An older idea (by CyberPhoenix001), where every major British colony getting the Draka treatment.
It isn't altogether clear why the British and their colonial descendants have become masters of the world. Each government claims that it is inherent within the British racial makeup, but more objective analyses show that what really happened was a series for fortuitous coincidences and the adoption of what is now known as the English system.
The entry of the Netherlands on behalf of the United States during the American Revolution proved to be a disastrous decision. While the British were expelled from the Thirteen Colonies, they took control of the Netherlands and its colonial empire. This would be the beginning of the British Empire on the European continent. The British expanded their holdings during the French Revolutionary War, annexing Belgium and Hanover as "guard posts" against further threats to Britain. The British even managed to take revenge on the Americans, seizing Maine after the disastrous war in North America. The war left the United States destitute and weak, and soon enough, civil war broke out. New England attempted to secede from the Union and resume trade with Britain. This was not allowed to stand, and the Americans crushed the rebellion. Incidentally, the Americans ensured that the South would dominate its politics, and so there was little dissent when the Americans spread slavery throughout the West. Even Mexico was annexed and transformed into a group of slave territories. Civil unrest was dealt with brutally, gradually transforming the United States into a dictatorship.
The Americans spread throughout the Americas, taking advantage of the chaos that engulfed the continents in the wake of the wars of independence against Spain. The British expanded their empire throughout the world, taking advantage of their monopoly in the East and growing in Africa. The 19th century saw the British and Americans gradually taking over much of the planet. Only a few areas in central and northern Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia remained independent. Any revolts were put down brutally, and gradually a system of slavery was introduced throughout the British Empire. In 1867, a military coup in the United States saw that country transformed into the Empire of Columbia. The rest of Europe formed a grand coalition against the British, fearing the day that the British would break out of their holdings in the Low Countries. And then, the Great War happened. The Great War saw the British invading Europe, in order to "defend" their holdings on the continent from the rising German Empire. However, they were not alone: the Columbians joined the British in their war, but they focused on taking over the growing Japanese Empire. Slowly, Europe was bombed to oblivion, with the Great War ending in 1918 when Moscow was destroyed by a British nuclear weapon. The Empire had triumphed.
But the British Empire did not enjoy the fruits of victory for long. The Columbians turned on their erstwhile British allies, but indirectly through threats of invasion. The massive wartime British military, largely composed of soldiers from all over the Empire, could not long be maintained by London. Eventually, portions of the British Empire broke off, taking soldiers loyal to their homeland more than London with them. These different portions of the Empire then went on their own wars of conquest, and frequently went to war with one another. The British people themselves lost faith in the crown, leading to the dissolution of the monarchy and Parliament, and the establishment of a republic. The tense "war" between the Columbians and the British has become a multipolar conflict.
The Columbian Empire is the dominant power on the planet. Having spread their system of chattel slavery throughout the New World and East Asia, the Columbians have a massive labor force, watched over by a "free" population. The Columbians have also created their own form of radical Protestant Christianity to justify their system; this religion holds that all non-whites were descended from God's "rejects," and therefore their natural state is to serve God's true creations. To their north, the Canadians ensured during their independence that the Columbians couldn't seize their country without paying a heavy price in blood. The British military in Canada remained loyal; after all, they were the ones that established the new republic. Canada remains an authoritarian military dictatorship, under the descendants of the leaders of their "revolutionary war."
In Europe, the British continue to rule over the continent with an iron fist. Some peoples have become integrated into the Empire fully, such as the Germans, but most of the continent remains enslaved. Like their Columbian counterparts, the British have turned to religion to justify their empire, believing that the British were descended from the ancient Israelites, and thus had the holy duty to watch over God's earth. The Kingdom of Kemet dominates the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The "pharaohs" of Kemet are descended from British generals, but they nonetheless believe that they are descended from Egyptian royalty. They have also restored Atenism, believing that this religion will give them an excuse to remold Egyptian society. The Kemetites are trying to eliminate preexisting religious and ethnic divides in their empire, enslaving those groups which are reluctant to serve the Aten "willingly." In south Africa, the Domination of the Draka maintains one of the most well-developed "serf" systems in the planet, rivaled only by Columbia's. Unlike the other empires, the Draka focus on biological modification of their serfs, and they believe they are close to developing a subspecies of humanity which is predisposed to slavery.
