Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Future That Might Have Been

Wouldn't it have been swell?

Hey, I've got something for you to think about.

What would be a pivotal butterfly flapping it's wings in the river of history that could have resulted in the alternative world of FALLOUT 3, the super retro science fiction society that ended in post-apocalyptic ruins? If you could change one small event in American history to produce the world of FALLOUT 3 in 2012 America instead of that garbage dump that is there now?

One thing?

I say  ... the firing pin on John Wilkes Booth's pistol misfires and jams the barrel. Think about it.

Lincoln's security rushes forward to grab him as he produces a dagger and charges Lincoln. In two weeks, Lincoln begins repatriation to Liberia. A year later, all the slaves have been returned to their native land with financial grants to set up democratic governments there. They are then abandoned to their own fate on their own soil. Sobered by the attempt on his life, Lincoln adopts a much more generous position during the occupation of the South and controls abuses by carpetbaggers. Conservatives reign over the cabinet and general standards for conduct and behaviour rise sharply following the Civil War. The South's intellectual contribution is substantial and the universities go in another direction altogether in terms of academic standards. Lincoln bases the currency on gold and a Constitutional Amendment is passed to keep it so.

America abstains from getting involved in the First and Second World War and is fiercely hated for it by international financiers and bankers. With a hundred years of technological progress behind them and an entire culture built on engineering, they rapidly surpass the world in every discipline. In the 1970's the first American sets foot on Mars, having put a man on the moon in the 1940's.

Their exclusionary, elitist and neutral civilization is a 3000 mile wide Switzerland dominated by industrial powers like Vault-Tec. They are so forward thinking that they avoid solid-state electronics and embrace EMP-proofed long term technology powered by tiny atomic batteries. They prosper so greatly they become a reviled target for every nation wrecker on the planet by the 1980s and are deliberately dragged into a series of regional wars that culminate in a nuclear first strike by the Chinese in the early 90's. The continent is decimated and leaves the ruins you see in the game.

What do you think?


Patriot said...

Interesting... They surely did set themselves back a few decades by destroying the industry of the South like typical barbarian victors rather than properly reunifying for the common good. But I think you give too much benefit of the doubt to Abraham Lincoln. Tyrants are men of low character with very little capacity for reflection, and I imagine he'd have carried on in much the same way had the assassination failed - like how Hitler announced "I am invincible" as he walked away from the mistimed explosion at his podium. That one dodged 42 assassination attempts without pausing to scratch its' nut sack.

Anonymous said...

I wanna write this story! That was great :) And sad that it did not happen.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent piece of propaganda, Texx. You outdid yourself!

Anonymous said...

"They surely did set themselves back a few decades by destroying the industry of the South"

It was a necessary part of robbing the South of its power and wealth and moving it northward.

Before its failed war of independence, from the New Englander controlled North, the Southern Civilization was every bit as sophisticated and powerful, as Paris and was a direct competitor, with the New Englander controlled North.

How did they go from 'Gone with the Wind', wealth and sophisticated society, to poverty, rednecks and hillbillies?

The North did to the South, what Rome did to Carthage. They raised their cities to the ground and salted the earth.

You have to understand, the Southerners still view themselves, as a defeated and occupied nation. So it is not over. It will never be over, until they are free.

Anonymous said...

Tex, I think your story would be more interesting, if you ask what might have been, if the South had fended off the Northern aggressors.

Rowan said...

I lied the part where human nature doesn't change.

Solsys said...

To answer your question, I have to link to a french page that presents a theory by Guglielmo Ferrero, italian historian specialized in antique Rome and, as his wikipedia entry states : "Ferrero devoted his writings to classical liberalism and he opposed any kind of dictatorship and Big Government."

(You will like his skull LOL)

The article is here, you may try to translate it :

It has been written in 1917, and opposes the spirit of perfection to the ideal of might.

In your analogy, the South had the spirit of perfection, which was somewhat aristocratic but in which, utlimately, the one with the better point won. No wonder the South fought so intelligently during the Civil War, given its ressources.

On the other hand, Bismarck was a corporations man, and led a policy of "might is right" (roughly). The northern states were exactly like that, and Grant won some battle mainly because he could mass enough cannon fodder to submerge the enemy (if my memory is correct).

This article is a another point of view on the Neanderthal Vs Sapiens divide, as you define it.

Solsys said...

By the by, just reading the biographies, Guglielmo Ferrero just happened to marry a daughter of Cesare Lombroso (Jewish italian criminologist which contributed heavily to eugenics and linked crime with physical traits).

It's a small world after all.

And, Guglielmo Ferrero has been invited by Theodore Roosevelt to the White House.

It's a very small world after all...

Anonymous said...

You forget to include Tex:

Colonisation of the Moon begins in the 1970s, followed by colonisation of Mars in the 1990s. Best and brightest emigrate to space. Colonies still see themselves as part of America.
After Nuclear holocaust space colonies declare the planet a no go zone and turn their attention to spreading throughout the solar system.
Survivors on Earth rebuild civilisation in a few thousand years, by which time all traces of civilisation on the Moon and Mars are long gone and the descedants of the original colonists exploring the stars. People on Earth believe world was only created 6000 years ago, create a complicated new religion, that later gives way to a scientific establishment that declares people insane who argue that the world is older and civilisations were around long before theit time. Then create space travel again and once again blow the world up...

