Well, as a really secular guy, I am neutral on the Islamic development. But, I am pretty happy to see dissappearence of Wahhabis.
Fundamentalism has always been present in some form or other in Islam (and most other religions for that matter) but it is a rather nice development to be able to explore a world where it doesn't end up being this massive current within the religion. Honestly, I have this entire theory about how the removal of the Ottoman Caliphs opened up this gaping hole in Sunni Islam which paved the way for movements like the Wahabbis to rise to prominence, but that is a rather complex topic to dig into in anything like the degree it deserves.
 
No comments to the actual developments outlined in the preceding update? While a good deal of it is a reframing of prior stuff, I was hoping that there would be some reaction to the Olympics or the overview of the religious changes.
I like it, but I dont know enough to community, and thanks to you I learned!
 
Out of curiosity, how is Zionism doing at the moment?

Oh shit, I knew I would forget to include something - just can't believe it would be zionism. I am going to see if I can't get into it somehow for the ideological segment of Update 40. I don't quite feel comfortable outlining anything outside of Palestine being an independent state with a mixed Arab-Jewish population under the leadership of King Faisal before I have a chance to do some research and a good thinking. Hope you don't mind that I do that instead of giving an off-the-cuff response right now. Imagine it will be a rather complex topic given the butterflies.

What are the ranking for military and industrial powers in the world

As I have mentioned in the past, it is very, very difficult to make these sorts of ranking have any real sort of meaning and what they do say is often inaccurate or outright wrong. That said, I do think I can give a very basic tier list rather than an actual ranking (scratch that, gave it a very basic try and ended up with so many questions that it was unfeasible - leaving what I had written, but this list really isn't informative).

At the top of the pile we have the United States, Germany and Great Britain - the Soviet Republic is on its way to top tier or at least is entering this tier and Great Britain's place as a top tier power is quite significantly threatened.

Second tier would include a ranger of Latin Pact nations - some top second tier (France) and others bottom of the tier (Portugal), China and potentially the Shogunate would be at this level, although China at the top and the Shogunate somewhere in the mix.

Honestly even now I have a ton of reservations about posting even this because there are so many things left unmentioned. How do you draw in the colonial possessions into this matrix and the potential instability, as well as how that impacts these nations? How do we deal with the economic benefits enjoyed by Germany through the Zollverein or Spain through the Latin Pact? What about the Soviet Republic's access to new trade partners in the Pacific following the establishment of the Shogunate (before this they would have had a hard time doing business with socialist/communist states in Latin America, but after the Shogunate it becomes a lot less of a challenge. How do you represent the damage presented in the Indochinese Revolt on the French industrial and military might? How do you represent the differences in light and heavy industry? What about the different military doctrines and how that shapes the military resources available to the individual state?

Ughh. Sorry about the negativity of my response, just one of the instances where I really don't feel there is a feasible way of presenting an answer which I would feel comfortable with if that makes sense. A ranking seems simple, but it is a frustrating task with very little of real benefit to either me or you in understanding the world of ADiJ.
 
My apologies for asking this question again, but if I may ask, out of all the communist countries TTL, which one would you consider the most genuinely democratic?

Hmm, I seem to remember getting this question before. Tried to look through but can't seem to find that response, so let me answer it again - it is complicated (that is literally the answer to all of the questions today it seems). ;)

More seriously it is a matter of what level of democracy you are looking at, be it the top leadership, the regional level or the local level. In its own way the Italian Socialist Republic or the Iranian Socialist Republic are probably the most genuinely democratic states of the communist countries, with the Iranians having an actual functional parliamentary democracy while the Italian system leaves a lot of the actual governing and legislative power beyond the hands of the parliament. Particularly in Italy, the bureaucracy is king in a lot of ways. The Soviet Republic is probably the most democratic at a local level, with exceptionally wide latitude in decision-making given to the local soviet and village commune, while the further up in the system you get the less democratic it becomes. In its own way the Shogunate actually has a quite significant amount of power vested in its parliamentary structures with the various Councils being able to legislate on areas relevant to those they represent specifically, but once again the top tier is much less democratic.

To answer your question more simply, I think the most genuinely democratic of the communist countries is probably Iran when it comes down to it. They have elected governments at every step, the head of government is elected and there has already been a peaceful transition of power from one party to another. That said, democratic norms are not exactly entrenched in the region, and a lot of the elections boil down to the more powerful people in a town/village/factory or the like holding "electoral clients" who vote in whatever way they are asked, with the local strongman making sure that those votes benefit themselves and to some extent their communities. Democracy is a tricky, tricky thing.
 
Oh shit, I knew I would forget to include something - just can't believe it would be zionism. I am going to see if I can't get into it somehow for the ideological segment of Update 40. I don't quite feel comfortable outlining anything outside of Palestine being an independent state with a mixed Arab-Jewish population under the leadership of King Faisal before I have a chance to do some research and a good thinking. Hope you don't mind that I do that instead of giving an off-the-cuff response right now. Imagine it will be a rather complex topic given the butterflies.
That's fair, there is something about the area that gets people on both sides of the issue so passionately angry. Although I'd imagine ITTL things would be calmer for everyone: the Palestinians have their own independent state with close ties to the larger Arab nation, while the Jews aren't headed towards a literal genocide and thus aren't as strongly motivated to either move there or push for the creation of a Jewish state. There would still be Zionists who move there to buy land and push for Jewish rights (if not an outright Jewish state), and IIRC that moron Amin al-Husseini was still made Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but overall most people in the setting would be pretty ok with the current situation. And as long as you avoid any ethnic cleansing or genocide against either side, most people IRL aren't going to get too worked up over a story that barely discusses the area at all.
 
W
No comments to the actual developments outlined in the preceding update? While a good deal of it is a reframing of prior stuff, I was hoping that there would be some reaction to the Olympics or the overview of the religious changes.
Well the phrase "Canadian Alienation" made me vomit 😝, but otherwise nothing too much to comment on . It was a good overview of the 30's all in all, and the power blocs forming make any possible ATL WWII look like it will be more complicated and messy (gee, another ADiJ trope!) than the more clear cut Allies/Axis dynamic of OTL
 
That's fair, there is something about the area that gets people on both sides of the issue so passionately angry. Although I'd imagine ITTL things would be calmer for everyone: the Palestinians have their own independent state with close ties to the larger Arab nation, while the Jews aren't headed towards a literal genocide and thus aren't as strongly motivated to either move there or push for the creation of a Jewish state. There would still be Zionists who move there to buy land and push for Jewish rights (if not an outright Jewish state), and IIRC that moron Amin al-Husseini was still made Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but overall most people in the setting would be pretty ok with the current situation. And as long as you avoid any ethnic cleansing or genocide against either side, most people IRL aren't going to get too worked up over a story that barely discusses the area at all.

If you look at the Jewish-Arab relationship during the pre-independence period I would characterize it as about as far from peaceful as can be imagined. ITTL the only reason the two sides didn't go at each other with butchers' cleaves was British intervention, and the Jewish population remains as active as IOTL. Now granted with the Soviet Union a great deal more friendly towards Jews, the Germans not falling into the post-Great War anti-semitic tendencies and the like, the number of migrants falls off quite a bit compared to the hey-day of the 1910s. However, Zionism as a movement is very much a force which exerts considerable pressures during this period, as it did IOTL, and particularly the British are very sympathetic to the Zionist cause, again as they were IOTL. This is part of where things get complicated, because a lot of consideration will need to be given to how Arab-Jewish relations play out in Palestine during this period, and I see no reason why the Jews would be backing down even with an Arab monarchy having been established. Regardless of how it plays out things are going to be incredibly tense for the foreseeable future, although without a significantly more powerful push-factor to get European Jews to settle in the Palestine desert it is unlikely that a sufficient population to really make a go at independence will emerge in the region any time soon..

If war breaks out again between German alliance and Russia/France who wins?
Given what TTL and OTL's WW1 and OTL WW2 looked like, probably no one.

First of all, Russia and France would be highly unlikely to be on the same side of a conflict at this point ITTL, so this is really two separate questions, with @mial42 's statement of everyone losing certainly holding true. As ever, the background of the conflict would be all-important for determining how the actual fight plays out, who joins on either side and what sort of preparations either side will have made.

With the French it is worth remembering that a good portion of their military forces have been embeded for near-on a decade fighting in Indochina, with the resultant lessons and losses to draw from that, as well as the force deployments playing into things. If the French are able to line everything up and have all their forces ready, the two sides would probably be able to go toe-to-toe for a while before the Germans bulldoze the French with the weight of not just the massive and expensive German military but their wider network of Zollverein allies. While the Latin Pact might be able to buy some more time, the Zollverein is definitely favored in any major conflict between the two blocs, although that is discounting the possibility of others jumping into the conflict for various reasons - be it the Soviets, UK or US. This is very unlikely to occur, since most of their points of dispute have largely been addressed at the Treaty of Copenhagen to one degree or another - we are far more likely to see the Latin Pact target the Italian People's Republic or deal with colonial affairs than kick off something with the Germans

As for Russia, that would truly be a matchup for the ages if the two sides went up against each other head-on. Both sides have exceptionally talented and capable military commands, large and highly trained military forces and a vast supply of manpower and resources to draw upon. It would be one of those cataclysmic knock-down drag out fights which would leave half of Europe in ruins with no one really the winner. Both sides have a pretty even chance of victory in the long run, but I think the Germans might hold the advantage early while the Soviets would have more resources to draw on long term. However, absolutely no one on either side sees any feasible way of victory without cataclysmic losses and there aren't a pair of lunatics at the top either, so this seems like a highly unlikely scenario. Even if the two sides seem to be escalating, we are likely to have significant efforts deescalation from either side. The OTL German pre-Great War fear of Russia securing a massive resource advantage in the long run has largely been resolved through the Zollverein, and neither side is likely to take the other as easily defeated particularly given the Soviets' successes in Siberia and elsewhere.
 
Update Forty (Pt. 2): The World At The End Of The 1930s
The World At The End Of The 1930s

405px-Tatlin_2.jpg

Model of The Monument to the Third International, also widely known as Tatlin's Tower

The Soul of Mankind​

Proletkult and its Children

The Proletkult movement would prove the defining cultural development of the 1920s, at once fundamentally challenging the artistic and cultural status quo around the world while introducing a bevy of new and exciting perspectives to people around the globe. From street theaters, worker-poetry and musical symphonies wielding factory tools to a wave of new iconoclastic and futuristic artworks with particularly photography and cinematography featuring prominently, Proletkult was making an impression. Wielded as a soft-power tool, the movement would find sponsors and imitators around the world - although Germany would undoubtedly emerge as the second home of Proletkunst, merging with pre-existing German cultural movements and taking on a wholly German character in the decade that followed. As the second decade of Proletkult came under way, divisions over what precisely constituted proletarian cultural works led to a split within the movement represented by two of the foremost figures of the Proletkult movement - the authors Aleksandr Voronsky and Maxim Gorky. Voronsky represented the Futurist wing of the Proletkult movement, embracing the eclectic, innovative and deeply experimental nature of the revolutionary cultural movement, seeking to break as forcefully as possible with the "decadent bourgeois art" which had held sway before the Revolution as possible. By contrast Maxim Gorky and the Traditionalists held that the goal of proletarian culture should be to demonstrate and illustrate life in a revolutionary state in a realistic manner, without the excessively abstract manner adopted by the Futurists - who they accused of catering to the bourgeoisie. As this divide deepened and the conflict between the two sides heated up, the result was an astonishing flowering of Soviet culture as the dialogue, argument and counter-argument, between the two sides came to be expressed in one artistic work after the other. With Alexander Bodganov and the Kultburo standing as guardian of both movements, seeking to inspire both to ever greater achievement without breaking the careful balance between them, the result was a surprisingly virtuous cycle of development which saw poets, artists, musicians and cinematographers all work towards eking out every last bit of creativity in hopes of proving their side right. Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that not all was well with this incredibly intense rivalry which emerged between the two movements, for it led to bitter artistic segregation and the formation of intense divisions amongst the members of either side and repeated clashes of both a personal and professional nature across the Soviet cultural sphere (15).

