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THE Russian Bolshevik Revolution of November, 1917, is an event whose significance increases with the lapse of time. It is the opening gun of the organized rebel- lion against civilization. Hitherto the proletarian move- ment had been either "in the air" or underground. Proletarian dreamers might formulate doctrines; prole- tarian strategists might plan campaigns; proletarian agitators might rouse wide-spread unrest and incite sporadic violence. Yet all this, though ominous for the future, did not menace society with immediate destruc- tion. The Bolshevik Revolution, however, produced a radi- cally new situation, not merely for Russia, but also for the whole world. Falling from the clouds and rising from the cellars, the forces of unrest coalesced in open line of battle, provided with a huge base of operations, vast resources, and great material fighting strength. To have acquired at a stroke the mastery of mighty Russia, covering nearly one-sixth of the whole land- surface of the globe and inhabited by fully 150,000,000 human souls, was a material asset of incalculable value. And the moral gains were equally important. "Nothing succeeds like success"; so the triumph of the Russian Bolsheviks set revolutionists everywhere aquiver, firing 178 their blood, inflaming their "will to power," and nerving their hearts to victory. The Bolshevik triumph in Russia had, it is true, been won by numerically slender forces, the numbers of con- vinced Bolsheviks who formed the ruling "Communist Party" numbering only about 500,000 or 600,000 out of a population of 150,000,000. But this was really a powerful stimulant to the "world revolution," because it proved the ability of a determined, ruthless minority to impose its will upon a disorganized society devoid of capable leaders, and thus encouraged revolutionary minorities everywhere to hope that they might do the same thing -- especially with the Russian backing upon which they could henceforth rely. As a matter of fact, Bolshevik revolutions have been tried in many lands since 1917, were actually successful for short periods in Hungary and Bavaria, and are certain to be attempted in the future, since in every part of the world Bolshevik agitation is persistently and insidiously going on. The Russian Bolshevik Revolution took most of the world by surprise -- particularly the orthodox Socialists, heedful of Marx's prophecy that the revolution would begin in ultra-capitalist countries, and not in economi- cally backward lands like Russia, barely out of the agri- cultural stage. To those who realize the true nature of social revolution and the special characteristics of Russian life, however, the outbreak of social revolution in Russia rather than in Western countries is precisely what might have been expected. Social revolution, as we have already seen, is not progress but regress; not a 179 step forward to a higher order, but a lurch backward to a lower plane. Therefore, countries like Russia, with veneers of civilization laid thinly over instinctive wild- ness and refractory barbarism, are peculiarly liable to revolutionary atavism. Furthermore, we have seen that the Russian Bolshevik Revolution was not a chance happening but the logical outcome of a process of social disintegration and savage resurgence that had long been going on. For more than half a century the "Nihilists" had been busily fanning the smouldering fires of chaos, their methods and aims being alike frankly described by one of their number, Dostoievsky, who wrote fully fifty years ago: "To re- duce the villages to confusion, to spread cynicism and scandals, together with complete disbelief in everything and eagerness for something better, and finally by means of fires to reduce the country to desperation! Man- kind has to be divided into two unequal parts: nine- tenths have to give up all individuality and become, so to speak, a herd. . . . We will destroy the desire property; we will make use of drunkenness, slander, spying; we will make use of incredible corruption; we will stifle every genius in his infancy. We will proclaim destruction. There is going to be such an upset as the world has never seen before." The growing power of the violent subversive elements showed clearly in the course of the Russian Revolution of 1905. That movement was not primarily a social revolution; it was at first a political revolution, directed by the "Intelligentsia" and the liberal bourgeoisie, 180 against the corrupt and despotic Czarist autocracy. No sooner was the Czarist regime shaken, however, than the social revolutionists tried to take over the move- ment and turn it to their own ends. It is instructive to remember that, in the Social Revolutionary Party Congress of 1903, the extremists had gained control of the party machinery, and were thenceforth known as "Bolsheviki," (1) dominating the less violent "Menshevik" wing. The leader of this successful coup was none other than Nikolai Lenin. Therefore, when the revolution of 1905 broke out, the social revolutionists, under the leadership of Lenin, were pledged to the most violent action. It was in the autumn of 1905, about six months after the beginning of the political revolution, that the Bol- sheviki attempted to seize control by proclaiming a "dic- tatorship of the proletariat," organized into "Soviets." The attempt, however, failed; but this abortive coup of the social revolutionists involved the failure of the whole revolutionary movement. Frightened by the spectre of class warfare and social chaos, the political revolutionists cooled, Czarism rallied and re-established its authority. Russia's hope of a liberal, constitutional government faded away, and Czarism continued in the saddle until the Revolution of March, 1917. This second revolution was almost an exact replica of the first. At the start it was dominated by political ____________________________________________________________ (1) Bolsheviki, transIated literally, means "those in the majority." Their less violent opponents, outvoted at the Congress of 1903, became known as Menshiviki, or "those in the minority." 181 reformers -- liberals like Mihukov and Prince Lvov, allied with moderate Socialists like Kerensky. Behind the scenes, however, the Bolsheviki were working. Both their tactics and their leaders (1) were the same as those of 1905, and this time their efforts were crowned with success. In November, 1917, eight months after the outbreak of the Second Russian Revolution, came the the Third, or Bolshevik, Revolution, the crushing of both political liberals and moderate Socialists, and the tri- umph of violent Communism. Russia sank into the hell of class war, bloodshed, terrorism, poverty, cold, disease, and appalling famine in which it has been welter- ing ever since. Furthermore, "Red Russia" appeared like a baleful meteor on the world's horizon. The Bol- shevik leaders promptly sought to use Russia as a lever for upsetting the whole world and supplemented their national organization by the "Third International," whose revolutionary tentacles soon stretched to the re- motest corners of the earth. Into a detailed discussion of Bolshevism's horrors and failures I do not propose to enter. It would fill a book in itself. Suffice it here to say that Bolshevism's so- called "constructive" aims have failed, as they were bound to fail, for the simple reason that Bolshevism is essentially a destructive, retrogressive movement. To be sure, the economic breakdown in Russia has been ___________________________________________________________ (1) It is interesting to remember that it was Leon Trotzky who, in the autumn of 1905, tried to engineer the abortive "dictatorship of the proletariat" already described. Although Lenin and Trotzky remained unknown to the world at large until 1917, they had been the leaders of the Russian Bolsheviki for many years previously. 