• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Deus Eversor

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great update as always :)
i'm guessing we'll be seing Einstein or any other great mind soon ;D

anyway... i will succum to my inferior unconcious animal side and demand that at some update, all this rainbow of organisations and movements will be removed with one red light! in a very entertaining way :D
 

cthulhu

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Myth: Glad you like the expanding scope. I'm talking beer and women of course. :cool:

Dr. Gonzo: Thanks! Havel certainly has his dark sides but of course they're nothing compared to the sociopaths and psychophants of the NSDAP leadership.

Enewald: Spoiling for another fight with the SA are we? Maybe some action in the field of politics will do? We'll see what the next update holds. :)

Deus Eversor: Thanks! The Red Light is strong, no doubt about it. Only time will tell if the working masses of the world will have the opportunity to freely or imposed upon experience the rule of the Bolsheviks.
 

cthulhu

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Sandino & All: Thank you for reading. Sorry for the lack of updates recently but I'm in the process of doing research on Aleksandra Kollontai (reading a biography) and as soon as I have what I need for the next update it will be written.

While you're waiting, you might find my Crusader Kings AAR, The House of Rantzau, entertaining.
 

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Found and read your story today. Please continue soon! It's very interesting and nice to read!
 

von Sachsen

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Any update on the way?
 

cthulhu

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T here seem to be trouble at home,” Svetlana Platova said as she sat down in a wicker chair and lay a Menshevik newspapers on the table and tapped on an article with her index finger. “Oh?” Aleksandra Kollontai took a sip of red wine and then picked up the paper and concentrated on the article. The two women sat outside at a fashionable bistro on Oslo’s main street Karl Johan; named after the French revolutionary Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte and later Swedish King. Svetlana thought it odd that the Norwegians continued to honor the very monarch who had forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden in 1814. Oslo in July was very nice and she did not miss the oppressive heat that could descend on the Soviet capital in summer time. Members of the Norwegian capital’s upper class sat at the tables around them and enjoyed drinks and food. Some of them looked curiously at the women who seemed quite exotic when they spoke to each other in Russian. A portly gentleman with a Kaiser Wilhelm II style moustache shot a lewd glance now and then at Svetlana; his wife seemingly oblivious to her husband’s appetites.

Aleksandra put the newspaper back at the table and smiled, “It’s fascinating that our best source of news from home is the Menshevik press, is it not?”

“There is a storm brewing at home. I got the first sense of it last summer.”

“It’s change, a new phase for our party and the country.”

“Is it in the right direction?”

“Too early to say but you are aware of that I and others in the Worker’s Opposition had envisioned another path for the future. Now with Lenin seemingly beyond hope of recovery, the time for a new direction and a struggle for the future leadership has come. One decisive step was taken in April when the twelfth Party Congress, against Lenin’s insistence a year ago, reversed its restrictions on party admission and opened up for an unprecedented number of members. We’re shifting from a vanguard party to become more inclusive and it will be vital for whatever grouping that wants to dominated to political agenda, to win them over. I suspect however that one of these grouping actually pushed for this change in the belief that it will be an advantage for them.”

“They're don't like the rules of the game, so they change them?”

“That's one way to look at it. I just hope that this struggle doesn't get out of hand so it damages the integrity of the Party. The urgent problem is the economy however. Just like the article states, the Soviet industrial worker is having similar problems as his Comrade in the capitalist countries. This is due to the NEP 1. The market mechanisms of this policy are taking effect, just as I and every other opponent of this policy knew it would. Unemployment is rising rapidly and real wages are threatened by inflation. Most business managers seem to think inflation is necessary for economic growth. The price is growing industrial unrest and as the worlds first and only workers' state it would be a travesty to have serious political dissent in the working class. I hope our Comrades in the Central Committee will find a solution soon.”

“Not to trivialize our work here, Shura 2, but why is not a woman of your caliber a People's Commissar anymore? You seem to grasp these questions and we need more women in the highest level of government.”

