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. 037771 New Member

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    Fun read thus far, although I'm keen to see how the Objectivists get to run Katanga in the first place, let alone last until '66. Nonetheless subscribed.
     
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  2. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

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    Man, imagine another spin-off: if Objectivist Katanga didn't take place in OTL, but in For All Time...
     
  3. 037771 New Member

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    The horror.
     
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  4. Osakadave TexIowan

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    Yep. As for being a fascist, racist, or sexist, just to be clear, RAH was far too complex to pigeonhole so easily.

    Interesting idea. Definately more in line with the Romulans. And just think of the grim dark possibilities of Objectivist Ferengi...

    Whither the whole "with great power there must also come great responsibility" motif in this case?

    Indeed.

    Assuming there's not an earlier POD than the '57 meeting, Co$ already exists, having been established in '52. I can see it being OK, since it was pushed as the "Church of Science" with the aim of "a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights".

    An Objectivism influanced Co$ will make for an even nastier Fair Game policy. (Especially with a LaVeyan influance - brilliant suggestion Statichaos.)
     
  5. Georgepatton The Doctor in The Killing Rain

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    With Heinlein being so hard to pigeonhole, I had this wild image of him hearing about Katanga, going there full of enthusiasm or interest, and then ending up disgusted and horrified, and maybe dying in some wild attempt to assassinate Rand. It'd certainly be good for driving her over the edge.
     
  6. Gwendolyn Ingolfsson Ordnung des Neuen Templars

    Oh, baby. Now this is just plain smexy, I loves me a good Dystopia! I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
     
  7. Rush Tarquin Blunder from Down Under

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    The words from the man's mouth would seem to confirm this view. He fancied himself a bit of a jack of all trades, a big amateur engineer (as a hobby), and liked a challenge, so I do think it could appeal to him in the beginning and he could actually be of use in a quasi-artistic Speer-like capacity.
     
  8. statichaos Liberal Hollywood Elitist

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    I'd see him more as Goldman in the Soviet Union, at first supportive and seeing the idea as full of promise, then gradually becoming more and more horrified upon direct observation.
     
  9. Rush Tarquin Blunder from Down Under

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    In terms of his politics definitely. I'm not suggesting he'd be happy to use slave labour only to flip on his political masters after they'd lost!
     
  10. Linkwerk Member

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    There isn't a POD earlier than the '57 meeting. The CoS exists, as does Sea Og (which will be the only part of Ron's empire to re-appear in the story) and the CoS is on-track as OTL.

    They're both kooky authors, but it was really Ron Hubbards tactics of focusing on prominent people and escaping territorial state authority that I wanted to have rub off.

    Especially considering that Rands lover and right hand man for the early 60's was, you know, a psychotherapist I don't see much potential for a long term relationship between the two.


    ....which doesn't rule out some alliances of convenience......



    Anyways. Let's do a poll; what do you want me to write next?

    1) The genesis of an idea, the founding of the Freehold project- Chicago,1957

    2) First meetings- A washing machine salesman, a board of directors, a man who doesn't know he's in over his head. Paris/Brussels 1958

    3) History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach.... Things don't go the way you think, Katanga, 1961
     
  11. Nebogipfel Donor

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    In the same (chronological) order
     
  12. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    I second this
     
  13. Evermourn Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you think best, I like the jumping around in time, as long as you keep the dates at the start. Interesting to see something, then see how it started in future posts. A refreshing change.
     
  14. statichaos Liberal Hollywood Elitist

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    There's my vote.
     
  15. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend

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    I know what I'm voting for when it comes to this year's Turtledoves.

    :D
     
  16. mrsandman Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum...

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    Do all three starting with the meeting.
     
  17. FDW Banned

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    I'll go with number 2 first.
     