182 so frightful that, in order to avert utter chaos, the Bol- shevik leaders have been forced to revive some of the despised "capitalist" methods, such as private trading, the employment of high-salaried experts, and certain forms of private property. They have also attempted to stimulate production by establishing an iron despotism over the workers, forcing the latter to labor virtually as slaves, so that the Bolshevist regime has come to be be known sardonically as a "dictatorship over the pro- letariat." Perhaps these measures may save Russia from absolute ruin; perhaps not. Time alone will tell. But even if things now take a turn for the better, this will be due, not to Bolshevism but to a practical repudia- tion of Bolshevism by its own leaders. It is by its doc- trines, and by its acts done in accordance with those doctrines, that Bolshevism must be judged. Let us see, then, what Russian Bolshevism means, in theory and in applied practice. The fundamental characteristic of Bolshevism is its violence. Of course, this was also a basic element in Syndicalism, but the Bolshevists seem to stress violence even more than their Syndicalist predecessors. Bol- shevism calmly assumes wholesale class warfare of the most ferocious character on a world-wide scale for an indefinite period, as a normal phase of its development and as necessary for its success. For example: the American journalist, Arthur Ransome, in his conversa- tions with the Russian Bolshevik leaders, found them contemplating a "period of torment" for the world at large lasting at least fifty years. The class wars which 183 would rage in western Europe and America would be infinitely worse than Russia's, would annihilate whole populations, and would probably imply the destruction of all culture. (1) The appalling implications of this Bolshevik principle of "permanent violence" have repelled not merely be- lievers in the existing social order, but also many persons not wholly hostile to Bolshevism and even ready to welcome a social revolution of a less destructive character. The "Menshevik" Gregory Zilboorg thus criticises Bol- shevism's "mob-psychology" (and incidentally expounds the Menshevik theory of revolution) in the following lines: "The Bolshevists have an almost religious, almost frantic faith in the masses as such. Dynamic masses are their ideal. But they overlooked, and still overlook, the fact that the masses, even the self-conscious masses, are often transformed into mobs, and the dynamic power of a mob may scarcely be reasoned with . . . "The fallacy in the Bolshevist reasoning lies in in- cluding people as well as mob in the term 'masses.' The blind faith in the 'masses is a silent but potent indication that they accept the crowd and the crowd- psychology as the most justifiable factors in social life. Such an acceptance implies the further acceptance of two very dangerous factors. The first is that revolu- tion is a blow, a moment of spontaneous destruction. Immediately following this blow there arises the necessity for stabilizing the social forces for a constructive life. __________________________________________________________ (1) Ransome, Russia in 1919, pp. 83-87 (New York, 1919). 184 I take it that the work of construction must begin, not when we have reached a point beyond which we can- not go, but when we have completely changed the social element. As soon as the old codes, as a system, are done with, we must give up destroying and turn to con- structing. For this purpose we must gather all our intellectual forces, relying on the masses to help us, but not being guided by them. So that when a revolu- tion puts power into the hands of a group or a class, even dictatorial power, we must immediately begin to solidarize the social forces. The Communist theory omits the necessity for this solidarization, and, there- fore, admits of no compromise or co-operation. It cre- ates fundamental principles of a rule by a minority. Government by a minority is dangerous, not because it is opposed to the traditional idea of democracy and the traditional worship of the majority, but because such government necessitates the employment of continuous violent methods and maintaining continuously, in the minds of the masses, a consciousness of danger and the necessity for destruction. And that is the second dan- gerous factor. Under such a condition the masses are permanent mobs, able only to hate, to fight, and to de- stroy." (1) In similar vein, President Masaryk of Czechoslovakia (himself a moderate Socialist) asserts that "The Bolshe- viki want revolution at any cost," and continues: "Lenin considers armed revolution the principal constructive ___________________________________________________________ (1) Zilboorg, The Passing of the Old Order in Europe, pp. 184-186 (New York, 1920). 185 force in social progress: For the Bolsheviki, revolution is a revelation, and for most of them it is literally a fetish. Consequently, to their eyes, revolution is an end in itself . . . . The Bolsheviki did not know, and they never have known, how to work. They know only how to force others to work. They know how to fight, how to kill, and murder, and die, but they are incapable of plodding, productive labor." (1) It was the terrible "price" of prolonged, world-wide warfare that made the celebrated English thinker, Bertrand Russell, reject Bolshevism, to which he had at first been strongly attracted. "Those who realize the destructiveness of the late war," he writes, "the devastation and impoverishment, the lowering of the level of civilization throughout vast areas, the general increase of hatred and savagery, the letting loose of bestial instincts which had been curbed during peace -- those who realize all this will hesitate to incur incon- ceivably greater horrors even if they believe firmly that Communism in itself is much to be desired. An eco- nomic system cannot be considered apart from the population which is to carry it out; and the population resulting from such a world war as Moscow calmly contemplates would be savage, bloodthirsty and ruthless to an extent that must make any system a mere engine of oppression and cruelty. . . . I am compelled to reject Bolshevism for two reasons: First, because the price mankind must pay to achieve Communism by ______________________________________________________________ (1)T G. Masaryk, Revolutionary Theory in Europe. Translated in The Living Age, 9 July, 1921. 186 Bolshevik methods is too terrible; and secondly, be- cause, even after paying the price, I do not believe the result would be what the Bolsheviks profess to desire." (1) In this connection it is instructive to note that the Russian Bolshevik leaders have never repudiated, or even modified, their fundamental reliance upon violent methods. Lenin's famous "Twenty-One Points" Mani- festo, laying down the terms upon which Socialist groups throughout the world would be admitted to the "Third International," commands implacable war, open or se- cret, both against existing society and against all So- cialists outside the Communist fold. And Trotzky, in his recent pronouncement significantly entitled, "The Defense of Terrorism," (2) fiercely justifies all Bolshevik acts and policies as alike necessary and right. Another of Bolshevism's fundamental characteristics is its despotism -- a despotism not only of the Bolshe- vist minority over the general population, but also of the Bolshevik leaders over their own followers. Here, again, Bolshevism is merely developing ideas already formulated by Syndicalism. The Syndicalists, abandon- ing the Marxian deference for "the masses" in general, denied the necessity or desirability for heeding their wishes and considered only the "class-conscious" minority of the proletariat -- in plain language, their own crowd. As the French Syndicalist, Lagardelle put it: __________________________________________________________ (1) Bertrand Russel, "Bolshevik Theory," The New Republic, 3 November, 1920. (2) English Translation published in London, 1922. 