Echoes of A New Tomorrow: Life after Revolution in the Commonwealth of Britain

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DensleyBlair

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It will have to go on the main page eventually, it's getting too big and too valuable a thing for it to be buried when RP ends. There should probably be one for each game series really.

That’s not a bad idea at all. Maybe worth reviving the old SolAARium for our communal breeze-shooting over AAR ideas? It’s probably a different beast thinking about it, but there have been threads for talking about the art of the AAR before. Might be nice as a bit of a community focal point, too. The general page is so seldom frequented save the weeklies that driving this sort of thing back over there and out in the open night do it good.
 
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Interrupting the AARland-wide discussion before things get too off track, here’s @99KingHigh with the diplomatic view from Washington.
 
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99KingHigh

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Chapters from The Birth of the American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad (1979), written by the American historian Walter LaFeber, one of the first revisionist historians of the Cold War. LaFeber explores the creation of the so-called "American empire" with an economic perspective and famously challenges the "conventional narrative of academic and political American liberalism."

The Birth of the American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad
Excepts from the early Democratic empire in Europe and Latin America (1956-1960).

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Chapter 11: Here Comes the Cavalry
The United States in Europe

The Asian tigers were preparing to race. But the start had not yet been sounded. America and her Western empire remained dormant, even as Japan and the Philippines earned a global stature and a fresh, modern prosperity. Thus, it was natural that an America entangled in an ‘ideological’ conflict on a global scale would survey the map and discover an irresistible attraction to Europe. Though the Old Continent had been distracted, since the end of the Great War, by seismic political shifts and grave pretensions as the rest of the world played an increasingly confident game of catch-up, the great nations of Europe remained monumental entities deserving of respect and influence. The Anglo-France alliance was the best example of Europe’s residual clout, as the entente guaranteed coordination between the continent’s most prestigious imperial powers. They carved out with misplaced grandiosity post-colonial structures in the image they saw fit, occasionally with calamitous results but also with a certain elan. Nevertheless, with the cooperation of the Mediterranean powers, EuroSyn captured the imagination of left idealists throughout the first world. It was a mirror reflection, and one much presented in syndicalist discourse, that their competitor, nationalist Germany, was beset by permanent international crises and domestic upheavals. Despite its comparative success, however, EuroSyn never dealt a decisive blow to the integrity of the German state. The Reich dictatorships of the 1940s escaped with Germany's social order and economy intact. By the early 1950s, Berlin deflected back the haughty superiority of Paris and London by warning against the Eastern Pact, which aroused the worst fears in the capitalist world about the awesome trajectory of Marxism...

President MacArthur had doggedly refused entanglements in Europe beyond his basic commitment to Germany. Its membership in APTO was considered curious considering its location. MacArthur did not take Germany particularly seriously, believing it was a habitual troublemaker that ought to quiet down and settle its own affairs with dignity. His irreverence towards Berlin was only moderated by his intense sense of rivalry with Moscow. Still, the President preferred to look towards the Orient. Between 1952 and 1954, in the absence of presidential interest, progress on the German front was attained, instead, by Richard Nixon, who saw promise in the affirmation of the pro-western bloc in Europe. On his initiative, Nixon managed to christen the ECZ with liberalized access to American capital markets and the dollar, but was disappointed when the election of the anti-Atlantic SDP and Chancellor Bonhoeffer soured President MacArthur on further negotiations as well as by the limited nature of current economic and monetary arrangements. He thought them ungrateful and many Americans shared his view. The chill in relations cast a long shadow, and it was not until the January War in 1956 that Secretary Nixon’s position won out. In a famous televised speech, despite the crushing deterioration of the Hunt Scandal, Nixon won himself a committed American following by denouncing Khrushchev’s ploy and affirming America’s commitment to the capitalist bloc in Central Europe.


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Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming/ In thunder and in earthquake like a Jove/ That, if requiring fail, he will compel

Facing the crippling taint of McCarthyism—barely arrested in the last days of MacArthur—the new Democratic administration flouted its anti-communism. To ward off the “stench of association,” the party demanded a global effort in defense of freedom and democracy. At first, Kefauver, especially under the direction of Secretary of State William J. Fulbright, and later Kennedy, mostly at his own discretion, strove to engage Europe in the cause. Here, a contrast should be drawn between the viewpoints of Nixon and Fulbright, bound in a sense of military and strategic commitments, which had gained purchase in Cold War corridors after 1956, and those propagated by the advocates of ‘New Wilsonianism.” Kefauver carried that latter idealism forward with his endorsement of the ECZ and America’s need to support integrative processes in Central Europe. But Kennedy was cognizant of the public view of Germany, colored by its descent into Nazi fanaticism and militarist disorder. Catholic groups, in particular, insisted upon an Austrian independence referendum to reverse the German impetus for military aggrandizement and force the Kaiser to approach Europe’s future within a collaborative framework. For now, the administration held back on a further round of military talks, acknowledging that American opinion had not yet forgiven Germany. Instead, the administration gave the green-light for multilateral financial negotiations, which it understood would not irritate public opinion by its lofty and byzantine character. The negotiations circled around two points of enduring ambiguity: postwar debts nullified by the Nazis in 1934 amounting to 13.5 billion Deutsche Marks, public and private, liable from the Mellon Plan (1930) and German access to the western capital markets, at the time strung between Wall Street and Tokyo. In order to reach a comprehensive settlement, all of the German Reich’s pre-war foreign debts, its constituent states (Lander), and German private debtors with foreign governments (the Windsor monarchies, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States accounted for 80% of the claims), commercial banks and private bond investors were represented.

