters in Richmond and Atlanta. The frontier regions are neglected and used as cash cows for the eastern states. Finally the confederacy’s black population is chaffing under a harsh apartheid like regime. Passbooks restrict their opportunities for movement and employment, and secret police are employed in order to keep them in line.

The house of cards is brought down by a global financial crises. The confederacy goes bankrupt and defaults upon its debts. Wildcat strikes erupt from every end of the nation, and are met with brutal military force. Martial law is declared once again, but this time the response is revolution.
A Confederate capture of Bull Run is the Civil War version of Sealion. The more interesting POD is what happens if Joe Johnston is not injured at Fair Oaks. He was a better general than Lee (the Overland Campaign v. the Atlanta Campaign is more than sufficient proof of that). McClellan would very much have been hurt by a Johnston victory than a Lee one, if only because Johnston didn't piss away his soldiers' lives in useless attacks like that at Malvern Hill or Pickett's Charge.

So if the Confederacy wins due to that then the situation is rather more interesting, as while their best bet is to eschew battles unless there is no outcome other than Fredericksburg-scale victories the institution of slavery will be undermined regardless.
 
A Confederate capture of Bull Run is the Civil War version of Sealion. The more interesting POD is what happens if Joe Johnston is not injured at Fair Oaks. He was a better general than Lee (the Overland Campaign v. the Atlanta Campaign is more than sufficient proof of that). McClellan would very much have been hurt by a Johnston victory than a Lee one, if only because Johnston didn't piss away his soldiers' lives in useless attacks like that at Malvern Hill or Pickett's Charge.
Yes. The problem is an early victory is pretty much the only way to get Kentucky into the confederacy, anything else is pretty much ASB (even still a confederate Kentucky is still very unlikely) Kentucky would give the confederacy much needed industry, and be an important voice for industrialization (not to mention its massive coal reserves)
 
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