cieplo + wiosennie. Tak niedzielnie.
Ladnie, ze namowilem sie na akcje pod kryptonimem "Finger". Benio dal mi zadnie w jak najszybszym czasie przerzucic wazna przesylke z Toronto do Ottawy. Akcja trwala 2 godziny i 38 miut. Trzeba bylo jechac na granice Mississaugi i Brmpton i zdobyc przesylke, a nastepnie wyslac ja poczta.
For Russia as for Germany, 1914 was year zero. The catastrophe of the First World War led directly to other, even more terrible disasters. From war sprang revolution, civil war, famine and dictatorship. Hopes in the 1920s that the revolutionary regime might in time become more moderate were dashed in the 1930s as an even greater wave of famine, terror and revolutionary development engulfed the Russian people. For many reasons, 20th-centure Russian history was likely to be difficult and conflict-ridden, but the horrors of Stalinism were certainly not inevitable. Perhaps most tragically in the context of this book, the two million Russians who perished in the First World War died for no good purpose. In large part because of the way Russia left the war and was excluded from the peace settlement, international relations in Europe became not more but less stable after the First World War. This led directly to the Second World War, in which more than 20-million Soviet citizens died.
Russia had entered the First World War for reasons of security, interest and identity. Security meant above all an attempt to shore up the European balance of power against growing German might and the perceived threat of Germanic expansionism. Interest meant the wish for predominance at the Straits and in the Balkans. Identity meant Russia's status as both a great power and the leader of the Slav peoples. As the above list makes clear, the links between security, interest and identity were tight. In my opinion, the critics of Russian foreign policy before 1914 - Peter Durnovo, Roman Rosen, Aleksandr Giers and others - were in many respects correct. The main reason for the First World War was the conflict of interests, fears and ambition created by the decline of the Ottoman and Austrian empires. This crisis could be resolved peacefully only through Russo-German collaboration. Official policy exaggerated the importance of the Bosphorus Straits and Russia's supposed "mission" to lead the Slavs at a time when its overriding priorities needed to be peace and good relations with its German and Austrian neighbours. But the options open to Russia were difficult, and there were powerful and rational arguments to justify the foreign policy adopted by Petersburg. Grigorii Trubetskoy, Aleksandr Izvolsky and Alexander Benckendorff were far from stupid. Serge Sazonov, who largely followed the line they established, was one of the most decent men ever to head Russia's Foreign Ministry.
Russian foreign policy can only be understood if one takes into account global contexts and comparisons. The desire to control the straits, for example, must be seen as an aspect of the worldwide imperialism that had witnessed British appropriation of the Suez Canal and American rule in Panama. "Pan-Slavism" was to some extent a Russian equivalent to the ideas that underpinned Germanic and Anglo-American solidarity. Belief in the balance of power as the key to European security was held as strongly in London as in Petersburg. Of course Russian government and policy had their specific features, but there is no sense in exaggerating their exoticism. This book explains Russian foreign policy and links it to the broader sweep of Russian history and Russian domestic developments. It examines the links between foreign policy, war and revolution in Russia. It is based on a range of new sources and offers original interpretations of these questions. But at the core of this book is an attempt to understand the international crisis that led to 1914 as a whole. In my opinion, the Russian angle is very helpful in this respect. It bears repeating that the First World War was first and foremost an eastern European conflict, but the core issues around which it revolved - empire and nationalism, geopolitics and identity - were at the heart of all 20th-century world history.
Inevitably, contemporary readers will ask themselves whether the forces that drove the world into the abyss in 1914 remain relevant in the 21st century. In some respects, this is the case. The old pattern of Russo-German relations reasserted itself after 1989. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the weakening of Russia led to German reunification. We are now again in a world where leadership in Europe can only come from Germany. How to make that leadership constructive and acceptable both to Europeans and to the Germans themselves remains a puzzle. But much has changed. Angela Merkel's Germany is very different from William II's. Unlike Nicholas II, Vladimir Putin does not rule over a vast multinational empire inhabited predominantly by semi-literate peasants. Ukraine was, is and always will be important to Russia, but extrapolating from 1914 and imagining that Russia will once again be a great empire if it reabsorbs the east Ukrainian rust belt is moonshine. Ukraine is no longer at the heart of European geopolitics, and Europe is no longer at the centre of the world. It is at the global level that comparisons with pre-1914 international relations often make most sense. The basic geopolitical premise underlying the age of imperialism was that to be a truly great power, continental scale was essential. The key dilemma was how to legitimize a polity of continental scale in the era of nationalism. The European Union is an attempt to unite Europe's resources in order to ensure that Europeans are not marginalized when it comes to deciding crucial global questions. Legitimacy and nationalism are its greatest problems. The United States, China and India are not empires in the traditional sense, but they face the great difficulties common to past empires, which stem from ruling vast, complex and diverse peoples and territories. Mass literacy and political consciousness make these difficulties even harder to manage. If contemporary trends continue, American democracy will be no defence against the anxieties that plague great powers in relative decline. Parallels between pre-1914 Germany and contemporary China are often made and are partly convincing. One clear parallel is that both regimes legitimized themselves by strident appeals to nationalism and risked falling victim to demons they had encouraged but could no longer control. But China is in many respects more like tsarist Russia than imperial Germany. It is a vast and backward country developing at great speed but in a manner that puts the survival of its present regime in question. If tsarist parallels are anything to go by, this may well not contribute to international stability. In some ways, technology is also adding to geopolitical tensions in familiar fashion: before 1914, the railway was opening up new area for geopolitical competition. The same is now true as regards the seabed.
I conceived and wrote this book partly while contemplating the world from my home halfway up a mountain in Japan. Thinking about the First World War while watching the rise of geopolitical competition and strident nationalism in East Asia is not a comforting experience. One point not often made about the First World War is that a conflict started exclusively by Europeans wrecked the lives of millions of people on other continents. That was because Europe in that era was the centre of the world. It would be said if East Asia repaid the compliment. As depressing is my belief that a century after 1914 our main defence against this happening remains the awesome deterrent of nuclear weapons. This ought to make war between the great powers unwinnable and therefore unthinkable. But the possibility of a new Thirty Years' War, which would wreck European civilization, ought to have been a sufficient deterrent against the descent into the abyss back in 1914. Unfortunately, it was not. The outbreak of the war owed most to deep structural problems in international politics - above all shifts in power between states and the growing threat of ethnic nationalism both to specific empires and to a global order rooted in empire. The disaster of July 1914 also owed much to miscalculation and brinkmanship by key decision makers. These factors remain great danger to peace (Dominic Lieven, "Dangers to Peace. Dominic Lieven on the start The First World War and the parallels to today", Excerpted from The End of Tsarist Russia: The March to World War I and Revolution by Dominic Lieven. Published by Viking, and imprint of Penguin Canada Book Inc., a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved, NATIONAL POST, Friday, February 26, 2016).
01:22 Hrs. Budzi mnie siusiu (jasno-slomkowe + lekko puszyste).
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