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jeffery clark

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CSABadass said:
But there *is* a viable historical alternative for Althaus--see my post above. There's no need to libel Althaus, and never has been.

(One could--and perhaps should--make the same case for the KIA General Nathan Bedford Forrest III, but I trust the ignorant will insist en masse that he pay for the sins of his grandfather by being labeled a Nazi.)

And I hope his relatives are mad as hell and not shy about letting PI know about it.
My last post as this thread is probably getting on shaky ground. Again my apologies to Jacque Althaus Richardson if offended by my previous post. I find threads like this fascinating given my interests and what I do.

Given the thousands of historical figures in Hearts of Iron, I (not having any famous relatives) can cut PI some slack on being sloppy on political orientations, especially those that are used for ahistorical countries and governments. Trying to take into account all countries and all possible governments during the WWII era and fill them with historical leaders was truly a formidable undertaking. It would be boring game if every leader except Hitler, Stalin, FDR, and Churchill was a "black shadow." Also while this is one of the greatest military strategy games ever made, it is just a game with a very, very small following. I am surprised to see a relative of one such leader find us so quickly.

Famous people draw both positive and negative attention and unfortunately and invariably get misrepresented. There are probably hundreds of people portrayed in the game who if they or their relatives were asked or even cared would say they are being wrongly depicted (and indeed they are). We tend to focus only on those that we are most interested in and that means America for most of us Americans. Anyone care about what King Zog's relatives think? Have all the people represented as left-wing radicals, national socialists, or fascists in all the other world country's leader pools been similarly scrutinized? History is seldom accurate and always arbitrary... ;)

edit: Hopefully George Van Horn Moseley doesn't have any e-vigilant relatives
 
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jeffery clark said:
Actually Kenneth Althaus IS NOT portrayed in the game (Hearts of Iron) as a Nazi (specifically a german national socialist associated with Hitler's regime), but as an American National Socialist. National socialism has many forms, including the Jewish Zionist and Arab Baathist movements. It is a "right-wing" authoritarian form of government that places the nation above the individual and is associated with a planned economy controlled by the government instead of a free market. Every country in the world has some degree of socialism in their economy. While IMHO national socialism is not a good type of government, the actions of the Nazis in WWII and subsequent propaganda have given national socialism a much worse "rap" than is actually the case. The Nazi activities that we are forbidden to talk about on this website have nothing to do with national socialism as a form of government, although this type of government can facilitate such activities.

National socialists tend to be very patriotic, military-oriented, believe the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, see things in black and white, and believe that the ends justify the means. National socialists can either be atheists (the state is god) or very religious (the state is blessed by god or is doing god's will and is thus always right). This is a valid philosophy, although not mine.

Kenneth Althaus was apparently not a member of the American National Socialist Party so the game misrepresents his political affiliation. This is unfortunate for his relatives and a general problem with historically based games where fact and fiction intermingle. However, since the game utilizes thousands of historical figures and allows alternative outcomes (e.g., a national socialist US), Paradox Interactive has tried to match these figures with leadership and minister positions associated with the various ideological orientations of the game.

In the absence of viable American national socialist alternatives, PI probably chose historical figures such as Kenneth Althaus that they considered very patriotic with a strong military orientation instead (no military is a democracy). Interesting that Althaus and Patton were good friends. If Patton was the leader of the US in 1945 and allowed to choose his form of government, I wonder what type it would have been. Certainly not stalinist or left wing, possibly not democratic. I would guess Paternal Autocrat, if not farther to the right.

Great to see a close relative's opinion and hope he is not offended by this.
Great post in an interesting thread.
 

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jeffery clark said:
Famous people draw both positive and negative attention and unfortunately and invariably get misrepresented. There are probably hundreds of people portrayed in the game who if they or their relatives were asked or even cared would say they are being wrongly depicted (and indeed they are). We tend to focus only on those that we are most interested in and that means America for most of us Americans. Anyone care about what King Zog's relatives think? Have all the people represented as left-wing radicals, national socialists, or fascists in all the other world country's leader pools been similarly scrutinized? History is seldom accurate and always arbitrary... ;)
So it's okay to libel Althaus so long as he's not only the only target and it's being done in obscure media? :confused:

Look, I'm not arguing what was done to Althaus compares to, say, the Zoot Suit Riots, New Coke, the Rob Halford-less Judas Priest, or any other historical injustice, only that in this case it's needless and easily fixed.

