The Extra Girl: For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr. Waterhouse, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. AmericaninBeijing Not Particularly Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2016
    What I mean to say is that without control over Lutheran doctrine, Saxony will increasingly have no incentive to promulgate or favor this one specific doctrine as a tool of state.

    That isn’t to say that it will not, just that this transition will be possible only as a result of Saxony losing control over doctrine and therefore losing Lutheranism as a vital state interest after the Wars of Religion peter out. If the Saxon state has maintained closer control Lutheranism would be less healthy as a religious movement but more useful to Saxony.
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  2. AJNolte Life keeps getting in the way of writing.

    Apr 2, 2007
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I love everything about this TL so far, accept for the fact that threadmarks stop halfway through.

    But everything else is great.

    One nit-pick: I think it's probably more accurate to call Flacius an arch-Lutheran, or a Genesio-Lutheran, than a "radical", just because "radical" has a certain context in the reformation that implies support for anibaptist and/or radically sacramentarian views. And... well, calling Flacius the antithesis of that is like calling a desert the antithesis of the ocean. If anything, Flacius' ultra-orthodox Lutheranism is going to toss even more grit in the gears for Friedrich, and those who want to follow his religious policy, than Philip would.

    Also, a question about the English: you have Jane Dudley taking what's basically a Zwinglian position on the sacraments. That's certainly a position that exists in England at the time, but from what I can tell, isn't a majority one. The 39 articles--which, by the way, could well have been different ITTL--kind of take a Calvinist/Cranmerian position that Christ is spiritually present by the faith of those receiving. That's not Lutheranism by a long chalk, but isn't likely to be as offensive to someone like Melanchthon as, say, outright Zwinglianism. So I'm curious how the Dudleys got so radicalized?

    Finally, a question re: Trent. It looks like, based on previous updates, the council has been canceled. What's the impact on this for the Italian crypto-reformers like the spirituali, and the more, loet's say, justification-oriented factions of the Spanish Dominicans? Because they're actually the two groups in Europe I could see having genuinely embraced the religious settlement you have Charles offer here. I'm wondering if the Catholic schism you hint at in the future has anything to do with the conflict the spirituali had with some ultra-conservative Catholics like Carrafa [later Pope Paul IV OTL].

    An interesting side note: one of the churchmen most identified with the spirituali--to the point that I think Paul IV declared him a heretic--was Reginald Pole. I'm really curious to see what happens to him.

    Anyway, this is great, look forward to more.
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  3. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Yes. An Irish analogue to Afrikaans is precisely what I was going for.

    As to that particular exchange, I was trying to do several things at once. First, I wanted to evoke the sorts of debate we have around the role of the USSR in World War II (especially when actual enthusiasts for revolutionary socialism are involved) and consider the RCR in a similar light. So we have an idea, then, who Cleanser resembles. That said though, it should probably be obvious by now, nicknames for the chief judges are intended to inspire fear abroad more than anything else. What Cleanser has and hasn't done is left deliberately vague, and it's plain there's a deep difference of opinion about his actions. More on this later, we should get to these events sometime around 2035 at our rate of current progression through the timeline. But would it help if I told you he hasn't done anything a US president hasn't done?

    Second, I wanted to evoke the complexity that comes into play when you have someone who is an oppressed minority within a state who at the same time, with all the misgivings that he or she might have, ultimately still sides with it in international questions, and identifies with its fundamental ideological project. In the real world, lots of people are caught in that precise situation, and I wanted to articulate what a position like that might look like in these circumstances.
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  4. Threadmarks: Additional Discusssion of the Relationship of the Saxon state to Lutheranism

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Well this actually puts its finger on a real problem I had writing this last Luthermania update. (When I was re-reading it right before posting, I actually asked myself, did I just invent the Lutheran International? ;) Basically, in our timeline we had the Augsburg Interim. Involvement in that and other efforts under the duress applied by the Emperor critically weakened the legitimacy of Melanchthon. And that provoked, as you say, the outrage of the people who are called the Gnesio-Lutherans.

    But in the timeline, Friedrich has short-circuited that engagement between Catholicism and Lutheranism with his "princes to princes, clerks to clerks" rule, and with his military successes, which means at no point people are just at the mercy of Charles. So in the world of the timeline we're not living within a framework of a perceived "fake" church crafted to satisfy the external Catholic demands, and a "real" church that accepts authentic Lutheran principles. And it seems premature to write of Philippists and Flacians right now in the timeline. So I was a bit at a loss as to how to articulate these theological differences, and chose radical even though, like you suggest, that carries a set of strong connotations that in this context do not apply. We'll work at it.

    As to the Dudleys, oh they came that way. Let's put it in perspective. A major influence on their beliefs would be Hugh Latimer. When he was bishop of Winchester he engaged in iconoclasm, and destroyed some Welsh statues of saints that today would be a lovely exhibit in a museum somewhere. He made a comeback under Edward, becoming court preacher in 1550, and afterward was chaplain to Charles Brandon's widow Katherine, whom you will remember made it to Wittenberg to become part of that court in exile. This is one reason for the extreme friction between the English and their German cousins. But the Brandons and Dudleys are radical. And not Mathias Flacias radical like we were discussing above, but Sacramentarian radical, radical-radical. Because that was the court culture of Edward VI, more or less.

    I've not actually disclosed Latimer's fate in the timeline. But imagine this great destroyer of religious images makes it to Wittenberg. At the very least, he wouldn't be able to walk down the street in front of the Cranachhaus without having a slop pot aimed at him. (And by the way, Cranach had a huge role in turning the German Reformation away from Iconoclasm--the flow of letters among he, the Elector Friedrich the Wise, and Luther on this point, survive and are referenced in a lovely book by Stepehn Ozment.)

    As to the Council of Trent, I must just yell smoke bomb! and make a quick escape. I had an idea of what was going on in the papacy up to 1546-7 or so because that was explicitly dealt with in the very good nineteenth century history I was reading at the time, but that's fallen out of the discussion a bit now, for reasons I'm not proud of. But I'm going to go back and address it, not least because at some point everything that's going on in this timeline is actually going to start affecting, and then determining, papal elections.

    EDIT: Be good, and maybe Santa might bring you some threadmarks.

