Sunday, December 25, 2011

7 A Latvian Latvia for Latvians?
A Russian Russia for Putin?

The last paragraph in my previous blog read: “The question that remains is—just how much did the Reformed Church, the Herrnhuters, the Lutherans, the spiritually revived proto-Latvians succeed in ‘reforming’ the collaboration between secular and religious forces? If we are to judge by results—the liberal neo-capitalist world order of today—the result of the ‘Reform’ of religion has been nil and on the minus side.”

The following clip is an excellent come-back to the accomplishments of the “Reformation religion” now come to rule America, and trying to bring the “Arab spring” to Russia and China. If I read it right, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, , too, has chimed in against the commercialization of Christmas .

If we look for the deep-sourced-cause for the “wealth virus”, this writer recommends to the reader a history of the wealth virus as presented through the eyes of economist Michael Hudson, who takes us back to the Romans decimating democracy in ancient Sparta.

In any event, by traveling through many of history’s labyrinths, the virus found its way to Latvia, first brought by the (good for nothing)  religious vassals--relatives not fit to direct a secular oligarch guided government--of French and German kings. The vassalage (or knighthood) originated  at the Cluny monastery in France and its subsequent imitators. This 'religious' route was of oligarch lineage. It led to Latvia through  Bishop Albert of Riga a city on the coast of proto-Latvia or Livonia. Six centuries later the religion lived on through the well meaning efforts of the Herrnhuters in the 18th and 19th centuries converting all proto-Latvians to the religion of liberal capitalism. Not surprisingly, Latvians to this day do not have a left political wing. The repression of the left in Latvia since at least the 12th century, and, thus, with no mitigating agency in conflicts between  an oligarchy and the poor, with the only “left” ever in power being Stalin and his supporters among the Latvian Bolsheviks.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, essentially because the violence of this once in a life-time “left” made people sick and disgusted with it, Latvians quickly reverted to the dictates of the capitalist dna, now channeled by English-speaking Latvians and Latvian-European pathways.

For AB and Made Jurjane the capitalist virus began to break down their “ģimene” (family) on the very cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries. The hammer of coincidence hit the nail, their “ģimene”, smack on the head, and killed it.

After AB had served some twenty years as a director of the Platere school (I am not sure what grades it taught), his boast made at an inn in his youth that “someday I will be a millionaire”, made him open two hardware stores. Either through AB’s lack of experience as a shopowner or because of inexperienced and/or slowenly employees, the stores went bust. These bankruptcies made AB become a virtual slave to his creditors, there being no protection for the bankrupt in those days.

If AB ever wished to realize his dream of becoming “a millionaire”, he would have to entrust his next business venture to another person, one whom the creditors could not touch and whom he believed he could implicitly trust.

The next venture led AB to leave his job as school principal and move to Riga. When in Riga, AB found a job as an editor of a German newspaper. AB had learned German from his father, who in turn had probably learned it from his father, and which language at the age of four this blogger spoke as well as he spoke Latvian.

In 1904, in Riga, AB also met Emilija Elks, a young woman, twenty-one years his junior, who worked selling ads for the same German language newspaper AB was editor at. Emilija was married at that time to an actor by the name of Elks. It was not a happy marriage. Family stories have it, that AB met Emilija when she submitted for publication a review of a play at Riga’s Jaunais Teātris, (Riga’s New Theatre). AB let the review be published. This was about 1904, when AB was forty-four years old, and Emilija was twenty-three. They began to live together in 1911.

By supporting Emilija, AB did not only give backing to a yet fragile young woman, but through that woman, found for himself the next leg to his dream of “a million”. Emilija, young and pretty, and now because of AB’s backing also self-assured, sold ads so successfully, that AB began to dream of becoming a newspaper tycoon or magnate.

at Wikipedia tells it, AB and Emilija, increased their collaboration, did some obvious scheming among themselves, and using the owner’s (Blankenstein) absence from the newspaper as an opportunity for themselves to in due course take the newspaper over.

Because of his earlier bankruptcies, AB could not sign on as a publisher of the newspaper, now renamed Jaunākās Ziņas (The Latest of Late News), and began to distribute it throughout Riga as a “for a kopeic” newspaper). This was one of the first ever NEAR FOR FREE publications in the world. The idea for such a newspaper traveled the America to St. Petersburg to Riga route. My father and uncle Karlis both were students in Peterburg, and Karlis brought the idea of a penny newspaper to Riga. The idea itself began in England through the development of ballad broadsides, which made some of the publishers of words to popular melodies rich
and sometimes tragically misused by their valet, man or woman . “The Latest of Latest News” does not look all that much different from a ballad broadside.

 “Jaunākās Ziņas”, took Riga by storm. In the short time of ten years, both AB and Emilija (they married in 1922) were millionaires. In twenty years, Emilija Benjamins was playing on occasion the role of Latvia’s First Lady for the Ulmanis (unmarried) regime.

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