If you want to argue for King Zog, Ming the Merciless, or Keyser Soze, that's a separate deal. All's I'm saying is one minor change can make the game more historically plausible (something at least a few of us care about) and remedy the baseless besmirching of an honored WWII veteran's name.

History is "seldom accurate?" I'll pass the word along to Thucydides, James McPherson, Stephen Ambrose, James Robertson, et al that you're hip to their bullshit.:)

And for what it's worth, I've always thought the South's victory in the Civil War has been the subject of a massive Union coverup. :D
 
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CSABadass said:
1) So it's okay to libel Althaus so long as he's not only the only target and it's being done in an obscure media? :confused:

Look, I'm not arguing what was done to Althaus compares to, say, the Zoot Suit Riots, New Coke, the Rob Halford-less Judas Priest, or any other historical injustice, only that in this case it's needless and easily fixed.

If you want to argue for King Zog, Ming the Merciless, or Keyser Soze, that's a separate deal. All's I'm saying is one minor change can make the game more historically plausible (something at least a few of us care about) and remedy the baseless besmirching of an honored WWII veteran's name.

2) History is "seldom accurate?" I'll pass the word along to Thucydides, James McPherson, Stephen Ambrose, James Robertson, et al that you're hip to their bullshit.:)

And for what it's worth, I've always thought the South's victory in the Civil War has been the subject of a massive Union coverup. :D
Damn u r a good and provocative writer so I lied about the last post being my last post. ;)

1) It's bad to misrepresent anyone, libel is perhaps too strong a term since this is just a game. However, is it fair to focus so much on one person? And if not, then u r opening up a big can-o-worms as everyone in the game should be researched at a similar level (and perhaps relatives interviewed), which is a very big undertaking. Certainly relatives don't want their ancestors to be regarded as "Barking Buffoons," "Kleptocrats," "Prince of Terrors", and various other leader types in the game. In general the game takes a pretty sarcastic approach to politicians. Maybe a case by case approach is valid, particularly when a relative has concerns. I guess an argument could be made that if the relative of an historical figure has no knowledge of the game then no harm is done by misrepresenting that person. "The tree doesn't make a sound if it falls when no one's around" philosophy.

2) I stand corrected on that point. History are often factually accurate. However history is ALWAYS arbitrary as the facts presented are selective with some emphasized and others ignored. For example Egyptian and Hittite accounts of the Battle of Kadesh respectively present both sides as the victor whent the battle was probably a draw. The cliche that "History is made by the victors" has a lot of truth.

Also the sociopolitical context in which the historical writer is embedded greatly influences his or her writing. As you probably know there is an academic subsdiscipline called "Critical Theory" that studies this. A good historian always presents his or her biases up front. Shelby Foote who I am sure you have read IMHO wrote one of the most unbiased political and military accounts of any large war (in this case the American Civil War). However, he still presents his biases up front 1) being a southern man "his heart beat faster" when writing about the Confederacy and 2) having written part of the book during the American Civil Rights Movement tempered his enthusiasm for the South and gave him more appreciation of Lincoln and those damn Yankees. :D
 

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jeffery clark said:
Damn u r a good and provocative writer so I lied about the last post being my last post. ;)

1) It's bad to misrepresent anyone, libel is perhaps too strong a term since this is just a game. However, is it fair to focus so much on one person? And if not, then u r opening up a big can-o-worms as everyone in the game should be researched at a similar level (and perhaps relatives interviewed), which is a very big undertaking. Certainly relatives don't want their ancestors to be regarded as "Barking Buffoons," "Kleptocrats," "Prince of Terrors", and various other leader types in the game. In general the game takes a pretty sarcastic approach to politicians. Maybe a case by case approach is valid, particularly when a relative has concerns. I guess an argument could be made that if the relative of an historical figure has no knowledge of the game then no harm is done by misrepresenting that person. "The tree doesn't make a sound if it falls when no one's around" philosophy.

