Life imitates Art!

My name is Regnum Dei and this is my first written TL which asks the question: What if WWI had no clear winner. This scenario is inspired by HoI4 mod Red Flood but I will try to include a lot of my ideas and expand apon certain things that are not adressed in the mod.
Comments, suggestions and criticism is always greatly appreciated!
Without any further ado, I present:


It was me who had that misfortune to be sent on this damned European tour by New York Times. They needed a reporter with experience, someone capable to ask real questions but also get real answers, whatever that means. Many in America, despite isolationism we embraced, were interested in ongoing European politics after the end of the Great War.

Russian empire or whatever was left of it struggled with Britain to keep balance of power in Europe while socialist government in Berlin clearly showed signs of expansion. Germany despite its bad geographic position managed to survive Allied intervention to restore Kaiser in the first years after peace was signed. Truth to be told, there wasn’t much Allies could even do, everyone was already tired of fighting and Russia had its own chaos to handle. Not like France could do anything either, after their capitaluation to Germany in 1917 they were torn apart by internal conflict. That French betrayal as Britain called it almost cost Allies their victory but Russian victorious offensive in Austria caused Germany to capitulate when faced with British blockade, proletarian unrest and victorious Russian armies.
Maybe socialist Germany would not be so interesting to American readers if it wasn’t for the chain reaction it caused. Socialists across Europe had risen up against democratic institutions or in Russian case, its autocracy. Red Europe was not to be as Russian army, loyal to boy-tsar Alexei had no issues shooting their own people and British labor disputes were solved by policy of appeasement.
Such victories could not halt other revolutions, like Italian revolution. Better known as Flight to Rome by mad warrior-poet Gabriele D’Annunzio with his loyal legions of veterans, who disappointed in Vittoria Mutilata, occupied areas of upper Dalmatia and decided that Italian government no longer works in the interest of Italian people. Legionaries, patriotic socialists, lower classes and disappointed military veterans joined D’Annunzio in his coup d’etat of 1922, proclaiming National-Popular National State of Italy, better known as Popular Italian Empire.

So it was up to me to get on a plane to Europe and in this turbulent year of 1933 to go there and inform American public about the latest trends about European radicalism. All expenses would be of course paid by Times. America was hit by the Great Depression and while not bad as Europe, I doubt I could afford expenses on my own.
Generally many of these radicals wanted to be heard by international newspapers and reported on, convincing me even more that dictators are at the core just spoiled kids wanting all of the attention on themselves. I am convinced this clash of egos will start the new Great War but of course, warmongering wasn’t allowed so I am forced to keep my opinions to myself.

My first stop would be Paris, where I would have an interview with Le Patron of France, Antonin Artaud.
Not much was known about him or his regime and he was considered quite a recent dictator in European playground, arriving in power on 7th of August 1930 when his gangs stormed Paris in alliance with powerful French generals. Since then, all of his propaganda, speeches, rethorics were purely for French audience, as France was in diplomatic isolation ever since French Betrayal in 1917. His policies are similar to those in Italy, where radical avant-garde aesthetics, political fusion of mass movements and art and populist economics were established. However he is limited in his radical vision that a lot of his power relies on French military elite who are still firm believers in catholic conservative values. What will happen to France is yet to be seen, but it is my task to bring ideas of this enigmatic ruler to American public.

Soon I will go to Paris and embark on my European tour.

Hello everyone again!
This is today's last post and once again, comments, criticism and opions are welcomed!


I was not a fan of Paris.
Flight was alright, I arrived at night dead tired. I was informed I would spend a week in Paris, meeting various officials and on the final day I would speak with his excellency Le Patron. Whatever importance these officials had in France at the moment I couldn’t care less, as I nearly fell asleep in the car that was driving me to the hotel. While rather sleepy, I could notice that Paris was in order. Streets were illuminated by powerful electric lamps and people seemed to enjoy vibrant nightlife. In those brief 3 years it seems Le Patron menaged to ease the effects of Depression on the civilian population. Well then, all praises to him, but I couldn't help but notice occasionally several figures with rifles patrolling the streets and by the look of their leather jackets and red scarfs they seemed to be the infamous Escadron.
I was divorced, and without any close family, only my friend and editor Edwin went with me to the airport to say his goodbyes. With warm farewell message, he also warned me:
- In Paris, the army has little influence, or police on that matter, the city itself is a fortress for Artaud’s radical gangs that run around in their fancy military motorcycles and keep order. They are quite brutal so I would avoid interaction with them. Not a fan of foreigners in France.-

