Look to the West Volume VII: The Eye Against the Prism

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Thande, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Threadmarks: Title page

    Thande Ricky Carlson / David Alameel '20 Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Quick links to previous parts

    Volume I: Diverge and Conquer & Volume II: Uncharted Territory
    Volume III: Equal and Opposite Reactions (formerly "The World Turned Upside Down")
    Volume IV: Cometh the Hour...
    Volume V: To Dream Again & Volume VI: The Death of Nations
    Without comments (not yet fully updated)
    Laconic chronology ("Date: Stuff Happens") version

    NB. Volumes I & II and Volumes V & VI were split retroactively so each share one thread.

    Volumes I-III (currently) available for purchase as eBooks (with accompanying media and bonus features) from Sea Lion Press via Amazon and other online purchases. Click 'Look to the West' on the left sidebar, then click the individual volume covers to see links to Amazon etc. Alternatively, see my Amazon author page for a list of all my books.

    Volumes I and II also available as print paperbacks from the same source.

    Now, without further ado...

    Look to the West

    A Timeline

    by Dr Thomas W. Anderson MSci MA (Cantab) MRSC SFHEA


    Thande Institute Archive 20190511 item X54-32Z-9EE-4PT.

    Provenance: Document discovered by Sgt Robert Mumby (Team Beta, TimeLine L Expedition 1a). Document was found pressed between two books, apparently forgotten, on bookshelf possessed by TimeLine L native D. Batten-Hale (see archive section 5A).

    Remarks: Document takes the form of a fragment of a newspaper, the Oxfordshire County Register, which appears to have been preserved due to being on the back of an article mentioning Mr Batten-Hale’s allegedly tireless efforts to protect university funding. As the layout of the front and back of the pages is different, the text on the other side begins mid-article.

    ...the third murder of a GTI academic in as many weeks, panic has gripped Brasenose-Hertford College in particular, where Dr Peasebody’s body was found (see main story, page 2). However, Inspectrix Atlantis Samuels of the Oxfordshire Constabulary insisted in today’s press conference on behalf of the Royal National Police that there was no cause for alarm, and that the police were appealing for witnesses to come forward. Inspx Samuels also publicly denied the rumour that the Interior Minister has requested that the Royal Gendarmery be called in to ‘get a grip’ on the case, as was the language used by a Government document leaked yesterday (available on Motext page LO22A). Pressure now mounts on the police to solve what appears to be a diabolically complex case.


    Studebaker College’s Student Union has become known for forming the vanguard of controversial debates, and Tuesday’s was no exception. With the invitation of divisive Scots academic Archie McIntyre, recently returned from his trip to the Former Societist Territories, the wonder is it took so long as it did for the riot to break out. Register reporter Angela Dawlish was on the scene and records here Prof McIntyre’s colourful remarks leading up to the unrest:

    PROF MCINTYRE: [...] It takes a lot to shock you, doesn’t it? [Derisive laughter from audience] I mean it—I could blether [Eng: talk] about going around Zone Whin—I mean, ahem, Platinea and looking at threshed bases—oh, and blasted cities, and folks sick and starving—but ye’re inured to all o’ that, aye? [Challenging sounds from audience] Oh aye. But lemme tell ye ane thing, ye ruddy Sassenachs [Note: derogatory term for English used by Scots] I cuild tell ye somethin’ that’d make ye sit up in yez chairs.

    At this point Prof McIntyre left the lectern and walked to a blackboard used when the lecture theatre is employed for teaching rather than debates. He deliberately walked to the wrong side of the blackboard and wrote large words on it in chalk where they were not visible by the audience or any of his fellow debate participants.

    PROF MCINTYRE: ’Scuse my wee [Eng: small] bit o’ theatre, no? Now I’ll tell ye. Whit’s the ane thing I’ve learned frae [Eng: from] goin’ around those lands we were all raised tae hate? I cuild say anythin’! I’m already a foreign Scottish laddie bletherin’ at the English, isnae [Eng: isn’t] that suspicious enough, ye ken? [Eng: you know?] I cuild say looking at those puir wee lassies and bairns [Eng: women and babies or children, respectively, terms also ruled acceptable in some Northern English dialects by the Academy] starvin’ in their shattered cities, and say, why, war is wrong, and they’ve converted me tae their side, tae the Bad Idea? Do ye want me tae say that?