2) I stand corrected on that point. History are often factually accurate. However history is ALWAYS arbitrary as the facts presented are selective with some emphasized and others ignored. For example Egyptian and Hittite accounts of the Battle of Kadesh respectively present both sides as the victor whent the battle was probably a draw. The cliche that "History is made by the victors" has a lot of truth.

Also the sociopolitical context in which the historical writer is embedded greatly influences his or her writing. As you probably know there is an academic subsdiscipline called "Critical Theory" that studies this. A good historian always presents his or her biases up front. Shelby Foote who I am sure you have read IMHO wrote one of the most unbiased political and military accounts of any large war (in this case the American Civil War). However, he still presents his biases up front 1) being a southern man "his heart beat faster" when writing about the Confederacy and 2) having written part of the book during the American Civil Rights Movement tempered his enthusiasm for the South and gave him more appreciation of Lincoln and those damn Yankees. :D
Thank you, good sir! I only wish more of the book-buying public shared your assessment of my skills.:)


1) Libel is the publication of falsehoods, or at least that's what they told me when I got my B.S. in journalism (and learned how to B.S. in my journalism:)), so I stand by the use of the term.

Again, I'm not arguing the mischaracterization of Althaus is the only one--or even the worst--of its kind in HoI. I'm simply saying it's unnecessary, egregious, and easily fixed. Just because you can't fix everything doesn't mean you can't fix anything. God help the world if we teachers all had that attitude.

2) There is doubtlessly in history fact and interpretation, but the mere existence of the latter does not obivate qualitative judgment. I'll unapologetically take, say, Stephen Ambrose's account of WWII over Harry Elmer Barnes' rather than pull a jesting Pilate and sigh "What is the truth?"

And I am quite familiar with critical theory, only back in my day we called it "horseshit." :D
 
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Funny - I came upon this thread searching Kenneth Althaus in Google. I too was trying to figure out why he was deemed National Socialist.

To the modder, I also chose George Van Horn Moseley as the fascist Chief of Staff in a historical accuracy mod I've been working on. I believe Charles Willoughby was an alternative.

I think the people at Paradox ran out of time or energy when researching. A lot of the ministers I've encountered were dead by the time they appeared in-game.
 

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Correction, I had Albert Wedemeyer as a replacement for Chief of Staff, not Charles Willoughby, though both have been accused of fascist leanings.
 

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ArnhemKnight said:
Funny - I came upon this thread searching Kenneth Althaus in Google. I too was trying to figure out why he was deemed National Socialist.

To the modder, I also chose George Van Horn Moseley as the fascist Chief of Staff in a historical accuracy mod I've been working on. I believe Charles Willoughby was an alternative.

I think the people at Paradox ran out of time or energy when researching. A lot of the ministers I've encountered were dead by the time they appeared in-game.
Kinda like how the CSA minister and leader files are full of U.S. National Guard generals who've retired in the last 5-10 years? Or the Chief of Navy who was president of the Erie, PA yacht club?:)
 

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CSABadass said:
1) Libel is the publication of falsehoods, or at least that's what they told me when I got my B.S. in journalism (and learned how to B.S. in my journalism:)), so I stand by the use of the term.
It's only false if it's put forward as the truth. I don't understand PI to have made any representations regarding strict historical accuracy. I haven't researched the question, but I would bet that games have an automatic pass, as no one could reasonably interpret them to be purporting to present the truth - they should go in the same category as novels or comedy.

More fundamentally, for libel, PI hasn't actually made any representation of fact. They haven't said he was a Nazi, a national socialist, or anything else - they haven't said anything about the actual historical figure. We can see a suggestion (maybe even a strong one) that he would have held a certain role given certain circumstances, but that's at most a statement of opinion, which can never be libelous.

This isn't to say that it's a good thing. I'm sure that all of us, but most especially his family, would prefer if there were no baseless suggestions about Mr. Althaus.
 