    DOUBLE-EDIT: One of my great regrets is that I've never been able to accomplish anything interesting with Reginald Pole. That link between the Tudors' cull of Yorkist claimants to the throne and the religious conflict sparked by Henry's separation from Rome is pretty evocative. I would love to find a way to make it a bigger part of things.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  5. B_Munro Member

    May 28, 2004
    Hunter Thompson? Uncle Duke? Spider Jersusalem? (And yes, I know they're all essentially the same person. :biggrin: )

    So, Cleanser [1] = Stalin, the Russians = the Nazis? (I wonder who had to be avenged :closedtongue: )

    Following the analogy, it seems the Russians were less thoroughly cut down to size than the Germans in WWII, judging by the British toff fulminating about the eastern barbarian menace in an earlier post (or am I getting my chronology messed up?)

    [1] Like Georgia's Man of Steel, an assumed name?
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  6. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Now I've just revised the interview update substantially and am well-satisfied with it now. And I've given you some help there as to Bill's identity. :) No, not the same person, but you could say, their archetypal grand-daddy.

    Yes, your line of thinking re Cleanser is entirely on track. As to where Russia is as a power, enough breadcrumbs have been dropped about that for the time being.

    Next up, back to the 16th century and some intra-family matters that we need to catch up with. After that, I have a piece already written (inspired by Angela Merkel's departure) about alt-present German political parties. Whether she would be Audacity (Kuehnheit) or Homeland (Heimat) for the time being I will leave up to you.
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  7. AJNolte Life keeps getting in the way of writing.

    Apr 2, 2007
    Virginia Beach, VA
    On radicals: yep, that's pretty much what I thought, and it clarifies. I'm glad you have Flacius still being cranky in the way Flacius was OTL; that'll make things fun.

    In general, tensions between the Lutheran church and the Saxon prince are good things in my book, as they will tend to strengthen both in the long-run.

    One more little knit-picky Lutheran question. So, IOTL the Swedish church maintained their apostolic succession, and still does to this day. Is that something your Lutheran international is going to discuss trying to recover for itself, similar to the way the Anglicans did? Or are they going to take a more anti-episcopal position, in the long-run, which could alienate the Swedes and/or force them to change? Alternatively, will there be a stronger "Lutheran international" that's somewhat agnostic as to church government, and whether the Prince is, or is not, in fact the Bishop?

    Re: the Catholics: it's actually a wrinkle I discovered recently working on a different project not yet posted here. If you're interested in doing more research on the spirituali faction, the three figures to look up are Gasparo Contarini, Jacopo Sadoletto, and the affore-mentioned Pole. I think Cajitan may have had some sympathy with them too, but don't quote me on it. By contrast, the arch-conservative position is best represented by Gian Pietro Carafa. And boy did he and Pole not get along...

    I've always thought Pole as Pope would make a really, really fascinating TL.

    Anyway, look forward to more.
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  8. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion of the Relationship between Lutheranism and the State

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Re tensions between the Lutheran Church and the Saxon prince. This isn't even at the level of spoilers, because it's actually pretty much structural. In a way very similar to the way you had dire father-son struggles in the Hanoverian British royal family of the 18th century, here there's going to quickly emerge a pattern: the Elector and the Church will not see eye to eye on some matter because of their different institutional priorities (no, we cannot agitate for the freedom of worship of Lutherans in x country, we need its ruler as an ally, etc.). At which point the Lutheran ecclesiastical establishment finds itself courted by the senior cadet houses of the House of Wettin, seeking the imprimatur of favor from said establishment. Not going to say how far this goes, but it's a tension that people will try to exploit, again and again and again.

    As to Sweden, I can say categorically Wittenberg and the common church-wide structures we've just seen created there will never be in a position to wrestle any of the national churches on any doctrinal question. That was the price of even getting these foreign rulers to even send delegates: they have a good thing going in their own principalities, and had to be reassured that any rules, decisions or doctrine Wittenberg makes cannot override a national church. So that's explicit. Now, if you ask the Respondent about a topic like Apostolic Succession, it will give you the Respondent's answer, and characterize it as the general position. Now, that might contradict what is taught in Swedish sunday schools, representing something of an embarassment to the claim of it being a general position, and calling into question the theology of that national church for holding a minority view. But practically speaking it does not make much different as yet.

    And yes, I know already I'm going to be coming to you with questions about sixteenth century Catholicism. It sounds to me like you already have an idea what you want to write about Reginald Pole. Towards that purpose I might recommend to you Desmond Seward's The Last White Rose. Yes, Seward is a popular historian and he has his hobbyhorses, but it's a cracking good read and the stuff on the Pole family is great. He breaks down several interesting schemes to install heirs of families with Yorkist claims to the throne as husbands to Mary. Including, yep. Now of course in the long run this would come to nothing given the likelihood of Mary producing an heir (or would it?), but it's a fun jumping off point for thinking about how to get the Pole family in the thick of things.
  9. AJNolte Life keeps getting in the way of writing.

    Apr 2, 2007
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Thanks for the recommendation; I'll look into it.

    On the minor but important Catholic figures--and, probably just generally a handy resource--I'd recommend David Steinmetz's book Reformers in the Wings. I'm certainly not an expert on reformation-era Catholicism, but I have a close friend who did an MA in church history from Concordia Saint Louis, and he recommended this book to me when I was working on a couple of reformation-era projects. Link here:

    Mind you, I was specifically looking for Catholic figures that might compromise with Luther, which is why contarini jumped out, but there should be at least a few useful bits in there.

    If you really want to make things explode, Benedetto Fontanini's also a good place to start. He basically defended the Protestant position on justification from within the Italian church, and his book was listed on the index of prohibited books later.
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  10. Threadmarks: Family Tree, The House of Wettin, 1555

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    All in the Family: the House of Wettin in 1555

    Wettin family tree to 1555.png
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  11. Threadmarks: The Life of the Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1555-1560

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008

    Portrait of an Unknown Lady by the Master of the Countess of Kent as The Electress Maria Eleanora

    from The Heresiarchs, by Sigismunda Killinger & Lise Freitag (1987)

    In January 1555, Sybille of Cleves died following a lingering illness at Torgau. Her quarter-century marriage to Duke Johann had been understood by all to be loyal, affectionate and fruitful. Though her pride and desire to advance the interests of her children had led to rivalries with the Electresses Elizabeth and Dorothea, her loyalty and steadiness had also given any detractors little reason to find fault in her actual deportment, in sharp contrast to other women of the house of Wettin in these years who had been the source of disorder and even scandal.