    Prof McIntyre glared at the restive audience, who doubtless were hoping he’d get to the point.

    PROF MCINTYRE: But it’s no’ controversial tae call yer opponent some closet Sanchezista—isnae that whit we’ve been doin’ all our lives, from arguin’ over a sweet ice when we were bairns? No, that willnae [Eng: won’t] shock ye! I’ll say somethin’ else—I’ll say, ye ken, twa [Eng: two] years past when we all let our fireworks off tae celebrate that we’d won—I say it’s nuthin’ of the sort!

    More curious murmurs from the audience began at this point.

    PROF MCINTYRE: Naw! The Societists, the individuals on the other side, oh they lost. But Pablo Sanchez won!

    Jeers, shouts, denials from the audience, but the sound amplifiers allowed Prof McIntyre’s voice to rise above.

    PROF MCINTYRE: Ye’ll say I’m aff me heid! [Eng: off my head, i.e. unhinged] But I tell ye! Whit was old Pablo Sanchez tryin’ tae prove? Eh? He wuz tryin’ tae prove that all men are brithers and that all the ’uman race shares values? Eh? Change me mind!

    At this point some members of the audience began to rush the stage, but Prof McIntyre held them back by raising a hand and going to the blackboard. There is no denying his charisma.

    PROF MCINTYRE: If ye’ll let me finish...whit has the last century proved, eh? Ye’ll say I’m a daftie, that we spent the last ’undred years divided! But I say, no! We were all, all of us, all across the world, united by ane principle! And this is it!

    Prof McIntyre then rotated the blackboard to reveal the words he had scrawled in chalk.

    It was at this point that our reporter had to leave as the room descended into chaos and seven arrests were made for varying degrees of bodily harm. Eighteen injuries were reported, though intriguingly, Prof McIntyre himself escaped unharmed. It is clear that his argument found some resonance with some parts of the audience, who elected to defend him.

    The words Prof McIntyre wrote, the principle he claimed had united all of humanity through the long years of the Quiet War regardless of whether they be Diversitarians or Societists, was as follows:




  2. Thande Ricky Carlson / David Alameel '20 Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Yes, for some years I've had the rather hobbitish tradition of updating LTTW on my birthday. But LTTW was on hiatus when my birthday came around this year! Shock horror, what to do? Uh, I guess I'll start writing Volume VII, even though I'm still part way through reviewing Volume IV for publication. Whilst simultaneously starting a new sequel to "The Surly Bonds of Earth". I do wonder why they let me teach time management to students sometimes.

    NB updates to this are going to be infrequent for a while because of the above, but hopefully my fanbase has not died of old age in the meantime. This will be simulposted on the Sea Lion Press site.
  3. Thande Ricky Carlson / David Alameel '20 Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
  4. Threadmarks: Interlude 22

    Thande Ricky Carlson / David Alameel '20 Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Interlude #22: Heartbreak Photel

    Transcript of Thande Institute inaugural meeting of TimeLine L Analysis Team Gamma (composed largely of the members of the former Exploration Teams Alpha and Beta)
    Time: 11:30 hours
    Date: 22/11/2019
    Location: Thande Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom, TimeLine A (a.k.a. Our TimeLine or OTL)

    CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER G. NUTTALL (CGN): Well, gentlemen, let’s hear it.


    CGN: Explain, in as few words as possible, exactly how screwed we are.

    TP: Ah.

    DR BRUNO LOMBARDI (BL): I think that’s a little unfair, sir. I agree that, ah, our superiors are a little...naive about how easy it is to interpret those intercepted transmissions from the micro-Portal at Snowdrop House in TimeLine L, but—

    LIEUTENANT THOMAS BLACK (TB): Alright, we understand the situation, you don’t have to explain it again.