  18. Orville_third Banned

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    This is cool. I'm in awe. A few notes:
    I'm not sure if Roddenberry wasn't influenced by Branden in some of his work. (This was after Branden split from Rand, I think.) It was in an interview thing in "Star Trek Lives!"
    Meanwhile, lest we forget, Hubbard was influenced by John Whiteside Parsons. (By now, Parsons was blown sky-high.) I'm not sure if Thelemites would be coming to Katanga.
    OTL, the far-right did peddle conspiracy theories on Katanga, the John birch Society being a prime example. Of course, if someone points out something about the "godless Objectivists..."
     
  19. Zacoftheaxes Atari Democrat

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    It may actually be one of the nicer nations. :p
     
  20. Linkwerk Member

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    This wasn't the easiest to write, and it sadly isn't as action-packed and absurd as I usually prefer, but we do need some background, don't we?









    Autumn 1957, Hyde Park, Chicago

    The light was coming in long and low, streaming through the almost-bare trees, brilliant and golden, causing Ayn to squint as she stared out of the bay window, lost in thought.

    I hope the University is right about this 'urban renewal' thing, this'll be a decent neighborhood again once we shape it up a little.

    The townhouse was something of a risk financially, but she was glad she'd gotten in on the ground floor- the change in the neighborhood wasn't the only exciting thing afoot at the University these days. The whole area was positively buzzing with excitement.

    Besides, with the sorts of people she had interested, she didn't think she'd have to keep paying out of pocket. Not after tonight, at the very least.

    She took another sip of her gin fizz and cracked a smile.

    These college kids sure can mix a mean cocktail.

    They'd been the first step, of course, and she'd already had the speaking tours scheduled. She'd been heartened by the response she'd received out east- a few of the students were here now, bustling about with the last arrangements for the meeting- but that wasn't a serious way forward. They'd read the books, they were enthused, and eager, and she remembered something about some student associations or book clubs or something, but the spit-shined youth in Boston or New York couldn't change the world.

    Oh, if only Will alone could do it. But a stronghold of individual freedom confined to a dormitory isn't much of anything. I need men with....greater reach.

    She looked back over her shoulder, into the richly over-mahoganied salon.

    It was a good thing Detroit had been such a productive visit.

    Standing, drinks in hand, her boys were consumed with their own internal drive. It was incredible to watch. Alan in his typically somber black suit and Nathaniel- oh, Nathaniel. Nothing like that toad Frank who called me crazy and stayed in Los Angeles rather than fight for a future- were engaged in animated conversation with their latest convert.

    Schoolboy part firmly in place despite his wild gesticulating, he was in full swing.

    "....of course, it's the energy source of the future! History has shown that the ones who control the basic sources of energy production control the future"

    Nathaniel and Alan nodded, but the Boy Wonder didn't seem to notice.

    "I mean, nuclear power is capable of tremendous efficiency. You know, my boys at Ford are predicting- and we've run the numbers on this"-he wagged a finger to make that last point clear- that electricity will be too cheap to meter by 1975?"

    He smiled smugly as he sipped his Manhattan, as if he was single-handedly responsible for this fact. Nathaniel chimed in.

    "Can you imagine what an individual could achieve with access to that kind of energy? The power, the literal, actual power. Imagine the next Einstein or Edison or Tesla, his creative energies unburdened by regulation or interference, with the power of the Atom at his disposal!"

    The Boy Wonder spoke over Nathaniel.

    "Exactly! Exactly! Of course, the technology now is large and unwieldy, and controlled entirely by the government" - the Boy Wonder was a new enough convert to regard this as merely inconvenient, and not disgustingly evil- "but that should all change within the decade.

    Which brings me to my next point- uranium! You know, there's only so much of the stuff. Whoever controls uranium- I mean, the actual physical extraction of the ores from mines, and the sale of those ores- stands to make an incredible profit in years to come. At Ford, we've predicted that over eighty percent of global energy production in the year 1990 will be Atomic in nature! Why, you know, we've got this new project going on, the Nucleon, that we think is just, oh gee whiz, really exciting stuff...."

