Drakia is objectively worse in every meaningful way. My reasoning is three-fold. One: "they are worse" doesn't mean "we are good", nor does it mean "you can only choose me or him". Two: a realistic version of Drakia doesn't seem stable to me in the long term, whereas a more moderate but fully (eerily) self-assured neo-imperialist power, devoid of any real self-doubt, could keep inflicting harm for decades, all the while utterly convinced that it's doing 100% the right thing and all critics are fools or "evil". Three: I genuinely suspect that complete victory (resulting in unchecked world domination) would actually make the *USA inherently worse, because I believe that all unchecked power leads to a dangerous corruption of principles. (In other words: "criticism keeps us honest; the lack thereof makes us dishonest".)

My argument is not so much that Drakia should be left alone. On the contrary: it must be stopped. My argument is more that I strongly suspect that sometime thereafter, the *USA will have to stopped, as well...
US is still stoppable even if they take down the Draka, its just that taking down the Draka as quickly as possible will lessen the suffering massively. Thereby offsetting a couple of decades of neo-imperialism
 
But the USA might be stopped then through less bloody means : oppressed minorities agitating from their rights within, and occupied countries agitating too, and rival countries banding together, and the cost of occupying countries while facing rival powers rising. With the rising human and financial cost of maintaining US hegemony (cost both to the elites and general population), the USA might be stable as a political entity but can't maintain this aggressive imperialism forever.

The US are mostly driven by pragmaticism (even if not 100%), and the US elites especially.

The Draka on the other hand see their tyranny as a matter of principle.

So, in short, even if the USA slays the Dragon and gets victory disease, it won't maintain its aggressive course forever.
 
The assumption that the *USA will "mellow out" (e.g. allow for a less bloody turn-about) after defeating Drakia seems optimistic to me. I see it as more likely that, having slain one "dragon", it will go out looking for other "dragons" to slay. Who is next, after Drakia? And who is next after that? Every victory will only embolden the self-proclaimed messiah-nation. This can play out in multiple ways, but there is this saying about fighting the Devil with Beëlzebub (or fire with fire, if you will).

I daresay that in the long term, a power that treats its own supremacy as an implicit fact (not even worth contesting or debating) can be more dangerous than a gaggle of fire-breathing fanatics. The latter burn up quickly, in most cases: but the former sort tends to last much longer. When asking "but what happens after the clash of the titans?", I see little good emerging-- no matter who wins. There is an argument to be made that a scenario where free peoples rise up and destroy their Drakian oppressors in the end is -- psycho-socially, for lack of a better term -- far more healthy than being "liberated" by an external "saviour" that will then forever demand your gratitude... and your unquestioning obedience. This is what enters into my mind when I'm talking about a "third option", as an alternative to choosing either one of the great powers as an overlord for all time.

Of course, I frankly admit that I am by nature inclined to oppose hegemons and overlords of any kind, and that unipolar worlds inherently creep me out...
 
A short, victorious war; yeah, that's like Brandon Stark thinking Crown Prince Rheagar would come out and die in King's Landing, and look how that ended...
 
Interesting...so Segregation is still in place but actually serious about the "But Equal" part, still a massive disadvantage for the South (Separating people and not allowing interaction is going to get you misunderstandings and the like.)
Also love how Dixon is like kinda of a reverse of both Wilson and later 1920s pols in general.
Depends on what part of the South you're in, but basically the Southern states fall into three categories;

1. "Reconstructed"+ Georgia: majority-rule majority African American states. Politically they're dominated by the Whigs. That's Georgia, South Carolina, and Louisiana.
2. "Readjusted": States where control over the government shifts between the lily-white Republicans and the multi-racial Whig coalitions. The Whigs in these states need at least some white votes to stay in power so they have to allow a degree of segregation, but they also need black votes to stay in power so the result is a weaker degree of segregation. That's Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, and Jefferson.
3. "Redeemed": States that use a different word for it, but are essentially Jim Crow governments a la OTL under one-party rule by the Republicans. That's Arkansas and East and West Florida.

