Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Today -100: March 23, 1921: Of jumping jacks, fire curtains, and new economic policies

The French parliament passes a bill to require physical training for the youth of both sexes.

Poland, pretending to reach out to the Jews (I phrase it that way because the article, presumably following the language used by Polish officials, keeps talking about “relations between the Poles and the Jews”), will stop special Jew taxes, such as those on Jewish hospitals.

While Russia wants to send a delegation to the US to discuss opening trade relations, the thing Commerce Secretary Hoover just said wouldn’t happen, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George explains to Parliament his reasoning for signing a trade deal: the Soviet regime ain’t going anywhere and we can’t rule out half of Europe and much of Asia and “just ring down the fire curtain and allow the fire to burn itself out.” He thinks the Russian Communists are coming to recognize that their system won’t and can’t work (he suggests the British Labour party should do the same).

What Lenin actually said to the 10th All-Russian Congress of the Bolshevist Party was that the government made mistakes in trying to transition to a peace economy, that Russia can’t depend on world revolution to save it since world revolution seems to be taking longer than anticipated for some reason. Peasants will be given more autonomy, paying part of their produce in a food tax but free to sell the remainder. This would be the famous shift from “War Communism” to the “New Economic Policy” (NEP).

France is considering dividing Upper Silesia between Germany and Poland in a way that sorta matches the voting in the plebiscite but just so happens to give most of the coal and other mineral resources to Poland.

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