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i just want to add my 2 cents.
making models for political figures upon their family life is also misinterpretation. noone knows, Hitler could have been wonderful and loving father if he wouldn't become HoS. political decisions are always made with different goals in mind and the paternalistic view of state is often very strong. those involved in politics (like me) know, that they are often forced to support difficult choices and one can easily become prince of terror even when he doesn't like it. and also noone is able to tell how will great events force his view of the world to change. turninf US nationals-socialist is such an event and i am convinced, that even now i am die-hard capitalist, i would certainly be enthusiastic participant of communist movement after ww2 along with the majority of people in my country. i don't feel good about it. in fact i feel really bad, but i know myself good enough to be sure about this
 

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Agreeing with the above... the game tries to be accurate, but it's inevitable that some errors will crop up...

For instance if you use the freedom code to switch Germany to a Stalinist government, you get Ernst Thalmann (mein hero!) as head of government, even though I'm pretty sure the Nazis murdered him back in the 20s or early 30s.

Also, I'm pretty sure the Portugese minister of security didn't have a deformed head IRL, and the Nazi U.S. wouldn't have a POET as their foreign minister...

EDIT: Oh wait... turnst out Thaelmann was arrested in 33', and the Nazis didn't execute him until '44. Odd... I thought they had all the reds killed as soon as they assumed power.
 

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Do you know any good English books on German communism pre-WW2?
 

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Unfortunately, no...

I know the DDR made an epic movie about Thalmann in the 60s, which you should be able to find clips of on youtube, but I can't find anything by him on Marxists.org (banned in China, LOL) They do have the works of Liebknecht and Luxembourg (German Left-Communists) on there, though.

Sorry Tovarisch... If you find any, let me know, though.
 

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obaslg said:
This isn't to say that it's a good thing. I'm sure that all of us, but most especially his family, would prefer if there were no baseless suggestions about Mr. Althaus.
Then we agree on the fundamental point, semantics aside.
 

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SoyuzSovietskii said:
Agreeing with the above... the game tries to be accurate, but it's inevitable that some errors will crop up...
And I understand that. It's not easy to devise, say, a slate of communist ministers for a reborn CSA in the 1940s. Trust me on that one.:) For the most part, I truly respect the job PI has done on this score.

My main point about Althaus is, again, there is a more historically accurate alternative already in the USA minister file. That makes the implied negative aspersions cast at Althaus all the more baffling and needless. It isn't even justified by the demands of historical fiction, as some other cases seem to be.
 

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obaslg said:
It's interesting that in the short history of this thread this discussion spread to the world outside HoI. I wonder whether, if PI had used McCain for some reason, we would have seen news stories about John McCain's father being a Nazi (that is him, isn't it?). It reminds me of this great event in the history of the internet:
http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2001/10/47450
yes, it is him. that's why i use my signature :)
 

Mrdie

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Imagine playing the game, and then seeing your grandfather or great grandfather. It'd be quite odd, and possibly annoying if he was labeled a Fascist or Communist. :p

It'd be even worse if you have no idea what HOI2 even is, and you google Grandfather/G. Grandfather's name and the first result is a thread some weirdos made dedicated to finding out info concerning him, especially his ideology. :rofl:

I notice the game has some consistency issues. Tito, depending on the nation he's in or position, has his ideology either as Left-Wing Radical, Leninist, Social Democrat, or Paternal Autocrat. So they basically had no idea what he should of been ideology-wise, and he's one of the better known characters in the Cold War. Similarly, the picture they have for Enver Hoxha is when he was an old man in the late 70's. When you look at all the pictures and minister files, you realize what an awesome job Paradox did, and it makes me wonder how ministers will be handled in HOI3. (Imagine if it'd be a bit more dynamic and cabinet members can move up in positions, perhaps even becoming head of state/government, maybe we'll see something like "MY GOD, ALTHAUS JUST KILLED ROOSEVELT IN A NAZI COUP AND TOOK OVER THE U.S.A.!!!" which would really make relatives go "WTF")
 
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