Well, I'm sure this won't possibly lead to any problems in the future. Great update!
Why does it remind me so strongly of today's liberal democracies?The "Militant" DemocracyWest Germany came out of the Three Years War a deeply scarred society in the aftermath of the 1957 Hanover massacre. No nation was as rhetorically dedicated to the cause of "democracy", as West German propaganda regularly contrasted "democratic Germany" with the "totalitarian Communist occupied east." Moreover, unlike Portugal or Spain, where integralist regimes did not permit free elections, West German authorities generally celebrated its free elections. However, West German elections had severe deficiencies., heavily linked to an official state ideology where a "nonideological watchman" was required to snuff out "threats" to democracy.
The West German state explicitly cited Karl Popper's "paradox of tolerance" and Hannah Arendt's "Origin of Totalitarianism" to essentially suppress dissidents. For example, the government banned expression of "totalitarian ideologies", which in theory meant both Communism and Nazism, but was essentially selectively only applied to Marxists and other socialists. Short of outright defending and celebrating the Holocaust, few far-right ideas were condemned under Germany's "democracy protection" regime (for example, in one court case, a scholar downplaying the death toll of the Holocaust was acquitted, while another expressing support for the Tanganyikan Mapinduzi rebels was convicted). Ironically, neither Popper nor Arendt were fans of West Germany's "constitutional protection regime."
The Gehlen Organization, under former head of Nazi military intelligence in the Eastern Front, Richard Gehlen, was transformed into Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), which was given a broad mandate to "root out anti-democratic elements." Opposition elements quickly referred to them as the neo-Gestapo due to the prominence of many ex-Gestapo members (that being said, a majority of members were Abwehr veterans). The election system was also predictably rigged. Under West German election laws, each state sent MPs to the Bundestag based on proportional representation with the caveat that if any one electoral party alliance cleared 50% of valid votes in a state, they would receive 100% of the seats from that state. The ruling coalition would always get over 50% in enough states to guarantee 100% of the seats in those states - and no opposition alliance would ever manage that feat themselves because threatening candidates were often banned from the ballot (for "sympathy to totalitarianism"). Moreover, the opposition, deeply infiltrated by the BfV, was generally unable to ever unite.
In many ways, West Germany had constructed what many American liberals had desribed as the "perfect democracy." Angered by New Left student radicals during the 1964 elections, luminary American historian Richard Hofstadter penned an article describing West Germany as the "perfect democracy." To many American liberals, finally, "men of high virtue" with a belief in "human progress, technocratic rule, democratic rule, and high culture" (West German elites regularly cited Kant to justify their supposed "constitutional rule by law" state) would rule instead of "Marxist student activists, primitive Christian fanatics, and other deranged populists". The obvious fact that many of the judges in the so-called "rule-by-law" state were hanging judges for Nazi Germany was glossed over because pointing this out was quickly condemned as "Communist propaganda" sponsored by the "butchers of Stockholm." The most famous proponent of "militant German democracy" in America was German-born political scientist Karl Loewenstein, who argued that the West German legal system was actually reliable (most prosecutions of electoral candidates actually failed, though too late for their votes to actually be counted) and the system was unlike the Imperial and Nazi past because the government was 1) parliamentary, 2) restrained by courts, and 3) not run by any one autocrat in particular. All of those points were technically true, but this did not convince anyone skeptical of the system.
The West German secret services were heavily supported by France (as West Germany was a dutiful member of the EU) as well as the United States (as a dutiful member of NATO). Moreover, West German universities and political scientists were typically on the forefront of any analysis justifying Western intervention wherever they went (especially in anticolonial struggles, where most nations were actually quite embarrassed to do so). Moreover, West Germany once again became an intellectual center in Europe, at least for a certain type of European. The West German government gleefully sponsored free education for any anti-Communist Eastern European, where they would impress upon their own narrative of history - chief among the official state narrative in West Germany was that "international Marxists" tricked the West and Nazi Germany into a war together, that Operation Barbarossa was a "defensive war" launched to liberate the ethnicities of Eastern Europe, that the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities were real but their death toll was "overexaggerated" by "Marxist propaganda", and that anticolonial revolts abroad were part of an ancient "Bolshevik war against Western civilization." Their first eager students were Swedes, but they were quickly joined by Hungarians and Yugoslav anti-Communists, as well as Polish refugees. German intellectuals who detested the new regime typically either moved to East Germany - or more popularly, the Saarland, which quickly became a hotbed of anti-regime extremism and academic freedom.
At least between 1957 and 1963, the regime saw skyrocketing incomes, which quieted domestic discontent. However, the oil crash of 1963 and political chaos in neighboring France would also spark remarkable disorder in West Germany, which would only be compounded by the chaos in the Soviet Union. The "Spirit of 64" would soon be on its way to West Germany...
