Some ways into the future of Jack London's "The Unparalelled Invasion", or my remix of the same...
It is May 1, 2036. It is a bright and sunny day over much of the United States, which nowadays includes an Anglicized Mexico and much of the Caribbean and Central America. The sky is filled with colorful airships, and far above them, leaving glowing trails from their many little rocket tubes, the express fliers zoom on their globe-spanning routes. The colossal towers of New York, Chicago, Mexico City gleam in the sun. It is a day of Remembrance for the 385 million inhabitants of the United States. A great many events, speeches, Vitavision shows and "events" will take place, as people stop to remember the greatest crime in all history. It remains a controversial day, and there will be counter-protests by such groups as the Racial Hygiene Society or the Association of True Patriots, and grumbling by those who feel that people should make less fuss over the events of six decades ago when much of Europe still lies in ruins.
Still, those who protest the basic point – that a crime on an almost unimaginable scale took place in 1976 and the subsequent year – are fewer with each year, and if the outrage lacks the hot fury of the early 2010s, it still is almost a badge of identification for the current generation, which grew up during the years when the Eugenic-Populist regime was forced from power after almost fifty years of political dominance.
Europe is a charnel house. The Great European War of 2025-2032, although its proximate cause was the accidental gassing of a British prince and his entourage rather than certain rebellious Africans by off-course German flyers, in the end this was only an excuse allowing the resolution of the increasingly bitter disputes over the oil resources of the Middle East (the division of the Old Ottoman Empire, nearly a century earlier, suddenly was found to have been grossly unfair to several nations). In the long term, it was inevitable that the world would move from coal and oil to wind, sun, geothermal and Plutonic Gas, but as they say, the future is unevenly distributed, and in the short term the global economy was being pinched by the oil shortage, and there was much talk of national disaster for those without a good supply of their own. This was supplemented by the rebirth of ideas of racial hierarchy within the white race, put aside in the face of the common Chinese foe, but reviving vigorously in the last 30 years as Latin and German and Slav all became slanderous terms in one language or another.
In the end, the war swept almost all the ruling nations of Europe into its maw. Nobody was prepared for it, the last major conflict having been the end of China fifty years ago, the last important clash between Europeans having been the stalemated Russian-German conflict of 1933-34, to which a lasting peace had been negotiated by the great American president Roosevelt. It started with "civilized" assaults with simple chemical weapons against military targets: with neither side having any armed forces save colonial ones, and lacking anything like heavy armor, ground assaults soon proved a failure, and the lethality of the air and long-range cannon attacks increased in due course. From simple chemicals, to high-end anti-biologicals and the never-extinguished fires of super-catalysts, to radium mines and flesh-dissolving phages: in the end, someone violated the Convention of Copenhagen, and contagious viral and bacterial agents were used.
Who would not be outraged? For years, a government dominated by racialist and pro-imperialists and a press and radio dominated by a few giant combines working hand in hand with the government had systematically propagated a distorted view of China. Absurd exaggerations of China's population growth rate – already entering demographic transition due to increased prosperity by the 70s - were promulgated by "respected" scientists. The alien nature of the Chinese was promoted in official publications. The military power of the Chinese militia was hysterically magnified. The Chinese invasion of SE Asia and the Himalayan states, seen by the Chinese as a righteous liberation of fellow Asians from European rule, was translated into a monstrous flood of invaders, aided by Chinese immigrants, somehow magically infiltrating themselves into areas Chinese were not liked and multiplying wildly like a disease. Even the move of Afghanistan and Bukhara into the "Chinese camp" was seen as part of this flood of super-fecund Asians, which would have greatly surprised any of the good townsfolk of Kabul, who rarely saw Chinaman one.
(Of course, on the other hand, the American people, or most of them, swallowed such tripe enthusiastically, ignored the small anti-racialist news associations who brought contradictory reports when they did not abuse them as fools and Chinese dupes).
(And on the gripping hand, the Chinese "liberation" of SE Asia, like that accomplished by the Japanese in universes more like our own, brought a new master, albeit one which considered the locals only slightly inferior to themselves).
