The Fire Never Dies, Part II: The Red Colossus

I could definitely imagine Ford fleeing from Canada to Britain and helping the Anglo-Falangists by offering his skills to their war effort, especially as it is inevitable that the ASU's entry into this alt-WWII would likely be immediately followed by either an invasion or socialist takeover of Canada.
I can definitely imagine the UK Government immediately (metaphorically) snapping Ford up and going 'those factories you built in the USA. We would like some please and thank you.'

They would probably have end up in Canada or Australia, if this did happen. The thing about the UK is that even by the 1910s-1920s, it's pretty 'full', in that there doesn't tend to be a wide swathes of prime building land just lying around. Canada and Australia, however... Well, aren't very full in the same way.

The UK might also become interested in Fordism as a means of warding off Socialism. Given the pre-eminence of the IWW in establishing the ASU, Ford's model of High Wages, NO UNIONS, and social monitoring of the workforce would likely have an appeal.

Oh, and Ford was also a raging anti-Semite, and that is the way that the UK is going ITTL.
 
Ford's just a guy. Sure, in Reds!, Ford helping Germany makes sense in-universe because he's bringing over American industrial techniques that they lacked/weren't using, but I don't really think that's the case with the UK, at least not in a way that they wouldn't be able to easily copy themselves. He'll just be one of hundreds or thousands of self-important rich or formerly rich American dudes.
 
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17. American Diaspora
…Historians have frequently debated exactly how many Americans fled the Second American Civil War. Even today, scholars regularly produce wildly varying estimates. Part of the problem lies in classification. What is our time period? Do we include those who sought a better financial situation? What of those who were reported as having fled but no record can be found of them arriving in another country? What of those who later returned? Framing the question can produce wildly different results…

…Furthermore, as these totals are frequently used as political ammunition, bias is almost impossible to avoid. American scholars, naturally, tend to underestimate the total. A widely study from Georgetown University estimated the total at just under 600,000, while the most common secondary-level American history textbook (A People’s History of America by Dennis Prager and Howard Zinn) has 500,000. Some claims (usually limiting themselves to narrow time periods) are as low as 100,000…

…Conversely, European scholars favor higher totals. German and Italian scholars generally give estimates of around 900,000 to 1.2 million, while English sources regularly put the figures at above 1.5 million. One (now discredited) study from 1973 claimed over four million, but that study was found to be padding its numbers by counting any American who had ever left their country between 1917 and 1930, including tourists, American troops who intervened in Brazil, and the entire populations of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, as those had both been US territories before…

…With such wild estimates, it is hard to get a coherent picture of the American exiles. American media usually portrays exiles as Wilson supporting capitalist pigs, fleeing the revolution in an attempt to avoid justice and preserve their fortunes, usually failing in the latter. Any exiles who are not former capitalists are invariably hardcore racists. The truth is, while a disproportionate number of American exiles were formerly wealthy, most were not. In addition to the stereotypes, there were those who fled the war itself and simply opted not to return. These included a surprising number of African-Americans, Catholics, and Jews who rightfully feared the Wilson Administration’s alliance with the Ku Klux Klan. And while many exiles fled after socialism was imposed, the robber barons, financiers, and industrial tycoons were outnumbered by the small business owners…

…The most popular destination for American exiles was Canada, followed closely by Britain, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, and France. Again, exact numbers are hard to come by.

…The fates of the exiles varied wildly. A few found success. Henry Ford merged his company with the McLaughlin Motor Car Company[1] of Canada, creating the venerable Ford-McLaughlin. Thomas Edison sold his patents to his onetime competitor Guglielmo Marconi in exchange for a significant share in the Marconi Company. Former Massachusetts politican Patrick J. Kennedy[2] was elected to the Irish Dáil in 1923. Harvey Firestone was perhaps the most successful, becoming a massive influence in Liberian politics and helping to forge closer ties between Monrovia and Rome in exchange for using Italy as his European manufacturing center…

…Others were less fortunate. Most exiles had fled with only what they could carry. That often included chests full of cash, jewelry, and expensive clothes. But even with such assets, few could maintain their former lifestyles. In 1922, Ellison D. Smith[3], who had previously been a senator from South Carolina, was found dead in his London flat. He had died of pneumonia, likely the result of him not being able to afford to keep his apartment heated. Others ended up working jobs that they would have once scorned – bank tellers, shopkeepers, clerks. Inevitably, many turned to organized crime…

- From American Diaspora by Alexander Johnson



[1] A Canadian auto manufacturer founded in 1869. IOTL, it was taken over by General Motors in 1918 and incorporated into General Motors of Canada.

