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The Thirty-Eighth HoS List Challenge Thread

The Thirty-Eighth HoS List Challenge Thread

  • A Bridge Too Far - Lilitou

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • Chariots of Fire - morbidteaparty

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • Political Career of Gustavo Ferreira Henrique - NotDavidSoslan

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • The Commanding Heights - Steve Brinson

    Votes: 13 52.0%
  • Drive a Spear Into the Land - OHC

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • The Square Meatball - Walpurgisnacht

    Votes: 11 44.0%
  • 1983-1984: Margret Thatcher - Blackentheborg

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World - ZeroFrame

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • Looking For Water In All The Wrong Places - Mumby

    Votes: 11 44.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


It was in the Year of Maximum Danger
Banned from the forum
Time to begin the [looks at hand] List Korean War. Sure. Korean War between HoS lists. Create List Juche.

The rules are simple; I give a prompt, and you have until 4:00pm on the last day of the month (or whenever I remember to post the announcement on that day) to post a list related to the prompt. As for what constitutes a list? If you'd personally post it in Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State rather than another thread, I think that's a good enough criterion. Writeups are preferred, please don't post a blank list, and I'd also appreciate it if you titled your list for polling purposes. Once the deadline hits, we will open up a multiple choice poll, cocurrent with the new challenge going up, and whoever receives the most votes after a week gets the entirely immaterial prize.

The primary meaning of March in the calendar is simple--it's the start of spring. The month when, weather permitting, things spring into new life and new growth, rising and growing from the ground. Hence, the theme for this challenge is also about things that grow--Grand Projects! Be they infrastructural, reformist, imperialist, or even stranger, grand designs and big ideas have always reshaped politics, and by extension, lists, whether they succeed or fail. Mostly fail, really. I'm excited to see what you'll come up with!

Good luck!
A Bridge Too Far

Career of John Prescott
Born 1938, Died 2001

1954-1955: Volunteer at the Welsh National Guard
1955-1957: Seaman at the Commonwealth Navy
1957-1958: Petty Officer at the Commonwealth Navy
1958-1962: Midshipman at the Commonwealth Navy
1962-1965: Student at the Hull Technical Institute
1965-1968: Student at the University of Wales
1968-1988: Delegate to the Rhyl Council of Workers' Deputies (Ultracommunist)
1970-1988: Delegate to the Welsh Congress of Workers' Deputies (Ultracommunist)
1975-1988: Delegate to the General Congress of British Workers' Deputies (Ultracommunist)
1980-2001: Delegate to the Rhyl Council of Workers' Deputies (Centralist)
1980-2001: Delegate to the Welsh Congress of Workers' Deputies (Centralist)
1980-2001: Delegate to the General Congress of British Workers' Deputies (Centralist)
1993-2001: Chair of the Public Works Committee of the General Congress of British Workers' Deputies (Centralist)

To first take up arms, at age 16, while the Russians detonated their first Damoclean weapon must have felt like a bad omen to the young Prescott - given the path his life took from there, perhaps it was. He had already spent his early years seeing the adults fight the brisk but bloody German War, his late childhood reading newspaper reports of the pogrom of Salonica and his adolescence listening over the wireless as Ishbel MacDonald christened the Steel Shroud and the beginning of the Societal Struggle. His service with the Welsh National Guard was otherwise an unnoticeable one - it was not until his service in the Commonwealth Navy that the young John gained his reputation.

Prescott's national service was at a time of heightened anxiety about a confrontation with the Russian-led Danzig Treaty Organisation due to the detonation of the Damoclean weapon and a fear that the Black Baron Wrangel would march the Russian fighting machine west as his predecessor von Ungern-Sternberg had threatened. He cut his teeth in confrontations in the Baltic, but only saw active combat during the Indian Emergency. His service was admirable, but he gained his aforementioned reputation as a radical and an Ultracommunist which saw him chafe with the military brass. He advanced to the rank of Midshipman prior to his honourable discharge to pursue Higher Education in 1962. He gained a foundational degree from the Hull Technical Institute before graduating to study economics at the University of Wales; his thesis being that only a Marxian explanation for the worker's revolution was epistemologically justifiable.

During his studies he made important connections with other Ultracommunists, and in 1968 he successfully leveraged these connections to his advantage and was elected as a delegate to the Rhyl Council of Workers' Deputies. He quickly became known for his impassioned speech where he accused fellow delegates - particularly Libertarians - of being workshy, criticising the inefficiencies of the councillist system and arguing for a state-centric approach which would be a legitimate dictatorship of the proletariat. On the back of this speech his grouping swept the following Rhyl Council elections in 1970, and he along with many of his compatriots were elected first to the Welsh Congress of Workers' Deputies, and then to the General Congress of British Workers' Deputies in 1975.

It was in this time that he met and became voraciously opposed to Margaret Roberts, at that point known more for her work as Chair of the Grantham Greengrocers Group than as a Libertarian rising star. Prescott found Roberts' ideas to be antithetical to his own, describing them as "one step from capitalism" and the woman herself as "nothing more than a nasty little greengrocer's daughter". It was his opposition to Roberts that most drove him into the arms of the opposing Centralists, in addition to the sectarian splits within the Ultracommunist camp, and Prescott formalised his political change in 1980 when he appeared arm-in-arm with Centralist dynasts Ishbel and Malcolm MacDonald; Malcom's speech next year at Ishbel's funeral, at which Prescott was a pallbearer, was widely seen as a "passing of the torch" from the MacDonalds to a new generation of Centralists.