Sam said...

My new slogan.

Repatriate! It's not to late.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tex,
Thought you might be interested in this:

"JERRY POURNELLE, its co-author, WAS THE MAN WHO SOLD REAGAN ON SDI, the program that caused the USSR to give up, fold up, and die."

I looked up some pictures of Jerry Pournelle and was amazed at the size of his brain box. Its exploding out sideways!

What is he, in your opinion?

Anonymous said...

This site is always full of interesting ideas moreso than any other blog I visit. I feel as if I am breathing cleaner air when I come here.

Anonymous said...

Well then. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Andhaira said...

anon 5:32: If by SDI you mean the Star Wars program, then that was an extremely stupid move by Reagan and his cronies. It brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. It also resulted in the Soviets developing the Perimeter Defence system, which btw is still very much active today.

Anonymous said...

April 22, 2012 9:46 PM
Why shouldn't they have a defense system? Have you got a problem with countries defending themselves?

The old man that writes those articles, played a major role in bringing down the USSR and when I say major, I mean creating the kind of CIA propaganda, that put millions of people in the streets, at the same time, bold enough to tear down the Berlin wall, while sharp shooters were stationed all over it.

In the 1980s the USSR was expected to last forever, or until WW3, yet it was dismantled by the CIA, without firing a single shot.

They said Regan was a doddering old fool, well that's what he wanted them to think. The Soviets underestimated Regan and history has turned the page on them.

And BTW the Star Wars program never existed. It was pure propaganda and you and the Soviets believed it.

Suckers! lol

Anonymous said...

"if you ask what might have been, if the South had fended off the Northern aggressors."

They would be worse off than they are now. Every nation that was built by slavery eventually gets consumed by their former slaves as they get liberated.

If the Confederate States of America survived until today, they would be the Brazil of North America.

I doubt that Lincoln would have gotten the political support to repatriate the slaves had he lived. The carpetbaggers did not want to lose any of those votes. Lincoln might have said a few politically expedient things to appear moderate, but his heart was with the radicals.

Old Dixie should have repatriated their slaves on their own when they had the chance.

Anonymous said...

@April 24, 2012 3:28 AM
"Old Dixie should have repatriated their slaves on their own when they had the chance."

Exactly the same as South Africa.

The South Africans should have booted the Blacks out and given them their own country.

Instead they practiced segregation, while allowing the Blacks to make them a minority in their own country.


In the end its always greed and stupidity.

Greedy White business holders, wanting cheap Black labor. Even among scum, Whites like that are the bottom of the barrel.

Anonymous said...

I found this awesome website about Southern History:

Anonymous said...

So, I've been thinking about this for a few days.

Let's say that Reconstruction was friendlier to the South, the former slaves were all repatriated to Liberia, and the USA maintained an isolationist policy.

First, the Southern plantation owners would have invented modern mechanized agriculture and the majority of the US workforce would have moved off of the family farm and into the factories before the 20th Century. They had the mechanical and control skills to invent this technology - the Gatling gun and the modern submarine were invented during the Civil War.

If the USA didn't support Britain, France, and the Bolshevists during WWI, then it is likely that Germany and Austria-Hungary would have split continental Europe and the Czar would have defeated the communists.

Because the agricultural sector had already become a proportionally smaller part of the economy and because the US didn't feel the need to donate food to Europe for years after WWI, it is likely that the Great Depression wouldn't have happened.

Without the Great Depression's social policies, Norman Borlaug probably wouldn't have had a free ride to college for agricultural studies. Thus, he wouldn't have started that the Green Revolution that caused the populations in disease-hidden and hard-to-farm tropical locales to explode.

When Imperial China collapses after WWI due to internal corruption, it would probably be split between the Russians (inland China), the British (coastal cities), and Japan (Manchuria and Korea). If there is a "China" left to go onto the 21st Century, it would probably be a small territory around Beijing.

Japan never attacks Hawaii because isolationist USA doesn't cut off Japan's fuel supplies.

Hitler never rises to power in the Kaiser's Germany or the Emperor's Austria-Hungary. Mussolini grows up to be an eccentric blacksmith.

I don't see anyone launching nukes at the USA in this scenario.

With no Jim Crow or Civil Rights strife, the current Rust Belt would probably look like Silicon Valley today. It is entirely possible that Detroit would have been making driverless cars in the 1960s.

The United States probably would have been experiencing a brain-drain of the best scientists from war-torn Eurasia.

Goddard and von Braun's NASA goes to the Moon in the 40s. Kennedy's NASA goes to Mars in the 60s. We mine asteroids in the 80s. And the early 00s are full of news about the new trans-Jovian colonies. In 2012, we're finishing the space elevator at Gitmo.


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