And when the Chinese made loud and aggressive noises about massacres of Chinese in America, their aggressive intentions and purposes were much speculated on. When the Chinese talked of their own destiny in Asia, it clearly meant their plan to overrun everything east of the Bosporus. And when the Western nations massively built up their armament, and the Chinese responded by building up its own forces and supporting the Indian independence movements, hysteria reached new heights. It was at this time that Jacobus Laningdale, the greatest monster in history, visited Washington.
Simply because so many were sick or dying that the nations could no longer maintain a war footing, the conflict came to an end. Europe currently has about 1/3 of its pre-war population, although the spread of diseases means that most of their possessions in Africa and Eurasia have lost at least ½ of theirs. The US managed through heroic efforts to keep the spread of Bleeding Fever from Canada from turning into an epidemic, and have since aided surviving Canadians to decontaminate and restore their nation to working order. Other important nations to survive without too much damage were the Australians, thanks to their geographical isolation and their decision to quit the war in the last year, (although they still suffered some vicious rocket attacks, both manned and unmanned) and the strictly neutral United States of China, whose mixed culture, drawn from all parts of Europe and North America, could not take sides without tearing itself apart. In an amusing historical turn-around, in the later phases of the war a Chinese government would erect a military barricade along its borders against invasion by sick and dying Russians…
Huge swathes of Europe are too toxic for agriculture and will remain so for decades, unless improved decontamination methods are developed. Full-body chem-bio hazard suits are what the fashionable ladies and gentlemen are wearing in the "partially contaminated" areas that blotch the still inhabited parts of Europe. Revolution has established a spate of new governments, varying from Neo-Marxist to something that looks a lot like OTL's fascism. The venerable and ancient empire of Austria, long a peaceful federation, has been smashed to pieces. The mighty Russian Empire is itself split in three, albeit all still Slav-dominated. Even the few nations which managed to retain neutrality have been devastated by plagues. None are in any shape for a second round, but there is a widespread feeling of grim vengefulness only blanketed for now by sheer exhaustion. Among the wreckage, two nations compete for the soul of Europe: the United States of America, and the United States of China.
The USC is now 150 million strong, and rivals the USA in individual wealth and surpasses it in individual productivity, if still far behind in overall GNP. It is hardly Old China, in spite of its name and the fondness of the locals for loose silk clothes and ornamental gardens. It had after all been settled by Europeans and North Americans, and fully agreed with their racial and social theories, and the conventional view of the China War. After all, if it were otherwise, they were the beneficiaries of an abomination, murderers living in the house of their victims. Their rejection of guilt was automatic, and to the current day they publish the same old lies in their books. The schools teach the usual nonsense about the Chinese failing to know what was going on from the start, overblown fancies about the efficiency of the military blockade (it would not be till decades later that the tens of millions of disease deaths in India would come to light), and the description of the over fifty million surviving Han Chinese slaughtered by invading troops as a few bands of "desperate bandits."
They prop up the surviving White regimes in SE Asia (the death toll in the Genocide War, although not quite as bad as in China proper, shattered and shrank the local populations to the extent where European rule was easily restored) and are on good terms with the South Africans, which in spite of energetic eugenic efforts and efforts to attract immigrants (even from among second-rate white people such as light-skinned Latin Americans) are still outnumbered better than two to one by their African subjects. And wherever in Europe the new elites bemoan the loss of their colonies and perfidy of Americans and Australians, the White Chinese are there with a sympathetic ear.
In those countries which never had colonies or which have abandoned then with no great reluctance, sentiment tends to be more pro-American. The US preaches European unity and common purpose in rebuilding, and US aid reaches even the Radical Collectivist regime in Italy. Britain (Ireland has gone off its own way) is too resentful of the US "occupation" of Canada and their new alliance with the cowardly Australians to accept and US aid, and grows closer to the USC. France too is in the USC camp, while the rather peculiar new populist government in Germany (perhaps more due to anti-British sentiment than pro-US sentiment) is in the American camp, as is one of the three current Russian regimes.
