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     The Alternative History Novel 
I have to mention that Lind is one of the most anti-American writers I've seen. Not just critical of the institutions or leadership at any one time, but totally uncaring about the country itself. Nearly all post-apocalyptic writers rightfully treat the collapse itself as a horrible tragedy, regardless of how bad the pre-collapse regime was. In Victoria, it's a barely-to-undisguised "Good riddance"-imagine Ron Pearlman mentioning in one of the Fallout-intros with obvious glee how the hideous pre-war society was wiped out and you can see how weird and creepy this is.
—A reviewer

The triumph of the Recovery was marked most clearly by the burning of the Episcopal bishop of Maine.
She was not a particularly bad bishop. She was in fact typical of Episcopal bishops of the first quarter of the 21st century: agnostic, compulsively political and radical, and given to placing a small idol of Isis on the altar when she said the Communion service. By 2055, when she was tried for heresy, convicted, and burned, she had outlived her era. By that time only a handful of Episcopalians still recognized female clergy, it would have been easy enough to let the old fool rant out her final years in obscurity.
The fact that the easy road was not taken, that Episcopalians turned to their difficult duty of trying and convicting, and the state upheld its unpleasant responsibility of setting torch to faggots, was what marked this as an act of Recovery. I well remember the crowd that gathered for the execution, solemn but not sad, relieved rather that at last, after so many years of humiliation, of having to swallow every absurdity and pretend we liked it, the majority had taken back the culture. No more apologies for the truth. No more “Yes, buts” on upholding standards. Civilization had recovered its nerve. The flames that soared above the lawn before the Maine State House were, as the bishopess herself might have said, liberating.
She could have saved herself, of course, right up until the torch was applied. All she had to do was announce she wasn’t a bishop, or a priest, since Christian tradition forbids a woman to be either. Or she could have confessed she wasn’t a Christian, in which case she could be bishopess, priestess, popess, whatever, in the service of her chosen demons. That would have just gotten her tossed over the border.
When it was over, none of us felt good about it. But we’d long since learned feelings were a poor guide. We’d done the right thing.
— opening lines.

Was the dissolution of the United States inevitable?
Probably, once all the “diversity” and “multiculturalism” crap got started. Right up to the end the coins carried the motto, E Pluribus Unum, just as the last dreadnought of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy was the Viribus Unitis. But the reality for both was Ex Uno, Plura.
It’s odd how clearly the American century is marked: 1865 to 1965. As the 20th century historian Shelby Foote noted, the first Civil War made us one nation. In 1860, we wrote, “the United States are.” By the end of the war, the verb was singular: “the United States is.” After 1965 and another war we disunited—deconstructed—with equal speed into blacks, whites, Hispanics, women, gays, victims, oppressors, left-handed albinos with congenital halitosis, you name it. The homosexuals said silence = death. Nature replied diversity = war.

Were symbols chosen by men of actions rather than poets and painters, they would be very different. The symbol of war would be a hand reaching out toward another, for war makes brothers of men. The symbol of peace would be a sword, for peace divides.

“I have nothing to apologize for,” I continued. “No woman has the right to represent any of the Corps’ battles, because those battles were fought and won by men. And people resign when they’ve done something wrong. I haven’t.”
“Sir,” I said, “I thought when people became colonels and generals and Commandants, that meant they took on the burden of moral responsibility that comes with the privileges of rank and position. That’s what I’ve always told my sergeants and lieutenants, and when they did what they thought was right I backed them up, even when it caused me some problems with my chain of command. Is what I’ve been telling them true or not?”
"This has nothing to do with truth," yelled Col. Ryan, who was starting to lose it. "What the hell is truth, anyway? This is about politics and our image and our budget. Congresswoman Bluhose is a leading advocate for women’s rights. She’ll be enraged, and I’ll take it in the shorts from Headquarters, Marine Corps. Don’t you get it?"
"Yes, sir, I think I do get it," I said. "You, and I guess the CG here at Quantico and the Commandant, want to surrender to Congresswoman Bluhose and what she represents, a Corps and a country that have been emasculated. But the way I see it, and maybe this is Maine talking, if we’re supposed to fight, that means we have to fight for something. What’s the point in fighting for a country like that? Whatever defeats and replaces it could only be an improvement."

