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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Confederate States of America



Yesterday, jonbaker and I went to see CSA - a faux-documentary about an alternate universe where not only did the South not lose the Civil War, they took over the USA as well.

Yes, I know that Civil War AUs are common - I'm at a point where if I read a history of the Civil War, I wonder when it'll change. I'm the same way with World War II (the aliens will attack soon, right?) I blame it all on Harry Turtledove.

In this case, Ken Willmett postulates that battles that went one way in our reality went the other in theirs, and France and England lent their support to the CSA due to the (eventually) ironic help of Judah P. Benjamin. Lincoln escapes to Canada in blackface, and lives out his life in exile. Jefferson Davis settles into the White House, and a family of Virginia politicians makes its way to the forefront, using slavery as the basis of their power.

And the rest of history proceeds from there - the entire foundation of the CSA is that white people are meant to own non-whites - that non-whites are less than human and should be owned. It's not just blacks - it's Asians, too. It's genocide against American Indians. It's not allowing Jews in the US (see what I mean about Benjamin's victory being ironic? Not that Jefferson Davis didn't fight for Jewish rights.) and those who were already here - why, we're all on Long Island. And Hitler is unchecked in Europe. And "antebellum" values are spread all the way down to the South Pole, with the Hispanics kept in their places, too. Only Canada is a bastion of human rights.

There's a "Cotton Wall" across the entire Canada/CSA border. And all the good music and dances and such? Come from Canada.

Because this film is also very funny. In between the "historical" parts, there are commercials - ads for sitcoms and household products, for a version of "Cops" called "Runaway", for tobacco and toothpaste and motor oil with discriminatory names. For devices and drugs for keeping one's servants in line. And they are very funny in a horrifying way.

And then there's the fight for women's vote. And the Home Slave Network.

And it's all economically very bad for the CSA. As they themselves admit. But they can't change it. They can't admit that they've decided people other than themselves are *less than human.* Plenty of groups consider non-members "not people" but they don't consider them animals. And while there have been plenty of cultures that kept slaves - the slaves were property, but they were also human. They could be freed, they could even attain citizenship - or their kids could.

No wonder Hitler liked the CSA...

Oddly enough, the one thing I didn't believe was the CSA getting the Bomb. Because that was developed by German Jewish scientists who came here before or right after Hitler took power. And that wouldn't happen in this universe.

But they did, and that was the scariest moment in the film for me.

I want to own this when it comes available.

Comments

I want to see that one. I too have Turtledove damage.

Slavery is actually only a valid social system in an agrarian economy where a great deal of human labor is required. It should really screw things up with the industrial revolution. The economic ramifications alone sound well-handled.

That was actually only one line from the movie, but we all know it's true.

But I do think it was done well.

I need to see if the movie is being shown in my neck of the woods - a former part of the CSA.

It should be released more or less this summer.