Reds! Official Fanfiction Thread (Part Two)

Diary of a Southern Town (PT.III) (Traveller76)
So now that I have introduced you to Jake and Elwood I must include the two other major characters of my story, my mother Naomi and my cousin Tamar. My mother Naomi Merob Macy was also born in Sparta to a family of tobacco farmers. She was the youngest daughter with an two year older sister. Being the 'baby' meant she did not have to do as many of the chores that her sister did. Both sisters did not lack for anything and both received educations from the local school, books at home and my grandmother's Bible.

My mother was 18 when the Second Civil War broke out. My grandfather was a respected man in the town and that made him a target for the Whites. The whites attacked the then 'colored' section of town with a mob looting and burning down various houses and businesses. My grandfather along with a group of military veterans resisted until a group of local Reds came to the relieve them. It was then that my mother met my father, Roscoe Cowden, who was a militiaman at the time. Normally I do not believe in love at first sight but my mother says she thought he was the most handsome man in the world. They wrote each other during the war and then married after the end. They stayed in Sparta and my father helped my grandfather manage the local tobacco cooperative.

Mother lost some of her faith in people during the Civil War when she watched neighbors and families turn on each other. Everyone knew the tensions were coming but no one expected the results. I think it was part of "It Can't Happen Here" and that belief we were different that the Europeans or say the Chinese or others. When the World War broke out my father re-enlisted again and was sent off to help train the new troops since I was born and father was also married so thankfully he was not sent overseas during the war. Mother started working at a restaurant that her sister owned with her husband as a waitress and cook while taking care of me. I was born with a difficult delivery so my parents decided to stop having children. Mother said that if things were the way they were when she was born I might not be here.

After the war things went back to normal somewhat. My grandfather passed away after a heart attack and my father took over management of the cooperative. Mother still worked part time and I grew up along the other kids attending school. Mother still read her Bible and attended discussion groups with her sister and my cousin Tamar. No one bothered them, I think out of respect for my grandfather and the kindness their family has shown others. My father I think tolerated this but he did not attend any services. He listed to gospel music and liked music in general. He had a huge collection of records that I still play to this day. He died in 52 when his car was hit by a drunk driver, both drivers died in the accident, which was lucky for the other fellow because mother would have killed him on the spot.

So the restaurant and I became her world, she rediscovered some of her faith since the community came to help us after dad died. Tamar was and is my best friend but mother never remarried or dated. There were a few men who tried but she deflected them quickly. She wanted me to get and education, travel and see the world. She never expected me to marry a preacher.


Adwoa "Mama" Grayson, Diary of a Southern Town, 1988.
 
Yes I think they could be. through Tomsk might be a bit more cursed being not communist. The major differences with TNO Russia is

  • No Aryan Brotherhood, Buyatia(Sablin is in the WRRF) or Irkutsk, essentially the only rival communist to the WRRF are ones in are Tyumen and some paths for Komi. SBA still exists through
  • No Tabby, the Hyperboreans are relocated to Komi with no AB and fill his niche for the Burgundians in Russia, but have a really anti-Germanic interpretation of Burgundian System, as such, some of the people that were with Tabby such as Andrey Diky are ministers for Amur, Moskowien, Muscovy, or for Oktan Samara. The metahorror neo-warlordism ending dosen't exist for Russia, but does exist for Germany if Goebbels collapses and the 2GCW happens(so more of "Post-Goebbelsian Metahorror European Dark Age)
Maybe Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk could be merged here with Andreev's coup being the Central Siberian Republic's"fail state", so to speak?
 
Michael Brooks tribute (Libertad)
REST IN POWER, MICHAEL!

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Excerpts from the Daily Worker’s front page news report on Michael Brooks’ death (July 22, 2020)



MICHAEL BROOKS, BELOVED COMEDIAN AND COMMENTATOR, DEAD



Michael Jamal Brooks; famous American talk show and television host, comedian, satirist, and commentator, died suddenly.

His sister, Hollywood actress Lisha Brooks, revealed the cause of his death, an inner jugular vein thrombosis (IJVT), a rare form of blood clot, found in his throat. He will be 37 years old on August 13.

Lisha gave the following statement to the press that gathered outside the hospital, quoting; “Michael believed in bringing people together in the struggle for freedom, love and world peace, fighting for all the toiling masses of the world, a struggle that he always understood to be multifaceted in scope. But he knew that the only way we could do this was by bringing people together from all over and he made it his life’s work to bring people from different backgrounds and countries together in this current democratic struggle that will not take us back to the dark times of the 1980s again. We hope that you join us in honoring him by continuing that work.”

He is currently famous for being the host of The Tonight Show with Michael Brooks, a Cybersyn-based talk show that airs regularly during UASR weeknights and is syndicated and broadcasted on numerous television channels and social media platforms throughout the world and has received a wide international following; particularly in South America, the Middle East and Central Africa. His show covers a wide range of topics, but made its mark among other famous talk shows in the UASR by his impeccable coverage of foreign policy topics and educating his audience on labor figures and intellectuals from the Alliance of Free States that is rarely covered by state-based and private commercial press of their countries of origin due to de facto censorship, many of which he invited to his shows.

A Buddhist of Jewish heritage and member of the Social Ecology Union, he developed close friendships and working relationships with various celebrities and figures from across the spectrum; most notably his mentors Sam Seder and David Pakman and fellow comrades Kyle Kulinski, Abby Martin, Jesse Ventura, Chris Hedges, Saagar Enjeti, Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Bill Maher, Cornel West, among others.

His interviews with Chinese actress Dilraba Dilmurat in 2019, American musician Peter Gene Hernandez of the band Hooligans in 2017, American rugby star Peyton Manning in talking about his retirement in 2016, Australasian-born UASR-based basketball star Jeremy Lin in 2016, and the former FBU Prime Minister Anthony Blair when he visited Metropolis in 2016 on a goodwill tour as a “private citizen” are among the most-viewed videos of his ViewIt channel.

He also published several books. His latest is Battling the Minitel: An Internationalist Answer to the Neoliberal Right , focused on the growing popularity of far-right anti-communist commentators in the Alliance of Free States, which he feature regularly in the Tonight Show often spiced with comedic impersonations.

His show currently has 22 million subscribers in ViewIt.

Tributes to him were offered by various individuals from all over the world and by many prominent figures from all across the political spectrum at home and abroad. UASR Premier Dina Gilio-Whitaker made an official statement on Michael Brooks’ death the following morning on Cedar Hills, quoting; “His influence on the American polities in directing people’s focus on our foreign policy commitments and his commitment to a humanist socialist internationalism and a peaceful resolution to our global revolutionary struggle is unparalleled. Our political disagreements are deep and profound. But he always held our administration accountable to the people in our actions at home and abroad and he is a healthy voice for our proletarian democracy.

The suddenness of his death that has deprived us of his wit and charisma is a trauma that has yet to be fully processed. I will always consider our debate on the heating Sino-Indian rivalry, on South American geopolitics, on my working relationship with Christine Lagarde, and on America’s conduct on the Third Bush War when he and his planning committee invited me to his show for his coverage of the 2016 elections as a highlight of my political career. His voice will be sorely missed, by me and by the United Republics.”

The Metropolitan City Central Committee passed a resolution, agreeing to have an official memorial be held in honor of him, to be announced in the next few days. Lisha mentioned that his family intended for his body to be cremated and his ashes be scattered to the Atlantic Ocean after the memorial.

Rest in power, Comrade Brooks!
 
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The Infiltrator (2018)
The Infiltrator (2018)
Based on Witness by Robert C. Byrd

In 1988, Robert C. Byrd is honored with the Order of Red Banner of Labor medal for his diligent work infiltrating the True Democratic Party over the past 30 years. As Premier Angela Davis praises him and his counter-intelligence work, Byrd reflects a little on the accomplishment and what brought him to this very moment.

Byrd grew up in poverty in Virginia, and is inspired early on watching his uncle (and adoptive father) walk in a Klan parade. At age 18, he joined the Klan’s successor, the Sons of the Confederacy, inspired by their unsuccessful raid in Charleston, seeing it as “proud opposition to communism and race-mixing”. However, he is placed in the propaganda section, distributing anti-communist leaflets in white sections of New Afrika and attempting to organize new sections in those areas. Even as the group gradually declines from government infiltration, Byrd is able to elude the authorities and manages to rise through the ranks.

Eventually, Byrd is promoted to becoming a liaison with the True Democrats, stumping for them in the 1938 general election. He formally leaves the Sons after their split, encouraged by Georgia member Richard Russell to become a “leader” outside the flailing Sons, becoming a full-time volunteer for the True Democrats.

His tenure ends with John Rankin’s arrest and the trials of the True Democrat Ten. Byrd is arrested as party members are rounded up, and is sent to Joliet Prison in Illinois for both his True Democrat membership and his activities in the Sons of the Confederacy. While still remaining anti-communist, his racism softens, as does his devotion to the cause. His wife Erma visits regularly.

After the release of political prisoners and the reversal of the ban in 1946, Byrd finds most of the leadership has abandoned the party after the True Democrat Ten trials and their long prison sentence during the war, leaving only Russell as the party leader of an extremely small remaining bloc in the Congress of Soviets, and South Carolinan Strom Thurmond as Chairman. Byrd becomes Thurmond’s assistant, and by 1949, becomes his Chief of Staff. However, the stress of being an enemy of the state weighs on Byrd as he and his wife are followed as they walk their children to school and his phone bugged. Further, because of his past with the Sons of the Confederacy and his current work, he finds he is unable to vote, and because of his meager salary, undertakes several odd jobs to keep him and his family afloat. He also attends night school.

In 1952, Bull Connor, Rankin’s successor as Grand Wizard, is finally arrested. Due to the fallout, Thurmond asks that Byrd, with his Sons past, resign from his post. Luckily, Russell asks Byrd to serve as campaign manager in his 1954 campaign- which ends with Russell’s arrest for “inciting racism”. Byrd once again serves a short jail sentence, and finds his position in the Party even more tenuous now, with him having to work longer for extremely low pay as the editor of Party newspaper Common Sense.

