The Fountainhead Filibuster: Tales from Objectivist Katanga

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Linkwerk, Mar 18, 2012.

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  1. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

    Mar 28, 2010
    Virginia - near the USA-CSSA Border
    An Objectivist Empire in Africa... my god...
  2. Linkwerk Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Haha, oh man that's perfect. It's smug individualists instead of space crabs.

    More seriously, the butterflies from this TL are huge. I haven't quite decided on what will happen to Dag, there are a couple options- all entertaining- but as everybody was able to discern from the first chapter, ONUC (eventually) has a major military role. The Congo ATL is going to be even more transformative for the UN than OTL, and ONUC is going to play a big role.

    You ain't seen nothin yet.
  3. Dunbar Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    I'm already in love with this timeline.
  4. Nebogipfel Donor

    Oct 7, 2008
    But its already crowded behind the sofa :D:D

    The first part with the gun toting Rand could be straight from a
    early 70s New Hollywood movie ...
  5. Nazi Space Spy Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2011
    This is great! Its funny, I just started Atlas Shrugged a few weeks ago. Great book, and great timeline ;)
  6. Serenissima Most Serene

    Dec 8, 2010
    Home Counties, United Kingdom
    This is very fictional, but also very, very entertaining! Even have some thoughts of my own, though they'll have to wait a week or so.
  7. mrsandman Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum...

    Mar 7, 2011
    Can I be the first to say Turtledove? This is fucking brilliant.
  8. FDW Banned

    Jun 27, 2009
    San Francisco
    This loks to be an interesting clusterfuck to come, consider me subscribed.
  9. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Mar 10, 2004
    Don't jinx it, I've seen too many great works that end up unfinished. Unless we all peer pressure Linkwerk to not abandon this.

    An evil neocolonial bloc involving Katanga needn't all be Objectivist. The Pretoria-Salisbury-Lisbon unofficial unholy alliance was actually a thing. Historically they sought African allies, which is why they supported the Biafrans. In this universe Katanga would be a natural fit, though Katanga predates their alliance.
  10. Landshark The Falcon!

    Jan 1, 2004
    The United Kingdom
    Ayn Rand and L Ron.

    God, just when you think Africa had enough bad luck in OTL.
    Greg Grant likes this.
  11. Brady Kj Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2010
    Between two oceans, above some dirt
    Fascinating. I wish I knew enough about Rand to distinguish between the real Rand and the caricatures of her.
  12. Paladin Imperator Rex Graecorum

    Sep 15, 2006
    Commonwealth of Greater Virginia
    This is the best thing I've seen in Post-1900 since P&S came out. Even my objectivist friends think it's awesome. Please keep it up.
  13. Lazzars Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    very clever title, enjoying this so far. hoping to see the rang gang get smashed by the locals :)

  14. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Mar 10, 2004
    This story just started but I hope someone writes a Mad Men crossover.
  15. Linkwerk Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Ooooooh, shit.

    I'm gonna keep it real-life only (however distorted that might become) but this is just sooooo goddamn tempting.

    Pete Cambell slimily guiding tours of Galtville, expounding on the dynamic new world of tomorrow. Euuuuugh.
  16. lukedalton Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    North Italy
    Frankly if someone must make a cross-over, the objectivist make a good foil for...The Man from Uncle or I-spy
  17. Awilla the Hun Boneheaded Reactionary

    Nov 22, 2009
    The amount of people finding a hapless, out of their depth pair of authors and what looks like Robert McNamara setting up a small empire in Africa and unleashing horrifying amounts of bloodshed is frankly unnerving. I suppose we just don't have Objectivists in the UK to laugh at.
    rfref likes this.
  18. statichaos Liberal Hollywood Elitist

    Jan 20, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I want to take this timeline out behind the middle school and make it pregnant. -Tracy Jordan (paraphrased)

    While I do love more realistic timelines as intellectual exercises, the ones that I truly enjoy take seemingly batshit insane concepts and work them into a great enough story for me to simply go along with the ride, mouth agape and mind furiously working to figure out just what the fuck is going to happen next.

    Based upon relatively few posts, this is my favorite timeline since...ever. Subscribed, obviously.
    Redcoat likes this.
  19. Linkwerk Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    You? Enjoy crazy timelines? Naah, not possible. ;)

    This is incredibly high praise coming from the guy who gave us president Disney. I hope I don't dissapoint.

    That said- time for a different perspective

    January 1961, Galtville, Katanga

    Jean-Phillipe Lissouba still felt like he was dreaming every time he looked at Galtville. He'd seen at the cinema what the buildings in Leopoldville and Elizabethville were like, and the ones here were....different. They were strange, shiny, all glass and metal and corners, and they rose out of the scrubland that surrounded Kolwezi like a shimmering forest.

    It was a sight to behold from the skeletal sixth floor of the building Jean-Phillipe and dozens of other workers were building at breakneck speed. They got a half-hour for lunch, but after that it was back to work, until after nightfall. Some of the boys hated the heights, cursed the sun, the wind, the long climb up the scaffolding.

    None of those boys ever worked in the mines, Jean-Phillipe shook his head as he picked up another scoop of cornmeal ugali. One man had fallen a couple weeks ago, but there were no cave-ins here, no gas, a sense that days came and went naturally.

    We work all day, but at least we see the sun go down. That alone is worth....

    Jean-Phillipe made a puzzled look to himself. He was more educated than a lot of the men here- he'd been to the mission school, his french was good, he proudly wrote his own name on his pay stubs. He'd always had a head for figures but for the life of him he couldn't figure out if he was making less money. It was starting to worry him- he'd said goodbye to his wife and daughter, taken work halfway across the province -I can't even understand what they speak here. Are these other guys really Luba, too?- because the pay was dizzying. Incredible. Easily five times what he made working in the mines of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga.