While the bitter divide between Futurists and Traditionalists within Proletkult art was significant, the divisions within the Futurist faction would prove immensely significant as well. The Futurist artists were divided into three major camps and dozens of smaller ones based upon their outlook and approach towards art - the largest being the Constructivists, who focused heavily on form and function, with objects and utilitarian strategies leading to the painter being seen as an artist-as-engineer; the Suprematists who bitterly embodied an anti-materialist and anti-utilitarian philosophy, holding that the only true reality was absolute non-objectivity with no links to state, religion or history, no links to things, places or beings in their works; and the final group being the Spiritualists, who held that the artist and viewer were linked in a spiritual communion through their works with abstract sensorially rich paintings and a heavy emphasis on color and shape, emphasizing geometric figures and their relationship to the human spirit, in the process dancing dangerously close to a heavily disapproved of element of religiosity. Each of these movements would have their progenitors and leading figures, with Vladimir Tatlin building a massive following for Constructivism even as his own architectural works drew the attention of leading figures within the Central Committee. These ties would eventually result in the construction of Tatlin's famous "Monument to the Third International in Moscow" (also known as Tatlin's Tower) - a 400 meter tall monumental building built in central Moscow, with a massive radio tower, information center, conference halls and an office block for the Kultburo and Third International, serving as both monument and headquarters for the Third International and the Kultburo. The tower's construction involved a long and arduous building process which saw the building finally opened to the public as part of the inauguration events at the 1936 Moscow Olympics. Suprematism would find its founder in the ethnically-Polish Ukrainian Kazimir Severinovich Malevich who assimilated elements of Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism before formulating the foundational works of the Suprematist movement. Following the Russian Revolution, Malevich would emerge as one of the most prominent figures in the Proletkult movement both as a member of the Collegium on the Arts and as a premier lecturer at the Petrograd Academy of Arts - repeatedly clashing with Vladimir Tatlin in the Collegium and in the process setting the stage for the lengthy and bitterly recriminatory conflict between their two movements. The final leading light of the Futurists would come in the form of Wassily Kandisky, an exceptionally close associate and favorite artist of Anatoly Lunacharsky, whose spiritualist ideas on art drew artists like Michael Matyushin to support his Spiritualist movement while occupying a post with the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and helping to establish the Museum for the Culture of Painting in Moscow. By contrast, the Traditionalists would find their most significant figures in the two brothers and former Constructivists Antoine and Naum Pevsner who sought to "purify" constructivism of its more stylistic and fanciful elements in favor of a more grounded approach to the material reality of space and time - an approach which was further expanded upon by the immensely talented artist Aleksandr Deyneka who became famed for his scenes of daily life, labor and sports, which would later morph to include far more majestic and monumental works depicting scenes from the Fall of Siberia, Trotsky's Trial and eventually several iconic paintings of stark war imagery. While the Futurists were undoubtably the larger of the two wings of the artistic Proletkult, they were also far more splintered and at odds with one another, with the small but robust and dynamic Traditionalist wing finding a slow but steady growth in adherents amongst painters, architects and sculpturers across Russia(16)

While art and architecture were quite dynamic in the Soviet Republic, the true treasures of Soviet culture would always be its incredible literary scene - already host to numerous world-class authors and poets eager and willing to throw themselves into the immense task of interpreting the world through the new revolutionary paradigm brought about by the Communists. At the center of Russian literature sat the titanic presence of Maxim Gorky, not only the most significant leader of the Traditionalist camp but probably also the most widely admired living Russian writer at the time. Notably, Gorky had a direct line of communications to Yakov Sverdlov himself, being not only a close family friend but also the adoptive father of Sverdlov's elder brother Zinovy, and he used that connection for all it was worth in order to both protect and promote literary talents of all sorts - Futurist and Traditionalist alike, despite his personal disagreements with the former set of writers. The leading lights of the Russian literary scene during the 1920s would prove to be poets like Vladimir Malykovsky, Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva - mother to Andrei Sverdlov's eventual wife Aleya Zefron, while authors such as Alexander Fadeyev and Isaac Babel movingly chronicled the immensity of the revolutionary struggle and the horrors of the Russian Civil War. This period also saw avant-garde literary groups such as the Oberiu group with its absurdist comedies and the ideologically unorthodox Serapion Brothers with their provocative challenges to the status quo find warm welcomes, although not everyone found their pithy and spiteful critiques of government actions welcome. The 1930s would see more of a combative literary scene as the political struggle between Trotsky and the Government Clique picked up - satires, parodies and outright literary denunciations being lobbed by writers on both side of the struggle, with several significant Trotskyite writers getting caught up in the eventual crackdown - most prominently the futurist radical Aleksei Kruchyonykh and the Oberiu poet Konstantin Vaginov, whose arrest led to such significant scrutiny of the rest of the group that it ended up dissolving, its members seeking to distance themselves from Vaginov. Amongst the most significant written works to be published during the 1930s would prove to be Mikhail Bolgakov's series of satirical plays, "Ivan Vasilyevich", "Don Quixote" and "Pushkin" as well as his highly lauded novel "The Master and Margarita" about a tortured author visited by the devil in the ostensibly atheist Soviet Moscow - the novel dealing with the interplay between good and evil, innocence and guilt, courage and cowardice, with heavy influences from Goethe's Faust, while bitingly criticizing not only the Soviet system and its influence upon the Russian literary complex but also the superficiality and vanity of modern life in general. While a favorite novel of Sverdlov's, Bolgakov would nevertheless find himself sharply criticized for his negative portrayal of the revolutionary state and only barely avoid censorship of his work through the direct intervention of several prominent Soviet bureaucrats, including Sverdlov himself. Throughout this period the primary point of conflict within the literary community would center upon whether to engage with political activism or to break with it - the former collection of works coming to be known as "revolutionary literature" while the latter came to be referred to as "popular literature" in reference to the often escapist, low-brow works which nevertheless enjoyed considerable popularity amongst the increasingly literate Russian population (17).

Classical Music and the high performing arts, such as ballet and opera, had long been associated with the upper classes and the old imperial elite in Russia and as such there was every reason for these art forms to find themselves hammered by the new Soviet regime. While many of the major ballet companies in Russia shuttered during this period, and numerous prominent Russian composers, choreographers and performers departed Russia for the friendlier environments of Europe and North America, the late 1920s and 1930s would prove a time of surprising resurgence for the higher artforms. As in other spheres, Classical music was rather bitterly divided between an iconoclastic avant-garde movement which sought to experiment and take in foreign influences of all sorts, finding their representative body in the Association for Contemporary Music (ASM) under the direction of figures such as Nikolai Myaskovsky and Alexander Mosolov - the latter achieving world-wide renown for his piece "Iron Foundry" which came to be seen as a premier example of Soviet futurist music. Perhaps the most talented figure to emerge from the ASM would prove to be the youthful prodigy Dmitri Shostakovich who astounded listeners with his iconoclastic and sarcastic work, "The Nose" which was stage produced at the recently reopened Bolshoi Theater under the direction of Vsevolod Meyerhold to great acclaim, while developing what would prove to be a bitter rivalry with the much lauded Russian émigré composer Igor Stravinsky - who harshly critiqued Shostakovich's next opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" as 'lamentably provincial' despite the work garnering widespread praise as well. Amongst the Traditionalists it would be the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians (RAPM) which emerged as the premier creative union, with its members advocating mass songs by choirs, easily accessible melodies based on folk tunes and collectively composed songs under the initial leadership of David Chernomoridikov, although he would eventually be pushed aside by Lev Shul'gin and Aleksei Sergeev under criticism that the music which resulted from Chernomoridikov would be too simplistic and inaccessible to actual workers. As such, Shul'gin and Sergeev would eventually lead the movement towards more of an emphasis upon popular music, such as Matvei Blanter's "Katyusha" and the Jazz music introduced to Soviet audiences by Valentin Parnakh and the singer Leonid Utesov. In the early 1930s the return of several preeminent Russian artists, such as Sergei Prokofiev and the Diaghilev-protégé George Balanchine, to Russia would mark the return of Russian Ballet to prominence - with Balanchine directing the reopening of the Bolshoi Ballet with a performance Prokofiev's version of "Romeo and Juliet", although significant controversy emerged at the ballet's change to a happy ending from the Shakespeare original. Ultimately, the 1930s would come to be seen as a period of considerable artistic rejuvenation as classical and popular music saw several major masterpieces produced while the restoration of the Bolshoi Theatre to a position of prominence indicated Russia's likely continued rise to the pinnacle of global art, music and culture (18).

