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December 10, 2012
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A drabble.

The Third-Rank Hierarch of the Inner Church grinned. He had discovered a clear error of dogma in the annoying Second-Rank Hierarch James of Oxfrd's writings – he was implying that the current Nine Castes were an elaboration of a smaller number which had existed at some time in the past. That was clearly a doubleplus ungood violation of the Principle of Conservatism, under which only the High Council of the two Innermost Castes could recreate Falsepast to bring it in line with Truefuture. A clear case of Thoughtcrime. He wet his quill in the ink and began writing. If he followed Properproc and made sure to put this information in the correct hands, he would rise and James of Oxfrd would sink: at the very least banished from the Inner Castes and be Made Straight, possibly even be declared an Unperson and suffer the Seven Tortures.

All was Plusgood. The Hierarch paused and gazed out the window of the Ministry of Truth. It was a lovely spring day in the year 2484, and the sun was shining: in the summer the high humidity and the 90-degree plus temperatures made things uncomfortable here in the People's Reapublic of South Ayerstreep-wan, but right now things were almost perfect. The huts of the Outer Castes crowded near the river, and the bountiful fields stretched to the horizon, while the brutally massive shape of the Temple of the Colossal Brother, Who Watches us all, squatted on the far horizon. A raft poled by, carrying what looked like a load of rusty metal, perhaps dug from the ruins of Old Lundon, headed for the docks.

The Hierarch's good mood dimmed somewhat. Good metal was increasingly hard to find, and there were few productive mines left in the Reapublic. Relations were currently spotty with the Western and Northern Reapublics: they might be proper followers of the Doubleplus Correct Doctrine, but it had been a long time since there had been a PlusBig Council unifying all of Ayerstreep-wan, and there were clashes over farming land and ruin-digging rights. Indeed, trade was currently more prosperous with the infidels on the continent. The MostBig Council was a faded thing, its effective dominance limited to the far Northeastern parts of the Western Oceanic continents: yearly ships were dispatched from the Islands bearing a largely nominal tribute, but it had been lifetimes since anyone did anything but neatly file away in dusty archives the regular Five Year Plans and list of Objectives and Production Targets that came back to the isles aboard the tribute ships.

One day, thought the Hierarch, Truefuture would be achieved and the Colossal Brother would return to unify the world and establish Total Order. The magic of Plusold Times would return again, men would again fly through the air and build cities that towered to the sky, and the secret skills that allowed steam to not merely drive pumps, but make great metal chariots fly across the land would be relearned. In the meantime, men must do what good was possible, the upper castes governing and fighting and praying and carrying out the Sacred Tortures, while lesser castes grubbed in the mud for the good of their superiors and occasionally provided their bodies as sacrifices for the temple.

And there were signs that the world might be returning to rights: there were far fewer children born dead than had once been the case, even near the old ruins, and the Ungood Non-Plan weather which had, according to the ancient records, had been one of the plagues of the Great Ungoodness, was now so long gone that there were those who argued it had become Falsepast. In fact, it seemed as if the weather were growing cooler of late: the old records indicated that Ayerstreep-wan had once been much colder, so this might be seen as another sign of the Colossal Brother's Return. The Hierarch was not sure this was entirely a good thing: he had once been in the far north in winter on a diplomatic mission, and he hadn't liked it.

A sudden loud boom interrupted his contemplations. This was quickly followed by several other such booming, crashing noises in rapid succession.
"Brother Protect us" muttered the Hierarch. He had heard such noises in the past: the sound of cannon. Could it possibly be an invasion from one of the other Reapublics? A naval invasion, perhaps, coming up the river? He leaned out the window and craned his neck. A powerful fleet would be needed to get past the fortresses at the mouth of the Tems, which indicated something more than mere raiding. But there was no indication of any such actions: all three states very busily spied upon each other, and given his status in the Inner Castes he should have heard any Notgood news from the north or west. Perhaps it was an invasion from the continent: there had not been such a thing for generations, given how badly fragmented and given to ideological warfare west Eurasia was, but it was not beyond…

There. Ships, several, firing upon the town with cannon and some sort of gunpowder rockets. Ships of an unfamiliar design, with sails and…yes, smokestacks! An extreme rarity: coal was too hard to dig nowadays to waste on boats when sails worked almost as well and wind was free. It must be from some distant shore – and then his heart seemed to stop as he saw the pennant flying from the topmost mast.

On a white background, a green cross and crescent. A symbol he had only seen before in texts forbidden outside the inner castes. The symbol of Crislam, the abominable faith of the Un-People, the inhabitants of the Dark Lands, the ancient Triangle of Riches over which the ancients had battled. The lands abandoned after the Great Ungoodness, in ancient tale a land of ever-growing deserts and terrible deluges and plagues and death upon death upon death.

A land largely unknown, since the few travelers who returned had all been very thoroughly punished for Falsespeak and Thoughtcrime and their reports suppressed outside a narrow circle of the Inner Castes. Followers of a mad religion that did not hold to the principles of caste, hierarchy, sacrifice, and changeable truth that all of the three great Root Faiths shared, even in the utmost East. People who allowed all members of their casteless society to write and read as they pleased. [1] People who spoke of such meaningless things as "freedom" and of "truth" as if it were something that existed outside the will of the Inner Castes and the Brother. People armed and organized who fought like devils against any intrusion from the lands of civilization (which was why so few returned in the first place). None of these things were fit for discussion or even thought.