    Ayn eventually tuned them out- Nathaniel would summarize things for her later- but she was stopped from staring at the falling leaves by the arrival of a trundling, tweed-clad figure on her front steps.

    Milton! She broke out grinning. Ayn had feared he wouldn't come. She walked out of the salon and headed right for the front door. She had to greet this one herself.

    She swung open the door, offering to take his coat and hat herself- she rarely did that for anybody- and ushered him into the salon, where all the guests- a dozen or so- were finally gathering.

    Ayn cleared her throat.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Freehold foundation- I'd like you to meet Professor Milton Friedman!"

    There was a round of prompt, polite applause.

    Milton laughed off the applause with a wave, waddling over to the small bar staffed by smiling, thoroughly impressed co-eds.

    Drink now in hand, he turned to look her right in the eye.

    "So Ayn, I love your work and everything, but what's an author like you doing with a bunch of economists and corporate hot shots? And what's all this business about the...what is it? "freehold?"

    Her grin became even wider.

    She told him.




    Later that evening

    They were all draped over ottomans and overstuffed chairs, each usually surrounded with constellations of half-eaten deviled eggs and empty glasses.

    Milton shook his head.

    "Ayn, this is positively the craziest idea I have ever heard."

    Ayn was ready to rise to the challenge- without too much rancor, mostly due to the fact that she'd already had to tongue-lash some idiot co-ed who suggested they might- eugh- 'help people' with their project- but the Boy Wonder sprang to her defense.

    He leaned forward, pushing up his glasses with the deliberate care of the inexperienced drunk.

    "Oh, M-hic-Mr. Friedman I would heartily disagree. Our world is changing faster than ever"- he drew the last word into a long slur. "Did you know the number of independent states will probably double over the next ten years? Did you?.....Did....hic did you know that?"

    A pause. A solemn look into his glass.

    "Nobody would go along with this project here, I mean....you're right. But there might be places on earth where people are more willing to take a....a....a" he was fumbling for the words "A calculated risk."

    Milton gave a slow nod, admiring the executive for keeping it together as much as for what he was saying.

    "Now that might well be the case, we'll have to see what happens, and Ayn, I have to say, you are spot on with the economic side of this I just...." His brow furrowed. He wasn't convinced.

    "You just what, Milton dear?" this wasn't the first time silly sentiment and petty doubts got in the way of rational thought when she mentioned her plan.

    "I'm not talking about anything insane, far from it! I'm talking about a new start! Go....somewhere! Create something! From scratch! I know there might not be frontiers in this world anymore, but that doesn't mean we can't find a place to stay, a place where the government is weak and small enough for us to brush off and lead by example. We can make this happen, Milton."

    He sighed.

    "But you aren't talking about changing laws, or creating a degree of market freedom truly commensurate with the individual freedom we have here in the USA....I mean, sure, sure there might be forward-thinking leaders somewhere who would agree to a.....maybe a special administrative area with lower taxes or tariffs or something, but you're piratically talking about a COUNTRY here, Ayn!"

    So he's talking specifics now? Logistics? He isn't scoffing at the idea outright. Might just win him over.

    "Countries aren't just agglomerations of laws and....and institutions. You've written something which has lit a fire under a lot of very bright, very capable people" his wave encompassed the room "but that's not the same as a flag, as tradition and patriotism. Sure, some more exceptional and intelligent people are going to be motivated by idealism and freedom, but that's not going to beat out your average mope on the street! Who sings anthems to capitalism?"

    "Maybe people should start!" Interjected Alan. That got a chuckle.

    "Hey, hey listen to me here!" Milton was getting ready to make a big point. "I mean, say your country gets into a war. Wars are collective, by their very nature, it's collective struggle. What are your soldiers going to fight for, Ms.Rand?"

    She locked eyes with him.

    "The purest motivation of all."



    "Money."
     
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