The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Some thoughts on China vs Italy for prestige in the coming years:

Italy is increasingly under pressure over Ethiopia and isolated from the West. While China has just waged a highly successful war cooperating with the ITO.

Also China may build a stronger relationship with Japan f Japan comes under fire for it Ainu policy and China back them up.

China may also be able to appeal to Indochina if France or the West start demanding more democratic reforms.

China likely will start alying groundwork for its own space program soon which will be much hyped, while italy may have to make cut backs on its own with the ongoing Ethiopian money pit.
 
Among those was Inejiro Asanuma, the former head of the Socialist Party who left Japan in protest of re-militarisation to go to Ezo. His public denunciations of the Emperor and Japan had ensured he was labelled as a traitor to the Chrysanthemum Throne, leading to his being hacked to death with bayonets when he ‘resisted arrest’.
He can't seem to catch a break.
 
You know, you don't have to rush to finish this. If you need a good long break sooner rather than later I for one don't mind waiting.
It's okay - it actually makes more sense for me to get it done sooner since I'm swamped with tests in late April and then I'm away in Poland for a time. If I can finish this in March I'll have a load off my mind.
 
In 1972, at the annual movie awards in North China, Jiang won for best director, film, screenplay, actor or actress (the two having been combined to ensure she could not be upstaged) and literally every other role on offer at the show.
50 cents bet this utter farce was brought about by the fact the Communist world was disintegrating having some mental effects on an already fragile Jiang Qing.
 
Intermission - France
Hello to all, today I return with a new side post about France after WWII, delving how De Gaulle managed to stay in power for so long. Sorairo as usual revised this. Enjoy!



Extract from ‘Le Roi Republicaine: De Gaulle’s presidencies and France after World War II’ by Alain Degiraud

When De Gaulle in 1944 assumed the Presidency of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF), the General would accept to cooperate with the political forces that opposed Nazi occupation and the Vichy regime. Because such regime was essentially supported by right-oriented forces now discredited in the eyes of the French, the rebuilt left – the SFIO (the Socialists) and the PCF (the Communists) - took growing influence inside the GPRF, counterbalanced by De Gaulle’s supporters which formed the core of the previous Free France government and administration. While within the entire GPRF everyone agreed over the necessity of a new constitution to reform France, there was deeply a division between the left and the so called “Gaullists” about the future constitutional asset of the same Republic. Essentially, the left wanted an enforced Parliamentary Republic, while De Gaulle advocated the creation of a Presidential Republic on the American model.

De Gaulle, during the Free French period, was able to theorize a proper vision of France after the war – to summarize, democratic but with a strong executive power able to operate in case of legislative grindlock, therefore having a popular legitimation for operating in such way, therefore a popular elected President leading its own executive. Such a political concept wasn’t historically alien to France, but the two past attempts in such sense in the 19th century ended in autocratic monarchies and their epilogues were very tragic for the nation. Considering also that De Gaulle promoted the concept of a strong France in a nationalist fashion, it wasn’t difficult for the left to accuse him of being a Bonapartist and having dictatorial tendencies. In truth, De Gaulle wasn’t prejudically hostile to the left – in economy, he was favorable to state control in certain industrial and productive sectors, even with a base orientation towards liberalism; or supportive towards social state operations from healthcare to welfare, always to be controlled by a strong executive. But, with a strong SFIO-PCF axis on the left, and the vacuum in the right, it was sort of inevitable that Gaullism would be embraced more by the centre-right elements of French society, seeing the General as the only viable bastion against a leftist victory in France. De Gaulle’s main issue at the time however was the lack of a proper party structure behind him, while having a strong popularity and support in the country. Therefore, as France would start to return into normality and the emergency of the conflict will came less, he would progressively struggle to keep the united GPRF front, as the prewar party factionalism slowly reemerged again. Also, De Gaulle during 1944 and 1945 was unable to properly organize his supporters into a party, due to his duties as leader of a country in war taking the precedence, while the leftist leadership was free to rebuilt its own party structure and commencing to dominate growing internal issues in the national political debate.