A land from where in recent decades, rumors said, raiders had begun to prey upon the fringes of the civilized world. He had dismissed this as Falsespeak even before the official pronouncement: how could people with no proper government or religion possibly run a society well enough to be a serious threat? And yet here they were in Ayerstreep-wan, hundreds (or perhaps thousands: geography was not his strong point) of miles from the borders of the Dark Lands.

He was still wondering if he would be engaging in Thoughtcrime if he reported the situation to his superiors, and how he might turn this unfortunate, impossible situation to his benefit, when a stray shell flew through the window and send him to Colossal Brother.

[1] Well, not always the women…
Just a wee George Orwell drabble, on the theme that all things must, in time, fall...
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Crislam? So Jesus is son of God and Mohamed is his younger brother! Nice idea.
You have excellent maps and scenarios. I enjoy reading it.
Do you know how much oil and petrol consumption have risen just in the past 40 years?

Big 3 prolly have a ressources consumption rate more than a dozen times slower than the world today, Eurasia less than Germany and Eastasia less than South Korea.
Beside, they have an actual major short-term interest in sustainable developpement, keeping living standards low.

Hovewer, an impact event interpreted as a thermonuclear strike, yellowstone exploding or a Carrington Event [link] shutting down all the party activities...
And do you have any idea how horribly inefficient and wasteful Soviet oil and petrol production were? Or how bad they were at extraction from harder-to-reach sources? Or how wasteful the _use_ of it? The USSR consumed more than a third as much oil as the US in 1970. And that's not counting all the stuff just lost in transit from leaky pipes, wasted in production, etc.

As for world oil consumption, do _you_ know? My numbers say it has about doubled since 1970.

Also, the Big Three consume a _lot_ of resources: they just burn it up in endless warfare. The Soviet Union at its peak did have a GNP nearly 40% that of the US: it was just mostly wasted on useless crap rather than consumer goods. And the Three are _much_ bigger than the old USSR.

Also, the setting doesn't set up things for a collapse until fairly late in the 21st century.

According to this chart, sovietic oil consumption was approx a third of the US one in 1970.

What I read is that over 3 times the known oil reserves in the 1970s have been consumed since then, without the historical major investement peak oil and end oil would have already been reached a while ago.

In any case, it isn´t the Soviet-Union in 1970, war started in 1954 and industry still hadn´t been fully rebuilt 30 years later, rather it has been allowed to crumble and decay.

It is no total war like WW1 and WW2, it is waged by small professional armies, 1 million eurasian soldiers is considered a major offensive. The war of the big 3 is dwarfed by the historical cold war.

US also produced a lot of useless crap in the 1942-1945 period, when the industry and infrastructure was reconverted instead of being allowed to fall appart or dismantled as happened in the pathological kleptocracies of the former soviet bloc, things worked pretty well.

In any case, by the late 21st century, there is a significant chance that something like 1859 happen again. It could even happen next year. )

All the telescreens blowing up at once, all the equippement used by the party workers starting to give out lightnings, spew smoke and catch fire.
All 4 ministries suddenly becomes deaf and blind, probably burning quiet a lot too, there is not a single microphone on the entire planet that hasn´t fried (causing countless fires).

The party is in complete confusing and this doesn´t go unoticed by the prols, party infallibility is down the toilet.
Then, the toilet stops working, the
already weak food supplies falls considerably, the prols starves. Looting, riots and soon, outright revolt errupts in all major cities.
There are no preparations for dealing with such a revolt even in normal times...

I would say that such would be more catastrophic for ingsoc rule than changes over several decades.
yes, that would be awesome :)
Do a more detailed world description of 2484.
Hm. I have some ideas, but it's mostly a bit vague. There's a still fairly large Big Brotherist state in the interior of North America, but with no real "power projection" ability. In the high Andes, there are some heretics in the mountains with a rather less brutally repressive society (they confine human sacrifice to people from downhill that they capture in warfare, and generally only torture those of their own which have _actually_ done something heretical, rather than as a matter of keeping up quota. :) ).

What was Europe is a real Holy Roman Empire of squabbling mini-states, divided into multiple sects of what used to be Neo-Bolshevism (there are even some athiests - well, perhaps nihilists would be a better term).

The Crislamic Realm extends into the Middle East, but states are by necessity a bit thinner on the ground on this area hard-hit by climate change, and Crislam competes for souls with rival faiths derived from the fragmented bits and pieces of Islamic doctrine that surived the years of repression (although none of the Three managed to efficiently propagandize the area due to it switching hands so often, all three ruthlessly persecuted any manifestations of religion while in charge).

In the less ecologically devastated parts of East Asia, China has reestablished itself: Eastasia was always basically Greater China, anyway. The state doctrine of "Obliteration of Self" [1] has turned into a nasty actual death-cult, and the current regime makes the Aztecs look like a bunch of jolly funsters. Expect a spectacular explosion when they run into the Hindus in SE Asia in a few generations.

That's all I have so you seriously think I should go further with this? If so, I have some other projects on my plate, plus Xmas stuff, and it might be a while.

[1] Or 'Death worship'. Really, did Orwell think the Japanese were going to be a dominant influence in a united East Asia even after their WWII stomping? (The Chinese have never been particularly in love with death). Or was he just unable to distinguish between different brands of East Asian? Silly fellow.
I think I recall Eastasia controlling SE Asia, China, Korea, and Japan.
SE Asia was one of the areas being fought over, not a permanent part of Eastasia:

from the book: " the "disputed area" lying "between the frontiers of the super-states"...forms "a rough parallelogram with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin and Hong Kong","

Japan and Korea together have less than 1/6 the total population of China.
The book also says:'Eastasia comprises of China and the countries south of it....'
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