"In 1933, President Roosevelt of the United States was assassinated and the country did not recover from the Great Depression, so the United States maintained an isolationist policy and did not intervene in the Second World War. intervention of this country, Nazi Germany and Japan won the conflict and shared the planet ".These words that seem to distort history are an uchronie.
An uchronia is a literary genre of fiction, like utopias and dystopias. While utopias show a perfect future, dystopias focus on the opposite, an imperfect world. On their side,uchronies are about changing an event from the past and rewriting the story from that point.This is what Phillip K. Dick did in his book "The Master of the High Castle", which was adapted into a series of the same name.
Uchronies of the Second World War
Dick's uchronia proposes that Nazi Germany and Japan share the world but another uchrony is added to it. One of the characters in the book, Hawthorne Abdensen, is writing a book entitled "The Weight of the Grasshopper", in which a different future is staged. The argument of this book is a story similar to that of reality. In the latter, Roosevelt survives the assassination attempt but is not re-elected as president.The English are the ones who run the campaign in Europewith the Italians who betray the Germans.
After the war, England rebuilt its empire, led by Winston Churchill. At this moment, a period of tension begins, comparable to that of the Cold War, and the opponents are none other than the United States and England. In the end, the latter crushes the United States economically and stands out as the only superpower in the world.In the case of Spain, there are also uchronies that revolve around the Civil War.We find the Republicans who appear as the winners. The television channel La Sexta has even made a documentary on this theme entitled "Long live the Republic" ("Viva la República").
Benefits of uchronies
While uchronies may resemble attempts to change a reality that has already occurred, they also serve to stimulate the imagination and predict the future.Imagining alternatives is an exercise that reinforces lateral thinking.Moving out of reality and imagining different worlds helps to count on more resources when solving problems.
Moreover, uchronies are not stories in which everything is done according to the whims of the person who writes them. Logic is also present in this genre. To create a coherent uchronie, it is not enough to change an event of the past:it is also necessary to understand how this past happened.We must understand the effects of the various events so that when we change them, we will know what the effect of their change will be.
If, in rereading history, we understand that Roosevelt's decisions were those that pushed the United States to intervene in the Second World War, it would be logical to think that his death would have led the United States not to intervene. In the same way, if the intervention of the United States allowed him to acquire a world power, his non-intervention would have put this power in the hands of other countries.The logic of causes and effects must be present in a good time.
The point of view of uchronies
As we have seen,uchronies serve to stimulate the mind and the imagination.Examining the past from another point of view, even if it is false, can help to understand the effects of chance. A small change can have big consequences, as explained by the butterfly effect: "the slight flapping of wings of a butterfly can be felt on the other side of the world".
Creating different uchronies on the same event can serve to understand that chance plays a very important role in history. That the future is not always in our hands: it is impossible to control it, even if we can actually shape it as we please.By understanding the causes of events, we can try to provoke them so that they respect our will.
Ultimately, uchronies are logical reconstructions of an event that did not happen but could have happened. They are narratives of realities that do not exist, alternatives that seek to answer the following question:"What would have happened if …?"This is a very interesting question that can also be used to examine our lives. To rethink our past and learn how the future works.