"What Madness Is This?" Volume II: Prophecies in the Dark

I know that The Boys has been mentioned here before, but holy shit:


Those two are like the perfect Pinnacle Couple for NUSA. The crazed, narcissistic, jingoist finding his All-American gal pal who just so happens to be a crazy ass Nazi. Name a more Pinnacle Pair, you can't.
If Homelander ended up in Madness verse the guy could easily spin himself as the messiah reborn. Coming down to Earth to usher in a Pinnacle Age.
 
How futurist is Illuminism?

Is illuminist Russia industrializing?

I feel like the military uniforms will look something like GDR, due to the mix of who became illuminist, with pretty great parades.

Also perhaps reviving roman culture, due to the enlightenment fetish of it (illuminists being neo jacobin) seeking to create a Robiespierre style "Republic of Virtue?"

I could see them trying to build a trans siberian maglev, and also a architecture similar to the early soviet "constructivist" designs rather than the drab brutalism.

Also, I feel like the economics would be sort of state capitalist.

Whats the flag?
 
How futurist is Illuminism?

Is illuminist Russia industrializing?

I feel like the military uniforms will look something like GDR, due to the mix of who became illuminist, with pretty great parades.

Also perhaps reviving roman culture, due to the enlightenment fetish of it (illuminists being neo jacobin) seeking to create a Robiespierre style "Republic of Virtue?"

I could see them trying to build a trans siberian maglev, and also a architecture similar to the early soviet "constructivist" designs rather than the drab brutalism.

Also, I feel like the economics would be sort of state capitalist.

Whats the flag?
Firstly, they are almost certain to be extremely futurist. As in, the slightest overperformance of industrial quotas would probably cause dedicated Illuminists to put on their Phrygian caps and start dancing in the streets and bowing before a giant statue of Reason, because it means that the future will arrive slightly sooner. I expect that Illuminist newspapers and magazines would include sensationalized accounts of every new invention, complete with speculation on its possible uses.

As for industrialization, I think it is rather hit-or-miss as to whether the Illuminists are more or less industrialized than the OTL USSR as of 1938. The absolute zeal for the future, coupled with likely state subsidization for factory construction, would suggest that they would be more advanced. Moreover, the Illuminist armies and security forces would likely partner with factory owners to enforce maximum efficiency and compliance. This would work in parallel to the OTL role of the US Army National Guard and militias like the Pinkertons in suppressing the late nineteenth-century labor movement. "Wrecking" might be a crime in the Illuminist world like it was in the OTL USSR, so that slow workers can be prosecuted to inspire speedy compliance in the others.

In the military, I think that the uniforms will look like a cross between East German and late-Soviet equipment, and stereotypical 1960s-1970s science fiction garb. I think the Illuminist army will have East German helmets except with the faces enclosed by respirators and gold-plated visors, that their uniforms will borrow the late-Soviet obsession with oversized headwear and grandiose medals, and that the overall style of uniforms will look like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey or the 1980s Star Trek films. For the branches of the Illuminist military, I think they will have the Ground Force, the Naval Force, and an Aerospace Force. The countries of the Illuminist world will probably be organized into a Warsaw Pact-style alliance such that soldiers from any two countries are practically interchangeable.

Reviving Roman culture seems somewhat likely, with Russia having seen itself as the Third Rome, but I think the Illuminists would be equally appreciative of Classical Greece. They might even create an Olympics equivalent, and lavish praise upon the winners because of their ultra-meritocratic approach. On the subject of meritocracy, creating a Republic of Virtue is a likely goal for the Illuminists, and the social elites in the Illuminist world will probably see themselves as a virtuous "body of the elect" composed of rational supermen. This would create a parallel to the RU's "Saven." The local Robespierre fanaticism might lead the Illuminists to build TTL's Robespierre Monument. The Illuminists, however, probably care enough to build the monument out of a more durable material so it survives longer than three days.


Economically, I think the Illuminists will take after Pinochet's Chile. That is, they will privatize most things and break up collective landholdings for sale on the market, but create a technocratic class of local and foreign experts to advise the regime in its economic and social policies. I think the Illuminists will probably subsidize industrialization and offer excellent deals to companies who are willing to build the regional geoengineering projects and rail networks. The governments of Illuminist countries would probably partner directly with companies, but would not take over or create state owned industries. Moreover, I think the Illuminists will create a common market and have a shared currency, called something like the Reason (locally translated in each country). Lastly, I have described a possible Illuminist economic policy in a previous post that explains that, being a revolutionary movement, the Illuminists would be aware enough of the potential power of mobs that they would pass Laws of Maximums to ensure that the needs of the citizens are met to avoid grain riots. However, this could lead to unintended consequences, as the citizens protest to have maximums placed on more commodities. By the 1990s, the Illuminists could be having television riots so the Kremlin levels a fixed maximum price on television sets.