In late Spring of 1944, the return of Leon Blum from Germany after being freed by the Italians was hailed with cheerful crowds in Paris and galvanized the SFIO. While Blum would encourage the Socialists to work with De Gaulle in the GPRF, he would progressively work with the leader of the Communists, Maurice Thorez, in the construction of a new “Popular Front” in the belief this time the unity of the French lefts will stand. Effectively in 1945 the PCF appeared to be the strongest political party in France, and Thorez sensed the difficulties of the center-left to stand compact between themselves and above all, under De Gaulle. In fact, the French Christian Democrats (MRP), who at the time were gaining the support of the center-right French, were in disagreement with De Gaulle over the constitutional asset of France, being in favour of Parliamentarism instead of Presidentialism. The General, growing disillusioned in front of what he called the “party regime”, was tempted several times to resign from his position, since early 1944. The exclusion of France from the Kiev conference was a blow to his prestige as to his ego, while receiving criticism for failing in even being invited, like a reminder that despite being almost freed, France was still paying the price of defeat of 1940. The chaos erupted after the Valkirie coup would distract the French public opinion from that diplomatic debacle, but De Gaulle would remind such humiliation, steeling his determination in bringing France back into the status of great power she deserved while him being the architect of such project.

Besides with the Valkyrie coup, De Gaulle would manage to recover ground for himself and France. As in Kiev began a divide between British and Italians on one side, and Soviets (and partially Americans) from another, he would diplomatically find a reapproachment with Stalin, desirous to plant a wedge between the Western Europeans, and some initial sympathy with the new Wallace administration, hence re-obtaining the status of major Allied power and twisting British arm in that sense. The contact with Stalin was very profitable for De Gaulle, because both of them converged over the complete annihilation of Germany and they didn’t have conflicting interests, as prewar French influence in the Balkans was washed away and the General acknowlegded that loss. Also, such convergence would give the French leader a direct contact with the Soviet one, without passing through the French Communists. In that way De Gaulle ensured control of French foreign policy. The liberation in early 1945 of most of Indochina “with French troops” was a personal success for De Gaulle, despite the Vietcong resistance in the North, because the General could now claim to have restored suzerainty on every French overseas territory (with the exception of the mandates on Syria and Lebanon, of which we will get to). Such liberation was planned after the 1944 visit of Chiang Kai Shiek in Paris, useful for both the Chinese Nationalist leader and the General (the former in search of new allies, the second wanting to prove France was again a respected power visited by foreign, respectful delegations); China would support French recovery of Indochina and not attempt to exercise any Chinese influence of sort in the region, and France would send supplies and subsides to the Nationalists; to appease Chiang, De Gaulle would concede official French acknowledgement on the Cairo declaration and the formal return of the French concessions in China, for a fair trade treaty to be discussed later.

Those plans for Indochina risked to be disrupted during Potsdam, when the Americans were intentioned to make huge concessions to the Soviets. De Gaulle joined Churchill and Mussolini in annoyance, in part because those concessions were seen as a potential threat over French rule in Indochina, in part because due of them, the partition of Germany would be less punitive than he hoped, while forcing France to keep a more sizeable part of the country as the Americans declared their intention to pull out from Europe soon as possible. The General wasn’t hostile to a wider Soviet occupation of Germany and was initially less concerned over the possibility of a war between the West and the USSR than the British. He knew Wallace was on this agenda as well, but the necessity to end the war in the Pacific front needed the support of all the Allied forces – through a balancing act, the Soviets will have lesser influence in Europe for a higher one in Asia. To get France on board over those decisions, De Gaulle promised support for fighting the Japanese in exchange of French reaffirmed rule in Indochina, hence settling the conference of Potsdam.

