What OTL events would be considered ASB if they hadn't actually occurred?

My country, Brazil, for all intents & purposes should not exist

Lets take a look at our history shall we?

See, from what archeology tells us there was no classical-style civilisation in brazilian territory - about half of South America, despite the multitude of tribes and cultures in Brazil before the 1500s

There may have been one city in the Amazon that could have been one, but everyone there died leaving no vestige of what happened to them, literally nothing left

Then there are the controversial claims of roman ruins & ships found...underwater, at the shores of Rio, yet no trace of hellenic culture or anything remotely european introduced into Brazil can be found

Feels like Twilight Zone yet? Good

Then the portuguese came in and luckily for them they didnt disappear under mysterious circumstances too

Rather they got too lucky, iberians am I right?
Like a Portuguese America wasnt supposed to exist, Portugal only got the equivalent of a nipple of South America from the Tordesilla Treaty in order for them to have a port here so that they could keep their route around Africa going more easily

In fact the whole Portuguese Empire is ASB because the same guy who "discovered" Brazil - Pedro Alvares Cabral - should most likely have died on his trip to India, but no not only he made the trip to both there and here safe, but came back to Portugal with enough riches to fill the coffers of the portuguese state which by that point was nearing bankrupcy
If that isnt Great Man Theory someone please eat my ass

Then with that ASB estabilished not only they got this port, but with no opposition from Spain whatsoever(despite Spain being in charge on the whole Iberian Union thing) Portugal proceeded to Manifest Destiny its way through South America taking up about half of it, US-style(or should the US be Brazil-style?)

Then with the Port-gese Empire estabilished here you'd expect some cultural syncretism and hybridization, right? Something like Mexico with the spanish mestizos resulting from the mixing of spaniards and the native Mexica with a caste system to ensure "pure" portuguese were on top, or something like British India where colonial governors ruled the whole continent with a european upper class despite being a minority out-populated by the native population by the hundreds of millions since the indigenous population of Brazil was just enormous...

Nope, none of that
They all died by plagues and genocide, well most did anyway, despite Brazil having none of the intricate and interconnected trade routes of the Inca & Aztec Empires that allowed for the spread of european diseases in the first place, and brazilian "mestizos" going alone into the wild to kill & enslave their fellow brazilians and being successful at that would be as ASB it gets but it happened

Plus there was many portuguese-influenced indigenous dialects developing in the country with full support of the Church who saw it as a way to simplify conversion and trade much like the use of Quechua in Spanish America, but then a portuguese prime-minister(not even the king!) Pombal randomly banned it and the colonies went along with that? And the Church as well despite that massively stepping on their toes? Yeah

So what is Brazil supposed to be then, by the will of the ASB, Greater Portugal? Nope

Despite portuguese by anomalous means remaining the one language spoken by everyone, the portuguese people itself were outnumbered not by natives but by...african slaves?

Yeah full Twilight Zone

You see, in another show that Great Man Theory is the rule not the exception King Afonso of Portugal, one of those "crusadey" kings supposed to upheld Christianity happily decided one day to not only start buying slaves from Africa but make it legal by going out of his way to call the Pope asking him for his official endorsement and despite Portugal being this small insignificant kingdom in the fringes of Iberia who just recently got re-christianized the highest authority in the Christendom happily went along with this for no reason whatsoever

So yes, most of the brazilian population were not portuguese, not native americans, but people from Africa

So youd expect an Apartheid as result of that, no? A Draka, since Brazil was singlehandely the importer of over half of all people enslaved from Africa

But no
Well, Brazil DID become an Draka of sorts, but one where slaves could also buy slaves? And also become soldiers and high authorities despite omnipresent racism in brazilian society

Its like someone took one of those fringe "race equal slavery" ideologies from Antebellum South and decided "know what lets implement it here" and so they did just that

So instead Brazil became...sort of a Bantu America? But still portuguese speaking

Like a Greater Angola

Yes thats what the ASB was going for, they wanted a giant fucking Angola
Probably as their draft for their "masterpiece" the United States later on

So does the craziness stop here? Silly you of course it doesnt!