    Thus it was surprising her death should be the occasion for crisis. But that was nonetheless the case. As has been discussed, during the long years of the conflict with the Emperor Friedrich relied heavily on his younger brother not just to serve as regent in his absence but to assist in the ordinary process of governing. At the same time, Johann's vast estates provided the rents and levies without which Saxony could not field an effective army. Thus through all the twists and turns of Friedrich's efforts to end the war with Saxony's religious settlement preserved and its borders intact, he consistently had to placate Johann.

    This he did by acceding to Johann's demand that marriages for his children be negotiated before Friedrich's own, even though the Duke Alexander's was, for obvious reasons, the most important for the well-being of the state, and assenting to Johann's eldest son's marriage to a royal princess of Denmark, a match that normally would have been reserved for the heir. Many princes of the age would have found such arrogance from a second-born brother intolerable, yet Friedrich was absolutely willing to refer to Johann as partner and equal, all the better to smooth out any potential problems.

    For that reason, when Johann proposed following Sybille's death she be given a funeral equal in dignity and grandeur to that of their mother, the Electress Elizabeth, five years before, he might have reasonably expected another acquiescence. However, he had not counted on the 1554 Augsburg Diet, with its settlement of the longstanding disputes that had riven the empire between Protestant and Catholic and Wettin and Habsburg. With the war now over, and the slightest internal division no longer presenting anything like the grave danger it had previously, Friedrich was now in the position to reassert himself. So he refused Johann's request peremptorily, and Sybille, Duchess of Saxony, was buried with all pomp sufficient to that rank, rather than as a Saxon electress.

    At first, this decision seemed to have little consequence. But gradually, Johann began complaining that his two younger sons were still unmarried well past the age they would normally expect betrothals, and that negotiations had not even been entered into on their behalf. He also counseled that Friedrich make good on his plan to marry the Duke Alexander off to Anna, the daughter of Duke Moritz. Johann had previously despised the notion of Anna marrying into his family, noting the poverty of her dowry and the slight advantage to be won in wedding the daughter of a prince already dispossessed of all his lands and wealth.

    However, Johann now explained how a match between Alexander and Anna would unite any lingering Albertine claim in the lands that were formerly ducal Saxony with the Ernestine line, preventing any possible future uncertainty that could be exploited by outside (read: Habsburg) interests. The facts that Anna had scoliosis, and already showed the signs of a distressed internal life, mattered little in this appraisal. However Friedrich, having already seen the consequences of unhappy marriages close at hand, hoped for some potential wife for Alexander who would be more compatible.

    Moreover, Johann had made these arguments to Friedrich as if his elder brother, something of an arch-schemer even by the standards of the sixteenth century, would have no idea that the effect of marrying his own heir to the daughter of an extinguished house, and his brother's children into the reigning houses of Denmark, Hesse-Kassel, Hesse-Marburg, and perhaps more besides, would have the effect of creating an imbalance in power favoring the junior line.

    Friedrich saw Johann's game, though he could not move too directly against it. Instead, he deferred negotiating subsequent marriages for the male princes of the House of Wettin, which included the Duke Alexander, Johann's sons Johann Heinrich and Johann Georg, and an English brat technically of something called the royal house of Suffolk who strutted around Wittenberg calling himself Henry X. One reason for Friedrich's refusal to conclude more marriages was because he did not want to waste the resources on his brother and sister's sons that would be necessary to conclude a first-tier match for Alexander.

    However, there was another layer to Friedrich's game: Mary of England was approaching forty, without heirs of her body. Her designated heir was her half-sister Elizabeth, who was now potentially the most desirable Protestant bride in all Europe. While he had supported the Brandons' claim to the throne against Mary, and earlier advanced the notion of a match between Elizabeth and Alexander in order to help them secure the throne, he now regarded them as a spent force, and would have no problem making a match with Alexander the cost of switching his allegiance to Elizabeth for the English throne and returning his nephew the self-proclaimed Henry X to England forthwith.

    Alternately, he could propose a match similar in its fundamentals to the union of the red and white rose some seventy years before: it would be Henry X who would marry Elizabeth, and their claims to the throne would unite in any offspring. Failing that, Friedrich even felt he could undertake to marry Elizabeth to one of Johann's sons. While distasteful to him and disadvantageous to Alexander, this plan would at least involve principles closer in age than the eleven years which separated Elizabeth and the Saxon heir.

    Finally in 1557, Johann issued an ultimatum to Friedrich to make good his promise to marry off the Wettin princes of the next generation in order of birth, or else admit he had lied. Friedrich's answer could not have been more infuriating: he finally officially ended the long engagement of Alexander to Anna of Saxony, and offered to either of Johann's sons the hand of the bride he would have chosen for Friedrich's. Johann and both sons received this notion with deep scorn.

    It was not until November 1558 that Friedrich finally had the opportunity to advance towards his desired objective. Mary of England died, and Elizabeth was proclaimed queen. With his sister Katarina, who still insisted she be given the ceremony that would be accorded a queen of England, even though that claim was becoming more threadbare by the day, roaring in his ear, and all the English exiles at this court outraged or despondent, Friedrich congratulated Elizabeth as the new queen of England. It was only on the receipt of her subsequent message, in which the new queen asked politely for her kinspeople the Brandons, the Greys and the others, be returned, that Friedrich politely deflected by counter-offering the best way to return Henry Brandon the Earl of Lincoln, the putative Henry X, to her would be as a groom.

    That Friedrich expected this offer to go over well was perhaps the surest sign that he was losing the sure-footed grasp of politics that he had shown in his younger years. For Elizabeth had little interest in a husband with whom she might be expected to share power, and still less interest in a husband who might be able to stake his own separate claim to the throne and rule separately from any legal authority he might enjoy jure uxoris. So the Brandon match was rejected out of hand, and the request the Brandons be returned reiterated, with a bit sterner tone.

