In this article, William Engdahl shares his perspective on the impact of Putin’s actions in Syria and where it might lead.
But it’s this piece of history that draws my attention:
Russia before Bolsheviks
Contrary to the mythology that passes for history at western universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton or Harvard, Russia in the years leading to outbreak of World War I was on the path to become a towering prosperous economic nation, something especially not welcome in London.
Czar Alexander II during the American Civil War issued a decree to liberate the serfs in 1861. Unlike Lincoln’s emancipation of slaves, Russian serfs were liberated with land. The 22 million liberated serfs were free to go to the cities where they provided the labor force for emerging industry. In 1881, a terrorist band of some 40 members, assassinated Alexander II. Russia was becoming too powerful for the British. The assassin came from a terrorist clique, People’s Will (Narodnaya Volya), secretly financed by London international bankers as were virtually all such “revolutionary” organizations then in Russia, much as the USA government NGO’s today finance the Russian Opposition Coordination Council, Alexey Navaly’s Progress Party and other “opposition” groups.
Despite the death of Alexander II, modernization of Russia continued. In 1883 the assassinated Czar’s son, Alexander III, followed serf liberation with creation of the state Peasant Land Bank allowing peasants to buy their land with virtually interest free loans. Railways were built, including the Trans-Siberian Railway, the ambitious project of Russia’s great economic innovator, Count Sergei Witte. Witte, who had translated the German national economist Friederich List into Russian, was well aware that the phenomenal industrialization of Germany after 1871 owed much to the ideas of List and his followers.
The Czar named Witte as Director of Railway Affairs within the Finance Ministry from 1889 to 1891. There he initiated building the Trans-Siberian Railway to unify the vast area of Russia. Witte also managed to win the principle to assign employees based on their performance, rather than political or family connections.
In 1889, Witte published a paper, “National Savings and Friedrich List,” outlining the economic theories of List, who justified the need for a strong domestic industry, protected from foreign competition by customs barriers, opposite today’s WTO or TPP or TIPP free trade regimes. This resulted in a new customs law for Russia in 1891, which spurred a dramatic increase in industrialization.
In 1892 Witte as Minister of Finance accelerated funds to railway construction, made a treaty agreement for passage of the Trans-Siberian rail line via China to Vladivostok, and concluded a ten year commercial treaty with Germany. In 1896 he put the ruble on the gold standard, and passed a law limiting factory work hours and other labor laws more advanced than those of the United States then. Russia was prospering and at peace with all her neighbors, especially Germany and China.
British machinations to foster the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and the ensuing Revolution of 1905 in Russia, and ultimately to manipulate the Czar into a secret alliance with France against her natural ally, Germany, resulted in the destruction of the enormous positive developments of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Wall Street and the City of London financed Leon Trotsky, Lenin, and the Bolshevik Revolution essentially as they did Boris Yeltsin after 1990, to open up Russia for looting and balkanization by favored western companies.
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This is another illustration of the hidden history prior to the Bolshevik Revolution and those who drove that revolution for their own ends.