See, once all and every single rebellion in Brazil failed, specially ones against colonial authorities as if to say this was the one place where revolutions were bound to fail
The Portuguese Royal Family, under attack from Napoleon, decided to just... move here

Thats right
Not surrendering to Napoleon
Not having a government in exile in Britain like any other european nation would
They simply pulled a Kaiserreich(or Kaiserreich pulled a Braganza) and moved to the colony

And then they just... didnt want to come back anymore? Thats right, a european royal family prefered this poor tropical land in the middle of the Atlantic over their own homeland which had been the seat of their power for centuries
...then they just came back anyway not because they wanted to but because they felt like obeying the demands of a bunch of liberal politicians which they could easily repress with full british support from the security of the colony since Napoleon had been defeated

Oh but in a 4D chess move they left the portuguese prince here who, under pressure of his habsburg wife, proclaimed independence of Portugal against his own family & Empire who just went along with it, being Emperor of the newly independent country for the rest of his lif- actually no he was exiled back to Portugal for the lulz after the population got pissed off with his domestic abuse

Thats right, kicked from the country he just created because for once people from the 18th Century cared about a woman, what a time to be alive

Oh but he left his baby son on the throne, nothing can go wrong right?
Obviously massive rebellions started popping up and their solution? Put the 14 years old boy on the throne
Things are going to hell right? An underaged habsburg on the throne we're doome-

Actually no he was a Mary Sue who dutifully did his job for over 50 years leaving his country - Portuguese America(or Greater Angola if you will) - an highly stable great power ready to be inherited by his catholic suffragist daughter who supported land reforms to make the country more equal and a true powerhouse that could rival the United States-

Nope, he gave up
Like seriously he gave up
Because he thought people wont accept a woman on the throne...? Despite she already ruling the Empire and people having rekted his father over his treatment of his mother
Eh he was just tired
So he let a dozen military officers proclaim a Republic with his full consent while he moved to Paris, what a way to go

Oh yeah and then that Republic crashed & burned, becoming a rotten abomination going back & forth between democracy and military dictatorship always under a heavily corrupt regime keeping the country an underdeveloped heck not unlike other latin american republics making both our people and the anglosphere believe we were always destined to be this way because we werent colonized by some german island.

Also there was this one time our country commited mass genocide "in self defense" against a spanish-guarani country(which is like, what we probably should have been if anyone gave a fuck about Tordesilla and Pombal wasnt a thing?) because their totalitarian dictator who looked just like a hispanic Kim Jong Un thought he was Napoleon and pulled a Hitler ahead of schedule trying to conquer his way through the whole South America to get his paraguayan Lebensraum, killing the majority of his own male population(including himself) as result while the brazilian side of the conflict in a massive Chad move was personally led by Emperor Pedro himself who fought as "soldier number one" alongside other officers.

Once again, Twilight Zone episode

This country makes no fucking sense
I'd say it was more ASBish that Portugal managed to beat the spanish, dutch and french out of what we consider Brazil today and carve that much territory

Then later becoming independent as result of the crown's convoluted plan of moving to the colony instead of just surrendering to the french or pursuing exile in Britain, only for the monarchy founded by such convoluted circunstances to fall in a equally convoluted way when a few dozen officers proclaimed a Republic and the same Emperor who fought in tbe frontlines of the Paraguayan War and was willing to go to war with the British Empire over a bar fight simply was okay with that, allowing them to take power while he got kicked out of his own home country
My comments from the other thread on this very topic sightly edited
 
Until we have definite proof of the existence of Alien Space Bats, or their cousins the Time Travelers, interfering in human or other terrestrial events, I don't think any OTL event should be considered ASB. All of the examples can be explained rationally. Improbable is not the same as impossible. To use Turtledove as an example, TL-191 is explainable, Guns of the South is ASB.
I agree with this sentiment, but I think you miss the point. Obviously what has occurred cannot be ASB because it has occurred. The point and fun of it is, would it be called ASB on this Forum if the event had not occurred? To use one of my original examples, in a world where the crossing of the Alps failed, even though we know it's not ASB, people of that world on this Forum might call 'what ifs' regarding the crossing of the Alps 'ASB' because, from their point of view, it is simply not possible to cross the Alps 2000 years ago with an army of hundreds of thousands; or if it did occur, so few men would remain as to make the endeavor meaningless.

