Look to the West -- Thread II

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Thande, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. fortyseven Mastermind

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    L timeline something something [:
     
  2. Umbric Man Umbric Manned

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    Terribly wonderful to see this return. I too love the story frame, as it's nice to be able to have them give a bit of flavor to the footnotes as well as allowing for the convenient recollection segments on various parts of the world, such as one of the earlier East Asia recollection segments. It also of all things produces a bit more drama (beyond the impossible!) and a bit of mystery as well, something you don't find in many histories on this site!

    I notice 'Kingdom of England' when the KoE's already been gone by TTL's beginning...oh dear...
     
  3. EmmettMcFly55 Well-Known Member

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    Nice to see this being restarted, and also nice to have the honour of posting on page 2 of what will inevitably grow to be a thread with hundreds of pages.

    Is there going to be an overview before the actual thread starts? I remember the Napoleonic... correction, the French Revolutionary Wars or whatever they were called had just ended and that Saxony is off to take Prussia's place. Other than that, my memories need to be refreshed.
     
  4. Indigo low energy lilac

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    Yes!:D, Free at last! on another note, it's interesting that the team is entirely new altogether.
     
  5. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    Hoorah! Yet another thing to look forward to this year.
     
  6. Agatho Did what he could for Wilfrid

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    This should be great. I'll admit I've been a lurker long enough to have read this TL, and now that it's back and I'm on the forum I can post on it. Expect fawning praise after each update Thande. You are the master.
     
  7. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    Part #101: The Definition of Other

    Report: 13/08/2015 (OTL Calendar)

    Captain B. MacCaulay:SIR— To confirm our preliminary report, we have successfully gone to earth in the Belfast of TimeLine L. As predicted by Dr Wostyn based on the information from Captain Nuttall’s team, the city is one of the largest in the Kingdom of Ireland and religious tensions are considerably less than OTL. I would say it’s more like French and English speaking Canadians, there’s some ribbing and the Protestants seem to be constantly threatening to secede but in practice they just get given some privileges and shut up. Also it looks like the Irish Gaelic language isn’t in use here—

    Dr. D. Wostyn: Actually I managed to find a book that mentioned the subject, Captain, and the language is totally extinct. Some people have tried to reconstruct it like Cornish in OTL but—

    MacCaulay: Not important right now, Doctor. As I was saying, the only language spoken here is the local dialect of English. The accent is somewhat similar to OTL’s Ulster but different. Lieutenant McConnell thinks he can adapt his own natural accent to blend in which should be necessary for us to find out more information about Captain Nuttall’s team and their fate.

    Wostyn: I should point out that England and Ireland don’t see eye to eye on everything however at the moment which may cause problems. At least that’s the way it looks.

    MacCaulay: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime we’ve managed to go to earth in a couple of first-floor flats next door to a public library. Dr Wostyn’s already taken out several books.

    Wostyn: That’s right. Fortunately Ireland doesn’t seem to be xenophobic and they can’t tell my accent from whatever a French one sounds like in this timeline. The hardest part is the vocabulary but then being foreign gives you a free pass for that as well.

    MacCaulay: It’s reading the spelling that I can’t do. But I guess we have to. Now while Lieutenant McConnell and I proceed with figuring out just what happened to Captain Nuttall’s team, Dr Wostyn has agreed to pick up where Dr Lombardi took off on digitising local books.

    Wostyn: Yes, the library’s very helpful in that regard. Now we’re here though I realise what Bruno meant about having to know the history to understand how things work in contemporary society, and we’ll need that for when we go after Bruno and the others. So I’ll end up digitising quite a lot of different works.

    MacCaulay: That’s it for me sir, back to work now and I’ll leave you with Dr Wostyn. MacCaulay out.

    Wostyn: Right...bien. Now as a test I’m going to run some passages from this first book through the digitiser. It’s called... “A Historickal Dicktionary of Politickal Terminolojy and Disckourz.” Needless to say I will be editing the digitiser feed to OTL spelling to make things easier for the Institute’s analysts, and I appreciate better now just what Bruno and the others had to go through before. Now, let’s begin...