Prescott was a war hawk and spent the 80s warning of the threat of a renewed Russia under Boris Pashkovsky, even as many others in the British establishment were warming to his more moderate leadership. Prescott openly celebrated the 1988 assassination of Pashkovsy and hailed the Freedom Fighters of Poland as "heroes", which caused condemnation even from fellow Centralist allies. Prescott warned that Vasilyev was a threat, and called for a pre-emptive strike against Russia - which was widely mocked at the time, but following the Warsaw Massacre in 1989 and the assassination of Russian refugee Alisa Rosenbaum on British soil in 1990, his words seemed almost prophetic. He was a leading proponent of the 1991 Twilight War, and the swift fall of the All-Russian State gave Prescott immense political prestige and capital at home.

He leveraged this capital to become Chair of the Public Works Committee in 1993, and embarked on a wealth of infrastructure projects which he hoped would define the post-struggle age and prove the superiority of a Centralist state. No one really remembers most of the smaller projects - it's the Humber Dam that comes to mind for everyone, without fail. A truly utopian project which would have provided enough electricity to power all 31 council areas of the Yorkshire Council Republic and open up thousands of acres of land for agriculture. There were acknowledged to be environmental issues, of course - the destruction of habitats and the death of wildlife - but such considerations had never stood in the way of British infrastructure projects before. Prescott overruled local opposition, mocked environmentalist protests, and openly chastised the new Gaian contingent in the General Congress for valuing "hawks and kippers over mothers and daughters".

On May 26 2001, Prescott visited Cleethorpes to celebrate the breaking of ground on the project that would define 21st century Britain. He was jeered by the environmentalist radical Heather Moon, who fired one shot into the back of his head, and a second into her own. Prescott was pronounced dead on the scene, and the Humber Dam project was greatly reduced in scope to the now-Humber Bridge.
Chariots of Fire

Ministers of Sport, Imperial State of Iran, Provisional Government of the Iranian Peoples Republic, Council of State of the Iranian State

Hassan Pakravan, Minister of Sport (SAVAK), 1973 - 1975

Major General Ali Motazed, Minister of Sport and Director of the Olympic Programme (Army), 1975 - 1978

General Officer Hassan Toufanian, Minister of Sport, Director of the Olympic Programme and Deputy Minister of Defence (Air Force), 1978 - 1979

Saber Mohammadzadeh, Minister of Sport & Director of the Olympic Programme, Tudeh Party, 1979

Amir Khosrow Afshar, Minister of Sport & Olympiad, Independent, 1979

Karim Sanjabi, Minister of Sport & Director General Olympiad, National Front, 1979

Kamal Habibollahi, Minister of Sport & Director General of the Iranian Olympic Hosting Committee (Navy), 1979 -

Has there ever been a regime as obsessed with sporting infrastructure projects as that of the Shah? From an audacious bid to host the 1978 World Cup (awarded instead to the populist Peronist Argentina) to the successful bid for a summer olympics in Tehran, the country staked huge amounts of prestige on vanity projects as part of the White Revolution. The success in staging the 1974 Asian Games encouraged Iran to bid at full speed for the competition, with the Americans eventually dropping out in support of their bid against Moscow, which was vying to become the first city in the Communist bloc to successfully stage the event.

Tehran's win, coupled with Argentina's own military government's tight embrace of the potential of sporting prestige, politicised the sporting events in a way not seen since the extravaganzas staged by Mussolini and Hitler in the 1930s. As part of the preparations, the Iranian government began a huge funding project with the Ministry of Sport transformed into a fiefdom for regime ultraloyalists. As part of the programme, a budget of some $350mn was set aside to complete the construction of the various Olympic complexes, including an aquatic centre designed in the style of a Parthian ampitheatre and a velodrome inspired by the horse and chariot races of ancient Persia.

While endemic corruption effected the construction efforts, the use of military conscripts, an essentially unlimited budget (no exact figure has ever been provided for how much was spent on the venues themselves, but estimates of 2.5-10% of Iran's GDP have been speculated) and a propaganda machine built around imperial glory ensured that the various complexes, with the exception of some of the venues for minor sports, were completed, with the regime targeting Iranian gold medals in archery, wrestling, fencing and weightlifting, as well as strong showings in athletics and football, with the national football side having won three consecutive Asian Cups.

Such was the progress that the IOC, a body who had never seen an authoritarian regime they didn't like, hailed the Iranian efforts as marking a real seachange moment for sports events within the Middle East. The games should then have been the apotheosis of a regime which had long celebrated supposed heritage with the ancient Persian emperors who had fought Rome to a standstill in the classical era. And yet, such is the path of history that this was not the case, for the regime collapsed during the "Anarchy" as Iran's long festering resentments towards the regime burst forth in 1978, and a period of collapse intervened, but did not wash away the Shah completely.

The provisional governments, formed in the aftermath of his abdication, were united only in their disdain for the former Sun Emperor, and collapses were continuous, while tensions between the disparate member parties (who ran the gmaut from the broad democratic opposition, the long-suppressed communists and various Islamist movements) saw Prime Ministers rise and fall - while the lucrative sports ministry (second only to the oil and defence offices) remained firmly in the hands of the armed forces, who soon intervened, cast out the politicians and established a junta with a regency council (no doubt bringing a wry smile to Francoist and IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.) The Olympic Centre, gleaming in the white heat of a counterrevolution, stood aloof from such concerns, as indeed the Olympic movement, which saw a boycott of the games from the Communist bloc, several Middle Eastern nations and various members of the non-aligned movement in protest at the new regime's dreadful human rights record.