Three major factors contributed to the collapse of the generally accepted story in the US. First, there was the Fourth Great Awakening, whose preachers were opposed to the eugenicist, "scienceist", and racially stratified nature of society (the third rather less than the first two, admittedly). There was the spread of Vitavision and Free Aether, which weakened the news monopolies. Finally, there was the long, forty-year struggle of the black community to gain their rights as human beings, rights which in the 1970s had dropped to their lowest ebb since the end of slavery. (It has been estimated that there might be as many as twice as many African-Americans in 2036 without the coerced and secret sterilization programs). The story – the marches, the massacres, the assassinations of black leaders, the burning of the Mobile Sterilization Center – is a well-known one, and somewhere along the way America discovered that Blacks were human beings too. And if Blacks were people, what of Asians? All this made it possible for the "Preacher President" to attain office, and although William Jefferson Carter was assassinated in the end, he finally opened the door on what exactly had happened in China some four decades earlier. The attempts by the Eugenic forces to retain control, the "soft coup", the mass protests, the collapse of the "emergency committee" – all these followed.
The basic conflict between the USA and its allies on one hand and the Chinese States on the other is imperialism and racial hierarchy. While the USA is against 'em (if perhaps a bit luke-warmly), the USC is a firm supporter: not so much out of national necessity (there are very few non-Caucasians in China), but out of the fundamental need to adhere to a narrative in which the depopulation of China and its repopulation by their ancestors was a heroic tale, not a barbaric and savage one. The USA and its allies are against the re-imposition of European power in Africa and Asia, and indeed the USA has gone so far as to do the unspeakable: ally itself with Asians against the White Man.
An important purpose of the Genocidal War was its confirmation of European rule and European superiority, which had been so badly shaken by the rise of China from the 1950s onwards. China had brought hope for millions of Untermensch in Africa, in India, in the Middle East: indeed, had brought hopes for the humiliation of the US to the millions of Latin Americans toiling in US factories, picking US fruit, digging in US mines, going out for rigged elections in which only pro-US candidates ran, learning English off of US record players and being taught in US-financed schools about the need to be scientific, modern, white – and most definitely not Indian, Mestizo or "Hispanic" rather than Spanish/Celtic/Visigothic. Another thing that the textbooks left out in most European nations was the massive pro-Chinese revolt that broke out in India, and the brutality with which it was repressed, an orgy of destruction in which entire cities were gassed to death (it is suggested by some that the failure to contain the disease in the Himalayas was in fact deliberate British policy to help crush resistance).
For some decades, the implied message "even if you kick us out, we'll just exterminate you" was remembered clearly, but by the time of the Great European War memories had faded and a new generation of rebels arose. With the collapse of the European nations in'32, many seized the opportunity – and some succeeded, most notably India, where after a bloody struggle a new nation of 225 millions (post-plagues) shakily emerged on the international scene. The rump sultanate of Turkey remembered its glory days and overthrew its German protectorate, although the effort to recapture Constantinople went badly. The poisoned hell of the oil fields the war had in part been fought over was not claimed by any revolutionary movement, since the area had been largely scourged clean of life. Afghanistan arose, as did Persia, and Egypt, where the British governor took a monstrous revenge on the rebels. In vast areas of Africa, where the climate made settlement unattractive to Europeans, but extensive local development had taken place, the local populace was able at least temporarily take power.
The Alliance for Peace and Liberty, as the US calls it (the alliance for Mongrelization and Race-Suicide, as some Europeans and White Chinese call it), includes the US, Australia-NZ, much of South America (still under the US thumb, although in the last few decades the pressure has substantially lessened) and, to the horror of so many, the Indians, the Japanese, and several other Asian and even a few new African regimes. Under US leadership, it seeks to promote reconciliation between former colonies and Imperial powers, repair the terrible damage of the war, and develop international mechanisms to prevent the repetition of such a catastrophe. A lot of people aren't buying.
The US is still feeling its way into a new world. Many still want a return to the old days of racial hierarchy and a secure, clean, well-ordered White future. Others, however, especially among the young, find the new freedoms and a less planned and ordered society intoxicating. Nowadays only the _severely_ disabled or retarded are prevented from having children, and any healthy couple can marry without state approval. Blacks can now run for office, and there are a few in the House for the first time in over a century: social attitudes about race aren't much in advance of OTL's 1970s, but one of the few decent holdovers from the former regime is that in the US, everyone has a job (in some cases, whether they want it or not) which pays a living wage, so although American Blacks are still at the bottom of the social ladder, it's not as far down as OTL.