The Conference on German External Debts, as the Amsterdam Conference was officially called, met from 28 February to 28 August 1957. Taking part were representatives from seven countries, including Germany. Representatives of private creditors were attached to official delegations through most of the negotiation process. Obviously, the driving force during the Conference was the US Government, managed directly by Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon. Among other objectives, the U.S wanted to prevent a contentious discussion over Great War debts, which would obstruct German access to international capital markets, while keeping the country dependent on public loans from across the Atlantic. The preamble to the agreement acknowledged that the debt reforms reflected a recognition that Germany’s ability to pay depended “not only on the ability of private and governmental debtors to raise the necessary amounts in debt markets without inflationary consequences, but also on the ability of the national economy to cover the debts out of the current trade surplus...resolution demands an examination of Germany’s future production capacity for export goods and the ability to substitute the products currently imported, the possibility of selling German products abroad, the probable future German trade conditions, and the internal fiscal and economic measures in Germany required to ensure an export surplus.” In brief, the United States committed itself to rebuilding German productivity and export capacity, and thereby to transform it into a prosperous and stable political ally in the Cold War, all at the cost of inviting German competition in international markets. This was internationalist American policy as never before. Pre-war debts were negotiated down from 13.5 billion to 7.3 billion Deutsche Mark, a write down of 46 percent. An additional 2 billion Deutsche Mark was charged on German external debt at present interest rates for the trustees of the Mellon Plan, who were de facto represented by the Treasury and had suffered most in absolute terms among the creditors by Hitler's debt freeze. But this compensatory charge was to come into effect after a five year moratorium. In the interests of an arrangement that would be coherent and binding among the signatories, Dillon pushed the principle of equal treatment for all debtors and credentials, and succeeded.


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Hermann Josef Abs, the powerful German banker (and former financier of the Third Reich), signing the Amsterdam agreements (1957).

The second leg of the conference sought to integrate Germany into the West’s financial system. While Berlin had initially combatted its dislocations with traditional autarky, the United States was providing massive amounts of dollar liquidity through the Bretton Woods agreements to its Pacific and American allies. Participating nations, overawed by the United States’ claim to half of the global gold supply, had easily submitted to an international exchange system based on the dollar. The central exchange rate was marked at $35/ounce with associated currencies confined by a fixed peg against the dollar that prevented fluctuations beyond 1 percent. A supervisory board dominated by the Americans, the Western Monetary Fund (WMF), monitored these exchange rates and was prepared to intervene if qualified sovereigns required support. To boost liquidity and gain access to liberalized trade networks, the Germans agreed to participate in the system at the Amsterdam Conference, and in return received a favorable valuation at 4.2 Deutsche Marks per dollar. The undervalued German currency indicated an implicit endorsement by the Treasury Department and the administration that an export-competitive Germany would introduce a serious economic dimension into the struggle against communism. The rest of the ECZ, along with the neutral non-Marxist states in the Low Countries and Portugal, agreed to their own pegs on a bilateral basis with Washington shortly after the completion of the Amsterdam Conference.

Secretary of State Fulbright coined the subsequent system of coordinated international exchange as the “two oceans policy,” reaching from Tokyo to Berlin with its centerpiece in New York. Between 1957 and 1959, U.S investors began flooding the promising, rich ECZ with dollars. The Americans had grown wealthy from their post-1945 trade and had money to invest abroad. U.S corporations flocked to Europe to get inside the tariff wall and to sell to the vast market of Central Europe. American private investment shot up from 6 billion in 1950 to 19 billion by 1959 historically. Traditionally, this investment had gone into Canada and Latin America (U.S business owned three-fourths of the oil and gas as well as half the manufacturing plant of the Canadians). But after 1957, investment tripled in Central Europe within three years. The United States was taking over large parts of Europe’s economy in an “American invasion.”


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The New York Stock Exchange in 1963. At the time it formed the centerpiece of a two-directional financial system that enveloped the Tokyo and Berlin markets.

Just as suddenly, the Americans discovered they were beginning to run out of money. They were not only sending billions abroad for investment, but billions to contain communism, especially in Asia. Until 1958 these cast expenses had been paid for by a trade surplus, but that began to slide to $4 billion, and for a moment in 1959 even briefly went into the red. For the first time since the 1870s, Americans found they could not compete as they wanted in global markets. U.S officials could cover this deficit in two ways; by printing more dollars or by exporting gold bars. By 1960, the U.S. gold supply was down $4 billion, and the trend appeared indefinite. Not enough gold would remain to support the dollars, let alone to support dollar outflows overseas. Nevertheless, for most Americans the dollar dilemma was no dilemma at all. They were inundated with cheap and better quality goods from Germany (particularly automobiles) and Japan. In retrospect, it is clear that these evolutions reflected the long term transformation of the United States from an industrial to a service economy, and consequently, unprecedented adjustments in the structure of everyday American life.

On the international stage, the Amsterdam Conference strengthened the bonds of commerce that would tether the United States to Europe. There would be no repeat of Washington’s reluctance to accept its role as financial hegemon, as had occurred back in 1920. But with soft entanglement came the employment of hard power. A preliminary program of subversion, both diplomatic and covert, supplemented Washington’s new European policy. In partial retaliation for low-level French involvement in Vietnam, the CIA bolstered French anti-syndicalist groups operating out of Portugal with connections to the anti-independence pied noirs of Algeria in March 1958. The terroristic associations rattled French politics for years to come, and paved the road for further American dalliances with right-wing paramilitaries in Europe and in Asia. The dark underbelly of American internationalism, however, had not yet corrupted the shining crusade. During his European tour in the early winter of 1959, President Kefauver met Pope John XXIII in Vatican City (Kennedy remained in Washington), and delivered a speech in defense of Western values, democracy, and anti-communism, all to a fabulous reception by the Holy Father. Secretary Fulbright considered the moment one of the most important in modern European history and hurried the popular President to Budapest, where he received a similarly rapturous reception for his steadfast repudiation of Soviet aggression. When he returned in the new year to the United States, Kefauver was a favorite to win the presidential election, in no small part due to the perceived success of his European tour.