Maybe because it was night and I could not see clearly or maybe because of the speed of the car I was in, but I was not much impressed by Escadron, a paramilitary gang like any other.
Finally we arrived at the hotel in the center of Paris. Well it seems the Times could afford good luxury for their reporters. Few of Escadron members were outside, smoking and laughing. Passing by them, I could see they were quite young, maybe barely over 20. Besides that, I noticed nothing interesting and went straight to my room after checking in at the reception.
I was looking towards some good night rest.

I woke up early, or better to say I was woken up early by noises outside the hotel. Checking outside my window I could see once again members of Escadron, but instead of just enjoying themselves they were working on setting up a stage or something. What was going on was revealed to me by someone who I did not expect to meet here, none other than Philip Johnson.
He is quite a young American architect, known for his modernist approach but also better known in social circles as a controversial radical.
While not really involved in those higher circles of American society, I knew him and he knew me, even if we were acquaintances at best.
-Oh! I wasn't expecting you here! I hope you are on a vacation?- he asked
- Sadly vacation does not exist in dictionary of those who do my job, I am here sent to report on new French government-
-You are in luck then, I am here few weeks observing this wonderful transformation of human society here-
-Is it that grandiose?-
What he said next was quite unexpected, even for radica like him.
-Dear friend, a few days back I was invited to witness the military parade of Escadron troops. You simply can not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, by the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing, as Artaud came on at last to harangue the crowd.-he could not separate the energy of the orchestrated frenzy of Escadron’s parade from the sexual charge, either, feeling thrilled at the sight of -all those blond boys in black leather marching past an ebullient Le Patron.-
I was rather shocked with this response as Johnson was known as radical and expressed admiration towards Artaud but fanaticism in his eyes when he spoke about him was something I haven't seen before.
-Well damn, I guess I am lucky to have an interview with mister Artaud. If he is at least half charismatic as you say I too will be greatly impressed.-
- You won’t be disappointed!-
Unfortunately he had to leave but he said that Escadron is setting some sort of public meetings in the hall of the hotel and that some prominent party leaders will be there as well. I was interested however my schedule was busy as I was going to meet Georges Valois, Minister of Labor and Chairman of General Confederation of Labor. He wasn’t some nobody but a close comrade of Artaud and if rumors are correct he is to be credited for the economic organization of France and its success. My car arrived and I was taken to the ministry rather fast. It seems speed in Paris was rather important.
I was taken back by the building where the ministry was located, as it was a massive structure done in modernist style. However what truly was shocking was the front of the building. Covering all upper floors there was a grand black board and it was written with white letters ‘’OUI’’ on it covering it fully if only there was no large portrait of Artaud in the center. I admit, I was taken back with this, as I wrote before, little was known about French regime. With this one could see confidence and popularity Artaud and his movement had.
Inside the Ministry itself there were a lot of portraits of Artaud, party banners and French flags. I noticed that quite a few people were not dressed in typical bureaucratic style but instead looked more like paramilitary revolutionaries, maybe it was the latest French fashion?
Taken to the top office, Georges Valois welcomed me and I could notice the translator already arrived.
I will end today’s report with parts of the interview that I will present in simple but understandable format.

