• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

A Quieter World

#1
No not one where mutated COVID-19 has gone on a rampage and killed off humanity, but one where the largest number of trouble spots are avoided. This springs from a whimsical idea of what, with the benefit of hindsight, could be done post-WWII.

  • North Korea – losing the Korean War removes this dystopia
  • China – KMT victory wouldn't be all sweetness and light, but no Great Leap Forward, Socialist Education Movement, or Cultural Revolution would be a bonus, plus the whole Xinjiang situation
  • Tibet – Linked to above but I can't see the KMT being as repressive as the Communists
  • Kashmir – Much harder but find some way to have India become independent with Pakistan still a part, failing that split it before independence, no repeated wars or nuclear buildup
  • Afghanistan – The coup against Mohammed Zahir Shah not occurring or being crushed likely sees it continue gradual reforms and avoids the Soviet invasion and civil war
  • Eritrea – For the love of God don't federate it with Ethiopia, hold a referendum and then give it independence
  • Sudan – Tricky one as I'm not sure there would be enough local support at the time for splitting the country prior to independence
  • Somalia – If Somaliland joins with Trust Territory of Somaliland make sure that there's a clause allowing for democratic secession

I'm sure that there are plenty of others but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Anyone got any suggestions for others?
 

David Flin

A home of love and laughter.
#2
How long a list? The Troubles, Lebanese civil war, Cyprus, Rwanda, Rhodesia, Cambodia and year zero, Malaysia emergency, Hungary 1956, Suez, assorted Arab/Israeli wars, Operation Condor, Mozambique independence, Bangladesh independence, Falklands, Vietnam, Algeria and France, Czech Spring, Iran Iraq war, Iranian Revolution, Goa, Kenya and the Mau mau, Aden, Basque separatists, bader meinhoff, and that's off the top of my head for the Cold War.
 

Juan Vogel

Strong on middle initials, weak on ship detail
#3
The 1948 South African election is always a good one - but it would be interesting to see how that affected say the Rhodesian Federation/UDI/etc. Even SA going to Korea with Commonwealth Division would be interesting by itself, as the country is then locked into the Western Alliance by the time of the next election in 1953 in a way that 1948 was too soon
 

Roger II

Well-known member
#4
Does "pre-1945 but may have postwar effects" count? I'd be curious in an environmental determinism way about the effects of not having leaded gasoline.

EDIT: also, I suppose there's "France just writing off its empire as a lost cause and decolonizing as fast as possible, Belgium doing likewise and not pulling its bullshit about just taking everything back with it, and anthropogenic climate change being taken more seriously earlier)
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
Pronouns
he/him
#6
My family's living standards doubtlessly improved massively during the British Empire, most poor British people did but I still think any utopian timeline concerning the 18th and 19th century would be better without it happening and so avoiding the indian famines and Jamaican slaves.

Likewise I don't think it's hugely controversial to say that it would be nice to imagine a world where the huge increase in the standards of living of the Chinese people happened without the death toll of the cultural revolution.

I don't think the KMT are the way to get it though, the corruption was far too deep.
 

Nyvis

Well-known member
Location
Paris
Pronouns
She/Her
#7
I think a better way to "fix" China would be to have the communists avoid the disaster of the long march that lead Mao as the one who could bring them back to relevance. Maybe not have the KMT turn on them? A closer united front against the Japanese could lead to a better working relationship and a left leaning developmentalist China.

That or just make the communists strong enough to win without the grueling protracted people war, which would leave the urban proletariat still at the heart of the party and avoid Mao's erratic leadership. But that may be a bit hard to do.

Good Guy Jiang Jieshi, well-known for his lack of repression of ethnic minorities and progressive tendencies. The “Socialist Education Movement” allowed my grandparents to go to high school and my parents to go to college, but a world where they are still landless peasants would likely be a quieter one.
Yeah, if we want quieter but not better, nationalist China could be the way to go, but if you want to improve things, I doubt that's the way.
 
#8
The United Front was always a temporary alliance of convenience that the KMT always had the upper hand in and that would be true without drastically changing the nature of both parties. A KMT in which the left faction triumphed (which is not the same as a successful United Front) would be interesting, but would require a mid-20s POD at latest.

The strength of the OTL revolution was successfully rallying the rural peasantry against the landlord class that the KMT relied on for the bulk of its support, an urban-oriented party I think would not have that same success and would be more heavily reliant on Soviet aid and direction.
 

Nyvis

Well-known member
Location
Paris
Pronouns
She/Her
#9
The United Front was always a temporary alliance of convenience that the KMT always had the upper hand in and that would be true without drastically changing the nature of both parties. A KMT in which the left faction triumphed (which is not the same as a successful United Front) would be interesting, but would require a mid-20s POD at latest.

The strength of the OTL revolution was successfully rallying the rural peasantry against the landlord class that the KMT relied on for the bulk of its support, an urban-oriented party I think would not have that same success and would be more heavily reliant on Soviet aid and direction.
Oh yeah, I meant something a bit more solid than the OTL united front. Without the KMT turning on them and the long march, the communists would still be rooted in much more important areas of the country. You're right that you'd need to change the KMT significantly anyway.