What is West Germany position about Italy? Are Italians attacked by German propaganda for their affairs with the Soviets (especially the deal for Trieste during the Three Yers War) or is Rome considered too important for NATO's interests in Europe?The Autocrat
Increasingly buoyed by seeming success in international affairs as well as an economic surge based on some sort of trade rapprochement with the United States and the European Union, Prime Minister Mattei was not happy to rule like his center-left precedessors, who largely governed by consensus within Christian Democracy, largely only breaking such concord only to chart a more independent foreign policy. Mattei was determined to impose his will on Italian politics, focusing on Christian Democracy. Quickly drumming out free-market opponents and socialist-left opponents, Mattei thought to build the party in his own image - technocratic, interventionist, and centralist. Unlike many cold warriors, Mattei truly cared very little for international ideological politics. Although his predecessors adopted nonalignment based on moral and pacifistic and Christian principles, Mattei believed primarily in economic realpolitik. When European nations were setting themselves on fire playing influence wars in the Middle East, Italy sat at the side, happy to make deals with anyone that would turn them a profit. When the British fled for their lives from Jordan, the Italian government was the first to reach out to Social Nationalist Syria, offering engineers, investments, and oil technicians. Italy had never played along with the sanctions on Iran. Italy was also the first Western government to reach out to the new regime in Egypt. Even in Kenya, the Italians were happy to do business with Idi Amin, and were also happy to throw him away once he had outlived his purpose.
Their close ties to the Muslim world, based on simply not caring about what kind of government they had, almost perfectly shielded Italy from the 1963 oil crisis. If anything, Italy's monopolization of oil resources from the rest of Europe saw Italian industry surge at an era where Franco-German industry stagnated. This was seen and appreciated by Italy's labor unions, whom he quickly bent to his will. The grand bargain would survive. The Socialists and Reform Communists would continue supporting his administration in exchange for regular wage increases and tolerating mass unionization. In exchange, Italian unions refrained from directly striking, but rather went over the heads of management, discussing directly with an increasingly authoritarian Italian state, who would simply command industries. The significant state-owned enterprise sector of the Italian economy gave Mattei the ability to set de facto wages and benefits, which he used to secure union support.
Ironically, Italian hostility to Yugoslavia (due to the Trieste dispute) meant that Italy also had a unique role in reaching out to the Communist bloc. Soviet-Italian relations were cordial and Italy stood as an unusual example. In many ways, Italy remained an economic lifeline for much of the Eastern Bloc, especially Eastern Bloc members that exported raw materials. All of this regularly meant that Western liberals condemned Italy as an "authoritarian cancer" in the "democratic" world. Despite the fact that Mattei was actually more reliant on the left, he was regularly condemned by Western analysts as a "far-right" leader, even though many of those analysts lauded Portugal and Spain as good EU members. That being said, some of the Italian far-right did defect to support Mattei, seeing at least that he had established a surprisingly corporatist system at home that reminded them of the non-militarist, non-racist elements of the old regime. However, it was difficult to make that label stick, especially because he did not seem to be a militarist in the slightest, even if he obsessively concentrated political power in his own office. In a lot of ways, he had tamed both the far-left and the far-right under one umbrella, with his strongest opponents generally being centrist liberals.
Although maintaining cordial relations with the United States, there was always the sense that a large and powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington disliked Mattei's Italy. Similarly, Italy soon became the odd man out in Europe, being the only major Western European country to not dutifully join the European Union. Charitable foundations and intelligence agencies in the United States and the rest of Western Europe quickly found a group in society that chafed against the seeming conformism and "managed democracy" of Italy - namely increasingly radical youth at Italian universities who either challenged the regime from the left, right, or even center. Italian students quickly received sponsored lectures from radical academics who raged against the system. However, they were never able to expand their ranks to include workers in their demonstrations - and it was increasingly obvious that the workers of Northern Italy were too closely welded to the regime.
Finally, the declining economic fortunes of France/Germany and the rising fortunes of Italy quickly shut off the spigot of Southern Italian emigration to France and Germany - instead, they generally piled into Northern Italy, where they tended to actually moderate the labour unions by adding more labour to the local market. In fact, the government saw this as a positive, but the widespread migration from the South to the North also created social and economic problems in the South - problems that the government sought to rectify by loosening immigration and migrant worker laws. In a return to history, Italy quickly became one of the most generous takers of Greek refugees, either fleeing the aftermath of the Greek Civil War(s) or the ethnic cleansing of Thrace and Cyprus. Besides Greeks, a not-insignificant number of Latin Americans arrived, largely because the Italian government widely overestimated Italian cultural influence in Latin America (and often mixed up nations). Although this led to more economic growth, it further alienated elements of the far-right. Even liberals found something to complain about it - often arguing that Italy was "de-europeanizing" under Mattei, who clearly prioritized Italian national interests (especially economic) over "European solidarity."
Probably both.What is West Germany position about Italy? Are Italians attacked by German propaganda for their affairs with the Soviets (especially the deal for Trieste during the Three Yers War) or is Rome considered too important for NATO's interests in Europe?
Tito died during the pseudo-WW3 which was the Three Years War, so there's that.Honestly I am curious about the current status of Yugoslavia and Albania. Considering the unplesant relationship Albanians and Serbs had for most of history (and still have), I wonder how Tito is dealing with the annexation of Albania
I used to only ironically love a lot of those domino memes, but reading the historical backgrounds about a lot of modern day current event conflicts, I'm starting to go "damn, it really do kinda be like that sometimes." That being said, those are actually a lot less defensible than this because it was often obvious to a lot of people that xx decision might lead to something very bad down the line.Whoops, looks like America just accidentally tipped a domino.
In many ways, the history of the entire US foreign policy.Whoops, looks like America just accidentally tipped a domino.