As a result, the opening ceremony saw seventy-four nations emerge under the Olympic flag, in a stadium which had seen mass incarceration, brutaility and executions as part of the military counterrevolution. Black comedy in marble arches had never had such hubris.
Political Career of Gustavo Ferreira Henrique (1920–2002)
Teacher (1941–1949)
Leader of the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (1950–1995)
Federal Deputy for Rio Grande do Sul (1959–1963)
President of the National Revolutionary Government of Brazil (1969–1972)
President of Brazil (1972–1994)

Gustavo began a general uprising against the Brazilian military government on 12 April 1964, triggering a direct United States and Paraguayan military intervention in South America, and the reunification of Vietnam by 1968. In 1971, direct United States involvement in the war ended, allowing the MNR to capture Brasília in October 1972.

Gustavo, Leonel Brizola and Celso Brant spent their early rule implementing:

• A vigorous program of national reconstruction;
• Land reform, which had been a goal of Brazilian nationalists since the 19th century;
• Urban reform;
• The nationalisation of heavy industry, energy and transportation;
• An independent foreign policy with leadership on the non-aligned movement;
• Progressive taxation;
• A ban on the flow of foreign capital;
• A crackdown on the Brazilian army remnants and other counter-revolutionaries that saw dozens of thousands killed or tortured;
• The creation of an one-party state led by the MNR.

After two decades of political and economic unrest, Brazil returned to growth after 1979, due to signing an oil deal with Iraq after Saddam Hussein formally took power, but after Iraqi oil fields were devastated by Iran in 1983, it entered a recession.

In March 1984, Gustavo launched the Third National Development Plan (III PND), which focused on energy independence, self-sufficiency in terms of military equipment, and increasing Brazil's economic influence abroad, especially in Africa and the rest of Latin America. In 1975, Gustavo formally withdrew Brazil from the International Monetary Fund; like Juan Perón, who inspired his and his wife's early political career, he preferred to float bonds domestically, as well as to tax the pre-revolutionary elite and confiscate their property without compensation, although it was never violently eliminated outright like Chinese and Russian landowners.

The III PND also increased Brazil's investments in machinery and information technology, especially computers. In 1984, the rubber-stamp National Congress, solely compoaed of the MNR, passed a technology law that focused on partnering with French, West German and Italian companies, as the United States remained hostile towards Brazil), leading to a massive technology boom which resulted in Brazil becoming the "Silicon Valley of South America" by 1995. In 1989, Positivo was founded with direct funding from the federal government.
The Commanding Heights

Tallest Buildings of the 20th Century
1894-1908: Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, United States (167 m)
1908-1909: Singer Building, New York, United States (192 m)
1909-1913: Metropolitan Life Tower, New York, United States (213 m)
1913-1921: Woolworth Building, New York, United States (241 m)
1921-1923: Henry George Municipal Building, New York (Brooklyn), United States (256 m)
1923-1923: AT&T Atlantic Building, New York, United States (265 m)
1923-1926: Woodsmen of the World Building, Chicago, United States (270 m)
1926-1929: Greenwich Consolidated Tower, New York, United States (277 m)
1929-1936: Tour Marianne, Créteil, France (288 m)*
1936-1936: Lesperance Homes Tower I, St. Louis, United States (290 m)
1936-1939: Lesperance Homes Tower II, St. Louis, United States (292 m)
1939-1942: Post Office Mid-West Administration, Chicago, United States (299 m)
1942-1944: Prospect Hospital Center, New York (Brooklyn), United States (304 m)
1944-1945: UCNY Algernon Lee Building, New York (Bronx), United States (308 m)
1945-1948: The Equality Of Man, New Orleans, United States (324 m)*
1948-1955: Asia-Pacific Bank Tower, Shanghai, China (346 m)
1955-1959: Eurorundfunkturm, Berlin, Germany (355 m)
1959-1960: Presidential Garuda Palace, Yogyakarta, Insulindia (361 m)*
1960-1966: Pharos of Algiers, Algiers, Maghreb (383 m)
1966-1968: Földhitel Tower, Budapest, Hungary (390 m)
1968-1970: ILWU Jack London Tower, San Francisco, United States (396 m)
1970-1971: Royal Bank of Canada Building, Montréal, Canada (404 m)
1971-1973: Citadel Tower, Cairo, Egypt (414 m)
1973-1980: PBS Building, Chicago, United States (442 m)
1980-1982: Miramichi Group Tower, London, UK (470 m)
1982-1987: Decembrist Square Tower I, Petrograd, Russia (501 m)
1987-1993: World Trade Center, New York, United States (514 m)
1993-1996: Mine Workers' Cooperative and Credit Union Building, New York, United States (533 m)
1996-1998: Herman Melville Building, New York, United States (540 m)
1998-1999: Ruyi Building, Luoyang, China (556 m)
1999-1999: Tower of Power, New York (Queens), United States (588 m)
1999-: Dynamic Systems Center, Kansas City Kansas, United States (612 m)
*Height inflated by finial statue

Who builds the world's tallest building? Why?

It is rarely a purely practical decision. Certainly, some building has to be the tallest, some organizations get a lot of use out of unusually tall buildings, and some locations are well-suited for altitude. But building the very tallest building in the world is almost always more than that - it carries with it not only a name in the record books, but a symbolic statement of capability.

