The Bear without the bull

Michael R. Czinkota

There is often a strong desire for partisanship both in our domestic and global thinking. Russia keeps being framed as our most vile adversary. Such thinking has much historic background. Of particular worry has been competition in technology – one can still recall the Russian leadership reputation effects of the space launches of Sputnik, the electric ball, and Leica, the spaceship dog. It took the successful North Pole transit of the U.S. submarine Nautilus to re-declare American advantage. 

My research in the Georgetown archives yields evidence that not all Russians are adversaries all the time. One example comes from the Russian years of Georgetown University and the Jesuit religious order which founded it. 

The order was initiated by Ignatius of Loyola in Paris in 1534, with its members taking vows of poverty, chastity and an ole of full obedience to the pope. Its principles and their execution turned out to be quite successful, particularly in the field of education. With its headquarters in Rome, the proximity to the pope helped global expansion and influence. 

However, not all was smooth sailing. In spite, or because of their success, the more than 22,000 Jesuits were suppressed in 1773 of all people, by their main patron, Pope Clement XIV. This leader of global Catholicism sent out specific instructions called a “papal bull” or edict to other heads of country, demanding the abolishment of the Jesuit order. The major ruling nations such as the Portuguese and Spanish empires, the French nation, and Austria/Hungary accepted such abolishment,  making the Jesuits virtually extinct. Virtually, but not totally, thanks to Russian policy.  

At the time Catherine the Great was the Tsarina or Sovereign of Russia and the protector of its orthodox religion. One of her key objectives was to bring Russia and herself as an equal partner to the table of international leaders. She recognized that raising the capabilities of the Russian population and its nobility to reason and analyze was an important foundation for such an achievement. She was further impressed with the manifold educational activities which the Jesuits had already set in place. So she was not feeling exploited when the Jesuits requested that the impending papal bull should not arrive or be read by the Imperial Court. She also agreed that existing Jesuits could select Russia as their central headquarters and even allowed them to expand the order. 

As a result, those Jesuits, which had been part of the Maryland province in Baltimore all became Russian in their affiliation, as did their institutions. This relationship remained until 1814 when Pope Pius VII removed the onerous order of suppression. Georgetown University and it’s Jesuit faculty then became American again.

The lessons learned for today: 

  • Political hardships imposed to totally eliminate one’s adversary may not have to be final – there often is a workaround 
  •  An international orientation can often be crucial to advancing one’s agenda
  • Adversaries and traditions do not have to remain steady and immutable; to the contrary, a new perspective should be raised in one’s analysis of conditions
  • Global strengths and unique expertise can set a player apart and permit quite unexpected alliances and cross-references.

The evidence indicates that all this was good for both Russia and Georgetown University. Might there be other strategic linkages possible?  It is necessary to separate the bear from the bull and to remember that there is always a bear market somewhere. 

Professor Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing and business at Georgetown University. His key books are International Marketing (10th ed.) with Prof. Ronkainen and In Search for the Soul of International Business. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Reagan Administration

Key Words: Russia, Jesuits, Collaboration, Ignatius of Loyola, Suppression, Papal bull, Dog Leica, Nautilus, Catherine the Great, Education, Bear, Georgetown history, and Czinkota

Expert Talk: Mr. John Diamond – World Bank Group

We truly enjoyed having Mr. John Diamond to come and share his thoughts on working in the World Bank. He talked about the different projects that are being done in the institution. One of them is We-Fi, which is the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. He also talked about the formalization of businesses and how it affects international development. He covered the topic of FDI and how it fluctuates with different countries. The students showed a lot of interest in getting to know about Mr. Diamond’s journey to the World Bank as well as the opportunities to work in the prestigious institute. 

2019 Fall Luncheon for Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business Faculty

On the occasion of the 2019 Fall Faculty Luncheon at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, it was a great pleasure to reunify Professor Emeritus Othmar Winkler (center) – our most senior faculty member, Professor Thomas Cooke (right center) – lead professor in accounting, Dean of Executive Programs Charles Skuba (far right), Professor Michael Czinkota (left center) and Professor Alan Mayer-Sommer (far left) – expert in accounting. A good time was had by all!

Expert Talk: Alan Beard from Interlink Capital Strategies

It was our honor to host Mr. Alan Beard, who leads Interlink Capital Strategies a management-consulting and private equity firm. He provided insights on the role of emerging markets in driving global growth, the concept of global export credit and the work done by Development Financial Institutions among various other topics. It was an interactive session where he discussed case studies and answered various interesting questions that the students had. One of the students wrote “His discussion of the variety of risks that inhibit cross-border capital flows, which are especially prevalent in the emerging and frontier markets, helped me contextualize and better understand the domain in which Interlink Capital Strategies operates and their institutional obstacles.”

Expert Talk: Barry Rhoads from Cassidy & Associates

 It was our pleasure to welcome Mr. Barry Rhoads to share his insights with the students at Georgetown on Oct 23rd. Barry described a fascinating journey from serving a member of the military to working in the private sector and then chairing one of the largest lobbying firms in Washington DC. “I was already curious about the lobbyist field, and this interest was only further encouraged by his wonderful presentation. “, one of the students wrote after Barry’s visit.