Cimarron (Oklahoma) doesn't have enough black people for a readjuster coalition to form, but also doesn't have enough black people to care about being racist and has dropped the few elements of Jim Crow that they briefly had after the war.

It's not an ideal situation but it's a lot better than the OTL South, and it gives African Americans real influence on American politics. A politician like Dixon can win most of the South, but to do it he has to have the black vote behind him and so has to pay attention to African American interests and issues.

Actually kinda mixed in what I think of this, on one hand the World is such a powder keg here that it definitely needs a cop and America is the only one capable of doing it and this is before mentioning the Draka...on the other hand, this type of foolishness really just adds to the Powder keg.

Although honestly I don't see the Poblasadodists or Rodonists as that much of a Threat after they crippled themselves so badly. I guess it would be attractive to Central American Insurgents seeing as it's basically Liberation theolgy taken to its logical conclusion...
Jjust as there were people who insisted on supporting the USSR and China after what Stalin and Mao did IOTL, there will still be people in the west who will in insisted on supporting Radical Geoism. They're not going to be as influential as the Communists though, and fear of Geoism isn't going to be as bad.

I don't know why but a Jewish Douglas Macarthur amuses me to no end. Although it seems this guy actually has some more competence to back up his planet sized narccism...
:biggrin:

I was hoping someone would spot that. Klein is based on a combination of MacArthur and a figure from classical antiquity. There's a couple of different ways he could end up.;)

Oh this guy gives me a grim reaper feel... Its like if J Edgar Hoover had a unholy love child with Allan Dulles.
More of a Dulles than a Hoover- the Black Chamber doesn't operate domestically, and Richardson is more of a well-meaning extremist than J. Edgar.

God this is going to be a mess...
:cool:

So do they actually mean it or is Pan asianism just a front for there own imperial ambitions?
Yes. :p I'll go into detail about Japan in the next chapter.

Ooh...this sounds unpleasant. What flavor of Far right are these guys? Fascists or more akin to these guys?
The PSF is a good analogy. They're ultra-nationalists, but they have some Fascist* influence so they don't really care about issues of race or religion. It's the left-wing leaders who betrayed France they want to go after. In Italy they're anti-American secularists/Sedevacatists.

No suprise,in some ways you have to feel sad for ITTL Britan from dominating the world to bring an economically desolate minor nation with a gun (American bases in Ireland) pointed straight at there heart if they don't jump fast enough when America yells. Yeah they stewed the shit salad themselves so in a way it's fitting but still Societism is a horrible fate for any nation.

One question though how different is it from the Draka and how they regard the Empire? I assume relations aren't the best considering how utterly the Drama screwed over Britan with their secssion.
Good question.:) British Societism doesn't have much concept of an Aspirant Race because they don't need non-whites to maintain their government. Instead they're a lot more racist in general- closer to OTL Fascism- and they believe that the British Empire was approaching the achievement of the Final Society before it was betrayed from within by those non-white collaborator classes that Drakia has embraced. Plenty of "the left-wing politicians betrayed the nation by surrendering and fighting against our Drakian brothers". Very anti-Irish.

Cautious yay for the Mexican culture revival, just hope it does not fall to Pobsladoism. If course that can only happen if the US Government goes completely Dickish. Kinda surprised about native culture,given how assimilated it was implied they were, still full hearted yay for them.
Native Culture was largely wiped out for some tribes, but it was never total and you do have people trying to revive lost practices by consulting old accounts from before they disappeared.

Also I can't help it this picture is really cute
It is adorable.:)

Another peeducation of mine in the bag I believe....Honestly don't know who I would vote for ITTL...
I was inspired by @Thande's LTTW to work towards a political spectrum that isn't precisely analogous to OTL. I'd probably end up voting National, but I'd feel guilty about it.

I concur that the party system is far more identitarian ITTL; the blacks and northerner whites being the “truest ‘muricans”, and the southron whites allying with the immigrants, francophones, natives, and Mexicans for “muh culture”. Asians are nobodies on the East Coast.