    Friedrich now replied that he would be happy to send Julius of Braunschweig to negotiate all family matters at once, including the return of the English noble families currently under the elector's protection. In fact, Friedrich added, he would be glad to send with Julius the Duke Alexander and the ducal princes Johann Heinrich and Johann Georg. In short, he was simply going to forward along to Elizabeth the full selection of potential Saxon consorts for her to choose the one she liked best. When this too fell on deaf ears, Friedrich reluctantly had to admit his gambit to restore the reliance with England, so crucial to Saxony's projects, had failed. In fact, his sister and nephew now seemed impediments on this score, despite his best efforts.

    Johann's response to this failure, and more particularly to the long delay in the marriage of his sons on its account, was barely concealed fury. Worse still, Friedrich emerged from the embarrassment of his effort to win the Queen of England's hand in marriage for his son or nephew by beginning the diplomatic process of soliciting brides for his son, but not the nephews. At long last, Friedrich had in substance admitted what he would not confess in words: he had no intent to marry off Johann's sons before his own heir, and that all the resources of Saxony would be committed to winning the best possible match for Alexander, with only the leftovers reserved for the two younger sons of Johann. Relations between the brothers, which had previously been strong enough to withstand all the tests of the Spanish War, finally broke down completely.

    The first round of responses to Friedrich's inquiries had just been collected when, in 1560, the Elector died unexpectedly after a brief illness following a fall from a horse while hunting.

    All was thrown into chaos. The Elector Alexander was still in his minority, and would require a regent. The obvious choice for that office was the duke, who had served in that capacity previously when the Elector Friedrich was held prisoner by the Emperor in the Netherlands and Spain. The Electress Dorothea was prostrate with rage and fear, mourning more what she felt was certain to be the permanent deprivation of power from her son than the death of her husband. Even if all did not share the extreme character of Dorothea's response, all knew the uncertainty of the situation, and understood that Johann held ambitions that might make him hesitant to hand back power to the uncertain and gawky youth.

    History would record the moment the duke arrived at Schloss Altenburg to inform the new elector of the ratification of his role as regent by the Saxon estates. Wearing the mild and distant expression he had learned while at the court of Mary of Hungary, the screen behind which passed who knew what, Alexander asked, with the nonchalance of a man inquiring after his dinner, "So you are to be my regent, uncle? And what of my other uncle?" To this, Johann answered, he knew not what other uncle Alexander might mean. There was no third brother, and all the brothers of their father Johann the Steadfast was dead, as was Henry VIII.

    To which Alexander answered, "I mean my good Uncle Ferdinand. Is he to have no say in the running of things, at all?" As the nobles and knights gathered behind Johann fell into a clamor hearing these words, Alexander just kept his frozen smile. As if, they say, giving silent notice whose son he was.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  12. Threadmarks: Supplemental Note on Contemporary German Party Politics

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    The Party Animals:

    A special survey of German political parties for advanced civics studies students in Maryland.


    A Christmas print by Thomas Nast as The Watchdog, Protector of Innocence, the first recorded use of the Wachhund symbol for the party that would develop into Audacity.

    Introductory Note:
    Because campaign finance is intensely regulated, and legislative bodies do not draw their own districts, incumbents are unusually structurally unprotected in the German political system. Therefore, Germany’s party structure is, and always has been, deeply unstable. Every time a major problem arises the existing parties either bear responsibility for, or offer no acceptable solution to, a new party gets created. Sometimes it wins, enters government, and becomes as close as any get to permanency. Other times its agenda is co-opted by one or more of the others, or it fails its initial electoral test and is dismissed from the system. Thus, it helps in a sense to imagine the bestiary of German political parties as a kind of archeology of trouble. Each one dates from a specific period, and bears the indicia of the crisis it was invented to solve, but wears with it the limits of the worldview that origin bequeathed.

    German Political Parties, by order of size:

    Founded as an anti-war movement during the General War of the Colonies, Homeland swept into power under its great charismatic founder, Weil. Thereafter in a fashion unusual for parties originating in the manner it did, Homeland became something of a natural party of government, eschewing foreign entanglements, reducing military spending and pumping the proceeds into domestic affairs, building an especially strong record of accomplishment on habitat issues. The party is especially renowned for its work to curb the global furnace effect. However, the party has strong roots in the German south, and conservative social values persist in its commitment to pro-natalist, pro-child and pro-family economic policies.

    The great problem for Homeland came when it proved itself unprepared for, and unsuitable for waging, a war of necessity on German soil. In the famous Blutwahl, held at the worst of the military situation, it suffered the most dire electoral reversal of any party in the history of the German franchise. Despite several comebacks since, the party has struggled to find its way.

    One problem Homeland has faced is the preference of the New Germans (former colonial subjects who have settled in Germany) for Audacity. This had a definite origin: in one of the worst German political missteps ever, at the height of its fortunes Homeland offered a per-head payment to the new arrivals to return to, and settle permanently in, their places of origin. Most of the New Germans had worked as administrators, military, police or other functionaries in the colonies who came to Germany because they no longer had a place in the societies in which they were born. Worse, many had actually fought for Germany in the war. Thus, the offer was extremely insulting, triggered outraged protests, and even several generations on, excites heated passions among the New Germans.

    But as serious a problem as the “policy of return” was, it does not entirely explain the situation. Despite electing the first Jewish Vertreter, part of Homeland’s appeal has always been its yearning for the pastoral beauty and simplicity of the German yesteryear. In recent decades, this has evolved into a pronounced sentimental attachment for a Germany before industrialization and before the colonies. In short, for a Germany in which the New Germans see no place for themselves.

    At the same time, Homeland’s preference for the child-rearing family has alienated it from some organizations backing more strenuous habitat strategies. It has also triggered some criticism from social reform organizations on behalf of single people and childless couples.

    Kuehnheit/Audacity. A party dedicated to reversing what it sees as a prolonged national decline, Audacity is dedicated to free markets, equal rights for all, generous military spending, and a robust policy of international engagement. Rather than advocating crass national aggrandizement however, or any overtly neocolonialist program, Audacity envisions a world of mutually reinforcing democratic states surrounding, circumscribing and undercutting the more illiberal or tyrannical ones into a historically predetermined, inevitable defeat.