“Thank you, dear. To be honest, our Party have a tendency to overreact at opposition, and my work in the Worker's Opposition made Lenin unhappy with me. Sending me abroad was a comfortable solution for everyone. Still, my personal fate aside, the complete lack of women in the Sovnarkom is a failure for our Party. I have struggled all my life for gender equality within the framework of revolutionary socialism, but it seems our male Comrades aren't ready yet.”

“I would love to hear about the early days and how you got involved in the struggle.”

“Then I will tell you, Sveta. Let us take a walk and enjoy the warm winds and the sights.” Kollontai paid the bill and they walked along Karl Johan toward the palace.

“I was born in 1872 in Saint Peterburg. My mother Alexandra Androvna Masalina-Mravinskaya had left her husband to live with the man she loved, Colonel Mikhail Alekseevich Domontovich, who later reached the rank of General. Since my mother’s divorce wasn’t legal at the time of my birth, the most expedient way to solve the situation without a scandal was for my biological father to adopt me as soon as he had married my mother. I grew up with two half sisters and a half brother from the first marriage. My mother was a daughter to a Finnish merchant, Aleksandr Masalin, who sold lumber in Petersburg. My father was an aristocrat from an ancient Ukrainian landowning family that traces their ancestry to the thirteenth century Prince of Pskov. As a girl I loved to hear the family legends, especially so the story that if a Domontovich arrived at the monastery in Pskov, the bells would be rung.”

“That must have made you feel very special.”

“It did and perhaps my respect for the Domontovich name is the reason that I didn’t follow the custom among socialist women and retained my maiden name after marriage. My father would certainly have felt distressed to see one with that name a wanted revolutionary. I grew up in a very affectionate and caring environment, and poverty and hunger were unknown to me as a child. We had an English nanny and had a language tutor, so by the age of seven I spoke English, French, and German. I really came to appreciate education and intellectual endeavors from my best friend Zoia Shadurskaia. My father served in the Russo-Turkish war in 1877 and my family and Zoia’s lived near each other in Sofia, Bulgaria. She was my role model and she seemed destined for great things, but in the end she has chosen a quiet life. Still, she has remained my best friend and the person who's advice and views I value the most. We have lived together on and off for years – the romances come and go but my son Misha and then dear Zoia will always be closest to my heart.

When we returned from Bulgaria to St. Petersburg my sisters tutor Maria Strakhova became my mentor as well. She was an independent woman with radical views and it's easy to see how she affected me. Strakhova was very well-read and my father, who usually never took ladies seriously enough to care what they thought or had to say, enjoyed conversing with her about the politics of the day – both foreign and domestic. I think my early admiration for Strakhova was that she could argue successfully with papa. He would warn her that she should be careful or be arrested for what he called her dangerous ideas. I studied with Strakhova to enter one of the higher educational institutes open to women. I loved reading and I dreamed about becoming a writer – not merely a storyteller but someone who presented new ideas and social criticism. I asked my parents to allow me weekly supplementary lessons by the well-known teacher of Russian literature Viktor P. Ostrogorky. There was some initial resistance from my parents as you can imagine, but since my sister Zhenia had already managed to be allowed to go to Italy to pursue a career as a singer they relented. Ostrogorsky taught me to write clear and forceful prose and he had me study the the great Russian writers, whom I came to love. I remember the large library in my grandfather's country estate, Kuuza, in Finland - the windows overlooking the garden and the spacious room a refuge from the hot summer day. There I read the classics of many cultures.

My ambition to become a writer was distracted by a man. I fell in love with my handsome cousin Vladimir Kollontai who was an engineering student. My mother was not pleased that I should choose a husband that was poor and my father reminded me that Vladimir didn't share my passion for literature and writing. I was so headstrong and I think it became a childish contest of wills on my part, driven by a thirst for freedom and a longing to escape my mother's loving tyranny. Vladimir and I were married in early 1893 and I became a mother later that year. The life of a housewife and spouse was not suitable for me and I soon felt that I was trapped in a cage. Zoia came to live with us in Petersburg to study voice. It was very stimulating to have Zoia close to me again – we were spending the evenings reading and discussing as in the most stimulating times of my youth. I envied Zoia's freedom though, she could go to concerts, student meetings, and lectures at her pleasure.