To sum up, none of the examples can truly be ASB, but might be so wild that people in worlds where they did not occur would see them as such.
 
Suddenly, a whole Eastern bloc went collapsed in 1989, and it's peacefully mostly (Except Romania)

Berlin wall just came down peacefully with happiness

And two Germany reunited next year

And One more year, Soviet dissolved peacefully

I mean, just imagine telling this to someone in 1985, just 4 years earlier, they would respond with dying laughter and say "nice fantasy fiction pals!"

Or they might say: "Okay yea, Soviet would collapse one day for sure, just like Rome empire, but peacefully ? Buddy, that's impossible, even though it wasn't with nuclear war, it still would be with turmoil, chaos and civil war!"
 
Last edited:
Suddenly, a whole Eastern bloc went collapsed in 1989, and it's peacefully mostly (Except Romania)

Berlin wall just came down peacefully with happiness

And two Germany reunited next year

And One more year, Soviet dissolved peacefully

I mean, just imagine telling this to someone in 1985, just 4 years earlier, they would respond with dying laughter and say "nice fantasy fiction pals!"
I agree, but I disagree with the characterization of "peaceful." It might be called relatively peaceful, but the Soviet collapse was far from peaceful, and it's important to recognize that because it's too common a misconception.

Even before the Soviet Union dissolved, undeclared wars broke out in the Caucasus, once it officially dissolved, numerous major conflicts erupted, from two wars in Chechnya to a Georgian Civil War, numerous border wars in Central Asia, multiple wars between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the War in Transnistria and in Gagauzia, Russia itself almost collapsed into civil war following the 1993 Constitutional Crisis; not to mention the impact on Cuba, NK and FR Yugoslavia.
 
I agree, but I disagree with the characterization of "peaceful." It might be called relatively peaceful, but the Soviet collapse was far from peaceful, and it's important to recognize that because it's too common a misconception.

Even before the Soviet Union dissolved, undeclared wars broke out in the Caucasus, once it officially dissolved, numerous major conflicts erupted, from two wars in Chechnya to a Georgian Civil War, numerous border wars in Central Asia, multiple wars between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the War in Transnistria and in Gagauzia, Russia itself almost collapsed into civil war following the 1993 Constitutional Crisis; not to mention the impact on Cuba, NK and FR Yugoslavia.
I get your points

I just saying just looking back at 1989-1991, like you said, it's already had been relatively peaceful, if we use the perspective from the ATL
 
And I wanna add up:
If OTL events in 1989-1991 were a TL in TTL

People would criticized it as a "ridiculous America and capitalism wank" "Too dramatic, history wasn't the fairy tale, do better."
 
The Prohibition Era.

Not Prohibition itself, which *was* imaginable, but its social consequences, with gangsters shooting it out with machine-guns on the streets, and bootleggers getting so rich that they could offer policemen bribes exceeding their annual salary in return for overlooking a single shipment. Had Ken Burns' documentary been fiction set in an Alt-hist, I suspect it would have been dismissed as incredible "Most people are too law-abiding to tolerate such a situation" and be lucky to find a publisher.
 