As for the flag, it will probably either be a red flag with a charge in the corner, or a French Revolution-inspired tricolor. I have already posted my proposal in this thread, in post 1299, back on page 65.
 
Firstly, they are almost certain to be extremely futurist. As in, the slightest overperformance of industrial quotas would probably cause dedicated Illuminists to put on their Phrygian caps and start dancing in the streets and bowing before a giant statue of Reason, because it means that the future will arrive slightly sooner. I expect that Illuminist newspapers and magazines would include sensationalized accounts of every new invention, complete with speculation on its possible uses.

As for industrialization, I think it is rather hit-or-miss as to whether the Illuminists are more or less industrialized than the OTL USSR as of 1938. The absolute zeal for the future, coupled with likely state subsidization for factory construction, would suggest that they would be more advanced. Moreover, the Illuminist armies and security forces would likely partner with factory owners to enforce maximum efficiency and compliance. This would work in parallel to the OTL role of the US Army National Guard and militias like the Pinkertons in suppressing the late nineteenth-century labor movement. "Wrecking" might be a crime in the Illuminist world like it was in the OTL USSR, so that slow workers can be prosecuted to inspire speedy compliance in the others.

In the military, I think that the uniforms will look like a cross between East German and late-Soviet equipment, and stereotypical 1960s-1970s science fiction garb. I think the Illuminist army will have East German helmets except with the faces enclosed by respirators and gold-plated visors, that their uniforms will borrow the late-Soviet obsession with oversized headwear and grandiose medals, and that the overall style of uniforms will look like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey or the 1980s Star Trek films. For the branches of the Illuminist military, I think they will have the Ground Force, the Naval Force, and an Aerospace Force. The countries of the Illuminist world will probably be organized into a Warsaw Pact-style alliance such that soldiers from any two countries are practically interchangeable.

Reviving Roman culture seems somewhat likely, with Russia having seen itself as the Third Rome, but I think the Illuminists would be equally appreciative of Classical Greece. They might even create an Olympics equivalent, and lavish praise upon the winners because of their ultra-meritocratic approach. On the subject of meritocracy, creating a Republic of Virtue is a likely goal for the Illuminists, and the social elites in the Illuminist world will probably see themselves as a virtuous "body of the elect" composed of rational supermen. This would create a parallel to the RU's "Saven." The local Robespierre fanaticism might lead the Illuminists to build TTL's Robespierre Monument. The Illuminists, however, probably care enough to build the monument out of a more durable material so it survives longer than three days.


Economically, I think the Illuminists will take after Pinochet's Chile. That is, they will privatize most things and break up collective landholdings for sale on the market, but create a technocratic class of local and foreign experts to advise the regime in its economic and social policies. I think the Illuminists will probably subsidize industrialization and offer excellent deals to companies who are willing to build the regional geoengineering projects and rail networks. The governments of Illuminist countries would probably partner directly with companies, but would not take over or create state owned industries. Moreover, I think the Illuminists will create a common market and have a shared currency, called something like the Reason (locally translated in each country). Lastly, I have described a possible Illuminist economic policy in a previous post that explains that, being a revolutionary movement, the Illuminists would be aware enough of the potential power of mobs that they would pass Laws of Maximums to ensure that the needs of the citizens are met to avoid grain riots. However, this could lead to unintended consequences, as the citizens protest to have maximums placed on more commodities. By the 1990s, the Illuminists could be having television riots so the Kremlin levels a fixed maximum price on television sets.

As for the flag, it will probably either be a red flag with a charge in the corner, or a French Revolution-inspired tricolor. I have already posted my proposal in this thread, in post 1299, back on page 65.
Would be kinda funny if the Cold War‘s technological gap of TTL is avoided or slightly reversed for the NUSA, with the Illuminist edge out on consumer electronics and medicine while NUSA embarks too much in space tech (like the Soviet) but lags behind on other key technologies. But might not be that much since both are capitalist superpowers and invest heavily in R&D.
 