In 1958, he finally confronts a Public Safety officer monitoring him. However, the agent , instead of arresting him, decides to invite him to dinner. The agent explains that he had been observing Byrd since he had become Thurmond’s assistant, and sees not a dangerous reactionary, but a family man still stuck with a choice he made 20 years ago. The agent, an African named Alfred Spencer, offers Byrd the chance to turn informant, reporting to StateSec everything that happens in the inner circle of the True Democrats. Byrd accepts, with StateSec paying for his college education.
Byrd is able to get back into Thurmond’s good graces, and in 1961, assumes his old role as Chief of Staff. Byrd diligently reports every observation of Thurmond and the inner circle of the True Democrats, including head of the youth wing Anita Bryant and new Congressional leader Lester Maddox to Spencer. Spencer survives the shake-up following J. Edgar Hoover's 1960 retirement and the appointment of longtime Party bureaucrat Morris Childs to replace him.

In 1962, Byrd was sent to Key West to meet with “The Frenchman”, who gives him several million on behalf of “Vauxhall Cross”. Realizing the connection with the Joint Security Bureau, Childs orders Byrd's role be deemed top-secret, with only a handful of agents knowing his identity, Spencer being chief among them for “Operation Sparrow”.

Byrd soon undertakes several missions to Key West to meet The Frenchman and receive money. He eventually is sent in London on one of these excursions. There, the Frenchman gives him a fake ID and sends him to Havana to meet with an NBI agent named Lewis Coates, who gives him information about money laundering schemes used by the Cuban mafia and Jamaican drug lords in Florida and Louisiana as a means of “investing” for the party. Childs uses this information to a pretext to raid several of the locations to dismantle drug trafficking.

Byrd soon becomes well-regarded in the party and as “Sparrow”, the top informant for StateSec. Thanks to his secondary government income, Byrd completes his law degree, and becomes a legal adviser for the party (if only to feed anything he hears to his government handlers). He also befriends fellow infiltrator, the new editor for Common Sense James Moseley, who fills the paper with bizarre UFO conspiracy theories fed to him by military sources to further discredit the party, though to keep his identity secret, he cannot reveal himself to Moseley.

Byrd and Spencer also become close friends, and Byrd gradually becomes uncomfortable with Thurmond and Maddox’s unhinged racism, which he gives tapes of to Spencer, allowing it to circulate in the press. Byrd also convinces many of higher ranking members to become government informants in exchange for better pay. When Bryant is demoted due to her backing a “New Blue” faction in the party that favors a more progressive agenda and reconciliation with the government, Byrd manages to recruit her as an informant, and gets her back into a position of power as vice-chair.

Byrd makes several more trips to Havana as Childs retires in 1968 and former Stavka bureaucrat George Bush takes control. Byrd becomes well-regarded among Cuban and FBU political and security figures, and accompanies Thurmond as he makes several appearances on FBU television. In a ceremony in London in 1972, he’s secretly given a medal by Cuban President Hamilton Fish IV to honor his “commitment to the continued struggle against communism”. He also has a meeting with Franco-British Prime Minister Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, with Thurmond.

Slowly, the old guard in the True Democrat lose their grip as Maddox loses his seat in 1978, and Thurmond’s mental acuity gradually deteriorates with age. Bush encourages Byrd to ferment the rise of the New Blues, believing that it could potentially lead to a split. While Bryant takes Maddox’s place as the leader of the extremely small True Democrat contingent in Congress, and Albert Brewer becomes Vice-Chairman, Thurmond steadfastly refuses to give up his position as chairman of the party, leaving him mostly an out of touch dinosaur stripped of his power as the party shifts left in the wake of the 1979 Crisis and with many of its top members government informants. Moseley is transferred away to infiltrate UFO communities and cults (in light of “security concerns” over secret Air Force projects they may have witnessed).

Byrd undertakes one final trip to Havana in 1982, where he learns (unintentionally) that Lewis Coates is leading a new NBI program to smuggle weapons to Neo-Integralist terror groups in Brazil. He also meets the Frenchman for one final time that same year and catalogs his transaction, marking over 2.8 million in financial transfers between the Franco-British and Cuban governments and the True Democrats over the past 22 years.
Alfred Spencer suffers a heart attack in 1983, and retires. With his departure, Byrd, now 66, retires both from his long time position as Chief of Staff and as government informant. Bryant leaves the True Democrats in 1985 and resigns her seat. Through a declassification council approving documents regarding “Operation Whisper” (regarding spy hunting operations near the Canadian border during the 70’s), Bryant is revealed to have been a governmment informant (as she had reported a 1976 meeting with a Canadian operative to her government handlers). Further declassification and investigation from The Daily Worker reveals that Byrd was the one who had initially recruited Bryant, and eventually detailed his near 30 years working as a government informant within the highest positions of the party.

The fallout is quick: Byrd and his family are scuttled into the Witness Protection Program, as is Bryant. Before this, Byrd is awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for his extensive work infiltrating the True Democrats and exposing their ties to the Franco-British and Cuban governments. Thurmond, in his increasing dementia, only vaguely recognizes Byrd as “that Klan boy”, and doesn’t realize that he was a spy.
Byrd and his family live quietly in Witness Protection, staying in a small California town with other Witnesses. Despite Lewis Coates rise as a prominent reactionary terrorist and financier, Byrd remains safe from any illegal attacks. The revelations about government infiltration give a devastating blow to the True Democrats, causing younger activists to leave and form their own party. Thurmond would continue as Chairman up until his death in 2003. Government infiltration would decline as other, more prominent groups take priority.

In 2006, Robert Byrd begins to write his memoirs, though because of continued security concerns, he can’t get it published. Still, under a pseudonym, he writes some acclaimed works on the evolution of American constitutionalism. In 2009, “Operation Sparrow” is declassified, and Byrd comes out of Witness Protection briefly to testify in front of the declassification jury. After his death in 2010, his memoir is published, showing his full actions as government informant
 
Fierce! Magazine
Fierce! Magazine
Title:
Fierce!
Editor-in-Chief: Lila Sri Misra*
Categories: Women's Magazine, Lifestyle
Frequency: Monthly
Publisher: Sarasvati Media Group
Year Founded: 1969
Company: Sarasvati Media Group
Country: Greater Indian Commonwealth
Based In: Mumbai
Language: 10 languages (Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu)
Website: Fierce!Magazine.com
Slogan: Behold the power of a woman

History:

Fierce! was originally named the Ladies' Journal, a monthly supplement for the Bombay Illustrated Press that was published in English, Hindi and Marathi. While the Journal was designed to cover women's issues such as advice columns, childcare, cooking and healthcare it soon became well known for reporting on various social and national issues considered important to women such as food and drug safety, maternal leave and workplace discrimination. The magazine would be one of the first to mention social issues such as sexual harassment, eve teasing and domestic abuse which would soon picked up by other national publications. Under Jaya Anand* (Editor-in-Chief 1969-1981) the magazine would establish itself as a serious publication dedicated to women's issues. The subscription fee and cover price of the magazine would be kept as low as possible through advertising and popular content. The magazine would refuse advertisements from tobacco and alcohol companies along with any medications not certified by local and national health departments.

Jaya Anand would retire in 1981, and Assistant Editor Khushi Mhasalkar* would become the new Editor-in-Chief. The magazine would adopt a more 'modern professional' look by including sections for book, cinema and fashion reviews along with asking for subscriber ideas for content. The magazine would also begin to include stories and poetry from women writers and would be the launching pad for several writers such as Kirtida Ritu Patil*, Apurva Sharma* and Pallavi Lata Rao*. While the modern look would help keep circulation healthy the magazine would face more and more competition from foreign and local magazines and television programs. Jaya would petition the Illustrated Press to launch the Journal in a variety of languages in order to gain more subscriptions and to market the magazine outside of urban locales and to increase the amounts of money awarded to contributors. The magazine would enlist the aid of local women in many rural villages to distribute free copies with half the regular articles and to set up lending libraries of past issues for those who could not afford the magazine. Khushi would remain Editor from 1981-1991.

By the 1990s the magazine had launched versions in ten languages but still had tough competition from other magazines, television programs and a changing demographic. After Khushi Mhasalkar's retirement the Illustrated Press would sell of the Journal to the Sarasvati Media Group, a major media conglomerate, in 1992. Under SMG, a new younger Editor-In-Chief by the name of Lila Sri Misra* would be installed an the magazine would be revamped and renamed to Fierce! in order to win younger readers. While the layout would remain the same the material would be geared to educated women from 18 to 50 and would include interviews from prominent women from a variety of professions. Fierce! would also begin to be shipped and distributed to South Asian communities across the Alliance of Free States to take advantage of the Indian Diaspora. The magazine would continue to distribute free copies in rural villages but now would include transit stops, colleges and beauty parlors. It also launched sister publications in Arabia, Ethiopia, Nigeria and the South Philippines in English and the local language. It has also gone online with its own website allowing subscribers to access past and current issues.
 
The Swamp Don (Mr.E/Miss Teri)
Review of “The Swamp Don: The Death of Santo Trafficante, Jr. by Sarah Vinchovsky”, Alan Jefferson, Labor Literary Review, 1997

On midnight of August 23rd, 1976, Santo Trafficante, Jr. left Boris’ Borscht in Tampa, Florida, to go home. At 12:17, he was seen walking some 7 miles away with two men in black coats. This would be the last time anyone would see him alive. His body turned up on a local beach several days later, several bullets in his chest.