Cue Alex Jones ranting against “Northern carpetbaggery, cultural, actual subjugation, and imperialism”... or MLK doing so against the “un-patriotic and traitorous foreigners and lost causers”.
:biggrin:

Which Dominions are still part of the British Empire? Do the British still have any possessions?

What about the French and Portuguese?
Good questions all. The Lesser Antilles, Guyana, Australia, and New Zealand are still British Dominions, although their dominion status is purely symbolic and they can end it any time. Britain has no overseas possessions left, unless you count the Isle of Mann. The French have a variety of islands, some of which were former British colonies, most in either the Pacific or the Caribbean. All are overseas departments of France, legally no different than the Metropole. Portugal still has Macau, some bits of India, Madeira, and the Azores. Macau and the bits of India are run as colonies.

So to move on from the Drakian Societist project, how are the United States of India and the United States of Indonesia faring? Sure they started out under a much more regressed Drakian-influenced colonial exploitation that lessened the room for the self-advocacy and self-organization of OTL and pressured their peoples to the point that the only choice left was a violent uprising of the peasants and laborers. But on the bright side the deindustrialization and hollowing out of colonialism has been stopped cold almost 30 years early, with 30 more years to catch up *and* 30 years of development of already industrialized nations not yet occurring. Plus while the new democracies seem to be committing pogroms and purges against minorities they claim to be mercantile elites (oof) ultimately compared to the Khmer Rouge of Russia it seems to be more like the attempted "Polonization" of the interwar Polish state or the early purges of the Soviets. Fundamentally it comes from a place of perceived national weakness and that the weaknesses most readily changed thought to come from a lack of unity against their oppressors. Then they twist themselves around and convince themselves that recognizing the right of other citizens to not speak the state-supported language and not worship the state-supported religion is definitely allowing the people to become disunited and weakened.

Once one of the larger factions of the revolutionary coalition stabilizes the majorities they win in the fragile new democracy (thanks American exported Electoral College) it's likely that those political actors would perceive enough political security from the elections dutifully giving the "right" result that the overt assault peters off as revolutionary ferver cools. There might be the hilarious situation where some of the minority refugees just nope out of Societist Drakia and come back to their homes after the worst has blown over.
More good questions! India and Indonesia have calmed down from the post-colonial craziness, which you're right was more like Polonization and the expulsion of Eastern European Germans than the Khmer Rouge. Burma descended into Rwanda level brutality, but faced a police action by the USA. You're right, as bad as the British Empire was ITTL, colonization didn't last as long as OTL and they have more time to recover. India is experimenting with a Geo-Socialist hybrid ideology to combine mass-industrialization with Geoist tax and land use ideas to considerable success, and is a regional power even if their treatment of the Muslims is still less than ideal. Indonesia is more anti-American than India (they're more subject to American influence and intervention due to their smaller size and closer proximity to American colonies and protectorates) and is doing a little less well.

It's an interesting question: in winning the war, do you not inevitably become the monster that you sought to defeat? Any hegemon without checks on its ambition is likely to become corrupted by its own delusions of grandeur.
Drakia is objectively worse in every meaningful way. My reasoning is three-fold. One: "they are worse" doesn't mean "we are good", nor does it mean "you can only choose me or him". Two: a realistic version of Drakia doesn't seem stable to me in the long term, whereas a more moderate but fully (eerily) self-assured neo-imperialist power, devoid of any real self-doubt, could keep inflicting harm for decades, all the while utterly convinced that it's doing 100% the right thing and all critics are fools or "evil". Three: I genuinely suspect that complete victory (resulting in unchecked world domination) would actually make the *USA inherently worse, because I believe that all unchecked power leads to a dangerous corruption of principles. (In other words: "criticism keeps us honest; the lack thereof makes us dishonest".)