Would be kinda funny if the Cold War‘s technological gap of TTL is avoided or slightly reversed for the NUSA, with the Illuminist edge out on consumer electronics and medicine while NUSA embarks too much in space tech (like the Soviet) but lags behind on other key technologies. But might not be that much since both are capitalist superpowers and invest heavily in R&D.
Better yet it would be interesting if the RU's hatred against slavs ends up obstacolating its tecnological progress.
If the Illuminist Block really ends taking the lead in the creation of medical and domestic technology, i can see the RU dismissing their theories and even some of their inventions as "Inferiors' thrickery against american Betters" (similarly to what the Nazis did in OTL with Einstein's theories).
Of course Oswald will completely change the policy at one point or another, but by then the gap between the RU/NUSA and the IPRR will be too great
 
Would be kinda funny if the Cold War‘s technological gap of TTL is avoided or slightly reversed for the NUSA, with the Illuminist edge out on consumer electronics and medicine while NUSA embarks too much in space tech (like the Soviet) but lags behind on other key technologies. But might not be that much since both are capitalist superpowers and invest heavily in R&D.
Honestly, with the loss of money that investment on the South American toxic clusterfuck must be, a NUSA which has gotten behind in several aspects is almost canon. Remember how in Orson's subplot in VOL Pinnacle Future every time the guy stops on some place, that place is a junkyard. I suspect is implied this is the current state of things outside the cities.
 
Honestly, with the loss of money that investment on the South American toxic clusterfuck must be, a NUSA which has gotten behind in several aspects is almost canon. Remember how in Orson's subplot in VOL Pinnacle Future every time the guy stops on some place, that place is a junkyard. I suspect is implied this is the current state of things outside the cities.
Based on those hints, it seems like under Oswald’s administration, the reforms are at best Kosygin-esque, which slowly morph themselves into a stagnation and decline that’s comparable to that of OTL Brezhnev’s stagnation, or even worse.
On how developed the Illuminist are compared to OTL USSR, I will say they are more developed.
  • First, let’s remember that the Russian Civil War ended in 1920, rather 1923, which gives the IPRR 3 years of extra development - if we use 1938 as a comparison. The preceding Russian Empire industrialized frantically according to the Mad Czar’s chapter, hence they also got extra industry by the end of the Great War, plus the Russian managed to punch deeper than OTL, implying that they are more modernized than OTL Russian Empire by 1914.
  • Secondly, they have several allies - East Germania and Poland are the most noticeable - both of which had a lot of expertise in industrial economy, which added in the IPRR’s industrialization. They will push for modernizing Russia at a pace that would make Stalin’s Five Years Plans look like a snail. With a lot of emphasis on machine-building and high-quality industrial products.
  • Thirdly, the Illuminist are hardcore believers in intellectual freedom. So, there would be no state-enforced science like Lysenkoism, which harmed the Soviet’s agricultural output by an order of magnitude (seriously). Instead, the latest tools and theories will be used to maximize outputs like what J. Westrate stated.
  • Fourth - the Illuminist might not suppress birth rate like OTL, and let the country urbanize at a natural rate, which might give them several millions more people.
 
Last edited:
View attachment 591008

"Keeping up with President Oswald is no easy task. The man is a veritable ball of Pinnacle energy. But someone has to carry the Atomic Satchel for President Oswald at all times, and I am proud to have such an important position."

- Bobby *REDACTED*, member of President Oswald's "Rat Pack" of personal henchmen. He rose to infamy for accidentally telling a reporter about President Oswald *REDACTED* two whole *REDACTED* while utterly *REDACTED*.

Also a face reveal. Lol Someone needs to photoshop the striped armband onto my sleeve. Lol Gonna try to finish the last big chapter and work on another tonight! Going to library for research purposes at the moment.
Is it weird I've thought up of a TV show with you're own role to star in?
 