In 1896 I accompanied my husband and a colleague on a work trip to Narva where we visited the immense Kronholm textile works. There the men inspected the ventilation at the works and drew up plans to improve it. Bored and with little to do, I decided to visit the workers' housing. The grimy barracks were overcrowded and quite simply awful. I realized that could not spend my life as a housewife while the working-class was practically enslaved by the factory owners. With help from Maria Strakhova, I soon came into contact with the younger generation of Marxists. At first I occasionally acted as a courier as well as a fundraiser - many of our friends and acquaintances were wealthy. I felt I could do more and that I wanted to get a deep understanding of Marxist theory and economics in general. Besides reading several books on these subject I also read Iskra 3 as well as the legal Marxist journals, Nachalo and Novoe Slovo. A swiss economist, Heinrich Herkner, had written a book on workers that I was very impressed by. So impressed, in fact, that I decided that I must go to the University of Zurich to study Marxism with him.”

“How did your husband react?” Svetlana asked.

“Our little son Misha could stay with his grandparents and would be no bother to Vladimir. I reasoned that he'd have to understand, otherwise we would divorce.”

“But how could you afford to study abroad?”

“My father reluctantly agreed to pay for it as long as I didn't tell my mother why I was going to Zurich. Still, I heartbroken on the night train from Petersburg. I was free to pursue my dreams but I already missed my now five year old son so much. I spent a year in Switzerland before the longing for my son and an eagerness to join the revolutionary underground prompted me to return to Russia. Three years later I was living with just Misha and Zoia – I never returned to Vladimir, who divorced me, and my parents died. These were great blows but at the same time the freedom of the situation allowed me to get fully involved working for the Petersburg Committee which made me formally a Bolshevik. I was at the time however, much more fascinated by Georgii Plekhanov 4 than Lenin. Still, both Mensheviks and Bolsheviks showed little interested in women's liberation in practice. The notion that Russian women could be revolutionaries was scorned. Only abroad did I hear ideas on how to get women involved in the socialist movement. Clara Zetkin 5 was the brightest shining star and she motivated me to work for the creation of an organization for drawing Russian working-class women to socialism. The party continued to frustrate my plans and in the end I started to organize my own officially independent organization. In, I believe it was in December 1908, without sanction from the party leadership, I broke the inertia by bringing a workers' delegation to the All-Russian Women's Congress. It was attended by over a thousand women and monitored by domestic and foreign press. Since the policy was looking for me, one of my comrades had to read my speech, although I couldn't stop myself from partaking in the interchanges that followed. We challenged the feminists across the board and effectively argued that the feminism rooted in the bourgeoisie would never fight for the rights of the working woman. We got the attention we needed to further our cause. Unfortunately, the price was high for me personally. My attendance brought the attention of the police and I had to leave Russia for Berlin.

With Berlin as base I became in true sense of the word an internationalist. I worked with organizing strikes and producing propaganda in several European countries. I was close to Bogdanov 6 and Lunacharsky 7 and participated in their party school in Bologna while Lenin organized his own in Paris. This association made party members consider me a Menshevik, something that got me involuntary entangled in the struggle between the factions. My internationalist worldview received a great blow when the Great war broke out and the German Social democrats voted in favor of war credits. Both Misha and I were arrested in Berlin as Russian spies, but I was fortunate to be able to prove that I had a mandate from the Russian Social Democratic Party to be delegate to the International Women’s Conference. The German authorities released me on the assumption that a Russian socialist could not be a Russian spy. Misha was still in prison though, so I sought out my friend Karl Liebknecht 8 who I learned was together with the other socialist deputies in the Reichstag. So I was there on the black day for international socialism when our German comrades in effect voted for the Kaiser's war. My presence in the Reichstag was then questioned by one of the socialist deputies. What was a Russian doing there? The new realities of the situation had already materialized. After the session in the Reichstag, in chock, I aimlessly walked the streets of Berlin together with Liebknecht. He was convinced that the international working class would never forget the betrayal of the German Social Democrats. After I managed to ge Misha released and we moved on to Copenhagen and then Stockholm – we had Scandinavia as our base until 1917.