    SERGEANT ROBERT MUMBY (RM): Too right, I keep expecting you to turn to one side and say ‘eh, readers?’

    BL: Pardon?

    LIEUTENANT JACK TINDALE (JT): Forget it, Bob, they don’t have The Beano in Canada.

    RM (muttering): And I thought TimeLine L was weird...

    CAPTAIN BEN MACCAULEY (BM): Anyway, let’s get back to what Chris was talking about.

    CGN (a bit surprised): ...thank you. Yes, anyway. (cough) There seems to be a bit of a disconnect in, er, in Director Rogers’ understanding of exactly what interpreting these signals involves...

    TB: He understood the radio messages—

    BL: The Photel messages.

    TB: —whatever, he understand those messages from the English Security Directorate and all the other ‘papers, please’ lot are going to be encrypted. Our computers are better than ours, but it’ll still take time to crack those codes.

    LIEUTENANT EAMON MCDONNELL (EM): That’s right, Tom, but the problem is...

    CGN: Someone also told him that we can pick up television transmissions—

    BL: Motoscope transmissions.

    CGN: —whatever, we can pick up television transmissions through it. Including that Motext service they use instead of an internet. That’s included in the carrier wave.

    BM: Well, we can pick them up, I think, but surely he realised—

    CGN: He’s management.

    BM: Oh.

    RM: Oh! He thinks because we reported about Motext before...

    EM: That’s it’s as simple as reading it off a screen.

    SERGEANT DOMINIC ELLIS (DE): Huh. Which it was...when we had a receiver in our room built by the TimeLine L English.

    TP: More probably imported, I think, despite the propag—

    DE: Whatever, it was made to receive and decode those transmissions. Does the Director think we can just send them into one of our TVs and expect them to decode?

    TB (sarcastically): The benefit of an arts education.

    RM: Wait a minute, aren’t you...?


    CGN: Alright, alright. The important thing is, what do we do about it?

    EM: I’d say the important thing is who do we blame for telling him that.

    (long silence and the squeaking sound of swivelling chairs is heard)

    DR DAVID WOSTYN (DW) (defensively): How was I to know? He was just asking about how they managed without the internet! And their Motext isn’t just like our old Teletext, it’s very sophisticated and fascinating! Almost like Minitel as well as Teletext!

    RM: Like what?

    DW (sotto voce): Damn rosbifs...

    CGN: Look—look—whatever’s happened, we need to figure out how to decode and analyse this information as soon as possible. Not just to stop the Director locking us up again, but because it’s the right thing to do.

    BM: He’s right—we need to focus on how we gain as much more information about TimeLine L, as fast as possible.

    TP: There’s always the risk that someone a bit more open-minded might come across the record of our imprisonment and put two and two together.

    CGN: Agreed. Suggestions?

    RM: We could Portal back into TimeLine L and nick one of their televisions—

    BL: Motoscopes.

    RM: —yes, that—with a decoder, and put the signals through it.

    CGN: Sensible idea, but the Director’s put a moratorium on trips to TimeLine L for the present.

    EM: Well, in that case I guess all we can do is reverse-engineer the necessary algorithms for the signal. We’d need to know the number of columns of pixels on the screen...

    DW: Good thinking, we did take some images of them and digitise them before.

    EM: Also the number of colours, I think it was more than our Teletext, used to have, like you said?

    DW: Something like sixteen, but I’m not sure if it’s quite the same as our timeline’s setups...

    CGN: Well, it’s a start. Gentlemen, this isn’t what we wanted to spend our time doing, but our top priority needs to be—

    ENSIGN CHARLTON CUSSANS (CC) (interrupting): While you were talking, I broke the code.


    CGN: What?

    CC: Well, it’s just letters and numbers. I know those!

    BL (sighs): Oy vey...
    nlucasm, Bulldoggus, 1SaBy and 18 others like this.
  5. Kriegdämmerung Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Here. We. Go....
  6. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

    Feb 5, 2014
    "The ends justify the means."

    You know that you're living in a dark, dark world when those words -- very probably the most inherently evil words ever spoken, in my professional opinion -- are the ones that unite all the many warring sides (if not in theory, then at least in practice; and it is the act that counts).