An examination of Soviet culture and art would be fundamentally incomplete without an examination of the revolutionary new technologies and mediums of art which the Soviets embraced following the Revolution - Radio, Cinema and Television. Radio had always been something of a priority for a country seeking to both break with its past and propagate a new national myth, and as such it did not take long before the Commissariat for Postal Services and Telegraphs - later to be renamed the Commissariat for Communications - under the long-time Bolshevik Ivan Smirnov, who had joined the Muscovites following the death of his close associate Grigory Zinoviev, began to press for development with an eye towards establishing a Republic-wide mobile postal services. This was achieved inside Muscovite territory by 1926 and excepting only the most remote regions of Siberia by 1933 while regular radio broadcasting came under way - which would extend to most Muscovite cities by 1925 and all major cities outside of Siberia by 1929, although it would take until the late 1930s before radios became more of a common household item. While the initial radio broadcasts were primarily of a news and propaganda nature, more cultural and artistic programming was swift to follow with sports radio, radio dramas and classical music concerts being played regularly by the mid-1930s, as radio coverage began to extend into the rural hinterlands and most villages in Western Russia gained access to the programming. The construction of Tatlin's Tower would vastly expand the broadcasting capabilities of the Soviet Republic, with signals stretching from Moscow in a massive umbrella allowing much more direct access to the Soviet peoples. Tatlin's Tower would also prove crucial in the development of Soviet televisions, the first of which had come into production in 1931, with the first film broadcast the following year alongside the first experimental live broadcast a year later. Televisions spread to most towns and cities in Western Russia by the 1936 Olympics, at which the first full broadcast of the games was undertaken to the astonishment of not just the local populace but the international community as well. The first studio broadcast television program would take place early in 1937 consisting of a news show, an educational propaganda show and a slap-stick comedy show directed by the highly regarded comedic film director Grigori Aleksandrov, with plans for further programming coming under way soon after. However, there was truly no art form so defining of the new Soviet Republic as its cinema. While Sergei Eisenstein was undoubtedly the foremost film maker in the Republic during the 1920s, he would find himself fiercely challenged by a bevy of new works with particularly Traditionalist directors such as Georgi and Sergei Vasilyev making waves with their war movies which leant into the idea of self-sacrifice and revolutionary zeal with the film "Chapaev", examinations of the individual's psychology in Boris Barnet's "By the Bluest of Seas" or films about national heroes like Maxim Gorky, Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Vladimir Lenin. Nevertheless, Eisenstein would still prove himself head-and-shoulders above the rest with works such as "Alexander Nevsky" and "Siberia" - the latter chronicling the incredible feats accomplished by the northern front forces in the Siberian Campaign with groundbreaking sweeping panoramas filmed in northern Siberia and several regiments worth of active duty soldiers participating in the filming, while other Futurists sought to make their mark on the art. In order to implement a degree of organization to Soviet cinema, the Kultburo would establish Soyuzkino as an agency to commanding control of all distribution networks and cinemas, as well as a massively expanded state-run studio which the most prolific film makers were granted access to on a regular basis. However, notably Soyuzkino was never permitted to intervene in creative decision-making and instead exerted influence through their control of the distribution networks - a directive which Bogdanov enforced with vigorous zeal, fearful of the sort of Tsarist censorship which he felt had crippled Russian artistic expression in the pre-Great War years. By the late 1930s the Soviet Union had emerged as one of the unquestioned titans of cinema with their movies watched around the globe and an inspiration to countless peoples (19).

The Zeitgeist of German Freedom

As Germany entered the fourth decade of the twentieth century its cultural environment remained in a state of fierce creative competition as Conservatives sought to keep pace with the surging Leftist and German Liberty cultural movements - particularly the latter proving a formidable rival as they competed with the Conservatives for a similar base of supporters. To accomplish its goal, the Conservatives would lean into their veneration of martial valor, German supremacy, and ardent monarchism combined with a surprisingly modernist outlook which sought to build upon the industriousness and efficiency which had led Germany to greatness in the first place. They would lean into nostalgia for the Prussian heyday and repeatedly draw reference to Wilhelmine and Bismarckian Germany. By contrast, the Leftist cultural movement sought to better understand and uplift the lower classes of society - bringing sports, philosophy and entertainment to workers and farmers across the German Empire while seeking to ever enlighten and negate the societal inequities of German society. While many German leftist artists, thinkers and writers would find significant inspiration in the Russian Proletkult movement, they went further than that - embarking on their own, Germanized, journey of cultural innovation and experimentation in an effort to reshape the cultural foundations of German society, with the movement growing ever more distinct from Russian Proletkult as time went on. The final major socio-cultural movement to influence Germany during this period had originated in the Volkische movement associated to the German Freedom Party and would grow ever more influential as time went on. Seeking to find the root of Germanic culture and society, the German Liberty movement would seek to define itself not only internally as Germans but also externally as a counterpart to the Latin and Slavic peoples of Europe. While some adherents would swerve into more or less racist views, for the most part the movement would focus upon the historical roots of the Germanic people, an exploration of ancient Germanic rites, rituals and religion, as well as a mythologizing of not just the diverse and multifaceted Holy Roman Empire, but also the Empire's more ancient past such as the pagan Saxons, the Norse Vikings and even the Germanic tribes of the Roman Empire - with Arminius of Teutoburg Forest fame a particular focus of mythologization and idolization. Ultimately, while some of the more radical and weird elements of the movement drew ridicule or worry, the main German Liberty cultural movement with its emphasis on Germanic pride, freedom of thought and expression as well as its particular ethno-centric lure all combined to drive the movement into the mainstream and to ever greater heights (20).

While the three aforementioned currents in German culture were to play a large role in the development of German art during the 1920s and 30s, in truth the German art scene was more defined by numerous loosely affiliated groups and movements, often centered around some philosophical or ideological element with varying degrees of politicization, than any real sort of unity. Whether it be the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, the November Group, Das Junge Rheinland or the Dadaists, modernist art stood as a formidable force within the German art scene and involved itself deeply in the political scene - often on the left, although the specific party and ideological affiliations of its members varied considerably. Dadaism was to also have a significant impact upon the left, with Max Ernst, Johannes Theodor Baargeld and others founding the Cologne Dada Group before going on to introduce the Surrealist movement, which was already coming under way in France at the time, to Germany. However, not all modernist movements affiliated themselves with the leftists - with particularly the large New Objectivity movement which arose during the 1920s in opposition to expressionism, with a style focused on a more controlled and practical approach which married aesthetics with everyday function, the most significant of which would prove to be the influential Bauhaus movement and related groups. For the German Liberty movement the art that most typified them would come to be seen as related to both the Magic Realism movement and the Neo-Romantic movement, with its emphasis on mythological and ancient imagery, fantastical sceneries and a melodramatic flair which proved quite popular amongst the general public but fell flat amongst most art critics (21).

New Objectivity would also make its presence felt in literary circles, where it soon emerged as a movement challenging both the avantgarde movements often connected to the left and the German Liberty movement which they often characterized as caught up in dreams and mirages. New Objectivity was in many ways a reaction to both the then-dominant expressionist movement and the changed world which met Germans in the post-Great War era, seeking to bring into clear focus the world as it truly was for their readers - be it through reportages, hard-boiled crime novels or more socially diagnostic novels which sought to slice through society's illusions in a quest for truth. More sober and cynical than its preceding movements, New Objectivity was notable for its pseudo-scientific claim to objectivity and efforts at portraying life in a "real and objective" manner with cold, minimalistic and distant observation marking the language use as writers often taking a very socially critical view - with particularly vehement criticism aimed at the various social reforms undertaken by the SPD government during the first half of the 1930s. Perhaps the most notable work to spring out of this New Objectivity would prove to be Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" about the German military experience during the Great War and the follow-up novel "The Road Back" about the struggles of soldiers returning home from the frontlines to a changed country, seeking to reintegrate back into civilian society. Remarkable for their explorations of the dangers of blind nationalism and both the internal and external destruction caused by the war, the novel sent shockwaves through not only Germany but the rest of the world as well with their stark portrayal of the costs of the conflict, with cinematic adaptations of both novels coming under way almost immediately upon their publishing under the direction of the much admired New Objectivist film director and screenwriter Georg Wilhelm Pabst which were noted for their pioneering use of sound and incredibly bleak portrayal of the Great War. While a firmly political anti-war work, the two movies would nevertheless become something of a highlight for the Conservative cultural movement who came to portray the movie as a demonstration of the great sacrifices with which the modern German world had been won, in something of a subversion of the works' actual messages - the movies themselves breaking box office records around the globe, except for the United States where it was banned for its breaches of the strict McAdoo moral censorship code (21).

In contrast to art and literature, music in Germany was not quite as clearly divided along the lines of conservative, leftist and German liberty adherents. In the classical sphere music was utterly dominated by varying branches of avant-garde, from the Viennese School's atonal and twelve-tone music promoted by Arnold Scheonberg and his pupils Alban Berg and Anton Webern, to the Berlin School which took a more populist approach with cabaret-like socialist operas and experimental near-Proletkult concert music under the direction of figures such as Kurt Wiell or the New Objectivist-inspired Utility Music developed under the direction of Paul Hindemith. Finally, in Münich, a school more influenced by the French Impressionist movement under Claude Debussy found popularity - with Debussy's colorful and unusual instrumental mix causing surprise and wonder to many of its listeners. When it came to popular music, it was once again foreign influences which made the greatest impact as the French-inspired Kabarett, with its political satire, sexually suggestive thematic and social critiques, drew both great interest and condemnation, with more conservative elements of German society characterizing the kabarett as everything wrong with modern Germany - even as performers of all sorts made themselves famous on the kabarett stage. The second major source of popular music came from across the Atlantic in the form of Jazz and Swing, which swept across Germany like a craze during the latter half of the 1930s, jazz and swing clubs emerging in many German cities while a youth sub-culture oriented around admiration of the "American way of life" took hold, with participants taking to speaking English amongst one another, dressing in provocative clothing and dancing the night away. While met with worry and consternation by the elder generation, as most such cultural movements are, for the most part the movement would be met with general good will - with many prominent American Jazz musicians and singers travelling to tour in Germany to great acclaim. During this period both radio and television broadcasts would pick up steam, although for the duration of the early 1930s Germany would lag behind in the development of television sets due to cost constraints when contrasted with the wildly proliferating radio - particularly following the introduction of the exceedingly cheap Volksempfänger radio by Deutsche Stunde and the similarly cheap Blaupunktradio which made it possible for the average household to easily afford radios at home. Radio broadcasts would pick up rapidly, with an ever broader array of programmes to listen to - from classical and jazz music to radio dramas and news broadcasts, with numerous up-and-coming voice actors and singers making their fame during this period. German television would finally start to find its footing in early 1937 after the stunning broadcast of the Moscow Olympics brought the matter to the public's attentions and provoked an intense interest in the technology. In mid-1937 the first trial programmes went on the air, while by mid-1938 an entire slate of programmes were being offered to the still small segment of viewers who could afford a television. It would not take long before the medium of television truly took off, with Chancellor Hergt making his first appearance in a broadcast in early 1939 (22).

The Anglo-Saxon Cultural Experience

While there were plenty of notable differences between the cultural movements in both the United Kingdom and the United States, there were nevertheless several elements which pervaded both countries in the post-Great War years. Perhaps the most significant of these was a general feeling of malaise and melancholy - the result of both the traumas of the Great War and the subsequent troubles faced by both countries - and intensely bitter partisanship and social conflict, whether it be the various British foreign and domestic crises or the intense race-oriented nativist struggle provoked by the reaction to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States. The imposition of increased censorship and moral codes during this period began with the McAdoo Code in Hollywood in the mid-1920s but similar codes were eventually established for television, radio, art, comic books and a Literary Board of Censorship was proposed late in the Second McAdoo Presidency, although without success - all of which would place a dampener on creativity and the attractiveness of the United States for European artists in particular. In fact, the United States would see some of its most prominent cinematographers and artists move to the United Kingdom in order to avoid the more stringent codes and censorship which the McAdoo Years had brought, bolstering the London cinema while weakening Hollywood as a mecca of film-making. Despite, or perhaps because of, these developments American art would see the development of less provocative and more realist styles of art with a focus on the depiction of American urban and rural scenes, with particularly the American South-West proving a favorite focus of many artists for its incredible natural landscapes, while Precisionists such as Charles Demuth and Ralston Crawford made a mark through their sharp renderings of machinery and architecture. During this period Jazz, Blues and Gospel music all rose to prominence, with particularly Jazz sweeping not just the United States but the world as a whole, while American television started to make its presence known as a pioneering technology with the first full-time broadcast beginning in the early 1930s, spreading to most major American cities by the time of the economic crisis of the mid-decade - the industry being dominated by private interests in an increasingly competitive market (23).