After Plekhanov revealed himself to be chauvinist and betrayed the working-class my conviction as a pacifist and Lenin's opposition to the war drew me slowly into the Bolshevik camp. In 1916, in close cooperation with Lenin, I went on a lecture tour to New York to increase the political awareness of our American comrades and strengthen the ties. After the October revolution in 1917 I returned to Russia and became a member of the Soviet of Workers and Soldiers as representative of the Boleshevik military organization “Voenki.”

Svetlana laughed at that, “a woman representing the Voenki? I had no idea!”

“Yes, it was wonderful and then I became a member of Executive Committee.”

The women found themselves back at the legation building. Kollontai smiled, “I think that's enough about me for some time. Let's get some work done.”

“Yes, Shura.”




1 NEP - New Economic Policy (NEP) (Russian: Новая экономическая политика, НЭП, Novaya Ekonomicheskaya Politika) was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade, and large industries.

2 Shura – Kollontai's nickname

3 Iskra - (Russian: Искра, IPA: [ˈiskrə], Spark) was a political newspaper of Russian socialist emigrants established as the official organ of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.

4 Georgii Plekhanov - Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (Russian: Гео́ргий Валенти́нович Плеха́нов) (1857 – 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. He was a founder of the Social-Democratic movement in Russia and was one of the first Russians to identify himself as "Marxist." Facing political persecution, Plekhanov emigrated to Switzerland in 1880, where he continued in his political activity attempting to overthrow the Tsarist regime in Russia. During World War I Plekhanov rallied to the cause of the Entente powers against Germany and he returned home to Russia following the 1917 February Revolution. Plekhanov was hostile to the Bolshevik party headed by V.I. Lenin, however, and was an opponent of the Soviet regime which came to power in the autumn of 1917. He died the following year. Despite his vigorous and outspoken opposition to Lenin's political party in 1917, Plekhanov was held in high esteem by the Russian Communist Party following his death as a founding father of Russian Marxism and a philosophical thinker.

5 Clara Zetkin - (née Eißner; 5 July 1857 - 20 June 1933) was a German Marxist theorist, activist, and fighter for women's rights. In 1910, she organized the first International Women's Day. Until 1917, she was active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany, then she joined the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) and its far-left wing, the Spartacist League; this later became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which she represented in the Reichstag during the Weimar Republic from 1920 to 1933.

6 Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov - (Russian: Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Богда́нов; born Alyaksandr Malinovsky, Belarusian: Алякса́ндар Маліно́ўскі; 22 August 1873 [O.S. 10 August], Sokółka, Russian Empire (now Poland) –7 April 1928, Moscow) was a Russian physician, philosopher, science fiction writer, and revolutionary of Belarusian ethnicity.
He was a key figure in the early history of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, being one of its cofounders and a rival to Vladimir Lenin until being expelled in 1909. In the first two decades of the Soviet Union, he was an influential opponent of the government from a Marxist perspective. The polymath Bogdanov received training in medicine and psychiatry. His scientific interests ranged from the universal systems theory to the possibility of human rejuvenation through blood transfusion. He invented an original philosophy called “tectology,” now regarded as a forerunner of systems theory. He was also an economist, culture theorist, science fiction writer, and political activist.

7 Anatoly Vasilyevich Lunacharsky - (Russian: Анато́лий Васи́льевич Лунача́рский, (born November 23 [O.S. November 11] 1875 in Poltava, Ukraine) was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and the first Soviet People's Commissar of Enlightenment responsible for culture and education. He was active as an art critic and journalist throughout his career.

8 Karl Liebknecht - (13 August 1871, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany – 15 January 1919, Berlin, Germany) was a German socialist and a co-founder with Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. He is best known for his opposition to World War I in the Reichstag and his role in the Spartacist uprising of 1919. The uprising was crushed by the social democrat government and the Freikorps (paramilitary units formed of World War I veterans) and Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed.
 