My argument is not so much that Drakia should be left alone. On the contrary: it must be stopped. My argument is more that I strongly suspect that sometime thereafter, the *USA will have to stopped, as well...
I agree with the assessment in your second comment. While America is imperfect it's not doing anything that the USA didn't do to Latin America or some other third world countries IOTL, and it's a lot less racist and sexist than our USA. Drakia on the other hand has committed literal ethnic cleansing/genocide against native groups resisting its rule (okay we did that too, but it wasn't as bad ITTL) and is murdering children in large numbers for having physical and mental disabilities while keeping a plurality of its population in de facto slavery. America still has the moral ground.
 
So one thing Im wondering is what ways Richardson and Klein are cooking up for their little Short Victorious war on the Draka, heres what I have come up with so far:

  • supply and allow a Insurrection against the Draka, then let the Draka to move in and do there thing...only this time with American TV cameras sending the images around the world. Disgusted the American Population will demand their Country come in and help the rebels (and if they dont Klein can probably engineer something like abunch of Draka attacking a US ship helping Reffugees to make the point)
  • Get the Draka to go attack somewhere. Spain would be a good choice as it takes two birds out with one stone in that it gets rid of the Posablodists and gets the whole of Europe terrified of the Draka and supporting the New Order as the Draka undoubtedly go extremely brutal in their subjugation of Spain and possibly Enserf lots of people.
 
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The Draka invading Spain, Russia, or both, would be perfect for the USA. They would show to the world that they're willing to rape, enserf and impale millions of European White Christian people (which wouldn't fly well), expand into Europe (so other countries would fear to be next), and would overstretch themselves into Spain and Russia.
 
The interesting thing about Drakia is that it's designed to be predatory. This means that the USA will get that "short (or not-so-short) war", no matter what. The only question is when, and it's pretty clear that the war hawks see it as "the sooner the better" (every passing year makes Drakia stronger).

We'll see how it goes. The bigger Drakia gets, the more potential trouble can arise within its own borders. This isn't Stirling's mad little reality, where the unstoppable Draka can just gobble up whole continents without any ill effects at all, and where their... ah... pacifying strategies always work perfectly.

I know that Drakia is evil and must be stopped, and my fears over how USA imperialism may develop thereafter notwithstanding, I'd vote for war at this stage in the timeline. But intellectually, the idea of a longer-lived Drakia just falling apart like a sort of terminally malfunctioning USSR analogue is quite amusing. The simple fact is that systems that perverse don't have real staying power. They reform (and really reform)... or they crash and burn.
 
Looking at America's military strength, naval superiority, and its control over Grand Alliance, it seems that Draka is honestly screwed unless it gets some allies to join them. Perhaps a border conflict between Portugal and Spain ends up spiraling out of control, forcing the Geoists to support Drakia in their war against freedom and fascism. While it might be a bit of a stretch for the Evil Empire of genocidal slavers to ally with revolutionaries that would give Pol Pot a run for his money, stranger things have happened in OTL.
 
Something that has occurred to me, Drakia now has access to full citizens well versed in interacting with colonial and imperialist structures and surviving both the the insurgents in the hills and the kkk-esque white "citizens' militias". At least some of this human capital is going to avail itself to the realms of intelligence and military matters. And, ultimately, Societist textbooks are going to be screaming that Drakia "won" it's struggles by "lifting up the Aspirants to their proper child-like edification". To Societist thought America's pet republics are the equivalent to half-feral children kept from school living in deathtraps. Drakia, being the brutish fascists that they are, might blithely run with some insights given by their experience and dream of a South America rising as one from the isthmus to the southernmist isles for Drakian "enlightenment", as Naldorssen's factional mongrel scum must betray each other at the lightest whim. In the course of the war Drakia may develop something like Churchill's soft underbelly madcap ideas, and believe that the nations of South America and the Pacific are natural slave races (some poetical bullshit about the euphemism of the old world intermingling with the new world euphemism) that need to be liberated from their freedom, just like how Fascist Italy would occasionally think of themselves as the defenders of Libya and Ethiopia against Britain, and Imperial Japan would occassionally make half-hearted efforts to that whole Pan-Asian thing in places outside of China.