The Italian Fascists joining up with an insanely anti-semitic German dictator, adopting racial purity laws, and collaborating in the Holocaust, in a situation more or less similar to The Footprint of Mussolini, given the lack of no Nazis and no Holocaust, Fascist Italy and Mussolini have a considerably better reputation ITTL, while through the 1940s, they are still seen as a Saddamist Iraq-esque genocidal and internationally isolated rogue state, given their invasion of Abyssinia, atrocities against Libyans and Ethiopians, and the invasion and subjugation of Albania
Nice list of ASB's
Only one remark. Agree diplomatic the Itallians created a severe dent in their reputation due to the war in Abyssinia. But on the other hand nobody give a toss about it. The same how the Itallians treated the original popultation of Lybia, Berbers and Arab tribes. No body in Europe or USA give a toss about the Lybians, if they are even called like this, probably not. The Itallians did the same as the French did in Algeria/Tunesia. Both France and Italy will continue to reshape the Southern shore of the Mediterain in a French and Itallian equivalant of their North shore. And no WW2 they will probably be very succesfull in it. Especially the Itallians since Balbo Italy will live longer.
And an invasion of Albanian, will casue some stirr and diplomatic friction, but I won't think the French or British have the population behind them to start a war over this back water of Europe. the Adriatic is defact al ready an Italian sea
 
  1. The Soviets spreading Communism to all of Eastern Europe, to as far as Berlin, and becoming a world power on the same level as the US and Western Europe, ITTL, while the fear and threat of Communism/Bolshevism are still a real thing, by the 1950s-1960s, given no WW2 and Eastern Front, the USSR (still recovering from the Stalin era which suffered more purges given no WWII, and showing no signs of wanting to invade an European country without the opportunity of WW2) starts to just be seen as an eccentric and exotic-looking nation ruled by weird leaders, rather than a dangerous behemoth that spreads its ideology by force, and needs to be stopped/destroyed at all costs, so almost any TL that features the Soviets successfully invading and occupying most of Europe and becoming a world power are seen as the author being a Communist trying to spread his ideology, but I think that ITTL I will make Communism as having a better reputation than OTL, given the lack of Stalin's invasions before Barbarossa, no Soviet occupation of the Baltics, no Soviet influence over Eastern Europe, and most importantly, no Cold War as we know it.
I wouldn't say the Soviets spreading their influence would be seen as that ASB. It highly depends on how much information will be available about the Soviet Union when people start thinking about that (esp. regarding its military capabilities). But the idea that the Soviets could expand their influence through the use of force would certainly not be seen as ASB, at worst they'll say that the Soviet Union needed another leader, not that Soviet expansion is impossible.
And with a little bit of luck the Soviets becoming a superpower wouldn't be seen as ASB, perhaps unlikely but it does not require the use of magic.
 
I've had a really awful day and need to contribute something to the world, so I'll bite (nicely):

On that note, the Soviet Union could be seen as ASB from the perspective of a world where it did not exist owing to how Marx's ideas were meant to take root in an urbanized, industrial country, not the largely rural and agrarian country that was 1917 Russia.

This is actually a fairly good one. Not just Marxism, but other socialist social sciences, and non-socialist social sciences viewed the periphery of the world system, or the semi-metropolitan sections of the world system as not being vulnerable to socialist politics due to the lack of a strong working class. Lenin was one of the few early counter-examples: Lenin spent a great deal of time looking at working-class based agriculture in the Russian Empire, and also his ideas around imperialism set up the idea of "vulnerable points," in the reproduction of capital as a world system. But apart from an internally rejected intellectual at the head of a minority deviant Marxist party in the arse-end of capitalism (fundamentally dependent upon French Banks), social theories of socialist organisations seizing power in the periphery were rare intellectually. The tool-sets we have today in social sciences about the threat at the periphery to capitalist power are based off interrogating the Russian and Chinese revolutions. World-systems theory, or operaismo theories of Caliban and the Witch, are reassessments of sugar-imperialist capitalism or Prussian reinfeudation only because of the research impetus provided by the Russian and Chinese revolutions.

"You mean capitalism will collapse at the outside due to state failure, not at the centre where workers are? Tell him he's dreaming."

I mean, the SRs don't seem that far from following Marx, it influenced them a bit. So in a TL where the Bolsheviks never become a major player, someone creating a TL about some slightly more radical SRs taking power under the banner of Marxism would not be the most likely option but far from being considered impossible.
Guys like Plekhanov existed before Lenin and they definitely weren't irrelevant.

Perhaps, but I'm having real trouble thinking of theorists of world revolution, or socialisation of economics, viewing the periphery as central prior to 1919.