The period between 1923 and 1935 would be dubbed as the Jazz Age by the prolific and highly regarded author F. Scott Fitzgerald whose novels, particularly "The Great Gatsby", would come to be seen as emblematic of its era not only for its depictions of the obscene wealth, pleasure-hunger and combative mood which marked the period but also for its stark portrayal of broken ideals, deep structural inequities and the self-destructive nature of modern American life. As a period known both for its incredible growth in American wealth and the entrenchment of deep societal inequalities, the Jazz Age would come to live a long life in the American consciousness. Nevertheless, it is important to note the changes even within this period, as the early period was marked mostly for its rambunctious excesses, many depicting it as an eagerness to celebrate surviving the dark times of the preceding decade, with the literature, art and music being energetic and colorful - a celebration of life in all its myriad forms, with much inspiration and interaction occurring with international cultural movements. However, as the McAdoo Presidency came under way and societal conflict came gradually to the fore alongside an ever more intense isolationism, the tone of the works began to change as well. Some cultural actors turned towards more conservative and nativist styles, cutting out anything which might be considered morally questionable or socially critical, while another current jumped headlong into an ever more critical depiction of American life. Writers such as Sinclair Lewis wrote remarkable works criticizing the materialism and consumerism increasingly gripping American society while John Dos Passos depicted military life and the suffocating regimentation of army life in a sharp rebuke of the military's handling of both the Great War itself and the veterans who had emerged broken therefrom. Further explorations of the time would come from writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance, with particularly the poet Langston Hughes and the writer Wallace Thurman making a splash with their stark depictions of the life of African-Americans in the lower socio-economic strata and their strong criticism of the divisions and prejudices within the black community itself - particularly on the basis of colorism. At the same time the female African-American novelist Zora Neale Hurston provoked a considerable stir with her works exploring the life of black women in America, African-American folklore and explorations of the African-American generational trauma. While Hurston's works were initially little noted, the growing awareness of race issues during the middle of the 1930s, and the growing conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and the federal government, would drive up interests in the works of Black artists and see her eventually acknowledged much more widely (24).

On the other side of things stood writers such as Ernest Hemingway, whose decision to strip away all frills and simplify his sentence structures in a revolt against the flowery language prominent at the time led to his works finding widespread popularity with their strong and silent male protagonists, and Howard Phillips Lovecraft whose works of weird and fantastical horror, evoking questions of forbidden knowledge, fate, the decline of civilization and the intervention of unknowable cosmic beings indifferent or even hostile towards humanity, would prove immensely influential in the development of fantastical fiction. Particularly late in his career, Lovecraft would turn more explicitly towards a support and belief in the principles of Integralism, if sheered of their religious elements, believing that power must be restricted to only those sufficiently intelligent, talented and educated to wield it, while fiercely condemning Socialist and particularly Communist ideology - drawing allusions to communist writings with forbidden texts in his later stories serving as a medium for the spread of an unknowable cosmic horror which twists the minds of any who interact with it, unleashing hell upon earth in the process. Lovecraft had struggled to make a living off his works until 1927 when an introduction by Harry Houdini, for whom Lovecraft had ghostwritten "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs", to the head of a newspaper syndicate provided Lovecraft with a break which would allow him a degree of stability and economic prosperity extending into the 1930s. Living in New York, Lovecraft would continue to ghostwrite, publish stories through Weird Tales and secured financial support for a series of longer novels known as "Call of the Darkness" issued between 1928 and 1932 which followed a New Englander's gradual descent into horror and madness as he was drawn in by a Communist cell under the influence of an elder god seeking to spread its powers across the American North-East by infecting and taking over the minds of its followers - culminating in a hidden war for New York between cults of rival Elder Gods playing out with various underground political factions serving as proxy-forces for the cults. The end of the Jazz Age is a matter of some debate, for it overlapped with the succeeding Reform Literature, which was dominated by authors such as John Steinbeck, Henry Miller and William Faulkner who explored issues of social relevance to the period, inspired by the events of the early Long Presidency and the socio-economic crises which dominated the period. Whether it be the struggles of poor working-class people in California, the pressures of daily life for the rural poor of the South or the changing social mores of New York during the trying times following the Black Week, these works would shine a light upon the need for change and reform in American society. As the combative spirits rose to a high point during the late 1930s and questions of race, communism, authoritarianism, white power, economic prosperity and constitutional reform all rearing their head alongside the lifting of some of the most onerous censorship initiatives of the McAdoo era - particularly for comic books and radio, the creative industries began to really pick up pace once more as all sides of the political divide sought to make their case to the wider public (24).

In the United Kingdom a common refrain which would come to characterize the two decades following the Great War was that "Britain had never left the crisis behind." Artists reacted to the horrors of the Great War by returning to more pastoral subjects and other topics of comfort, reacting fiercely against more modernist and surrealist trends in favor of realist and romantic tendencies either seeking to lay bare the reality of the post-Great War world or to bury themselves in pleasant fantasies of a happier past - with most experiments into surrealism, expressionism and modernism being met with jeering hostility, many of the practitioners of such movements moving to the Continent where they would find themselves more welcomed. Another trend during this period was the rise of Worker-Artists inspired by the Proletkult movement and the rising social awareness of the British working class, with works exploring and laying bare the circumstances of the British lower classes and exploring their lives and travails rising to significant prominence. This development would, however, be met with a great deal of hostility from the cultural establishment who saw the movement as little better than an instance of Communist infiltration. The period would also see the ascension of influential new writers such as the novelist Virginia Woolf, whose feminist works and stylistic innovations provoked considerable comment, while many novels took a more pessimistic outlook on the world during this period. A series of dystopian works, including by both George Orwell and Aldeous Huxley, would be but the most significant of a more general trend of works to take a critical outlook on the world. The perception of a country under siege, beset by troubles and travails on all sides, pervaded the works of the period and further extended the general feeling of malaise which had gripped the country during this period. On the other hand, this period would see the writing of some of the most influential works in fantastical fiction, from the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy, about a space-age Philologist named Elwin Ransom from Mars exploring the solar system after Earth is exiled from the rest of the planets for its involvement with the angelic being Bent Oyarsa, with their mix of religious undertones and explorations of mythology, science and history drawing considerable acclaim. The period between 1925 and 1937 would also see British cinema rise to prominence after initial indications of a decline, with the great English comedian Charlie Chaplin returning to Britain after running afoul of the McAdoo Code in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock stunning viewers with his thrillers even as documentaries began to emerge as a prominent genre under the direction of John Grierson. The United Kingdom would be amongst one of the early adopters of television - the first official broadcast coming in 1932, and swiftly emerged as one of the most robust television services in the world with the full backing of the government and the BBC. Over the course of the decade, many foreign states seeking to develop their own television services would come to look towards the UK for inspiration. The Battle of the East China Sea would sends shockwaves through Britain, with many dire proclamations of the Empire's doom, accompanied by countless references to the Fall of Rome, spreading far and wide with the previous malaise threatening to turn into outright depression. Nevertheless, the rise of the Conservatives to power under tenacious leaders like Stanley Baldwin and Anthony Eden, a countervailing trend would emerge calling for unity and a stiff-upper lip in order to press through the oncoming crises (25).

The Legacy of Rome

The Latinate nations, dominated as they were by the rising tide of Integralism, would by and large experience similar cultural movements and trajectories, with a great deal of cross-pollination and interaction occurring amongst the Latin Pact nations. At the center of the Latin Pact's cultural development lay the Iberian Peninsula which was to prove a key driving force in the cultural development of the Pact's countries. With the rise of integralism in these nations, there were a number of key features which came to dominate the cultural production and dialogue of the involved countries while several cultural currents found themselves either displaced or suppressed. Perhaps the most prominent feature to characterize the cultural developments of this period were a resurgence of Catholicism in all spheres of life, and an attendant influencing of the cultural productions to emerge during this period. Accompanied by a heavy emphasis on patriotism, loyalty to the state and a romantic emphasis on the historical achievements of their country, there would be significant cross-over between government propaganda and the art and productions of the period. A second feature of this period was an increasing breadth and depth of content within the frameworks set by the government, as economic prosperity and social unity rose precipitously in many of these countries, which often led to challenges in the offices of government censors and propagandists, who had to figure out which works to sponsor and support as well as which works to condemn and suppress. One of the early cultural achievements of the royal Spanish regime would be the completion of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona in 1934, leaving the towering heights of the Gothic-Art Nouveau basilica to announce the capabilities of the government for all to see in what was otherwise known to be a city dominated by political turbulence and anti-government sentiments. Perhaps the single most significant development during this period would be the extreme retrenchment of church influence on people's private lives with the establishment of moral codes, enforced church attendance and the establishment of a renewed church-led effort to root out corruption, malpractices and incorrect religious practices within its own ranks, which was to see thousands of priests censured and forced to retake seminary studies under a changed Integralist curricula. In Spain, the literary tradition established during the Borbon Restoration would find a rather dramatic shift as the changing politico-cultural foundations of the state forced many writers to either adapt to the changing censorship or depart for more friendly environs. The literary Generations of 1898 and 1914, with their nationalistic works and historical emphases, would find themselves able to remain at the heart of Spanish literary developments, but for the more radical writers who emerged in the 1920s, most of whom were poets, the changing times would lead to an exodus - some finding their way to France, others to Sicily and a third group to Latin America, particularly Colombia before the rise of integralist currents in that country sent them northward to Mexico or back to Europe (26).

Perhaps the most lax cultural scene amongst the Latin Pact nations would prove, perhaps surprisingly, to be Royal Italy where the weak central government, lax morality regime and the resultant free reign given to any and every vice on particularly Sicily, resulted in the country and island in particular becoming not just a criminal hotbed, but also a favorite destination of exile for many of those forced from their homes by the more repressive Latin Pact governments. The license given to tourists in the country would help undergird the fragile economy of the region, with hotels, casinos, bars and nightclubs springing up in several resort towns utterly dominated by powerful Mafia interests. While the Fascist government under Dino Grandi would attempt to impose some degree of censorship and instituted a government-sponsored series of propaganda campaigns, it would prove poorly funded and utterly insufficient to the plans of the government, with even propaganda, literature and artworks from Socialist Italy being so widespread in Sicily that one could purchase copies of Antonio Gramsci's works outside the Royal Palace in Palermo. Despite, or perhaps because of, these developments Sicily would prove a surprisingly major font of cultural development and experimentation, with eventually French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Latin American writers, artists and performers all congregating on the island, enjoying the warm weather, lax legal standards and historic scenery as they melded, broke with and merged together their various ideas - with the more radical leftists often making the rather simple but illicit journey across the Straits of Messina in order to enjoy the many benefits provided by the Socialist Republic to those willing to help develop Gramsci's new cultural hegemony. A particularly influential cultural movement leading up to and during the Italian Civil War would prove to be the futurists, but in the war's aftermath the movement splintered into several sections, some involved in the fascist movement and others amongst the Italian Communists, while new artistic and cultural movements challenged the preceding futurists. In Socialist Italy the efforts of Gramsci would see writers previously marginalized, such as Italo Svevo and Federigo Tozzi, recognized and popularized - their modernist and psychological literary styles influencing many up-and-coming Italian writers - while the formidable Sicilian emigre Luigi Pirandello provoked great interest with his humorous and grotesque theatrical style - which often presented rather scathing critiques of traditional Italian lifestyle and the failures of the socialist government, helping to spawn an entire school of Socialist writers focused upon exploring the macabre and grotesque aspects of society in a critical and humorous fashion, employing sarcasm, irony and wittiness to draw in the audience before presenting actual societal challenges of varying sorts (27).