    Of course, Prof. McIntyre might just be wrong. He might just be saying a thing that he knows will enrage, possibly because he knows that it will enrage. But why would it enrage, if it isn't true at the core? Being confronted with something men believe false will only annoy them. It is being confronted with the truth they do not wish to hear that drives them to rage...
  7. Threadmarks: 251

    Thande Ricky Carlson / David Alameel '20 Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Part #251: The Aftermath

    “Repeat, we have an Abbey Abbey Ninn Eight Finchley. Entering crossgrid Hackney Three by Queensbury Four by Two Six One. All units converge and follow orders from Red Hill on pulse Clerkenwell Two. Suspect is a Pimlico One Seven wearing a red jacket and blue trousers. Intercept with nonlethal force where possible. Repeat, we have...”

    –part of a transmission to or from the English Security Directorate base at Snowdrop House, Croydon, intercepted and decrypted by Thande Institute personnel​


    From: Motext Pages EX101J-M [retrieved 22/11/19].

    Remarks: Pages are grouped under a section titled “Morsel-sized Revision for your English Highers! HISTORY”. Presumably, as with similar examples in our timeline, ‘Highers’ is an abbreviation for a Higher Education Certificate or Higher Schools Leaving Certificate. From context it would appear this is taken around age 17 or 18 by pupils in the Kingdom of England. It is not clear at which stage compulsory education ceases or subject choice begins.

    Extraneous advertising has been left intact.

    HEY KIDS! It’s time to look again at THE PANDORIC WAR! You may say ‘I know that—I’ve seen all the films’! But the version of history you’ll be examined on may not be the one they were using!

    DID YOU KNOW? People who fought in the Pandoric War didn’t call it that! At the time they mostly called it just ‘the war’ or ‘the Great War’ or even ‘the Worldwide War’! It wasn’t until the Black Twenties that the term became popularised![1]

    When you talk about a war, the first thing people ask is who won and who lost? But that’s a tricky question with the Pandoric War! Some historians would argue that the real winner of the Pandoric War was France—which wasn’t even in it! So these things are more complicated than they look.[2]

    The Pandoric War started when Colonel David Braithwaite, son of former ENA President Albert Braithwaite, was shot and killed by Meridian troops on Mount Zhangqihe in China. But an exam question that asks you ‘what were the causes of the Pandoric War?’ does not want you just to say this. The exam wants you to write about all the forces leading up to that point. If you were describing the causes of a fire, it would not be enough to talk about the spark that set it off—you would also have to talk about why flammable substances were left in a place where they could burn. It is the same with a war.