In the 1920s, the status of 'tallest building' was a battleground in the American culture war. The Socialist municipal government of New York City strove to, as Auden would later put it, "use" its skyscrapers' "full height to proclaim / the strength of Collective Man"; the Henry George Building in Downtown Brooklyn proclaimed, too, that the city would look out for the growing population of its outer boroughs, while the Greenwich Consolidated Tower in Lower Manhattan proclaimed that the city government, the burgeoning union-cooperative sector, and private enterprise could not only coexist but do together what they couldn't have alone. Against them was ranged the trusts, AT&T among the trustiest of them, and the would-be tertium quid of voluntary fraternal organizations like the Woodsmen of the World, which stood against both the belief that capital or labor was the superior of the other but also the perceived dominance of Wall Street over the capitalists and Hester Street over the Socialists (though the Woodsmen's original plan to build their tower in Omaha was deemed a bridge too far).

The Thirties began (more or less) with French modernizers like Carrel and Deloncle seeking to avenge the humiliations of the end of the war and the postwar slump by building ever higher - even as Maurras' eventually-victorious French Authentic Movement condemned the Tour Marianne as a distraction from France's down-to-earth past and victorious future. In 1936, as the United States entered the European Theater, the Lesperance Towers represented its symbolic victory - even without trying, even while merely trying to solve the problem of urban housing scarcity amid simultaneous crises of migration and production, while still fighting a civil war less than three hundred miles away, a second- if not third-tier regional city in the United States could still outdo all the great metropoli of the Old World. And then the centralized complexes the war had given birth to - the Post Office and its managed non-monopoly over radio, the Hospital System, and the National Universities.

The next four decades - four decades in which the tallest building was outside of New York, and but for a brief interregnum outside of the American core overall - saw growth shift, and with it the status of 'tallest building', now something over which the world's merely regional powers could compete. The bubble of post-Browderism and early Heinleinism deflated; growth in the heretofore underdeveloped American periphery, the South and West, maintained the American position but only for a while, though The Equality Of Man - really, about 284 meters of structural building and a forty-meter socialist-romantic paean to racial harmony - is still regarded as one of the great buildings of modern American architecture, not least for its ability to withstand major hurricanes in 1966 and 1987. After it was the Asia-Pacific Bank Tower, built by Shanghai business and Japanese subcontractors; two Centro-European marriages of practical radio towers and romantic symbology of peaceful patriotism; Insulindia's spiny shard of state power; two North African monuments to the electronics industry and 20th-century Muslim constitutional democracy; two monuments to a British Empire that outgrew conquest, or so it tells itself; one monument to a Russian Republic that really did outpace and outlive its own autocracy; and the PBS Building in Chicago, simultaneously a reminder that the American economy was still capable of pumping out monoliths, a demonstration that the American political class felt like it had to prove that, and an ugly, phallic, eyesore disliked by architects and the masses alike.

Since the 1987 completion of the World Trade Center, the Mandate of Babel has returned (with a brief interlude) to the United States. Three Lower East Side monoliths, including the semi-arcological Herman Melville Building off Corlears Hook (with its lower floors home to Herman Melville High School and Borough of Manhattan Technical College II); one administrative campus on the site of the former Power Authority site at Lawrence Point; and, closing out the century, the crown jewel, the almost-mile-high monument to the Silicon Prairie, Kansas City's Dynamic Systems Center.
Drive a Spear Into the Land

1865-1867: Andrew Johnson (National Union, then Democratic) ‡

1867-1868: Benjamin Wade (Republican) (acting)
1868-1880: Ulysses S. Grant (Republican)
1867 special election (with Schuyler Colfax) def. Horatio Seymour (Democratic)
1871 (with Schuyler Colfax) def. David Davis (Democratic)
1875 (with John Wesley Powell) def. Thomas A. Hendricks (Democratic), Benjamin Butler (Inflationary Republican)

1880-1888: John Wesley Powell (Republican)
1879 (with Justin S. Morrill) def. James B. Weaver (Inflationary RepublicanFarmers’ AllianceLabor), Fernando Wood (Democratic)
1883 (with Justin S. Morrill) def. James B. Weaver (Alliance)

1888-1892: Benjamin Harrison (Republican)
1887 (with Oliver Cromwell Applegate) def. Henry M. Teller (Alliance)
1892-0000: Carl Browne (Alliance)
1891 (with Terence V. Powderly) def. Benjamin Harrison (Republican), Henry George (Union Labor)

If the treachery of the so-called “Pacific Republic” during the War didn’t soil Americans’ dreams of the Golden West, then the malfeasance of the Bureau of Mines in Reconstructed California certainly did. The hideous corruption in the nationalized goldfields – the embezzlement and brutality at the top, and the casual theft and bloody conflict endemic among a workforce divided between ex-Confederates and freedmen – could have taken down the whole Grant administration and the Reconstruction project with it, had it not been for the swift work of Grant’s replacement Interior Secretary, the frontier geologist John Wesley Powell. The crooks were purged, in the process exposing rot elsewhere among the Republican leadership and thereby humbling the President’s intraparty rivals.