    Because Audacity’s vision holds national solidarity among ethnic and religious groups is necessary to accomplishing its wider vision, it has always been committed to the friendly integration and social equality of the New Germans. Early on, Audacity enthusiastically embraced a regime of quotas for hiring and education. It has also championed robust investment in public education as a way of advancing what it sees are definitive national values through all sectors of society. These policies have earned it strong loyalty from the New Germans. Over time they have risen in the party’s ranks, becoming increasingly well-represented in its candidate lists, resulting in the landmark election of Ngozi Friedman as Vertreter.

    As its most celebrated political ad puts it, “the color of the hand on the oar does not matter, so long as we all row the same direction.”

    More controversially, Audacity supports flat taxes and rigorous curbs on state support for the poor. It champions a rhetoric of self-reliance and entrepreneurship similar to many other pro-market parties worldwide.

    Bruderschaft/Brotherhood. It is a cliché in German politics that you cannot govern without Brotherhood. One of the older parties, founded by mining and heavy-industrial unions to fight for basic workplace wage and safety rules, Brotherhood has evolved from a high-minded utopian reform agenda to nakedly transactional politics. Blushing at nothing, it enters into politics to form governments with whichever other parties offers it the best deal for its base supporters. It has formed coalitions with Homeland on the condition that every solar panel installed in the country is made therein. It has formed coalitions with Audacity on the promise that German shipyards would produce three Bali-class mobile floating airfields costing 9 billion Reichsthalers apiece, despite the reichsmarine calling them completely unnecessary. Bruderschaft is a zealous protector of various state-provided social benefits in the face of cost-cutting, which is usually advanced by Audacity. More generally, it has brought down coalitions of which it was a part nine times in just 70 years when it did not get its way.

    The epitome of the party’s hard-bitten attitude came when one noted Brotherhood party leader asked on an interview image-box show why his party had voted to go to war more times than any other. His answer: “war means overtime.”

    The party’s leaders’ negotiation skills are legendary, as is the party’s reputation for corruption. Another common saying is that when Audacity and Brotherhood go into coalition together, war is sure to follow—on the German taxpayer.

    German Republic. The perennial beneficiary of protest votes, this is the party that exists for the express purpose of abolishing the monarchy, de-titling the nobility, and ending the special relationship (short of it being an established church) between the state and Lutheranism. German Republic underwent a unique ordeal just by entering into the political process, and for that reason though it has never been in government it holds a special place in the history of the German constitution. By order of the high court of the realm, it received a waiver from the requirement that members of the estates swear allegiance to the Kaiser. However, it was required to set aside its goal of creating an officially atheist state in order to participate in elections. Finally, its creation and entry into electoral politics prompted a whole series of new screens and transparency measures designed to make sure foreign money and political operatives do not influence German politics.

    Beyond its core issues, German Republic has taken a slew of positions championing personal freedom, including an enthusiastic opposition to the use of the public education system to advance what are frequently seen as shared national values, earning it a longstanding feud with Audacity. It is also the party most strongly invested in data privacy, illicits legalization, and body sovereignty issues.

    Kaiserliche Demokratie/Imperial Democracy. Few parties represent so keenly the faded glories of the past as the one usually simply known as Kaisertreu. Back in the days when it was a party of government it advocated social tolerance, private enterprise, close diplomatic relations with the Cousins and a robust effort to keep the colonies. Brought low during the General War of the Colonies by Homeland, it has never recovered. However, it still has adherents among the nobility, veterans, and people of a generally conservative temperament. It tends to shadow Audacity on major issues, and is its most reliable coalition partner. It is also the natural party of choice for lovers of nostalgia and pageantry: sashes, brass bands, and cheerful parades are its forte. For reasons that do not need to be elaborated, it bears a special animosity for German Republic, about which one Kaisertreu party leader once said, “with neither emperor nor first realm nobility, they might as well change the name of the country, for it in no way could be called Germany anymore.”


    Homeland has advanced a new domesticist movement asserting that voting rights should be reapportioned. Under its proposed reforms of the German constitution, a parent with sole legal custody would be able to cast a vote that would count twice, once for themselves and once for the minor child. A married couple, whether sex-concordant or sex-discordant, would be able to each cast an additional half-vote for each minor child. At the same time, caregivers in a permanent legal relationship with an incompetent adult unable to vote themselves would be treated in a similar way. The idea is that this change would enable society to more properly weigh the interests in the political process of those who cannot care for themselves. Audacity supports this idea in the abstract, but insists that receiving any form of direct public financial support should permanently invalidate any added whole or partial votes. Brotherhood and German Republic support the scheme, Imperial Democracy opposes it outright.

    Audacity seeks to overturn a ceiling on peacetime military spending written into the German constitution by a previous Homeland government, and to take Germany back to military spending of greater than four percent as a share of the total economy. It is supported in this by Brotherhood and Imperial Democracy, opposed by Homeland and German Republic. The bulk of the new spending would be allocated to more advanced anti-kernelsplitter defenses, but some of the funds would also be set aside as bonuses to lure technologically adept and skilled persons into the military services.

    Brotherhood advocates a tax on industrial robots. The bill which would create the tax also include a tariff on goods from overseas produced in automated factories.

    German Republic wants a reform of the education system that would de-emphasize values training, and place stronger emphasis on imparting reasoning skills without advancing any one set of ideological answers. This position has occasioned sharp criticism from all the other parties, who accuse GR of campaigning to make the next generation of Germans “schmutzig, unehrlich und faul.”

    Imperial Democracy champions permitting state education funding to go to privately-run, sectarian-specific schools.


    In German politics, each party takes as its symbol a unique animal. By convention, this cannot repeat the prior choice of any other party, and it cannot be a surrogate choice for a national symbol, like the imperial eagle. This makes German electoral history a veritable zoo, with bears, boars, peacocks and oxen. Unsurprisingly, it also makes many political cartoons look like scenes from Aesop’s fables. One frequently repeated theme is whether the animals are trying to work together, or just eat each other. It also makes a curious shorthand for various elections and political events: “the year the workhorse and the dog ate venison”; “in the tax debate yesterday the falcon went after the horse savagely.”

    Homeland: Hirsch (Deer).

    In their rhetoric: The majestic stag knows its place in the forest, doing no harm, preying on no other creature, and leaving its home undamaged, the same as it found it. In this way, Homeland strives for justice, fairness, and sustainability. In the other parties’ rhetoric: Like the deer its mascot, all it takes is the sound of one gunshot to send Homeland leaping into the bushes.