Chapter 12: 'Tough on Communism, Tough on the Sources of Communism'
The United States in Latin America
Under the MacArthur administration, Latin America escaped from the fight against international communism. Influenced by his longtime supporter, former President Hoover, the Old General ignored entreaties by commerce to expand anti-communist political activity in the Western Hemisphere. In 1954, Charles P. Cabell, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, received requests from future director and current deputy-director, Allen Dulles, for a CIA-backed intervention in Guatemala. Dulles, the brother of Chief Justice John Foster Dulles, had close ties with the United Fruit Company (UFCO) via the old family law firm. Singled out by the administration of Jacobo Árbenz Guzman for their grotesque mismanagement of land, UFCO was afraid for its property and strove to convince the administration that the seizure of U.S. property would be copied by other governments in Latin America. But these powerful interests failed to bring MacArthur into line. This was not unpredictable, for the President was the same man who had perfected land reform back in Japan. His “hands-off” policy manifested not only from an isolationist impulse but also from a conviction that social reform was not threatening if it was anti-communist. The country’s Communist party did grow in popularity, especially among the poor rural areas and among union workers. Only four communists, however, sat in the fifty-six member Congress, and MacArthur knew that Árbenz and his top advisers, moreover, were not communists. Nor certainly were the most powerful national institutions—the Catholic church and the army. This was very much in accordance with the surprisingly cosmopolitan viewpoints of the Secretary-General of APTO, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, who asked MacArthur’s administration the big question: “The U.S. can win wars but can we win revolutions?” In the late 1950s, this very question would come to define American policy.

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Allen Dulles, later appointed as director of the CIA in 1963.

The central problem in Latin America was economic. With the end of the Korean War, demand and prices slumped for raw materials. The region’s imports grew much more rapidly than exports. Money grew even scarcer. Economic troubles in the United States reanimated the old saying that when the American economy sneezed, Latin Americans got pneumonia. The slowdown hit just as the continental population growth rate reached 2.5 percent annually, one of the world’s highest. The number of Latin Americans would double to 360 million in just thirty years. U.S. businesses did move into the region but they confined most of their investments to Venezuelan oil. Nevertheless, the companies soon accounted for 10 percent of Latin America's gross national product and a full 30 percent of its exports. Whereas in other corridors of the post-colonial world where problems could be blamed on European colonialism, in South America the troubles were pinned on the U.S. domination of the export economies. The flipside to MacArthur’s “hands-off” policy was that it entailed a strategy of political laissez-faire. Authoritarian military juntas, for example, might not receive the direct support of the United States but Washington was happy to conduct amicable bilateral relations and facilitate commercial ties. Manuel Odria of Peru and Marcos Perez Jimenes of Venezuela, for example, were flushed with American business contracts, despite their notoriety as some of the region’s worst dictators. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., later the unofficial biographer of the succeeding Democratic administration, criticized the approach as “placing confidence in the comfortable doctrine that private investment by itself would bring about development in Latin America, as they supposed it had done in the United States...and the way to enable private investment was to shy away from disciplining governments that it thought would foster a ‘favorable’ investment climate by leaving private business alone, guaranteeing investors, especially foreign investors, full and unrestricted returns, and insuring monetary stability...this, of course, meant right-wing governments.” True enough, and the bleeding-hearts within the Kefauver administration struggled to hide their preference for progressive democrats in Latin America. Schlesinger, the point man on South American policy, came to idealize liberal-reformist parties, such as APRA in Peru, Acción Democrática in Venezuela, and the left wing of the Liberal party in Colombia.

When they came to power in 1957, the Democrats tried to make good on their promise to transform Latin America by a constructive and rational liberalism. Between 1946 and 1960, the United States gave about 30 billion in foreign aid, but less than 7 percent of it went to Latin America, and most of that directly benefited U.S. corporations operating in the region. In March 1957, Vice President Kennedy proposed to Latin American ambassadors the “Alliance for Progress.” Over the next ten years, he argued, $100 billion (20 billion from North America and 80 billion from Latin Americans) had to be made available for development. U.S. aid would multiply many times. But, in return, Kennedy asked for land and tax reforms so that the money would benefit the poor and the middle classes. That August in Uruguay, before President Kefauver, all of the hemisphere’s nations, excluding the British client-state in Guyana, pledged to make the reforms in return for the billions. This pledge would form the cornerstone of U.S. policy for the next ten years, and it was swept in tremendous political optimism. Secretary of State Fulbright touted the new policy as “tough on communism, tough on the sources of communism.” Rep. George McGovern of South Dakota spearheaded an executive office for the newly-passed Food for Peace program. Schlesinger toured Latin America and preached the gospel of “new developmentalism.” But the plan was not to achieve its lofty aspirations.


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Heralds of the "New Developmentalism:" Vice President Kennedy and Rep. McGovern.