    Some causes of the Pandoric War
    • The UPSA’s government had grown weak, dominated by corporate interests who put economic interests first and emphasised the Hermandad as a trading bloc not a mutual-defence organisation. The lines blurred between the UPSA and its allies, vassals and the corporations’ armies. So what began as a mostly corporate scuffle involving a railway near Zhangqihe turned into the UPSA itself being implicated for the murder of an American hero.
    • The ENA had treated its mother country badly, in particular in the Lionheart Incident (1886). The support of what was then Great Britain in a war was taken for granted, and cracks here and elsewhere in the Hanoverian Dominions were ignored. Some American politicians believed that the ENA had obtained a raw deal under the Seventies Thaw and ironically used the death of David Braithwaite as an excuse to undo his uncle’s legacy of peace. Some also desired the reconquest of Carolina, though often only to secure America’s frontiers rather than any desire for the territory itself. The Free City of Nouvelle-Orléans was considered more desirable as it would allow ENA control of the entire Mississippi.
    • The German government was concerned about the rise of Russia as an industrial power, and it was argued (Tschirschky Doctrine) that Germany would inevitably be more outclassed by Russia the longer she was left, and that Germany should seize the first opportunity to seek war with Russia and defeat it now. German policy was more confident than warranted because Danubia and Poland were firmly within the German orbit, and German diplomats were confident of the neutrality of Germany’s major neighbours with the exception of Scandinavia. This was true in the case of France and Italy, but proved less so in the cases of Belgium.
    • Feng China had long had rivalries with Siam and saw the Zhangqihe incident as an excuse to escalate these into warfare, enjoying a superiority of numbers and resources which eventually told. The Feng leadership believed, accurately, that the Russians would not be able to instigate the rival Beiqing Chinese regime in the north to action until it was too late.
    • Some Meridians understood that the country would be facing an uphill battle and would rather have avoided war. However, the citizenry reacted against the Zhangqihe incident by electing Alvaro Monterroso, an opponent of corporate interests. Monterroso, who under other circumstances might have been a friend to the ENA, refused to own any responsibility for the Zhangqihe incident, attributing it to those corporate interests, not the UPSA itself, which incensed the ENA’s leadership.
    • Orders were issued or reported prematurely by both ENA and UPSA governments (though the details of this are subject to much debate even under non-mandated circumstances).[3]
    • Once war was declared between ENA and UPSA, other countries saw this as an opportunity to jump on one side or the other which they had long-running disputes with. Because it was not apparent from the start which side was weaker, countries joined both sides as cobelligerents, escalating and spreading the war.
    • French neutrality was ostensibly declared by Napoleon Leclerc (Leclerc Doctrine) to prevent the war from escalating and spreading. Other countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal (a great coup at the time) joined what became known as the Marseilles Protocol, creating a bloc too large and powerful to offend, as it could have easily tipped the balance in the war by joining the other side. This prevented war from taking place in some regions of the world, but also artificially channelled the conflict down lines which led to stalemate and bloodshed, possibly even extending the war. The Marseilles Protocol nations also sold weapons and other supplies to both sides, and ended up profiting from the post-war settlement. This led to the sobriquet of the ‘French Vulture’.

    In your mum and dad’s day, it used to be a common question to ask students to list the members of the two sides of the Pandoric War (and perhaps also the ‘third side’ of the Marseilles Protocol). These are listed below for completeness, but then we’ll look at why you won’t be asked about this anymore.

    The Northern Powers
    Empire of North America
    Great Britain
    Other Hanoverian Dominions
    Cuban Republic
    Feng China and its allies
    Poland (later switched sides)
    Ottoman Empire

    The Diametric Alliance
    United Provinces of South America
    Kingdom of Carolina
    Empire of New Spain (Mexico, Guatemala, New Granada, Peru)
    Guyanese Republic
    Free City of Nouvelle-Orléans
    Batavian Republic
    Cape Republic
    Russian Empire
    Other Russian vassals
    Beiqing China

    The Marseilles Protocol (Neutral)
    Bernese Republic

    Why won’t you be asked to learn these lists anymore? Because they are misleading. The alliance names are arbitrary and were thought up after the fact. People at the time did not really regard the ENA or Great Britain as being allies of Germany or sharing any mutual cause, and the same was true of Russia and the UPSA, for example. The war was an excuse for nations to press their own interests, as all wars have been, and to assert anything else is naive.

    The Pandoric War affected the whole world. So it’s been popular for controversy-seeking historians to argue that it didn’t, or that forces generally accepted to have been put into motion by the war were already pre-existent. This is a legitimate point of view and should not be confused with paleo-Sanchezista/crypto-Jansenist determinism. You must be ready to argue if the war caused a particular event—or to defend the opposite position.

    Example exam question: “The German monarchy was already doomed before the outbreak of the Pandoric War.” Do you agree?

    In this case, one could argue for this position by drawing attention to the backlash against Johann Georg’s Kulturkrieg in the years leading up to the war. Or one could argue against it by drawing attention to the German public anger unleashed by the failure of the war and its focus on Johann Georg rather than their elected politicians or their junior kings. (Note that where sources would accompany questions, they are given in the appendix to this pageset).