However, the evolution of the Indochinese campaign would cause a deep division in the GPRF during the early summer of 1945. Because the Vietcong resistance in the North refused to step down despite French pressures, the PCF would find itself into a dilemma, between supporting Ho Chi Min and guaranteeing French interests. Deciding to side with the former, they would end against De Gaulle, who would then decide to throw them out the GPRF, forcing elements of the SFIO to abandon the provisional government as well, to not break the alliance with the Communists. Incensed, Thorez and the French Communist leadership would organize a virulent campaign of protests and strikes across the country, in what was renown in France as “Red Summer”. Such campaign would paralyze most of the republic for months, until fading into the later autumn. While the SFIO would agree to join the protests, it would also block the PCF from taking more radical actions, as De Gaulle promised that constitutional elections would proceed as planned after the official end of the Pacific War, while taking a more conciliant rather than repressive behaviour towards strikes and protests. However, behind the scenes, De Gaulle worked for a reconciliation with the MRP, scared by the sudden spike of tension released by the Left. While both sides remained distant over the final form of constitutional asset for France, the Christian Democrats would continue to be supportive of De Gaulle’s actions. As the MRP would contest the excessive tone of the strikes as counterproductive for the necessary French recovery, with De Gaulle advocating the valour of the French soldiers fighting in Indochina to restore the pride of the nation, they would manage to partially curb the victory of the Popular Front in the constitutional elections of October 1945, as while the SFIO-PCF obtained the absolute majority of the seats, they didn’t have a large one.

Besides, several Socialists started to have doubts over their ally, as the Togliatti trial created certain doubts and uncertainty towards the Soviet establishment. While Thorez, strong with the electoral victory, would start a reshuffle of the provisional government, essentially ousting De Gaulle and creating a new leftist dominated administration, the MRP would oppose it, and some Socialists as well. Because in the meanwhile the Vietcong refused any sort of mediation while agreements were done already with Bao Dai on the Indochinese front, and knowing that any operation against the region of Tonkin wouldn’t be implemented until the spring of the next year, when the plebiscite over the new constitution will be done, the SFIO didn’t see necessity nor urgency in furthering an internal crisis over Indochina. There was also fear of a reaction of the Anglo-Italians or the rebuilding French armed forces if De Gaulle would be unseated and a Communist would take his place in such a delicate moment for the country. Therefore it was compromised that De Gaulle would stay until the plebiscite for the new constitution, while the SFIO would return into the GPRF, but the PCF refused such compromise. Still the Popular Front was able to write a left oriented constitution making France a monoparliamentary Republic. However, the MRP would make a hard campaign against such draft with the support of the right, claiming that such a constitution was a prelude for making France a communist dictatorship. As the effects of the Red Summer started to weight on the French populace still in state of distress under a very weak economy, the plebiscite held in May failed.

As new constitutional elections were necessary, De Gaulle would manage to build in the meanwhile a political understanding between the MRP and the two political forces to its right, the Left Republicans and the Republican Liberty Party. This time, the MRP came on top while the Popular Front failed to achieve the absolute majority; agreeing to stick over a biparliamentary system and an organization not too dissimilar from the Third Republican one, with some balancing between presidential and premiership powers, the constitution will be approved in the October of 1946. In November, the first legislative elections took place, and while the PCF reobtained the first place, the MRP obtained a not too far second place, while the SFIO lost votes to the Communists and the right started to resurge. Now, the MRP, despite the past divergences during the Red Summer, was willing to normalize relations with the Socialists and the Communists, but Thorez demanded the premiership in exchange; this stalled further negotiations, while the National Assembly would elect with the votes of the MRP, the Left Republicans and the Liberty Party Charles de Gaulle as first President of the Fourth French Republic.