For over 20 years, the unsolved disappearance and death of Santo Trafficante has fascinated true crime enthusiasts and investigators, not the least because for 23 years, Trafficante was the leader of the Tampa Mafia, and was effectively one of the most powerful figures in the rump mainland Italian Mafia. “The Swamp Don”, through his Cuban business interests established by his mob boss father, was also effectively an ambassador between the Havana Mob and the largely fragmented mainland Mafia families, unable to form a cohesive organization after the purges of the 30’s and 40’s. He was also an instrumental figure in the illegal drug trade in the South, importing heroin and cocaine for the Havana Mob (and, secretly, the NBI). His death, the best known Mafia death after Charles Luciano’s execution, would generate discussion on which of these elements wanted him dead.

Sarah Vinchovsky’s The Swamp Don seeks to explore these possibilities and come up with a plausible theory as to who did the murders and why, looking to Trafficante’s life and the various forces he grappled with.

[...]

Santo Trafficante, Sr. used the Revolution to wipe out his Tampa rivals and seize control of the rackets left vacant by other families in Florida, becoming the de facto boss of Florida and one of the most powerful bosses in the decimated mainland mob. Having already established himself in Cuba during the 1920’s, his business interests helped the mob cement itself within the new exile regime. Thus, he was able to keep up connections with the newly established Havana Mafia even as the latter largely cut ties with the mainland during the purges of the 30’s.

Trafficante, Jr. helped with his father’s operations, which, at this juncture, centered on underground gambling and people smuggling, as well as being regularly smuggled himself into Cuba to check on their casinos. In 1951, Trafficante and Angelo Bruno of the Philadelphia family were invited to Caracas to attend a Mafia conference of the surviving leaders. Ties were formally reestablished between Havana and the mainland families, and the two were tasked with creating a new mainland commission.

However, the new Commission (consisting of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tampa, Kansas City, and New Orleans) failed to have the same influence as its predecessor due to years of state repression and the fact that very few markets remained. By now, the mainland mafia had become mostly focused on underground high gambling, with side ventures like dog- and cockfighting, bribing public officials and forging documents. (Bruno lamented in a letter to Meyer Lansky that the Mafia had become a “sideshow bureaucracy”). Mostly, it acted as a mediator for the small, independent cells to not interfere and cause inter-organization wars. Because of their proximity to Cuba and their remaining interests on the island, the Trafficante family became the main transporter for illegal goods or money from Cuba.

Trafficante Sr. died of natural causes in 1954, leaving his son in charge. Jr. kept tabs on the family’s holding in Cuba and worked to keep imports secret from StateSec. In 1961, he was approached by Havana boss Vito Genovese and a representative from the Cuban secret police with an opportunity.

Heroin had declined in use in America, during and after the war, primarily because wartime measures during the Revolution and the Great Revolutionary War, and the destruction of the traditional Chinese sources. Steadily, an impure Mexican product was the only source, and addiction rates were extremely low by the late 50’s. However, the Union Corse, who had been operating the Marseilles drug labs, had been granted leeway by the JSB to help prevent Labour-Communist forces from taking over the city in exchange for quiet continued heroin trading from exiled Greek and Turkish smugglers.

Then, during the Indochina War, returning French soldiers brought back high quality Thai and Burmese heroin, which caused the market to explode. Already, the JSB had begun to take advantage by having heroin sold in left-leaning urban neighborhoods to disrupt organizing. The Cuban Mafia soon cut a deal, allowing French Connection dope to reach Canada and Cuba. The NBI, the Cuban secret police, soon got the idea to team up with the Mafia and disrupt the United Republics, in however small a way.

Trafficante was effectively deputized by the NBI to distribute heroin in the South, and eventually moving in cocaine. However, the scheme was significantly less successful than planned due to rehabilitative strategies made during the 1930’s that helped reduce heroin usage. Still, the venture was profitable enough to keep Trafficante and his Cuban investments afloat, as the Cuban Mafia was targeted by the newly installed Kennedy administration.

By the mid-60’s, Trafficante and New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello operated many illegal gambling and drug dens across the Deep South (though in competition with the New Afrika crime syndicate of “Bumpy” Johnson). These would keep the Florida and New Orleans families afloat as their Cuban casinos were seized by the police, and the NBI ended the relationship in light of a new pro-Kennedy regime (forcing them to buy drugs directly from the Union Corse)

These establishments would also buy surplus Red Army weapons and provide them to reactionary anti-Kennedy Cuban terror groups, continuing the relationship between the Mafia and reactionary terrorists, as well as newfound antipathy towards the administration of Robert Kennedy.

Eventually, a second, much smaller anti-Mafia wave would hit during the late 60’s and early 70’s. This began with the arrest of Los Angeles underboss Johnny Roselli in 1968, who promptly turned informant on the threat of deportation. Los Angeles boss Frank DeSimone was arrested in 1970, after Roselli pegged him as orchestrating the murder of Havana Mob representative in Los Angeles Bugsy Siegel in Tel-Aviv (allegedly because Siegel had been skimming money from extortion schemes and giving false reports to his taskmasters).

The collapse of the Los Angeles family would have reverberations across the country, as other families saw their enterprises shut down. For Trafficante, his troubles started early on, when his biggest Cuban investments, the San Souci and Tropicana Clubs were seized by authorities in 1968. A warrant was issued in Cuba for Trafficante’s arrest after a cache of drugs emerged in the clubs, forcing him to fully divest from Cuba by 1971. His fortunes diminished as a result, and as the Cuban mob moved underground, he struggled to maintain the remaining Florida casinos.

In 1974, he was finally arrested for illegal gambling and financing of terror (the right wing Cuban groups he had funded in the 60’s having slowly made their way north) after several of his lieutenants turned informant, and was threatened with deportation to Cuba. With the threat of possible harsher consequences in Cuba, he managed to cut a deal by revealing his own involvement with the NBI’s illicit drug trading ten years prior and current drug dealing from France. In exchange for information on that (to help with Section 3’s seizure of illegal Cuban goods), he was given three years in a rehabilitation prison. When he was deemed largely harmless, he was released in 1976.

[...]

The official explanation eventually released in a 70 page report by the Secretariat of Public Safety in 1983 was that the murder was ordered by Angelo Bruno and Carlos Marcello and carried out by New Orleans hitman Tony Trucetti* and Sicilian exile hitman Ezio Buratti*. While the former normally shied away from extravagant measures like murder, he relied on Cuban illegal goods, and rumors of Trafficante revealing the scheme made business increasingly difficult. Bruno and Marcello also felt that he might also gradually reveal other information to the government, and that a new boss unconnected financially with Cuba might be more effective now that it had become unsafe.

SecPubSafe believed that Trafficante was being followed when he was last seen by the two black clad men (one short, one tall and tanned, matching descriptions of Trucetti and Buratti), and was shot and left on the beach as a warning to future Tampa bosses.

The main evidence was the bullets, which matched Burcetti’s gun; the murder method, which matched others done by Trucetti and Buratti; and several bugged meetings between Bruno and Trucetti, where they discuss Trafficante potentially turning informant while in prison. Marcello also saw Trafficante as a threat to his operations, and was jealous of his success with the Cubans.

In 1990, several bugged phone conversations between Trafficante and Marcello were uncovered, showing the tension between the two over territory and continued support for Cuban terror groups now they were attacking cities on the Atlantic seaboard.

By the time, getting any actual confirmation from participants would be nigh-impossible. Trucetti was killed in 1977 in a dispute with Russian mobsters over territory. Buratti, ironically, killed Marcello later that same year in an attempted coup, and eventually fled the United Republics and disappeared. Bruno, because of his low profile, was one of the last bosses to be ensnared in the new purges, eventually arrested in 1978 and himself pleading guilty to charges of treason and aiding and abetting reactionaries (through his own donations to Pennsylvania Sons off-shots the Real Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Bell Organization), ending up in a SPA prison. He would neither confirm nor deny his involvement in Trafficante’s death, before his own death in 1984.

This uncertainty and the fact that the investigation had issues (SecPubSafe failed to secure the crime scene, and didn’t release the autopsy until 1987) led many to believe the true killers to have been covered up or misidentified. Vinchovsky explores each of these claims and examines their merits.

Trafficante’s friend Frank Ragano has consistently held that the Havana and Sicilian Mafias had Trafficante killed, in retaliation for him ratting out various drug dealers and ships they had used for years to traffick drugs. Purportedly, he had heard Meyer Lansky confess as much, while visiting him in prison. This theory is plausible, but ignores the increased difficulties they would have in carrying out such an assassination.

Ragano also implied that the NBI helped the murders to cover up their own drug dealing. While also plausible, Vinchovsky believed that this was already known, and Trafficante had already given up most of their secrets.

Other theories emerged: Pan-American intelligence (Trafficante, in addition to the South, helped with drug trafficking in Mexico and Panama); Section 9 (Tampa True Democrat and Trafficante ally Joey C. * believed that that Secretary of Public Safety George Bush and Secretary of Labor Jimmy Hoffa conspired to have Trafficante murdered); even the JSB, to again cover-up the drugs.

Vinchovsky explores all theories, and comes to the disappointing conclusion that the official explanation is the most likely one. She notes that Marcello had a lot to gain from Trafficante’s elimination, allowing him to expand into his territory (which he had begun to do before his murder), and Bruno, as the de facto “Godfather” on the mainland, wanted to keep operations smooth.

[...]

The Trafficante case possilby intrigues us most because it represents the last gasp of the American Mafia of the mainland. It gradually faded even more after his death and the deaths and arrests of his colleagues. By 1990, according to SecPubSafe, only a handful of cells still operate, mostly as appendages of the larger Sicilian Mafia. His death came simultaneously with a fatal blow to a once feared organization.

Then again, he in and of himself was merely another functionary in larger organization. His death merely came as the mainland Mafia were themselves destroyed.

In Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Trafficante and Marcello were combined into the Orlando based Canto Tramboni. One character remarks that Tramboni was "a lesser don. Someone whose importance is geographic."