[2] Grandfather of OTL US President John F. Kennedy.

[3] IOTL, he served from 1909 to 1944. Known as “Cotton Ed” he was a virulent racist and segregationist.
 
Ford's just a guy. Sure, in Reds!, Ford helping Germany makes sense in-universe because he's bringing over American industrial techniques that they lacked/weren't using, but I don't really think that's the case with the UK, at least not in a way that they wouldn't be able to easily copy themselves. He'll just be one of hundreds or thousands of self-important rich or formerly rich American dudes.
Yeah, point taken. Still, in Reds!, Ford's value was not just in terms of his material contribution to Germany's war effort, but also due to the propaganda potential of having an American contributing to the Nazi war effort against socialist America. ITTL, I could imagine that to antisemetic antisocialist Falangists in Britain and France especially, this propoganda value would likewise be perceived by the leadership as useful.

In any case, Ford has now fled to Canada. Given that the ASU's entry into alt-WWII will inevitably be followed by an invasion of Canada by the ASU or an ASU-backed socialist revolution (or at the very least, a democratically elected Canadian govt. declaring war on the UK of its own accord to save itself from invasion). In any of the above scenarios, it Ford would likely be forced to flee across the Atlantic to Britain, lest he be extradited back to the ASU to face justice for whatever crimes he committed in the pre-Revolution USA. So provided that this doesn't happen, it is very likely that Ford and other prominent American capitalists in Canada would end up in Britain regardless. The question then would be whether they would simply fade into obscurity or if they would retain their prominence as allies of the Falangist government.

Former Massachusetts politican Patrick J. Kennedy[2] was elected to the Irish Dáil in 1923.

By the way, talking of Ireland, I do not know if this has been covered yet, but what is the situation in Ireland now? ITTL I could imagine that the Irish Civil War could potentially be butterflied, as the UK's weaker bargaining power following a stalemate in alt-WWI would likely lead to the IRA being able to force additional concessions out of the UK, such as not being forced to accept Dominion status and potentially even being granted more territory during the Partition. IOTL the former was a large part of the split in Sinn Fein and the IRA into pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty factions. I could even imagine Ireland acting as TTL's version of Abyssinia, or perhaps the Sudetenland, where a border dispute between Ireland and the United Kingdom leads to a Falangist invasion of Ireland, which in turn would serve as a short-term cause for WWII.
 
A widely study from Georgetown University
Presumably meant to say, "widely cited study," and
Henry Ford merged his company with the McLaughlin Motor Car Company[1] of Canada, creating the venerable Ford-McLaughlin
This seems to hint that Canada will stay capitalist in the long-term, given that it seems to be based in Canada and wouldn't really be venerable company if Canada went red and the company was converted into a cooperative.
 
Based on the discussion that has taken place thus far, I think it rather more likely that Canada will remain neutral during World War II (which is to the benefit of the ASU, as they can trade and need not occupy the country). The government might be “Finlandized,” but Ford will probably be left alone in any personal sense if he remains there.
 
By the way, talking of Ireland, I do not know if this has been covered yet, but what is the situation in Ireland now? ITTL I could imagine that the Irish Civil War could potentially be butterflied, as the UK's weaker bargaining power following a stalemate in alt-WWI would likely lead to the IRA being able to force additional concessions out of the UK, such as not being forced to accept Dominion status and potentially even being granted more territory during the Partition. IOTL the former was a large part of the split in Sinn Fein and the IRA into pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty factions. I could even imagine Ireland acting as TTL's version of Abyssinia, or perhaps the Sudetenland, where a border dispute between Ireland and the United Kingdom leads to a Falangist invasion of Ireland, which in turn would serve as a short-term cause for WWII.
I still need to figure that out. Ireland is definitely a Dominion, but I might get a bit more territory. I'm also considering saving Michael Collins.
 
Based on the discussion that has taken place thus far, I think it rather more likely that Canada will remain neutral during World War II (which is to the benefit of the ASU, as they can trade and need not occupy the country). The government might be “Finlandized,” but Ford will probably be left alone in any personal sense if he remains there.
That is definitely also a possibility, especially given that many Canadians will be distrustful of both socialism and Falangism.

That said, particularly if TTL sees an economic crisis comparable to OTL's Great Depression, I could see socialism gaining serious ground in Canada. Unlike in Europe, where such a crisis would cause a surge in support for far-right groups however, the proximity of America could lead many ordinary Canadians to turn to socialism, especially if the ASU implements economic policies that allow it to emerge relatively unscathed compared to other nations - this could convince many Canadians of the merits of socialism and lead to a surge in support for a pro-IWW socialist party.