“Christian Marines.” The voice was Gunny Matthews’. “That’s what we are, most of us. That doesn’t mean we’re fighting to spread a religion. But our faith is where our first loyalty must be, because it is the thing we believe in most deeply.”
“In 1775, a man could be both a Christian and a United States Marine. Now we have to choose. The reason the government we have doesn’t work is that it has thrown our whole Christian culture overboard. I don’t care whether someone goes to church or not. But unless people follow the rules laid down in the Ten Commandments, everything falls apart. It seems to me what we’re fighting for here, in this housing project, is to make the Ten Commandments the rules again. And that is what this new Marine Corps should fight for, wherever it fights.”

As our culture began to fall apart, in the 1960s, the gays started “coming out.” This broke the old rule of “Don’t frighten the horses,” which had allowed mutual toleration. The rule meant that they were not open about their orientation, and we pretended not to notice it. By the 2000s, they had become one of the cultural Marxists’ sacred “victims” groups, which meant they were encouraged to flaunt their vice and we were supposed to approve of it. This was justified in the name of “toleration,” but toleration and approval are different. You may tolerate things you don’t approve. I was willing to tolerate gays, but I would sooner have given my approval to an act involving three high yellow whores, a wading pool full of green Jello, and Flipper.

“Black people have been the only warriors in history. White men can’t fight. It’s because their noses are too small. Courage comes from the nose, not the heart, as the African spiritual healers you call witch doctors have long understood. That’s why black people eat their snot. What do you white folk do with your snot? You wrap it up in a little white surrender flag and put it in your pocket. So you don’t have no courage.”
“All the great warriors in history have been black. Caesar was a black man, and so was his enemy, Hannibal. The Spartans were black. They just dyed their hair blond, to fool their enemies into thinking they were weak white people. Charlemagne was a black man. In French, ʻcharlemagneʼ means ‘kinky hair.’ The Vikings came from Africa, which is where they got those helmets with horns on them. Gunpowder was invented by ancient Zimbabwean scientists, who made it from elephant shit. You ever hear an elephant fart? Black scientists knew there had to be some juju behind that.”
“All of America’s military heroes were black people. Washington was a black man. We know that because he came from Washington, D.C., which is a black city. General U.S. Grant had a black grandmother, and so did Robert E. Lee. In fact, it was the same black woman, which is why they looked so much alike. Eisenhower is really a black name, and General George Patton got his pearl-handled revolvers from his black grand-daddy, who took them off Simon Legree.”
“This racist white-boy society of yours has dissed black men big-time. You’ve throw’d ‘em in jails and cut off their tails. You’ve put AIDS in their veins and cocaine in their brains. You’ve made black mean slack and crack, Jack, and we ain’t gonna take it no more.”
“And now the black warriors of our black 42nd Division, which I will rename the 1st Division, will teach these Yankee racist, sexist, crackers what happens when they mess with black people,” Ms. Mowukuu concluded. “And they don’t need no help from nobody.”
— Kateesha Mowukuu, Secretary of Defence, shutting down an invasion plan of Victoria that almost certainly would have worked.

“Sadly, this great culture of ours, Western culture, is under attack,” the professor replied. “The universities today are active and conscious agents in its destruction. Indeed, they have generated theories as to why Western culture should be destroyed. Of course, they aren’t alone. The most powerful single force in America now is the entertainment industry, and it is also an agent of cultural destruction. Many of the politicians play the game too. The usual code-words are ‘racism, sexism, and homophobia.’ When you hear them, you’re hearing the worms gnawing at the foundation.”

By the 21st century, America had become a country of many universities and little education. Her colleges were mostly diploma mills crossed with asylums for the politically insane: howling Bluestockings, inventors of “Afrocentric history,” mewling “advocates” for the blind, the botched, and the bewildered. Frequently, these defectives pooled their neuroses and formed a coalition that took over the campus, turning it into a small, ivy covered North Korea.