    Science and technology. ‘Wars are always good for science, and science is always good for wars’. The Pandoric War was no exception. Social history questions may focus on the technologies that arose from the war and their consequences on the postwar world. It is important to distinguish between technologies that were actually seen for the first time during the war, as in the case of the deadly Scientific Attack, and technologies which technically preceded its outbreak but rose to prominence and maturity during it, as in the case of aerodromes. There are also examples where a technology was used in only a very limited capacity during the war but blossomed after it. Perhaps the best example is the discovery of Photel pulses by Christian Ilsted weeks before the murder of Colonel Braithwaite. The Scandinavian government successfully kept his discovery secret and used it to great effect during the conflict, but were unable to preserve it as a state secret afterwards. Many have posed the question of what the war would have been like if Photel had been discovered five years earlier, its secrecy quickly lost, and had been in use by all nations on the outbreak of war. Note also that while there were rapid advances during the war, many military technologies had suffered from the years of the Long Peace. Some had advanced, as in the case of the lionheart lineship, but others had remained stagnant through lack of use, and tactics had grown more theoretical and less experience-based. Those nations who possessed soldiers who had won military experience serving in proxy wars or as mercenaries had an advantage over others. For example, Meridian and American troops had served in Mexico and the Far East, and Russian protguns were considered superior to German ones because the Russians had learned lessons from their proxy wars against Persian-backed states in Tartary.

    People. Remember that the Pandoric War affected individual people as well as nations. Many lost their lives. Others became heroes, or villains. Many became different people to those they would have been if the war had never happened, even ignoring the rise of the Combine. A short-form question might ask you to name three military officers from different nations who all rose to political power as a consequence of the war. It would not be enough for you to give three later politicians who happened to be Pandoric War veterans—you would need to demonstrate specific consequences arising from individual events, such as an act of heroism that led to publicity, which aided them in their future careers. A question may also focus on a specific individual (who will have been covered in your curriculum) rather than asking you for examples.

    Example exam question: Would Heloise Mercier still have become the first Prime Ministress of France without the experiences and opportunities afforded to her by the Pandoric War? [4]

    Note this type of question is of the sort known as a ‘counterfactual’ which you may see quite frequently in future. A historian can consider an event from real history by positing the question of how history would have progressed if that event had gone differently. We can, for example, ask what might have happened if Colonel Braithwaite had not been shot, or if the German Populists had been successful in their revolt and founded a German republic more than a century early, or even if the Meridian revolutionaries of the 1780s had been defeated by the Spanish and the UPSA was never created. As well as being a serious tool of historical analysis, counterfactuals form the basis of the literary genre known as speculative romance. But do not cite authors of such works in a serious history essay if you wish to be taken seriously!

    Hindsight. Remember when looking at primary sources that the people who wrote them, if they are writing soon after the fact, do not have the benefit of hindsight that you have. Nor did they even have all the information you have on what was happening in the world at the time they were writing. An otherwise sober and well-informed writer might still have naive ideas about the Societist Revolution at a time when we know what was really happening in South America. Be careful, though, because one can also find superficially similar accounts from later periods penned by those who were in fact fully aware of the crimes of the Combine, but chose to be wilfully blind to them. This is just one example, but perhaps the most emotive one, of the impact of hindsight in historical analysis. The same can apply to the fates of nations and of individuals. A rising politician may be judged in a manner which we find absurd with the benefit of hindsight—a famous peacemaker seen as a warmonger, a corrupt embezzler seen as a figure of purity. But these assessments might make perfect sense with the information available to the commentator making the comment at the time. They might even be objectively true, at the time—people can change.

    Example exam question: You are a journalist in 1901 reviewing the aftermath of the Pandoric War. Which nations do you describe as ‘the winners’ of the war? Assume you are living in a neutral state without censorship.