With De Gaulle’s position secured, there weren’t chances for Thorez to assume the premiership. As the SFIO would not be willing to proceed into a coalition with the MRP anyway, Thorez had no choice to accept Georges Bidault of the MRP to become first minister. Bidault’s role wouldn’t last for long, because as De Gaulle feared, the various parties would soon fall prey to parliamentary infighting, forcing the General to name various first ministers during his first legislature. The positive note in the prolonged French political instability, was for De Gaulle to present himself as the enduring beacon of stability and firm guidance for the Republic, even if from 1947 his neutrality would fade when he had finally the chance to organize his own political party, the Rassemblement du People Francaise (RPF), as banner of his political theories. The foundation of the RPF would be decisive for the French political assets, because he would gradually take away votes and politicians from all the forces standing to the right of the Popular Front, especially from the MRP, which would progressively shrink and collapse as the RPF would constantly expand. The left wouldn’t however take advantage by the gradual decline of the MRP, because the nuclear blast of Warsaw totally vindicated the Right’s disgust of Communism. The Polish situation after the end of the war would become one of the major points of divergence between SFIO and PCF, the first being supporter of Polish independence and self-determination, whereas the second was more supportive of Moscow’s guidance of Poland towards a full socialist republic. When the Polish started their war of resistance, the divisions between Socialists and Communists would further widen until Warsaw was destroyed in nuclear fire. Until then, Leon Blum defended the alliance with the PCF, even if intimately growing doubtful of Thorez’s strategy to raise social tension in France, as in the long term damaged the Popular Front in the mid 1930’s and hurt it again in 1946. He might have agreed over Thorez in searching a deal with the Vietcong rather than pursuing the complete restoration of French rule in Indochina, but not at the cost to risk a rupture with De Gaulle; at the same time, after the Togliatti trial, and the collapse of the Italian antifascist left front in Lyon, he started to nurture doubts over the capacities and the true ambitions of Stalin. The war between Croatia and Serbia saw some form of unity between Socialists and Communists towards Tito, who was hailed as a valorous comrade saving the Serbian revolution from Fascist aggression, but De Gaulle was determined to prevent the creation of “popular volunteers” in order to prevent a new “Spanish situation”, being enough satisfied for the removal of Pavelic at hands of the Italians and ending the war in a status quo. Serbia decades later would manage to reach some French assistance in order to survive by contacts and exchanges through Romania and Hungary, considering the state of permanent emnity with Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria, hence rebuilding some form of influence for Paris in the Balkan states.

Poland however was very controversial for all France. The French were historically sympathetic to the Polish attempts to get rid of Russian control, and they went to war with Germany over the safeguard of Poland. De Gaulle pragmatically acknowledged Poland under Soviet sphere albeit he would have been likely for a wider part of Soviet controlled Germany in exchange of a neutral and independent Poland. The SFIO wanted Poland to have free and respected elections to decide its political alignment, but the PCF aligned with Moscow over the “exportation by force of the revolution”. Those different opinions would generate a growing a divide between PCF and SFIO, until the nuclear devastation of Warsaw changed the entire situation. De Gaulle would immediately condemn the attack, breaking whatever lingering diplomatic contact with the USSR at the time, and calling for a trilateral meeting in Orleans with Mussolini and Churchill were they formed the West European Nuclear Joint Program, while the General would concede the necessity to let West Germany exercise its first postwar elections for the plebiscite between republic and imperial restoration, hence ending the occupation period which France stalled until then. On the opposite side, both the SFIO and the PCF were initially shocked and unable to take a proper stance, while indignation grew across all of France, until three days after the attack, Blum would release an interview which would be soon spread across all the Republic. “For decades, I always believed that the union of all the lefts would have brought France democratically towards the path to real Socialism… I still believe this dream. But, many valorous comrades died to defend democratic ideals in Spain, for the survival of France, and also for Poland as well… I closed my eyes too long believing that Joseph Stalin was a leader who believed in the unity of the workers of all the world, but the massacre of Warsaw proved he was only a murderer and a tyrant who dirtied our ideals in name of his own supremacy… and if we would still commit truly to our ideals, we have to condemn the Soviet Union and all the French left has to dissociate from it, without distinction.”

