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Literature / Losing The Peace

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Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place – that only a few Nazis are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern civilization.

Losing the Peace is an ongoing Alternate History timeline written by Kovalenko, on the website AlternateHistory.com. The premise is that Henry Morgenthau, mostly known for the infamous and theoretical 'Morgenthau Plan', becomes president, due to President Truman dying in an accidental roofing collapse in 1945. He proceeds to begin his plan of 'punishing' Germany, starting off a long line of trauma and violence...

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The timeline can be found here.


Losing the Tropes:

  • The Ace: President Robert Taft is a right-wing Logical Extreme Deconstruction of this trope. He successfully rolls back the New Deal, privatizes Social Security and undoes workers' rights. And then the Second Great Depression comes around.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: The attempted coup by Alexander Haig in the leadup to the 1991 U.S. constitutional convention bears several intentional similarities to the attempted coup by hardline Communists in the Soviet Union in OTL's 1991: it lasts three days from August 19-21, 1991; the conspirators form a "State Committee on the State of Emergency"; and the new governmental model advocated by American reformists would be called the "Union of Sovereign States".
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: What happens in West Germany once deindustrialisation causes total societal collapse.
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  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Spontaneous celebrations occured when the United States were dissolved.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • President Morgenthau is largely perceived to be this. His successful implementation of the Morgenthau Plan destroys Germany and kills approximately two million people and causes a Brain Drain from which West Germany will never recover. It is telling that anti-semitism is alive and well into the 1970s, and that Holocaust denial is not political suicide. Turned Up to Eleven after the Statue of Liberty Attack in 1977, in which internment camps similar to the ones Japanese-Americans were placed into OTL were started, to mainly curtail the 'bad Jews'.
    • Racial segregation in the United States never ends, meaning that even by the early 1980s, Jim Crow is still in effect.
    • George Lincoln Rockwell has been elected Congressman.
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    • Gone full Nazi mode by the end of the Buckleymania: Nazi anti-Semitic slogans are used on radio by officials and most of the quotes uttered during the Bellinzona trials are taken dtraight from quotes used by Nazi defendents in Nuremberg.
  • Arcadia: West Germany is a deconstruction. The effects of the Morgenthau Plan are so severe that modern-day Germany remains a largely agrarian society with little examples of modernity present. See the quote page.
  • Artistic License – Economics: President Taft fully implements a fiscally conservative roll back of the welfare state. While during the more or less prosperous fifties there is little controversy, once the economy enters into recession in the sixties, the loss of retirement money from the privatized Social Security hits elders' particularly hard.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • Ulster is now a separate dominion.
    • The fate of Israel.
    • After the Sarasateana, Brazil, Spain and the United Arab Republic end divided into their constituant states.
    • The death of Massu enable leftists to take over the mainland, forcing the Conservatives to flee to the Overseas Territories.
  • Boomerang Bigot: President Buckley, despite being of Jewish descent himself, openly exploits the increased anti-Semitism of TTL's America for political gain.
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: Buckley and most Concordat leaders use the services of a company recruiting Chadian and German mercenaries as bodyguards, who let the former down under Haig's orders.
  • The Coup: One was attempted by Alexander Haig to overthrow Buckley as a constitutional convention was gearing in Washington.
  • Crapsack World: Oh so very true.
    • The United States' elects a fiscal conservative in 1948 who proceeds to successfully dismantle the New Deal. Unfortunately once the Second Depression hits America in the sixties, welfare programs that could have helped the American people are now largely underfunded or privatized- which paramounts to abolishing those programs such as when all the retirement money in Social Security is lost. Also the United States is beset by terrorism, economic collapse , political gridlock and instability, rise of the far-right. Also the civil rights movement has failed utterly and Jim Crow is alive and well.
      • The United States suffers a Second Depression so devastating that Americans are migrating to the Soviet block while Jews, Blacks and Germans are blamed for the crisis.
    • China suffers nuclear strikes during an joint American-Taiwanese invasion of the mainland. The United States deploys nuclear weapons in the battlefield, causing radiation and killing thousands of people, including Mao. They are then divided into a Communist North and a Nationalist South, which is, after yet another nuclear war, reannexed to the North, leaving the KMT in Formosa.
    • Europe is thrown under the bus after the war by a isolationist United States. A watered-down version of the Marshall Plan is implemented, only for it to be cut off by President Taft. This slows down the European recovery, forcing European nations to pool their resources together to not only rebuilt but also defend themselves from the Soviet Union.
    • Israel is hit the hardest as it's ultimately invaded by the United States, destroyed and split between the surrounding nations of the Middle East.
    • Ironically the Soviet Union has come out stronger, still being dominant in Eastern Europe and having successfully implemented market-oriented reforms that saved her economy.
    • German volunteers were send to slaughter rebels and civilians in French Algeria and the Belgian Congo.
    • Brazil is devastated by a civil war opposing Communists and Fascists, along with Arabia and Spain.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: As OTL, Lumumba and two Congolese ministers end bound to a tree, shot, depeced and their members thrown into acid before being burned by the Germans of the Force Publique.
  • Day of the Jackboot:
    • On May 13th, 1956, the French Army started OTL "Opération Resurrection" and took over France, fearing they could be stabbed in the back by a left-wing Assembly in their colonies.
    • Communists took over Portugal after Salazar.
    • Attempted by Haig: he wanted to make Buckley stand down so that someone more ruthless can take over America.
  • Deadly Gas: Used during the Sarasateana.