187 "The mass, unwieldy and clumsy as it is, must not here speak out its mind." Furthermore, in carrying out their programme, Syndicalist leaders might rely wholly on force, without even condescending to explana- tion. In the words of the Syndicalist Brouilhet: "The masses expect to be treated with violence, and not to be persuaded. They always obediently follow when a single man or a clique shows the way. Such is the law of collective psychology." The Russian Bolshevik leaders evidently had these ideas in mind when they made their successful coup d' etat in November, 1917. Bolshevik theory, as preached to the masses, had hitherto been that the "dictatorship of the proletariat" would be a short transition period ending with the rapid annihilation of the capitalist and bourgeois classes, after which there would be no more "government," but a fraternal liberty. That the Bol- shevik "dictatorship" might last longer than most pro- letarians expected was, however, hinted at by Lenin himself in a circular issued shortly before the November coup, and entitled, "Shall the Bolsheviks remain in Power?" Here Lenin bluntly states his attitude. Of course, he says, we preached the destruction of the State as long as the State was in possession of our enemies. But why should we destroy the State after having our- selves taken the helm? The State is, to be sure, an or- ganised rule by a privileged minority. Well, let us in our turn substitute our minority for theirs, and let us run the machinery! And this is precisely what the Bolsheviks have done. 188 Instead of destroying the State, they have built up one of the most iron despotisms that the world has ever seen, with an autocratic governing clique functioning through a centralized "Red" bureaucracy and relying upon a "Red" army powerful enough to crush all disaffection. No parliamentary opposition, no criticism, is permitted. No book, pamphlet, or newspaper may be printed which disagrees with the Bolshevik Government. Further- more, there are no signs of any relaxation of this despotic attitude. The recent "concessions" like private trad- ing are purely economic in character; the Bolshevik Government itself has frankly announced that no politi- cal concessions will be made, and that absolute power will remain in its hands. The economic concessions are termed merely "temporary" to be revoked as soon as the Russian people has become sufficiently "educated" along Bolshevik lines to make possible the establishment of pure Communism. Of course, this means that the "dictatorship" is to be indefinitely prolonged. As Lenin himself candidly remarked recently to a visiting delegation of Spanish Socialists: "We never spoke about liberty. We practise the proletariat's dictatorship in the name of the minor- ity, because the peasant class have not yet become pro- letarian and are not with us. It will continue until they subject themselves." But would the dictatorship end even if the whole Russian people should "subject themselves" to Com- munism? It is highly improbable. On this point Bertrand Russel makes some very acute remarks, the 189 result of his journey to Russia, and keen "sizing-up" of its Bolshevist rulers. (1) Says Mr. Russell: "Advocacy of Communism by those who believe in Bolshevik methods rests upon the assumption that there is no slavery except economic slavery, and that when all goods are held in common there must be perfect lib- erty. I fear this is a delusion. "There must be administration, there must be officials who control distribution. These men, in a Communist State, are the repositories of power. So long as they control the army, they are able, as in Russia at this moment, to wield despotic power, even if they are a small minority. The fact that there is Communism -- to a certain extent does not mean that there is lib- erty. If the Communism were more complete it would not necessarily mean more freedom; there would still be certain officials in control of the food-supply, and those officials could govern as they pleased as long as they retained the support of the soldiers. This is not mere theory; it is the patent lesson of the present con- dition of Russia. The Bolshevik theory is that a small minority are to seize power, and are to hold it until Communism is accepted practically universally, which, they admit, may take a long time. But power is sweet, and few men surrender it voluntarily. It is especially sweet to those who have the habit of it, and the habit becomes most ingrained in those who have governed _________________________________________________________ (1) It is interesting to note that Mr. Russell's remarks on this particular point roused more anger in Bolshevik circles than did any of his other criticisms. The reason is obvious: they hit too much at the heart of things. 190 by bayonets without popular support. Is it not almost inevitable that men placed as the Bolsheviks are placed in Russia (and as they maintain that the Communists must place themselves wherever the social revolution succeeds) will be loath to relinquish their monopoly of power, and will find reasons for remaining until some new revolution ousts them? Would it not be fatally easy for them, without altering the economic structure, to decree large salaries for high government officials, and so reintroduce the old inequalities of wealth? What motive would they have for not doing so? What mo- tive is possible except idealism, love of mankind -- non- economic motives of the sort that Bolsheviks decry? The system created by violence and the forcible rule of a minority must necessarily allow of tyranny and ex- ploitation; and if human nature is what Marxists assert it to be, why should the rulers neglect such opportunities of selfish advantage? "It is sheer nonsense to pretend that the rulers of a great empire such as Soviet Russia, when they have become accustomed to power, retain the proletarian psychology, and feel that their class interest is the same as that of the ordinary working man. This is not the case in fact in Russia now, however the truth may be concealed by fine phrases. The government has a class consciousness and a class interest quite distinct from those of the genuine proletarian, who is not to be con- founded with the paper proletarian of the Marxian schema."' (1) __________________________________________________________ (1) Russell, op. cit. 191 Thus, in Russia as in social revolutions throughout history, we see emerging the vicious circle of chaos suc- ceeded by despotism. There is the tragedy of social upheavals -- the upshot being that the new ruling class is usually inferior to the old, while society has mean- time suffered irreparable cultural and racial losses. How, indeed, can it be otherwise? Let us look once more at Russia. Consider, first of all, the Bolshevik leaders. Some of them, like Lenin, are really able men, but most of them appear to belong to those sinister types ("tainted geniuses," paranoiacs, unbalanced fa- natics, unscrupulous adventurers, clever criminals, etc.) who always come to the front in times of social dissolu- tion -- which, indeed, give them their sole opportunity of success. In fact, this has been admitted by no less a person than Lenin himself. In one of his extraor- dinary bursts of frankness, he remarked in his speech before the Third Soviet Conference, "Among one hun- dred so-called Bolsheviki -- there is one real Bolshevik, with thirty-nine criminals and sixty fools." It would be extremely instructive if the Bolshevik leaders could all be psychoanalyzed. Certainly, many of their acts suggest peculiar mental states. The atroci- ties perpetrated by some of the Bolshevik Commissars, for example, are so revolting that they seem explicable only by mental aberrations like homicidal mania or the sexual perversion known as sadism. One such scientific examination of a group of Bol- shevik leaders has been made. At the time of the Red terror in the city of Kiev, in the summer of 1919, the 192 medical proffessors of Kiev University were spared on account of their usefulness to their terrorist masters. Three of these medical men were competent alienists, who were able to diagnose the Bolshevik leaders mentally in the course of their professional duties. Now their diagnosis was that nearly all the Bolshevik leaders were degenerates, of more or less unsound mind. Further- more most of them were alcoholics, a majority were syphilitic, while many were drug fiends. Such were the "dictators" who for months terrorized a great city of more than 600,000 inhabitants, committed the most fiendish atrocities, and butchered many leading citizens including scholars of international reputation. (1) Of course, what is true of the leaders is even truer of of the followers. In Russia, as in every other social up- heaval, the bulk of the fighting revolutionists consists of the most turbulent and worthless elements of the population, far outnumbering the small nucleus of gen- uine zealots for whom the revolution is a pure ideal. The original "Red Guard" of Petrograd, formed at the time of the November coup, was a most unsavory lot, made up chiefly of army deserters, gunmen, and foreign adventurers, especially Letts from the Baltic Provinces. The Bolshevik leaders from the start deliberately in- flamed the worst passions of the city rabble, while the _____________________________________________________________ (1) The most flagrant instance was the murder of Professor Florinsky of Kiev University, an international authority on Slavic history and jurisprudence. Haled before the Revolutionary Tribunal for examination, he was shot in open court by one of his judges -- a woman member, named Rosa Schwartz. This woman, a former prostitute, was apparently under the influence of liquor. Irritated by one of the professor's answers to a question, she drew her revolver and fired at him, killing him instantly. 