The Lusophone world would find itself divided by two sharply contrasting developments - on one hand, Portugal under the Sidonist regime strengthened and consolidated itself and the national culture, while on the other hand Brazil fell to into anarchy and only gradually regained its stability. The resultant consequences of these two developments were to have profound consequences for the national cultural movements of either state. In Portugal, cultural developments followed the same broadly modernist line which had come to dominate Europe during the first decades of the century, with two artists in particular making their mark on Portuguese culture: José de Almada Negreiros and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso - both representing what came to be known as the Portuguese Futurist movement which, despite its name, drew inspiration from an entire range of European artistic movements including Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Surrealism and even a few Proletkult elements, representing what some art critics came to see as the cutting-edge modern European art. Particularly the young Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso would emerge from a near-fatal bout with the Flu epidemic of the late Great War years with a renewed passion and fatalistic imagery which many would come to view as emblematic of the troubled years immediately following the Great War. While Souza-Cardoso would clash on several occasions with the Portuguese government and took repeated sabbaticals to Sicily, France and Brazil, he would remain one of the most prominent Portuguese artists of the age, even as his counterpart Negreiros made himself much more welcomed by the Sidonist authorities, still producing great art with a hidden undercurrent of social critique, but never to the extent that Souza-Cardoso did. This period would also become known for the precipitous rise of Portuguese Cinema following its relatively early adoption of sound films, with directors such as Leitao de Barros, Antonio Lopes Riberio, Manoel de Oliveria and Arthur Duarte drawing inspiration from the styles and approaches of French, German and Russian cinemas to develop the unique Portuguese cinematic style while strong government sponsorship allowed for the establishment of cinemas across Portugal and the financing of high quality studios, eventually drawing even French and Spanish directors and artists due to the favorable conditions provided by the government - particularly following the disastrous shift to sound in Spain, with many Spanish actors and directors preferring to do their work in Portugal, where lesser government interference, better working conditions and significantly improved financing made more ambitious works possible. In Brazil the Tenentist Uprising would result in major social dislocation and displacement, with countless artists and writers seeking refuge in exile. Having been preceded bare months before the outbreak of the Tenentist Uprising by the Modern Art Week of 1922, the Brazilian Modernist movement would find itself fractured almost from the get-go, with two major currents emerging during this period between the Cannibalists, who wished to use the influence of European and American artists to create their own art, "eating" all influences and digesting them to produce something new, and the Nationalists who wished to rid Brazil of all "foreign" influences and create a purely Brazilian form of art. While major figures in both groups would spend time in exile, the leader of the cannibalists, Oswaldo de Andrade, would do so in Argentina and Chile, while the Nationalist leader Plinio Salgado spent his time in Portugal - further deepening his convictions in Brazilian Integralism and, perhaps inadvertently, introducing elements of Portuguese Futurism to the Brazilian Nationalist cultural movement in the process. Following the restoration of relative peace and order with the Constitutional Revolution, both movements' leaders and principle figures would return from exile, bringing with them widely divergent styles which soon came to form but another front in the bitterly partisan politics of post-Constitutional Revolution Brazil (28).

The unquestioned crown jewel of Romance culture had always been, and would always be, France. Whether it be art, music, theater, cinema or literature, the French were trendsetters and innovators of a nearly peerless nature with Paris itself having served for centuries as a Mecca for artists of all sorts, and this had in no way changed during the decades following the Great War. While the initial struggles to rebuild France following the war proved both costly and incredibly difficult, leading some artists to seek their fortunes elsewhere during the interval, for the most part French culture continued onward with nary a hiccup during this period. As the birthplace and heartland of numerous modernist art currents, from Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to Symbolism, Cubism and Surrealism, France remained a cultural hotbed in which creative types of all sorts met to exchange ideas and opinions while writers dueled in the pages of magazines and periodicals as composers from around the globe, such as Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók and Claude Debussy, drew rapturous acclaim as they displayed their works on the stages of theaters and concert halls of Paris. Nevertheless, this period would be considered a bit of a downturn in particularly French Literature as the death of Marcel Proust in the early 1920s left a gaping hole unfilled - various contenders for greatness presenting themselves, but none quite measuring up to expectations. Two prominent young writers did emerge during the tumultuous years of the mid-1930s in the form of Albert Camus and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, with the former's works finding great acclaim on the left with its examination of the metaphysics of rebellion, moralistic stances and absurdist existentialism, while Céline's deeply pessimistic view of the human condition and his elegantly academic literary style blending with slang and working-class language made him something of a darling of the right - much helped by his forceful support of the integralist movement, membership in the Union de la Droite and sharply anti-Semitic outlook. The dominant artistic trend of the post-Great War era in France was to be a melding of abstractism and Dadaism into the Surrealist movement of which Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and André Breton would stand as the most influential figures - the movement seeking to activate the unconscious mind through imagery, with a heavy emphasis on the elements of surprise and juxtapositions. During this period the French Négritude movement also had its beginnings, influenced by the Harlem Renaissance in the United States, producing a variety of major Black works, including the poetry of Aimé Césaire and Léon Damas, while laying the groundwork for anti-colonialist and Pan-Africanist artistic tendencies in the French colonies in Africa. The Great War would greatly impact the previously vibrant French film industry, with a significant reduction in expenditures seeing the adoption of cheaper, less showy, genres such as poetic realism and impressionism which relied more upon the ideas and thoughts conveyed by the work than the actual cinematography. The eventual rise of French Integralists under Jacques Arthuys and the restoration of the Monarchy might well have provoked considerable changes to the French cultural scene, with rather ardent social critiques on the extremes of the Union de la Droite calling for harsh moralistic censorship laws and the like, but well aware of the touchy nature of the subject, Arthuys would refrain from any such plans - allowing the cultural scene to continue its vibrant development outside of a crackdown on explicit anti-government works (29).

The East Asian Renaissance

East Asian culture would be marked by three major trends - Modernism, Westernization and Traditionalism, often in surprising and astonishing combinations. In Japan, the democratization, modernization and westernization which occurred in the post-Great War period would lead to the rise of exceedingly western trends such as Jazz, European modernist and surrealist art as well as a range of western literary trends including Romanticist, Naturalist and Proletarian Literature during the 1920s and first half of the 1930s. These trends would often clash or draw upon more traditional Japanese cultural elements such that some of the most prominent works of the time saw former samurai and geisha populate Japanese novels alongside prostitutes, soldiers, cabaret dancers and westernized business men, with some authors even experimenting with blending modern literary elements with more traditionally Japanese high-literary styles - a particular talent of the neo-romantic Nagai Kafu, who enjoyed considerable acclaim during the 1910s and 20s. The most significant literary trend to rise to emerge during the 1920s was without a doubt the large Proletarian Literary movement, large elements of which would eventually gain government support under the Shogunate. Amongst the most significant of the early Proletarian writers would be Kuroshima Denji, whose experiences fighting as a conscript in Siberia during the Russian Civil War made him one of the most forceful anti-militarist and pacifist voices in Japan with his works containing vivid and detailed descriptions of the agonies both suffered by the Japanese soldiers and the Russian civilians in the conflict. Kuroshima would cause considerable controversy with his full-length novel "The Taxman" which followed the Japanese involvement in the extraordinarily punitive taxation scheme implemented in southern China which led to the Southern Chinese Uprising during the early 1930s, with a shocking description of the economic, social and military violence done upon the Chinese peasantry in the name of enriching the Japanese bourgeoisie even as Japanese workers and farmers struggled to make a living - the book proving so inflammatory that it was banned in China, Japan and the United States for its contents, although this ban would be lifted following the establishment of the Shogunate. His second full-length novel "The Swirling Crows", published in 1939, would come to be seen as one of the most iconic literary works of the first half of the 20th century with its powerful critique of the revolutionary excesses of the Shogunate, even as he lauded the cause and need for the revolution - the setting of the book during the Japanese Civil War with its moving and often horrifying portrayal of the conflict making it an unforgettable work of art, despite Kuroshima needing to spend the last few years of his life in a bitter struggle with government censors before the work could be published. While Kuroshima Denji would end up acknowledged as the most talented of the early proletarian writers, the most emblematic writer of Shogunate Proletarian Literature would prove to be the young radical Kobayashi Takiji, who achieved notoriety for his short novel "Crab Cannery Ship" about the hard life of the workers aboard a cannery ship and the beginning of their revolt against the company and its managers. Kobayashi would align himself closely with Kita Ikki, not only publishing a range of literary works based on Kita Ikki's writings, but also playing a key role in the formation of a new cultural cannon after the establishment of the Shogunate and writing several ideological tracts based on Kitan communist principles - his wholehearted celebration and support of the new regime aiding in his rise to prominence (30).

While the Proletarian literary movement would come to dominate Japan leading up to and following the Japanese Civil War, there was a concurrent directly oppositional movement which rose to prominence during this time as an outgrowth of the anti-Naturalist movement which had held sway during the 1910s and early 1920s, emphasizing Japanese nationalist tendencies, relying heavily on historical fiction, using romantic language and often reinterpreting historical Japanese tales. The most prominent early writers of what would come to be known as the Culturalist movement, for its efforts to explore the clash and synthesis between western and traditional Japanese culture, would prove to be Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro and Eiji Yoshikawa - although the early death of Akutagawa in 1927 to suicide would see his eventual replacement by his life-long friend Kikuchi Hiroshi as a leading voice of the movement, with the eventual result that Akutagawa's numerous highly praised works came to be associated with the far-right due to Kikuchi's actions. The establishment of the Kokumin Domei by adherents of Emperor Genka in 1934 and the resultant formation of a far-right political movement was to draw in a large number of writers and artists, enamored with the idealized world which the movement's leaders imagined. The resultant works from the period between 1934 and early 1936 when the Japanese Civil War began would see the prodigious production of Culturalist works, with some of the most emblematic works of the period being Yoshikawa Eiji's serialized story "Musashi" about the famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi - a rambunctious adventure story exploring the society of early Tokugawa Japan which drew an immense following. The outbreak of the Japanese Civil War would utterly shake the cultural foundations of Japan as war, displacement, struggle and persecution all gravely impacted the lives of figures on both sides of the politico-cultural divide, with many writers and artists eventually finding themselves pushed into exile in Chosun or further afield (31).