There were many reasons for its eventual failure. First, most southern nations were ruled by small, wealthy elites, or oligarchs, who controlled the best lands and the largest companies. They had little intention of giving up their land to the landless or permitting heavy taxation. The oligarchs tended to take the money but kept their wealth. To make the alliance work first required removing these elites. But U.S. officials, not least the Democrats (forever cleaning themselves of the stain of McCarthyism and the loss of China) wanted nothing to do with throwing out stable, pro-Washington oligarchs. Second, Congress directly ordered no U.S. funds to be carried out for land redistribution to the poor. Taking from the rich and giving to the poor sounded too much like socialism to Congress. Third, as strident Roman Catholics, Latin Americans rejected birth-control methods demanded to curb the population increase. High infant mortality as well as the need for many cheap hands in the villages convinced South Americans that they needed large families to survive. Fourth, the Latin elites redirected alliance funds away from staple foods (such as beans) to feed the poor and into export crops (such as cotton and coffee), thereby profiting from their own trade. Fifth, U.S. officials failed to create a coherent plan or a centralized organization to overcome these problems. The officials wanted gradual reform and believed that measures which proved effective in East Asia could work in Latin America. But Latin American economies were radically different from the Asian societies that thrived off of massive American capital. Only the rapid success of the Philippines provided any imitable comparison, and Manila was the unique beneficiary of America’s frontline commitment in the Pacific. Structural change, not just money, was needed in Latin America. By the early 1960s, the alliance would reach its target of an annual 5.5% growth rate, but only 2% percent of the gains went to the poorest 20 percent of the people. Anger and frustration would inevitably follow.

As debates wandered on, U.S. power was abruptly challenged in the most surprising place: Cuba. By the late 1950s, North Americans owned nearly all of its mines and cattle ranches and half of its sugar--the three products on which the nation’s entire economy rested. After 1934, U.S. officials had allowed General Fulgencio Batista to take control of the island. He presided over a corrupt society marked by Mafia rule, rampant unemployment, and pervasive prostitution. On 26 July, 1953, a twenty-six-year-old lawyer-politician, well educated in Roman Catholic schools and embittered by the United States, tried to overthrow the government. Fidel Castro was captured, jailed (where he organized prisoners and read Shakespeare, Kant, Lenin, Einstein, novels, and books on FDR) released in 1955, and then went to Mexico where he gathered support for another attempt. He and eighty other revolutionaries landed in Cuba in 1956 but were nearly exterminated by Batista forces. The rebels were down to sixteen soldiers when their fortunes turned, and long-suffering peasants joined them. When the dictator claimed he had wiped out the rebels, the New York Times published interviews with Castro that made him into an international hero. By late 1958, U.S. officials finally took Castro’s threat seriously. Kefauver, however, thought the movement a progressive revolution against Batista; he warmed to the idea that a violent overthrow in Cuba would warn the other dictators of South America into submitting to reform. Almost everyone else in the White House disagreed, and urged military support to Batista, but the President refused. His investigations into organized crime had forever soured his view of the current American imprint on Cuba. Then, on New Year’s Day, 1959, the rebel soldiers of Castro marched victoriously into Havana.


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Castro (x2), Lleó, and Guevara as they seize Havana from the dictatorship.

Determined to change Cuban society, Castro prepared to break ties with the United States so he could control his nation’s resources. He understood the urgent need for a massive land-reform program (0.5 percent of the population owned one-third of the land, much of which lay unused). Though Castro later claimed that he had been a Marxist since he had read their works in prison years before, the evidence is more complex. He received little help from the inept Cuban Communist party and later only used it to carry out his program. When Castro visited the United States in April 1959, Kefauver had a long talk with Castro and came away believing that the Cuban was not a Communist. Nixon, who was also invited to speak with Castro, left with the same impression. But Kefauver, particularly influenced by Schlesinger, preferred the revolutionary energy to continue under the auspices of Manuel Urrutia Lleó—a liberal lawyer and long time opponent of Batista—then serving as President of Cuba.

Hefty support from Washington to the Cuban liberals frightened Castro, who believed he was being outmaneuvered. In a chaotic sequence of events in 1959, Castro sidelined Lleó as well as elevated outright Marxists, including his friend, Che Guevara, and his brother, Raúl Castro. A quiet coup d'etat orchestrated by Castro ousted Lleó in favor of a figurehead, Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado. Encountering a new coolness from the administration, which had placed its hope in Lleó, the impatient Castro pivoted to Moscow. In early 1960, Castro agreed to sell sugar to the Soviets in return for oil and industrial goods. He then demanded that American oil firms in Cuba refine the oil. The companies were bitter but agreed to do so until Fulbright and the State Department told them to refuse. Castro then seized the oil companies. Kefauver, horrified, shut off the U.S. market on which Cuban sugar had depended since the 1890s. Meanwhile, Castro moved to confiscate all privately owned firms, both foreign and domestic. Privately, Khrushchev boasted that “Castro will have to gravitate to us like an iron filing to a magnet.” But when Fulbright and Kennedy pressed for an invasion, Kefauver held his ground. He thought to turn Lodge’s phrase that since the “United States had not been able to win revolutions even 90 miles off its own coast” on its head by showcasing the ramifications of a ‘corrupted’ revolution. Schlesinger wrote a public white paper to justify both policies on the premise that Castro had betrayed the Cuban Revolution.

 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Here comes the crisis. American impotence off the coast, as they said, probably isn't going to make them feel any better than otl. Indeed, so far, I'm not seeing anything that would stop them getting embroiled in a Vietnam style war at some point. That is, if the world doesn't go nuclear in the next few months...
 
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Here comes the crisis. American impotence off the coast, as they said, probably isn't going to make them feel any better than otl. Indeed, so far, I'm not seeing anything that would stop them getting embroiled in a Vietnam style war at some point. That is, if the world doesn't go nuclear in the next few months...

The Democrats getting much more choosy about who exactly they prop up in the global south is not going to help things. We’re looking at the start of a minor golden age for neocon foreign relations in Washington, even with the idealists in charge. Most worrying for Britain is that the previous ambivalence towards the Syndicalists is wearing off alongside this. The old bugbear of 20th century European imperialism gets reinforced with a large dose of left-bashing.

