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Playing With / The Great Politics Mess-Up

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Basic Trope: Political assumptions in speculative fiction are disproven by events in real life going in an unexpected direction.

  • Straight: The '80s film Bring On The Nukes! depicts a nuclear war between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in 2005. Then the Soviet Union collapses and the Russian Federation ends up on somewhat better terms with the United States.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The '80s film Life in the Future is set in the year 2052. It features the Berlin Wall still standing, Japan in complete economic control of the world, and the apartheid regime still running South Africa.
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    • Life in the Future depicts the Soviet Union still going strong decades into the future... and is released a few days before the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.
  • Downplayed: Background material in the 1991 film A Visit to Soviet Russia shows that the film takes place in 1992 with USSR absent but Russia still under control of communist party.
  • Justified: The work in question was already an Alternate History anyway.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: A Human Popsicle from The '80s is unfrozen in the early twenty-first century. He's told that the Cold War is still going on, but actually it's a Faked Rip Van Winkle.
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  • Double Subverted: Later, it turns out that the people who created the Faked Rip Van Winkle also Time Traveled to the future to see what it was really like.
  • Parodied: Bring on the Nukes! involves a power struggle between America and another superpower. No, not the Soviet Union- Uganda.
  • Zig Zagged: A historical fiction novel And So Falls Babylon depicts the Soviet Union managing to survive... one more year than in our history.
  • Averted: The film Life in the Future does not mention the Soviet Union at all.
  • Enforced: Executives insist the future shouldn't be portrayed as too different from the present because that might shock and confuse people.
  • Lampshaded: "It's so absurd that the Soviet Union still exists here in the year 3000."
  • Invoked: An episode of a cartoon features a video game character from the 1980s coming into the real world, and at one point demands to be taken to the Soviet Union.
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  • Exploited: A stand up comic in 1984 makes a routine out of the Soviet Union managing to take over the United States by the end of the decade. He reasons that such a scenario is so ludicrous, it's bound to get some laughs.
  • Defied: An episode of an early-1980s sitcom has a segment that flashforwards to 1995, and at no point during this scene is the fate of the Soviet Union even hinted at. The writers justify this, saying that it wasn't important for the scene to mention that.
  • Discussed: A documentary concerning the end of the Cold War includes a segment about how many were caught off guard when the Cold War ended the way it did.
  • Conversed: "The end of the Cold War took a lot of people by surprise. That probably includes the writers of The 2000s, given that they portray it as still going on decades after it ended."
  • Implied: The Scarborough Affair, made in the '70s but set in 2003, has a war between the United States and another superpower, but what country it is is never specifically stated.

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