193 "pauper" elements in the villages were systematically incited against the thriftier peasants. When the Bol- shevik Government became firmly established, prole- tarian violence was controlled and directed against its enemies. The spirit, however, remained the same -- a spirit of wild revolt, of measureless violence, of frenzied hatred of the old order in every form. All glory, honor, and triumph to the revolution; to the fury of the proletarian will; to the whirlwind of unfettered brute-action; to the madness for doing things! This spirit is vividly portrayed in Alexander Block's famous poem, The Twelve. (1) Block preaches implacable hatred of the old world; of the "lazy bourgeois"; of all that belongs to yesterday, which fancied itself secure and npw has become the booty of the Red Guards. "For the bourgeois woe and sorrow. We shall start a world-wide fire, And with blood that fire we'll blend." The "bourgeois," the middle-class man, is hated even worse than the aristocrat and the great capitalist. This attitude is not peculiar to the Russian Bolsheviks; it is shared by all social revolutionists, both of to-day and of yesterday. In the preceding chapter we have seen how fierce was the hatred of the middle classes among ___________________________________________________________ (1) Alexander Block (now deceased) was one of the few Russian "intellectuals" of distinction who went over to Bolshevism at the beginning of the revolution. The Twelve are twelve Red Guards, typical hoodlums, who are glorified and are compared to the twelve Apostles of Christ. 194 Anarchists and Syndicalists. In Russia it is felt by all the revolutionary parties. Here, for example, is how the Menshevik, Gregory Zilboorg, describes the bour- geoisie: "The great enemy of a genuine revolution is, not capitalism itself, but its by-product, its bastard offspring, the middle class; and as long as the middle class remains intact in Europe, a revolution is not possi- ble. . . . Materialism demonstrated a certain diabolic genius in creating its faithful servant, the middle class. The rule of the middle class is nothing less than a 'dictatorship of the propertariat.' While that dictature lasts, the new order of society will remain unborn." (1) Such being the attitude of revolutionists of all shades, the fate of the Russian middle classes after the Bolshevik triumph was a foregone conclusion. As a matter of fact, the Bolsheviks proceeded to shatter this "stumbling- block of the revolution" with a ruthless efficiency un- paralleled in history. The middle classes were pro- scribed en mass, "Boorjooy" becoming as fatal an epithet in Soviet Russia as "Aristocrat" was in Jacobin France. All over Russia the bourgeois were degraded into persecuted pariahs, systematically fenced off like lepers from the rest of the population and condemned to ultimate extinction as unfit to live in the new Com- munistic society. The tragedy that followed baffles description. Multi- tudes of bourgeois fled beyond the frontiers. Other multitudes scattered across Russia as homeless refugees. The bravest joined the "White" armies and fell fighting __________________________________________________________ (1) Zilboorg, op. cit., pp. 240-242. 195 in the civil wars. The rest huddled in their desolate homes, like condemned criminals waiting for death ex- posed to every hardship and ignominy that their perse- cutors could heap upon them. The most effective means devised by the Bolsheviks for "eliminating" the bour- geoisie was the "differential food ration." The popu- lation was graded by classes and rationed accordingly, members of the Communist Party faring best, while "Boorjooy" received least of all -- in Lenin's jocose phraseology, "bread enough to prevent them from for- getting its smell." Their official ration being quite in-sufficient to sustain life, the bourgeois eked out a wretched existence by bartering to food-smugglers such of their goods as had not been seized or stolen, and when these were gone -- starved. The result of all this has been the utter ruin (and in large part the physical annihilation) of the old Russian middle classes. Many hundreds of thousands, at the very least, must have perished, while those still alive are physically wrecked and spiritually broken. To be sure, there is the so-called "new bourgeoisie," sprung from the ranks of sly food-smugglers and peasant profi- teers. But this new bourgeoisie is far inferior to the old in everything except low cunning and crass materialism. In fact, the Bolsheviks themselves almost deplore the disappearance of the old bourgeoisie when they con- template its sinister successor. Says Ivestia, the Bol- shevik official organ: "Our old bourgeoisie has been crushed, and we imagine that there will be no return of old conditions. The power of the Soviets has succeeded 196 the old regime, and the Soviet advocates equality and universal service; but the fruits of this era are not yet ready to harvest, and there are already unbidden guests and new forms of profiteers. They are even now so numerous that we must take measures against them. But the task will be a difficult one, because the new bourgeoisie is more numerous and dangerous than the old. The old bourgeoisie committed many sins, but it did not conceal them. A bourgeois was a bourgeois. You could recognize him by his appearance. . . . The old bourgeoisie robbed the people, but it spent part of its money for expensive fixtures and works of art. Its money went by indirect channels to the support of schools, hospitals, and museums. Apparently the old bourgeoisie was ashamed to keep everything for itself; and so gave back part. The new bourgeoisie thinks of nothing but its stomach. Comrades, beware of the new bourgeoisie." The fate of the middle classes was shared by other elements of Russian society; by the nobility, gentry, capitalists, and "intellectuals." The tragedy of the intellectuals is a peculiarly poignant one. The Russian intellectuals, or Intelligensia, as they called themselves, had for generations been Russia's brain and conscience. In the Intelligentsia were concentrated Russia's best hopes of progress and civilization. The Intelligentsia stood bravely between despotic Czardom and benighted masses, striving to liberalize the one and to enlighten the other, accepting persecution and misunderstanding as part of its noble task. Furthermore, beside the al- 197 most caste-like stratification of old Russian society, the Intelligentsia stood, a thing apart. Recruited from all classes, it was not itself a class, but rather a non-class or super-class element. From this it naturally followed that the Intelligentsia was not of one mind. It had its conservatives, its liberals, its radicals, even its violent extremists -- from which the brains of Nihilism and Bol- shevism were drawn. The prevailing tone was, however, "liberal"; that is to say, a spirit of constructive reform. The Intelligentsia backed the political revolutions of 1905 and March, 1917. The latter, in particular, fired it with boundless hopes. The Intelligentsia believed that its labors and trials were at last to be rewarded; that Russia was to become the liberal, progressive na- tion of its dreams. Then came the Bolshevik coup of November. The extremist wing of the Intelligentsia accepted Bolshevism with delirium, but the majority rejected it with horror. Bolshevism's narrow class consciousness, savage temper, fierce destructiveness, and hatred of intellect appalled and disgusted the Intelligentsia's liberal idealism. But the Bolsheviks, on their side, had long hated and de- spised the intellectuals, regarding them as enemies to be swept ruthlessly from their path. The result was a persecution of the intellectuals as implacable as the per- secution of the bourgeoisie. The Russian intellectuals were killed, starved, and driven into exile. Multitudes perished, while the survivors were utterly broken and intellectually sterilized. As time passed, to be sure, the economic collapse of Russia (largely through sheer brain 198 famine) compelled the Bolshevik Government to abate its persecution and to offer some of the intellectuals posts in its service. However, the offer was coupled with such humiliating, slavish conditions that the nobler spirots preferred starvation, while those who accepted did so only in despair. The martyrdom of the Russian Intelligentsia is vividly described by one of their number in the following poign- ant lines. Says Leo Pasvolsky: "I have seen educated men coming out of Russia; their general appearance, and particularly the crushed hopelessness of their mental processes, is a nightmare that haunts me every once in a while. They are a living testimonial to the processes that are takng place in Russia. . . . Such an exodus of the educated and intelligent as there has been out of Russia no country has ever seen, and certainly no coun- try can ever afford. The Intelligentsia has lost every- thing it had. It has lived to see every ideal it revered shattered, every aim it sought pushed away almost out of sight. Embittered and hardened in exile, or crushed spiritually and physically under the present government, the tragedy of the Russian Intelligentsia is the most pathetic and poignant in human history." (1) The blows which Bolshevism has dealt Russia's intel- lectual life have been truly terrible. Indeed, it is not too much to say that Bolsheviam has beheaded Russia. The old Intelligentsia is destroyed, blighted, or in exile. And, so long as Bolshevism rules, it is difficult to see how ____________________________________________________________ (1) Leo Pasvolski, "The Intelligencia under the Soviets," Atlantic Monthly, November 1920. 