However, Grant and Powell’s maneuvers were not only for political advantage. The shrinking of the Bureau of Mines and the intentional reduction in gold output were an early form of monetary policy – a way for the administration to return to “tight money” after wartime inflation. The crusade against goldfield corruption also fit in with one of Powell’s most closely held and least popular views. His adventures in the canyons of the Southwest had convinced him that intensive agricultural settlement of the dry lands between the Great Plains and the Pacific coast was doomed to failure. This partial rejection of Manifest Destiny was an affront both to average white Americans who saw Western land as their birthright, and to the immensely powerful railroad interests whose fortunes were entangled with those of the Republican Party. Limiting gold production, removing one of the most seductive features of the West for potential settlers, was Powell’s first step to fulfilling his unpopular goal.

Events conspired in his favor. The Reconstruction Wars that flared like spot fires throughout the long decades of Grant and Powell’s terms of office held up both private and public investment in the very wild west. The disintegration of the treacherous old Democratic Party and the turmoil as new social movements were born reduced dissent in the halls of Congress to mere factional struggles within an overwhelmingly dominant Grand Old Party. The deals drawn between the federal government and the Indian nations of the montane West – land rights in return for alliance against Redeemer banditry – reflected the ruling Republican faction’s attitude of condescension rather than hatred, and their goals of cultural devastation and assimilation rather than extirpation and elimination. It was not neat and it was not pretty, but by the late 1880s the nation had a Vice President who had led Modoc troops against white rebels at the Lava Beds, and the old fantasies of Horace Greeley had begun to fade.

The Californian Redeemer now taking office might be a frightful political eccentric, his speeches mystical even by the standards of spiritualist Victorians. (As the satirical music-hall hit goes, his aura smiles and never frowns.) But in much of his land policy, he is right in line with a developing consensus. Browne got his start fighting both the railroad barons and the clerks of the Bureau of Mines, and his socialistic Jacksonianism has no place for either. He dreams of union shops, of cooperatively owned grain mills, and of “Uniting the White, the Black, and the Red” against the immigrant hordes – not of the titanic works projects dreamed up by similar revolutionaries across the Atlantic. The window has passed, the frontier will never be closed, the Paiute will range foreign cattle across vast lands free of barbed wire, and Glen Canyon will echo emptily down the centuries…
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The Square Meatball
Premiers of the Union of Sovereign States:
1991-2022: Mikhail Gorbachev (Union of Socialist Democrats)
def 1991: (majority) Yegor Ligachyov (Communist), Aron Atabek (We Turks), Alexander Barkashov (National Unity Front), Valeriya Novodvorskaya (Future of Democracy)
def 1996: (coalition with Future of Democracy) Nina Andreveya (Communist), Saparmurat Niyazov (We Turks), Sergei Kovalev (Future of Democracy), Alexander Barkashov (National Unity Front), Grigory Isayev (Worker's Self-Government)
def 2001: (majority) Gennady Semigin (Communist), Saparmurat Niyazov (We Turks), Nina Andreyeva (All-Union Bolshevik League), Anatoly Greshnevikov (Russianist), Oleg Tyangibok (National Unity Front)
def 2006: (majority) Gennady Semigin (Communist), Alexander Potkin (Russianist), Nina Andreveya (All-Union Bolshevik League), Oleg Tyangibok (National Unity Front), Alexy Yablokov (Russian Greens)
def 2011: (majority) Vladimir Solovyov (Communist), Sergey Mironov (All-Eurasian Patriots), Alexander Potkin (League of Russian Rights), Viktor Tyulkin (Bolshevik Party of Labour), Alexy Yablokov (Russian Greens)
def 2016: (majority) Igor Girkin (All-Eurasian Patriots), Vladmir Solovyov (Communist), Oleg Mitvol (Russian Greens), Sergey Kalyakin (Bolshevik Labour), Alexander Potkin (League of Russian Rights)
def 2021: (majority) Vladimir Solovyov (Communist), Zakhar Prilepin (Eurasian Unity), Igor Girkin (All-Eurasian Patriots), Anastasia Udaltsova (Bolshevik Labour), Oleg Mitvol (Russian Greens)

2022-0000: Evgeny Lebedev (Union of Socialist Democrats)

>Thirty Years On, What Does "Perestroika" Mean To Those Still In Its Way?
[This Article Is Available To AOL-Turner Premium Internet Users. Upgrade For The Full Experience!]

> In some ways, Leningrad Airport is the same as it was the last time I came here, with the five great cuboid cups framing the great airy interior of the terminal. In every other way, it couldn't be more different. Where garish red propaganda posters once hung, tasteful lobby art and those mysterious large ferns lend a touch of colour. In place of surly armed guards, a smiling pair of stewardesses usher me to security with a "Have a nice trip!". And instead of a debatably-legal array of hawkers and a cafe out of the Fifties, the full fruits of the chain restaurant world-- McDonalds, Diedrich, Pizza Express, Jollibee, and Russia's own Concordiadog--greet the weary traveller for an after-flight meal. This is Perestroika in a nutshell--injecting new life into Russia's old shell...
BREAKING NEWS: McDonalds relaunch the Hulaburger for a limited time at select outposts, citing internet meme popularity of Hulaburger Challenge. Pandora TV streamer EdibleJarth,
invited to taste the "new-taste" Hulaburger, had this to say...
> ...he sips from his 'Zhuko-Cola'--a clear variant of coke manufactured locally, and increasingly a nationalist shibboleth. Hence why Concordiadog no longer offer it, and why Navalny is hiding it in a paper bag. "We had plenty of elections in the old system. Real democracy requires opposition. And do we have that here?". I suggest that maybe people are satisfied with Gorbachev's performance in office, and that the opposition has simply failed to be a credible alternative. This sets him off. "Credible--how can we be credible, when they incite splits between us and fatten the traitors? It's not the voters we need to convince, anyway." Before I can mention that those allegations were unproven, he starts to slam the table. "A tiny cabal, but they are the owners of everything--the Duma, the press, even this restaurant--and nothing in Russia happens that they don't want!" I am reminded of his party's past association with less-than-savory political views...
BREAKING NEWS: Nikki Sinclare has announced that she has no plans to step down as Referendum Party leader. Facing a potential leadership challenge from Mayor Winston McKenzie after some disappointing European election results, many feel that...