Now fundamentally America's allies have the advantage of interior supply lines to Drakia, and fundamentally the pro-Drakians partisans aren't going to be pro-Drakia at all and will sour on them as quickly as they soured on Italy and Japan and Germany and would be hollowed out by other movements. So on one hand, whoever was best positioned to express their long-standing opposition to the American client governments and organize their own liberation would have jumped the gun and been given the ol' White Terror purges as Drakian-loving traitors and probably closet Rodinists. But on the other hand, having to actually defend their presence there and not just as a given the nations are helpless to resist and have to fatalistically accept will completely undermine America's hold on them and America will have to cut new deals with the freshly empowered home guards and national committees or else just go full Drakia and conquer them in total. During the war American auxillaries and more directly intervening American officers would have ever stronger power to purge whoever they deem Drakian, but after the emergency has passed all these newly trained patriotic cadres can turn right around and say "thanks for the aid for our version of the French and Indian war now get your ass out of here before we get to the tarring and feathering"
 
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There was a discussion a while back about what Drakia's military uniforms would look like, so I took a stab at depicting them, and I'm looking for feedback. I'm happy with how the parade uniform turned out: I mainly based it on people's ideas of using animal skins and Corinthian helmets, on top of a "pre-degeneracy" British coat. I'm more unsure about the combat dress. I based the overall design on what other countries would have been using around this time, but it comes off as a generic, unoriginal "bad guy" style. Is it just me?
drakian soldiers.png
 
There was a discussion a while back about what Drakia's military uniforms would look like, so I took a stab at depicting them, and I'm looking for feedback. I'm happy with how the parade uniform turned out: I mainly based it on people's ideas of using animal skins and Corinthian helmets, on top of a "pre-degeneracy" British coat. I'm more unsure about the combat dress. I based the overall design on what other countries would have been using around this time, but it comes off as a generic, unoriginal "bad guy" style. Is it just me?
View attachment 497396
That should be canon. And the battle uniform is good, I will point to helmets that the book cover look like though, as in
download-1.jpg

Also yeah, some camo pattern would be good to use in my opinion, even if it is just basically as simple as "rain" pattern.
Also this blue and white pattern ancient regime france could get modernized for other Draka parade uniforms serving another role...
18c17d03da517acd8b49ea78ee91d06a.jpg

I can also see Jannisaries keeping the "Askari" fez
tumblr_ot9hh2hL4K1tlx9lyo2_1280.jpg
 
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How strong would you say is Hindu Nationalism in India?
Very. India has hundreds of different ethnic groups, and the only things that unite them are the common experience of British colonialism and the fact that a majority of the population is Hindu. Plus the Sikh and Muslim communities tended to be supportive of the Raj and those that didn't flee after the Indian War of Independence are viewed with great suspicion.

So one thing Im wondering is what ways Richardson and Klein are cooking up for their little Short Victorious war on the Draka, heres what I have come up with so far:

  • supply and allow a Insurrection against the Draka, then let the Draka to move in and do there thing...only this time with American TV cameras sending the images around the world. Disgusted the American Population will demand their Country come in and help the rebels (and if they dont Klein can probably engineer something like abunch of Draka attacking a US ship helping Reffugees to make the point)
  • Get the Draka to go attack somewhere. Spain would be a good choice as it takes two birds out with one stone in that it gets rid of the Posablodists and gets the whole of Europe terrified of the Draka and supporting the New Order as the Draka undoubtedly go extremely brutal in their subjugation of Spain and possibly Enserf lots of people.
Some very interesting speculation here.;) I'm afraid that none of it's quite right however.

The Draka invading Spain, Russia, or both, would be perfect for the USA. They would show to the world that they're willing to rape, enserf and impale millions of European White Christian people (which wouldn't fly well), expand into Europe (so other countries would fear to be next), and would overstretch themselves into Spain and Russia.
It probably would.