    Audacity: Wachhund (Watchdog).

    In their rhetoric: With us, you can sleep well knowing your children, your family and your home are safe. We are tireless and loyal only to the nation’s well-being. In the other parties’ rhetoric: Of course, yes, the children love the dog, but unfortunately sometimes innocent third parties have found themselves bitten or menaced, so we must go surrender it to the animal shelter. Also, its food and chew-toys are far too expensive.

    Brotherhood: Arbeitstier (Workhorse).

    In their rhetoric: Just as the work done by the horse is the basic unit of all power, all that is made in our society comes about by the application of human labor. So that which benefits labor, benefits society. In the other parties’ rhetoric: All that’s all well and good, but when the cost of feeding the horse becomes greater than the value of the work it does, it’s time for a trip to the glue factory.

    Imperial Democracy: Falke (Falcon).

    In their rhetoric: In honor, and in noble service to the fatherland, we soar over all, looking down on the self-interested, the corrupt, and all those who put other objectives before the nation. In the other parties’ rhetoric: Kaisertreu, now as ever, rides like a falcon on the Emperor’s arm, dispatches whatever prey he commands, and returns neatly to the perch from which it launched, never having learned anything for its trouble in all these years.

    German Republic: Mensch (Human).

    This is German Republic’s way of not playing the game, by choosing in place of an animal mascot an ordinary human. In practice this just means editorialists and cartoonists play the game for them, sometimes depicting “German Republic Man” riding the deer or the workhorse, disheveled, slumped or unconscious from whatever illicits are presently fashionable with the smart set, sometimes even facing backward on the back of the animal it rides, while the other animals try to cooperate or work sensibly at the nation’s problems. “Republic Man” sometimes is even portrayed sprawled face down on the ground. Die Zeitung von Wittenberg, the nation’s leading Audacity paper, has portrayed him vomiting in every editorial cartoon printed since 1995.

    The persistence of this negative imagery has created a backlash that has benefited German Republic, as “Puking Republic Man” has become a defiantly re-appropriated figure, appearing on clothing, stickers and even the party’s own advertising.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  13. B_Munro Member

    May 28, 2004
    This world seems to be rather short on what we would call socialists...was much of it's OTL program adopted by other groups before anything like it developed? It just strikes me that the nastyness of industrial modernization is likely to generate something like socialism in a high proportion of TLs, even if very different from OTL in the details.

    "Dirty, dishonest, and lazy?"

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  14. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion of Socialism, Industrialization and Party Politics

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Well my answer to the socialism question is going to be dissatisfying, because my thinking on it is still being worked through. You are right in that industrialization as a process produces a response in society, generating institutions, political movements, and a set of ideas that are necessary to structure the modern industrialized world in various ways. It's always interesting to me when I'm reading about the Russian Revolutionaries for instance, how closely they saw their work to industrialization. They would not have even characterized what they did as a response, or as the effect of a previous cause. They would have described themselves as the industrialization of political life. And that to me is very interesting. Not quite sure what to do with it, though, which may be the rub.

    I mean, it's fairly obvious we've seen places in the alt-present, like Illinois, the RCR and Germany, where economic egalitarian forces are very powerful. These forces do not make use of a vocabulary of socialism, that's true, or for that matter of the cognate and near-cognate terms that populate alternate history, like syndicalism or what have you. Maybe we will see some before we're done. At this point I'm less able to pinpoint what that will look like.

    But there is one huge change between this world and ours, and it lies in the progression of events from the French Revolution through Napoleon to the ensuing nineteenth century. I think we've already touched briefly on how the timeline's nineteenth century is less militarized and that might mean a different mode of colonialism, a different institutional framework in which it happens, perhaps less of a preoccupation with colored bits of real estate on a map.

    What it also means is that the framework for thinking about change is also vastly different. The French Revolution is avidly studied and taken as the model by Marx and most, if not all the radicals of the 19th century. It infests their thinking in a way that is really remarkable. When they say "the Revolution", we know what they take as the archetype. If that's different, then the structure of the imagination of the radicals during that crucial period is different, the result is going to be different, what they create will be different.

    So imagining the constellation of sometimes utopian, sometimes revolutionary, sometimes democratic, ideas that we call socialism in this world is a kind of three-dimensional chess I'm not quite ready to handle. I think it's going to get easier when we reach the nineteenth century of the timeline (which should be when? 2035?) but for right now it is fair to assume that for the alternate-present like our timeline's, wide swaths of the world are governed with the framework of choices available under advanced capitalism. And as to the world outside those swaths, it might be interesting to note for the moment the places we are not currently hearing about that we otherwise might. There's plenty of spaces on the map for the alt-socialisms of this world, if there are going to be any.
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  15. Threadmarks: More Additional Thoughts on Socialism, Industrialization and Party Politics

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    More dissatisfying thoughts on socialism:

    1. Another important factor, at least in generating what we think of as revolutionary socialism, is the maturity of the democratic process and the usefulness of achieving the democratic process for economic reform in various societies. I mean, when you look at the map of Europe in 1917-1919 and see where the revolutions are happening, these are the same places where you would have had no national elections, or national elections that would have accomplished very little for the great majorities of people voting. You have elsewhere socialist parties contesting in more conventional ways, like Labour in the UK, but already by then we can see the different flavor of political activity that produces, and the different end result in terms of policy. Now in the alt-world, Germany starts developing its democracy much earlier. And so that means the evolution of its parties will look much more British, in that you have parties with the rough edges smoothed off by that repeated engagement with an electorate.

    2. Some levels of detail here we simply have not reached. For instance, ownership of the ironroads, or who and how healthcare is paid for, and that will probably help elaborate some of this question as the role of socialism or socialist-type thinking in generating the alt-world. At the same time, remember that because of the turbulence of German political culture noted in the first paragraph, the parties that instituted extensive reform policies may not have lasted, or they may be in their undignified senescence, like the British Liberals, folded into other entities or holding on by their teeth.