My thinking is that by the outbreak of WWII, such a party would likely be in power, at the very least junior partners in coalition. While Canada would initially be neutral, this socialist party would likely force such neutrality to be heavily in favour of the ASU. Potentially, we could see some hardened anti-socialist officers attempt to coup the Canadian govt. in response (I can only imagine that even with the Falangist takeover in Britain, imperial loyalties would still be strong among some parts of the Canadian military). Such a coup would inevitably be thwarted however, due to a combination of mass popular opposition and opposition by the ASU. In response to such an event, it is not wholly out of the question for the Canadian govt. to formally declare war on the UK, especially if it emerges that London was inn any way responsible for instigating the coup.

That said, I can see why this may not me the best outcome for the ASU, especially given that the Quebecois would likely not be too happy about going to war with France. Come to think of it, the Quebecois were pretty socially conservative in the 1930s, so I can see support for Falangism being widespread, if not in the majority.
 
A widely study from Georgetown University estimated the total at just under 600,000, while the most common secondary-level American history textbook (A People’s History of America by Dennis Prager and Howard Zinn) has 500,000.
Now there's a pairing I never expected to see.
 
Now there's a pairing I never expected to see.
I hinted at it in Labor's Star Ascendant.
…Understandably, modern historiography has a regrettable tendency to perceive the Russian Civil War through an overtly simplistic lens. Most American media views it as just the Second American Revolution but in Russia and the Whites won. This is often explained as a result of the inadequacies of Russian socialism. “They were too authoritarian! They were too idealistic! They were too bourgeoisie! They were too uneducated!” As such, the labels “Bolshevik” and “communist”, once worn proudly by revolutionaries, have become derogatory terms in the American political lexicon. Even American history textbooks are not immune to such simplistic thinking (as my good friend Howard Zinn explains in Lies My Teacher Told Me)…

[snip]

- From The Failed Revolution: A New History of the Russian Civil War by Dennis Prager
Once the generation born shortly before the Revolution comes of age, we can expect more pairings that would seem bizarre to us.
 
One (now discredited) study from 1973 claimed over four million, but that study was found to be padding its numbers by counting any American who had ever left their country between 1917 and 1930, including tourists, American troops who intervened in Brazil, and the entire populations of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, as those had both been US territories before…
The Black Book of American Communism.
 
I'm also considering saving Michael Collins.
FrFraom an Irish perspective, that could be a very interesting change. Ok, so this is a take filtered through about a century's worth of old folks talking about long past events, but... One of the major escalations in the Irish Civil War was Collins' assassination at Béal na Bláth in August 1922.
After that, the pro-treaty forces started taking a properly hard-line stance which resulted in a societal rift that continued... at least up until the end of the century, but even today there's probably a few pubs where you wouldn't want to mention which party you voted for.
So possibly butterflying that, as well as allowing Collins to survive, who is basically the Irish equivalent of JFK in that he had all this potential but was shot before he could really act on it, would be very interesting indeed.
 
I just finished the timeline up to this point. I love it! Eugene Debs has always been one of my heroes, so this is fascinating to read.
 
I had a thought about the ASU's party system. You see, TTL's ASU provides us with a situation which was scarcely seen IOTL; a socialist democracy where a significant part of the population remains religious (American Catholics, African American Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans are among the denominations whose adherents would find themselves drawn to the socialists ITTL). As such, is it at all possible that we could see the emergence, at some point, an explicitly Christian Socialist Party?

I could imagine such a party would likely have strong support among those who support socialist economics but would be turned off by the social liberalism of the major parties, such as older religious voters. Then again, it is likely that such voters may find themselves co-opted into the Progressives or Federalists. Still, given the use of proportional representation ITTL, such a party could still potentially carve out a niche in the American party system.
 
I had a thought about the ASU's party system. You see, TTL's ASU provides us with a situation which was scarcely seen IOTL; a socialist democracy where a significant part of the population remains religious (American Catholics, African American Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans are among the denominations whose adherents would find themselves drawn to the socialists ITTL). As such, is it at all possible that we could see the emergence, at some point, an explicitly Christian Socialist Party?

I could imagine such a party would likely have strong support among those who support socialist economics but would be turned off by the social liberalism of the major parties, such as older religious voters. Then again, it is likely that such voters may find themselves co-opted into the Progressives or Federalists. Still, given the use of proportional representation ITTL, such a party could still potentially carve out a niche in the American party system.
An explicitly Christian Socialist Party would run afoul of separation of church and state, but there will be a "conservative socialist" party at some point. It'll take a while, since most conservatives in the ASU are still anti-socialist and vote Progressive or Federalist (assuming they vote at all).
 
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