Indeed, perhaps his death can be simply attributed entirely to geography. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
Has anyone written a piece on Ed Wood? I wonder what Ed Wood would identify as in a more progressive USA (or UASR, I'd guess): Gay, transgender, or non-binary.
 
Has anyone written a piece on Ed Wood? I wonder what Ed Wood would identify as in a more progressive USA (or UASR, I'd guess): Gay, transgender, or non-binary.
Just that here, he's regarded as a weird, non-conformist director in the vein of David Lynch or Kenneth Anger.

Based on my reading, I figured he was just gender non-conforming, though I don't want to put a definite label on him.
 
Just that here, he's regarded as a weird, non-conformist director in the vein of David Lynch or Kenneth Anger.

Based on my reading, I figured he was just gender non-conforming, though I don't want to put a definite label on him.

Well, his love of angora is described as maternal. Make of that what you will.
 
Edward Bernays: The King of Spin (Miss Teri/Mr.E, Mr. C, Rise Comics, Aelita)
(Special thanks to @Mr. C , @Rise Comics , and @Aelita for writing parts of this)
Edward Bernays: The King of Spin

Of the first generation of American exiles in Cuba, Edward Bernays may have been the one with the biggest influence outside of the island. Bernays has been called many different names--“the father of PR”, “the king of advertising in Cuba”, “Douglas MacArthur’s Court Jew”, and “the master of bullshit”. But none can deny his influence on the field of marketing and propaganda. Legend has it that even governments in the Comintern had studied his methods.

Bernays was born in 1891 in Vienna, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Ely and Anna Bernays. He was a self-proclaimed “double nephew” of Sigmund Freud (his mother was Freud’s sister, and his father was the brother of Freud’s wife Martha Bernays), and he would draw on his uncle’s theories for his work in the field of advertising--his protege Richard Finlay later would describe Bernays as “a psychoanalyst for troubled corporations”. Barely a year after Edward was born, the Bernays family would move to New York. As a child, Edward excelled academically, and in 1912 would graduate from Columbia University with an agriculture degree. After brief stints working for the New York City Produce Exchange and the Louis Dreyfus company in Paris, he eventually found work as a press agent for various performers and performances in New York.

With America’s entrance into World War I, Bernays signed up with the United States government’s Committee on Public Information to drum up support for the American war effort both at home and abroad. It was here that Bernays began formulating his methods for effective propaganda, using techniques of crowd psychology and psychoanalysis that he took from his uncle. In an interview with the Havana Times, he stated “There was one basic lesson I learned in the CPI—that efforts comparable to those applied by the CPI to affect the attitudes of the enemy, of neutrals, and people of this country could be applied with equal facility to peacetime pursuits. In other words, what could be done for a nation at war could be done for organizations and people in a nation at peace”. In the twilight years of the Second Republic, he would outline his methods and views in his books Crystallizing Public Opinion and Propaganda. To him, mass society was irrational and subject to herd instinct, and skilled marketers could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in desirable ways.

One of the first successful applications of his techniques came in the form of Ivory Soap, in which he worked with Procter & Gamble to create an ad blitz, in which he claimed that Ivory branded soap was medically superior to other brands. Though the actual veracity of the claim was tenuous at best, it was an overwhelming success. This led him to be sought out by other major companies, including General Motors, Lucky Strike, and even the presidential campaigns for Leonard Wood (organizing a pancake breakfast at the White House to combat Wood’s image as a stern military man) and Herbert Hoover. A few common tropes among his various ad campaigns of the era were the extensive research into the various markets and demographics, the covert use of third parties and public figures to promote products and ideas, and a more scientific method of opinion molding, which he called the Engineering of Consent. In his 1947 essay, The Engineering of Consent, he goes into more detail on how it works. “This phrase quite simply means the use of an engineering approach—that is, action based only on thorough knowledge of the situation and on the application of scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs.”

Bernays, more mercenary than pure ideologue (having done work for the NAACP and other non-profits), did consider staying after the Revolution, but on the advice of his CPI mentor George Creel, decided to instead flee to Cuba and help rebuild the corporations there.

His first client after resettling operations in Havana was the newly formed National Motors, a merger of General Motors, Chrysler, and various other car companies whose CEOs had fled to the island following the revolution. Chairman Alfred P. Sloan wanted to promote automobile demand on the island to help build an automobile industry on the island.

Bernays organized a car show in 1935 to demonstrate that “American industry was still strong”, and invited car makers from Britain, France, Italy, Germany (ironically, represented by employees of Sloan’s old rival Henry Ford) and Japan to further spread the prestige of “American-made cars.” He would accentuate this image with jingoistic imagery, including painting cars with American flag patterns and patriotic names like “Liberty Bell” and “Grand Old Flag”.

The show was a resounding success, allowing Sloan to make deals with Rolls-Royce and Alfa Romeo (Ford was resistant towards allowing what he saw as an alliance of his old enemies anywhere near Germany) to build factories in Britain and Italy respectively, and helped the prestige of National Motors in the capitalist world.

However, its biggest impact was getting the attention of Douglas MacArthur, who noted the international success, and sought Bernays as an advisor for his new propaganda agency: The Department of Communications. Led by former Vice-President William Randolph Hearst, the new agency was focused on suppressing dissent and promoting the exile American government both internally and abroad. Bernays success at advertising could be key in getting said support.

Bernays utilized his trademark skills at promoting the Cuban state. He combined the “exotic” image of Cuba with traditional American imagery to increase tourism to the country, particularly from Canada, Britain, and Germany. He heavily promoted Americuban products across the world, and even arranged for King Edward to tour the country with his American fiancee Wallis Simpson. He was also instrumental towards getting Cuba favorable press coverage, especially with exaggerated anti-communist rhetoric about life in the mainland. All of this effectively boosted investment into Cuba, both from a strategic and business perspective, guaranteeing a steady flow of capital to remain a regional power.

Bernays’ power of persuasion would be deputized during World War II, when the Department of Communications was tasked with patriotic, anti-Brazilian propaganda. Bernays would take the lessons of the CPI to new levels, selling the war effort to the Cuban populace and selling the exile regime itself to their new Communist Latin American allies. He was also instrumental in turning Cuba against the Nazis. He would emphasize the atrocities committed by the Integralists and Axis in his propaganda.

Because of his tireless work promoting the MacArthur regime and as part of its propaganda system, Bernays, alongside others like Jack Warner and Bernard Baruch, were dubbed “MacArthur’s Court Jews” by commentators like John Gates and Milton Wolff. Serving the exile government alongside anti-Semites like Joseph Kennedy and Charles Coughlin.

Towards the end of the war, Bernays worked with the United Fruit Company to streamline coverage of their newly acquired territory in Brazil and Venezuela, arguing that United Fruit was building the foundations for a “large trade relationship” between Cuba and the newly liberated countries, while downplaying rumored labor abuses and connections with former Integralists. This would allow United Fruit to gain a foothold in both countries for decades. Bernays would also promote extensive tourism to the two countries. Leftists accused Bernays of trying to colonize both countries on behalf of American corporations.

Towards the end of the war, as Truman Aid and International Red Aid helped Europe rebuild, many corporations in Cuba would either be consumed by bigger British competitors or simply move across the Pond for more opportunities in a larger market. Bernays sensed this movement, and decided that the economy of Cuba (mostly upper class exiles and native elites, and middle class mestizos and immigrants) was not conducive to his brand of public relations. To that end, he himself would shift operations to London in 1949. And with that came many new opportunities for him to influence the nascent AFS, and perhaps his biggest impact, when he was approached by noted Conservative lawyer David Maxwell Fyfe.

The Labor-SFIO government under Clement Atlee and Leon Blum had successfully led the newly formed Franco-British Union to victory in WWII and enacted pro-labor economic policies to rebuild the postwar ruin of both Britain and France. Most notably, they had led the successful “Union Conference” in 1947, which formalized the Entente, merging the British and French systems and establishing a “State Council” with King George as its head. For the new “National Assembly”, elections were to be held in 1948. Labour and the SFIO merged into an all-encompassing “Labour Party/Parti d’Ouviers” ahead of this, and won handily. This did not bode well for the British Conservatives-Unionist Party (colloquially called “The Tories”), who had been in a wartime alliance under Winston Churchill, but hoped to make an electoral comeback. They had grown concerned over the increasing popularity of the Communists on both sides of the Channel and what they viewed as increased appeasement of “pro-American elements” (notably, the appointment of communist Maurice Thorez to the delegation at the Union Conference). They had sacked the aging Churchill and much of their wartime leadership (regarded as too pro-American), and placed popular former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden as the new Party Leader. To expand their reach, they quickly entered negotiations with the “Rally of Popular Republicans”, a merger of the French centre-right following a massive post-war restructuring, and announced that they would challenge Labour together as a new right-leaning bloc, called “The People’s Alliance/Alliance Populaire”.

Fyfe hoped Bernays’ skills might increase the popularity of the new bloc and bring it to victory in 1950, having seen some of his work with the Department of Communications. In his first political campaign since 1932, Bernays released a quick internal strategy, emphasizing the association between Labour and the Communists, and by extension America, and stating that a key part of ensuring victory was emphasizing their commitment to “democratic ideals” against “Bolshevikism.” Bernays also used the growing “Red Scare” to create a rift between Labour and the Communists, splitting their votes.

Most importantly, Bernays helped the Tories and the French right deal with their lingering image problem as the party of the aristocracy for the former, and as the turncoats of the old fascist regime in the latter. Bernays banished talk of conservatism from public diplomacy. The new public relations line emphasized democracy, hard work, and rugged populism. Prospective MPs were coached in dropping manners of speech and physical affectations that would mark them as part of the gentry.