Something that has occurred to me, Drakia now has access to full citizens well versed in interacting with colonial and imperialist structures and surviving both the the insurgents in the hills and the kkk-esque white "citizens' militias". At least some of this human capital is going to avail itself to the realms of intelligence and military matters. And, ultimately, Societist textbooks are going to be screaming that Drakia "won" it's struggles by "lifting up the Aspirants to their proper child-like edification". To Societist thought America's pet republics are the equivalent to half-feral children kept from school living in deathtraps. Drakia, being the brutish fascists that they are, might blithely run with some insights given by their experience and dream of a South America rising as one from the isthmus to the southernmist isles for Drakian "enlightenment", as Naldorssen's factional mongrel scum must betray each other at the lightest whim. In the course of the war Drakia may develop something like Churchill's soft underbelly madcap ideas, and believe that the nations of South America and the Pacific are natural slave races (some poetical bullshit about the euphemism of the old world intermingling with the new world euphemism) that need to be liberated from their freedom, just like how Fascist Italy would occasionally think of themselves as the defenders of Libya and Ethiopia against Britain, and Imperial Japan would occassionally make half-hearted efforts to that whole Pan-Asian thing in places outside of China.

Now fundamentally America's allies have the advantage of interior supply lines to Drakia, and fundamentally the pro-Drakians partisans aren't going to be pro-Drakia at all and will sour on them as quickly as they soured on Italy and Japan and Germany and would be hollowed out by other movements. So on one hand, whoever was best positioned to express their long-standing opposition to the American client governments and organize their own liberation would have jumped the gun and been given the ol' White Terror purges as Drakian-loving traitors and probably closet Rodinists. But on the other hand, having to actually defend their presence there and not just as a given the nations are helpless to resist and have to fatalistically accept will completely undermine America's hold on them and America will have to cut new deals with the freshly empowered home guards and national committees or else just go full Drakia and conquer them in total. During the war American auxillaries and more directly intervening American officers would have ever stronger power to purge whoever they deem Drakian, but after the emergency has passed all these newly trained patriotic cadres can turn right around and say "thanks for the aid for our version of the French and Indian war now get your ass out of here before we get to the tarring and feathering"
This is some very good stuff, but my favorite part is the characterization of the Seven Ducklings as "half-feral children kept from school living in deathtraps" from the Drakian POV.:closedeyesmile:

There was a discussion a while back about what Drakia's military uniforms would look like, so I took a stab at depicting them, and I'm looking for feedback. I'm happy with how the parade uniform turned out: I mainly based it on people's ideas of using animal skins and Corinthian helmets, on top of a "pre-degeneracy" British coat. I'm more unsure about the combat dress. I based the overall design on what other countries would have been using around this time, but it comes off as a generic, unoriginal "bad guy" style. Is it just me?
View attachment 497396
Those are excellent uniforms, the only problem is that if I make them cannon then I won't be able to include any "TTL photos" of Drakian soldiers, since no one wore those kind of uniforms IOTL.:oops:
 
Chapter 18

Chapter 18

Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun. One of the more popular countries to use in AH either as a protagonist or antagonist (I blame anime).

