free web hosting | free website | Business Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting
UNFORTUNATELY GREATNOW.COM IS CLOSING DOWN! More info

Free web hosting


CHAPTER VI -- THE REBELLION OF THE UNDER-MAN


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.



.

Back to Book Index
or to Patrick Henry On-Line?

Over to New World Disorder?