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Deus Eversor

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OMG :O i didnt read it yet, but OOOOOOMMMMMMMMGGGGGGG!!!!11111 You're alive!
the gap you just crossed makes me think if i can start over any of my failaars :D
 

cthulhu

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Deus Eversor: He he, when you have gotten over your astonishment at this feat of necromancy, I'd love to hear what you think. More is in the works. Really. No BS. :D
 

cthulhu

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Sam! Finally, I was giving up hope! God damnit you're looking great.”

”Tommy! Wie gehts, buddy! Sorry I'm late, I finally got an interview with Hugo Stinnes and I couldn't pass that opportunity. Welcome to Berlin!”

The upperclass clientele at the Goldener Meister restaurant eyed the two loud americans with emotions ranging from amusement to disdain. Both men were in their middle twenties and dressed in expensive suits. The shorter and portly of them, who had been waiting at one of tables for almost an hour, had red hair, a sizeable nose and piggish eyes. When not smiling his mouth set in a complacenet expression that bordered on cruelty. The other man was tall, well built and moved with an ease and confidence that exuded the air of old money and the best schools the new world had to offer. He had a handsome face and smiled a lot especially when speaking to members of the opposite sex. The men sat down at their table.

”Thanks, who's Hugh Stimmes?”

”Hugo Stinnes. He's an industrialist that has really profited from the current crisis. They call him the 'Inflationskönig.'”

”Inflawhat?”

”Inflation King. He has been using his access to foreign currencies to borrow vast sums of Reichsmarks to buy competitors and then when the Reichsmark has been severely depreciated he pays back the loans and gets new ones. I have been trying to get an interview with the foreign minister, Hans von Rosenberg to get his comment on an article I'm writing on his predecessor Walther Rathenau, and how his murdered has greatly contributed to the inflation crisis. Since my father has been making business with Stimmes for some time, I thought I'd try to reach Rosenberg through him, which didn't work, but I did get a great interview with Stinnes.”

The headwaiter who had stood discretely by their table for what his faced betrayed he thought was an eternity cleared his throat audibly. “Meine Herren, do you wish to order some refreshments while you consider what to eat?” He gave Sam a menu and then tapped on the one he had given to Tommy an hour ago.

“Sure, my good man. I'll have a Whiskey Sour.”

“Excellent, and you mein Herr?”

“I'll have another beer.”

“Very good, meine Herren.”

The headwaiter disappeared and they laughed. “This place seems a bit stuffy, Sam. Food any good?”

“The chef is french – it's excellent. Not to mention that there're some really great clubs close by. It's your first night in Berlin, Tommy. We got to make it one to remember.”

“Sounds great. So how have you been. I haven't seen you in almost a year.”

“I spent the first six months in Paris but only a few of the articles I submitted were accepted. Then it dawned on me that it was in Germany where the drama was and that I had to be based in Berlin to get the best stories. Since then I have agreements with both Time Magazine and the New York Times and get my articles published regularly.”

“Does it cover your costs?”

“Not yet. Dad's still sending a sum every month.”

“Well, that's what parents are for, right? But I guess he's unhappy you haven't gone into business after Harvard?”

“He's threatening to cut my allowance every second month. Come to think of it, it has been a while now.”

“And Myrtle?” Tommy didn't manage to hide fully the fact that he enjoyed asking the question and Sam cringed at the name.

“Why...well I promised I'd come home in two years and we'd get married, but I... I just don't know.”

“You do have another year before you need to decide, old pal.” Tommy looked nonchalantly out the windows and pretended to watch something.

“If she waits.” A waiter appeared with their drinks. “So! A toast to friends united again!” They both took a sip, “and what about you?”

“I told dad, I needed a break before I start working for him. So I'm touring Europe for a month before going back. London-Paris-Berlin-Munich-Vienna-Cortina-Rome-Milan-Nice-Paris-London.”

“Outstanding cities. I wish I could come with you to ski in Cortina.”

“You know you're welcome.”

“I need to be here. There are rumors of everything from a nationwide communist revolution to a right wing coup in Bavaria. This country is a powder-keg and I'm going to cover what happens when it happens, on site.”