199 a new Intelligentsia can arise. The Bolshevik Govern- ment has undertaken the herculean task of converting the whole Russian people to Communism, seeing therein the sole guarantee of its continued existence. To this supreme end everything else must be subordinated. But this means that education, learning, science, art, and every other field of intellectual activity is perverted into propaganda; that all doubtful or hostile ideas must be excluded; that no critical or independent thinking can be tolerated. And history has conclusively demon- strated that where thought is not free there is no true intellectual life, but only intellectual mummies or abor- tions. Furthermore, the still more fundamental query arises, whether, even if Bolshevik rule should soon end, Russia may not have suffered such racial losses that the level her intelligence has been permanently lowered. Rus- sia's biological losses have been appalling. For five long years a systematic extirpation of the upper and middle classes has been going on, and the results of this "inverse selection" are literally staggering. The number of Rusian exiles alone, to-day scattered to the four corners of the earth, is estimated at from one to two millions. Add to these the hundreds of thousands who have perished by execution, in prison, in the civil wars, and by disease, cold, and famine; add to these, again, the millions who survive ruined, persecuted, and thus unlikely to rear their normal quota of children; and we begin to realize how the Russian stock has been im- paired -- how well the Under-Man has done his work! 200 To be sure, against all this may be set the fact that Russia's racial losses are probably not so terrible as those which Bolshevism would inflict upon the more advanced Western nations. Russia's very backwardness, together with the caste-like rigidity of old Russian so- ciety, minimized the action of the "social ladder" and hindered that "draining" of talent from the lower into the higher social classes which has proceeded so rapidly in western Europe and America. Nevertheless, even if Russia's racial losses are not so fatal as those which the West would suffer under similar circumstances, they must be very grave and largely irreparable. Of course these considerations can have no influence whatever upon the conduct of the Bolsheviks themselves, because the philosophy of the Under-Man denies he- redity, believes passionately in "natural equality" and the omnipotence of environment, and pins its faith on mass quantity instead of individual quality. Indeed, the Bolsheviks believe that the whole world order, both as it now exists and as it has in the past existed, is hopelessly aristocratic or bourgeois; that to the proletariat it is meaningless and useless; that it should therefore be utterly destroyed; and that in its place must arise a new "proletarian" world order, cre- ated exclusively by and for the proletariat. This theory is absolute. It makes no exceptions; all fields of human activity, even science, art, and literature, being included. The climax of this theory is the Bolshevik doctrine of "Proletarian Culture," or, as it is termed in Bolshevik circles, Prolet-kult. 201 Of course, here as elsewhere, Bolshevism has invented nothing really new. The idea of "proletarian culture" was preached by the Syndicalists twenty years ago. The Bolsheviks have, however, elaborated the doctrine, and in Russia they are actually attempting to practise it. The Russian Bolsheviks are, to be sure, divided over the immediate cultural policy to be pursued. Some assert that, since existing culture is to the proletariat meaningless, useless, and even dangerous, it should be scrapped forthwith. Others maintain that existing cul- ture contains certain educative elements, and that these should therefore be used for the stimulation of the pro- letarian culture of the future. To the latter faction (which has the support of Lenin) is due the preservation of Russia's art treasures and the maintence of certain artistic activities like the theatre and the opera along more or less traditional lines. However, these factional differences, as already stated, are merely differences of policy. In principle both factions are agreed, their common goal being the creation of an exclusive, prole- tarian culture. Let us, therefore, examine this doctrine of Prolet-kult as expounded by its partisans in Russia and elsewhere. The arch-champion of Prolet-kult in Russia is Luna- charsky. He is one of the most powerful Bolshevik lead- ers and holds the post of Commissar of Education in the Soviet Government, so he is well able to make his cul- tural ideas felt. Lunacharaky holds the doctrine of Prolet-kult in its most uncompromising form. His offi- cial organ, Proletarskaia Kultura (Proletarian Culture) 202 sets forth authoritatively the Bolshevik cultural view. Let us see precisely what it is. Lunacharsky categorically condemns existing "bour- geois" culture from top to bottom, and asserts that it must be destroyed and replaced by a wholly new pro- letarian culture. Says Lunacharsky "Our enemies, dur- ing the whole course of the revolutionary period, have not ceased crying about the ruin of culture. As if they did not know that in Russia, as well as everywhere, there is no united common human culture, but that there is only a bourgeois culture, an individual culture, debasing itself into a culture of Imperialism -- covetous, blood- thirsty, ferocious. The revolutionary proletariat aspires to free itself from the path of a dying culture. It is working out its own class, proletarian culture. . . . During its dictatorship, the proletariat has realized that the strength of its revolution consists not alone in a political and military dictatorship, but also in a cultural dictatorship." Lunacharsky's editorial dictum is enthusiastically in- dorsed by multitudes of "Comrades" who, in prose and verse, enliven Proletarskaia Kultura's edifying pages. The old bourgeois culture is, of course, the object of fierce hatred. Sings one poetic soul: "In the name of our To-morrow we will burn Rafael, Destroy museums, crush the flowers of art. Maidens in the radiant kingdom of the Future Will be more beautiful than Venus de Milo." Science (as it now exists) is likewise under the ban. For example, one "Comrade" Bogdanoff, desiring to 203 show what transformations the material sciences and philosophy will have to undergo in order to make them suitable for proletarian understanding, enunciates a series of propositions. Of these the ninth is that astronomy must be transformed from its present state into a "teach- ing of the orientation in space and time of the efforts of labor." To the non-Bolshevik mind these ideas sound insane. But they are not insane. They are merely a logical recognition of the fact that, in a society organized ex- clusively on proletarian principles, every thread in the fabric, whether it be political, social, economic, or ar- tistic, must harmonize with the whole design, and must be inspired by one and the same idea -- class conscious- ness and collectivism. This is clearly perceived by some contributors. Says one: "In order to be a proletarian creator it is not enough to be an artist; it is also neces- sary to know economics, the laws of their development, and to have a complete knowledge of the Marxist method, which makes it possible to expose all the strata