“Fellow revolutionaries,” were Kraft’s next words. Recovering quickly from their initial shock, a few of the snakes hissed at them.
“You doubt that I am a revolutionary?” he replied to the hisses. “Oh, how very wrong you are. Very wrong indeed, as you will shortly learn,
“Now ‘fellow,’ I confess, is merely a bit of polite rhetoric. After all, I cannot address you as ‘ladies and gentlemen.’ You would be ‘offended,’ about which I care not a fig. But it would be untrue. You are neither ladies nor gentlemen. Considering how long you have coupled with demons, I’m not sure there is any humanity left in you at all.”
“You see, I am not one of the beguiled,” Governor Kraft continued. “I know whence you come. I have studied your history. You are not descendants of the hippies, despite your bedraggled appearance. You are not the offspring of Quakers and Anabaptists, for when you say ‘peace,’ you mean ‘war.’ You did not grow from the Suffragettes, nor the civil rights movement, nor apostles of tolerance such as Roger Williams.”
“For your father in Hell, no less yours than Lenin’s and Stalin’s and Mao’s, is none other than Karl Marx himself. Your poison, the poison of political correctness which you have striven these many years to inject into the Western bloodstream, is nothing less than Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms.”
A Professor interrupts, is shot.
“Thank you for the courtesy of your attention,” Bill said quietly.
“As I was saying, the sewage which you have poured for decades into the once-sweet grove of academe is Marxism, nothing less. The derivation is obvious. Like classical, economic Marxism, cultural Marxism is a totalitarian ideology. From Marxist philosophy, it derives its vision of a “classless society” – a society not of equal opportunity, but equal condition. Since that vision contradicts human nature, society will not accord with it, unless forced. So forced it will be. Thank God, you never got control of the power of the state, not in full. But on campuses like this one, where you did gain power, you made your totalitarian nature clear. Cultural Marxism was forced on everyone, and no dissent was allowed. Freedom of speech, of the press, even of thought were all eliminated. Anyone who challenged you, student or faculty or administer, was driven out.”
“Like economic Marxism, your cultural Marxism said that all history was determined by a single factor. Classical Marxism argued that factor was ownership of the means of production. You said that it was which groups – defined by sex, race, and sexual normality or abnormality – had power over which other groups.”
“Classical Marxism defined the working class as virtuous and the bourgeoisie as evil – without regard to what members of either class did. You defined blacks, Hispanics, feminist women, and homosexuals as good, and white men as evil – all, again, with no attention to anyone’s behavior.”
“Classical Marxists, where they obtained power, expropriated the bourgeoisie and gave their property to the state, as the ‘representative of the workers and peasants.’ Where you obtained power, you expropriated the rights of white men and gave special privileges to feminists, blacks, gays, and the like – Marcuse’s revolutionary class.”
“Classical Marxists justified their actions through a warped economics. You justified your actions through a deliberate warping of the language: deconstruction. Deconstruction ‘proved’ that any text, past or present, illustrated white male oppression of everyone else, just as economic Marxist analysis ‘proved’ the exploitation of the working class. Deconstruction was in fact merely political scrabble. Compared with it, classical Marxist economics was at least intellectually challenging. But then, most of you never had minds.”
“But that is not all I know about you,” the Governor continued. “I have visited, through history, the fetid holes where your cultural Marxism grew. I have read Gramsci, the Italian Communist who pioneered the translation of Marxism from economics into culture as early as the 1920s. I know Adorno, and his Frankfurt School that in the 1930s crossed Marx with Freud. I have studied ‘Critical Theory,’ the product of that school that carried the bacillus into American universities. I know the whole, sordid story of your sorry ancestry among the exiled refuse of European Marxism, the story of how failed intellectuals worked for what is now almost a century to stab our culture in the back.”
“But as I said at the outset, I too am a revolutionary. My revolution – our revolution, here in the Northern Confederation – is against you. Marxist revolutionaries of every yellow stripe, wherever they obtained power, brought ‘revolutionary justice.’ Anyone or anything that furthered their revolution was just, anyone or anything that opposed it was unjust. And the unjust were liquidated, by the millions.”
“Now, by your own standard let you be judged. You have opposed our revolution, so you stand condemned.”
“You are condemned, let me hasten to add, not by me alone, nor merely by those who live today in our Confederation. Your jury is every man and woman who for three thousand years has labored and fought and died for Western culture, the culture you sought to sacrifice to your own pathetic egos.”
“And that jury’s sentence is death.”
— Full Text of Bill Kraft's speech right before the massacre of Dartmough college professors and "Cultural Marxist" intellectuals.