    This is a difficult question even if the examiner has kindly excused you from the need to think about appealing to the version of history taught in a particular nation! In most conflicts one can say one side or the other won, but the Pandoric War is far more complex. This is another reason why the simplistic ‘list the nations on each side’ question is no longer asked; judged as though they were coherent ‘sides’, the crude pragmatic alliances of the war cannot be said to have won or lost. Take the so-called Diametric Alliance—the Russian Empire achieved all of her war aims, with her only reversal being the loss of Beiqing China and revolt in Yapon, while conversely the other pole of the UPSA was destroyed altogether! The ENA won in that she dominated North America, but took losses to Russia and obviously Great Britain departed from the Hanoverian sphere in the Third Glorious Revolution. Some even consider France to be the biggest victor of the war, despite her neutrality.[5] It is a reasonable point; through the Marseilles Protocol, France extended its influence and remained strong while rivals such as Germany were weakened through the war. Yet even this is open to criticism. France exerted influence throughout the war by the implied argument that she could tip the balance against either of the two ‘sides’ by joining the other, so could avoid conflict with both even while profiting from their battles. But this required her to maintain armed force throughout the world for the threat to be taken seriously, and this thin spreading of her forces meant that she was unable to suppress the seemingly trivial Dufresnie rebellion. France was forced to concede the independence of the republic founded by the former convicts, even as she seemed to be reaching the zenith of her power and influence worldwide by effectively penning the postwar settlement.

    Because it is so hard to pick any unambiguous ‘winners’, it is therefore up to you to make unorthdox arguments supported by evidence to answer this tricky exam queston. Though we would recommend against going as far as the infamous student who argued the UPSA had won because the Combine later became powerful, and some naive writers at the time thought of the Combine as just an extension of the UPSA under a new government!

    This leads us naturally onto our next topic, which will be covered in the following pageset. Although many would dispute its inclusion under the same heading as the Pandoric War, your current exam syllabus considers the immediate aftermath of the war in the former UPSA to fall in the same category. You may therefore also face questions about the solidification of the Societist regime in the same paper. Of course, you may have heard that due to later destruction of sources, it is very hard to be certain exactly what happened in those dark days. Rest assured, however, that we will be very clear on which version of history the current Government wishes you to base your answers on...

    [1] Underlined text in this transcript represents red-coloured text in the original broadcast. These pieces of text function similar to hyperlinks in our internet, although the means of accessing them is to repeatedly press a button on the Motoscope controls to cycle through highlighting each the link on screen and then to press an enter button when the correct one is highlighted. For that reason, not many links are displayed per page to avoid tedious scrolling.

    [2] Judging by the jarring shift in tone around this point, we suspect that this was a ‘funky’ modern introduction tacked onto an otherwise unchanged, older and more staid, piece of teaching content.

    [3] I.e. ‘historians disagreed about this even before the Assembly of Sovereign Nations told them it wanted them to disagree about it’.

    [4] Evidently—and unsurprisingly—the English Motext service does not have provision for accent marks. Also note the tendency towards more specifically gendered terms in TTL English; they would speak of ‘the first senatrix’, not ‘the first female senator’.

    [5] The fact that this point was already stated in the ‘funky modern intro’ suggests the person who wrote it didn’t look too closely at the rest of the text.
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  8. Youngmarshall Still Clowning Now

    Dec 28, 2014
    Occupied Northumbria
    That's delightful Thande. I love the 'funky' intro added to the old text. You've captured the tone of that kind of book perfectly.

    And the whole thing about versions of history and so which one the current government wants you to write based on is a lovely Diversitarian touch. It's also one of those little touches that actually make you think that ideology has a point. It would be a lot easier if I knew which version of history I was meant to be writing about.
  9. John Spangler A man of wealth and taste

    Nov 14, 2013
    Somewhere in Southern Italy
    Hell yeah, it's back!
  10. Michael Canaris What does this field do?

    Feb 29, 2004
    Sydney, NSW
    The link to LTTW's laconic chronology doesn't seem to work any more.
  11. Codae Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Bloomington, Riverlanderland
    Rather Americentric, those alliance names: yes, China is north of Siam, but apart from that and the Novamundine and African fronts, the Northern Powers can be found in every direction but north from their nearby enemies.
  12. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2015
    Awesome! This is the first LTTW thread I've gotten in at the ground floor on!
  13. Umbric Man Umbric Manned

    Jan 5, 2008
    Southern Hella-ware
    IT'S BAAAAAAAAACK! ... and so is my tradition of thrill at new entries but unable to read them off the bat. :p

    EDIT: Well, I read it, and "THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS".... THAT'S a creepy way to kick off how this volume will be like....