In OTL the United States at first regarded Japan as a convenient new market for American goods, later shifting to a sort of “isn’t that adorable?” attitude as it began modernizing, followed by a period of relative friendship in the early 20th century before colliding American and Japanese interests led to cooling relations and ultimately war. In the Separate-verse America identified Japan as a potential target for either British or Russian colonial expansion, and New York intervened in TTL’s version of the Boshin War in an attempt to contain the growing influence of its enemies. Once the American-backed Imperial Restorationists had defeated the British-backed Shogunate and elevated the Emperor to ruler-in-truth Japan became the recipient of a concerted campaign of American assistance in modernizing and industrializing. The United States considered Great Britain a potential existential threat and Japan a potentially valuable ally in the inevitable coming war with the British (which it ultimately was). The subsequent differences can be seen; in OTL Japan sent out missions to learn from Europe and America how to modernize, ITTL the United States sent missions to Japan to assist Japan in its modernization. It was American military missions- not British or German ones- that trained the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. The American government invested in Japanese industry, establishing munitions factories in Japan with the idea that they would greatly simplify logistics for American forces in the western Pacific and East Asia by removing the need to bring supplies all the way from North America through Royal Navy opposition. Japan was influenced culturally by the United States in OTL- witness the Japanese adoption of baseball and the influence of early American cartoons and animation- but American influence ITTL was more profound and affected different areas. Fascism had a major impact on Japanese political thought, as did American democratic ideas, and the experience of fighting alongside the Americans during the World War- particularly in the Liberations of the Philippines and Ireland- shaped Japanese military culture in directions it never followed in our world.

The legacy of these changes was a Japanese Empire that, while recognizable to an OTL observer, was fundamentally different on a variety of levels.


The flourishing port of Edo, 1922

By 1925 the Japan of the Separate-verse was considerably richer and more industrialized than the Japan of OTL- early American economic investments many times larger than what Japan had scraped up to start its modernization in our world yielded a GDP-per-capita of over $3,000 (OTL 1990 USD) per person compared to a mere $1,745 in OTL 1935 (there was still fairly serious income inequality however). The experience of sudden and relatively rapid modernization had radically altered Japanese society, at first with a wave of Americo- and Euro-philia, but was later followed by a cultural reaction that reached back to historic Japanese traditions for inspiration. By this point a unique form of fascism had emerged to dominate Japanese politics; anti-racist like American fascism Pan-Asianism stressed common Asian cultural practices- various strands of Buddhism, reverence for an Emperor, community over self, and clearly delineated social roles drawn from either Confucianism or Hinduism. Pan-Asianism wasn’t opposed to uniquely Japanese cultural expressions- the Japanese Pan-Asians regarded Japanese culture as the most uniquely “Asian” of all cultures as Japan had never been conquered by foreigners- but it hunted for similarities where they existed, and invented similarities when they didn’t.


Japan in the Separate-verse is a much wealthier country, private ownership of motorwagens (because we must have our own special name for the automobile) and telephones among the middle class was widespread by the 1920s, although there remained a considerable gap between rich and poor

In OTL Japan’s annexation of Korea came after a long period of growing economic and military dominance and resulted in the subjugation of the Korean people and an attempt to forcibly Japanize them. In the Separate-verse Japanese troops were greeted as liberators as they swept the remaining elements of brutal Russian colonial rule from Korea and Manchuria. Japanese troops- many veterans of the Liberations of the Philippines and Ireland- memorized phrases from local languages, were strictly instructed to respect local cultures, and the Imperial Japanese Army actively pursued a policy of kokoro to kokoro (“hearts and hearts”) designed to win the support of the populace. Imperial rule was consciously based on American rule over Old Mexico and Britain’s rule over its dominions- Korea and Manchuria were theoretically monarchies equal in stature to Japan under a European-style personal-union with legislatures that theoretically had all of the powers of American states. Meanwhile Japan cultivated a collaborationist caste similar to the Mexican Criollos, in Manchuria these were the long-suffering Manchus and other minority ethnic groups, in Korea they were a new social class of Buddhists, western-influenced professionals, and believers in Pan-Asianism who referred to themselves as the yangban. These collaborators enjoyed economic and political power and in exchange helped to maintain Japanese rule.