The words of the old “Socialist Lion” shocked France to its core. Even if Blum retired from active politics also due to growing health issues, he was probably the most respected politician of the Republic after De Gaulle. The SFIO was shaken to the point its leader, Guy Mollet, realising that the base of the party as for the great majority of the party organisation would side with Blum, would declare officially his condemnation and the dissociation from the USSR, inviting the PCF to do otherwise – or else terminate the Popular front. Thorez, who was later reported to be shocked and likely disgusted as well by the nuclear bombing; but believing that the PCF couldn’t break with the Soviets, also because the party didn’t have other allies out of France, and eventually would still weather such storm, in the end would – albeit reluctantly – defend Soviet actions, commending the loss of so many lives, but stating the nuking was a “necessary horror” to end the civil war. Thorez believed that despite everything, he could still hold the electoral primate of the PCF and eventually recover a relation with the SFIO at a later time. But Mollet would prove to be inflexible and considered ended for good the experience of the second popular front, while the Socialists would commence a gradual, denigratory campaign against the Communists to win the votes of the French workers; while renewing the parliamentary pact with the MRP, accepting that De Gaulle will handle without further opposition of sort the Indochinese situation. Now, De Gaulle was tempted to call early elections, sensing the sudden Communist weakness and the possible exploit of the RPF, but the MRP and the SFIO rejected such proposal. However, the General would manage to convince both to pass a law over the reform of the electoral districts which could have advantaged a coalition list to curb the effective electoral power of the PCF, while continuing to present himself as arbiter of the two main government forces. To the top of all of this, the RPF would launch a series of manifestations and anti-Soviet (and anti-PCF) protests and in support of De Gaulle which would take the name of “White Winter”, allowing the party to rise in popularity and gaining support especially from a rapidly atrophizing MRP, where the Gaullist wing became predominant.

From Warsaw to the second legislative elections of 1951, the De Gaulle-MRP-SFIO tandem would manage to restart the French economy, despite its growth would prove to be slower than Britain and Italy – and in the late 50’s seeing the German Reich surpassing the Republic ad well. Like in the first postwar, France’s economic recovery relied in relevant part over its colonial empire, especially its West African segment. The territories south of the Sahara in particular would prove to stay loyal and very supportive to De Gaulle, and the General would prove to repay such loyalty – after all, West Africa was the core of Free France and the place of his fortunes. De Gaulle wasn’t a hard stance colonialist, and not hostile to proceed towards a partial and gradual decolonization, considering the overseas territories were still a source of profit but also of growing costs; as long that French economic interests would be guaranteed of course. The French motherland establishment would often start to work with local native elites towards a gradual sharing of colonial administration and then towards guided independence, eventually forming a ring of associated nations with France (The so called “Union Francaise” which would especially take root in Africa, hence dubbed in Italy “Francafrique” given the deep interwined French interests). The renewal of French commercial interest in the colonies was spearheaded by the Compagnie Francaise des Petroles (CFP), the national oil company rebuilt after the war, today renown as Total. On the path of the discovery of oilfields in Libya, the CFP would relaunch with the exploitation of the Algerian resources – which need to keep them exclusively for French use was not a lesser cause to the integration of Algeria as part of the metropolitan territory, hence marking the union of such country with France; delighting the French colonists, the Pied-Noirs, but creating growing resentment between the native Algerians. While technically they would be considered French citizens, in the facts would be often regarded as second rate ones; not counting the growing nationalism and the anger towards the different treatment of the two other Maghreb countries.

When De Gaulle was initially contacted by the Italians during his London exile, he let them knew he was willing to negotiate over the status of Tunisia and Djibouti after the war in exchange of assistance; even if the General always denied it, and Italian authorities maintained secrecy for decades, recently in Italian archives were released reports of the embassy in London where it was stated the French leader effectively gave consensus on a discussion over Tunisia in case of support and victory. When Spanish troops freed South France, Franco started to be vocal over the rediscussion of the Spanish-French treaties over Morocco as well. But, once De Gaulle was solid in his position as leader of freed France, he would balk out over those requests advanced at Potsdam, and after the first Arab war, he would decide for the concession of independence. Because Morocco and Tunisia weren’t colonies but protectorates, the transition was enough smooth, allowing to the local native elites and the official rulers – the Bey of Tunis and the Sultan of Morocco - to rise in power; naturally under French conditions, therefore safeguarding the economical interests of France. De Gaulle believed that Morocco and Tunisia would stay loyal to France for necessity to not fall prey of Italy and Spain; he however would never put in account the rise of the UAR and its plague like spreading influence in the Maghreb, something the French underestimated greatly.

