23rd August 1915 (Monday)

Empire and global finance

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, publishes his thoughts on the Social Democratic idea of a “United States of Europe”, focussing in particular on the challenge of economic union in the context of political differences:

” Capital has become international and monopolist. The world has been carved up by a handful of Great Powers, i.e., powers successful in the great plunder and oppression of nations. The four Great Powers of Europe—Britain, France, Russia and Germany, with an aggregate population of between 250,000,000 and 300,000,000, and an area of about 7,000,000 square kilometres—possess colonies with a population of almost 500 million (494,500,000) and an area of 64,600,000 square kilometres, i.e., almost half the surface of the globe (133,000,000 square kilometres, exclusive of Arctic and Antarctic regions). Add to this the three Asian states—China, Turkey and Persia, now being rent piecemeal by thugs that are waging a war of “liberation”, namely, Japan, Russia, Britain and France. Those three Asian states, which may be called semi-colonies (in reality they are now 90 per cent colonies), have a total population of 360,000,000 and an area of 14,500,000 square kilometres (almost one and a half times the area of all Europe).

Furthermore, Britain, France and Germany have invested capital abroad to the value of no less than 70,000 million rubles. The business of securing “legitimate” profits from this tidy sum—these exceed 3,000 million rubles annually—committees of the millionaires, known as governments, which are equipped with armies and navies and which provide the sons and brothers of the millionaires with jobs in the colonies and semi-colonies as viceroys, consuls, ambassadors, officials of all kinds, clergymen, and other leeches.

That is how the plunder of about a thousand million of the earth’s population by a handful of Great Powers is organised in the epoch of the highest development of capitalism. No other organisation is possible under capitalism. Renounce colonies, “spheres of influence”, and the export of capital? To think that it is possible means coming down to the level of some snivelling parson who every Sunday preaches to the rich on the lofty principles of Christianity and advises them to give the poor, well, if not millions, at least several hundred rubles yearly.

“A United States of Europe under capitalism is tantamount to an agreement on the partition of colonies.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/aug/23.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29th July 1915 (Thursday)

DIED TODAY: Major-General Henry Newport Charles Heath, son of Major-General Alfred Heath, (Royal Artillery): Heath Jr was born in 1860 and attended Clifton College and Sandhurst Royal Military College before fighting in the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882); taking part in the Anglo-Egyptian expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum (1884-85); fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); and leading a command in the first world war before falling ill and dying today, aged 54.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Heath_(British_Army_officer)

 

 

22nd June 1915 (Tuesday)

EXPLORATION: Members of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition celebrate mid-winter with a dinner on board HMS Endurance.

http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/midwinter-dinner-on-the-endurance-22nd-june-1915-during-the-news-photo/480802147

DIED TODAY: at  Bukovina (now split between Romania and Ukraine) – Ferenc Istvan Dénes Gyula Békássy, Cambridge graduate, Hungarian bi-lingual poet and Imperial Hussar. Killed in action, aged 22.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_B%C3%A9k%C3%A1ssy

War!

Eastern Front: Austro-Hungarian forces recapture the city of Lemberg (Lwow/ Lviv) from the Russians.

http://www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk/key-dates/1915/06/austro-hungarian-forces-recapture-the-city-of-lemberg-lvov-from-the-russians/

Africa: On the shores of Lake Victoria in German East Africa, the British 25th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and others have launched an amphibious attack on Bukoba (“The Battle of Bukoba”) with the objective to destroy the German wireless station.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bukoba

13th June 1915 (Sunday)

The 19th century is slowly passing away

DIED TODAY

~ RIP Viscount Nabeshima Naoyoshi, 13th and final daimyo of the Kashima Domain, in Hizen Province in the north west corner of the island of Kyushu, in south west Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabeshima_Naoyoshi

~ RIP Danish explorer Anders Christian Barclay Raunkiær, traveller to Riyadh and through eastern Arabia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barclay_Raunki%C3%A6r

~ RIP Amédée William Merlaud-Ponty, Governor General of French West Africa.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Merlaud-Ponty

26th March, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Brooklyn, NY – Joseph Edward Filipelli, better known as “Flip Phillips” American jazz tenor saxophone and clarinet player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_Phillips

War!

On the “North West Frontier” of the British Raj, the Indian army is defending Miranshah, on the Tochi River in North Waziristan (now part of Pakistan), from a large force of “insurgents” (Lashkars, from Southern Afghanistan).

http://www.kaiserscross.com/304501/455322.html

 

16th March 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In the US of A – the Federal Trade Commission, “Protecting America’s Consumers”. Happy Centenary, FTC!

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/our-history

War!

Irish British: The 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers departs from Avonmouth in the west of England, bound for the Dardanelles and Gallipoli.

http://www.irishfamilyroots.com/royalmunsterfusiliers.html

Society and culture:

~ In England’s west country the Exeter and Plymouth gazette runs a short piece advertising the attractions of the “City Palace” (cinema):

“The City Palace, Exeter, has again a splendid selection of pictures for the first half of this week. The star film, “The Swan Song,” is a thrilling drama in two acts, the battle scene connected with it being of a most realistic character. Pathe’s Animated Gazette” again delights everyone. It depicts the Canadians second draft at drill, and the inspection of the Australians in England, showing what physically fit men our Colonies are loyally sending to the defence of the Motherland. The “Gazette” also gives an illustration of the Australians in Egypt in training by the Pyramids. “The Rescue” and ‘”The Love of Pierre Lacrosse” are both very fine dramas. The comic side of the programme provided for by “A Coat’s Tale” and “She Married for Love,” each of which is enough by itself to keep one merry and bright.” [www.exetermemories.co.uk]

http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/_events/1915-this-week.php

~ In France, the Government outlaws both the production and the retail sale of absinthe, declaring it a “toxic product”. (Protecting France’s consumers?).

http://www.absinthes.com/themag/absinthe-history/banning-absinthe-1714

14th February 1915 (Sunday)

War!

DIED TODAY:   – The Reverend Lionel Fairfax Studd , Alumnus of Winchester College. “He went to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1909 and after taking his degree with honours in History, studied for a year at Ridley Hall. Anxious to prepare himself for ordination and also to work as a missionary, he entered the Polytechnic Business Training School with a view to obtaining some practical business experience. There he studied accountancy and helped the accounts section keep the books. At the same time he joined the Polytechnic Company of the 12th Battalion London Regiment, although he considered giving up his commission in the summer of 1914. He was ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral on Trinity Sunday 1914 and went to work at St James, Holloway. On the outbreak of war, he considered it his duty to stay with his regiment and was very soon promoted to Captain and served for several weeks in command of the guard at Waterloo Station. They moved to France and joined the Lines of Communication troops on Christmas Day 1914, moving up to Ypres on 8th February 1915, going into the trenches in front of Hill 60 on 13th February. The following morning, during a heavy attack, he was struck in the head by a shell splinter and killed.” [www.winchestercollegeatwar.com].

http://www.winchestercollegeatwar.com/archive/lionel-fairfax-studd/

From a far flung empire: In Wellington, New Zealand, 509 Maori soldiers board the Steam Ship Warrimoo, bound for Egypt.

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/page/maori-soldiers-sail-war

http://www.thetreasury.org.nz/warpioneers.htm

Also embarking in Wellington today for Egypt is Private Frank Forrester Adamson, “who gave up his stripes so that he could get into action sooner. Private Adamson was reported as missing in action 24 May 1915”. [http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/]

http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C53