Jozef Stalin
Stalin, I admit is not so ASB as Lenin because the latter did the ground work. But never the less I consider it ASB since it is very unlikely that a gangster as Stalin could raise to power.

Stalin, less so. If Stalin didn't exist the party would have had to have invented him. The party invented Stalin historically. (Fitzpatrick, Djilas). Cromwell doesn't look so natural for England. Nor Napoleon for France. Until they're interrogated against the systems possible to reproduce the power of the state in those crises. Stalin's usual for having been invented by the postal-system, card-file, telegraph and telephone: that someone would systematically bother to check how things were going on the outside, to prematurely support them in the final vote.

yours,
Sam R.
 
Franco and his rise to power as I said previously

"Francisco Franco, the Unavoidable Leader".

Let's see. We have this short guy with a fluty voice who was supposed to should be a mediocre member of the Spanish Navy. However, he somehow ended up in the army and stationed in Africa.

There, instead of dying anonymously (and presumably very agonizingly) he manages to distinguish himself to the point of being named "the youngest general in Europe". An apocryphal legend says that they were about to leave him for dead in a battle, but he pointed his rifle at the nurses who came to pick up the wounded to evacuate them and ordered them to get him out of there. (I don't know if this is true or just an urban legend, but I mention it to emphasize that he could very well have been one of the many who fell in Morocco).

Not content with this, he somehow manages to gain the trust of the Republican Government to the point that they name him director of the Infantry Academy. At which point, suddenly, his career does a 180º turn and he is assigned to the Canary Islands garrison, away from loyal African soldiers, predictably as part of a government attempt to get rid of him.

We might think that this is where our protagonist's career ends, but no! He manages to entangle a businessman so that he takes him out of there in a private plane and takes him to Melilla to assume command of his African soldiers.
Furthermore, despite being destined for the closest thing to being "assigned to Antarctica" there was within Spain, somehow the far-right coup plotters found him valuable enough to convince him to join a coup conspiracy in the who entered last.

Ok, someone will say, so Franco became "one more" of the conspiracy, right? No.
All the generals above him have the happy occurrence of dying in rather suspicious, but allegedly entirely accidental plane crashes.
So our man suddenly finds himself in charge of what has already become a parallel government that began as an attempted coup.

Well, TL readers will probably start to think at this point, this guy will definitely go down right now, right? That is to say, he is a soldier in charge of a country and on top of that he is waging his war as if he believed that he is waging a colonial war against Africans, only look at how horribly badly he treats his compatriots! The author of this TL certainly needs serious psychiatric help! It will no doubt provoke an international intervention from his neighbors horrified by what he is doing to his own fellow citizens!

No. The rest of the world decides to simply ignore Spain and let Franco sit on his throne of ashes and proceed to organize a series of savage purges that are second to none of the ones Stalin was organizing at the same time.

Eh, the pro-British or pro-French reader will point out; It makes no sense for you to expect Britain or France to intervene to overthrow Franco when they themselves were fighting for his existence!

Okay, so what's the excuse for postwar? To make this TL even more stupid, the rest of Europe simply decides that they are going to ignore the fact that Franco did everything in his power (except joining the war himself) to help those comically evil villains known as "Nazis". .

Even worse: The United States, the "Champion of Democracy", decides that their best bet is to invest in propping up Franco in power in exchange for letting them set up military bases!
This is the time when American readers of this TL would probably write ridiculously long posts shitting on the author and his "lack of historical knowledge" as well as going on huge diatribes of "reasons why the US would never do something so contrary to its principles".

In order not to drag this out too long, I will simply point out that it is very likely that the end of this TL will cause viewers to start foaming at the mouth, since it concludes with Franco dying of old age (I would say peacefully, but that would be a lie, considering how very sick as he was when he died) after spending more than 40 years ruling the country.

I mean, of course, that the public will be tremendously outraged that such a character would last so long in power without causing his own assassination, a democratic coup like the one in Portugal, or a UN intervention to overthrow him. They will also likely sharply criticize the "extremely forced script twist" that Franco's successor was actually a secret Democrat and backed a transition to a democratic constitutional monarchy, rather than clinging to his dictatorial powers as Franco had planned, or that he has an immediate restoration of the Republic.
 