No one in the Confederation regretted the loss of the treasonous intellectual scum who, perhaps more than anyone else, bore the responsibility for what had happened to the old USA.

“What about the women?” I asked.
“These women despise anyone who looks upon them as women,” Kraft responded. “They spit on the word ‘lady.’ If a man opens a door for them, they kick him in the shins. They demand to be treated equally. Let it be unto them according to their wish.”

As a butcher and a tyrant, Hitler ran a distant second to Stalin. That didn’t excuse him, but I found it difficult to put a higher moral value on six million Jews than on eight million Ukrainian Christians, not to mention the other 52 million killed by Soviet communism. Or the 78 million Chinese and Tibetans killed by its Maoist strain.

Nazi efficiency had its hellish aspect, but chaos was a greater hell.

Were symbols chosen by men of actions rather than poets and painters, they would be very different. The symbol of war would be a hand reaching out toward another, for war makes brothers of men.
The symbol of peace would be a sword, for peace divides.
—Chapter 45

Mike was well along in years, but in the Northern Confederation, old people worked, and wanted to do so. Retirement killed a lot more men than work ever did.
—Chapter 45

”Why shouldn’t we celebrate.”
“Television, computers, and cars, to give three good reasons up front,” Bill shot back. “The best thing the war has done for us, beyond guaranteeing our survival, is shattering the virtual realties created by television and computers. Cars and television together destroyed community in the old U.S.A, and without community there is no way to prevent moral decay except by the power of the state. That’s another road we don’t want to go down.”
—Chapter 45

”Resolved, that it shall be unlawful in the Northern Confederation to use any technology not in common usage in the year 1930."
That meant radio was legal, but not television. Electric cars and trucks were all right, but only with lead-acid batteries and that made them short range forms of transportation. The price of oil still made gas cars unaffordable. No computers, DVDs, Xerox machines, cell phones, sat phones, none of that witches’ brew of technologies that had so undermined the old ways of living. An exception was made for the armed forces and for medical technologies, but nothing else.
— Proposed Retroculture law, defeated yet turned into an unofficial but binding custom.

“This is another way, and a far better one. It is a way taken by our forefathers, the people we seek to learn from and emulate. In their hands, it had great power without coercion by the state. I am speaking of the pledge.
“The Victorians battled with success against some of the most powerful demons lodged in human nature, including the demon of habitual drunkenness, with the pledge. We can fight these technological demons with the same weapon, and defeat. Instead of passing a law and setting the state on your neighbor like a dog, I am asking you tonight to go to your neighbor yourself. Ask him to pledge that he will join you in refusing to own a computer, a cell phone, a television, or an automobile capable of traveling more than 25 miles. Ask him to join you in making life real and local."
— Bill Kraft on the Retroculture law, and the final solution to the technology problem.

The Retro folks set a goal: they wanted a majority of the population to take the pledge by Thanksgiving. Dr. Faust struck back with all he had. The mails were stuffed with glitzy brochures pushing TVs and computers. Toyota offered its fast, sleek, long-range electric cars at a loss, priced lower than a decent wagon and a pair of Percherons. Men in raincoats lurked outside schools, offering children violent video games for free.
—Chapter 45

But the spirit of Retroculture soon took over. In the cities, the cold, slab-sided International Style buildings, created by the Marxists of the Bauhaus to be alienating, came crashing down. So, in the towns, did the churches and banks that looked like Dairy Queens, the cheap motels, the plastic facades on once-noble buildings. Everywhere, in an orgy of ordered destruction, we trashed the trash and restored the landscape and the streetscape. To us Tolkien fans, it was the Scouring of the Shire, only in reverse.
The Scouring continued up into the 2040s. The wreckage of half a century takes some clearing. But by the mid ‘30s, we were also starting to build. Here Retroculture gained its first universal acceptance. Retro or not, virtually everyone wanted to go back, back to the City Beautiful movement that had grown out of the Columbian Exposition of 1893, back to the Greek Revival or Victorian town, back to the old-fashioned New England or Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouse.
—Chapter 45

     The TV Series About Queen Victoria 
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