> ...an up-and-coming challenger to Udaltsova. However, due to his current residence on a Maoist-run collective farm in Siberia, "Comrade Maxim" did not respond to my request for an interview. His party's continued abstention from the Duma, out of a belief that any engagement in what they call 'bourgeoisie democracy' is tantamount to endorsing it, is not shared by the main Communist Party that they broke from, which still forms the main opposition. Their platform, however, is a far cry from the days of Red October. Ever since taking the plunge and accepting oligarch campaign funds, the party has seen no problem with privatisation--merely disagreeing with the way the gains have been shared out. The party's main distinguishing factor, much like former leftists in the West, is greater social conservatism consistent with a base of pensioners...
BREAKING NEWS: The Tata Group has purchased a major stake in EuroTelekom, as part of a bid to break into mobile service. With 15% of the company's shares purchased, only the French and German governments have more sway over...
> ...allegations that Ganeyev refuses to give any credence to. "Controlled? Please. Every party has mysterious donors--that's just the fruits of the new Russian economy. A lot of rich people who have enough skeletons in their closets to value their privacy isn't a conspiracy." He sips from an iced tea, and motions towards mine--a Russian mint tea, as opposed to his Long Island one. "These people, they are merely jealous that we're the real opposition. They waste their time on shibboleths--is that the word? It is--like red flags, old statues, and the Jews, and we focus on real issues affecting this country. Like this country!" In this Ganeyev is very far from being wrong. Centuries of crash industrialisation have left staggering amounts of pollution all over Russia, from the wreck of Chernobyl to the blazing gas fields of Kazhakstan, where the Greens are filling a vacuum created by a collapsed personality cult...
BREAKING NEWS: Despite the ratification of the Hanoi Protocol by America last year, scientists say the country is still not on track to make the emissions reductions it needs to prevent catastrophic warming. Current models estimate that global temperature rise will exceed...
> Staring up at the Kremlin, I see a few lights remain on, even at this late hour. I imagine Gorbachev, ancient but with the same young heart of 1997, working at his desk through the night. Is he proud? Disappointed? Just weary with the effort of carrying Russia for nearly three decades? He's not achieved every dream of his. The Ukraine and Siberia has flowered within the Union, but Central Asian nationalism had to be crushed, harshly. The economy remains in a small number of hands, with the state picking and choosing the better oligarchs. Despite his best efforts, Russia has yet to see a peaceful transfer of power, or have a party worth peacefully transferring power to. But, as I look up at that single shining window, I can imagine all the things he can take pride in as well. A press that's free to print anything it wishes, even if it's lies. A people who can make their voices heard, even if they yell loudest for someone to shut them up. A standard of living that's rising from the Baltic to the Arctic, fit to overtake the US from whence came those blue jeans and McDonalds, setting Russia, for the first time since the Mongols, at the centre of the world.

For all his faults, Gorbachev has at last created a Russia that can work with us. One that's willing not to be a dominating tyrant, in red or white or even green, but as another peaceful participant in a rules-based international order. And that will surely be his greatest legacy.
BREAKING NEWS: Russian tanks crossed the Latvian border yesterday, following weeks of spiralling negotiations between Premier Lebedev and Prime Minister Zile. Citing alleged suppression of Russian minorities in the country's east, Lebedev's "special policing operation" has...
1983-1984: Margret Thatcher (Conservative)
defeated Michael Foot (Labour), David Steel & Roy Jenkins (Alliance), Gordon Wilson (SNP), James Molyneaux (UUP), others

1984-2002: "Margret Thatcher" (Norman Tebbit) (Conservative)
(Norman Tebbit, Michael Heseltine, Antony Duff, Colin Figures, Norman Fowler, Cecil Parkinson, Edwina Currie, Paul Channon, Nicholas Ridley, David Waddington)

'87: defeated Neil Kinnock (Labour), David Steel & David Owen (Alliance), Seamus Mallon (UUP-SDLP), others
'92: defeated Neil Kinnock (Labour), Alan Beith (Liberal), David Owen (David Owen Party), Proinsias De Rossa (Democratic Left), others
'97: defeated John Smith (Labour), Jim Sillars (SNP), Dave Church (Socialist Labour), Alban Maginness (SDLP), others
'01: defeated Tony Blair (Labour), Alex Salmond (SNP),
Peter Hain (Socialist Labour), Charles Kennedy (Liberal), David Icke (Green), Stephen Dorrell (Consumers and Taxpayers), others

2002-2003: Admiral Paddy Ashdown (as Chief of the Defence Staff) (de facto)

2003-20??: George Galloway (Labour-leading Government of Many Talents)

defeated David Willetts (Conservative-Unionist), Dr. Gordon Brown (SNP), Chris Nineham (Socialist Labour), Jenny Ungless (Peoples Alliance), David Icke (Green), others


Conspirators 1, 2 and 3 [DAVID MITCHELL, ROBERT WEBB, SARAH HADLAND] sit at a table.
Title text reads: "SOMEWHERE IN WHITEHALL, 1984"

Right, so! The witnesses have been payed off and the news had their footage seized by the Met. Is there anything we missed?

