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alternate_history:fh_cliches [2021/05/21 17:42]
petike [a.) Geopolitics]
alternate_history:fh_cliches [2021/11/29 04:59] (current)
petike [a.) Geopolitics]
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   * **Also known as:** "​[[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Intermarium|Intermarium]] 2.0"; "​Evil/​Morally Ambiguous Visegrad Group";​ "​Pilsudski'​s Wet Dream: 21st century edition",​ "Neo Warsaw Pact (with the evil Others, but without the Russkies), "​Warsaw-Budapest Axis of Anti-Liberal Evilly Evil", "The Even Less Plausible Poor Man's Cousin of Putin'​s Eurasian Union",​ "​Randomid Caliphate: Pierogi-eating Edition"​   * **Also known as:** "​[[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Intermarium|Intermarium]] 2.0"; "​Evil/​Morally Ambiguous Visegrad Group";​ "​Pilsudski'​s Wet Dream: 21st century edition",​ "Neo Warsaw Pact (with the evil Others, but without the Russkies), "​Warsaw-Budapest Axis of Anti-Liberal Evilly Evil", "The Even Less Plausible Poor Man's Cousin of Putin'​s Eurasian Union",​ "​Randomid Caliphate: Pierogi-eating Edition"​
   * **What it is:** Yet another one of the "​future predictions based on past nostalgia"​ clichés, and one more ludicrous than most. The lamer, central European cousin to "​CANZUK / British Empire 2.0", with even less thought put into plausibility and even more handwaving. Often little more than an excuse for "​making future Europe interesting"​ by lazy map-makers. In cases of wish-fulfillment geopolitical nostalgia wank, this scenario posits the European Union reverts to its pre-2004 or even pre-Cold War borders, with the Visegrad Group countries and other newer EU members randomly leaving the EU and forming their own "​eastern European"​ power block. This power block is usually either not fond of the "old EU" or is even openly hostile to it. In the more cartoonish versions of this cliché, the "​Neo-Intermarium"​ is even arming itself and threatening the EU and Russia. This cliché seems to have gotten a proper start during the 2010s, but is already spent and hackneyed at the start of the 2020s. An interesting trait of this cliché is that you'll virtually never find it in works of central European authors writing FH timelines, whereas people who've never been to central and eastern Europe tend to treat this as utterly plausible (albeit with zero explanation how they arrived at that conclusion). ;-)   * **What it is:** Yet another one of the "​future predictions based on past nostalgia"​ clichés, and one more ludicrous than most. The lamer, central European cousin to "​CANZUK / British Empire 2.0", with even less thought put into plausibility and even more handwaving. Often little more than an excuse for "​making future Europe interesting"​ by lazy map-makers. In cases of wish-fulfillment geopolitical nostalgia wank, this scenario posits the European Union reverts to its pre-2004 or even pre-Cold War borders, with the Visegrad Group countries and other newer EU members randomly leaving the EU and forming their own "​eastern European"​ power block. This power block is usually either not fond of the "old EU" or is even openly hostile to it. In the more cartoonish versions of this cliché, the "​Neo-Intermarium"​ is even arming itself and threatening the EU and Russia. This cliché seems to have gotten a proper start during the 2010s, but is already spent and hackneyed at the start of the 2020s. An interesting trait of this cliché is that you'll virtually never find it in works of central European authors writing FH timelines, whereas people who've never been to central and eastern Europe tend to treat this as utterly plausible (albeit with zero explanation how they arrived at that conclusion). ;-)
-  * **Why it won't happen:** Primarily economic reasons, though there are also military, cultural and social reasons (the latter example also including general civic apathy towards such intentional geopolitical upheavals). Tellingly, while the Visegrad Group exists and continues to cooperate, its individual members tend to have different economic agendas and often disagree on their future economic policies - not exactly a recipe for a monolithic-minded would-be rival to the EU. Ukraine is neither in NATO or the EU, but is very pro-EU since 2014 and has more active military experience than even Poland (out of necessity). Poland'​s economic miracle which started in earnest in the 1990s was only bolstered by the country entering the EU in 2004, with the EU being a major boon for Polish markets. Many Poles have economic, cultural and even familial ties with western Europe and aren't fond of the idea of creating a new Iron Curtain and antagonising western Europeans. Poland is also one of the most polarized of the Visegrad countries, and this alone prevents the vast majority of the population to give the government carte blanche to create a 21st version of