    EDIT TWO: "Former Societist Territories". "Platinea". .....is this connected to the Last War of Supremacy of 1990, or the "Sunrise War" mentioned (which I believe was mentioned to be about twenty-to-twenty-five years ago from OTL's present time when the Thande Institute mentioned nukes flying in TTL), since "Platinea" AKA "Former Societist Territories" got bombed to hell and back if they have shattered cities? Thande, what the fuck - did the Diversitarians win the Quiet War by nuking the Combine into the Stone Age?! :eek::hushedface:
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  14. Zaius Member

    May 25, 2008
    the monstrous bastard of the Treaty of Versailles
    More LTTW, cool!

    Hmm. If Danubia was clearly subordinate to Germany I'd have expected Germany to try to convince Russia to take all the Romanian, Slovak and Czech parts of Danubia in return for being allowed to keep as much of Bohemia and Silesia as possible. This could be a source of this timeline's version of the stab-in-the-back myth. "The Emperor cares for some Romanians more than he does for Silesian Germans!"
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  15. Falecius Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    It is heavily implied that the use of nukes ITTL is essentially tactical and deploying them on civilian-inhabited cities is considered way beyond the pale, even if it appears it was done to Russia, presumably by Societists, during the Sunrise War.
    Of course, you don't actually need nukes to bomb the hell out of somewhere.
    I am however somewhat perplexed by what happened in the Last War of Supremacy. The earlier hints all suggest that Societism remains felt as an ever present threat to Diversitarian societies even after the war, which in turn had led me to believe that the Combine had survived the conflict in some form. References to Societist... societies as presently extant appear here and there.
    Now however it seems that Buenos Aires itself had fallen...
  16. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

    Jun 8, 2009
    Empire of Nova Elysium
    50s America was obsessed with the utter nonsense of a vast network of Communist agents in the States.

    The Protocols of the Elders of Zion basically taps into a common belief that there was a global Jewish Conspiracy that's never quite gone away.

    It's quite possible for people to believe that 'the Societists are everywhere just waiting to come back' despite all evidence to the contrary.
  17. Falecius Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    True, but America in '50 was actually confronting a powerful real Communist rival.
    The Protocols are different, but only in Nazi Germany this sort of discourse was a primary driver of overall ideological tone. If Societism has been militarily defeated in full in the nineties, it's hard to understand how the conflict between it and Diversitarianism is still regarded as the absolutely dominant theme of the present world.
    Heck, a very powerful (nominally) Communist country exists to this day, but hardly anyone thinks that the conflict between Communism and Capitalism is still the driving historical force of the present world IOTL. It helps, of course, that the present Chinese version of Communism is... well, oddly un-Communist to many eyes.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  18. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

    Mar 12, 2007
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    Wait, LTTW is back?

  19. xsampa Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    There are the Ottoman and Danubian Sanchezists
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  20. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

    Feb 5, 2014
    Or, considering this ATL's tendency towards all kinds of pervasive totalitarianism, and (it seems clear) attempts at influencing/controlling public attitudes etc.... such beliefs may well be justified, and far from "nonsense".

    Observe that in the '90s in OTL, disclosure of information derived via the Venona Project, as well as the opening of the ComIntern archives, actually provided considerable evidence that substantially validated the so-called "utter nonsense" you speak of. It was the extent that was over-estimated, but (regardless of their own violations of civil rights), the "commie hunters" were right that a lot of intelligence gathering, outright spying, and policy influencing was going on-- by pro-communist Americans (and other Westerners), on direct behalf of the USSR. (Since McCarthy and his ilk were so odious, this fact tends to get brushed over, to the point that many otherwise reasonable people still believe that "the red scare" was all conspiracy nonsense. But it wasn't. Some of it, sure, but far from all of it.)

    And that's OTL. This ATL seems far more of a suitable backdrop for experiment in mass "infiltration", "intellectual subversion", "cultural influencing" and such tactics. I would not dismiss this as nonsense at all.