Ides of March

Pretty much everyone here knows (or should know) the story of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, and the sealed train provided by the German government that brought him to St. Petersburg. Whether it truly WAS the government itself, or industrialist and bankers matters little – the Soviet propaganda films did not lie about the fact that the shot from the Aurora truly WAS heard around the world.

Thus began a new era in history with the birth, metastasis and further mutation of the original proletarian dictatorship – and continues to this day.

However, here’s a fun little fact I am pretty sure most people don’t know:

The Hungarian Soviet Republic, the second Communist government in Europe after Russia itself, was established on 21 March 1919. […]

In the Russian Civil War in 1918, Kun fought for the Bolsheviks. During this time, he first started to make detailed plans for exporting Communism to Hungary. In November 1918, with at least several hundred other Hungarian Communists and with a lot of money given to him by the Soviets, he returned to Hungary. […]

In Hungary, the resources of a shattered government were further strained by refugees from lands lost to the Allies during the war and that were due to be lost permanently under the projected Treaty of Trianon. Rampant inflation, housing shortages, mass unemployment, food shortages and coal shortages further weakened the economy and stimulated widespread protests. In October 1918, the so-called "Aster Revolution" established a shaky democratic coalition government. Kun founded the Hungarian Communist Party in Budapest on 4 November 1918. […]

Such was the desperation for them to have Kun receive promised Soviet support that it was Kun, a captive, who dictated the terms to his captors. This was despite the Red Army's full involvement in the Russian Civil War and the unlikelihood that it could be of any direct military assistance.[…]

The first act of the new government was to nationalize virtually all private property in Hungary. Contrary to advice from Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Béla Kun's government refused to redistribute land to the peasantry, thereby alienating the majority of their support in Hungary. Instead, Kun declared that all land was to be converted into collective farms and former estate owners, managers andbailiffs were to be retained as the new collective farm managers. […]

The Soviets promised to invade Romania and link up with Kun and were on verge of doing so, but military reversals suffered by the Red Army in Ukraine stopped the invasion of Romania before it began. The Romanians then invaded Hungary, took Budapest, crushed the Communists and on 1 August 1919 forced them to hand over power to the Social Democratic party. -- Wiki

The whole thing lasted only 133 days. Yet during that time the government was able to confiscate all of the citizens’ land, a good portion of their food and livestock, and summarily executed around 600 people. Romanians eventually withdrew to the newly painted international border demarcation line (which gave them territory equallying ca. ½ the of what remained of the country after the Trianon borders were established. They took all the copper, silver and gold mines, too…). The icing on the cake: after the Communists were thrown out of office and into jail, this joker was installed as the head of a ‘constitutional’ monarchy:

“His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary”

Lessons to be learned:

Never get involved in a land war in Asia

One must always beware revolutionaries who come bearing moneybags denominated in foreign currency, bringing the good tidings of a superpower, whether neighboring or far, far away. One possible exception might be all the Poles and Hungarians who joined the American Revolution (having failed to secure their own countries’ independence, though not for lack of trying) with French financial and logistical support.

Just because a revolution/coup/putsch/defenestration/stabbing gets rid of a despised, despotic, exploitative, murderous ruler does not mean the next guy will be any better. Or the guy after that…

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Military assistance promised by a superpower that is actually DELIVERED to the country requesting it on the basis of some ‘treaty’ or ‘pact’ has caused a few problems in the last century or so… world wars being among them. But even when the consequences are not quite so dire, the 'aided' country most often gets invaded and occupied -- by the liberator, or by the aggressor because the liberator fails to show...

And some pacts are made for the explicit purpose of allowing one side (or both) time to prepare to ambush the other. The namesake of the German-Soviet agreement was especially popular in some parts of Northern Europe:

“The name "Molotov cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War.[1] The name is an insulting reference to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, who was responsible for the setting of "spheres of interest" in Eastern Europe under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939. […] When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "Molotov cocktail", as "a drink to go with the food".

Soviet cluster bomb ironically called a "Molotov bread basket". The "Molotov cocktail" was the Finns' response – "a drink to go with the food".

As we continue to watch the developments out of Ukraine over the next days and weeks, let’s try not to forget that just because one spot on the stage is illuminated, the rest of the stage does not go away. The recent events aimed at China MIGHT be coincidental. (Mass stabbing, and Malaysian airliner missing) If one were to believe in coincidences.

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Stay safe, enjoy the weekend, and keep stacking. Our times keep getting more and more interesting by the day.

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Key Economic Events Week of 11/28

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