As for nuclear war, I’ll say that this timeline isn’t about to pivot to being a Threads remake any time soon.
 
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A Common Future: The Birth of the European Syndicate

DensleyBlair

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6Venre3.jpg



A COMMON FUTURE
THE BIRTH OF THE EUROPEAN SYNDICATE

ROY JENKINS
1977



Against the backdrop of the January War and the fallout from the Secret Speech in 1956, the European syndicalist bloc was relegated to an inferior position in global politics. Although in Moscow Mr. Khrushchev had signalled a desire to repair broken links with the Syndicalist International, it seemed clear to many then that the course of the Cold War was to be driven by battles fought between the capitalists and the Soviets. As things lay by the end of 1956, the syndicalist bloc was merely an awkward third actor in the battle for ideological supremacy. For Oswald Mosley, in common with a number of figures throughout the four countries of the SI, this was an unacceptable revelation to stomach. Thus, in an era-defining bid to cement their presence on the global stage, in June 1957 the syndicalist powers concluded the Treaty of Paris, heralding the formation of the European Syndicate – Eurosyn.


At its inception, Eurosyn had one chief aim: the preservation of syndicalist strength within global affairs. More than the Syndicalist International, which at best had been a supranational forum and a putative defensive pact, Eurosyn was to bring together the four syndicalist powers as never before. The Treaty of Paris was in many ways a syndicalist echo of the market-liberal Treaty of Frankfurt that established the Eastern European Economic Cooperation Zone (ECZ) in 1954. Previously, the Syndicalist International had acted as a register of bilateral trade and credit agreements, but coordination was on nothing of the scale of Eurosyn. Economic cooperation between the signatory nations was vastly increased, with a commitment to a common industrial strategy, mutual coordination of pricing controls and an internationalist approach to economic structuring. The syndicalist bloc’s coal and steel community was unified, and the four nations committed themselves to a common agricultural policy. Utilities, including gas and electricity, were to be centrally organised, and even the railway network was brought under common supervision under Eurovia, the new international rail operator. Eurovia’s crowning achievement came in 1964, when the opening of the Eurotunnel (agreed a decade previously) heralded a new freedom of movement – though not of labour – throughout the Syndicate. (As the famous posters proclaimed, by the middle of the 1960s a traveller could journey from Glasgow to Gibraltar, and from Paris to Palermo!)


This staggering new level of integration was overseen by a new twelve-person supranational Executive Committee. Three representatives were appointed to serve on the committee for a five year term by their respective national governments, headed by a rotating chair. Idiosyncratically, the chair rotated according to the order in which the member states had achieved syndicalist government. Britain, with its 1929 revolution coming before France (1938), Spain (1940) and Italy (1945), thus held the inaugural headship; veteran economic director Bob Boothby was appointed by Mosley as Eurosyn’s first chairman. Boothby’s appointment was undoubtedly political, and for all of the new chairman’s qualifications Mosley was vastly aided by the dispatch of a key rival to the Eurosyn headquarters in Lyon until 1962.



1964%20FRANCE%20BY%20TRAIN.jpg

Discover France by Train! (Eurovia railway poster, 1964)


Domestically, Mosley’s aspiration for British membership of Eurosyn was rooted not only in the ideological and geopolitical struggles of the Cold War, but also in the realities of Britain’s fast evolving relationship to its former colonies. In the years after the Anti-Fascist Wars, Britain had managed the demands of colonial subjects for greater autonomy by a process of gradual decolonisation, grooming sympathetic post-colonial leaders and installing them as replacements for direct Commonwealth rule. This was justified as a long overdue fulfilment of the post-revolutionary promise for colonial self-rule. While true, this gradualist, Commonwealth-led approach to decolonisation was also a textbook example of self-preservation. Needless to say, it was far more advantageous for London to put itself in control where breaking up the Empire was concerned than if it had simply allowed the various colonial separatist and nationalist movements to make their demands by violent means. This more or less guaranteed a continuation of British influence throughout the former African colonies and in the Caribbean (and to a markedly lesser degree on the Indian subcontinent). So long as this influence held, London was well able to reap the material benefits of its privileged position.


The test case for this approach was Kenya, where self-rule was granted in 1950 under the government of Jomo Kenyatta. Schooled in England and friendly with a number of leading figures within the post-revolutionary British left, Kenyatta remained sympathetic to British interests even after autonomy, and did not challenge either the continued presence of British actors within the Kenyan economy, nor the large scale ownership of Kenyan land by white settlers. This pro-British policy eventually provoked the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army, which began a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the settler economy starting in 1952. Although by 1957 the KLFA had been almost totally beaten, following a campaign of fierce repression waged by the Kenyatta government and its allies, Mosley was canny enough to realise that reliance on the ‘post-colonial’ Commonwealth community was a high-risk strategy for the British economy. As the Sixties dawned, nationalist tides were turning colonial populations from Nicosia to Georgetown against continued British control. The futility of trying to construct an economic settlement in such conditions was plain to see.


Decolonisation did not just affect Britain out of the Eurosyn nations. In France, the leadership of the Fourth Republic had been embroiled in a bitter and multifaceted struggle surrounding its withdrawal from Algeria since the middle of the decade. The prospect of losing the oldest of France’s ‘new’ colonial possessions had galvanised the French right-wing domestically, while even anti-colonial French politicians were met with difficulty in facilitating the creation of an autonomous Algerian state. Efforts stalled to dull the worst of the trauma of giving up its African possessions through the creation of a formal Francophone community, and Paris quickly began to see closer integration with allies in Europe as a means of guaranteeing French stability and influence within global affairs.