In South Asia, the Indian Empire reigns supreme. Ruled by a British upper class that has "gone native," the Indians have reformed the caste system and enforce it with a vengeance. Now, an underclass of slaves, mostly Muslims and Buddhists from the periphery of the empire, are below even the untouchables, and toil in the fields and factories of India. India is the most populous of the post-British states, making it a great threat to all of its neighbors. Further east, Malaya and Canton are dominated by formerly British corporations, particularly the British East India Company. Here, the state owns no slaves, but the corporate entities do. Free employees are paid a good wage to watch over slaves as they toil away. Like the Draka, Malaya and Canton do seek to make a better slave, but they do so through cybernetic enhancement. And in Oceania, the world's only socialist state dominates Austrasia. Ruled by the English Socialist Party, Austrasia claims to have moved past the imperialism of the rest of the world, but in truth, they are just as ruthless in their tyranny as their neighbors. The only difference is that they call their slaves "proles," and focus more on watching lower-ranking Socialist Party members whose job it is to keep the proles in their place.
And then there is China. Having avoided conquest by the British, Japanese and Columbians, the Chinese breathed a sigh of relief as the British Empire broke apart. However, now they are surrounded by several dangerous enemies. The Chinese have responded by becoming a "turtle nation," building walls and other defenses around their border, cutting off all trade with the outside world, and maintaining a powerful military with their massive population. Any language other than Mandarin Chinese is banned, to mitigate enemy broadcasts from entering the country, and anybody caught listening to foreign radio is immediately executed. Nobody is allowed to enter, and nobody is allowed to leave, the Forbidden Kingdom. To prepare for the end, the Chinese have built a series of underground cities deep in remote mountains. They know that the next world war would be the last, and they hope that when that day comes, they can emerge from their shelters to inherit the world.
Once upon a time, there was a Russian cossack named Trofim Svinkin. He held a modest fur shop in an Eastern Siberian town. His life was peaceful; however, everything changed during the Eurasian War. His town was far away enough from the battlefield for him to avoid conscription, until the Brits arrived. The entire town was slaughtered, and Trofim fled into the inhospitable Siberian forests, surviving among the chukchas, who were likewise opposed to the British and their "offsprings". Vengeful, Trofim attempted to arrive to London and overthrow the British State, but found himself in the depths of Canada.
There, with his chukcha friends, he found Jean, a Quebecois who fled the slave factories of Quebec. Likewise vengeful, but more romantical and criminal than the practical, honest Trofim, he was quick to befriend Trofim. Trofim, the chukchas and Jean were captured and sold into slavery into Columbia by Francis Gullbart, a Canadian enterpreneur. However, it wasn't enough to keep Trofim and friends enslaved, and they fled into *Utah, where they became friends with a group of secret Mormons and blacks. They travel through the world, becoming allies with a vehemently Portuguese Brazilian gaucho, a Nahuatl slave, an Oromo priest, a Rhodesian huntress, a Georgian bartender, a Bengali bomb-maker, a Papuan tribesman, a Chinese censor and a Malaya trader.
However, the ending is bittersweet. Trofim and Jean are successful in destroying Columbia, Kemet, Britain and relegating old serf systems to a much more shameful positions; however, Trofim and Jean are seen as terrorists rather than heroes in much of the world, and their unity, a consequence of hatred against the Anglos, slowly collapses due to irrevocable differences between them. In the epilogue, Jean betrays Trofim in order to establish the Fourth French Republic, but is killed by rogue British military units in Provence, and Trofim returns to Siberia, a fur shop owner once more, except he's now disgruntled, depressed and cynical.
And I like the 1984 references with Austrasia. Nice touch.
Life for the average Columbian citizen is very poor. What would be close is life in the poorer parts of OTL Mexico, without the extreme violence.