I suppose we could have a problem with her needing to appear for Question Time.

We've already accounted for that. The opposition will be far too conciliatory to question the veracity of the Prime Minister is still recovering from her injuries.

Of course, everyone knows it takes feeble old women years or even decades to recover from major physical and emotional trauma, and there's no Labour party figurehead bullish enough to ask questions like that after a major terrorist attack. Same rules apply to the press. They're honour-bound to be respectful.

Sorry, I hate to be a worrywart about these things, but um, why are we doing this exactly? Wouldn't it just be easier to admit the Prime Minister got blown up and replace her with someone we always secretly liked more?

Well that's just it, you see -- if we admit to the British Public that their extremely popular and historically-venerated Prime Minister was slain by Irish terrorists, well gosh, nobody else would be able to take the torch! The shadowy inner circle of the Conservative Party were very insistent about this when they told us to sort this out in the first place.

Oh yes. It's easy to forget how incredibly unlikeable and misanthropic the Conservative Cabinet is at this time. It'd be much better for them to run things behind the scenes, wouldn't it?

The logistics of trying to make Kenneth Baker electable are a nightmare!

Yes, the way we see it, it's far easier to spend millions of pounds pretending the Prime Minister is still alive and use her image to rubber stamp all Government policies like some sort of Big Brother figure. It's the best use of our dwindling funds.

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The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World

The Cyber Zone19811989The Cyber Zone was created in 1981 thanks to the work of countless scientists in Milan, the Cyber Zone has become a second world for humanity. Ever since it entered into the mainstream in 1989 the Cyber Zone has unlocked information for billions and has connected the world more than any other invention since the aeroplane.
Point Clement19631970Point Clement is notable for being the first city in world history to be constructed with the use of atomic explosives. The product of demands from the military, who sought a major naval installation in Aleyska and civilians who sought a major industrial hub in the quickly growing state. The detonation of six atomic bombs and a massive settlement program would ensure Point Clement became the largest city in Aleyska and boasts an economy built on the autocarriage, tourist, and shipping industries.
The Centroamerica Canal18901911Constructed over the course of twelve years, the Centroamerica Canal was a project undertaken by the French at the behest of Emperor Napoleon IV. After the defeat of the Union of Independent States in the Franco-Union War, Centroamerica was annexed by the French and in an effort to monopolize global shipping, the Centroamerica Canal began construction in 1890. At first, steady progress was made until the outbreak of the IIWW where the French's American holdings came under attack from Mexico and Brazil from 1894-1898. Then from 1899-1903 the United States joined the war and eventually Centroamerica was granted independence. However, Centroamerica suffered from internal fighting between Catholic and liberal forces, with the canal eventually being bought by the Mexican government who finished the canal in 1911.
The Republic Mountain19041930After the Unification War, the United States under President Bryan decided to create a permanent legislative building. Originally, the Congress was held in the New York State Capitol Building and the destruction of the Capitol Building in 1858 meant there was a need for a new Capitol Building. Approved in 1904, the new capitol was to be constructed in Indianapolis and over the course of twenty-six years the Republic Mountain was forged. Standing 1,500 feet, the Republic Mountain is built in an art deco style and at the time of completion was the tallest building in the world, with the statue of Republica towering above the Indianapolis skyline to this day.
The Atlantropa Grid19792010For much of the 20th Century Europe's Powergrid ranged from top of the line to poor. An issue that was especially prevalent in the new Atlantropa organization. Many nations such as Spain, Portugal, Kurdistan, and much of western Africa still had poor electrical grids. The idea of a single energy grid for Atlantropa from Cote d'Ivoire to the Republic of Britain was an appealing proposition, not only for unifying Atlantropa but also aiding poorer nations. Over the course of thirty-one years Atlantropa would bring electricity to hundreds of millions of people using atomic, wind, and solar energy. Creating the largest and most efficient energy grid on the planet that's comprised of 85% clean energy.
Victory Statue19051928The Victory Statue in Berlin represents the rise of Germany and besides the Republica Statue was the tallest statue in the world at the time. The Victory Statue is easily the most recognizable statue in the world due to its portrayal of Germania, the personification of Germany who holds a sword and shield. Representing German power over Europe and nationalist sentiment.
The Garibaldi Dam19651981The Garibaldi Dam is a testament to human engineering and to this day stands as the largest producer of hydroelectric power. The Garibaldi Dam currently produces 60 GW of power and much of Mazzinville, Yellala, and many other cities are powered by the dam. Moreover, Ndongo, Kasai, and even nations as far north as Igbo buy power from the Garibaldi Dam.
Looking For Water In All The Wrong Places

Above is a map of Mars produced in 1970, five years before first contact. Whilst rudimentary in comparison to modern depictions, it is nevertheless useful to reproduce here, to depict all that has changed.

Martian civilisation, long before first contact and ever since, is confined to the canals, oases and seas of the planet. Much of the planet is dry and inhospitable desert. In comparison to Earth, Mars is an arid world whose seas are more like lakes. These seas are also noticeably sterile when compared to Earth's - Mars has undergone global drying for centuries, and the result is that the Martian seas are highly saturated with chemicals and minerals making the average Martian sea more like the Dead Sea.