The only thing I take from this topic is that we need a new term besides ASB.
ASB is not being taken as completely literal where you need magic or some other impossibility to make something happen. Vs its more common original use which was closer to “Do close to impossible that the most likly way it could occur is for Alien Space Bats to have stepped in and caused it to happen”

So if ASB is now only for truly impossible things we need a new term for all but impossible things.
As an example Technically Sea Lion is NOT ASB. It would take such an unrealistic set of circumstances for it to happen that it may as well be impossible but… if everything goes wrong for GB and Everything goes 100000% right for Germany. But it is not physically impossible.
Not sure how we get the RN to lose all its ships in a hurricane or to run them all aground and sink but the US navy tried both of those in the first half of the 20th century so it could have happened.
 
Suddenly, a whole Eastern bloc went collapsed in 1989, and it's peacefully mostly (Except Romania)

Absolutely, heck if caught just about everyone, (even the experts) off guard. To that point I'd lived my whole life under the effects of the Cold War. To the point:
Berlin wall just came down peacefully with happiness

Saw this happening live on the news and still couldn't wrap my mind around it happening. My wife's mother who was in fact German believed it was a 'hoax' by the Soviets somehow.

Randy
 
  1. Islam going from a tiny religion to stretching from Spain to India
  2. Mongol Empire in general and Genghis Khan in particular
  3. America being the superpower
1. not really big religions seem to come in waves
2. not asb, but unlikely yes
3. not even close to asb, rome started off as a citystate, and look how big the roman empire became.
 
3. not even close to asb, rome started off as a citystate, and look how big the roman empire became.

And Mongol Empire begun from scratch. When Temudzhin, future Genghis Khan, was born Mongols were nothing else as bunch of fighting tribes and when he died it was notable empire. And it should too take that USA took lot of time to become spuperpower or even great power. Furthermore USA hadn't really lot of good rivals in North America and European countries fought each others to exhaustion through 19th and early 20th century. It is pretty easy to fill that gap.
 
Perhaps, but I'm having real trouble thinking of theorists of world revolution, or socialisation of economics, viewing the periphery as central prior to 1919.
Prior to the Soviet there was no "center", as a matter of fact the KPD was created a few days before 1919, the PCF was in 1921, PCI also in 1921 and the Communist Party of Great Britain was created in 1920. Also the ones who did follow Marx at the time were extremely divided since everybody could interpret Marxism his own way, and naturally none of them gave much thought to spread communism outside of their nation for the moment.
There cannot be a "periphery" without a "center".
 
The school prayer case back in 1962 that reached the Supreme Court, my thinking is that this would be considered ASB if it hadn't actually happened. A number of levels of the court system that the case had to go through to get to the Supreme Court in the first place.

Just my thought anyway at least.
 
Prior to the Soviet there was no "center", as a matter of fact the KPD was created a few days before 1919, the PCF was in 1921, PCI also in 1921 and the Communist Party of Great Britain was created in 1920.
I'm sorry: I misspoke because I was fatigued. For "centre" there rather than Lenin's Party Centre, I was meaning the centre of imperialist capitalism: the metropole; London, Paris. You are of course right here on the Soviet Union inspiring the Central Party apparatus: the KAPD and Sparts were organised very differently.

Also the ones who did follow Marx at the time were extremely divided since everybody could interpret Marxism his own way, and naturally none of them gave much thought to spread communism outside of their nation for the moment.
There cannot be a "periphery" without a "center".
I think my fatigue distorted what I was trying to say here too. Lenin's genius in working with what he had in front of him in Russia was to observe that Russia too had capitalism (even if sectionally), and thus because it had capitalism it was capable of proletarian consciousness / revolutionary crisis. Then when you add his party as organised and his ideas about organisation its a bit of a winner. My point was that none of the intellectual lights of socialism or anti-socialism expected a regional winner. I'm sorry my fatigue obscured that with ambiguous word choices.

yours,
Sam R.
 
Top