Another bit of missing history from that picture book on Soviet limos.
Pretty sure the Brit author wasn't trying for historical surprises ... he was mainly concerned with technical details like valve trains and suspensions ... but he provided surprises by citing Russian documents and memories.
He mentioned that Soviet industry didn't really get up and running until the 'War of Intervention' was settled in 1922. What?
Looking it up, turns out I'd already seen an indication of this war but couldn't figure it out. While reading old Signal Corps documents, I came across
an account of American troops occupying Russia in 1918, along with Japs and Czechoslovakian troops, even though Czechoslovakia didn't become a named nation until after the Armistice. This was the start of the War of Intervention, which was possibly
designed to support the Mensheviks against the Bolsheviks. The Signal Corps writeup didn't sound like we were dealing with two separate factions; it simply referred to Russian troops working with us. Apparently we pulled out after Armistice, leaving the Japs and Czechs and Brits doing whatever they were doing. In 1922 everyone gave up on whatever it was. Then Lenin and Stalin were able to consolidate the Revolution.
This 4-year "intervention" is NOT MENTIONED in the American account of history, and barely mentioned online.
Yet another nation-building effort, yet another complete failure. The only effect of this odd little war was to reinforce Russia's perfectly sane suspicion of foreign invaders.
We repeated a similar 'intervention' in China after WW2. We tried nation-building Chiang, which made Chiang look like a foreign puppet. Result: Mao.
Compare this with the effect of our commercial connections. Ford was building tractors under license, and building an entire plant for Model As. GM was effectively franchising Buicks through a consultant contract. Later after WW2, Packard sold its limo tooling to Russia. Though Stalin was too stupid
to learn practical socialism from Henry Ford, Soviet engineers did learn a lot from these connections, and continued following
current American trends and technical innovations even during the Cold War when the connections were officially broken.
Conclusion is so fucking obvious it shouldn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway.
Nation-building fails. Business works.
In the abstract, both are transfers of information
, so both should have the same effect. In human terms they're entirely opposite. Nation-building is arrogant, inevitably forcing cultural norms onto people who have their own perfectly functional culture. Licensing technology is a balanced process with no force. Working together on a technical project is THE best way
for adversaries to get along.
We constantly and viciously portray ourselves as the Nation Of Capitalism, but we never learn the lessons provided by our own capitalists. We continue Wars of Intervention and nation-building, thus creating new enemies. Even AFTER we have a normal business relationship with a country, we intentionally ruin it by placing sanctions, thus creating new enemies.
We're fucking EXCEPTIONAL. Even if we could learn this lesson now, which we won't, it wouldn't make any difference. Our current "business" setup has nothing positive to offer to other countries. Nobody needs QE and ZIRP and LBOs. Other countries are smart enough to stay away from Goldman business, until we invade them and force it on them.
= = = = =
11/11, Semirelevant sidenote. All of the known American veterans of WW1 itself are dead now, but I wonder if there are any living Jap soldiers who got into the War of Intervention in 1922. They would have to be 110 years old, which isn't quite as unusual in Japan as here.