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Old 10-09-2014, 05:36 AM   #601
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Another thought on Merlin-4 are we so sure that it's Merlin-1's CIA that's an influence here? MI5 and MI6 or the French intellegence agencies are also possiblities. With the USSR out of the running and a vast area from central Europe deep into Siberia in collapse, neither the French nor the British Empire is under anything like as much pressure.

Further, the USA, both before and after WWII, was undergoing a strong isolationist movement. With no Soviet Union and a more isolationist USA, maybe France and Britain keep their Empires.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:17 PM   #602
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I might be wrong, but didn't the other 3 Merlin's have nuclear explosions cause drastic shifts in mana? If so, isn't it a little wrong to call this world Merlin-4?
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:32 PM   #603
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With a lower religious tempeture and less agitation about neo-colonialism, the interest in other cultures and their worldviews would probably stay accedemic. The Occult boom (and you get those every few decades) wouldn't be seen as a political/cultural thing. Or at least not a progressive political/cultural thing.
Err, hang on. Are you saying that the increased interest in the occult of the OTL 1960s and 1970s - including biorhythms, channelling, and the like - was something people took up as part of a "progressive" worldview? To me, it has always seemed to be a reaction against a more complex world, seeking explanations that weren't part of badly-explained science and rebelling against traditional certainties.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:13 AM   #604
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Err, hang on. Are you saying that the increased interest in the occult of the OTL 1960s and 1970s - including biorhythms, channelling, and the like - was something people took up as part of a "progressive" worldview? To me, it has always seemed to be a reaction against a more complex world, seeking explanations that weren't part of badly-explained science and rebelling against traditional certainties.
These are not mutually contradictory positions. At least in the USA, interest in the occult (including the items you mentioned) correlated very strongly with anti-war activism and progressive activism on racial matters duirng the 1960s and 70s; which doesn't prevent it from also being an irrational reaction to an overcomplex world. It may also have expressed differently outside of the USA.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:43 AM   #605
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Generally, a belief in religion/magic increases in times of strife and war. The exact cultural effects and causes may differ radically.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:43 AM   #606
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I might be wrong, but didn't the other 3 Merlin's have nuclear explosions cause drastic shifts in mana? If so, isn't it a little wrong to call this world Merlin-4?
It's cannon that the name tags are a little sloppy. So if it is wrong, it is the kind of mistake that matches the setting well.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:51 AM   #607
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Err, hang on. Are you saying that the increased interest in the occult of the OTL 1960s and 1970s - including biorhythms, channelling, and the like - was something people took up as part of a "progressive" worldview? To me, it has always seemed to be a reaction against a more complex world, seeking explanations that weren't part of badly-explained science and rebelling against traditional certainties.
Occultism is a weird attractor. From the end of the Middle Ages until around 1815 the Occult was generally left-wing and a broad general sense. From circa 1815 to the present the Occult has been generally right-wing/conservative. The 1960's (that weirdly lovely and seriously cracked decade) was a period when the Occult was strongly present on both the Left and the Right.

Now, most present day Occult movements, whether they are political or apolitical, left or right leaning, are regressive. But not all Occultists are. In fact some people seem to use Occultism to move themselves from regressive to progressive worldviews, and what research there is favors the idea that those who use Occultism to move from a regressive to a progressive worldview as the majority of present day serious Occultists. However, the term serious Occultist doesn't cover the average New Ager and most conspiracy theorists are clearly Right-Wing in effect if not in rhetoric.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #608
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Further, the USA, both before and after WWII, was undergoing a strong isolationist movement. With no Soviet Union and a more isolationist USA, maybe France and Britain keep their Empires.
At least for the British, that's unlikely. The British Empire was creaking between the wars, as the subject countries had seen the hard time that the British had had during WWI, making their power seem less absolute. The Westminster Declaration had laid the foundations for independence and the Commonwealth, and the Indians were learning to argue their case for independence on British terms, to which the British had no good answer.

During WWII, the British had looked vulnerable again, and the USA had done serious damage to the ideas of Empire. This wasn't through actions planned to have that effect, but by providing an example of a people who were richer and more powerful than the British, yet did things differently. Being British was clearly not the only path to success.

With no Soviet Union, the subject countries have no need to be defended from that threat, removing a reason to keep the British around, and an isolationist USA is not going to stop selling abroad - that's far too profitable - so it will carry on being a counter-example to the need for British "guidance."
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:28 PM   #609
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Has anyone ever explained the concept of the butterfly effect in alternate history to you?
yes but its not mandatory in an AH,

Also if the USSR issue is a concern, its perfectly possible that without slavery Communism and its offshoots would be just as strong or stronger, Marx wrote much about labor as anything else and even without slavery, abusive work conditions would continue.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:21 PM   #610
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At least for the British, that's unlikely. The British Empire was creaking between the wars, as the subject countries had seen the hard time that the British had had during WWI, making their power seem less absolute. The Westminster Declaration had laid the foundations for independence and the Commonwealth, and the Indians were learning to argue their case for independence on British terms, to which the British had no good answer.

During WWII, the British had looked vulnerable again, and the USA had done serious damage to the ideas of Empire. This wasn't through actions planned to have that effect, but by providing an example of a people who were richer and more powerful than the British, yet did things differently. Being British was clearly not the only path to success.

With no Soviet Union, the subject countries have no need to be defended from that threat, removing a reason to keep the British around, and an isolationist USA is not going to stop selling abroad - that's far too profitable - so it will carry on being a counter-example to the need for British "guidance."
This could lead to a world where the Brits are the bad guys or at least MI5 and MI6 trying to hold onto the Empire. Remember that in 1956 theSuez Crisis had Britain and France willing to fight to retain some of their power and authority in the Near East. America acted to stop the Anglo-French attack because Ike feared a war with the USSR. In a world without a USSR in 1956, the Tories might be willing to fight to hold on to some of the Empire. Certain De Gaulle was willing to lash out for France.

With no USSR or Red China to aid the Viet Cong, France might hold Vietnam. either that or maybe Ho Chi Mihn is able to gain US aid in a USA that isn't worried that Ho Chi Mihn calls himself a Comunist.

The history of the anti-colonial revolts of the 1950s and 1960s would look very different without a cold war.
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