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Soviet Union is luuucky by QuantumBranching Soviet Union is luuucky by QuantumBranching
A map inspired by a scenario on "Changing the Times" [link] - a world where the Soviets have done better.

In this world, the move towards Civil Rights essentially stalled out, and the US overextended itself fighting Communism not only in SE Asia but in Africa. With large numbers of Black veterans, some of them having witnessed some pretty horrible things happening to black people in Africa, returning to a land which still did not give them full rights, things turned a bit ugly (think, "A World of Laughter, A World of Tears" ugly).

Combined with some rather serious alienation from their allies in the US, an *oil crisis, a stock market crash and severe economic woes, plus the whole "nearly started WWIII by invading N. Vietnam" thing, it is perhaps unsurprising that the US turned inwards in the latter 70s, eventually shedding most of it's commitments to "ungrateful" allies. While cities burned and Texas threatened to secede from the Union again, the US withdrew into the Western Hemisphere and drew a line around it. (Well, there was still Cuba. But the US tried not to think of Cuba).

In the meantime, the Soviets managed to carry out some reforms of their creaky system, reforms which continued in bursts and starts till 2011, most importantly the agricultural reforms that freed them from dependence on imported US grain.

The Computerized Planned Economy was always hampered by GIGO problems, and the fact more resources were available for consumer goods when the US took its ball and went home didn't mean the planners would go to the trouble of making really good products. And although free-market activity became increasingly acceptable over the years, it was never allowed to take control of the "commanding heights of the economy." It never was enough to beat Capitalism in a fair fight, but the Soviets weren't interested in a fair fight. As long as oil prices remained high (their Good Buddy in the Gulf was a big help there), there was enough food to avoid the whole shooting-food-rioters-in-the-streets scenario, and the knockoffs of western consumer goods were no worse than second-rate, propaganda and force would do the rest.

Butterflies and a less open international market meant that the Chinese reform effort was more tentative and less successful, and to some extent reversed after the messy war in Korea (bogged down as Chinese support for North Korea was to some extent countered by shipments of supplies and weapons from a Japan which reaaaly didn't want a Korea united under the Kims next door) enlarged into a Chinese-Soviet conflict, in which the Soviets managed to blow up almost all of the Chinese nuclear arsenal on the ground (one single somewhat lost Chinese bomber pilot managed to blow up a small town west of Vladivostok, but that was it). The Soviets have declared there will be no further Chinese nukes.

(With Iraqi encouragement, they decided there shouldn't be an Iranian one, either).

With no US flow of arms and no refuge in Pakistan, the Afghan rebels were slowly ground down. Much of Africa was taken over by Reds, most spectacularly in the 20-year struggle to liberate South Africa. (although nowadays the Soviets find propping up many of their "allies" a serious pain as well as an economic drain). In Europe, after the Poles rebelled in the 90s and there was no Jaruzelski to crack down, the Soviets ended directly incorporating their country into the USSR (and sending three quarters of a million of them east to help build the Grand Canal to help refill the Aral).

The Europeans haven't quite been "Finlandized" - they have more nukes than OTL, and point them at the USSR, but on the other hand tread carefully around the Bear, and tend to be rather more free with loans, nice trade deals, etc. than pure economic self-interest would demand. They do work to keep themselves from falling under the Soviet thumb, but generally in indirect manners - rather than putting troops in S. Arabia, for instance, Europe has generally rather more nuclear and solar power than OTL, and electric cars are commonplace.

Israel was bullied by the USSR into accepting the existence of an independent (and Soviet-allied) Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, but has drawn the line at the Right of Return business. It has created an odd local alliance with the Turks (which in turn have a local alliance with the Greeks) and enlaged its nuclear arsenal, which now includes warheads capable of hitting the southern parts of Russia itself. Without US aid, it is a poorer country than OTL, and ironically does a much better job of economic planning and allocation of resources than "socialist" Palestine.

Having, in the words of Ayatollah "Mad Mullah" Khomeini, "swallowed poison" in accepting an alliance with Japan, the South Koreans have come to realize, to their surprise, that the Japanese aren't utterly horrible human beings after all - just very, very annoying.