    *

    Regressive, Regressivism. Broadly, any political movement which idealises and romanticises the past, typically prior to some negative event such as a war, and seeks to return matters as much as possible to their state before that event. The term is believed to have been coined in France by René, Comte de Champagne, in an 1817 letter addressed to his nephew Philippe (and heir, as both the Comte’s sons had died in the Jacobin Wars and his brother, Philippe’s father, had been executed by phlogistication in the early days of the Revolution). René commented that the young Philippe, born in 1802, could not truly appreciate ‘la douceur de vivre’ (“the sweetness of living”) of those who remembered the time before the Revolution. He then went on to say ‘O, if only there were some marvellous conveyance, perhaps of the steam devices of which the Jacobins and their stooges [referring to Bonaparte’s Parti Modéré] are so enamoured, that might regress us to that glorious age: a regressive engine, if you will’. The French phrase he coined, machine regressife is remarkable for inspiring not only a political movement but also a genre of scientific romance, the so-called “Chrono-Voyage” in which such devices are used to allow protagonists to travel backwards—and, eventually, forwards—in time. While the Comte was a member of the doradic Parti Royaliste, which we would now call a regressive party, it was in Britain during the Marleburgensian Period that the term became popularised. While William Wyndham was not the first there to use the term, he made it his own. Wyndham’s anti-Churchill faction was originally known as the Old Contrarians and later as the New Tories, but after the Inglorious Revolution formed the core of the new Regressive Party that would be a major force in British politics for the rest of the century. The use of the term there popularised it across the world. SEE ALSO: Progressivism, Retrogradualism.

    *

    Progressive, Progressivism. Any political movement that seeks reform and to further existing trends of reform (the precise nature of such reforms are not specified, but are often Mentian in nature). It usually also carries connotations of an embrace of the future and a disregard for the past and tradition. Scattered uses of the term are found before it becoming a major accepted form towards the end of the first half of the nineteenth century, when it was popularised by its use in opposition to the term Regressivism (q.v.). SEE ALSO: Mentianism.

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    Doradism. SEE: Metallic Spectrum.

    *

    Reactivism: A political ideology created in Britain by John Greville, a political thinker originally a junior minister of the Phoenix Party government who renounced his allegiance shortly after the death of Churchill the elder and therefore was allowed to remain in exile, although he never returned to government. Greville, a conservative and doradist, viewed the Inglorious Revolution as a catastrophe but acknowledged that it had been precipitated by authoritarian misrule under the Phoenix Party (and its precursor the Rebirth Coalition). In the aftermath of the Popular Wars, drawing upon examples from the earlier Jacobin Revolution in France, contemporary events and much older history, Greville argued that progressive or cobrist ideas (which he viewed as negative) generally had little reception among an apathetic public unless oppression from above led the public to reflexively side with anyone speaking out against the ruling regime.

    Greville’s On Revolution is considered even by his detractors to be one of the finest treatises on the subject of armed revolt to governance: his A Reactive Solution produced more mixed reactions to put it mildly. Greville’s original Reactivist treatise states that a government that wishes to enforce conservative and anti-Mentian ideals should use as light a hand as possible (which ties in with doradist economic thinking) and should tolerate protests and assembly. Greville argued that such events are like safety valves letting off steam from an engine and stopping them up will simply cause it to eventually explode. For this reason he is sometimes compared to the French medical pioneer Claude Toussaint, his contemporary, whose core tenet was that simply treating the symptoms of a disease might not solve the underlying problem and might even worsen it, particularly in reference to fever. Greville’s Reactivism is so called because it advocates using such protests to gauge public support for what he terms ‘a small Radical minority that even the most perfect earthly state can never hope to totally eradicate’. When public support is strong, the state should react—give in and enact some reforms to placate the public—until that public support falls away and the ‘Radical minority’ is left a lone voice crying in the wilderness wants more. Greville claimed that such an approach would ‘preserve the maximum of the desired practices possible, let us say eighty percent over a period of a century’, whereas ‘cracking down with violence and paranoia at the slightest hint of protest’ would have a ‘fifty-fifty chance of eventually triggering a revolution that would sweep away one hundred percent of the ruling regime’s practices’.

    Greville’s theory was hotly debated in his lifetime but mostly not implemented until after his death by doradist parties in various countries—while born of doradism, it is worth pointing out that Reactivist practices have also been used by authoritarian cobrist governments as well to suppress counter-revolutions. Today Reactivism consists of two warring strands, the legacy of a high-profile split in the late 19th century. The split was over how to deal with Greville’s permanent ‘small Radical minority’. Fabian Reactivism is named after the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus, whose tactics against the invading Carthaginians focused on retreating and making hit-and-run raids against the enemy rather than facing them head-on—by doing so he was able to defeat a tactically superior opponent by means of gradual attrition. Similarly Fabian Reactivism argues that the best approach to reducing activity from the ‘Radical minority’ is for a government to drag its feet as much as possible, forcing progressives to fight for every step of the way for a reform, to try and instil a negative impression and discourage them from trying it too often: perhaps reducing the progressive fight for just their most cherished reforms and thus sweeping the others aside as ‘unrealistic to try for at this time’.