Last edited:
dc7becfb787e6fe7fd3ca9823158c033.jpg

Illuminist bloc uniform (figured mixed German and Russian influence would give it a NVA look)

Also, Syd Mead's work is good for the Madnessverse eventual futurist "eternal 70s" vibe in America.


maxresdefault.jpg


I think Illuminist Russia would have more normal general futurism and less a 70s imagination of the future, more like Soviet Constructivism and German expressionism with a ancient hellenistic cultural revival. Also probably more focus on collective transit like maglev and other high speed rail compared with ultra consumerist America.

images-1.jpeg


dessau_bauhausgebaeude_tfranzen_7380.jpg

4c6fed8e553f15a9971119af899e3cb0.jpg
 
Would be kinda funny if the Cold War‘s technological gap of TTL is avoided or slightly reversed for the NUSA, with the Illuminist edge out on consumer electronics and medicine while NUSA embarks too much in space tech (like the Soviet) but lags behind on other key technologies. But might not be that much since both are capitalist superpowers and invest heavily in R&D.
That's what I am kind of anticipating. Also, maybe the Space Race goes the other way than in TTL. As in, a crack (using) team of American scientists leads the NUSA in a surge of space milestones. First satellite, first dog in space, first chimp in space, first man and woman in space, first people to orbit the Moon, first person to land on the Moon, etc. But the IPRR goes farther, landing people and/or robots (they would borrow the Czech word while the Yankees are stuck calling them "automen" or something) on Mars, the Jovian moons, and making manned flybys of Saturn. The Loomies would also be acutely interested in space-based industry more than military outposts, and would start building the necessary infrastructure to make space travel as routine and inexpensive as air flight. Part of the IPRR success would be that the NUSA's space tech, while initially the best anywhere, would stagnate before the IPRR surpasses it.

On the subject of consumer electronics and medicine, I think the IPRR will pioneer the internet and the internet of things; and with the dawn of cybernetics some time in the 90s or early 2000s, cybernetics and the internet of things would mesh together. Unfortunately, this would open cyborgs to direct hacking and lead to some sort of Law of the Motherland in Danger, like an IPRR Patriot Act.

In lieu of cybernetics, I think the NUSA would substitute simulmatics. This would involve the NUSA government, the AFC, or the Business Clans gathering data from citizens, the Saven, and customers, and using computers to predict their actions and views. In OTL, the Kennedy campaign used simulmatics going into the 1960 presidential election to predict voters' views on civil rights, foreign relations, and social policies based on a 480 by 52 matrix. There were 480 voter profiles, and 52 issue clusters. The NUSA and its security apparatus under Oswald is likely to latch onto simulmatics to detect and liquidate subversives, create a rigged semblance of democracy in which he is guaranteed to win by ridiculous margins (but at least he lets you vote, and the proceedings look fair enough from outside), and create a market for consumer/citizen/congregant (CCC) data among the arms of society in the NUSA. For that matter, bureaucrats in the NUSA might call its subjects triple-Cs, for their tripartite roles in society.
 
So if the RU and the IPRR end up ruling space, what is left to France?
At this point i can see Paris putting a lot of focus on biotechnology, believing that it is the only way to survive a possible nuclear war with the other two states.

Also anyone who has read "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld knows what all this focus on genetic manipulation and robotics could cause.....
chapter4a1.jpg


d2nawfs-bb799c2b-3a54-4563-a282-7466c6c1622f.jpg


dd869196de07c9323d565fe2d3da4132.jpg


Leviathan_Westerfeld_Thompson3.jpg
 
So if the RU and the IPRR end up ruling space, what is left to France?
Honestly I’m not sure there will be a France by the time period of the Pinnacle Future. Given in the last update it’s mentioned that Israel exists and last I checked Palestine was an Europan territory, I‘m going to predict that open war breaks out between Europa and the R.U, possibly over South America and we’ll see the fall of Europa and the Immolation of at least Spain and France and that Israel will be one of many states that will be carved out of Europa‘s shattered remains.
 
Feel like they’re either be super conservative, just like how OTL Soviet Russia was, or they’ll go full Aleister Crowley sex magick mysticism to commune with the Aether.
I was thinking that the Illuminists should probably be the reverse of the NUSA's stance on it to have them as a proper foil. So while the Yankees are swapping partners to "spread their Fluids around", the Loomies are having government-arranged marriages and a set number of children.
 
So if the RU and the IPRR end up ruling space, what is left to France?
At this point i can see Paris putting a lot of focus on biotechnology, believing that it is the only way to survive a possible nuclear war with the other two states.

Also anyone who has read "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld knows what all this focus on genetic manipulation and robotics could cause.....
View attachment 591796

View attachment 591797

View attachment 591799

View attachment 591800
I loved those books back in high-school! Amazed no one ever tried to do a timeline for it on this sight.
 
Top