“What will happen do you think?”

“No one knows, but one thing's for sure. The inflation is crippling this country and for every week the crisis isn't solved the risk of collapse of society grows. Those like Stimmes with access to hard currency are ruthlessly exploiting the situation while the German workers' wages are depreciated severely between every paycheck. Meanwhile politicians of every conviction on the political spectrum are scrambling to position themselves to if possible gain as much as they can on the situation.”

Tommy looked bored, “you got the fire in you to be a journalist, Sam. No doubt about it. Now what do you say about ordering?

Sam grinned, “boring you, eh? You're right let's order.”

There were no more serious talk that evening. The two old friends had a great time in the warm Berlin night. Even Tommy got company back to the hotel room and sinking into drunken sleep after the sex he thought that Germany wasn't such a bad place after all. Sam heard desperation in the girls laughter that night as they drank Champagne and danced. It was desperation to flee a reality to grew darker by the hour.
 
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Deus Eversor

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- Well maybe Norwegians didn't really hate him that much... i'm just curious how did he feel when his beloved emperor died...
- of course forreigners want our slavic women! of course those male bastards do! :D
- well it's true we need to research all media to to achieve a better grasp on truth and reality
- it is a sociological fact, 'open dorrs' policy is great pr and allows the shift of power basing on popular support inside organisations structure, especially when uneducated people are being taken in
- Well NEP was very helpfull with agricultural production and problems with capitalist industry was taken under control about 1-2 years after introduction of NEP, bu finaly utilizing govermental inspections. There were eventually 3 options as to what to do for then. Bukharin was for evolution of NEP, liberty for socialism, Trotzky was for gradual abolishment of NEP and instroduction of state capitalism, Stalin (in the end) just erased it from memory of the soviet people :D
- omg... feminist blah blah once again... ehh, anyway, Kollontais vison of future familly is a very interesting thread. Her theory was used to describe society on planet k-pax, in a movie of the same title. Anyway, we all know, feminism comes from unfortunate life on girl had. Feminism killed chivarly and every need for males to be so and many other things... How i see the problem, it's the usual thing, education, for men to be nice and helpfull. Also i would advise making work payments high enough so women could stay at home without need for extra funds for family(works to this day for Japan)
But i agree, few women in central commitee, or as advisors would be helpfull, unfortunately the only women, to be ever present at central commitee, in the middle 20's, was second wife of Stalin and Lenins caretaker.
-"She was my role model and she seemed destined for great things, but in the end she has chosen a quiet life." that just sounded like a major reproach from a ideologically crusading, powerhungry female, aka feminist :D
-of course, feminism is a contagious sickness, it's nothing wrong about speaking with a woman about political matters, problem is when she starts talking about gender equality
-a cousin! :D wincest is a win :D
-of course she could threaten him with divorce, since that mariage was of no love at all anyway. Just an advise ofr you girls, don't get into relationships if you think you're in love, otherwise you put so much effort into this, so much, that when it fails, you will just turn feminist in one night...
-another thing, since you women are emotional, if someone will resist you, you will just stubborn up and radicalize, so please, don't even start
-well we all know german socialists betrayed world twice... they are just too much nationalist :D

second post- yay!

- so yeah, americans and their ignoracne towards other cultures :D
- why Warsaw and Prahe(Prague) is not on the list :C
- so that entire post here was for that single statement on situation in Germany?
- for a moment there i thought one of the participants was J. Reed, but that couldn't be as he is dead...
- of course for an american a day cannot end without sex, especially when the target is a forreign woman ;d

Good read as it used to be. I thought already about leaving and never retourning to paradox forum, because all interesting, for me, aars where finished/dead... Thx.
 

cthulhu

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Thanks for your comments DE. The problems with the NEP will be covered in some more detail in an update coming up soon. I can't say that I perosnally share your view on women's place in the world, but I am entertained. :D The scene in Germany is to introduce the character Samuel Greenleaf who will be covering much of the events in Germany.

I'm glad that you're still around and interested enough to pick up this thread again. With more regular updates, I hope to lure back more of the my old readers. :)