    In opposition, Continuity Reactivism argues that such an approach misses the whole point of Greville’s thesis and is only more likely to irritate the public and drive more of them into the arms of the ‘Radical minority’. ‘Continuers’, as adherents of the ideology are generally known, instead state that the best way to cement doradist ideals is to give ground willingly to the ‘Radical minority’ when they have public backing, but when the public are contented and disinclined to cleave to the ‘Radical minority’, to then pursue regressive policies aimed at undoing those reforms. Continuers are often ridiculed thanks to some early high-profile cases of adherent governments undoing the reforms in a manner that made it obvious what they were doing and upsetting a much larger portion of the public (those with a political memory longer than months, that is) than they had intended. However the modern Continuer realises that it is perfectly possible to pursue counter-reforms in a manner that makes it appear to build upon the existing reform rather than reversing it as is the intention. The conflict between Fabians and Continuers persists to this day and shows no sign of going away: indeed, like many blood feuds inside a political ideology, it is often felt more bitterly than any conflict between Reactivists and progressives. There are cases of coalition governments falling apart due to two parties each cleaving to a different strand of Reactivist thought refusing to cooperate.

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    Mentianism: A full description of this cobrist ideology is beyond the scope of this book, but broadly speaking Mentianism is the modern English name for the philosophy whose adherents were originally known as “Neo-Levellers” and were an important faction behind the Inglorious Revolution. Originating in what was then Austrian Bohemia and spreading across the mining and industrial areas of Europe (and eventually beyond), Mentianism started out as a struggle for workers’ rights by the formation of cooperatives and ‘popular guilds’ (as opposed to the old medieval guilds which were usually controlled by the rich). Later on, sympathetic political philosophers such as August Hartmann and Gerard Deligne helped organise Neo-Leveller goals into formalised treatises. Mentianism is so called after an English corruption of the German word mensch, meaning ‘man’ or more properly ‘human’ as unlike the English term it unabiguously refers to both genders. There have been some attempts to retitle it ‘Humanism’ for an English-speaking audience, but these have generally failed both due to the potential for confusion with the literary term and also because ‘Mentianism’ has carried through the connotation in German for mensch to refer not simply to a human but to one possessing positive qualities and also emphasising those unique qualities that all humans have, distinguishing them from animals. Mentianism draws attention to the fact that all humans have potential to do great things, citing examples of those who have risen up from low origins to do so, and arguing against the then-popular view that such examples did not signify isolated happenstance lower-class individuals who happened to be able to intellectually compete with the upper classes.

    Instead Mentianism advocated the idea that those individuals happened to be the only ones who through particular determination or just good fortune happened to have the opportunity to draw themselves out of their low station. In fact everyone had the potential towards greatness. Pointing out the great achievements in literature, science, architecture and so forth of those few examples, Hartmann in his famous pamphlet Gemeinsinn (“Common Sense”) suggested his readers imagine just how much richer, more wondrous, and happier a place the world would be if every single human being had the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Deligne on the other hand concentrated on the idea that every human had the potential to excel in a particular field, and being stuck in a peasant lifestyle meant that uncounted millions had unknowingly lived the tragic life of never having the opportunity to pursue their own field of genius, be it in art or engineering or warfare. Deligne went on to state that even the upper classes could achieve more than they currently did under Mentian principles, pointing out that upper-class children were just as automatically trapped in an occupation as their peasant subjects: “The heir to the local baron has the potential locked inside him to invent new methods of farming that could feed all the starving children of the nearby city, or perhaps to devise wondrous new steam devices to triple and quadruple our industrial production once again, or even for a field that he himself will invent. But he will never do any of those things because all he is allowed to do is rule—and even if he has the free time to pursue a hobby, many of those things are frowned upon as ‘ungentlemanly’.”

    Although Mentianism was theoretically gender neutral from the start, much internal conflict in the often fractious movement has been over whether women should break from traditional roles, whether they should follow a husband as he pursues his own potential, whether they should have the right to pursue their own potential in a field in their own right, and so on. Nowadays Cythereanism is most commonly associated with Mentianism but that was not always the case, and in the late nineteenth century it was common for Cythereans to publicly clash with Mentian groups who tended to be dominated by local industrial workers with traditional attitudes towards women.