Me: Mister Valois, many in America are interested to know about French economic miracle, could you explain what measures you enacted to give you such results?
Mr. Valois: Socialization! While international forces of communism and socialism fight, we represent real national and popular economic model.
Me: Socialization? Could you elaborate?
Mr. Valois: Of course. You see, we need productive economy and large scale industrial production was limited by incompetent greed of French capitalists. We nationalized large scale industries but protected private interest of the middle class. Instead of cut throat competition for profit, we united middle scale producers to work for the French people.
Me: Quite impressive, but it's known your government also engages in large scale infrastructure projects. What can we know about that?
Mr Valois: You are quite informed, and you are correct. We have tasked mister Jeanneret with construction of People’s Projects, housing and organization of life that will solve not only the issue of homeless people but also unemployment as people start to work in these projects.
Me: Who will work on these People’s Projects?
Mr Valois: Our labor armies! Everyone shall work, work will set them free and productivity must be the highest virtue for every French patriot!
Me: I would ask you one last question, where do you see France in the next ten years?
Mr Valois: Excellent question! France in ten years shall be restored to its glory-oh what am I saying, it will surpass even the glory that we had under emperor Napoleon, in ten years Paris will be the sun of Europe and Artaud shall be our Apollo.

Hello everyone! Here we are with part 3! Once again criticism, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!


From the interview with mister Valois I started to get a clearer image on French situation and their goals. There were various attempts to restore order and democracy after 1917 but militant syndicates and nationalist paramilitaries destroyed any chance for economic and political recovery.
One of these far right was National-Syndicalist Avantgarde Party, a small clique of nationalists inspired by triumph of revolutionary nationalism in Italy. Mostly veterans, NSAP began to grow due to its propaganda skills of one of their members. Including shocking and even surreal imagery, grand and megalomaniacal speeches of New France which will be utopia on Earth, NSAP attracted many who were disappointed in more passive Catholic reactionarism. This propaganda master quickly became the leader, an individual who just came from the bloody trenches, an individual who was rejected and casted out from artistic circles of pre-war France.
However some divine providence sent this man to the Great War, in which he embraced the horrors of war, in which he started to see war as the greatest performance art ever done, in which he celebrated extermination of humanism and rationalism under heavy fire of machine guns.
New leader saw France in ruins, destroyed by a failed liberal system, he united the nation in his charisma, patriotic socialists, productive syndicalists , progressive nationalists and other extremes flocked to his nationalist and populist banner, to lead them for a new and better France. He did lead them to Paris in 1930 where in a revolutionary coup d'etat, Antonin Artaud became Le Patron of France.

These were not mine words but those of mister Valois, who spoke with great fanaticism about his beloved leader Antonin Artaud and their party, NSAP. We can expect great fanaticism in France if other Frenchmen share this view on their leader which I somehow knew they do.
Praises aside, there was useful information to learn from the interview like willingness to work with left wing movements while maniting right wing hierarchical structure. Will our beloved democracies stand the test of time or will this unholy fusion of radicalism triumph? It remains to be seen.

My return to the hotel was uneventful, however when I arrived I saw a larger crowd in the front. Led by my professional curiosity I saw all of these men were gathered around the stage that Escadron was constructing this morning.
On stage was some young man, quite aristocratic in his looks dressed in the typical uniform of Escadron, speaking with great passion about the beauty of warrior’s death, about the beauty of productive labor and the beauty of fatherland. I will present part of the speech:

Youthful warriors, virale producers and loyal Escadron!
Our struggle! Our national struggle! Our people’s struggle!
Will never end ‘till France, our grand fatherland is exploited!
Who is the enemy you ask? Who dares to go against us?
Unholy union of Anglo capital and German communism!
Until Germany and Britain are destroyed France will never know peace!

He spoke more but it was enough for me, I could see where this was going. It is true that with the fall of France in 1917 their colonies in Asia and central Africa were lost and that the current border with Germany does not favor them. This in mind clearly shows that the policy of Artaud’s France will be one of expansion, but can the beloved dictator deliver? I was pondering with these thoughts as I was entering the building, but the receptionist, a young blond woman, said I got the invitation.
It was from Johnson who invited me this evening to a special dinner party hosted by a man called Georges Bataille. I was deeply curious and I recall reading he was involved with French government. Well I guess my job never ends.​
Next one will be in few days as I need to do some reaserch but it will be longer!
I also would like again for any comments, suggestions, criticism etc... you might have as it improves my writing and keeps me motivated!