Pilsudski'​s already over-optimistic and Poland-centric 1920s vision. Hungary'​s ruling nationalists are the most impudent towards the EU of all these countries, but aside from harassing freedom of the press at home, they are terrified of losing eurofunds (which the Hungarian economy has grown to depend on to //even exist//, due to //massive// and out-of-control government corruption). Hungary also has the most vulnerable economy, the most outdated and least flexible healthcare system (as evidence by the country'​s abysmal bumbling during the COVID-19 health crisis) and the fastest-aging population (a still unsolved decades-old problem, made worse by a mass exodus of younger people dissatisfied with small-mindedauthoritarian-style government). Even the most euroskeptic country, Czechia, is not really stoked to leave the EU, particularly because they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by losing easy access to surrounding markets. Though the Polish and Hungarian nationalist governments'​ authoritarian tendencies since the early 2010s - pandering to ultra-conservative voters, limiting freedom of the press, trying to manipulate the judiciary and avoid prosecution for huge corruption cases - are worrying, their capability of outpacing the EU economically and militarily is, at best, a bad joke. Poland might have the money and Hungary might have the arrogant moxie, but only Poland has a somewhat substantial army, and even that has an aging inventory. Slovakia, Czechia, Romania and Ukraine are also not at all prone to fall back in line behind Poland and Hungary without questioning,​ given that they have some storied history with said two countries. (They are about as likely to cooperate with each other with absolute blind loyalty as the countries of the imagined Randomid Caliphate. :-D) Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania are also highly pro-EU. Despite the cliché idea that Poles would be the first to challenge the EU and create and lead their own block out of dissatisfaction,​ a [[https://​www.pewresearch.org/​global/​2019/​10/​15/​european-public-opinion-three-decades-after-the-fall-of-communism/​|2019 in-depth international poll]] showed that Poles are actually the greatest supporters of the EU in the new EU states, at 84 %. The EU median is "​only"​ 67 %. Despite a 52 % approval rate, notoriously EU-skeptic Czechia doesn'​t plan to leave the EU and benefits from the EU economically and legally as much as Poland. With the improved living standards in the Visegrad Group countries since 1989 and especially 2004, most citizens are actually very unlikely to severe connections with the EU - if not out of fondness, then at least out of simple pragmatism. Going at it completely alone, with an unfriendly EU to the west and Russia to the east would dissolve all of the achieved economic progress and modernization. Like in many FH clichés, there is also an uncomfortable and rather offensive level of "​othering"​ in this cliché, by taking authoritarian and populist trends in some countries as "​absolute proof" to tar an entire varied collection of countries with the same brush. This conveniently ignores that the general trends in these countries have been towards liberalisation and anti-corruption,​ and Polish and Hungarian nationalist populists have been losing their grip on the major cities of their countries since the late 2010s. The "​Intermarium resurgent"​ cliché is about as realistic as early 1990s fears about a reunited Germany immediately reverting into a bunch of cartoonish goose-stepping fascists, hell-bent on hating and conquering the rest of Europe, or about as realistic as the CARICOM countries militarily conquering the entire Caribbean and Central America and then credibly threatening South American countries, the US and Canada, who back down, terrified. The outdated and cyberpunk-beloved future prediction cliché of Japan economically and then militarily bringing the world to its knees is another similar cliché that doesn'​t bother with any sort of sane analyses of social and economic plausibility.+  * **Why it won't happen:** Primarily economic reasons, though there are also military, cultural and social reasons (the latter example also including general civic apathy towards such intentional geopolitical upheavals). Tellingly, while the Visegrad Group exists and continues to cooperate, its individual members tend to have different economic agendas and often disagree on their future economic policies - not exactly a recipe for a monolithic-minded would-be rival to the EU. Ukraine is neither in NATO or the EU, but is very pro-EU since 2014 and has more active military experience than even Poland (out of necessity). Poland'​s economic miracle which started in earnest in the 1990s was only bolstered by the country entering the EU in 2004, with the EU being a major boon for Polish markets. Many Poles have economic, cultural and even familial ties with