The US has finally managed to sort out its racial and economic problems, and has created a close economic union and political alliance over much of the Americas. (Canada avoids military commitments but is as closely tied to the US economically as OTL). It's a poorer and less immigrant-friendly country than OTL, but is still the largest economy on Earth, and after a long period of cultivating its own gardens in the Americas is increasingly active abroad, which worries the USSR. Americans are pissed over the initial Soviet support for the whacko regime in Peru, which seemed to violate the informal "we do not pee in eachother's pools" attitude that seemed to prevail in the initial post-Vietnam era. Although less ideologically motivated than OTLs US to fight communism (after a long period of hardline conservative rule in the 70s and 80s, the US took a rather sharp turn to the left in the 90s), there is a feeling that it is time and a half that the US no longer hid its light under a bushel.

It is a poorer world overall than OTL, leftier, with less free trade, and India and China (especially China) having grown econonically less, while more of the world is under crapsack Communist regimes. More Soviet spending on science being cancelled out by less spending from a poorer West, technology generally lags a bit, except in a few specialized fields (Soviet lack of ethnical or danger concerns have meant they have contributed quite a lot over the last couple decades in the field of biotech, an unfortunately large amount of it in sub-fields designed to shorten human lives). The US avoided the Shuttle and continues to put stuff into space with rockets cheaper than any OTL. (The Soviets developed a shuttle, but it turned out to be a real turkey). The atomic arms race has been on "low simmer" for a while, and nuclear arsenals haven't grown much since the late 70s: but that may yet change...

(Re Cuba: Cubans got into Angola in our time line before the Soviets did, and on a large scale: I am assuming ATL this continues, and the Cuban and Soviet presence increases over the long years of the South African struggle until the Soviets and Cubans are essentially running the country. It's just one of those little oddities one puts in an AH map.

As for Guyana, it did have a "socialist" dictatorship OTL, which plunged the nation deep into crapsackdom. Cuban special forces arranged for his overthrow and replacement by a less batshit "friendly" ruler: the Soviets stayed at arms legnth to keep the US from getting too pissed off.)
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:iconsecretagent632:
SecretAgent632 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
So in this timeline, the United States suffered an official defeat in Vietnam? I wonder how the troops coming home from Vietnam were greater compared to OTL? Quite worse I'd imagine. Wouldn't surprised me if the more radical anti-war protesters got their way if most (if not all) troops coming home from Vietnam found themselves standing before a federal war crimes tribunal.
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013
Er, no. Any such crimes tribunal would have to look at who they were taking orders from, and what government ever puts itself on trial? A few scapegoats may be tossed to the dogs, but overall the government will most likely prefer to do what it did OTL with Vietnam vets: forget about them.
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:iconsecretagent632:
SecretAgent632 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Only worse though I assume right? When the Rambo film series is made, I assume in this universe Rambo's combat experience was in Latin America rather then Vietnam?
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:iconcyberphoenix001:
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Does the Soviet Union's dominance in world affairs mean that it exports a lot of culture and science?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
Well, it's ability to export depends on what they actually have, as well as prestige: censor-approved Soviet cultural products, aside from old-style stuff like ballet or classical music, have generally not swept foreign markets. But without the financial starving and large-scale of immigration of science and scientists after 1991 in our world, Soviet science remains pretty respectable and closely followed by foreign researchers.
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:iconsecretagent632:
SecretAgent632 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I guess Marx's ideals for total racial equality officially killed the Civil Rights movement in the US?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Rather more the association of any "liberal" movement with Commiedom and the association of civil rights activism with anti-war movements, compounded by those pissed off veterans reacting rather agressively vs white violence against *Black Panthers, etc., and the whole thing spinning out of control: Karl Marx's exact views on the subject didn't really play a big role. And it was only temporarily killed: it's no worse for black Americans in 2012 than it was in our world in, say, the early 80s...
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:iconsecretagent632:
SecretAgent632 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I am guessing OTL Democrats likely are a "Third Party"?
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:icondenil380:
denil380 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2011  Student General Artist
today indonesia is such curse capitalist. indonesians more good as communist!
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:iconsregan:
SRegan Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great job - I particularly like the 'US allies and satellites', as I'm a sucker for maps done from a subtly different viewpoint or challenge assumptions about OTL maps (I remember a map on AH.com, possibly from you, that at first seemed to show a Soviet-screw with dozens of countries under heavy US influence, until you read the legend and realised that the neutral countries were the 'free world' under the Comintern and the US's 'puppets' were the few remaining capitalist countries). Changing the Times looks interesting - I'll have to check it out.
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