1957%20LA%20MALFA.jpg

Ugo La Malfa, 'the Needle' responsible for bringing together the Syndicalist states under the Eurosyn banner, pictured at the Paris Conference, 1957.


The man perhaps most responsible for turning this general appetite for cooperation into a political reality was Ugo La Malfa, a key statesman of the Italian Republic who was known as ‘the Needle’ for his unfailing ability to ‘thread together’ the divergent strands of the governing Italian left. La Malfa’s conciliatory capabilities extended beyond the borders of his home country, and as Italian foreign minister between 1954–58 he was instrumental in popularising the idea of a unified syndicalist bloc to counter the influence of the ECZ in the east. Throughout the troubles that afflicted western Europe during the 1960s and 1970s, La Malfa remained convinced of the power of Eurosyn to promote goodwill between nations, and as a force for stability and peace within Europe. Serving as the fourth chairman of the Eurosyn executive committee from 1972 until June of this year was likely the crowning achievement in the career of a man who was Italian premier on four separate occasions.


The position of the Eurosyn chairman in global affairs was a vexed one during the organisation’s early years of existence. As the leader of the premier syndicalist nation (according to his conception of world politics), as much as he championed syndicalist integration in Europe Chairman Mosley was unable to conceive of Eurosyn as equal in prestige to the Commonwealth. For Mosley, Eurosyn was an ancillary organisation that would serve to coordinate efficiently the exercise of mutual interests without challenging the basic supremacy of the member states. This was evident as much in his use of the Eurosyn chairmanship to sideline his rival Boothby as it was in his general attitude towards international cooperation, which he believed would increase British influence (rather than be fortified by British involvement). This resulted in several tense encounters between Mosley and Boothby between 1957–61, during which time the Commonwealth made the transition towards the common economy. Seldom was Mosley as visibly rattled by a policy decision as when the British nuclear programme was federated into the supranational Nuclear Council of the European Syndicate (CNSE) in March 1958 in the aftermath of the Windscale Crisis of the previous October. The decision to convene the first meeting of the CNSE in Cambridge did little to spare Mosley’s ire, and he never got over the fact that it was Eurosyn, not the Commonwealth, that became the world’s third thermonuclear power following the detonation of “Red Lion” in the Malian desert in August 1959.


Mosley’s reaction in this case is not immediately easy to understand, though makes sense when taken in the context of his general vision for Britain as a global power in the years after the Anti-Fascist Wars. Recognising that the days of Britain’s overt imperial dominance were at an end, particularly with the reemergence of the United States out of isolation after the Pacific War, Mosley spearheaded an economic policy that was aimed to put British manufacturing, engineering and scientific prowess at the forefront of the ‘technological war’. In this aim his policy was not without its successes, and British advances in aerospace and automotive engineering, computing technology and industrial manufacturing kept the Commonwealth in its position as a formidable industrial power relative to its size. (An illustrative example of this prowess, the water speed record holder in 1957 was a Briton, Donald Campbell.) As the Cold War developed, the battle for technological supremacy reached two main frontiers: the first, the development of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons; the second, the race to explore the wonders of space.



1961%20ESRA%20CONTROL%20ROOM.jpg

Control room of the European Space Research Agency during the launch of the Galileo I satellite, 1960.


Desiring nothing more than the maintenance of British prestige, Mosley was intent that the Commonwealth would play its part in the battle to develop technologies in both fields. In the nuclear realm, Britain boasted formidable resources through the Cavendish Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge. Developments in particle physics made by scientists at the Cavendish had contributed significantly to the understanding of nuclear processes throughout the 1940s, but the British authorities had not pursued the creation of nuclear weapons until after the deployment of tactical warheads by the US Army in Korea in 1950. Governmental impatience to close the ‘nuclear gap’ and restore British prestige after 1950 was a key factor in the crisis at Windscale, and did much to dent Mosley’s standing – not to mention the British nuclear programme. That Mosley could not repair the damage through the production of a singularly British thermonuclear weapon he saw as a great injury, and resented most of all that his rival Boothby was able to take some of the credit for Red Lion’s later success.


In the second field, British scientists had made similarly significant contributions to the domain of astrophysics, particularly those scientists working out of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, and under Bernard Lovell at Jodrell Bank. While scientists in Manchester made great progress in expanding our collective understanding of the universe, after the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 – almost exactly simultaneous with the crisis at Windscale – Mosley became fixated on the idea of a Commonwealth space programme. Again, he was frustrated by reality, and in January 1958 he was forced to accept the formation of the European Space Research Agency (ESRA) under the auspices of Eurosyn. That it was directed by the eminent British-Australian nuclear physicist Harrie Massey was little consolation; the prize of space would not be Britain’s alone, and following the successful launch of the satellite Galileo I in September 1960 Mosley was only able to share in his small part of the glory.


Nevertheless, leaving aside Mosley’s frustration with the limited nature of global recognition of Britain’s individual contribution to the technological developments of the 1950s and 1960s, what is clear is that Eurosyn was able to harness its resources in the service of remarkable strides forward in science and technology. Formed out of the urgent need to provide a coordinated response to the reemergence of market capitalism as a powerful force within Europe, Eurosyn helped to maintain the standing of the syndicalist bloc within the order of world powers. Not only a force for the common betterment of its four member states, from its earliest years Eurosyn was able to direct the syndicalists’ considerable material resources and manufacturing ingenuity towards a number of grand projects that brought the bloc great prestige. Responding to the challenge laid down after January 1956, Eurosyn showed that the syndicalist bloc remained united in its aims and secure in its position as a world power. As the 1960s continued, the European Syndicate would come to take a far more important position as a bulwark against instability within the syndicalist states, and an enduring beacon of hope, fraternity and common purpose in Western Europe.
 