    He had to compete with other men for the construction job, and he'd got it because he was good. Ten years in the mines. Not a day missed, and Jean-Phillipe had worked his way up to electrician. He'd been proud that day, talking to his wife about sending money home while he was away.

    But it wasn't working out like that. Here in Galtville he had to pay for everything. They brought around bills every month. Bills for the worker's housing, bills for the telephone, bills for electricity, for the water, for the toilet, even bills to use the sidewalks to get to work!

    Jean-Phillipe and the other workers were used to eating terrible food on the job, but they didn't have that here- the company let them order food from the kitchen of the hotel next door, but the prices were incredible. As if he or any of the other men could pay most of a day's salary to eat beefsteak and cheese like a white person?

    He looked down at his ugali. They got up early and cooked this in the mornings over hot plates and ate it cold at lunch. There wasn't coal dust in it, and it was sort of cheap, that's all he could say about it. One thing was sure, the ugali was all that was standing between Jean-Phillipe and the disappearance of his entire paycheck.

    You make more money, but you have to spend it all just to that a better future?

    This place was strange. Just strange. Something had been eating at him over the last few days. Everything was....upside down. The bosses made a big show out of paying them just to take it all back.

    The mines were at least honest that they were stealing from you!

    There weren't guards or company thugs here, either. Sure, there were one or two Gendarmes at the bus station, miles away from town near the new airport. They were the usual- complete assholes, waving their hippo-hide whips in your face because they can.

    But in town, like, in the middle? Near the statue of that naked man holding the globe? There were just those white men, the ones who didn't even wear uniforms. Nobody said they were police, they just walked around in tan shirts with their little submachineguns and big sunglasses. They didn't even take the time to harass Jean-Phillipe: it was like they were looking right through him. They smiled a lot, but it wasn't because they were happy.

    It's because they can do anything they want.

    Under the sun, Jean-Phillipe shuddered. He was used to being ignored- all the white men that ever came to the mine cared more about the machines than the workers, but the whites here.....

    -All of the men looked up at one of the big passenger jets heading into the new airport- was like they wanted you to do more than work. They wanted you to agree with them at the same time. He wasn't even sure what they wanted him to agree about. They didn't ever just come out and say it, like the preachers.

    That's the other thing- no churches.

    Jean-Phillipe had never the most serious Catholic in the world, but he made damn sure to be there next to his wife and daughter every sunday- what sort of man was he if he didn't go?. Their foreman had just laughed a some of the more religious men when they asked about services.

    It wasn't even the weirdest thing that happened here.

    On one of their days off, he and the boys decided to pool their money and rent one of the little sports fields the hotel next door for a pick-up game of futbol.

    One of the whites playing that ridiculous game with the shorts and the paddle....what was it? Tennis? Came over and started talking to them though the wire fence in the most atrocious french Jean-Phillipe had ever heard. It wasn't like what the Belgian white men spoke, or like any accent he had ever heard.

    Jean-Phillipe spoke the best out of any of his friends, so he asked what the white man wanted. He said his name was Alan and that he was from America. Jean-Phillipe thought he must have forgotten his french when he heard what came next, it just didn't make sense.

    Alan from America started asking them why they were all playing a game on a team. He said- and Jean-Phillipe was really confused here- that it was bad that they were all working together on teams and that they should play sports that made single people better, like- what was it?- tennis.

    Even there, eating his lunch, Jean-Phillipe shook his head. He and his friends though the white man was telling them to leave so they apologized and got their ball to leave and asked if they could get their money back for the court since they had paid for three hours but had only been there for twenty minutes.

    Alan on the other side of the fence got really frustrated, and told them they could stay if they wanted. "It's your choice" he kept repeating, but he was frustrated with them, they had all given wrong answers in class or something.

    Galtville was really really strange.

    But Jean-Phillipe wasn't about to quit, like some of the men did. He wasn't about to forfeit the housing deposit they made the workers pay and walk several kilometers out to the bus station and get harassed by the gendarmes and go home in defeat to beg for his mining job back.

    Besides, things were different now. The mines would kill a man- if gas and cave-in's didn't get him, black lung would. He had a wife, and a daughter, and for the first time he felt like they really had a future. Not just Jean-Phillipe and his family, but all of them; every Congolese.

    We're a real country now. This won't go on for long Jean-Phillipe had left the mines because he knew that with Patrice Lumumba in charge, he could expect better things in life.

    The way he told off a white man like that! And the King of Belgium, no less! Right there on the radio!.

    It had been electrifying. All of it had been. Jean-Phillipe didn't hate white men, not like a lot of the guys did, but to hear Lumumba tell all of them, with their guns and their whips and their silly hats that they had to treat Africans like changed everything. He had wanted out of the mines right then, wanted a future for his daughter.

    I don't even mind working for the whites- not for decent pay- I just want to be treated the same. Someday I want to go on vacation and tell Alan from America how silly I think tennis is.

    The whistle blew, and the men roused themselves back to work. The thought of going to where Alan worked and telling him off made Jean-Phillipe chuckle to himself through the rest of his shift putting in the building's wiring, until a disturbance on the floor below broke his concentration.

    It came around to him in whispers. "A coup! A coup! They say Patrice Lumumba is under arrest in Leopoldville! He's in prison!.

    Jean-Phillipe was a tough guy, but he stood right there looking at the sun set over these strange buildings and their strange demands, and he wept.

    He wasn't the only one.

    He wasn't the only one clenching his fists, either.
    Gentleman Biaggi and Bulldoggus like this.
  20. mrsandman Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum...

    Mar 7, 2011
    He doesn't seem to be in the same state of the Mundanes, at least not yet. Also will we be seeing more of the construction of Galtville or are we going to be moving forward from this point?
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