and mouldiness of the bourgeois fabric." And another ob- serves: "Marx has established that society is, above all, an organization of production, and that in this lies the basis of all the laws of its life, all development of its forms. This is the point of view of the social-pro- ductive class; the point of view of the working collec- tive." Indeed, one writer goes so far as to question the need for any art at all in the future proletarian culture. Ac- cording to this Comrade, art arose out of individual 204 arriving, passion, sorrow, disillusion, the conflict of the individual with the Fates (whatever shapes they might take, whether those of gods, God, or Capitalists). In the Communistic society of the future, where everybody will be satisfied and happy, these artistic stimuli will no longer exist, and art will thus become both unneces- sary and impossible. This annihilating suggestion is, however, exceptional; the other Comrades assume that proletarian culture will have its artistic side. Proletarian art must, how- ever, be mass art; the concepts of genius and individual creation are severely reprobated. This is, of course, in accordance with the general theory of Bolshevism: that the individual must be merged in the collectivity; that talented individuals merely express the will of the mass incarnated in them. This Bolshevik war against indi- viduality explains why the overwhelming majority of the Russian Intelligentsia is so irreconcilably opposed to Bolshevism. It also explains why those who have bowed to Bolshevism have ceased to produce good work. They have been intellectually emasculated. The Comrades of Proletarskaia Kultura set forth logi- cally why proletarian culture must be exclusively the work of proletarians. This is because only a proletarian, strong in his class consciousness, can think or feel as a proletarian. Therefore, only to true proletarians is given the possibility of creating proletarian culture. Converts of bourgeois origin may think themselves pro- letarans, but they can never really belong to the creative elect. To this stern rule there are no exceptions. Even 205 Karl Marx (1) is excluded from along the proletarian's "deeper experiences"; like Moses, he may "look into the land of milk and honey, but never enter it." Furthermore, this new culture, produced exclusively by proletarans, must be produced in strictly proletarian fashion. The "culture workman," reduced to a cog in the creative machinery, produces cultural commodities like any other commodities, turns out art and literature precisely like boots and clothing. Why not, since cul- ture, like industry, is subject to unbending economic principles and can be expressed in a collective conven- tion symbolized by the machine? Why should not an artist or author be like an ordinary workman, working so many hours a day in the company of other artistic or literary workmen, and pooling their labors to produce a joint and anonymous product? The upshot of all this is the artists' or writers' workshop. Here we have the fine flower of proletarian culture! Bourgeois methods are, it seems, all wrong. They are intolerably antisocial. The bourgeois author or artist is an incorrigible individualist. He works on inspiration and in the solitude of his study or studio. For pro- letarian authors and artists such methods are unthinka- ble. Neither inspiration nor individual absorption being necessary to them, they will gather at a fixed hour for their communal labors in their workshops. Let us look in on a writers' workshop as depicted by Comrade Ker- zhentsev: _______________________________________________________________ (1) Marx was of distinctly middle-class stock. His father was a lawyer, and Marx himself received a good education. 206 "The literary work of the studios may be divided into various branches. First, the selection of the subject. Many authors have special ability in finding favorable subjects, while utterly unable to develop them respecta- bly. Let them give their subjects to others. Let these subjects, and perhaps separate parts of them -- scenes, pictures, episodes, various types and situations be col- lected. From this treasure of thought, material will be extracted by others. . . . It is precisely in such studios that a collective composition may be written. Perhaps various chapters will be written by various people. Perhaps various types and situations will be worked out and embodied by various authors. The whole composi- tion may be finally written by a single person, but with the constant and systematic collaboration of the other members of the studio in the particular work." This appalling nonsense is wittily punctured by an English critic in the following pungent lines: "What self-respecting author will submit to the bondage of the this human machine, this 'factory of literature'? This scheme, to my mind, is too preposterous to require an answer; yet, if one must be given, it can be contained in in a single word: Shakespeare! "Here was an individual who could write a better lyric, better prose, could define the passions better, could draw clearer types, had a better knowledge of human psychology, could construct better, was superior in every department of the literary art to all his contemporaries. A whole 'studio' of Elizabethans, great as each was individually, could have hardly put together a work of 207 art as 'collective' (if you will) and as perfect as this one man by himself. Imagine the harmony of Homer bet- tered by a collection of 'gas-bags' meeting to discuss his work! Imagine the colossal comedy of an Aristophanes 'improved' by the assistance of a lot of solemn-faced sans-culottes, dominated by an idee fixe, whom the comic author might even wish to satirize! "Would even lesser men consent to it? Imagine Wells and Bennett and Conrad and Chesterton, with their individual minds, produced in the opulent diversity of nature, collaborating in one room. Picture to your- self, if you can, a literary workshop, shared by Cannan, Lawrence, Beresford, Mackenzie, assisted, say, by Mrs. Humpfry Ward, Marie Corelli, and Elinor Glyn. "To this, the Bolsheviks will of course give their stereotyped reply that this diverse condition has been brought about by a bourgeois civilization; for laws of nature, the stumbling-block of good and bad Utopias, do not exist for them. But it is a long way from theory to practice, and they are a long way from having bound the Prometheus of creation to the Marxian rock." (1) The Russian Bolsheviks have, however, tried to do so in at least one notable instance. We have all heard of the famous (or notorious) "House of Science," where Russia's surviving savants have been barracked under one roof and told to get together and produce. Thus far, the House of Science has produced nothing but a high death-rate. _______________________________________________________________ (1) John Cournos, "A Factory of Literature," The New Europe, 20 November, 1919. 208 So much for Prolet-kult in Russia. Perhaps it may be thought that this is a special Russian aberration. This, however, is not the case. Prolet-kult is indorsed by Bolsheviks everywhere. For example: those stanch "Comrades," Eden and Cedar Paul, twin pillars of British Bolshevism and acknowledged as heralds of the Communist cause by Bolshevik circles in both England and America, have devoted their latest book to this very subject. (1) In this book all "bourgeois culture" is scath- ingly condemned. Our so~called "general culture" is "a purely class heritage." "There is no culture for the 'common people,' for the hewers of wood and the drawers of water." There is no such thing as "scientific" eco- nomics or sociology. For these reasons, say the authors, there should be organized and spread abroad a new kind of education, "Proletcult." This, we are informed, "is a fighting culture, aiming at the overthrow of capitalism and at the replacement of democratic culture and bour- geois ideology by ergatocratic culture and proletarian ideology." The authors warmly indorse the Soviet Government's prostitution of education and all other forms of intellectual activity to Communist propaganda, for we are told that the "new education" is inspired by "the new psychology," which "provides the philosophi- cal justification of Bolshevism and supplies a theoretical guide for our efforts in the field of proletarian culture. . . . Education is suggestion. The recognition that sugges- tion is autosuggestion, and that autosuggestion is the _____________________________________________________________ (1) Eden and Cedar Paul, Proletcult (London and New York, 1921). See also their book Creative Revolution (Loudon and New York, 1920). 