Japan's 110 millions are gingerly reentering the world stage: after their expulsion from the mainland by their erstwhile protégée, Japan has followed a policy of population control and heavily armed neutrality, trading high-quality, artistic finished goods for whatever raw materials its skilled engineers and scientists could not produce on their own. In a White-run world, Asian Japan has carefully kept its head down and cultivated a pacifistic and even twee outwards appearance. Even now, there are many who consider the alliance with the US too risky: what if the Americans were to relapse into master-race mode and turn on them?
The alliance between Hindu and Muslim contracted during the brutal struggle for independence amidst plague and economic collapse is still holding, if a bit shaky: the loud calls for the conquest of India on the part of the USC press, radio and Vitavision make a strong argument for the "hung separately" theory. In spite of wartime damage, India retains a formidable industrial plant developed over the last century of "Imperial Investment" and is indeed currently a bigger manufacturing power than still-struggling Britain, although most of its population remains poor by pre-war European standards.
Afghanistan has occupied much of devastated Persia, and although the Turks were driven back across the straits by Serbo-Bulgarian forces, the Extraordinary Committee for the Emergency still holds power in Anatolia proper: an Arab Man On a Horse has made himself the leader of western Arabia: given previous experiences in poking the hornet's nest of Mecca and Medina, most are uninterested in interfering. The European ruling classes came out on top in Algeria after horrendous massacres, but few Europeans remain alive and giving orders in the West African jungles from the Gambia to the Congo. (The various new revolutionary governments vary from fairly competent to "Unnatural offspring of Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe", which is why the US is still a bit tentative in recognizing allies in the area). A remnant of the former Italian regime holds out as a highland island in a sea of angry Ethiopians: the current Italian government has no great interest in saving their bacon, but supplies are arriving by air from the United States of China. The joint Dutch-German rulers of Indonesia saw the writing on the wall and surrendered to the Australians before things got too bloody.
South America – an economic extension of USA, Inc., where the upper classes at home speak English (and occasionally French or German) in preference to Spanish or Portuguese, is beginning to show a revival of ethnic pride, which first reemerged when the rulers of the US started to openly question the utter superiority of their race, and was rather strengthened by the European powers slaughtering each other over flimsy excuses. This has taken an odd turn in Brazil, the largest and most powerful by the far of the south American states, which is well known as being "more American than the USA", a squeaky clean one party state which has rubbed out all "primitive" forms of culture in its nation and considerably lightened the average skin tone over the last seventy years. Being told now that they had been Doing It Wrong all this time was not a welcome message, and the government has been alarmingly non-pliable under US pressures to reform itself: there is some worry they might bolt the US system (devastating as that would be to their economy) and join forces with the White Chinese.
In spite of the war, scientific progress marches on. It is reported that a new form of rocket, built through cooperation of Japanese and American scientists, powered by the new element Zenobium, may soon reach the Moon. Immense arrays of windmills float on the ocean, gathering power from sea breezes. New medical wonders arise from the terrors of the last war, and mechanical substitutes for limbs and organs have been developed. Will the rest of the 21st century be an era of recovery and new prosperity – or an era of new and even more terrible wars, powered by the advances of science? Biological warfare is clearly too uncontrollable to be used against other nations knowledgeable about its use – but what other terrors may arise? On this Remembrance Day, such issues are discussed throughout the United States, and indeed, throughout the world.
And in a Buddhist temple in Peru, the leaders of the Community of China in exile meet to discuss the future. Although the "Anti-Coolie" pogroms of the 1970s were horrendous, the US government wasn't quite up to mass extermination where everyone could see, so the majority were banished to the only places that the US could force to take them – Latin America. Although persecuted and occasionally killed in some places, and assimilated in others, a hard core of the Chinese people has under the leadership of a few remarkable men and women managed to preserve their language, their culture and their sense of self, carrying China with them like the Jews carried Israel with them in their exile. There only a few million of them in the world, but they are no longer shrinking in numbers, although they face increased hostility as people begin to murmur about a "Chinese conspiracy" to mirror the old and somewhat faded bogey of Jewish conspiracy. One speaker discusses the observations of Mars made by the giant new telescopes, which strongly indicate signs of vegetation, and then goes on to discuss the upcoming flight of the Moon-rocket: as the implications of what he is saying sink in, the lecture hall erupts into a near-riot…
 Some family resemblance to truthiness