The UAR and above all its leader, Michel Aflaq, would prove to be for its share dramatic for the same French society and culture – especially for the French left intellectuals, but also for Italian fascist aligned ones, it originated (“also” for the former case, “above all” for the latter) for evident failings of the French colonialist system. Aflaq studied in France, he was even a brilliant student, for the French he was supposed to become one of the many native mandarins of the administration in Syria – but, learning in what was supposed to be one of the beacon of liberal democracy and freedom didn’t make of Aflaq, as for many other Syrians or Maghrebians forming themselves in Paris, more democratic, or pro-European, or at least more conciliant – if else contributed to radicalize them. While it is fair to concede that Aflaq’s position radicalized in a Syria humbled by the first Arabian war and vying for revenge, the French didn’t make nothing to keep him on more conciliant positions, hoping maybe by leaving him on his devices, to regain some influence in the Middle East, essentially lost since the defeat of 1940. Instead, the rise of the UAR was so fast and violent that Paris couldn’t even raise a finger. The occupation of Lebanon, the only country where France had lingering influence in the Middle East, would push De Gaulle to align on Anglo-Italian positions of hostility against the UAR, despite with certain ambivalence because under the shadows, the French tried to maintain a certain contact among the more moderate parts of the leadership. They might have been successful – but Aflaq was determined to wash off his own past in France and plotted to destabilize the French Maghreb. Taking advantage of the French-Spanish tensions over Morocco, they would easily win the support of Muhammed V, believing in that way to unify the country and get rid of whatever European presence; which would turn for him as a catastrophic result, because the Spanish would result triumphant, annexing the coast and taking Casablanca and the new capital of Rabat (the government and the court moving inland), and imposing a protectorate over the rest of the Kingdom. Muhammed V would abdicate in favour of his son Hassan and going to exile in Brazil. Hassan would spend most of his reign to stand submit under Spanish thumb, while trying to get himself in the French and the Italian good grace in an effort to improve Morocco’s situation. In Tunisia, the court wasn’t swayed by Aflaq’s siren calls – because the Bey of Tunisia, now King Muhammad al-Amin was allowed to rule when the Free French freed the country, after removing his cousin Lamare who was installed by the Vichy Regime. Being in good relations with De Gaulle, not wanting to raise tensions with the Italians (who were the second European community in Tunisia after the French and quite large as well) who begrudlingly accepted Tunisian independence, he refused any involvement with the UAR. But certain nationalists and military segments instead agreed to work with the Arabs. However they would prove to be uncoordinated and divided, failing even to secure the European quarters of Tunis, soon defeated by the Italians. Muhammad al-Amin retained his royal authority, but French influence in Tunisia decreased, in front of an increased Italian one.

But Algeria would prove to be the more troublesome front for the French. The native insurrection against the Pied-Noirs would soon become an armed insurgence, under the banners of the so called FLN. The insurrection would prove to be hard to crack for the French, albeit slowly securing back the coast; but the reconquest of the interior would turn soon bloody in terms of French lives. But when Operation Samson was launched, De Gaulle quickly took advantage of the situation and decided to nuke the FLN hideouts in the Sahara desert. The bombings would surely be much less destructive in terms of lost lives than in the UAR, but nonetheless would create some criticism in France. Still, De Gaulle obtained what he hoped – the FLN leadership was obliterated, and the chain of command interrupted. The remnants of the rebels became their own factions, warring against each other, but also against the French. The general, not wanting to waste further energies in the Algerian south, would declare the region an independent nation on Paris’s paycheck list, keeping only the coast as part of the metropolitan country. While the North would progressively stabilise and accept for good the union with France, nonetheless periodic terror attacks and raids plagued North Algeria; which was what remained of French Maghreb after the war, despite De Gaulle claimed victory.

