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Literature / Spectre Of Europe

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Spectre of Europe: An Alternate Paris Commune is an timeline by user Reydan. It can be read here

In our world, the Paris Commune was an inspiring experiment of libertarian socialism that showed the potential of humanity to built a grassroots direct democracy and liberate itself from hierarchy. Sadly it was ultimately crushed by the French government and resulted in the radicalization of the left into a revolutionary and ultimately authoritarian position.


However, what if the Paris commune survived?

Unmarked spoilers ahead.

Tropes Are:

  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Inverted The Republique Populaire has anarchists in its government and was once plagued with bomb-throwing monarchists
  • Church Militant: The Christeros regime in Mexico, at least till they got defeated by America in a war which started after their attempts to conquer Central America.
  • The Russian Civil War: There are two of them, the 'Reds' still win the first one but they are 'National and Christian Socialists' led by a Romanov who makes himself president after winning the Civil War, his regime doesn't end up surviving him.
  • Commune: Initially played straight but ultimately subverted with the Paris Commune. However intentional communities become the method by which the majority of French come to live in.
  • For Want of a Nail: quite a few.
    • Adolphe Thiers, who in our world would have Blanqui arrested and gave the army the orders to suppress the Paris Commune, collapses because of a stroke. Free, Auguste Blanqui travels to Paris to join the revolution.
    • Patrice de MacMahon, Duke of Magenta, would become Prime Minister and, being a devout monarchist, would push for Henri, Count of Chambord, to be crowned king after the various republican parties collapse in the election with the death of Thiers. Unfortunately the new king proves to be rather intransigent.
  • Great Offscreen War: subverted. See below.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Describes the relationship between Italy and socialist France though it is Played With.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Anarcho-syndicalism somehow still manages to exist in spite of the existence of a successful communard ideology.
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  • Dirty Commies: Subverted. The socialist movement remains committed to democracy and decentralization of power.
  • Political Ideologies: changed massively.
    • Marxism becomes discredited and ultimately becomes its own antithesis by evolving into a form of Christian socialism
    • Communardism, the idea that society should be run along lines of federated democratic intentional communities, not only survives but becomes a major left-wing ideology
    • Blanquism becomes one the main revolutionary ideology in French left
  • The Republic: What socialist France ultimately becomes.
  • Rightful King Returns: Attempted by the French monarchist holdout in North Africa during World War I, it ends up going Gone Horribly Right as after the failure of the Gospel Landings king Henry VI ends up as a POW.
  • Space-Filling Empire: the European Union, which here is a confederation of socialist republics.
  • Tintin: As Wallonia ended up annexed by France, Tintin became a comic book series of the Republique Populaire. Among other things Tintin foiled an Italian scheme to destabilize the Communard State by printing thousands upon thousands of fake work permits and credit notices designed to cause economic disruption, and helped Tourag rebels against the regime in Algiers together with the disillusioned former Royal Navy Captain Francis Braddock.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: defined the Communard leadership early on until Auguste Blanqui arrives.


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