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  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 May '10 21:57
    After WWII, was there a returning general who could have been analogous to Julius Caesar under slightly different circumstances, or is there a fundamental difference in the two Republics prohibiting this?
  2. 13 May '10 23:19
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    After WWII, was there a returning general who could have been analogous to Julius Caesar under slightly different circumstances, or is there a fundamental difference in the two Republics prohibiting this?
    I read a book about Gen. MacArthur named American Caesar. Is that what you are referring too?
  3. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    13 May '10 23:27
    The question is kind of vague, but I think he's asking if a returning WWII general could have induced a civil war with the support of his armies. The answer is definitely no.

    For world war 2, specifically, U.S. citizens were tired or war, and extremely critical of all forms of dictatorship - with Nazism and Communism firmly in their minds.
    Even if they wanted to, I don't think the generals could possibly muster the kind of support from the citizenry (or even their armies) to stage any kind of successful civil war. Without U.S. citizens supplying the armies, the armies wouldn't get very far.

    The power of the U.S. army in WWII was its supply lines. No supply = no army. That wasn't an issue for Caesar.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    13 May '10 23:35
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    I read a book about Gen. MacArthur named American Caesar. Is that what you are referring too?
    I haven't read or heard of that book.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    14 May '10 01:22
    What joneschr said.

    There's no real comparison. As powerful and popular as Eisenhower was, the army never would have followed him in ransacking the United States and deposing the federal government.

    Caeser's army's loyalty was to him. The US army's loyalty was to the United States.

    There simply is no comparison.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 May '10 17:30
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    I read a book about Gen. MacArthur named American Caesar. Is that what you are referring too?
    Actually, the book that inspired this thread was Empire by Orson Scott Card. It's a really silly book that shows how entrenched Card is in the paranoid right wing conspiracy subgroup, but it addresses the title topic.
  7. 14 May '10 17:45
    was it a leftwing scenario or a rightwing scenario in Empire?
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 May '10 17:51 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    was it a leftwing scenario or a rightwing scenario in Empire?
    It was left wingers (specifically George Soros) trying to take over the country with silly, impractical sci fi weapons made in foreign countries of course. The conspiracy was able to make it look like the Japanese battlemechs and hoverscooters were made in the USA!

    The traditional, old school Special Forces dudes had to fight back in the name of the Republic!

    The equipment of the evil liberals in Empire illustrates the contempt Card (and his subculture) has for liberals. It's completely impractical, foreign and unfamiliar, while the conservative good guys have all the familiar, practical, American made stuff.

    It's made very blatant - the bad guys are the "progressive revolution" who started in universities and are blue state allied, while the main character is a conservative who has contempt for universities and intellectuals but still feels morally and intellectually superior due to his (in his own opinion of course) critical mind and is allied to the red states.

    The afterward makes it very clear that this is a SERIOUS book, not a silly one. Card really thinks this nonsense is going to happen!

    EDIT - Thought it was going to happen. It's set in 2008 and was written in 2006!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(2006_novel)
  9. 14 May '10 18:13
    i read the first few chapters of a sequel, Hidden Empire, and got the idea that the foreshadowing indicated a Richard Nixon type was angling to take over the USA. i.e., a rightwing scenario.

    last night i watched a bit of a BBC show about Operation Foxley, a WWII plan to assassinate Hitler. until then i hadn't realized that parts of Heinlein's Revolt in 2100 was probably based on Hitler's retreat (the Berghof) and personal guard.

    ------

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Foxley

    Operation Foxley was a 1944 plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler, created by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Although detailed preparations were made, the plan was not carried out. Historians believe the most likely date for an attempt would have been July 13-14 of 1944, during one of Hitler's visits to the Berghof.

    ...

    The plan was submitted in November 1944, but was never carried out because controversy remained over whether it was actually a good idea to kill Hitler. Hitler was by then considered to be such a poor strategist that it was believed whoever replaced him would probably lead a better war-effort.[1] Additionally, Thornley argued that Germany was almost defeated and if Hitler were assassinated, he would become a martyr to some Germans, as well as giving rise to speculation that Germany might have won if Hitler had survived. Since the idea was not only to defeat Germany but to destroy Nazism in general, that would have been a highly undesirable development. However, there were strong advocates on both sides, and the plan never became operational for the simple reason that no actual decision was reached. In any case, Hitler left the Berghof for the last time on July 14, 1944 never to return, and he committed suicide in Berlin on 30 April 1945, a few days before the war in Europe ended.

    ...

    The BBC made a docudrama about the operation, entitled Killing Hitler (written and directed by Jeremy Lovering), which is a combination of re-enactment with regular voice-overs, historical footage, interviews with various witnesses and a present day analysis.
  10. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    14 May '10 18:21
    Why did you choose WWII as the time frame, if the book was set in the present day? It strikes me that public outcry against such a thing would have been near a peak then.

    Not that I think public outcry against a military coup wouldn't be significant in 2010, but it strikes me that it might be much less than in WWII. Public love of the government isn't exactly at a peak...
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 May '10 18:32
    Originally posted by joneschr
    Why did you choose WWII as the time frame, if the book was set in the present day? It strikes me that public outcry against such a thing would have been near a peak then.

    Not that I think public outcry against a military coup wouldn't be significant in 2010, but it strikes me that it might be much less than in WWII. Public love of the government isn't exactly at a peak...
    WWII was when we had a returning victorious general like Caesar. It seemed like a more realistic scenario.
  12. Standard member expuddlepirate
    Exaulted high possum
    15 May '10 23:18
    Gen MacArthur, in a manner of speaking, was 'the last Shogun of japan' but, I don't see any President who served as a General ranked officer even being close to what Julius Ceaser was as far as "going to the top of the chain of command".
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    16 May '10 02:04
    Originally posted by expuddlepirate
    Gen MacArthur, in a manner of speaking, was 'the last Shogun of japan' but, I don't see any President who served as a General ranked officer even being close to what Julius Ceaser was as far as "going to the top of the chain of command".
    The characters in M*A*S*H, apart from Major Frank Burns, seemed ill-disposed towards MacArthur circa 1950.

    Gen MacArthur didn't set foot on the U.S. mainland even once between 1937 and 1951.

    Churchill tried a 'khaki election' in 1945 and got swept away in a landslide.
  14. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    17 May '10 21:41
    OK, so if any American general would have been inclined to become an American Caesar (if given the possibility) who would it be? Any timeframe, but lets rule out Civil war.

    I'm thinking Patton.
  15. 17 May '10 22:14 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by joneschr
    OK, so if any American general would have been inclined to become an American Caesar (if given the possibility) who would it be? Any timeframe, but lets rule out Civil war.

    I'm thinking Patton.
    For pretty much all of the past century, the US has been extremely prosperous and one of the world's top powers (if not THE top power). This sort of thing tends to produce a strong consensus that the system is sound. Even during times of political divisiveness and seeming mass cynicism (like we have now), almost no one has seriously wanted to see the kind of revolutionary change that would usher a Ceasar into power.

    But what would happen if the US was suddenly no longer one of the premier world powers? What if China, India, and Brazil were the world's big economic and cultural superpowers, while the US had become a former power that was now much weaker than it was in 2010?

    In all likelihood, the US would not go quietly into the good night. It would not be hard to imagine a charismatic tyrant grabbing power by promising to return America to its past glory while calling for the slaughter of some scapegoat group.