The campaign would be a resounding success, increasing the profile of the new bloc and distancing them from their pre-war reputations. The People’s Alliance would end up sweeping the 1950 election that year, partly from Bernays successful management but mainly from other factors (the growing Red Scare following the fall of Greece and Berlin, the increasing conflicts within the Franco-British colonial empires, and the divisions in Labour itself between its left and right factions). The People’s Alliance would gain a majority in the National Assembly, allowing Eden to become the Prime Minister, and to set a new course for the country and the world. With this, Bernays and his strategies were effectively deployed onto a political arena, and would influence how the People’s Alliance retained power for generations

Bernays himself would gain a second wind from this in the FBU. He would get many offers for various other corporate and political campaigns, and his techniques would be adopted by various PR departments and companies in the new “Alliance of Free States”.

One of his Havana students and top protege, Richard Finlay, who worked on the 1950 general election before founding his own ad firm, would go on to start the fast food giant Maggie Pie in 1962. Finlay would deploy many of the techniques he had learned from Bernays to sell the signature pies across the globe. Bernays himself advised some of their early work.

National Motors would approach him again to help with various ad campaigns in the FBU, hoping to gain new markets as Cuba and Canada were inundated with British and German cars. Instead of a repeat of the Motor Show, the new medium of television allowed them to directly show their cars as powerful and far more efficient than the competition. Bernays also showcased the cars across the Global South as a good alternative to more expensive British cars.

In the 1920’s, he was famous for his promotion of Lucky Strikes cigarettes (including the infamous “Torches of Freedom” campaign, tying feminism to smoking to get more women to smoke). However, by the 1960’s, the dangers of smoking became well-known, as research revealed a link between lung cancer and smoking. Despite this, in 1962, over 70% of the population of the FBU smoked. Bernays, ironically, was a non-smoker and in 1962, would lose his wife, Doris Fleischman, to lung cancer from smoking. This prompted him to support the “Action on Smoking and Health”, which, with other groups, would culminate in the 1965 Legislation calling for labels, and the 1971 ban on public smoking.

This would be his final involvement in public life, and he would enter semi-retirement by 1972. He would spend his final 23 years expanding his philosophy and explaining it in lectures across the world (turning down offers to represent Rhodesia and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Project, among others). However, his biggest legacy was the very idea of public relations. Much of his philosophy was normalized in the capitalist world, with his use of psychology and the idea of “spin” and creating consumers becoming the main mode for many companies. In an ironic twist, even Comintern took notice. Propaganda and Engineering of Consent are given out in Public Safety and Agitpop courses, both as indications of how capitalist advertising and propaganda works- and as guides in and of themselves for the most efficient, wide-reaching forms of propaganda.

“He was a bourgeois piece of shit, a capitalist Goebbels,” one Culture Secretariat advisor told the Daily Worker after Bernays death in 1995. “I’d be lying, though, if I said he didn’t have a few good ideas here and there.”
 
-snip-

“He was a bourgeois piece of shit, a capitalist Goebbels,” one Culture Secretariat advisor told the Daily Worker after Bernays death in 1995. “I’d be lying, though, if I said he didn’t have a few good ideas here and there.”

That's pretty much the best description of Bernays I've ever encountered.

Seriously, Bernays was a dangerously brilliant man who could've easily become president if he set his mind to it.
 
Diary of a Southern Town (PT.IV) (Traveller76)
Most people have an image of life in a small town as neighbors knowing each other, saying hello in the morning and helping each other during difficult times in life like a fire or a loss in the family. This is partially true, what they do not tell you is that in a small town everyone knows you and your family. You attended the same schools, went to the same shops and played with the same kids. So any scandal, any embarrassments or scandals would eventually be found out and talked about. Now Mama was not one of those that liked to sit and gossip. Her thoughts were that if you had time to gossip you had time to take out trash or to be helping in the kitchen or doing something productive. She had a few friends from her school days or from the restaurant but most of the time she read, listened to the radio or worked on her garden. My Aunt and cousin Tamar were the complete opposite.

I was tall, fair and slim while Tamar was shorter, darker and rounder. I was the quiet girl in school while Tamar had friends in every class and every teacher knew her. She is kind and caring, especially with animals and planned to go into Veterinary school when she finished Militia training. She also is one of the biggest gossips I ever met and she could recall personal and family histories and scandals of families not just in the town but the neighboring towns. I was amazed she did not join the police or the CSS since she must of had a network of informers they could only dream about. So one day while we were mopping the restaurant floors she tells me that Mama was asking her and her mother about Elwood. 'What about Elwood' I said?' She replied that Mama had seen Elwood come by every Sunday evening to have two slices of pie and some coffee and that he and I would talk. Mostly it was about books, or movies, or places that Elwood had been during the War. Nothing romantic or anything. Looking back on it now I think he was trying to gather courage to ask me out or something.

Since Jake and Elwood arrived they had become popular with many of the women and girls of the town. Most of the girls I knew in school had dated some but the boys were ones they had grown up with. So it was like going out with a cousin or brother. Some of the girls would go to other nearby towns on the weekends for movies, dancing and dating but Jake and Elwood had been in the wider world, were educated and were musicians so that make them desirable. Despite all the work of the Cultural Revolutions there were some women who wanted to be good wives and take care of a family and house. Then there were those widows and others who were just lonely. Jake took advantage of this, visiting with several women and their families for meals, playing games and other things. I think several of them thought they could catch or reform him but that never happened. Elwood was different, he was respectful and while there were offers of company he turned them down. Some people thought he liked men or something, maybe he already had someone but no one knew. All they knew was that every Sunday evening he would come by, have his pie and coffee and visit with me. So naturally people started to talk.

Now Mama did not listen to all this gossip but when it involved her family she paid attention. Her family had a good reputation and she was going to put these rumors to rest. Tamar told me that she had asked everyone that knew Jake and Elwood about them and where they came from. She even called the local Trintarian churches to find out about them and their reputations. Little did I know that she was preparing and offensive the Army would be proud of.


Adwoa "Mama" Grayson, Diary of a Southern Town, 1988.
 
Bond Addendum (Mr.E/Miss Teri)
This is something of an addendum to my Bond piece.
The Making of Casino Royale

In 1953, Casino Royale, written by former Naval Intelligence Officer Ian Fleming (a veteran of the Spanish campaign during WW2), was a massive hit across the Franco-British Union, combining the hard boiled style of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe with the spy adventure stories of Richard Hannay. With this success came offers for the film rights. Fleming turned down an offer to adapt Bond for Cuban television, instead ultimately selling the rights to exiled Russian-American producer Gregory Ratoff and MGM, both now stationed in Britain.
Ratoff would do uncredited work on the script, while MGM would find a director. Ratoff himself found the character of Bond unbelievable, and attempted to find a way to work around that, including making Bond a woman (“Jane Bond”), one set in WW2 era Spain (to parallel Fleming’s own experiences) or even a draft where Bond was absent, replaced by an Americuban gangster working for Franco-British intelligence. MGM would have none of that. MGM initially tried to move forward with popular British directing-screenwriting team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, (“The Archers”), who had helmed pictures like Black Narcissus and The Elusive Pimpernel (starring David Niven) for MGM and their partner London Films. However, growing money troubles and MGM’s insistence on changing Pressburger’s script led to their departure. They would eventually commission a script by Charles Bennett, who had written the 1935 Richard Hannay film The 39 Steps. Bennett would largely stick to the novel, though one draft combined the characters of Bond’s fellow JSB agent Rene Mathis and love interest Vesper Lynd into the character of Valerie Mathis, another combined Lynd with the novel’s secondary villain, American agent Felix Leiter. More importantly, Bennett’s previous major credit and its director would give MGM and Ratoff an idea.
Alfred Hitchcock was struggling in the early 50’s. Hitchcock had a successful contract with Cuban producer David O. Selznick, which saw the two produce hits, including Rebecca (1940), Greenmantle (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), and Notorious(1946), even through Selznick’s departure from Warner Bros. and the war. After their final film together The Paradine Case (where Hitchcock grew to dislike Selznick), Hitchcock attempted to start his own production company with Sidney Bernstein, Transatlantic, to do his own films. However, by the early 50’s, it was experiencing financial difficulties. Hitchcock also had the headache of having to appear before the Franco-British National Assembly’s “Select Committee on Communist Activity”, over one of his non-Selznick propaganda films, Saboteur, which had been commissioned as pro-American. While Hitchcock was cleared, it would strike a blow to Transatlantic, which dissolved. Hitchcock soon attempted to get support for a project he had developed with writer Fredrick Knott, Dial M for Murder, when MGM contacted him.
Hitchcock had considered doing another spy thriller and had conceived of some ideas to that end, but, ultimately, he agreed to do Casino Royale, if MGM agreed to back Dial M afterwards. Hitchcock did an uncredited rewrite of Bennett’s script, restoring the characters of Rene Mathis and Vesper Lynd. However, he made several changes, including removing DITR8R (Fleming’s attempt at transposing the Soviet SMERSH to American intelligence) from Leiter’s origin, instead making him a simple Section 1 agent, and moving the action to Monte Carlo. He also left Lynd’s suicide more ambiguous in part to skirt censorship. Another move to mollify censorship was the change involving Le Chiffre. In the novel, he had run a profitable brothel venture in Paris (which is where he invested the money given to him by Section 1 and Comintern), before the newly formed Franco-British Union shut it all down. This was why he needed to gain the money back. The film instead alludes to “bad investments” from “government intervention”. Hitchcock also changed Leiter carving the Cyrillic symbol “ш” unto Bond’s hand to carving the letter “S”, to make it clearer to Anglophone audiences.
With Hitchcock on board, other actors were in talks. David Niven, who had his career stalled after his war service and falling out with producer Samuel Goldwyn, was Fleming’s first choice for the role, and Hitchcock's name ultimately led to his interest and eventual casting as James Bond. Ingrid Bergman, Hitchcock’s leading lady on Notorious, would star opposite Niven as Vesper Lynd. Jean Gabin, the star of Pepe lo Moko, whose career had also stalled after the war, was cast as Mathis. Another veteran French actor, Jean-Louis Barrault was cast as the villain Le Chiffre. Hitchcock’s frequent collaborator Leo G. Caroll plays the JSB’s head M.
The biggest challenge was Felix Leiter. Hitchcock and Ratoff considered several British, Cuban, and Canadian actors for the role, but none were satisfying enough or had the right quality of leading man but menacing when need be. While in Canada auditioning actors, Ratoff caught a late night CBC television production, and contacted MGM immediately after it ended to say that he had found their Leiter. Thus, at 28 years old, Leslie Nielsen would make his feature film debut.
Hitchcock would utilize his trademark style in making the baccarat scenes intense and the effective centerpiece of the entire film, especially the tension between Barrault and Niven. He would combine the Shepperton Studio sets with location shooting in the South of France. Hitchcock approached Bond himself less as Fleming’s cold, efficient killing machine and more in the vein of his other spy protagonists: a mostly everyman worker who approaches his duty the same way any other worker does, and has a fascination with their leading lady. Much of Bond’s cold detachment is instead transferred to Felix Leiter, who was shown as a standard androit American killing machine, hyperfocused on the mission at hand.
Released in late 1954, the film was a massive critical and financial success, harkening Hitchcock’s return to cinema and introducing cinema-goers to the character of James Bond. Ratoff was convinced by Irish playwright Kevin McClory and Canadian producer Harry Saltzman to pool their collected rights to Bond in a new venture, Eon Productions, who would then option “Live and Let Die” as a sequel with MGM. Hitchcock would decline directing duties (focusing on finishing Dial M for Murder), though Niven, Nielsen, and Caroll would return, and the “Bond” series as known today would start, eventually leading to a 2009 remake of Casino Royale with Idris Elba as Bond.