The immense societal dislocation would greatly influence the works of many of the Chosun writers who began to publish in the post-war period, with one of the most noteworthy works of the period proving to be Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's work "A Light Snowfall" about the lives of four daughters of a wealthy Osaka merchant family who live through the calamitous civil war, the novel exploring the various traumas of the conflict through their eyes and exploring the changed cultural identities of those who had lived through the Civil War. Yoshikawa, who had served as a special correspondent during the civil war and whose mentally ill wife Akazawa Yasu had died during the flight from Japan, would channel his experiences into a deeply haunting retelling Genpei War with the "New Tale of the Heike" - an adaptation of the eponymous epic of the Genpei War which Yoshikawa used to portray the horrors he had seen during the much more recent Japanese Civil War. In general, the literary period following the Civil War in Chosun would come to be known as the Exiled Movement, with themes exploring the cultural dislocation experienced by the Japanese exiles as well as exploring the various periods of civil war in Japanese history with a much more dark and haunting tone than the Culturalists of the pre-Civil War era being the dominant trend. It is worth noting that during the post-Civil War period, Chosun would maintain an overarching Japanese cultural hegemony, undercut by a fierce but often persecuted and hidden Korean counter culture with works such as Kim Dong-in's "Potato" following the story of a woman who gradually loses all sense of decency and degenerates into a common prostitute while trying to overcome economic, social and political hardships, proving a particularly searing work of the period while Yeom Sang-seob's "Three Generations" about the lives of Korean peoples under colonial rule explored the contradictions and moral sacrifices of the Korean upper classes to survive and even occasionally thrive under Japanese occupation. Even though more laudatory works, or works seeking to avoid dealing with the colonial administration through the Rural Enlightenment genre, had been prevalent in the pre-Civil War period, such as Sim Hun's "Sangnoksu" about two Korean university students seeking to promote literacy and modern agriculture in the Korean countryside, this tendency would die out almost entirely in the years following the scarring horrors of the Civil War (31).

Modern Chinese culture entered a renaissance with what was known as the New Culture Movement in the 1910s centered on a critique of classical Chinese ideas and the promotion of a new Chinese culture - with the initial figures stressing democracy and science as the key elements of revolutionary change. However, following the calamitous Republican Years during which the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war, with the republican government little more than a fig-leaf for military tyrants and the state of the Chinese people in utter degradation, the 1920s would see a major disillusionment with many of the ideas initially advocated by the movement. Nevertheless, this period would see a series of immensely important ideas introduced into Chinese society which amongst other developments led to the initial formation of the Chinese Communist Party - which would in turn eventually give birth to the Jiaxing and Shanghai Communists of the late 1920s and early 1930s. This period saw Vernacular Chinese writing and literature emerge supreme in the culmination of a centuries-long transition away from Classical Chinese and the re-examination of Confucian texts and ancient classics using modern textual and critical methods, which gave birth to the Doubting Antiquity School of Chinese historiography under the philosopher and historian Hu Shih and his colleague Gie Jiegang - Chinese founding myths such as the Era of Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors being questioned for their historicity, with particularly Gie Jiegang taking particular delight in suggesting that the Sage King Yu of the Xia Dynasty (founder of the mythological first Chinese dynasty) was of barbarian blood - even as he disputed the Sage King's actual existence. In general the movement's emphasis on orienting China's eyes towards the future, rather than the past was to prove of immense importance as it broke fundamentally with traditional Chinese beliefs, which held antiquity and tradition to be of the utmost importance - and in the process paved the path for more radical ideas. Perhaps the most significant contribution of the New Culture Movement was to be the May Twelfth Movement which swept across China in protest against the terms of the Copenhagen Treaty, culminating in the Beijing Rising and subsequent restoration of Qing rule under the auspices of the Fengtian Clique and Zhang Zuolin in 1920. While the explosive force of the May Twelfth Movement were by and large influenced by the ideals of the New Culture Movement - and as such sought to combine the spirit of democracy, reform and science - the ultimate emergence of the Fengtian Clique as the premier power in northern China as a result of this development would bring both movements to an end and augur in a different cultural trend (32).

The Qing Restoration and ascendency of the Fengtian Clique over the subsequent half decade would prove another watershed in Chinese history, and hold incredible consequences for the cultural development of the vast country. In challenging traditional Chinese values, the leaders of the New Culture Movement had played an instrumental role in restoring the Qing to their throne and paved the path for a far more dictatorial state under Zhang Zuolin. For many of the prominent figures of the movement it was to be an eternal shame - with several even committing suicide out of sheer horror at the consequences of their actions. As a result the New Culture Movement gradually gave way to the Phoenix Movement, so named for Feng in Fengtian, which would go on to serve as the prevailing cultural current of the 1920s and early 1930s. While maintaining a good portion of the socially critical and reform-minded spirit of the New Culture Movement, the Phoenix Movement would focus more upon a melding of the new with the old than the whole-hearted replacement of the old with the new which had characterized its preceding movement. While some artists, writers and thinkers would struggle to accept this change, the period would nevertheless see the implementation of a core idea of the New Culture Movement with the publishing of the first short story written exclusively in the vernacular script - "The True Story of Ah Q" by Lu Xun. The initial Phoenix movement would be characterized by three general currents - the Leftists, the Loyalists and the Non-Conformists, although the latter could be considered more a combination of many different, often contrasting and oppositional, movements rather than any real cohesive whole - of which the most significant were men such as Hu Shih, who grieved the lost chance for a Chinese Democracy, and Shi Zhecun, whose works were of an unpolitical nature exploring the psychology of Chinese reactions to modern life, often with an absurdist or supernatural element. However, before much of anything could really occur, the Leftists themselves split into two feuding factions, mirroring the divide between Jiaxing and Shanghai Communism which came to dominate the political left-wing in the aftermath of the Jiangning Rebellion in the mid-1920s. Nevertheless, the Leftists would make themselves known for their works adapted to the Traditionalist and Modernist tendencies in Soviet culture, with all works generally falling under the category of Proletarian Literature - although in time this too would change, as Proletarian Literature split into Reformist and Revolutionary branches, the former associated with Shanghai and the latter with the radical works smuggled through the Chinese underground by Jiaxing Communists. As for the Loyalists, here too divides emerged, for while some members were long-time Qing loyalists, such as the historian Luo Zhenyu - whose works on oracle bones and the Tangut script revolutionized Chinese understanding of its ancient past, many more were opportunists or supporters of the Fengtian Clique. Most prominent of these new Fengtian loyalists would be a number of former figures within the New Culture Movement who had grown disillusioned with their original radical ideas and now saw the Fengtian government as the best vehicle for introducing some of their ideas - Liang Shuming, who sought to reform the Chinese countryside as part of the Rural Reconstruction Movement in direct competition with the Jiaxing Communists; the educationalist Cai Yuanpei, who had played a critical role in unleashing the May Twelfth Movement and who sought to raise China up through educational reform and scientific rigor; and the formerly-Leftist Lu Xun, who had found the strife and divisions amongst the Leftists distasteful after they turned against him, and sought to protect the flowering cultural renaissance which had begun with the Xinhai Revolution under Fengtian auspices (33).

The 1930s would see another shift in the cultural dynamic, as the Jiaxing Communists and their branch of proletarian arts found themselves driven into exile or destruction by an incredibly fierce campaign of repression, while the Shanghai Communist's Reform Literature movement shifted into close alignment with the Fengtian Loyalists, simply part of that wider cultural movement with Lu Xun at its head once more. Thus, the primary dynamic of the period leading up to the establishment of the Fengtian Dynasty would come to center on the re-emergence of anti-Qing sentiment, instigated and fueled by the efforts of Zhang Xueming and other Fengtian loyalists, and the struggles of a shrinking clique of Qing loyalists in the face of the ever more vicious cultural assaults. One of the most significant figures to lead the critique of the Qing government and champion the Fengtian cause would prove to be the educator, philosopher and novelist Lin Yutang who wielded western humor and a deep understanding of Chinese history to elegantly tie together mockery of the Qing, the desire for a "properly" Chinese state and the need for cosmopolitan and civilized philosophical discussion on societal reform in his series of satires known collectively as "The Little Critic". The writer Yu Dafu would prove instrumental in developing the Chinese Romantic Movement during these years, his works iconoclastic and controversial, his heroes by turns voyeuristic, fetishist, homosexual, masochistic and kleptomanic, and emblematic of the belief that repressed heroes were unable to relate to women or accomplish great deeds - the works drawing both admiration and critique for their often shocking nature. This period was also marked by the rise of the author and playwright Mao Dun as a leading figure of the Reform Movement with his novel "Midnight", about life in the cosmopolitan Shanghai, becoming the most significant work of what would come to be known as the Early Realist movement - inspired in part by the New Objectivity movement in Germany and in part by the Traditionalist branch of Proletkult. The final major figure of significance to the cultural development of China to rise to prominence during this period would prove to be the writer, historian and archaeologist Guo Moruo, whose works of primarily an operatic nature drew on historical settings and traditions, seeking to wed traditional art forms and styles with modern approaches, with the works focusing heavily on patriotism, the connection between the Chinese lower classes and rule over China as well as a heavy emphasis on national unity. While originally leaning towards leftism, even for a period flirting with Communism, Guo Moruo would fall into the orbit of Zhang Xueliang and his northern following when they travelled south to Shanghai. In time Guo Moruo's works would come to be used as part of the vanguard of the government offensive into rebel territories in southern China - serving as the first edge in the intellectual offensive which followed the military campaign, seeking to engender support of the state into the previously rebellious populace (34).