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stnylan

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The second half of the 1950s is very much portraying Moseley as getting increasingly constrained, having his options reduced at nearly every turn.
 

Le Jones

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In the second field, British scientists had made similarly significant contributions to the domain of astrophysics, particularly those scientists working out of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, and under Bernard Lovell at Jodrell Bank. While scientists in Manchester made great progress in expanding our collective understanding of the universe, after the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 – almost exactly simultaneous with the crisis at Windscale – Mosley became fixated on the idea of a Commonwealth space programme. Again, he was frustrated by reality, and in January 1958 he was forced to accept the formation of the European Space Research Agency (ESRA) under the auspices of Eurosyn. That it was directed by the eminent British-Australian nuclear physicist Harrie Massey was little consolation; the prize of space would not be Britain’s alone, and following the successful launch of the satellite Galileo I in September 1960 Mosley was only able to share in his small part of the glory.

This - you've done it, @DensleyBlair, and it is wonderful. I officially love you. Let's have more of Sir Bernard, he even looks like a Communist for goodness' sake...
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I'm not sure whst mosely expects. GB is very small, now depleted of natural resources (that they know about) and being compared to the two largest, strongest and most resource rich states to ever exist. It punches well above its weight, but syndicalism is no route to power unless internationally.
 

DensleyBlair

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The second half of the 1950s is very much portraying Moseley as getting increasingly constrained, having his options reduced at nearly every turn.

As I've written him, Mosley is a classic bully. He works well when he has total control, but deals terribly with the slightest bit of contingency. As the Cold War heats up, the contingency increases big time – and what's more, Mosley is left with diminishing resources to call upon in response. He had had what might be called his Trente Glorieuses. Going past that will require new tactics to break past the barriers.

This - you've done it, @DensleyBlair, and it is wonderful. I officially love you. Let's have more of Sir Bernard, he even looks like a Communist for goodness' sake...

Happy to oblige, my friend! (And, I have to say, I am tickled by your definition of "looks like a communist" :p) Did you catch the Donald Campbell namedrop also? It was incredibly brief, I grant, but he is now in the mix. :)

I'm not sure whst mosely expects. GB is very small, now depleted of natural resources (that they know about) and being compared to the two largest, strongest and most resource rich states to ever exist. It punches well above its weight, but syndicalism is no route to power unless internationally.

I'd say he expects the world, frankly. It's hard writing Mosley vis a vis united Europe, because in his later years it was all he went on about (all coexisting points about 'European culture' notwithstanding *shudders*). My take is that he would be incredibly happy to see Eurosyn come into being because – as you rightly say – it solves a number of his problems. I think what he would be less enthusiastic about is the realisation that part of the deal is he gives up some share of his power. Him sending Boothby to chair Eurosyn is his way of trying to secure a key ally at the top of this new organisation, so when Boothby turns out to be a lot less than keen to blindly perform Mosley's bidding, he realises he's created yet another rival – and a powerful one at that. So a pretty unquestionably good thing becomes another cog in his increasingly paranoid game of "how the hell do I stay on top of the pole?"
 

Le Jones

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Did you catch the Donald Campbell namedrop also? It was incredibly brief, I grant, but he is now in the mix. :)

I did, and am pleased to see him breaking records. But to me it is who Lovell holds so much potential in this TL...
 

DensleyBlair

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I did, and am pleased to see him breaking records. But to me it is who Lovell holds so much potential in this TL...

Aye, you're quite right there. Campbell is, I admit, pretty much wired in as an interesting flash of colour. Lovell might actually be able to do some divergent things, as you say. The idea of a genuine European space programme is captivating for obvious reasons, but I'm still on the fence about how much capital (political and otherwise) there'll be for it once the dust clears on, well, *gestures at every other front of the Cold War*. In the meantime, even if the Syndicalists can't find time to actually build the rockets, there's still plenty of advances to be made by good old British science.

Of course, without WW2 there is a much different landscape of scientists around the world. Many of those who found themselves in the US by the end of the Forties are still knocking about in Europe (looking at you, Herr von Braun). As ever with something of this scale, the possibilities for exploration are endless. The task remains to discern which rabbit holes are most worth falling down.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Aye, you're quite right there. Campbell is, I admit, pretty much wired in as an interesting flash of colour. Lovell might actually be able to do some divergent things, as you say. The idea of a genuine European space programme is captivating for obvious reasons, but I'm still on the fence about how much capital (political and otherwise) there'll be for it once the dust clears on, well, *gestures at every other front of the Cold War*. In the meantime, even if the Syndicalists can't find time to actually build the rockets, there's still plenty of advances to be made by good old British science.

Of course, without WW2 there is a much different landscape of scientists around the world. Many of those who found themselves in the US by the end of the Forties are still knocking about in Europe (looking at you, Herr von Braun). As ever with something of this scale, the possibilities for exploration are endless. The task remains to discern which rabbit holes are most worth falling down.

Not too mention that europe is just a little too high in the hemisphere to launch rockets with the same ease as in Florida. They either have to make to with their southernmost region (Gibraltar?) Or make a deal with some African state. Which, to be fair, will be easier in this timeline where there's far fewer warlords...
 

DensleyBlair

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Not too mention that europe is just a little too high in the hemisphere to launch rockets with the same ease as in Florida. They either have to make to with their southernmost region (Gibraltar?) Or make a deal with some African state. Which, to be fair, will be easier in this timeline where there's far fewer warlords...

Good point. ES have been doing their bomb tests in the Algerian desert, but the political situation (more on this later) might not make it a long term option for a rocket base. Libya might be a decent candidate if they wanted to go down that route. Alternatively, the idea of a Eurosyn-controlled microstate in Gibraltar just for rocketry is quite fun.
 