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Leiter: Agent of DITR8R

Leiter: Agent of DITR8R is a 2015 comic miniseries by Kim Newman and Jane Addlers*, based on the James Bond character of Felix Leiter, created by Ian Fleming. In the vein of Newman’s 2011 miniseries Professor Moriarity: The Hound of D’Uberville,[1], the stories are parody reversals of classic Bond novels and films, with Leiter fighting different versions of Bond villains (sometimes retellings of classic Bond books from Leiter perspective) , told in his unpublished memoirs shortly before his 1967 “death”. As per Newman’s signature, the book is full of characters from other works of fiction, including Newman’s own Diogenes Club. The story is an homage and parody of the American/Soviet/North Italian “anti-Bond” spy genre popular in the 1960’s and 70’s

Issues
Prologue (Issue 0): In 1946, Felix Leiter, a former Captain in the Revolutionary Marines, joins the Proletarian Guard to continue serving the International Revolution. Impressed, his commander gathers the credentials for him to join the “13th Regiment” or Main Directorate of State Security. Leiter is assigned to Section 1, and excels at training. In 1948, for his first assignment, he’s sent to war-torn Greece with higher ranking agent“Comrade Turner” (Jonathon Turner, from the works of Maxine Kaplan) to meet with an asset moving weapons for Comintern.
The asset, a heavyset Polish-Greek man nicknamed “Scarface” is an arms dealer recruited during the war. Leiter gradually realizes that Scarface and his “No. 2” (Emilio Largo) are secretly selling weapons to both sides, hoping to profit. Scarface promptly tries to kill the two, only for them to barely escape.
In 1951, Leiter is tapped by a new division of Public Safety, inspired by the Soviet SMERSH: DIETRAITOR (a riff on “Death to Spies”) shortened to DITR8R, a counter-intelligence agency for “secret affairs”, which deal with both “extraordinary” foreign and domestic threats.
Issue 1, “Royale-les-Eaux”: 1953- Leiter, with Polish SMERSH operative Hans Kloss [2] is sent to the Casino Royale in France to help “the Cypher”, an American asset within a communist affiliated trade union, win at a baccarat tournament to recover funds lost to bad investments in brothels. Leiter learns from Vesper Lynd, his informant in the Joint Security Bureau, that two agents, one French and one British, are sent to try to keep the Cypher from winning. To “even the odds”, Leiter kills a JSB agent sent to kill the Cypher,( an ex-Nazi named Herr Flick, from Allo Allo), and poses as an Americuban businessman. He has a brief encounter with “a very vigorous Hoagy Carmichael look-alike” at the bar, who he later sees at the tournament, suspecting him as one of the agents, dubbing him “The Man in Black” (or “007”, as he remembers the code name given). Kloss offers the Cypher back-up funds (“Truman Aid”), which the Cypher takes immediately to up the stakes. Leiter warns the Cypher that if he loses, his “services will no longer be required”. Leiter sends one of his own agents to kill 007, but he survives and wins the tournament. The Cypher promptly kidnaps Lynd as a bargaining chip for Leiter. The Man in Black pursues the Cypher, while Leiter quietly follows both parties. He watches as the Cypher tortures 007, hoping for the money. Leiter walks in and despite the Cypher’s pleas, shoots him in the head. Leiter briefly considers killing 007, but decides against it, instead marking him with the Russian letter “Ш” for шпион (Spy), and leaves. He observes 007 and Lynd in a seaside French town. To prevent her from turning, Leiter and Kloss head back to Poland, where Leiter calls Lynd- from the cell of her imprisoned husband. Leiter threatens to kill him if she reveals her informant status. Lynd kills herself, leaving Leiter with no choice but to release the husband in a spy exchange (with North Italian agent “Juan Mirro” from the works of John Cromwell)
Issue 2 “Die and Let Live”- In 1956, Leiter is sent to investigate Harlem based black nationalist “Ras the Exhorter” (Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison), whose flamboyant protests and “Afro-Socialist” political organization have been causing problems with Public Safety. Posing as a “jazz critic” (an occupation Bond used in Live and Let Die), Leiter is captured by Ras’ organization, who interrogate and torture him. Ras has a mambo[3] named “Fatima”, who follows the “practices of Papa LaBas” (from Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo). Fatima calls out Leiter’s cover, and Ras has him dumped into the East River with weights. Leiter escapes and is eventually rescued by local Harlem crime lord “Madame Saint-Marie” (Mario Puzo’s The Godfather), who has been having trouble with Ras. Saint-Marie gives Leiter some key information: Ras has been selling 17th Century gold coins given to him by Garveyite supporters in Cuba and Jamaica to fund his operation. Leiter heads to a warehouse near the still under-construction Epcot complex in Florida, where the coins are being imported in the bottom of fish tanks. Leiter is caught and held over a shark tank with Fatima (revealed as a traitor). Leiter and Faitma escape, and the former promptly dispatches the owners (Cuban Garveyites associated with the NBI), and has the warehouse raided by Public Safety units. He learns that Ras has been injured in a bizarre protest in Harlem (as depicted in Invisible Man). The warehouse is turned over to DITR8R, and the coin operation placed under their asset: Mr. Big.
Issue 3 “Moon Loon”- 1959: Leiter investigates an anonymous threat to a moonshot attempt by scientist Reed Richards and his crew. He goes undercover as an ASEDA commissar, and is joined by a young WFRAAF officer named Gloria Pussey. Together, they interrogate various members, until they encounter the culprit: Samuel Steal (Silvery Dust[4]), a scientist working on behalf of his boss, ex-Nazi Kurt Steiner (Jack Higgins, The Eagle Has Landed). Leiter kills Steiner as he attempts to bomb the flight as it takes off. Leiter subsequently learns that Steiner was secretly on the payroll of “Bill Tanner”, the right hand man to the notorious JSB head “M”.
Issue 4 “DiamondFinger”- 1961: Leiter takes on a diamond smuggling operation exploiting African miners, run by Cuban mobster Joe “Joey” Diamond (Maxine Kaplan, The Diamond Affair) and casino owner Tex Whitshaw (portrayed by Slim Pickens on the television series Havana Vice). The two hope to bulldoze a Cuban neighborhood to build a large exclusive casino, where diamonds are gambled. Leiter manages to stop the scheme by killing Diamond and destroying the fleet used. The silent third partner mentioned throughout the issue, Michael Corleone (The Godfather), has a conversation with Bill Tanner, revealing they had a deal to give some of the diamonds to the JSB as payment in exchange for safe passage. Corleone subsequently puts the Sprang brothers in charge of the diamond operation after Tanner cuts ties with them.
Issue 5 “From Britain, With Love”- 1963: Leiter balances his protection duties (and perhaps more) for English defector Elizabeth Gold (David Cromwell, The Coldest Night) from an assortment of brutal JSB agents (mostly parodies of various Franco-British villains from American and Soviet media) sent by Bill Tanner and his burgeoning romance with Tatiana Romanova, a young Soviet cypher clerk who previously had a relationship with his rival 007. Leiter manages to dispatch the villains, but finds one agent, Harry Palmer (Len Deighton, The IPCRESS File) frustrating to get rid of. Eventually, Gold is nearly killed by a third party, who both Leiter and Palmer pursue, but can’t catch. Later, the same assassin attempts to kill Tatiana, but Leiter dispatches him. He sees a letter in his pocket revealing his real affiliation: SPECTRE. In the end, Felix, Gold, and Tatiana live in a communal apartment, with Tatiana’s child Natalia being born soon after.
Issue 6 “Dr. S”- 1964: Leiter is sent to Thailand by his mentor Rachel Stern (Maxine Kaplan’s iconic character) with a young Nipponese agent named “Tiger” Tanaka during the Indochina conflict to investigate the disappearance of certain advisors in Khmer. They are captured and held by Indian scientist “Dr. S” (played by Peter Sellers in French Eurospy film The Island of Dr.Sin), who experiments on captured Indochinese soldiers and tries to sabotage the influx of American weapons. However, in a twist, he is then assassinated off-panel by the French operative Francis Coplan (created by Gaston Van den Panhuyse and Jean Libert, and also played by Peter Sellers in the film version), and it’s revealed he is also a SPECTRE agent, who had managed to steal a nuclear weapon for the organization. Leiter is also stunned to find that the leader (who sends a message) is none other than “Scarface”.
Issue 7 “The Man with the Silver Gun”- 1967: Leiter has increasing thoughts of retirement, especially after his allyship with his hated enemy 007 to take down SPECTRE in the Bahamas. He has one final assignment: track down John Drake (portrayed by Roger Moore in Danger Man), a JSB agent “reprogrammed” to execute political dissidents using a silver gun. Leiter tracks Drake to Vauxhall Cross, where he’s captured and brought before Bill Tanner. It’s revealed that Tanner is in fact the notorious spy master Nikolai Balabos (again, Maxine Kaplan), who uses aliases like Tanner to hide his wide array of exploits under “M” (boasting that he served under the first “M”, Mycroft Holmes and his “strange little club”). He also goes by “Control” or “Mother”, depending on the situation, adopting different identities for those. It’s also revealed that “007” is in fact several agents, who take the same codename and identity to confuse the enemy. Balabos in fact has wide reaching powers in Franco-British intelligence, and has been manipulating conflicts to distract agents like Leiter from larger goals of political subversion and helping domestic enemies. Leiter is imprisoned, but rescued by a traitor in the JSB named “Haydon”. While he fails to capture Balabos, he does have one final confrontation with John Drake, which ends in the latter’s death. Stern, concerned for his health, has him reassigned to a minor contact in the Caribbean.
In an epilogue, Balabos is in a meeting with M, confirming that Leiter was killed by the latest “007”, but that agent had been severely injured. They casually suggest replacing him again, and Balabos notes he himself has donned disguises to go as 007, and had fought the likes of Leiter. Finally, Balabos comments that he has a potential candidate- in the form of Bill Haydon.