And it was still Japanese rule, despite the greater acceptance and integration of non-Japanese peoples. Korea and Manchuria might have their own legislatures, but they had no representation in the Imperial Diet in Tokyo, and it was the Imperial Assembly that controlled the national budget, the military, foreign affairs, and other national programs. Those legislatures might have competitive elections, but they had a limited suffrage, and radical parties (Geoists, Socialists, Nationalists who weren’t Japanese or Pan-Asian) were banned. They might have a degree of cultural autonomy but it was Korean and Manchurian children who learned Japanese as a second language in school, not Japanese children who learned Korean or Manchurian. The Empire might use mixed military units to encourage national unity- ensuring that Japanese, Korean, Manchu, and Chinese soldiers served alongside each other- and even allowed non-Japanese officers to rise to command posts, but the general staffs of the IJA and IJN remained entirely Japanese, as did everyone above the rank of major in the army or captain in the navy. The new territories provided vital sources of resources and cheap labor, but the economic planning that directed their use all occurred in Tokyo.


Imperial Japanese Navy warships bombard the port of Busan in preparation for landing troops during the Liberation of Korea.

The term for this new system of government was coined by Speaker Fujimori Takahashi of the Imperial Assembly mere hours before the start of what the Empire dubbed the Liberation of Korea.

“You are the soldiers of Imperial Democracy.” The Speaker told the assembled troops of the Japanese Expeditionary Force to Korea. “Never forget this.”

‘Imperial Democracy’ was the ultimate product of the blend of Japanese and American political thought that emerged in Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Imperial Democracy meant that the people had a right to a voice in government, but though all were equal in the eyes of Heaven, different classes of people- loosely inspired by the four castes of the shinōkōshō- occupied different roles in society with different duties and responsibilities, and the responsibilities of electing and administering the government did not fall equally on all persons. Rather, there was a political class that could vote by having “served the state” or passed a suffrage test demonstrating their understanding history, law, and politics, and above them a more restricted governing class with more stringent tests and qualifications who could actually be elected to office. Outside of these classes were non-voting citizens who at least theoretically enjoyed full legal and (non-political) civil rights, and a class consisting of criminals and enemies of the nation who deserved no rights at all. The role in society for “emerging peoples” like the Koreans was different from that of the Japanese, who were responsible for protecting and guiding Korea to freedom and modernization. The Emperor of course was sovereign under Imperial Democracy, the Son of Heaven checking the dangerous passions of partisan politics with his absolute veto and ensuring that strong, decisive leadership was always available, unburdened from the pressures of needing to seek re-election. Only through these means, argued the Japanese thinkers, could democracy truly function and the Lockean Social Contract be upheld.

As the easiest way for citizens of the Empire- whether Japanese or non-Japanese- to acquire voting rights was through voluntary military service, the Imperial military became the primary vehicle for social mobility, a hugely significant societal institution and ironically an important advocate for the non-Japanese citizens who made up a growing percentage of its rank-and-file.


Imagine the bastard child of a Heinleinian stratocracy, political Confucianism, and the traditional Japanese class system, and you get Imperial Democracy.

While Pan-Asianism began as a pro-Asian movement that was ambivalent towards other cultural traditions, it rapidly birthed a supremacist strain in active opposition to what it considered “Westernism”. This branch of the movement was anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-Geoism, and anti-American, while still embracing technology and science regardless of its source (they weren’t suicidal after all). By the beginning of the first Draco-American War the supremacists didn’t dominate Pan-Asianism, but they were growing steadily in influence as Japanese and American interests collided across Asia and the Pacific. Although Japan had acquired Korea five years later than OTL, it had acquired Manchuria sixteen years earlier and greater genuine loyalty (or at least tolerance) from its subject peoples saw those regions grow into economic benefits to the Empire in ways they never were in our world. American businesses found themselves drawn further and further into competition with Japanese ones, Japan’s withdrawal from the International Trade Organization making this economic conflict explicit even as it enforced a protectorate over the crumbling Tian Dynasty of China, annexing outlying islands (Taiwan, Hainan, etc.) and major port cities. This endangered American investments in China and had the potential to weaken America’s military presence in the region as well- the Imperial Japanese Navy was no match for the United States Navy but it was still the second largest navy in the world and now it had bases that were dangerously close to the Philippines. A Philippines whose liberation from American control was now being called for by political radicals in Japan and in the Perla de Oriente itself.

Once allies, the two Pacific titans now were on a path towards conflict.
 
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