  • Deep South: The civil rights movement gets strangled in its cradle, allowing segregation to persist in the South well beyond its OTL end. Things get worse in the 80s with the Urban Economic Zones, which are basically open-air prison camps for blacks.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Initially subverted but ultimately played straight. As new political parties rise and partisanship increases, government incompetence grows as well. Ultimately it's what brings down George Mitchell's administration and allows the race-baiting, anti-semitic Dan Buckley to win the 1976 presidential election. However, it seems that the multi-party democracy is ending, and the two-party system is reasserting itself.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • The POD is Harry S Truman ending with a chandelier falling on his head.
    • Charles de Gaulle ends killed by the "Hunger Army" in occuped Germany.
    • Kim Il-Sung was couped, send in a camp and murdered by a guard.
    • Mao died when Beijing was nuked.
  • Eagleland: America under President Buckley is a hardcore Type 2, to the point where after he's overthrown, his successors decide to scrap the US Constitution and start over.
  • Emergency Authority: Used against subversives in America.
  • For Want of a Nail: The whole thing begins after Harry S Truman manages to get approved the White House reparation budget and a chandelier fell on his head.
  • Great Offscreen War: Subverted.
    • We do get to see the military invasion of Chinese mainland by a Americo-Taiwanese alliance.
    • Likewise, we see the Sarasateana, or how Buckley nuked targets in Brazil, China, Spain and Arabia to fight Communist rebels.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In our timeline, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was a conservative-leaning actor with a long and distinguished career, starring in several live-action TV shows between the late 1950s and mid-70s, and later lending his voice to numerous superhero animated kids' series in the '90s. In this alternate timeline, he is elected President in 1976 under his stage name of "Dan D. Buckley" and assumes pretty well Hitlerian powers over America: interning entire ethnic and racial groups under the pretext of "terrorism", maintaining control over Congress by locking up opposition politicians on trumped-up or outright fabricated charges, limiting the franchise through incredibly restrictive voter ID laws, absorbing most of the private sector into the for-profit government control, simultaneously invading and attacking half a dozen countries with nuclear weapons at enormous loss of life, criminalizing such things as homosexuality, and violating just about every constitutional right in existence on a nationwide scale.
  • Hope Spot: When Opposition (the union of practically all parties besides States' Rights and Republicans) tries to beat incumbent President Buckley. Then Buckley gets elected for the third time after using mudslinging.
  • Just Following Orders: The defense used by General William Calley in Bellinzona, even though both of his sons died during the Sarasateana.
  • The Kingslayer: See Tyrannicide
    • Elizabeth II is murdered by Evan Murphy.
    • Buckley is victim of five attempts, one of which cause him to lose limbs and an eye.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Belgium, Spain, Holland and France ressort to using German volunteers in order to hold on their colonies. They are not nice guys.
  • Military Coup: Operation Résurrection in France.
  • Nuke 'em:
    • What happened to Red China during the Black Ditch War.
    • What Massu did to Algerian rebels.
    • The Sarasateana.
  • President Evil: President Buckley. Under him, ethnic and religious minorities are subject to severe discrimination, political opponents are harassed and jailed for both real and fabricated crimes, and regressive policies on womens' and LGBT rights are allowed to take effect.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The German Divisions of the Force Publique subject the Belgian Congo to this.
  • Red Scare: It never ends.
  • The Revolution Will Be Civilized: With the failure of Alexander Haig's coup and the release of the Buckley tapes incriminating most members of Congress in decades-long conspiracies, the reformers seem to be the ones poised to change America for the better through a Constitutional Convention.
  • Retcon:
    • Taiwan was supposed to fell to Mao; now, the KMT pushed them to the sea and retook part of the mainland.
  • The Scapegoat: Louisiana States' Rights Boss Leander Perez blames the Second Depression on "Niggers, Heinies and Jewish-Bolsheviks."
  • Secret Police: Nixon's Janitors, or the Sanitation Division, investigate on crooked politicians, especially those dissenting against Buckley.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: the German divisions of the French Foreign Legion and the Belgian Force Publique are this, considerating their soldiers grew under Nazism and the Anarchy while their NCO were former Waffen-SS veterans.
  • Super Breeding Program: The Nordic Confederation has eugenics, as OTL, and other countries followed, among them Buckley's America.
  • Truth in Television: Many, many times throughout this work, the reader encounters a quotation that seems too vile to have been said anywhere outside the hellish world of this alternate timeline—only to be informed via footnote that that quote is a word-for-word facsimile of something an actual politician or public figure said in our world, with only a few changes made.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: a geographical version, as a utterly crushed Israel is torn apart and split between Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: an apt description of the Sixth Political system in America.
    • Democratic Party: the party of the New Deal and FDR is horrified as decades of progress is reverted in matter of years, while suffering internal dissent by her conservative wing which opposes desegregation and civil rights. The party slowly becomes a rump party throughout the following decades and is eventually wiped out in the 1982 midterm elections.
    • Republican Party: initially successful, the Republicans' turn for the worse as the economy deteriorates, the consequences of their anti-welfare policies become apparent, along with war fatigue and an increasinly powerful communist bloc. They are ultimately forced to partner with the States' Rights Party, which is the stronger of the two for a time, until they fuse as the Republican-States' Rights Party, or simply "The Party".
    • States' Rights Party: a Deep South party created by dissenting conservative Democrats they slowly grow in power until they become a majority party in Congress and become the White House's kingmakers.
    • Conscience Party: the former liberal wing of the GOP, Conscience are formed by moderate Republicans disgusted with the right-wing turn of the official party.
    • Grange Party: a party of farmers from the midwest opposed to the welfare "reforms" of the Taft administration.
  • Working on the Chain Gang: Buckleymania Congress nationalizes private prisons and mandates that all jails run a surplus.
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