209 means whereby imagination controls the subconscious self, will enable us to make a right use of the most potent force which has become available to the members of the human herd since the invention of articulate speech. The function of the Proletculturist is to fire the imagina- tion, until the imagination realizes itself in action." This is the revolution's best hope, for "the industrial workers cannot have their minds clarified by an educa- tion which has not freed itself from all taint of bour- geois ideology." Such is the philosophy of the Under-Man, preached by Bolsheviks throughout the world. And in practice, as in theory, Bolshevism has everywhere proved strik- ingly the same. As already stated, the triumph of Bol- shevism in Russia started a wave of militant unrest which has invaded the remotest corners of the earth. No part of the world has been free from Bolshevik plots and Bolshevik propaganda, directed from Moscow. Furthermore, this Bolshevik propaganda has been extraordinarily clever in adapting means to ends. No possible source of discontent bas been overlooked. Strictly "Red" doctrines like the dictatorship of the proletariat are very far from being the only weapons in Bolshevism's armory. Since what is first wanted is the overthrow of the existing world order, any kind of op- position to that order, no matter how remote doctrinally from Bolshevism, is grist to the Bolshevist mill. Ac- cordingly, in every quarter of the globe, in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas, as in Europe, Bolshevik agitators have whispered in the ears of the discontented 210 their gospel of hatred and revenge. Every nationalist aspiration, every political grievance, every social injus- tice, every racial discrimination, is fuel for Bolshevism's incitement to violence and war. (1) To describe Bolshevism's subversive efforts throughout the world would fill a book in itself. Let us confine our attention to the two most striking fields of Bolshevist activity outside of Russia -- Hungary and Asia. The Bolshevik regime in Hungary represents the crest of the revolutionary wave which swept over Central Europe during the year 1919. (2) It was short-lived, last- ing less than six months, but during that brief period it almost ruined Hungary. As in Russia, the Bolshevik coup in Hungary was effected by a small group of revolu- tionary agitators, taking advantage of a moment of acute political disorganization, and backed by the most violent elements of the city proletariat. The leaders were mainly young "intellectuals," ambitious but not previously successful in life, and were mostly Jews. The guiding spirit was one Bela Kun, (3) a man of fiery energy but of rather unedifying antecedents. Kun had evi- __________________________________________________________ (1) For these larger aspects of Bolshevik propaganda, see Paul Miliukov, Bolshevism: An International Danger (London, 1920). For Bolshevik activities in the Near and Middle East, see my book The New World of Islam, chap. IX (New York and London, 1921). For Bolshevik activities in the Far East, see A. F. Legendre, Tour d'Horizon Mondial (Paris, 1920). (2) Germany, in particular, was afflicted with a whole crop of Bolshevik uprisings. In Bavaria, especially Munich, a Bolshevik regime was actually established for a short time, its overthrow being marked by a massacre of bourgeos "hostages." In Berlin there were several bloody risings of the proletariat. In Finland there was a sanguinary civil war, ending in the triumph of the "whites" over the "reds." These are merely the outstanding instances of a long series of revolutionary disorders. (3) Ne Cohen. 211 dently come to disapprove of the institution of private operty at an early age, for he had been expelled from school for theft, and later on, during a term in jail, he was caught stealing from a fellow prisoner. Down to 1914 Kun's career was that of a radical agitator. Early in the war he was captured by the Russians, and after the Russian revolution he joined the Bolsheviki. Picked by Lenin as a valuable agent, he was sent home at the end of the war with instructions to Bolshevize Hun- gary. His first efforts led to his arrest by the Hungarian authorities, but he soon got free and engineered the coup which placed him and his associates in power. The new revolutionary government started in on ap- proved Bolshevik lines. Declaring a "dictatorship of the proletariat," it established an iron despotism en- forced by "Red Guards," prohibited liberty of speech or the press and confiscated privare propety. Fortunately there was comparatively little bloosdhed. This was due to the express orders of Lenin, who, realizing how ex- posed was the position of Bolshevik Hungary, told Bela Kun to go slow and consolidate his position before taking more drastic measures. Kun, however, found it hard to control the zeal of his associates. Many of these were burning with hatred of the bourgeoisie and were anxious to "complete the revolution." In the last days of the Bolshevik regime, when its fall appeared more and more probable, the more violent elements got increasingly out of hand. Incendiary speeches were made inciting the proletariat to plunder and slaughter the bourgeois classes. For example, 212 Pogany, one of the Bolshevik leaders, launched the following diatribe at the middle classes: "Tremble be- fore our revenge! We shall exterminate you, not only as a class but literally to the last man among you. We look upon you as hostages, and the coming of Allied troops shall be of ill omen for you. Nor need you re- joice in the white flag of the coming bourgeois armies, for your own blood shall dye it red." As a matter of fact, many atrocities took place, espe- cially those committed by a bloodthirsty Commissar named Szamuely and a troop of ruffians known as the "Lenin Boys." However, there was no general massa- cre. The Bolsheviks were restrained by the sobering knowledge that they were surrounded by "white" armies, and that a massacre of Budapest bourgeois would mean their own wholesale extirpation. At the very last, most of the leaders escaped to Austria and thence ultimately succeeded in making their way to Moscow. So ended the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Despite the relatively small loss of life, the material damage done was enormous. The whole economic life of the country was disrupted, huge debts were contracted, and Hungary was left a financial wreck. As matters turned out, Soviet Hungary was merely an episode -- albeit an instructive episode, since it shows how near Europe was to Bolshevism in 1919. Quite otherwise is it with Asia. Here the Bolshevik onset is very far from having failed. On the contrary, it has gained important successes, and must be seriously reck- oned with in the immediate future. 213 Asia to-day full of explosive possibilities. For the past half century the entire Orient has been the scene of a vast, complicated ferment, due largely to the impact of Western ideas, which has produced an increasing unrest -- political, economic, social, religious, and much more besides. (1) Oriental unrest was, of course, enormously aggravated by the Great War. In many parts of the Near East, especially, acute suffering, balked ambitions, and furious hates combined to reduce society to the verge of chaos. Into this ominous turmoil there now came the sinister influence of Russian Bolshevism, marshalling all this diffused unrest by systematic efforts for definite ends. Asia was, in fact, Bolshevism's "second string." Bol- shevism was frankly out for a world revolution and the destruction of Western Civilization. It had vowed the "proletarianizatiom" of the whole world, beginning with the Western peoples but ultimately including all peoples. To attain this objective the Bolshevik leaders not only launched direct assaults on the West, but also planned flank attacks in Asia. They believed that, if the East could be set on fire, not only would Russian Bolshevism gain vast additional strength, but also the economic repercussion on the West, already shaken by the war, would be so terrific that industrial collapse would ensue, thereby throwing Europe open to revolution. In its Oriental policy, Russian Bolshevism was greatly ____________________________________________________________ (1) I have discussed this unrest in its various aspects, with special reference to the Near and Middle East, in my book, The New World of Islam, already refeered to. 214 aided by the