    3. A recurrent theme here that you may have already noticed is calling into question the naturalness of our own distinctions between left and right. Just as we know they are not consistent between countries, they are certainly not consistent between one set of historical events and the alternative. Here we see that most clearly in Homeland. Seen one way, that proposal for weighted voting for families with children or disabled dependents would be a delight to domestic feminists in our world focused on issues like child healthcare and child poverty and who see themselves as more radical than conventional socialism because they are restructuring what they see as deeper power imbalances in the family and society. But, we also know that preoccupation with pro-natalism infects some alt-right thinking obsessed the birth rates of various races. And we know Homeland has...issues. So, how do we see the policy? Is it left or is it right? If you were a member of the racially "woke" but otherwise pretty much straight neo-conservative Audacity, how would you attack it?
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  16. Threadmarks: Definition, German Political Term, First Realm Nobility

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    First Realm Nobility. Or, in German, Erstesreichadelsstand. Alternately, Old Reich Nobility, or altesreichadelsstand. When the new empire was founded, the other princes from whose realms the new empire would be created demanded first, that no new titles of nobility in the empire could be created, and that no one could be elevated to an existing title of nobility without their holding a legally valid right to that title other than by a present creation. Which is to say, the only titles of nobility in the new empire would be those that survived the first empire, and those titles could only be held by the valid heirs to those titles. Even children of the emperor's body could not be given imperial titles. The idea behind this notion was that the nobility could only be an effective institutional counterweight to imperial power if the emperor lacked the ability to create new nobles with which he could dilute the power of the existing noble houses. Likewise, preserved in the charter was the notion that the only reason a person could be dispossessed of a title of nobility was as punishment for treason. This contributed to the notion the surviving houses of nobility of the Holy Roman Empire constituted a class apart, to some extent even untouchable even by the emperor. More widely, the phrases imply the best of the best, the most privileged, and the legally protected. Of course, over the years the actual legal status of the nobility has evolved, so that they pay taxes, can be sued and are subject to criminal investigation. And they can be imprisoned, though once again that can only result in a loss of title if the crime for which they are found guilty is treason.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  17. Threadmarks: The History of Education in Saxony, 1553-1560

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Woodcut German school.jpg
    Print by an unnamed artist showing a German school of the 16th century

    "Watch, Johann, for in my dotage I am become a farmer of schools, and Saxony is my field": Education Policy in the Last Years of the Holy Prince

    from Paper Realm: The Rise of Saxony, 1533-1676, by David X. Haller

    Following his somewhat ignominious last campaign in 1553, at the end of which he was forced to slip away from the camp of the Emperor Charles like a thief in the night, the great passion of the Elector Friedrich's life was his educational foundations. While he had begun planning new schools even before the conclusion of the Spanish War at Augsburg in the summer of 1554, the passing of the emergency permitted him to redirect the funds otherwise needed to keep massed armies towards other purposes. Thus at Halberstadt in 1555, Quedlinburg in 1556, Dresden in 1557, Radeburg in 1558, and Frankenhausen in 1559, he founded schools. Of these, Halberstadt was the largest, with 120 places, followed by Dresden with 80, Quedlinburg with 70, and Radeburg and Frankenhausten with 60 each.

    In addition, the will of the Electress Elizabeth funded the creation of a school at the Festung Konigstein in 1552. And though the Duchess Sybille's will made no mention of such a bequest, Friedrich used her estate to fund the creation of a school in Wurzen in 1556, to the extreme annoyance of the husband and children who had, somewhat reasonably, expected to enjoy the bequest themselves.

    His will in turn directed the founding of 80-place schools at Freiberg, Magdeburg, and Chemnitz, each. Though the Johannine regency was reluctant to appropriate the funds directed by Friedrich, once he came to his majority Alexander fulfilled these bequests, and these schools were all running by 1565.

    These foundations came in addition to Friedrich's earlier schools established at Zwickau, Torgau, Leipzig and Wittenberg, and the previous foundations of the Duke Moritz at Schulpforta, Meissen and Grimma.

    Moreover, these fuerstenschulen, which were all Lutheran, were supplemented by the religious schools established by the French Huguenots and by the Jews in Wittenberg, though these were not supported at public expense. This sudden growth in the number of schools triggered a rapid growth in mass literacy, especially as many of the individuals trained in the schools went on to become informal schoolmasters and tutors themselves. With the spread of the schools, the demand for books grew proportionately. Friedrich, more as a boon to friends and supporters such as the Cranach family than to implement a formal policy of protectionism, required the fuerstenschulen to use only books printed in the realm from 1558 on.

    However, one mistake many historians have made is to over-identify Friedrich's educational policy with the fuerstenschulen, or with his substantial direct gifts to the University of Wittenberg. By far, the most significant educational policy of Friedrich's was the requirement that the Lutheran parishes impart to all the children attending sufficient literacy to read Luther's German bible. Friedrich's lavish promise in 1551 for state funding for the hiring of schoolmasters in the parishes was never kept. What remained though was the affirmative requirement that the churches impart literacy.

    At first, Friedrich assumed his command was being obeyed. But at a chance encounter at an inn in Thuringia when he was returning from Augsburg in 1554, he met a young groom who claimed to be Lutheran who prayed to the Virgin. Horrified, Friedrich inquired as to the work of the local parish in teaching the local children (the village where this occurred has not been recorded, and not by accident or oversight), and was outraged to find his directions had not been acted upon, not by that parish nor any of its neighbors. On the spot, the Elector had the local priest whipped and then removed from his duties.

    News of this incident spread like wildfire, and many Lutheran clergy acted quickly to implement Friedrich's directives where they had not done so previously. However, Friedrich, who had already been seeking new outlets for his energies, resolved to not make it so simple for them. He began making unannounced inspection visits, surprising the local parish priest, looking in on what passed for the local schoolroom, rounding up some of the local children, and handing several of them old enough for them to be expected to have some reading knowledge his own Bible, from which they would be asked to read aloud a single verse. A successful visit might earn the priest in question a thaler and the town fathers a desired license, a remission from taxes or some other privilege. The revelation that the elector's edicts had been ignored, however, usually led to some manner of corporal punishment and a stern lecture.