    Mentianism has been viewed as a significant threat by doradist political forces and even some cobrists who believe that the Mentians go too far and endanger more moderate doradist principles. It is common for doradists and others to accuse Mentians of being closet Societists (SEE ALSO: Societism) due to the transnational nature of the early history of the movement and some of its factions being anti-racialist. Naturally Mentians tend to hit back at such accusations, calling them absurd considering the Societist enshrinement of the same class hierarchy that the Mentians view as the ‘yoke holding back the human race from enlightenment’. And indeed Mentians often tend to produce some of the most fiercely anti-Societist governments.

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    Metallic Spectrum. From Spanish Espectro Metálicos, a term coined by the New Granadine writer Rodrigo Campos in his 1839 work Política (simply ‘Politics’). Campos however merely recognised and recorded the pre-existing use of terms in Meridian politics, which by this point were spreading into the Empire of New Spain, Old Brazil and elsewhere, and organised them in a format with definitions. The three main terms in English are Doradism, Argentism and Cobrism, derived from the Spanish words for gold, silver and copper. Together they describe points on a ‘spectrum’ of political thought, so called because the terms were originally colours. The terms are derived from Meridian politics in the Watchful Peace and Popular Wars period. The UPSA had two main political parties, the conservative Amarillo (Yellow) Party and the radical Colorado (Red) Party. The Colorados had originally taken their colour from that of the precursor Solidarity Party, which had in turn been inspired by the Jacobin regime in France and its Bloody Flag. The Amarillos embraced yellow as their colour as it was the major colour of the Meridian flag and therefore emphasised the fact that they were a home-grown movement in contrast to the foreign-inspired Solidarity Party. The Colorados therefore changed the symbolism of their own colour, pointing out that the Meridian flag also used red as one of its colours. Unaligned deputies in the Cortes Nacionales, who sometimes acted as a single voting bloc, were unofficially known as the ‘Blanco (White) Party’ as white was the third colour of the Meridian flag.

    The Metallic Spectrum originates from political discourse during the presidency-general of Roberto Mateovarón, when deputies sometimes crossed party lines over particular political issues. With the old enmities fading after the retirement of Ayala from frontline politics in 1813 and the more moderate Portillo rising to lead the country as the Colorados’ first president-general, party lines became less tribal and more issue-based. For that reason political commentators needed terms to describe ideals and ideology independent of party identity. It is uncertain just who had the idea to convert the colours of the flag to analogous metals, but that was the terminology that caught on. Yellow became gold, white became silver and red became copper; this also had the bonus of carrying the connotation of ‘common copper’ versus ‘high-class gold’ for the egalitarian Colorados and elitist Amarillos. Argentism is sometimes confused with Adamantianism (q.v.) but Argentism properly describes moderate ideals held for their own sake, whereas Adamantianism emphasises moderation as a pragmatic approach to stabilise a nation while working towards more cobrist ideals.

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    Societism: This

    *

    Dr D. Wostyn: Ah...my apologies. The digitiser’s battery ran down. I’ve been charging it with the solar charger for the past few hours and now I can record this short snippet....unfortunately I can’t go back and view the file now so I’m not sure where it cut off the digitising of the book...hope you can make sense to it, and we should be able to work out a better approach to this soon. Wostyn out.








    ~

    Comments?

    Thande
     
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  8. OwenM Red Tory Scum

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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarggggh! You are so good at dodging inconvenient questions, you know that Thande!
    I'd kill you now if that wouldn't stop you making updates anymore. Pity about Irish Gaelic.
    But, yay, this TL's reformed spelling more than OTL! Sanity has prevailed!
     
  9. Finn Custom User Title

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    Irish Gaelic is gone! :mad:

    So, if I'm reading that right, Doradism is an analogue of right-wing, Cobrism is an analogue of left-wing, and Argentism is one of those My-opinion-is-a-mix-of-both-so-that-makes-me-better forms of moderation?

    Prepare for loads of people thinking your reference to "Kingdom of Ireland" means Ireland is independent.
     
  10. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    More or less: doradism is what we would call the Right, cobrism is the Left, and argentism is the Centre.

    In case it wasn't obvious, this was me finally coming up with a way to stop awkwardly avoiding using the terms right- and left-wing because they don't exist in TTL, being derived from where the deputies sat on which side of the King of France in an OTL revolutionary assembly which has no analogue in TTL.

    It is. LTTW is an example of that minor AH cliché, that any Ireland that isn't part of Britain will remain the one point of calm on the globe (besides Switzerland) and carry on pretty much the same being neutral and inoffensive regardless of what chaos consumes everywhere else.
     