OTL Stalin insisted on cooperating with the KMT despite it clearly turning to the right and that really isolated the communists. But if it turns left instead, that's suddenly a good policy rather than slow motion suicide.
 
#11
Like isn't there a thesis that Jiang Jieshi's ideal China would've been a slightly more liberal modern PRC? Like I can see a KMT ran China treat Xinjiang and HK the same as the PRC, like the KMT leading towards a quiet arcadian China is unlikely imo.
 

Nyvis

Well-known member
Location
Paris
Pronouns
She/Her
#12
Like isn't there a thesis that Jiang Jieshi's ideal China would've been a slightly more liberal modern PRC? Like I can see a KMT ran China treat Xinjiang and HK the same as the PRC, like the KMT leading towards a quiet arcadian China is unlikely imo.
Oh definitely. If you want to salvage nationalist China you probably have to look a lot further back than Jiang Jieshi, and even then, the concept of integrity of national borders was extremely deeply rooted in the national trauma of the concessions.

On the other hand, without the PRC/Taiwan feud, I think this would fade into the background of the world's issues with nationalist regimes in general rather than be a flashpoint, especially if HK isn't a valuable entry point into communist China.
 

Artaxerxes

0 days since our last fuckup
#15
The United Front was always a temporary alliance of convenience that the KMT always had the upper hand in and that would be true without drastically changing the nature of both parties. A KMT in which the left faction triumphed (which is not the same as a successful United Front) would be interesting, but would require a mid-20s POD at latest.

The strength of the OTL revolution was successfully rallying the rural peasantry against the landlord class that the KMT relied on for the bulk of its support, an urban-oriented party I think would not have that same success and would be more heavily reliant on Soviet aid and direction.
Its interesting reading the reports* that lower level diplomats who were all adamant that the KMT were fucked long before the second world war just because of the sheer level of corruption and disconnect between the peasants and ruling landlords so the US and Britain should back Mao.

I believe Mao even made attempts to shore up support with the US and it was the attache who was heavily invested who didn't even bother to send that to the US. It seems like there was very much a sunk cost fallacy going on with the KMT at many points. Not helped by situations like the Americans fucking the KMT over by aggravating the Japanese in to launching Ichi-go and not actually equipping Chinese troops properly.

A world where America does its best to get Mao at the table and lessen the brutality of Communism or makes serious attempts to reform and shore up the KMT would be interesting.


*I think this was in a Barbara Tuchman book but I forget exactly where.
 

Nyvis

Well-known member
Location
Paris
Pronouns
She/Her
#16
Its interesting reading the reports* that lower level diplomats who were all adamant that the KMT were fucked long before the second world war just because of the sheer level of corruption and disconnect between the peasants and ruling landlords so the US and Britain should back Mao.

I believe Mao even made attempts to shore up support with the US and it was the attache who was heavily invested who didn't even bother to send that to the US. It seems like there was very much a sunk cost fallacy going on with the KMT at many points. Not helped by situations like the Americans fucking the KMT over by aggravating the Japanese in to launching Ichi-go and not actually equipping Chinese troops properly.

A world where America does its best to get Mao at the table and lessen the brutality of Communism or makes serious attempts to reform and shore up the KMT would be interesting.


*I think this was in a Barbara Tuchman book but I forget exactly where.
The US repeated that mistake with Ho Chi Minh, who was very much pro US until they told him to shut up and submit to the French when he asked if decolonization was on the program.

They also repeated it with Cuba, where Castro was very much not a communist but ended up taking the USSR line because the US refused to let their pet dictatorship go, then proceeded to try strangling Cuba when Castro took it down.

I could keep going for a while, this is a very solid trend in US foreign relations during the cold war so I'm pretty sure there's structural issues at work with the US keeping them on that line.
 

Artaxerxes

0 days since our last fuckup
#17
The US repeated that mistake with Ho Chi Minh, who was very much pro US until they told him to shut up and submit to the French when he asked if decolonization was on the program.

They also repeated it with Cuba, where Castro was very much not a communist but ended up taking the USSR line because the US refused to let their pet dictatorship go, then proceeded to try strangling Cuba when Castro took it down.

I could keep going for a while, this is a very solid trend in US foreign relations during the cold war so I'm pretty sure there's structural issues at work with the US keeping them on that line.
It seems to be related to hiring middle men with Views who overrode the day to day reports of field agents. Though in the 70's you ended up with field agents who just did whatever and overthrew Venezuela because it was a Tuesday and the United Fruit Companys shares were low.
 

Nyvis

Well-known member
Location
Paris
Pronouns
She/Her
#18
It seems to be related to hiring middle men with Views who overrode the day to day reports of field agents. Though in the 70's you ended up with field agents who just did whatever and overthrew Venezuela because it was a Tuesday and the United Fruit Companys shares were low.
And sometimes it's the president himself being terrible, knowing about it and still rubberstamping it. The problem is deeply rooted in the American system.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
#19
I wonder what would change this (Besides "there is no US")-maybe a weaker series of Red Scares or some kind of FDR-wing of the democrats taking over? Or (and this is breaking the time-frame) something throughly breaks the racial caste system of the south.
*Which isn't to downplay northern racism, only to point out that the south was uniquely toxic in terms of supporting anti-labor and anti-socialist policies and politics.