The global drying effect that Mars has endured is the reason for the development of the modern Martian hydraulic state, and the reason that first contact occurred in the first place. In 1970, Earth had begun its first halting steps into interplanetary travel, launching a number of probes and putting its first explorers on the lunar surface. This was the first attempts at interplanetary travel for millennia - Mars had long since devoted their civilisational efforts to mitigating global drying, and the Venusian efforts had ended in planetary disaster which still reverberates to this day. It should come as no surprise that the human space programme drew attention. Notably for Mars, which had been struggling in apparent isolation, it represented salvation. Ancient Martian listening stations on Earth's moon alerted the dense city state network between the Mare Boreum and Mare Sirenum, and a decision was rapidly made. The water rich planet of Earth was sure to be able to assist Mars in her hour of need.

A delegation of Martian ambassadors arrived on Earth in 1975 - though we had known they were coming for quite some time beforehand. Their pleas fell on listening ears. The United Nations mission to Mars was assembled in a few short years - technology brought by the Martians themselves helped outfit a credible international planetary mission. The Cold War came to an abrupt halt, and the world held its breath for an oncoming utopian age.

By the 1990s, we were still waiting for utopia - and the Martians were still waiting for salvation. The United Nations Transitional Administration on Mars never received the support it needed to truly assist the Martians - the outbreak of the Third World War in the 1980s did not help. Simultaneously, the various UN and other government/NGO missions and offices established on Mars soon became dens of corruption, vice and graft. Desperate Martian city states put up with increasingly exploitative treatment in exchange for ecological reconstruction. The wealth that poured from Mars was funnelled into a small number of pockets, and the boons to be gained from reverse engineering Martian technology were lucrative but never the transformative panacea that had been hoped for.

Mars also became home to hundreds of thousands of human settlers - the largest interplanetary migration in 70 million years. They were pioneers, scientists, archaeologists, refugees, colonizers and thieves. They came to an arid dying world from a planet scarred by it's second atomic conflict. Mars was rapidly changing in many different ways - whilst at the same time ossifying to some degree as compliant rulers were able to summon up support from landed human mercenaries.

It is easy then to wonder, how in these inauspicious circumstances did the modern Imperium come to be? All of these seeming separate problems converged over the course of the 2000s as a Marsborne generation of humanity emerged. They objected to the naked exploitation and graft - this was their home, even if they were in the minority compared to the hundreds of millions of indigenous Martians. The corrupt and poorly funded UN institutions were extensively reformed and streamlined, made more applicable to the global Martian hydraulic system. An emergent network of international institutions emerged, twinned to the patronage system of loyal oases centred city states. Initiative was taken. Ships were launched to transport ice from comets and asteroids.

In 2019, at the same time Earth began to look down the barrel of their own global ecological catastrophe, Mars announced the dawn of a new Golden Age, with the foundation of the Union of Hydraulic States, the unification of the nested and entwined Martian institutions across the Solar System. Initially received with indulgent chuckles on Earth, the seriousness of what was occurring soon became clear as American and Soviet forces sought to enforce control of their assets and were summarily repulsed. The United Nations single largest member state was now the UHS, and at a stroke had seized control of the Security Council. The unification had seen the summary seizing of assets across the Solar System - in particular control of comet and asteroid movement infrastructure. Martian technology had ensured that the Third World War was not the planet ending catastrophe that it could have been, and had rendered the strategic nuclear warhead virtually obsolete. Mars on the other hand had the means to repeat the KT extinction event.

This realisation is the foundation of the Imperium, the first recorded interplanetary superpower. The transformation of Mars' status from isolated oases city states clinging amidst centuries of desertification, to single largest state in the Solar System capable of making it's presence felt on every populated world, has been compared to the rise of the Soviet and Chinese economies from agrarian backwaters to industrial powers.

What follows is a breakdown of the various titles of the heads of the member states of the Union of Hydraulic States, including the incumbent Imperator. Shades of yellow to dark red are used to indicate increasing prominence.

Tia var'Za, Tyrant of Phaethontis and Co-Chief of State of Aonius Sinus Trust Territory

Traki var'Will, Archon of Thaumasia and Co-Chief of State of Aonius Sinus Trust Territory

Vladimir Andreev, High Commissioner of Argyre Trust Territory

Bryn var'Sael, Archon of Hellas, Chief of State of Hellespontus, Noachis and Ausonia Trust Territories

Autumn Zhao, High Commissioner of Eridania and Electris Trust Territories

Gar var'Broe, Hegemon of Cydonia, Archon of Trivium Charontis and Chief of State of Zephiria Trust Territory

Faen var'Syll, Archon of Aethiopis

Del var'Von, Tyrant of Hesperia

Sael var'Mella, Hegemon of Cydonia Dioscuria, Archon of Umbra and Chief of State of Aeria and Arabia Trust Territories

Jar var'Naeris, Archon of Lunae Lacus

Aurora Jones, High Commissioner of Xanthe and Chryse Trust Territories

Syllic var'Franklin, Hegemon of Arcadia, Nix Olympica and Amazonis, Chief of State of Memnonia and Aurorae Sinus Trust Territories, President of the Union of Hydraulic States

NOTE: Martian naming conventions - the nature of the ancient hydraulic civilisation means that surnames have long since passed into obsolence. Martians tend to use autonymics, choosing a surname to evoke comparisons to individuals. The Imperator Syllic is unique in this regard, selecting a human autonymic - Franklin to evoke comparisons to Framer of the American Constitution Benjamin Franklin, and also to legendary planetary ecologist Frank Herbert.
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