    As a result, Philip Melanchthon was able to conclude in a letter written in 1559 that so far as he knew the entire electorate was in a state of substantial compliance with the elector's command that the Lutheran parishes teach basic reading. He was happy to say that the identification of the Lutherans with learning, and the provision of a free education in reading and writing through the parishes, created a great incentive for persons of the other religious faiths which were legal in Saxony at the time to become Lutheran. Even before the elector's death, Melanchthon thus had little problem declaring that Friedrich's education policy was as much reason to honor him as the victory at Kreuzberg.

    It would be, of course, deeply anachronistic to attribute Friedrich's efforts to some desire to spark interest in the sciences, or even to spread learning through the general populace as a good in itself. Instead, this was one matter in which Friedrich closely followed Luther: he believed all Christians needed to have the ability to directly experience holy scripture for themselves, interpret it through the application of their own faculties, and thus develop a personal relationship with its subject matter. To Friedrich, Christian practice was so bound up with interacting with written text he could not even bring himself to say whether he was sure an illiterate man could be truly considered a Christian.

    Again and again in his letters on religious topics, Friedrich worried over the man dependent on hearing the Word of God from the mouth of another man, who was thus vulnerable to the limitations of that other person's understanding, and worse, his potentially devious, corrupt or deceptive intent. Instead, Friedrich believed that making written text the center of Christian practice meant that the pure Word, without human frailties or vice, could reach the Christian without error or emendation.

    Nonetheless though, his intent aside, Friedrich's focus on schools, reading and the use of the written word had effects that went far beyond the transmission of religious doctrine. Even practices as simple as the use of written memoranda to record wills and contracts experienced an explosive growth in this period. This in turn made commerce and the transmission of property more regularized. Even the Duchess Anna's advice to Saxon households on the use of herbs for medical use would soon be inexpensively disseminated throughout the realm by means of broadsheet.

    Of course, the true harvest from Friedrich's schools was not yet known at the time of his death in 1560. Even Moritz's educational efforts, which Friedrich's had been modeled on, had only begun in 1543, and Friedrich had only started his own fuerstenschulen beginning in 1551. So the talents discovered or awakened through the sudden spread of all these institutions of learning had yet to truly make themselves known.

    Finally, what cannot be underestimated in Friedrich's educational policy is its fundamental radicalism. One of the great shaping experiences of Friedrich's early life was the Peasant's War. Most of the princes involved in suppressing it, like those who ruled a decade later during the nightmare at Muenster, came away with a great distrust of what would happen when people could read texts themselves, without a framework of authority guiding their interpretation and enforcing obedience. And, do not be mistaken, the schools Friedrich established resolutely championed obedience to Lutheran orthodoxy and obedience to secular authority.

    But Friedrich never saw literacy itself as the threat that had to be extinguished or contained to preserve organized society. Instead, resolutely, he chose to see the promise in the written word, in a way very different than other princes of his age. When he once encountered a bookseller who had left out a volume which included a vehement attack by a Catholic writer on his character, Friedrich bought it, laughed at it, and pantomimed the villain described therein for his court's amusement. This is a far cry from the behavior of the Emperor Charles and Henry VIII, who signed treaties trying to suppress unflattering works about each other.

    When the divines of the Leucorea would call the elector "Karlstadt's boy", they meant it as an insult. Yet it is in just these tendencies of Friedrich's we see the radical's influence. As a child of fourteen, the future elector had rode with his father into battle against Muentzer. And yet at the end of his life Friedrich was busily putting into place the foundations of an egalitarian world far more congenial in ways to Karlstadt's vision, or to Muentzer's even, than to Luther's.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  18. Helga Duchess of Saxony-Zwickau

    Oct 18, 2008
    This is a very interesting topic indeed. I always wondered how progress would have evolved with more people being educated way earlier and potential inventors or scientists being able to reach their potential.

    The children entering those schools should be encouraged to observe and question how things are done in daily life and to think of better ways to do them. Of course all within the frame of being good Lutherans and subjects.

    Great story alltogether, thanks for sharing.
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  19. AJNolte Life keeps getting in the way of writing.

    Apr 2, 2007
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I like the political parties. Based on the descriptions provided, I'd roughly analogize them to contemporary political parties as follows:

    -Homeland: German equivalent of American paleoconservatives, combining elements of the German CSU and Greens of today.

    -Audacity: Jack Kemp Republicans. Or, alternatively, very close to the interventionist Republicans of the WWI era like Vandenberg or Dulles.

    -German Republic: Pirate Party/British LibDems.

    -Imperial Democracy: old-school [as in, pre-Thatcher] British Tories [the Crown Loyalists of David Weber's honorverse might actually be an even closer analogue, but that's a more obscure reference].

    -Brotherhood: transactional corporatists.

    Homeland and Brotherhood seem to me like a natural pairing. Their philosophies are very different, but they have a lot of pragmatic policy concerns in common. Audacity and Imperial Democracy also look sympatico, but I could see a Homeland/Imperial Democracy coalition as well. And it's easy to see why puking Republic man is on an island; this Germany's a lot more socially conservative, over-all, than its contemporary equivalent, notwithstanding the existence of "sex-concordant" marriage.

    As for socialism, it seems to me Homeland is the natural party of government interventionism. Those pastoral-natalist policies won't implement themselves, after all. The difference between Homeland and most modern leftist parties, it seems to me, is that Homeland applies the nanny-state to both personal behavior and economics, rather than bifurcating the two the way the modern left-right dichotomy does. Their opposite pole is the German Republicans, though they probably regard Audacity as more of a threat due to differences on foreign policy and the fact that they're more likely to be in government.

    For my money, if these are the major players, Brotherhood and Imperial Democracy, if combined, can push through any issue on which they agree, since they're the most naturally flexible parties in terms of coalition-building [Brotherhood because they're so transactional and Imperial Democracy because both Homeland and Audacity are natural potential partners]. I don't see the horse and falcon agreeing on much, but when they do, it's going to pass.

    Finally, as a poli-sci prof, this post was a lot of fun to write, and the political system seems very well-constructed.
  20. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    Socialism isn't government interventionism. That's just called sensible capitalism. The core of socialism is trying to abolish private control of the means of production, and what it means in terms of equality (or lack of) and class.

    I could totally buy that an analogous movement is similarly discredited as it is OTL and most of what remains is simply government interventionists. But unless economy develops in completely different directions, I think the idea of classes with opposed interests, one owning the means of production and the other depending on wages from the first, will necessarily spark something political.
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