Wraith11B

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So, what's gone one with the Scandinavian nations? I can't recall hearing about them. What with the lack of a WW2 in TTL, Norway and Finland might not be where they are as part of one power block or the other (Is there a Warsaw Pact this go around?).
 

DensleyBlair

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So, what's gone one with the Scandinavian nations? I can't recall hearing about them. What with the lack of a WW2 in TTL, Norway and Finland might not be where they are as part of one power block or the other (Is there a Warsaw Pact this go around?).

Finland became a source of contention between the Anglo–French alliance and the Soviets back in 1940, when Stalin decided he wanted to annex the place. He didn't, but he did manage to get a sympathetic government in. That's probably worth giving a mention after 1956 – and actually, that's just reminded me that I never included the map I made specially to illustrate the January War… let's rectify that now:

1956%20MAP.png

So as you can see, big old red–grey border between Finland and Sweden.

As for how things will develop? My guess would be that Sweden pursues some discreet dealings with the West while remaining officially neutral. Norway too escapes any official approach from the US, but going into the Seventies I could see some bizarre Cod War–type conflicts between the CW and Norway/Iceland opening up if either side were so minded.
 

Wraith11B

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I guess without the pressure from the uboats in WW2, and TTL's tripolar world, there's no NATO SOSUS system, and so the UK better be investing in their ASW to be able to hold off the Soviets and all of their boats. From this map, I'd imagine that Norway and Sweden lean heavily towards the Syndicalist bloc, because the Soviets seem like they'd be demanding everything they did without the chastisement of Barbarossa, which might make the Sovs far less willing to back off. If they're under pressure, the Danes and their territories could lead to the GIUK-portion of the SOSUS arrangement, but now you have a complication: the US' block is the Central Powers, and to get to them, you have to get past both the Soviet Navy coming down through the North Sea and then past the (Artist Formerly Known as the Royal Navy)...

That support means essentially a fight all the way into Germany, and that's just a replay of the First World War... it just wouldn't work long-term. I'm amazed the Soviets didn't see that and try and pull their relatives in the Eurosyn into their fight against the Capitalists, because that would cause the ECZ to fail spectacularly. Short of American nukes being based in Germany and releasable to their command in a crisis, I doubt that the ECZ can actually hold their borders against either side.
 

99KingHigh

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I guess without the pressure from the uboats in WW2, and TTL's tripolar world, there's no NATO SOSUS system, and so the UK better be investing in their ASW to be able to hold off the Soviets and all of their boats. From this map, I'd imagine that Norway and Sweden lean heavily towards the Syndicalist bloc, because the Soviets seem like they'd be demanding everything they did without the chastisement of Barbarossa, which might make the Sovs far less willing to back off. If they're under pressure, the Danes and their territories could lead to the GIUK-portion of the SOSUS arrangement, but now you have a complication: the US' block is the Central Powers, and to get to them, you have to get past both the Soviet Navy coming down through the North Sea and then past the (Artist Formerly Known as the Royal Navy)...

That support means essentially a fight all the way into Germany, and that's just a replay of the First World War... it just wouldn't work long-term. I'm amazed the Soviets didn't see that and try and pull their relatives in the Eurosyn into their fight against the Capitalists, because that would cause the ECZ to fail spectacularly. Short of American nukes being based in Germany and releasable to their command in a crisis, I doubt that the ECZ can actually hold their borders against either side.

We are monitoring the situation very closely.

- RN
 
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DensleyBlair

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I guess without the pressure from the uboats in WW2, and TTL's tripolar world, there's no NATO SOSUS system, and so the UK better be investing in their ASW to be able to hold off the Soviets and all of their boats. From this map, I'd imagine that Norway and Sweden lean heavily towards the Syndicalist bloc, because the Soviets seem like they'd be demanding everything they did without the chastisement of Barbarossa, which might make the Sovs far less willing to back off. If they're under pressure, the Danes and their territories could lead to the GIUK-portion of the SOSUS arrangement, but now you have a complication: the US' block is the Central Powers, and to get to them, you have to get past both the Soviet Navy coming down through the North Sea and then past the (Artist Formerly Known as the Royal Navy)...

That support means essentially a fight all the way into Germany, and that's just a replay of the First World War... it just wouldn't work long-term. I'm amazed the Soviets didn't see that and try and pull their relatives in the Eurosyn into their fight against the Capitalists, because that would cause the ECZ to fail spectacularly. Short of American nukes being based in Germany and releasable to their command in a crisis, I doubt that the ECZ can actually hold their borders against either side.

Excellent points all round, really. The Soviets having ended up with what you might call a 'favourable statement' in the January War has alerted them to the need for more friends in Europe – particularly with the crumbling of pro-Soviet CP support in the rest of the world. The invasion of Bessarabia was, in all honesty, likely an example of Khrushchev being erratic, so in the timeframe bringing the Syndicalists into the argument (and this is till pre-Eurosyn, keep in mind) would have been 1) a lot of work, and 2) a probable recipe for disaster. But now that Eurosyn is up and running, as you say it becomes more like a re-run of the Great War. Which would hopefully be enough to make anyone think twice about doing anything too hasty. There are moves coming up from both sides that will raise tensions and dig in battle lines in Europe. Needless to say, the Sixties are not going to be the smoothest of years for our cold warriors…

We are monitoring the situation very closely.

- RN

Better get that Nobel Peace Prize ready…
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Basically the germans are surrounded if it ever really came to an all-out war on the left. Which means either the amercians are going to pass loads of money away trying to resolve that and fail, or try to seduce the Scandinavians so they can at least sail around Iceland without getting sunk.
 
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