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[1] Real book by Kim Newman, btw. No Pictures, though: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriarty:_The_Hound_of_the_D'Urbervilles
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stawka_większa_niż_życie
[3] Haitian Vodou priestess
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvery_Dust

Maxine Kaplan and Havana Vice courtesy of @Mr. C
 
Teddy Kolchavsky (Miss Teri/Mr.E
CW: Murder, necrophilia, torture, and cannibalism mentioned

A little something for Halloween.

Fyordor “Teddy” Kolchavsky is a character created by journalist Sarah Vinchovsky in her 1980 book, Tiger. He is a Russian-born serial killer known as the “Dr. Blood”, for his position as a mathematics professor and the brutality of his crimes (mutiliation, torture, necrophilia, cannibalism), spanning his time as a Leningrad State Associate Professor and later a UCLA researcher from 1955 (when he murdered his own brother and covered it up) to 1973. Part of the reason for his late capture was his position as a major local politician and communist devotee.

“Teddy”, in spite of his brutal crimes, is surprisingly mild-mannered and deeply intellectual. He has an entire philosophy, where he sees himself as a Nietchzean “superman”, above societal and political norms. Hence, his crimes are justified. He also has deep insights into the motivations of “serial killers” or “spree killers”, which intrigues the Proletarian Guard and StateSec enough to seek him out for consultation on other bizarre serial killers, directly from his isolation cell at the Home for Restorative Justice and Therapy in Phoenix. This is where he makes most of his appearances in his novels, mostly consulting with SecPubSafe agents pursuing serial killers or other dangerous criminals, which serve as the main plot.

Vinchovsky was inspired by several sources. In 1976, she did an article on the “Behavioral Science Unit”, a relatively new section of the Public Safety Laboratory made in association with the “Institute of Sexual Science”. With the rise of so-called “spree” or “serial” killers, the new section was meant to examine these repeat killings as matters of psychology and criminal profiling, outside the politically minded investigations normally conducted by SecPubSafe.

She subsequently learned that as part of the profiling, incarcerated serial killers were themselves interviewed to provide insight into killers. Indeed, the practice in some form reached back to 1957 when the Proletarian Guard consulted Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb (infamous for their murder of 14-year old Billy Franks in 1924, though both were released from prison under the 1934 General Amnesty, and had been free for years) during their investigation into “The Plainsfield Ghoul” of Wisconsin (later revealed to be Ed Gein, which later inspired Robert Bloch’s Psycho and Robert Altman’s 1961 film adaptation). While Leopold largely declined to consult on further cases, Loeb proved a somewhat reliable source into criminality and manipulation, and later became a consultant on other cases, going into the mid-70’s, when Vinchovsky interviewed him for her article.

Loeb’s soft, intellectual demeanor and the description of his and Leopold’s philosophy of being “intellectual supermen” provided the basis of Teddy’s similar appearance and philosophy. His crimes and academic profession were based on Soviet serial killer Alexei Timoshenko, an engineer who murdered 14 women between 1964 to his capture in 1969. Timoshenko was himself consulted by the Behavior Science Unit before his execution in 1984. Finally, his political connections stalling investigations was based on the similar circumstances surrounding Herbert Koehler, a Labor member of the Utah and Apache Soviets later found to have murdered over 30 people in the span of 14 years (from 1963 to 1977), also interviewed by the BSU.

Kolchavsky’s backstory was also influenced by several of these interviews. His abusive, high-ranking party member father was based on Koehler’s own father, a German exile communist. Timshenko’s description of the depravity he had witnessed as a child during the Operation Teutonic and how he had emulated it in his crimes became part of Kolchavsky’s backstory. Him killing his brother and blaming it on dissidents mirrors suspicions Ed Gein had done the same to his brother. Of course, Dostoyevsky was a massive influence, especially Crime and Punishment and The Devils (Kolchavsky admires the main character of Crime and Punishment and references it throughout the series)

With the basic idea of a Pub interviewing a serial killer to catch another serial killer established, Vinchovsky next formulated the other two elements. The other serial killer, based on several other BSU interviews she had read, was Leonard Turtletaub, also known as “The Tiger”, because of his tendency to stalk and bite his victims in the neck, and a tiger skin coat he wears in witness statements. (Later in the book, it’s revealed he also uses fangs from a tiger to make the marks, and has a rug made from a Tiger)

The Public Safety agent pursuing the killer was Colleen Royer, a relatively fresh faced agent newly assigned to the BSU. A key plot element is her pushback against older agents, who were veterans of the campaign against the Sons of Liberty during the 30’s and 40’s, and can’t comprehend the idea of a solo mass murderer. Indeed, her boss deals with a superior who views it as a terrorist act.

Because of the mood set by the 1979 Crisis and partially riding off the publicity of the Koehler case, Tiger was a massive success. Vinchovsky put off writing a sequel for nearly 7 years, however, because the experience of reading the interviews proved too much. Indeed, there are only five books because of this:

Tiger (1980): A killer called “The Tiger of Albuquerque” is killing young women, blonde and short, and the Secretariat of Public Safety finds it lacks leads. Colleen Royer of the Behavioral Science Unit decides to take drastic measures, and consult the notorious “Teddy” Kolchavsky, who murdered 30+ people and did horrific things to their bodies, to help gain insight into the killer and his/her methodology.She also battles the idea that the attacks are the result of a local Sons of Liberty offshoot within the ranks of the Secretariat. Ultimately, mild mannered pharmacist Leonard Turtletaub is revealed as the killer, using an obsession with the William Blake poem “The Tyger”, and a traumatic childhood to fuel his crimes.

Strange Fruit (1987): Royer consults with Kolchavsky yet again to find the killers behind a string of child murders in Columbia in the AFNR. Tensions rise between the local powerful railway union politicians and SecPubSafe due to her (and Kolchavsky’s) profile of an African American railway worker, disturbed by his own thoughts and intuitions.

Black Lightning (1996): Andrew Brigham, an American-born SS war criminal and son of a prominent Cuban political family is arrested in former Sasketchwan, and held in the same prison as Kolchavsky. In spite of protests from the warden, MDSS Section 1 colonel Joan Sturm brings in Kolchavsky to examine Brigham and see if he had the compulsion to truly commit the war crimes that he did. Kolchavsky, after examining the interviews, both with him and surivivors, concludes he was likely just compelled to commit these crimes by the pressures of his right wing associates and family, instead of having a compulsion to do it. However, at the end, he viciously beats him to death while the two are in a secluded wooded area on their annual break, stating that he will not let Nazi scum like him continue to exist. He buries the body, and the death is blamed on vigilantes outside the prison.

White Snow (2004): Set shortly before the events of Tiger, a serial killer who is kidnapping young Pioneers and filming their murders is causing panic in the USSR. The lead GUGB investigator, Konstantin Gogol, is forced to consult Ted Kolchavsky,the man he put behind bars ten years earlier. A parallel story shows Gogol’s efforts to capture Dr. Blood in the 60’s and his eventual focus on a local politician, despite the official line about serial killers being anti-social and apolitical.

Ted (2010): Set in 1992, the story sees the return of Colleen Royer as she attempts to find the escaped Kolchavsky, who has resumed his murders. Forced to recall their interactions, she finally deduces his location, and travels to the USSR for one final confrontation, learning the true extent of the horrors that he experienced during the war.

The series would gain acclaim initially, though this would decline with each entry, (though White Snow was praised).

The series would be expanded with fan sequels, comics, and most notably, film adaptations. Andrei Tarkovsky would adapt Tiger as Tyger in 1985, his final film before his death in 1986. Carrie Fisher played Royer, and acclaimed Soviet actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov (famed for his role as spy Von Sterlitz in Seventeen Moments in Spring) played Kolchavksy in an Oscar winning performance. Tikhonov would reprise the role opposite Joan Allen in the 1991 sequel, based on Strange Fruit. Black Lightning was adapted in 2006, this time with Vlad Putin as the lead. White Snow was combined with the novel Child 44 in the EBC series Cold, depicting the GUGB’s attempts at capturing “Dr. Blood” during the 50’s and 60’s. Finally, Tiger was adapted again as a Franco-British-American co-production in 2016, starring Gary Oldman as Kolchavsky, an 80’s period piece.
 
