I've been studying the "Great War", or World War I, as we know it. I must admit, I have realized just how ignorant I was of this conflict until I took this class. For instance, I never knew that the Russian Revolution grew out of the first world war. Oh, Russia was pretty much done fighting before it happened anyway, but still, it's interesting to note that it came in part because of anger over the war.
So for today, I thought I'd give those of you who are like I was--that is to say, ignorant--a little lesson in history that seems to have particular significance right now.
In a little over a week, Americans will go to the polls and vote. In fact, the date is November 7th. Today's lesson centers around that date. For 10 bonus points, can anyone tell me the significance of November 7th in world events?
Nah, didn't think so.
It was 89 years ago, on November 7th, that the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian government. The Bolsheviks, in case you were wondering, were headed up by a guy named Lenin. They were the 1917 version of today's Democratic Party. Their platform consisted of two items, just as the platform of modern Democrats does:
1. Get rid of the current government.
2. Get us out of the war.
That was their big plan. That was their platform. It's the exact same platform Democrats are running on today.
1. Get rid of Republicans.
2. Get us out of Iraq.
What the masses didn't know on November 7, 1917, was that the Russian army had dealt the Central powers a devastating blow in the Brusilov offensive, and had the Russians just.....gasp!.....stayed the course a little while longer, the German army would have been completely broken because it would have had to continue its defensive maneuvers on the western front and
it would have had to hold the entire eastern front line by itself. Russia, you see, had all but knocked Austria out of the war. In fact, Franz Josef--the Austrian leader--was already putting out peace feelers. The Russians were on the verge of sealing an Allied victory, and defeatist, pacifist 1917-version Democrats caused them to surrender.
In fact, it wasn't just a withdrawal from the war that these early-day Democrats achieved. (I guess they probably called it a "redeployment" or something like that.) No, they achieved even more. Guess what they did? They did what Democrats want to do today: negotiated with the enemy. They sent a guy named Trotsky to Brest-Litovsk to negotiate a peace deal with the Germans. What was the result? The Germans ignored the deal and marched on Petrigrad. The Bolsheviks retreated to Moscow (wonder why the capital is there now?) and wound up signing a humiliating treaty that surrendered Russian territory all the way to the Black Sea, including the Ukraine, one of Russia's most vital centers of natural resources, to the Germans.
A wise man once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Will we be condemned to repeat the past? Or will we learn from the mistakes others have made? Who will we put in power? The pacifist, Marxist Democrats? The big-government, borrow-and-spend Republicans? How about some strong Libertarians?
Oh well, the choice is yours. At least now you're a little more educated. Or perhaps "sedated" is the word?