  11. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    It's not top-down spelling reform, it's the result of more francophobic spellings coming into use as explained earlier on as a reaction to the French invasion. For example OTL it took a while for 'picquet' and 'racquet' to become 'picket' and 'racket'; in TTL they left that behind long below and are now playing 'crocket' on the lawn while sniffing their 'buckets' of flowers (Roy Clarke would be proud).
     
  12. Finn Custom User Title

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    That was clever of you to shift the colors of the UPSA flag into metals and then avoid using obvious silver-and-gold dualism.

    Interesting. Not that the world is in chaos, I figured that out a while ago from how old their sources were, and how the newer ones were more controversial and prone to bias and censorship. What I find interesting is the neutral independent Ireland, given that last we heard from it the English were going out of their way to help it at the expense of Scotland. I can only assume you realize any minor reference to the modern day of the timeline will be over-analyzed.

    On that topic, because of the new exploration team, am I correct in guessing that the timeline will shift away from it's earlier linear form?

    Edit: On second thought, the terms all seemed to have been coined before the Popular Wars, which is just about where we left off. So I guess we still are on straight tracks through time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  13. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    No. Hendryk's going to just happen to end up mostly digitising books in rough chronological order, just because I don't hate my readers quite enough to force them to keep track of a nonlinear timeline ;)
     
  14. Finn Custom User Title

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    Good, good. I had a hard enough time during the Jacobin Wars remembering what happened on what month in what year, giving us 200 years of history all at once would've been cruel. The only person that works for is B_Munro, because he only writes a block of text for each setting and is vague enough that you can put events whenever you want.

    That said, I really should re-read the whole thing, I'm confusing myself. For example, at this time I have no idea who is on the British throne. To Timelines And Scenarios!

    Edit: I look forward to the Inglorious Revolution with a mixture of excitement and dread.
     
  15. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    Don't forget there's also the concise TL on the Wiki here which is in "Date: Stuff Happens" format. It's not quite up to date with part 100 but it's nearly there.
     
  16. imperialaquila Aspiring Thru-Hiker

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    That makes refreshing my memory so much easier. Thanks.
     
  17. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    Interesting. An Independent Kingdom of Ireland indicates that there never was a second Act of Union (for Home Rule would have created the Dominion of Ireland). I reckon the King is one of three options:

    1. The Exiled King of Britain.
    2. An important local (the descendent of the Duke of Mornington?) who has gained the crown.
    3. Non-Existent á la Interbellum Hungary
     
  18. Atom Future Human

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    So let's try to put everything in context, note any metaphors are obviously very inexact:

    Doradism---Argentism---Cobrism
    Right-------Middle------Left

    The metallic metaphor seems to be carried further, "Adamantism" is a philosophy emphasizing moderation as method of problem solving, apparently. Wouldn't be surprised if the environmentalist movement of ATL is "oxidationist" or something (for the green color of oxidized copper). ;)

    Mentianism seems to be a sort of "humanist" philosophy, that grew out of ATL's labor movement (like many of our world's political philosophies). "Mensch" is itself a Yiddish loanwords in OTL, and I tihnk it's likely to be ATL as well, since "Mensch" as "human being" in German seems fairl well established (would a German speaker help me out here). If so, that might suggest that there was a movement of Yiddish speakers to an English speaking area to spread that word. Or it could just be random. Probably looking too deep here.

    Cytheranism is apparently alt-feminism, probably derives from "Cythera" an island in Greece, I suspect due it's association with Aphrodite. Not sure about that though, seems a bit weak.

    Now, Mentianism seems to be placed as a Cobrist movement, but what about Societism? That seems likely to be Cobrist, however I wouldn't be surprised if Societism doesn't really fit at all on the scale (sort of like OTL fascism/communism with the endless fights).

    I don't think "anti-racialist" means anti-racist, because I thought the term for ATL racism was Linnaeism? Or perhaps the vocabulary changed? Either way considering how the vague mention of it suggests that it's mainstream(ish?), I don't think it;s directly analogous to OTL racism.
     
  19. Finn Custom User Title

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    From what we know (or think we know) about Societism (spellcheck hates your ATL terms, Thande), it doesn't seem very Cobrist. It seems to place a strange support of the class system within the bounds of some sort of anti-nationalist and (according to the Ottoman update) some sort of recursive anti-censorship censorship.

    Linnaeism, I thought, merely refers to a racial hierarchy based off of Linnaeus' theories on humanity. Racialism seems to be the term based on just basic racism.
     
  20. FDW Banned

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    Nice update Thande.
     
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