The end of the Qing Dynasty and the rise of Fengtian in 1936 would prove a pivotal turning point, not only firmly shutting the door on the New Culture Movement and the republican tendencies which had continued to flicker feebly during the preceding two decades, but bringing to prominence Modernist Buddhism and its attendant elements before the larger Hongzhi Reform Movement utterly reshaped Chinese society and culture. This period would see the proliferation of what had until then been a new sub-cultural literary movement in the form of Wuxia and Xianxia Literature - the former an adventure genre dealing with martial heroes capable of supernatural feats in a historical setting, often drawing influence from the rapidly growing martial arts community which found government sponsorship from the Fengtian government during this period, and the latter a more fantastical genre dealing with spiritual cultivation, supernatural capabilities, fantastical creatures and god-like abilities, with heavy inspiration from Chinese mythology, Taoism and particular the more esoteric elements of Buddhism. This was part of a wider trend during this period whereby the Fengtian Dynasty sought to promote and organize Chinese martial arts - forming sporting bodies and tournaments, implementing widespread education and training in order to spread good physical health as well as seeking to promote martial arts as an Olympic sport successfully - such that the 1940 Beijing Olympics would include an entire slate of martial arts competitions. This period would see the formation of the Academia Sinica as a national research academy dedicated to pushing forward research and education across China under the direction of Cai Yuanpei. Literary trends during this period would splinter somewhat, with Realist, Fantastical - Wuxia and Xianxia, Romantic, Historical and Reform Literature all finding steady growth and consolidation into more established movements and genres under government auspices. In an effort to create some guidelines for historical inquiry and to organize the rapidly expanding archaeological work being done during this period, the government established the Chinese Imperial Historical Society under the direction of Chang Ch'iyun, who brought a focus on geographic and archaeology-based historiography to the position which sharply contrasted with the traditional emphasis on written records in Chinese historiography and helped bring to prominence Liu Yizheng, a long-time critic of Hu Shih's call to replace traditional Chinese learning with westernized counterparts - instead seeking to emphasize "Innate" Chinese culture and practices. This period also saw renewed interest in more traditional Chinese art forms, such as Shaoxing, Kunshun and Peking Opera, which had seen something of a loss in prominence during the preceding decades in favor of more Western-inspired theatrical styles. It would further see the unification of artistic trends which had grown increasingly anarchic in the preceding years as artists who had been educated in the west returned home with a variety of new influences - ranging from the impressionist and surrealist to the cubist, realist and dadaist. The government would seek to emphasize works with more of a Chinese flair with the artist Lin Fengmian, a close associate of Cai Yuanpei, rising to prominence with government sponsorship - his epic pictures of scenes from the Chinese Classics and Buddhist cannon being reproduced and popularized on an incredibly wide scale while his position as President of the Chinese Imperial Academy of Art would allow him an immense degree of influence upon future Chinese artists. As for Cai Yuanpei himself, he would play an instrumental role in introducing and synthesizing classical Western Music to China through the Imperial Conservatory of Music to which he sponsored his close friend and talented musical educator Xiao Youmei for leadership. At the same time a popular new genre of music would sweep northward from its origins in Shanghai with the arrival of Zhang Xueliang and his cohorts in Beijing - Shidaiqu being a Jazz Fusion genre drawing in both Western and Chinese instruments. Even news and journalism would experience considerable change during this period with the establishment of the "Imperial Times" as a nation-wide government news paper reporting on primarily state affairs and national news, while the "Ta Kung Pao" sought to provide a more impartial reporting on public affairs and the "Imperial Culture Review" provided a state-backed outlook on cultural affairs with book reviews, interviews with prominent cultural figures and a prominently featured Women's Column initially edited by the famous Yang Gang making an immediate impression (35).

Footnotes:
Footnotes and endnote can be found in the next post.
 
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Update Forty (Pt. 2.1): The World At The End Of The 1930s
Footnotes:
(15) So most of this is a repeat of things covered previously in the TL, but I just needed to set the stage and make the introductions in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page before we dig into the specifics. The division of Proletkult into Futurist and Traditionalist wings is based on an OTL divide, with the Futurists connected to the Russian avantgarde and the Traditionalists to what would in time become the Socialist Realist movement - although ITTL it will take a somewhat different form than IOTL. The important thing to note here is that the Traditionalists have not been pushed into propaganda being the explicit goal of their works - which was a criterion enforced very specifically on Stalin's orders, and are thus a lot more dynamic than the OTL movement.

(16) The Suprematist and Constructivist art movements are OTL, but the Spiritualist movement is a bit of a butterfly. IOTL Kandisky was basically driven out of his offices by radical materialist artists who found him too interested in the spiritual elements of art, and he eventually went abroad like many of his contemporaries. ITTL he ends up shielded by Lunacharsky and is able to continue developing his ideas within the Soviet Republic, eventually finding a small but significant following in the art world. Another thing to note is that ITTL Tatlin's Tower ends up actually getting built - dwarfing the Eiffel Tower in its main body and inspiring awe in all who see it - the monument becoming one of the premier symbols of the Soviet Republic. The whole building is honestly an incredibly ambitious work, with spinning structures providing venues for lectures, conferences and legislative meetings with housing for executive functions and a cylinder at the top containing an information center which issues news and and propaganda via telegraph, radio, television and loudspeakers (Tatlin's Tower ends up being integral to the television and radio dispatches during the Olympics). IOTL the project was abandoned due to the projected costs in 1920 before the whole project getting shelved when the Proletkult movement was ended, but ITTL the plans continue and are further elaborated during the 1920s before construction is started in the early 1930s.

(17) One of the great tragedies of the Soviet Union in my opinion is the immense amount of literary talent which was lost or suppressed. ITTL things are somewhat different. While censorship and persecution still happens, the literary scene is far, far more open and the restrictions far looser than almost anywhere else in the world. Thus we see groups like the Serapion Brothers allowed to continue unmolested, Mikhail Bolgakov permitted to publish his various works (The Master and Margarita was a work I felt had to be done, but it should be significantly different from the OTL version) and perhaps even more significantly Vladimir Mayakovsky does not commit suicide. In general, the literary community proves much more healthy as the loosened censorship doesn't drive authors to ruins or force them into writing works they do not wish to write. Nevertheless, there is a pall which hangs over everything and a sense that the libertine literary environment could disappear at any moment - further demonstrated by those caught up in the Trotskyite Affair.

(18) There are a ton of divergences from OTL in this section, but the two major associations are actually OTL - with the ASM having enjoyed a position of prominence during the NEP era before the reactionaries of the RAPM provoked their censoring and broke up the avantgarde movement. Notably both associations develop quite differently ITTL, with the RAPM seeing the original director overthrown by members who IOTL left due to the mentioned criticism and a resultant shift towards popular music rather than classical music. Perhaps the figure to benefit the most ITTL is Dmitri Shostakovich who avoids the repeated censures IOTL and is thus able to fully employ all of his talents without (as he put it) 'The Party's Guidance'. He gets off to a better start with "The Nose" being performed as a stage piece, which was the plan originally, rather than the dismal concert of OTL which left many listeners confused and angered. "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" still meets the harsh critique of Stravinsky, but ITTL the originally high praises aren't brought to a premature end by Stalin's interference and thus the work ends up being a real triumph for the young composer which allows him to continue unfolding his wings. Finally, the Ballet, where the improved political situation sees George Balanchine and Sergei Prokofiev return to Russia instead of the former taking his talents to New York to set up the New York City Ballet and the latter is able to maintain himself quite well in Moscow under the protection of the Kultburo.

(19) So things get going with TV and Radio a bit earlier IOTL, with the technological process having been invested heavily into alongside espionage methods targeting American, German and British corporations being undertaken to help resolve issues such as getting sound in cinema and the like. In contrast to OTL, Sergei Eisenstein doesn't end up going on his international hiatus, having been wooed rather strongly by Lunacharsky to stay in the Soviet Republic, and as such he doesn't waste the early 1930s on a bunch of failed projects.

(20) So for those keeping track - that is three major socio-cultural currents in German society during the 1930s. While the Leftist current, with its emphasis on worker culture, social equality and class conflict based approach, is pretty straight forward, the divide between the Conservative and German Liberty movements are a bit more complicated. Basically, the Conservatives see themselves as an extension of the old Prussian Germany, its values, achievements and understanding of the world - although with the understanding that it is the industriousness, innovativeness and efficiency-minded nature of the German people which brought about that rise to prominence. By contrast, the German Liberty movement is in many ways a revolt against those principles and values - with an emphasis on the almost libertarian nature of life under the Holy Roman Empire: a period in which each man was his own and could live as they each wished on their own lands without the imperialism or overbearing authoritarianism of the Prussian model. They are very focused on individuality, regionalism, communion with the past and with nature as well as a belief that Germany's greatness centers on its manifold nature rather than the Prussian outlook. In a lot of ways you could see it as a sort of Neo-Romanticism if that makes sense - containing a heavy emphasis on sentimentality, pride in nationality and an emphasis on the fantastical. If the Conservative reads/watches epic war dramas and family sagas, the leftists are sci-fi fanatics and the German Liberty adherents fantasy enthusiasts to put it another way.

(21) Most of these trends are related to the developments described before this section, but I think one of the fascinating developments ITTL is the way in which New Objectivity ends up linked to the Conservative movement. It bleak and grounded approach to the world strips the cultural movement of quite a lot of the frills - but at the same time it leaves Conservatives with the conviction that they are the only ones willing to face the harsh reality even as the Leftists dismantle the epitome of German civilization while the German Liberty folks run around like a bunch of harebrained fantasists without any true grasp on the real world. One thing to note is that in contrast to OTL, "All Quiet on the Western Front" ends up being a wholly German production under the direction of Pabst where IOTL it was produced in the Hollywood by the Russian-American Lewis Milestone. The result is a work which is much closer to Pabst's OTL Westfront 1918 than the OTL work - i.e. bleaker, more grounded and more wholly German in outlook and perspective - with The Road Back being held up as on equal parring with AQotWF ITTL. Obviously, the specific details of both the novels and the movies are changed quite a bit by the alterations to the Great War, but the overall message and themes remain at least somewhat similar - although the conflict isn't portrayed as quite so pointless an exercise ITTL given that German "victory" in the Great War helped to heal at least some of the wounds caused by the Great War (so the novels aren't quite as bleak in their portrayal of the conflict - it isn't so much a wasted war, but rather one in which immense sacrifice, to a questionable degree, has been undertaken). In general Erich Maria Remarque ends up being one of the really great German writers of this period and continues putting out works throughout the 1930s without the OTL crackdown of the Nazis to halt him.

(22) German music and radio follow a trajectory similar to OTL, with the notable exception that we don't get things completely derailed by the Nazis. As such the Jazz and Swing movement, instead of being a counter-cultural movement, ends up being just the latest wave of foreign inspirations which have inundated Germany for centuries. Radio is a more competitive field in TTL's Germany with competition for the OTL Volksempfänger from Blaupunkt (who were commissioned to make a cheap radio as well IOTL - here they end up just doing it as part of their competition for market share). By contrast, while television comes off to a rougher start than IOTL, given the lack of the 1936 Olympics to really make a splash, the German television industry ends up much more active and healthy moving forward. Without an immediate World War or the economic preparations for such a contest going on, there is a lot more money going around which makes television a more feasible medium ITTL.
(23) So the first part of this section will deal with the United States before we close out with the UK, but there are some general elements in common as mentioned, especially once we get to the 1930s and the troubles experienced by both countries during this period. I felt that with McAdoo and the Nativists in power we might see a further extension of some of the censorship efforts which were being undertaken during this period - it is much the same impetus which led to Prohibition and the like - and some of the censorship efforts which would otherwise have come during or after WW2. Here the newly emergent comic book industry gets hit almost immediately, nearly killing it off before it can get going, but by the latter half of the 1930s we see comic books start to take off properly.

(24) The Jazz Age ends up being quite a bit longer than IOTL, but with a shift towards some of the more socially critical novels of the 1930s being included instead of the movement being ended with the Great Depression. I have taken the liberty of keeping Houdini alive a bit longer so that Lovecraft can find the bit of stability which their partnership might have resulted in, and as such I am not killing him off quite on schedule, and I am layering in a new full novel trilogy which includes his more explicitly anti-leftist sentiments ITTL. Without the shock of the Depression government failures to move him away from his elitist policies as happened IOTL, he remains more of a crypto-integralist if replacing the religious elements with more of a progressive outlook. I also have Zora Neale Hurston rising to prominence far, far earlier than IOTL, with her works becoming popular due to the greater focus upon race matters during this period. I thought it would be a fitting and fascinating development to have her rise to prominence during this period instead of her works largely falling by the wayside until the late 1900s.