political legacy of Russian imperialism. From Turkey to China, Asia had long been the scene of Russian imperialist designs and had been carefully stud- ied by Russian agents who had evolved a technic of "pacific penetration" that might be easily adjusted to Bolshevik ends. To intrigue in the Orient required no original planning by Trotzky or Lenin. Czarism had already done this for generations, and full information lay both in the Petrograd archives and in the brains of surviving Czarist agents 'ready to turn their hands as easily to the new work as the old. In all the elaborate network of Bolshevik propaganda which to-day enmeshes the East, we must discriminate between Bolshevism's two objectives: one immediate -- the destruction of Western political and economic power; the other ultimate -- the Bolshevizing of the Oriental masses and the consequent extirpation of the native upper and middle classes, precisely as has been done in Russia and as is planned for the countries of the West. In the first stage, Bolshevism is quite ready to back Oriental "nationalist" movements and to respect Ori- ental faiths and customs. In the second stage all these matters are to be branded as "bourgeois" and relentlessly destroyed. Russian Bolshevism's Oriental policy was formulated soon after its accession to power at the close of 1917. The year 1918 was a time of busy preparation. An elaborate propaganda organization was built up from various sources: from old Czarist agents; from the Rus- sian Mohammedan populations such as the Tartars of 215 South Russia and the Turkomans of Central Asia; and from the nationalist or radical exiles who flocked to Russia from Turkey, Persia, India, China, Korea, and even Japan. By the end of 1918, Bolshevism's Oriental propaganda department was well organized, divided into three bureaus, for the Islamic countries, India, and t Far East respectively. These bureaus displayed great activity, translating tons of Bolshevik literature into the various Oriental languages, training numerous secret agents and propagandists for "field-work," and getting in touch with disaffected or revolutionary elements. The effects of Bolshevik propaganda have been visible in nearly all the disturbances which have afflicted the Orient since 1918. In China and Japan few tangible successes have as yet been won, albeit the symptoms of increasing social unrest in both those countries have aroused distinct uneasiness among well-informed ob- servers. (1) In the Near and Middle East, however, Bol- shevism has achieved much more definite results. In- dian unrest has been stimulated by Bolshevik propa- ganda; Afghanistan, Turkey, and Persia have all been drawn more or less into Soviet Russia's political orbit; while Central Asia and the Caucasus regions have been definitely Bolshevized and turned into "Soviet Repub- lics" dependent upon Moscow. Thus Bolshevism is to-day in actual operation in both the Near and Middle East. _________________________________________________________ (1) For revolutionary unrest in China, see Legendre's book, already quoted. For social unrest in Japan, see, Sen Katayama, The Labor Movement in Japan (Chicago, 1918). Katayama is the most prominent leader of Japanese Socialism. Since writing the book referred to he has grown much more violent, and is now an extreme Bolshevik. 216 Soviet Russia's Oriental aims were frankly announced at the "Congress of Eastern Peoples" held at Baku, Transcaucasia, in the autumn of 1920. The president of the congress, the noted Russian Bolshevik leader, Zinoviev, stated in his opening address: "We believe this Congress to be one of the greatest events in history, for it proves not only that the pro- gressive workers and working peasants of Europe and America are awakened, but that we have at last seen the day of the awakening, not of a few, but of tens of thou- sands, of hundreds of thousands, of millions of the labor- ing class of the peoples of the East. These peoples form the majority of the world's whole population, and they alone, therefore, are able to bring the war between capi- tal and labor to a conclusive decision. "The Communist International said from the very first day of its existence: 'There are four or five times as many people living in Asia as live in Europe. We will free all peoples, all who labor.' . . . We know that the laboring masses of the East are in part retrograde. Com- rades, our Moscow International discussed the question whether a socialist revolution could take place in the countries of the East before those countries had passed through the capitalist stage. You know that the view which long prevailed was that every country must first go through the period of capitaliam before socialism could become a live question. We now believe that this is no longer true. Russia has done this, and from that mo- ment we are able to say that China, India, Turkey, Per- sia, Armenia also can, and must, make a direct fight to 217 get the Soviet system. These countries can, and must, prepare themselves to be Soviet republics. "We array ourselves against the English bourgeoisie; we seize the English imperialist by the throat and tread him under foot. It is against English capitalism that the worst, the most fatal blow must be dealt. That is so. But at the same time we must educate the laboring masses of the East to hatred, to the will to fight the whole of the rich classes indifferently, whoever they may be . . . so that the world may be ruled by the worker's horny hand." Such is Russian Bolshevism's Asiatic goal. And it is a goal by no means impossible of attainment. Of course, the numbers of class-conscious "proletarians" in the East are very small, while the Communist philosophy is virtually unintelligible to the Oriental masses. These facts have often been adduced to prove that Bolshevism can never upset Asia. The best answer to such argu- ments is -- Soviet Russia! In Russia an infinitesimal Communist minority, numbering, by its own admission, not much over 600,000, is maintaining an unlimited des- potism over at least 150,000,000 people. And the Orient is, politically and socially, much like Russia. Western countries may rely upon their stanch traditions of or- dered liberty and their highly developed social systems; the East possesses no such bulwarks against Bolshevism. In the Orient, as in Russia, there is the same backward- ness of the masses, the same absence of a large and powerful middle class, the same tradition of despotism, the same popular acquiescence in the rule of ruthless 218 minorities. Finally, the East is filled with every sort of unrest. The Orient is thus patently menaced with Bolshevism. And any extensive spread of Bolshevism in the East would be a hideous catastrophe both for the Orient and for the world at large. For the East, Bolshevism would spell downright savagery. The sudden release of the ignorant, brutal Oriental masses from their traditional restraints of religion and custom, and the submergence of the relatively small upper and middle classes by the flood of social revolution, would mean the destruction of all Oriental civilization and a plunge into an abyss of anarchy from which the East might not emerge for cen- turies. For the world as a whole the prospect would be perhaps even more terrible. The welding of Russia and the Orient into a vast revolutionary block would spell a gigantic war between East and West beside which the late war would seem mere child's play and which might leave the entire planet a mass of ruins. Yet this is precisely what the Soviet leaders are work- ing for, and what they frankly -- even gleefully -- prophesy. The vision of a revolutionary East destroying the "bour- geois" West fills many Bolshevists with wild exultation. Says the Bolshevist poet Peter Oryeschin: "Holy Mother Earth is shaken by the tread of millions of marching feet. The crescent has left the mosque; the crucifix the church. The end of Paris impends, for the East has lifted its sword. I saw tawny Chinamen leering through the win- dows of the Urals. India washes its garments as for a 219 festival. Prom the steppes rises the smoke of sacrifice to the new god. London shall sink beneath the waves. Gray Berlin shall lie in ruins. Sweet will be the pain of the noblest who fall in battle. Down from Mont Blanc hordes will sweep through God's golden valleys. Even the Kirghiz of the steppes will pray for the new era." Thus, in the East as in the West, the world, wearied and shaken by the late war, is faced by a new war -- the war against chaos.
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