The One and Only BBB
- Nov 1, 2010
One is slightly intrigued by this representation of Gandhi.
One wonders what might have been if certain things worked out differently.
Well, that's what alt-history's for!
Now this should be interesting...
Would the man have worked with the ANC so closely given his...views...on blacks etc?
The issue in a nutshell is that a unified India is so completely a imperialist colonial idea and concept. It is far, far more likely in a federal system to split the place up into much smaller chunks along religious and culture lines, and along the coast and around the princely states. The chances of getting an independent and unified india in this timeline is highly unlikely, i think.
I admit I inadvertently sanded off some rough edges for the narrative, but his views IOTL can still be seen a little in that one of the arguments for Indian Responsible Government Gandhi makes is 'if blacks can have it thanks to Federation, why can't we more civilised peoples have it too?'
The Civilians and Gandhi are indeed, despite coming at it from completely different angles, together making an argument for splitting India up, even if neither of them realise it.
Gandhi working with the ANP is an interesting development. Some internationalism among the oppressed colonial subjects would be nice to see, but it seems a little way off yet. Very interested to see what happens in India after the War.
Aye. As per the answer above, Gandhi doesn't see the ANP's struggle in quite universal enough terms as to be proper solidarity amongst the non-whites of the empire.
Well, federalism encourages internationalism across all potlcial spectrums really, since the international and national just got merged together, at least at the top level. I suspect communists and facists have an interesting time with internarionalism and nationalism rubbing against one another and overlapping in the empire even more than otl.
The British Empire becoming a sort of (white) British International would, I imagine, absolutely rile up the extreme left and right. I can imagine the Communist response being along the lines of a standard critique of liberal politics (ie, federation is to empire what social democracy is to capital). The fascists may well just go for the full “fortress (greater) Britannia” approach, which considering the history of British border law could well be on the way anyway.
In this sense I guess it would be not unlike attitude to the EU and associated institutions.
This is all excellent discussion for me to file away in the 'where the hell do I go post-war?' folder.
I suppose the EU mention begs the question of what do the other powers do/react, long term I mean. Short term they built alliances for war. But how does a quarter of the world federalising impact all the other empires and nations? Does it destroy nationalism or increase it? How does it impact amercia most of all (as it surely will, at least, make them want to incorporate and add more states where pribously they essentially had colonies)? Does france go ahead with its own ideas of making literally the whole empire the metropolitan? How does Russia and Austria react, considering they are the other two powers with lots of nations in them? How does Germany, built as it is on pure unifying nationalism?
I suppose the other question is how will the War change all of this, when it comes. Everyone doubling down on keeping to their own empires is evidently bad for truly multilateral internationalism, as everyone basically scrambles to shore up their own cartel. If the the postwar brings with it vague attempts at something like Wilsonian internationalism, obviously this will all change. Otherwise frankly I don’t see much good coming out of things as they stand.
Which is why I’m intrigued to see how India unfolds, seeing as it could make or break the idea (in my mind at least) that the Imperial Federation is just a cartel for the white guys. If this holds true, you can’t really claim (or I would have a hard time believing) that federation is any better than Empire, even if it might overcome some administrative difficulties.
This, of course, assumes there'll be empires to double down on keeping. DUN DUN DUUUNNN.
Your thoughts on India's position vis-à-vis the meaning of the Federation are very much in tune with mine.
I can see federation going lots of different ways, but what will also take certainly not happen is wilsonian internationalism since almost no one believed in it except Woodrow Wilson, who I hope never becomes president let alone decides the armistice treaty. That man went a long way to causing a lot of the problems of the 20th century.
But I suspect that the Great War might not be so destructive in this timeline, or as long. It could very well be, but maybe not for the British who can argue quite effectively that they need to focus on Africa whilst the other two allies focus in defending France. If they get Russia to join in, even better. Britian in 1914 was not ready for war otl, except for the navy. Not enough shells, not enough bullets, though at least the standing professional army was fully equipped, which no other power managed until later.
If we're aiming for reduced British cost and casualty, they need to focus on Africa and the seas until that content is brought to heel, then they can go elsewhere. Probably push from Egypt up to the ottoman heartlands. What we need for Germany to lose is a two front war, or for Austria to die. So either Italy or Russia is needed in Europe.
Since Britain is very much the mover in terms of the Entente and the anti-German alliance ITTL, instead of France, the UK is a little more prepared for war by 1911, but that doesn't say much in a war of this scale.