France however proved to be exhausted after over fifteen years of direct or indirect war. The chronic and endless parliamentary instability stunted the capacity of the republic to create durable economic reforms – progressively falling behind the British, the Italians, and worse still, the Germans. In this situation of neverending crisis, De Gaulle’s theories over a constitutional reform in favour of a stronger role of the executive against the legislature started finally to prevail in the French public opinion, especially in the center and in the right, where the RPF practically ended to absorb the MRP. But the left, especially the SFIO who progressively prevailed over the Communists, would try to oppose De Gaulle’s plans. As De Gaulle’s second presidency would end in 1959, and the Socialists weren’t intentioned to grant him a third one, the general would play in advance, managing to let pass in 1958 in the National Assembly a proposal of constitutional reform with the empowerment of the presidential office, to be elected by the people. While to get passed in the assembly De Gaulle accepted a compromise where the legislature retained proper systems of balance and check in front of an empowered presidency, he would be nonetheless satisfied and run a campaign for the approval which ended the October of 1958 in a resounding victory. The successive year, the RPF would win the parliamentary elections, with the SFIO (which soon would adopt a more neutral “French Socialist Party” name) becoming the major opposition party; and shortly after, De Gaulle would win overwhelmingly the presidential election, assuming his third (and final) presidency.

With the French political situation finally stabilised, the Gaullists and the Socialists controlling a bipolar party system (with the former currently at the top), and with De Gaulle being strong in a popular mandate as well as having effective power, the General could take a deep program of reforms which effectively rejuvenated the French economy, taking the path of a well spread prosperity – in 1965, when De Gaulle retired from active politics, France was again established as one of the most powerful industrialized nations of Europe. At the same time, De Gaulle was now free to reassert French influence in the world. While remaining committed into the ITO and in the Western block, France would often play a more autonomous path respect to his allies. The British decision to integrate Malta, Gibraltar and above all Cyprus wasn’t seen at all well in Paris, because it was perceived there as a not subtle intent from London to still dominate the Mediterranean. At the same time, De Gaulle wasn’t too fond of Gaitskell and his antagonising stance against Italy, in a moment where Italo-French relations after the last Arabic war were generally improving. As Mussolini at the time perceived Britain as major Italian rival even more than the USSR (the Soviet impotence after the second Arab war convinced the Duce a war with the Union was not imminent nor wanted by Moscow), he was interested to develop new relations with France. Mussolini and De Gaulle met in Rome in 1960 during the Olympic Games to convene over a new general detente between Italy and France, over the respect of their mutual spheres of influence – especially in Africa, and at eventual disadvantage of British interests on the dark continent. The more evident case of such detente was the Roman Alliance intervention in Biafra, where De Gaulle not only failed to resist Italy, but would eventually acknowledge Biafran independence – essentially giving a loud slap over British influence in Nigeria and therefore favouring the progressive collapse of London’s power in the continent. At the same time, such detente wasn’t easy to keep in place, because Italian and French interests arrived often to fight each other due of the countries they respectively supported. For example Italy badly digested French friendliness towards Brazil after the end of the Arabian war, or their commercial battle in the Republic of China; but the most dangerous boiling point was the Asian South-East, due of the growing tensions between Italian supported Thailand and French influenced Vietnam. Also the French would find themselves dealing often with Afro-Fascist movements and insurgences in Francafrique. Even if they weren’t backed by Rome, they were still ideologically propped by it.

