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Is this a good deconstruction of Eagleland Type 2?:
Pretending to be humanHow would you think a story deconstructing Eagleland Type 2 would be like? What I have is this, and it was much longer before, but I've done my best to shorten it (and likely failing): — In a near future America where America's current problems (economic inequality, lack of health care, unregulated banks, etc) have worsened Up to Eleven, the country is becoming increasingly politically polarized thanks to right-wing voters refusing to support reforms that they consider 'socialist' and most politicians in general not really being left-wing or even outright corrupt, incensing left-wing voters and activists. Meanwhile, freedoms and liberties are increasingly curbed by harsher anti-terror laws. Then when Congress votes to repeal Medicare and social security completely, saying they're 'government waste' and 'barriers to economic development', the entire country goes apeshit and massive riots happen, and the National Guard is called in to try and suppress them. Many units refuse to open fire, and eventually civil war breaks out. Eventually the rebel forces come to follow the rule of a guy named Hass, who previously had been an outspoken left-wing, anti-capitalist lawyer and activist who had appeared at protests and given popular anti-government speeches. The main thing about this guy, though, is that he doesn't just blame the rich or elite for America's problems - he blames the right wing voters too, no matter how rich or poor they are - they are, in his eyes, also part of problem. He'd grown up in the Bible Belt surrounded by people who were mostly highly religious, jingoistic, anti-poor, anti-immigrant and all those other negative stereotypes, and he came to deeply despise what he saw in American culture. The rebelling forces are increasingly influenced by his rhetoric, growing more and more extreme, finally culminating in one military unit brutally massacring Hass's own hometown, killing some 5000 civilians, which is then swiftly covered up. Eventually the rebel forces take over Washington DC, and they celebrate their revolution by dragging many politicians, CE Os, media moguls, and all kinds of rich people out in public and executing them on a live broadcast, to cheering supporters and nervousness from abroad. Meanwhile, millions of Americans, knowing what's about to happen, flee into Canada and Mexico, some bringing their business assets with them. Hass declares America 'liberated' and becomes President, with his political party being the Social Justice Party. (Yes, I know, but such names do exist). The Republican and Democratic parties are both declared illegal and abolished, and no serious political opposition exists after that. As President he initiates radical policies that would never have been possible pre-revolution, such as completely withdrawing the US military from abroad, a full public healthcare system, nationalization of many previously private industries such as oil, news media, defense, prisons, banks, and insurance (since their leaders are either dead or exiled), extremely high taxes on the rich (the few that remained anyway), abolishing the whole concept of copyright, and ushering in the metric system. He also cuts off all relations with Israel and recognizes Palestine instead. Then he faces another challenge as the country begins facing insurgencies everywhere, led by militias whose worst nightmare have come true. He sends the military to crush them, but as the years drag on, they prove more resilient than expected. During this time, he purges his government so that all possible opponents are eased out, effectively giving him autocratic powers. He realizes that it is the perfect chance to rewrite and reshape American culture as he sees fit, by eradicating everything he considers undesirable from it (Type 2 stuff in other words). As a result, he gives the FBI Culture Police and Secret Police powers, allowing them to arrest anyone deemed to be acting in a 'culturally unacceptable' manner, while also heavily restricting the kind of media that people can create or buy, which kinda cancels out the freedom from copyright. Pro-capitalist works like Ayn Rand or Milton Friedman are all banned, as are apparently 'pro-stupidity' works like The Simpsons. You can guess what happens to reality shows like Jersey Shore. Heavy internet censorship is also enacted to enforce this. More and more Americans start complaining about this, and eventually dissidents are also hunted down, usually on the excuse that they are collaborating with the militias, and when American exiles from Canada start vocally denouncing Hass, he bans all mention of them from the media completely, and also orders construction of huge reinforced fences both north and south to prevent Americans escaping to Canada and Mexico, saying it's to 'protect' the country from those 'filthy exiled traitors' and 'like-minded foreigners'. When dissidents are arrested, they are taken to re-education camps to get education (read: Mind Rape) about the evils of the 'four Cs': capitalism, consumerism, conservatives, and counterrevolutionaries (the militias). At the same time, remembering how the military reacted the last time they were asked to suppress a popular uprising, he creates a youth group called the 'Young Gentlemen's Club', ostensibly to promote decent behavior among school and college students, but is in fact his own personal Assimilation Academy designed to make the next generation of Americans be as zealous as he is. Reality Ensues when the national economy becomes extremely inefficient, with very slow growth and shortage of goods, worsened by overfilling prisons and Hass's refusal to reform and lack of internal challengers in his party. In terms of international relations, America has become much more popular in places like the Middle East and Latin America, but thanks to the exiles issue, has very poor relations with Canada, Mexico and to a lesser extent Europe. Relations with China are OK, as Hass has also cut off all support for Taiwan. The UN, however, expresses worry about the human rights situation in America. As the economy and insurgencies worsen, Hass's mental state begins to deteriorate, saying scary things like 'the people have no business telling the government what to do. Especially not these people.' He continues to grow more repressive. Things go further south when he receives reports from the re-education camps saying how their attempts at converting people have been disappointing, with less than 10 percent successfully converted, while others remain defiant or try to commit suicide. At the same time, protests calling for reform and workers' strikes have started occurring. The final blow comes when Hass learns that there have been moles in his cabinet that have been secretly communicating with the militias and exiles. Combined with his now fragile mental state, he finally cracks. After executing the moles, Hass orders the YGC, now numbering millions strong, and the police to forcibly break up all protests. Meanwhile, he worries about how to make sure the military doesn't try anything against him, when opportunities arise around the globe: - Israeli security forces have shot and killed several Palestinian protesters, receiving global condemnation. - After worsening relations, war has broken out once more between North and South Korea. - Canada, now practically Hass' arch-nemesis, boldly tries to break down the border fence to allow American refugees to come in. Mexico declares to do the same. Needless to say, Hass decides to send the US military to invade all of those places. Aside from keeping them busy, it also lets him destroy even more international enemies. And yes, he chooses to ally with North Korea. He also decides it is finally time to wipe out all 'old American' culture once and for all, telling the YGC and loyalists to go one step further: not to suppress only protesters, but anybody at all suspected to be part of the four Cs. He doesn't call it that, but it's his own personal Cultural Revolution. It does not go well. Over several years, countless human rights atrocities occur, with the YGC being highly violent against their targets, and fear of them is so great, some Americans, mostly militia, even kill children in return due to the possibility that they are YGC. Thousands of Americans start dying everyday. Meanwhile, stretched thin by being forced to fight on four fronts at once, the US military doesn't last long abroad and is kicked back to America, humiliated. Many of their commanders grow quite resentful of Hass as a result and what's happening to the country, and the next thing anyone knows, the White House is surrounded by tanks once more. After a hasty trial, Hass is executed, and his party abolished. By the time he is overthrown, upwards of thirty million Americans have been killed as a result of riots, war, imprisonment, torture, starvation, and disease, and the country's whole economy and technological prowess has come to a virtual stop. In the years following Hass' death, the old system of the USA is gradually restored, with many, but not all exiles, returning home. The damage to the country is severe, though, and its superpower status is effectively gone. Hass' legacy after that is extremely controversial: his supporters say he ended American imperialism and helped the poor rise up, his detractors hold him responsible for the deaths of over thirty million people (not just Americans, due to the wars he starts) and the destruction of America's technological edge. Internationally, he is deeply hated across Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Israel for his invasions, but very popular in Muslim countries thanks to his anti-Israel policy. Most significantly, however, is that America still remains highly polarized after his rule, with Americans blaming each other for letting Hass get into power in the first place, with even more internal conflicts possibly arising... — Yeah, sorry for the mega post, but how was all of that? Just say anything you want. If it's really ridiculous or anything, well, it's OK, 'cause I feel it is to. I just needed to post the idea up somewhere.
edited 26th Mar '13 10:03:27 AM by Exploder
Isn't Eagleland Type 2 already a deconstruction of Eagleland Type 1?
