world(…) American political debate took a strident and hysterical turn to the extreme right during the subsequent campaign cycle and elected a bellicose and unstable former General as the new President. He proceeded to emasculate and interfere with the legislative and judicial branches of government to such an extent that it precipitated a cynically conceived and deliberately provoked constitutional crisis, neatly solved when the Armed Forces and Security Services engineered a military coup in his favour and declared him Dictator. He appropriated the rabid exhortations and ridiculous ideology of the televangelists, but listened to their counsel only long enough to realise they were crazier than he was. He had them rounded up and shot, which delighted the liberals, and explained it away as being “God’s Will,” which his growing number of supporters found hilarious. He brought the rapacious and immoral banking and commercial sectors under control, crushed the lurid and puerile excesses of the entertainment and media industries, and emphasised severe, reactionary and puritanical small town family values. Republicans were delighted, or at least they were until he banned their party. Within months every strata and sphere of American life was subjugated and all political and social opposition had been extinguished. The right wing radicalisation of society instituted and utilised highly sophisticated forms of propaganda, censorship and indoctrination. It was a remarkably familiar process that had certain commentators, mainly German, looking on admiringly. Concerns mounted in Europe however, at the rapid and concerted programme of aggressive militarisation that the Americans embarked on.

The newly federal United America, having abolished the States and redesigned the flag to feature one big star, then invoked Manifest Destiny yet again to expand, this time north into Canada and south into Mexico. This was considered by many Americans, now enamoured of their strong and decisive leader, to be unfinished business. 19th Century caveats about Manifest Destiny as a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine were brushed aside. At the time it had been persuasively argued that the doctrine was principally to be understood as enshrining the right to continental expansion of only white Americans, and therefore not to include or assimilate other ethnic groups except for the indigenous American Indians, who did not count. Or as the President succinctly put it during a lauded State of The Union address, he “didn’t give a flying fuck.” Commentators opinioned that he did seem to know what he was doing, and was of course divinely inspired. The Canadians, already struggling with the obviously confused allegiances of the French-speaking but certainly not Muslim-sympathising Quebecois, reluctantly agreed to offer up their already whimsical illusion of independence without too much bother. All French names were promptly anglicised by decree and speaking the detested language was banned. Certain ubiquitous pop stars were jailed. The country was then rapaciously and systematically plundered of its vast mineral, natural gas, oil and forestry reserves, with much of the population sent north into the wilderness as industrial workers and labourers to harvest it.

The Mexicans had been deliberately impoverished by a complete trade and services embargo and border blockade by the American dictatorship. They soon capitulated and sold the whole country outright, in return for the worldwide licensing and franchise rights to their own national cuisine. The President promptly put a well-known chain of American owned fast food restaurants specialising in tacos out of business, and the Mexicans duly signed on the dotted line. Their beautiful haciendas and coastlines were swiftly appropriated, the not inconsiderable oil reserves nationalised, and their population dispersed and assimilated throughout the continent as despised and exploited slave workers bound to their contracted employers. They lived in segregated ghettos policed by the Army, were severely punished for sexual relations with Americans, and were forced to wear clothes branded and scarred with the red, white and green flag of Mexico at all times. Sterilisation was considered.

The Chinese had observed the momentous global political developments and ideological upheavals in an apparently detached and unconcerned manner befitting the studious and serene superiority of their millennial history, which as usual pissed everybody else off. They had quietly assimilated Mongolia, Laos Cambodia and then Vietnam, to who they pointed out that the capitalist Americans had probably had the right idea about wealth all along. The Myanmar junta fell apart when the Chinese liberated a famous dissident held under house arrest for decades. The daring commando raid captured the world’s imagination, and then a few brigades showed up to demonstrate to the tin pot Burmese dictators what a real army looked like. The celebratory mood was somewhat deflated when the dissident subsequently, mysteriously, fell under a bus in central Beijing. They provoked Thailand in a classic piece of brinkmanship by assassinating a number of their very own high level diplomats in Bangkok, then pinned it on Thai Security forces and invaded the country in convincingly outraged retaliation. The question of what to do with the four million Thai Muslims and the two million in Myanmar, who the conquering Chinese had taken care to treat with the utmost respect and dignity, initiated the first series of negotiations with the Islamic Union. In the end it was Indonesia, who the Chinese couldn’t be bothered to do anything about because they had way too many islands and Muslims to even think about, offered to take them.

Relations between the Islamic Empire and the Chinese remained cordial, even when the Chinese supposedly professed indifference to the Arab’s assimilation of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Someone pointed out that China had the not inconsiderable number of twenty two million Muslims of their own, to which the Chinese retorted that since it was less than two percent of their population they didn’t feel particularly insecure about it. Because they had been reminded, however, the Chinese did make quiet arrangements to ensure that the twenty million then disappeared when the attention of the world’s media moved on to other more exciting developments. They had previous experience at that sort of thing. The North Koreans finally invaded South Korea, who seemed almost relieved that they had something else to do besides play computer games. To everyone’s amazement the North won, though the Chinese probably helped just a little bit. The Americans acknowledged Chinese hegemony and took the opportunity to set up a barely tolerated puppet regime in the Philippines ruled by a shoe fetishist idiot. Japan was even simpler. The Japanese economy had collapsed after women in Islamic Europe were banned from driving and car sales subsequently halved, and then the dictatorship in United America nationalised all foreign owned businesses, to great domestic acclamation even though their own economy went a little bit to shit. So the Chinese bought the Land of the Rising Sun at a knock down price and turned the lights out. The Philippines were of course a mess, though they had nice shoes, and the Australians pretended they weren’t there and weren’t home and had gone surfing.

Africa and South America continued to move to their own gentle tribal rhythms and the historical impulses of other more powerful regions to fuck with them. The four large North Africa states of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt formally joined the Islamic Union and then annexed the desert nations of Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. The enthusiastic and oil rich Nigeria had little trouble applying for membership, though some Arabs expressed distain. The historical anomaly of Christian Ethiopia was crushed, which provoked some pained protests by fundamentalists in North America until the President stated that they wouldn’t support niggers, Christian or not. Anyway, he was busy fomenting political upheaval somewhere else.

The Nazi diaspora in Argentina, after years of selective eugenic breeding and covertly infiltrating political and bureaucratic circles, broke cover with the support and financial backing of the fugitive ODESSA organisation. They swept to power led by a magnetic, blond, Aryan superman who was also a great soccer player. There were a lot of Dr Mengele’s twins in the cabinet, too. The new right wing Nazi administration was swiftly and enthusiastically recognised by the North American dictatorship and given covert military backing. The Argentine Army then invaded Paraguay to finish off the slaughter they hadn’t quite finished in the War of the Triple Alliance during the 1860s, when ninety percent of Paraguayan men had been killed. Chile was overthrown by the simple act of everybody in Argentina stepping to the left, and Bolivia was seduced more gently by appealing to Simón Bolívar’s dream of a Gran Colombia uniting a resurgent South American continent. Peru followed, by which point the Americans realised that to the north of that was next the drug industry of Colombia, which they controlled, and the Venezuelan oil fields, which they coveted. So they quietly switched sides and promoted a peasant uprising with clandestine backing from the increasingly skittish Brazilians. They started funnelling cash, cocaine and weapons to the idealistic, leftist, counter-insurgent guerrillas of the Shining Submachine Gun, who were always coked up and completely nuts. Perhaps that’s why the American President liked them. Nobody really knew what was going on but a lot of people were getting killed in a homicidal quagmire, which suited the Americans just fine. (…)

© andrew wheeler

This post is an excerpt from The World Is Round. Read other entries in this category, or buy the book!