(25) So the British section ends up being rather short, but I hope that the main trends do come across clearly. In Britain there is a sense that the whole world is against them and that they are balanced atop a mountain of explosives, carefully trying to maneuver through the ever oncoming crises. While this has some descend into a depressive outlook, there are also many who call for the British to demonstrate their long vaunted stoicism and unity in the face of danger.

(26) This section is both a bit broadly about the Latin Pact developments and more specifically about the developments in Spanish culture. One thing to note is that we don't see the same sort of earth-shattering calamity which the Spanish Civil War was IOTL, and as such a lot of the trends from the Restoration Era aren't broken in the same way. Instead, we see a smaller but steady stream of artists and writers leave Spain for more friendly lands and a shift in attitudes which brings religion back into play as a major force in society and culture. Historical and religious themes make a major comeback, but we don't see quite the same degree of crackdown on artistic affairs as IOTL under the Francoists.

(27) Italy is fun, and I thought it might be interesting to provide a bit of dichotomy here with the Socialist government very actively sponsoring and promoting Italian artists, culture and tradition while seeking to integrate it all into the new socio-cultural framework and hegemony Gramsci is trying to develop. By contrast, while Sardinia is largely left to itself, Sicily becomes a real hotspot for anyone looking for a place with loose morals, loose laws and a great climate. Artists and writers flock to the island, many Parisian artists even taking more or less lengthy sojourns to the island to experience something new. The result is that Sicily ends up paying a major role in the more experimental and radical cultural and artistic movements of the period, as artists and writers from across Europe visit and interact with each other outside of the stricter and more effective governments of their homes.

(28) So ITTL with politics somewhat more settled during the 1920s, the Sidonist regime is able to get the cinematic industry off to a better jump with the shift to sound and ends up becoming something of a hub for the Latin Pact's movie industry, with works in both Spanish and Portuguese produced at an incredible rate with talented artists, directors and actors from across the pact's nations. A major divergence here is the survival of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso who IOTL died at the age of 30 of the Spanish Flu in 1918. ITTL I have him surviving and thriving, emerging as one of the most significant artists of the Latin Pact countries and a leading figure in the development of Portuguese Futurism - which is a broader movement and larger movement than IOTL, if with many of the same inconsistencies of OTL (including elements of a bunch of different modernist movements under the single umbrella term, with the various elements often mixed up with one another) with the result that it looks more like a synthesis of a bunch of different movements than a narrowing of ideals as these movements usually are. Oh, and yes the Cannibalists are an actual OTL movement (they have also been called the Anthropophagics) - found it too fascinating a movement to not put in here somehow.

(29) There are actually not a lot of major divergences in France this time around, many of the developments follow at least the same trajectory on a broad level, although the more explicit political connotations of Camus and Céine are an adaptation to the political situation ITTL. Camus' works end up being a bit different, given the changed inspiration for amongst other things his first work (the OTL 1934 Asturian miner's strikes which inspired his work isn't happening ITTL) but the themes and approaches are at least quite similar. I gave it some thought about what would happen with the ascension of Arthuys, and I just don't see him as the sort of figure who would pull a major crackdown of the sort you might have seen IOTL or ITTL's Spain. It would be far too controversial and difficult to accomplish for too little gain - here Arthuys' upper class roots really play into things, as he would have been more comfortable with the cultural set of Paris than the arch conservatism of his more rural colleagues.

(30) So we are starting off with the Shogunate and its predecessor cultural movements, with a particular emphasis on the proletarian works which rise to prominence once the Shogunate is established. It is worth noting that both Kobayashi and Kuroshima have very, very different careers and lives from OTL. For Kobayashi, he is a highly lauded writer who ended up getting tortured to death at the age of 29 by the Tokko in 1933 IOTL. ITTL there isn't the same sort of crackdown on proletarian literature as occurred IOTL during that period, and as such he survives and is able to keep writing and publishing, rising to prominence after the JCW due to being an ardent believer in Kita Ikki's ideological developments, becoming its foremost literary figure with his works more than once verging on propaganda. By contrast, Kuroshima's various novels and short stories end up getting butterflied quite significantly. While his initial experiences of fighting in Siberia are relatively easy to transfer, I have replaced his "Militarized Streets" with "Tax Man" ITTL since it isn't really possible to cover the Japanese involvement in the Chinese Civil War in Manchuria ITTL. The novel remains equally critical of Japanese actions, but the topic and focus is changed. As for "The Swirling Crows" that is an entirely fictious work without any real parallel to IOTL, but I felt that Kuroshima would probably be the most fitting author to write this sort of work - something which is translated into many dozens of languages and ends up becoming the single piece of fiction which people around the world connect to the Japanese Civil War, to the rather considerable frustration of the government.

(31) So I ended up creating a new cultural movement to sort of encompass the group of people I ended up having associated with the right-wing. This is a bit of a challenge and change from OTL given the far more left-leaning nature of the Japanese government between 1923 and 1935. One thing to note here is that Akutagawa never actually really gets all that politically involved, and dies far before it ever becomes even remotely relevant, but ends up associated with the Culturalists (something of a front-runner of their movement and ideal for many of the younger members of the movement) after his death due to the involvement of his close friend. Akutagawa's works are the inspiration for several of Kurosawa's movies for those who weren't aware, including the famous "Rashomon" which borrows the name from one of Akutagawa's short stories and the story itself from another. Several of the later books are similar to novels published by the mentioned authors during the 1940s, influenced by the Second World War, which I have brought forward and adapted a bit to the context. Tanizaki's work in particular ends up being far more noteworthy due to the way in which it deals with a very Japanese socio-cultural conflict both internally and externally, whereas IOTL the book was more about the external threat to the daily lives of the women the novel focuses on. Here the story is a lot more dramatic, as the women are split up and put through hell, some staying behind in Japan and others being forced into exile. As for Yamakawa's New Tales of Heike, I thought the work would be a perfect fit for him to explore his experiences living through the Civil War, given the story's setting during another Japanese civil war. The result is that the work is more ideological in outlook, gets very, very grim with its portrayal of the effects of the civil war upon society, while still maintaining the high drama and incredible characterization of the OTL version. Kim Dong-in's "Potato" is very similar in its stark realism to OTL, but has more of an underlying political message than the OTL version given the heightened political tensions at the time. I didn't mention it in the narrative, but proletarian literature is also a movement within Korean literature, although it is very harshly persecuted and suppressed by the colonial government - most of its writers working from exile in Vladivostok or Shogunate Japan/Jeju.

(32) I know we are going very far back into the Chinese background here, to stuff from the very earliest mentions of China in this TL, but I felt it necessary to really go through and outline the gradual shift which would occur in China based on the butterflies. Now notably, IOTL the May Fourth Movement (remember ITTL it is a year later, in 1920, and on the 12th rather than the 4th of May 1919) ended up being a bit of a dud politically, but a major cultural turning point with a symbolic victory for the riotous population which later helped to undermine Beiyang rule. ITTL the matter proved even more explosive, and ended up having unimaginably large geopolitical repercussions as the Fengtian Clique were able to march in and restore Puyi to the throne. As such ITTl the May Twelfth Movement is considered a political watershed moment, but rather than kickstarting the "New" Chinese culture as its counterpart did IOTL, it marks the start of the Qing Restoration with all the complexities that involves.

(33) The more controlled political situation during the latter half of this period allows for a more united cultural movement to take shape with the TTL Phoenix Movement. As mentioned I see this as a period in which the radicals of the former decade find themselves taking a more moderate tone more generally and coming to the conclusion that wholehearted support for westernization is a bad idea - with the shift being towards more of a synthesis of western and eastern ideas and concepts - in literature, art, music and the like. The ranks of the Loyalists might be a bit of a surprise, particularly with Lu Xun (a one-time founder of the League of Left-Wing Writers) and Cai Yuanpei - but for the former, I actually think he works quite well since he was widely regarded by many leftists as being too bourgeoisie in outlook, and the latter out of disillusionment over his rather pivotal role in bringing the Fengtian to power.

(34) This is more of a transitional phase than a period in and of itself, sort of ending up sandwiched between the Phoenix Movement and the Hongzhi Reform Movement which we will cover next. Nevertheless, it is an important period which sees the emergence of Realist, Romantic and Comedic movements. The thing to note here is that I am peeling away a lot of the figures who sort of were in the leftist-reformist sphere, in the Communist orbit but not part of it - and as such were often eventually persecuted or went into exile. This period is a continuation of the already mentioned trend where westernization is ever more adapted to traditionalist tendencies - synthesizing, but in contrast to OTL where you had very explicitly western movements predominate, ITTL it is far more "Chinese" in outlook if that makes sense.

(35) I ended up saving the more general overview of different art forms and the like for this point, since I couldn't quite muster up covering the entire period. One thing to note is that in contrast to OTL where Chinese martial arts were very sharply constrained and standardized under the PRC in particular, ITTL the various martial arts lineages and sects are left alone, with the competitions actually encouraging a wide range of different fighting styles which makes for an exciting but often challenging to officiate sport. We also see the widespread adoption of taichi and other such physical activities under government sponsorship. I couldn't leave out Wuxia and Xianxia's emergence as major genres either - both saw intermediate suppression by both Nationalists and Communists IOTL, but here they are largely left alone - although particularly unorthodox readings of Buddhist principles can provoke religious sanctions and the like, but government largely leaves them be. Finally, Lin Fengmian's works don't end up getting burned to the crisp by the Japanese, and he remains a prominent force in Chinese art circles - perhaps even the most prominent figure.

Endnote:
@Ombra did an incredible deep dive on German culture during the 1920s which you can find amongst the threadmarks so if you want more information I would refer you to a reread of his feature on Germany.

And with that we close out the cultural section of our sojourn. This has really been an absolute monster to research, and while I know that some will find the discussions of different cultural and artistic movements uninteresting, I hope that I have done enough to at least give an idea of what things look like and the developments that are occurring.

I have been hard at work on the next part of the update, dealing with technology, and I am pretty close to finishing it up, but I do feel the need to emphasize how much time and effort it takes to get ready - hell, just doing the edits for this culture section of the update took me 2-3 hours. Now back to work on the technology segment - almost done with military technology!
 
The World of "A Day in July" in 1938:

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I know I have said it already through PM, but can I just reiterate how incredibly thankful I am for you putting the work in on this. It ended up looking absolutely fantastic and I know that there were quite a lot of adjustments I asked of you. Just kudos, thank you for saving me from all the demands for a world map :p

To everyone who has been requesting a world map for the last couple months, I really hope you will take a moment to appreciate the amount of work @Sardar has put into it. There were a ton of smaller and larger adjustments which needed to be made to get the map to where it is here, and I know some of them weren't the easiest to accommodate.

I really do hope that this helps people visualize the various changes and developments which have happened since the last world map (which @Sardar also was awesome enough to make at the time):

The World of "A Day In July" in 1926 - Edited

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Glad I could inspire that Lovecraftian description of Communism 😛

You know, I do wonder how Ayn Rand and Objectivism comes out ITTL, if Objectivism isn't completely butterflied of course
 
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