When De Gaulle retired, his dauphin, Georges Pompidou, his last First Minister, was easily elected President. Pompidou became leader of a France revitalized economically, militarly and diplomatically, but restless socially under the rug. As a young generation of Frenchmen and women – the first born after the world war – had wider access to high school and universitarian studies than any past generation before, included their parents, they found great stimulus in delving into cultural, social and philosophic debates, especially in a cosmopolite and multiethnical city like Paris. Great interest caught the scripts of Jean Paul Sartre over his existentialist theories and the need of a more free and radically reformed society (growing disillusioned by communism, he positioned himself on more anarchistic ideals). To them, Gaullism was perceived by several of them as mere conservative ideology and false meritocracy which raised a new elite who promoted a more subtle form of French imperialism and colonialism who remained essentially passive to the nuclear massacre of Addis Abeba (with Balbo arrived to being apostrophed in the pampleths in the Sorbonne as “Mussolini’s Himmler”). Resentment and disatisfaction in those young French would boil till to explode in massive protests in 1970…
 
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50 cents bet this utter farce was brought about by the fact the Communist world was disintegrating having some mental effects on an already fragile Jiang Qing.
Can't help but wonder if she focused so much on her so-called movie career because she detests becoming the leader of a failed state in the first place or because it was just she sunk further into the "good times" of her life before everything went to shit by the 1970s. Either way, it would explain why she watched her films til she literally starved to death rather than take a simpler way out, engorged on escapism to the very end.
 
Can't help but wonder if she focused so much on her so-called movie career because she detests becoming the leader of a failed state in the first place or because it was just she sunk further into the "good times" of her life before everything went to shit by the 1970s. Either way, it would explain why she watched her films til she literally starved to death rather than take a simpler way out, engorged on escapism to the very end.
Indeed. She was administering a failed, starving puppet state with no effective power of her own. What began as an escapist project soon became an obsession and then a mania, and the worse things got, the worse she sank into delusion. It's basically Sunset Boulevard but Gloria Swanson runs the whole country.
 
Indeed. She was administering a failed, starving puppet state with no effective power of her own. What began as an escapist project soon became an obsession and then a mania, and the worse things got, the worse she sank into delusion. It's basically Sunset Boulevard but Gloria Swanson runs the whole country.
And it was no coincidence the worst part of her madness (the farce of the "film awards" in North China in 1972) occured just as the USSR fell apart.
 
Indeed. She was administering a failed, starving puppet state with no effective power of her own. What began as an escapist project soon became an obsession and then a mania, and the worse things got, the worse she sank into delusion. It's basically Sunset Boulevard but Gloria Swanson runs the whole country.
At least she died doing what she loved the most: exalting herself by watching movies of questionable quality while people die all around her.
 
Most bizarre and tragic thing on Qing Jiang is that all from highest ranked politbyroo member to peasant knew how badly she is out of reality and she is just causing damage to North China. But even they who could had done something didn't do anything. No wonder that NC army just mostly surrended without fight.
 
"Here a one-way ticket to Korea. Now fuck off."~ The Japanese government probably
Yes, but they never said anything that polite.

Edit: Going into more detail, the total lack of a Non-Communist Korea has made Korean nationalism and Communism almost synonymous to the Japanese. The Patton administration onwards was more than happy to allow to allow the Japanese to clamp down on the Koreans since they suspected Communist influence as well. They interned the Korean population much in the same manner as America had done so to the Japanese. This led to most Koreans fleeing the country just after the Chinese War - the Japanese didn't miss them. In 1974, the Japanese and Korean governments agreed a repatriation program that sent most of the remaining Koreans packing to their ancestral homeland; the remaining Koreans were forced to completely integrate into Japanese society, swearing loyalty oaths, using only Japanese names and other proofs. Koreatowns in 2020 Japan are nonexistent, K-Pop bands are met with protests and any politician apologising for the Comfort Women of WW2 would be forced to resign within the day. Emperor Akihito quietly opposed this excessive nationalism, but he was constrained by the constitutional role he had been forced into.
 
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Most bizarre and tragic thing on Qing Jiang is that all from highest ranked politbyroo member to peasant knew how badly she is out of reality and she is just causing damage to North China. But even they who could had done something didn't do anything. No wonder that NC army just mostly surrended without fight.
Indeed. North China was practically "running" on auto-pilot with a dictator more interested with movies than with running the country.
 
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