George Orwell - "On Anglo-American Unity (WotanArgead)
George Orwell - "On Anglo-American Unity"
(Article for the American magazine Partisan Review)

Socialists today are in the position of a doctor dealing with an almost hopeless case. Their duty as a doctor is to keep the patient alive and therefore to assume that the patient has at least a chance of getting better. It is their duty as scientists to face the facts and therefore acknowledge that the patient is very likely to die. Our actions as socialists only matter if we believe that socialism can be built, but if we stop considering what is likely to happen, I think we are at a disadvantage. If I were a bookie, just calculating the probabilities and leaving my desires aside, I would bet against the survival of civilization in these few centuries. As far as I can tell, there are two scenarios:

1) The Russians decide to use the atomic bomb, since the likelihood of its development is higher than that of the British. It won't solve anything. This will do away with the particular threat that the Franco-British Union now obviously poses for them at the moment, but it will lead to the rise of new empires, to new confrontations, to more wars and atomic bombs. Knowing Moscow's willfulness and deceit, I would call this option the most likely, but there is hope for the deterrent role of America, with which they are still linked by allied relations.

2) The fear of the atomic bomb and other weapons will be so strong that everyone will refrain from using them. This option seems to me to be the worst of all. It will mean the division of the world between two or three huge super-states, which are incapable of conquering each other and which cannot be crushed by an internal rebellion. In all likelihood, their structure will be hierarchical, with a semi-divine caste at the top and open slavery at the bottom. - and the destruction of freedom in them will surpass everything that the world knew before. Within each such state, the necessary atmosphere will be maintained by isolation from the outside world and constant "strange wars" with rival states. Civilizations of this type can exist for millennia.

Most of the dangers I have indicated existed and were visible long before the invention of the atomic bomb. The only way to avoid them, I think, is to show somewhere, on a large scale, an example of a society in which people will be relatively free and happy, in which the main motive of human life will not be the pursuit of money or power. In other words, democratic socialism must be built on some large territory. At the moment, the only example of such a society is the American Union - in the rest of the world it either does not have strong positions, or it means something else. Nonetheless, American leaders imitate British intellectuals by seeking companions in the East and colonial territories. For the most democratic country, this is the most reckless direction. The Soviet Union was triumphed by oligarchic collectivism, which can turn into democratic socialism only against the will of the ruling minority. The word "socialism" has hardly penetrated into Asia. Asian nationalist movements are either fascist in nature, Moscow-oriented, or both. In most countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the situation is about the same. The only place where such a system can be established is Western Europe. Only in it (with the exception of Australia and New Zealand) can we say that democratic socialism exists there, albeit unstable - in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, France, Britain, Spain and Italy. Only in these countries there are still a significant number of people for whom the word "socialism" is attractive, for whom it is associated with freedom, equality and internationalism. Also, these countries are united by a common democratic tradition with America, while their current allies have always lived under the tyranny of despotism. In the coming decades, we should expect the emergence of a socialist United States of Europe (good Britain and France have already announced their unification), and the full implementation of European-American unity seems to me the only worthwhile political goal on a global scale. The European Federation would have 250 million inhabitants, including perhaps half of the world's skilled workers. Together with America, they would represent an irresistible force. The existence of two socialist democracies would have played against the Soviet dictatorship and would have contributed to the establishment of true peace. I do not need to talk about the terrible and colossal difficulties of implementing such a project, I will list some of them later. But we should not assume that it is fundamentally impossible, or that countries that are so different from each other will not unite voluntarily. Such an alliance is no more likely than an alliance of democratic France and tsarist Russia against Germany.

Now let's move on to the difficulties. The greatest of these is the apathy and conservatism of people everywhere, their carelessness about danger, their inability to imagine anything new - in general, as Bertrand Russell recently noted, the reluctance of the human race to accept its own survival. But there are also active malevolent forces working against European unity, and there are existing economic relationships on which the European way of life rests and which are incompatible with true socialism. I list four major obstacles, explaining them as briefly as I can:

1) The hostility of Russia. The Russians cannot but be hostile to any European Union that is not under their control, as well as the American alliance with Europe. The reasons, formal and real, are obvious. One should bear in mind the threat of a preventive war, the systematic terrorization of small nations, and widespread sabotage by the communist parties. First of all, there is the danger that the masses will continue to believe in the Russian myth. As long as they believe in it, the idea of a socialist Europe will not be attractive enough to make the necessary efforts for its implementation;

2) The hostility of the Europeans. If the Franco-British Entente remain capitalist, and especially if they need export markets, they will not be friendly to socialist Europe. Undoubtedly, they are less likely to intervene with brute force than the USSR, but they are much more likely to fall into isolation, which will undoubtedly only contribute to the rapprochement of the Americans and the Russians.

3) The European peoples and especially the British people have long owed their high standard of living to the direct or indirect exploitation of the colored peoples. Socialist propaganda has never shed light on this relationship, and instead of telling the British worker that, by world standards, he lives beyond his means, he was taught that he was a super-exploited, trampled slave. For the masses everywhere, the word "socialism" means, or at least is associated with, higher wages, shorter working hours, better housing, inclusive social insurance, and so on. But it is not at all necessary that we will be able to afford such things if we abandon colonial exploitation. No matter how redistributed the national income, if it as a whole falls, then the standard of living of the working class falls along with it. At best, there will be a long and uncomfortable period of reconstruction, for which public opinion is not prepared anywhere else. But at the same time, European nations must stop exploiting abroad if they want to build true socialism at home. But something else must follow. If the United States of Europe is self-sufficient and able to be on an equal footing with Russia and America, it must include Africa and the Middle East. But this means that the position of the indigenous peoples will change beyond recognition - that Morocco, Nigeria or Abyssinia must cease to be colonies or semi-colonies, but become autonomous republics, completely equal to the European peoples. This means a major change of views and a tough, difficult struggle that is unlikely to be complete without bloodshed. But when the decisive moment arrives, the forces of imperialism will be exceptionally strong, and the British worker, if taught to think of socialism in materialistic terms, will decide that it is better to remain an imperial power at the expense of being America's second fiddle. To varying degrees, all European peoples will have to face this choice, at least those who will be able to become part of the proposed union;

4) Roman Catholic Church. As the struggle between East and West becomes more and more naked, there is a danger that socialists and reactionaries will be forced to form something like a Popular Front. The church is the most suitable bridge for this. In any case, the Church will make every effort to capture or emasculate any movement striving for European unity. The dangerous thing about the Church is that it is not reactionary in the usual sense of the word. It is not tied to free trade capitalism or the existing class system, and does not have to disappear with them. She is perfectly prepared to negotiate with socialism or pretend to be ready for it, thereby ensuring that her own position is maintained. But if it is allowed to survive as a powerful organization, it will make the establishment of true socialism impossible, since its influence is directed and must always be directed against freedom of speech and thought, against the equality of people and against any form of society striving to spread earthly happiness.

I certainly acknowledge that the implementation of this plan will require a tremendous mental overhaul that needs to be done on both sides of the Atlantic. But I also see that the situation itself is pushing towards the implementation of such an alliance. I believe that the united Franco-British Empire can be transformed into a federation of socialist republics. I believe that only Europe can become a true full-fledged ally of America and save the world from a Nuclear Disaster.

The factor working in our favor is that it is unlikely that a major war will happen immediately. We may have, I believe, a war involving an exchange of missile strikes, rather than a war requiring the mobilization of tens of millions of people. At present, any large army will simply melt, and this situation will remain for another ten or even twenty years. During this period of time, something unexpected may happen. We do not know what changes can occur in the USSR if the war is postponed for a generation or so. In a society of this type, a radical change of views always seems unlikely, not only because there can be no open opposition to the regime in them, but also because the regime, with its complete control over education, the media, etc. .d. deliberately seeks to prevent the swing of the pendulum of generations between generations, which occurs naturally in liberal countries. But as far as we know, the tendency of the new generation to reject the ideas of the old is an invariable human characteristic that even the NKVD cann't eradicate. In that case, by 1960, there will be millions of young Russians who are bored with dictatorship and expressions of loyalty to it, yearning for more freedom and more friendly towards the West.

The current situation, as far as I can calculate the probabilities, is very dark, but nevertheless it suggests solutions for the implementation of the salvation of mankind.

1947​
 
A Redverse rewrite of Toward European Unity? That's a clever idea, but in this iteration of this TL the USSR is different. It's keeping (it has to!) its foreign policy more or less in accord with the UASR, and it's already, as of 1947 (assuming that Orwell has published this article at the same date as its OTL counterpart), far into de-Stalinization - probably nowhere near as democratic as the UASR, but not about to impose some kind of totalitarianism on the Central and Eastern Europe.

If the current situation is dark, it must be so because of the FBU turning more and more reactionary and slipping away from democracy rather than because of the Soviet menace. Whatever prejudices against the USSR Orwell might have kept ITTL, he wouldn't see it in its present state as an existential threat to democratic socialism.
 
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If the current situation is dark, it must be so because of the FBU turning more and more reactionary and slipping away from democracy rather than because of the Soviet menace. Whatever prejudices against the USSR Orwell might have kept ITTL, he wouldn't see it in its present state as an existential threat to democratic socialism.
Here's another problem - the Western left does not pay attention to this. The fact is that Orwell has always been a British patriot, and for him "Democratic Socialism" worked in a bunch of "British Power". He is no exception - there were many supporters of the preservation of the British Empire in the Labor Party. But he probably went further than many, accusing the British left of lack of patriotism. Moreover, if he became a socialist after Catalonia, then he was a patriot from his youth (besides, a former employee of the colonial administration). In fact, I took this article because it clearly expresses the desire to balance Britain with the USA and the USSR. Of course, if this line is taken to the end, then he must abandon socialism - for two socialist dominants undermine the Power of Britain. But here I decided to stay within the framework of the author's intention, only turning Comrade Blair to other sides.
 
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