It all, then, would seem to await the outcome of the war. I'd be intrigued, here, to see how loosely you follow the game as I've had some bloodily horrific (and therefore realistic) experiences, while some just degenerate in tear-inducingly dull games of 'chase 1000 Germans round Africa'. If the British play to their strengths - maritime independence and dominance, and the ability to sweep up the colonies, they should prevail. I note that Pax Britannica seems stronger here than in OTL.
VOC as an abbreviation is inspired, as it is also the abbreviation for "Volatile Organic Compound" and the old Dutch India Company, the "Vereenigde Ost-Indische Compagnie". Both seemed both inspired and apt!
I did try playing the Great War, and some aspects of that playthrough are incorporated, but the whole thing was over in just over a year and a half. That, to me, seemed wholly unrealistic with the amount of bloodshed, fronts, and developments. I also want some things to happen, so from October 3rd, 1911, we're largely moving off gameplay.
I do have to wonder how the sectarian divide will affect India's approach to Federation. With the greater degree of granularity that has so far been used to draw up constituencies, I'm holding out hope that the disaster that followed in the wake of our world's 1947 partition can at least mostly be avoided...
Avoided, or made worse? If Britain scuttles the whole operation quickly due to having lost control on the ground, as it did IOTL in order to avoid that loss of control becoming obvious, then more dividing lines may just mean more bloodshed.
I very much enjoyed these looks at the overseas territories of the Empire and their many injustices.
Such a shame that the war had to intervene in the South African voting issue but maybe their contributions in the war will make Westminster more eager to give everyone the vote like for women in OTL.
Finally a look at India! With federation looming there is certainly a discussion to be had on how many Indias should be present. Should they be joint or maybe adopt a Canadian solution?
And now I wait anxiously for the outcome of the war.
All Roads Lead to War.
I suggested the british might avoid the horror of the western front, but only because they'll have the horror of cleansing Africa of iberian armies and patrols before perhaps fighting a guerilla war for a few years in various places. They might be able to sell the idea to the allies as them sorting out Africa, the far east and eventually the Middle East, and the sea of course, whilst the french and amercians hold the line in france.
Not sure they can manage that but would be beenficial if they did.
I can't see the eventual federarion commission suggesting anything less than several partitions, especially the obvious Pakistan, Bangladesh and Northern India divide. But they'll probably go further than that if they want to keep the empire there together but stable. India is too big, and too artifical after all.
With a weaker France, or at least one with potentially four fronts to defend instead of one, this may be a pipe dream, especially as the Americans are likely to be very resistant to Dough Boys on European soil. Doubly so as, unlike IOTL, the French and British won't have already been drained of much of their manpower when the Yanks join.
I'll use this one to break the news; VOC was an actual, popular way to refer to the very real founder of the SSNC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._O._Chidambaram_Pillai
History beats fiction every day.
I’m fascinated to see what you end up doing with India. There surely isn’t much prospect of it becoming a full member of the Federation - the lack of a white settlers population and its sheer size would surely make it unpractical. But could there be some sort of devolved relationship, with a federal India based on the structures of the Imperial Federation but not a part of it?
Of course, whatever happens in the Great War could put the willingness of Indian Nationalists to settle for any sort of halfway house and render these debates pointless.
All about the War.
I am glad I am not the only one who spotted that first one.
I am honoured my majestic style has become a useful benchmark of magnificence, even if the pacing is concerning. Concerning mainly because I remain ever envious of those who can produce such excellent quality at such a terrifyingly rapid pace.
For India anything that avoids the INC, or anything like it, has to be positive. Whatever happens you do not want people who combine the worst of the Raj with dreams of a command planned economy and far too much Fabian influence (i.e. any) into one disastorous economic trainwreck. I think India ends up leaving Imperial Federation, it is just too big compared to the rest for any kind of equal representation and even getting something like common tariffs is probably a big stretch (the needs of the UK/Dominion economies and India are wildly divergent, to say nothing of domestic and intra-Empire fights). The debate is when they leave and on what terms.
Allow me to assuage your concerns by stating that this pace is very much a function of lockdown and the format. Having moved to the slightly more chronological For All We Have and Are, and being allowed back in the office, the pace has slowed noticeably.
Speaking of For All We Have and Are, does anyone know where I might find maps that look good in black and white and aren't too cluttered to have a bunch of arrows and lines added?
I find it tacky to remind people of the Dutch company's existence. Or the dutch, for that matter...their museums are gorgeous but you have to pay to enter and tune out the disturbingly jingoistic patter splattered all over the info tablets. And exhibits just halting after the napoleanic era.
Shatter em into 5000 pieces and sell all the ports to France. They will try to defend them.
There are only two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intoletrant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.
A plan so crazy, it just might work. Get the Paris Embassy on the horn!