western Europe and aren't fond of the idea of creating a new Iron Curtain and antagonising western Europeans. Poland is also one of the most polarized of the Visegrad countries, and this alone prevents the vast majority of the population to give the government carte blanche to create a 21st version of Pilsudski'​s already over-optimistic and Poland-centric 1920s vision. Hungary'​s ruling nationalists are the most impudent towards the EU of all these countries, but aside from harassing freedom of the press at home, they are terrified of losing eurofunds (which the Hungarian economy has grown to depend on to //even exist//, due to //massive// and out-of-control government corruption). Hungary also has the most vulnerable economy, the most outdated and least flexible healthcare system (as evidence by the country'​s abysmal bumbling during the COVID-19 health crisis) and the fastest-aging population (a still unsolved decades-old problem, made worse by a mass exodus of younger people dissatisfied with small-mindedauthoritarian-style government). Even the most euroskeptic country, Czechia, is not really stoked to leave the EU, particularly because they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by losing easy access to surrounding markets. Though the Polish and Hungarian nationalist governments'​ authoritarian tendencies since the early 2010s - pandering to ultra-conservative voters, limiting freedom of the press, trying to manipulate the judiciary and avoid prosecution for huge corruption cases - are worrying, their capability of outpacing the EU economically and militarily is, at best, a bad joke. Poland might have the money and Hungary might have the arrogant moxie, but only Poland has a somewhat substantial army, and even that has an aging inventory. Slovakia, Czechia, Romania and Ukraine are also not at all prone to fall back in line behind Poland and Hungary without questioning,​ given that they have some storied history with said two countries. (They are about as likely to cooperate with each other with absolute blind loyalty as the countries of the imagined Randomid Caliphate. :-D) Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania are also highly pro-EU. Despite the cliché idea that Poles would be the first to challenge the EU and create and lead their own block out of dissatisfaction,​ a [[https://​www.pewresearch.org/​global/​2019/​10/​15/​european-public-opinion-three-decades-after-the-fall-of-communism/​|2019 in-depth international poll]] showed that Poles are actually the greatest supporters of the EU in the new EU states, at 84 %. The EU median is "​only"​ 67 %. Despite a 52 % approval rate, notoriously EU-skeptic Czechia doesn'​t plan to leave the EU and benefits from the EU economically and legally as much as Poland. With the improved living standards in the Visegrad Group countries since 1989 and especially 2004, most citizens are actually very unlikely to severe connections with the EU - if not out of fondness, then at least out of simple pragmatism. Going at it completely alone, with an unfriendly EU to the west and Russia to the east would dissolve all of the achieved economic progress and modernization. Like in many FH clichés, there is also an uncomfortable and rather offensive level of "​othering"​ in this cliché, by taking authoritarian and populist trends in some countries as "​absolute proof" to tar an entire varied collection of countries with the same brush. This conveniently ignores that the general trends in these countries have been towards liberalisation and anti-corruption,​ and Polish and Hungarian nationalist populists have been losing their grip on the major cities of their countries since the late 2010s. The "​Intermarium resurgent"​ cliché is about as realistic as early 1990s fears about a reunited Germany immediately reverting into a bunch of cartoonish goose-stepping fascists, hell-bent on hating and conquering the rest of Europe, or about as realistic as the CARICOM countries militarily conquering the entire Caribbean and Central America and then credibly threatening South American countries, the US and Canada, who back down, terrified. The outdated and cyberpunk-beloved future prediction cliché of Japan economically and then militarily bringing the world to its knees is another similar cliché that doesn'​t bother with any sort of sane analyses of social and economic plausibility.
   * **Current progress:** The only progress in this so far is in occassional or semi-regular soundbites of greying and bored-looking members of Polish and Hungarian nationalist governments,​ who are all huff, but no puff.  ​   * **Current progress:** The only progress in this so far is in occassional or semi-regular soundbites of greying and bored-looking members of Polish and Hungarian nationalist governments,​ who are all huff, but no puff.  ​
  
alternate_history/fh_cliches.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/29 04:59 by petike