I'm not really up to reading that whole thing right now, but I do want to take the opportunity to support the idea that someone would deconstruct (as in deconstruct deconstruct, not "standard troper" deconstruct) type 2 Eagleland. I think it's a big example of what I like to call the shades of grey ignorance problem.
Who Am I?The US devolving into 1950's China! I like it. Actually, I cant find a single thing in all of that which seems implausible. It's comes across as realistic and balanced, ultimately favoring neither the left nor the right wing visions of America. The only thing I might add is the idea that afterward, Americans would likely never let the federal govt have that much power again, delegating semi-autonomy down to the states, or even lower. But otherwise I think it's good. Who are your protagonists?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Wolf1066Sounds like a good plot. What about the possibility of Balkanisation after Hass's regime? Perhaps some states would secede out of fear of such a thing ever happening again?
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Pretending to be humanThanks for the responses so far. I must admit, it's more positive than I had expected. As for protagonists, so far it feels like a story like this needs a somewhat large cast, considering the sheer scope, so that no single person is the main character. Other than Hass, there'd also be a few normal Americans living under Hass's rule and showing what it's like, an American exile in Canada who is strongly opposed to Hass (due to having a number of family members who were among those executed on the day of the revolution) and gains a massive following among the American exile community, some militia members, some military servicemen, some YGC, as well likely a few Canadians and Europeans as well while focusing on the international crises. Though I admit that in the end I think Hass will be the Villain Protagonist. And yeah, I'm thinking that after such destructive rule, the entire concept of federal government in the US gets discredited, and huge portions of America end up voting to secede. Some other wacky idea I have: when America tries to invade Israel, many European countries decide once and for all that they can no longer stay neutral, and sends their military forces out to fight their former ally.
edited 22nd Mar '13 11:54:31 AM by Exploder
Pretending to be humanOK, I suppose this is my attempt at summarizing the whole thing in one sentence if you don't want to or can't read the full post: Social problems in America worsened by Eagleland type 2 voters result in the country imploding and mired in civil war and then a revolution, with the country's entire political landscape forcibly shifted leftward, but the new leaders become more and more extremist in their zeal to create an equal society, and in the end millions of people are killed and America is only further divided.
Who Am I?Cast of thousands! Seriously, though, focus on telling the story of two or three small sets of people who are forced to experience the whole thing.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Pretending to be humanNot thousands, though probably a dozen or so. The number of extras, on the other hand...
edited 26th Mar '13 11:06:52 AM by Exploder
Wolf1066You could also revisit the universe in other books from the points of view of various people and what they go through at various times in that scenario. Not so much doing a David Eddings and telling the whole story again but from a different viewpoint but perhaps having a story set during the civil war segment or the rise of the Eagleland that follows a group of people or a family affected by it. "Sequels" set in the aftermath following people who are just trying to live their lives but affected by the changes brought about by the Balkanisation of the former USA (like, what trade agreements do they have with neighbouring countries (former states), what shortages and problems affect their lives?
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
On the other hand, I think Hass could make for a pretty interesting tragic hero/villain, so there's definitely something to be said for the "macro" POV as well. Having read through this in more detail, though, I'm not sure this is really that related to Type 2 Eagleland at all.
Pretending to be humanThat's what I hope. As for the Eagleland thing, I guess it comes mostly from Hass's perceptions - he identifies heavily with negative foreign views of the US as an imperialist, capitalist power and the belief that rampant anti-intellectualism, apathy and stupidity among Americans are keeping the system going. The revolution he leads is basically what happens when you have an entire army full of Frank Murdochs and Raul Menendezes. Additional idea: his identification with foreign views is so strong after his attempted Cultural Revolution that leaves millions of Americans dead, in the aftermath many Americans start believing in a conspiracy theory that Hass was in fact a foreign spy sent by Iran or China or something to sabotage and destroy America from within, in the end resulting in much more blatant xenophobia, jingoism and anti-socialism than even before the revolution.
Another issue that occurs to me: you need to take a whole lot of care with setting up the conditions for the rebellion if you want any kind of plausibility. The genuine collapse of democracy is something that's much less common than most fiction makes out (it doesn't help that the standard "historical" examples don't really fit that well).
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