The Bolsheviks are in power. Lenin, Trotsky, Lunacharsky, are national commissioners of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and National Education. There is a truce offering with Germany. The Allies refuse to recognise the government of the Russian Revolution. And pacifists are blamed for all problems!
A registered message from Odessa. God knows, how it came to me! “Monsieur, I am sitting in my bedroom, reading your article ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’ as I listen to someone playing the ‘Marseillaise’ on the accordion outside the window. See more
Your magnificent, intoxicating ‘Marseillaise’… This song has gone from national to international, a symbol of freedom. Our Aleks leads under the Marseillaise. Kerensky leads our soldiers into battle under the red banners!
BiryukovPavel Biryukov is a publicist, a biographer of Leo Tolstoy. said that the Americans are making inroads into Russia and believe that they outclass her not only morally but materially as well. They’ve dispatched hundreds of missionary laymen there to convert the Russians to their faith. They take their mission of “God and the dollar” very seriously.
It pains me to think that you have lost your optimism, which so struck me on the occasion of our first meeting two years ago. Personally, I have preserved a profound faith in our future. See more
The nations must be driven to exhaustion; but misty will continue to move forward, and I believe in this richer and wider conception of civilization, in which intellectuals from Asia will bring the opportunities for development to our now impoverished Europe.
The Russian revolution is being suppressed by the Allies. The Bolsheviks are being persecuted. Capital punishment has been reinstated in the army. Poor Kerensky is a Danton-like marionette, his strings in the hands of England and President Wilson. See more
The democratic states of the West are refusing passports to socialists who wish to travel to Stockholm and thus stifle liberty in the name of liberty. An already-dead Europe stands on the path to a gaping grave.
Counter-revolution is happening in Russia. It is a repeat of the Paris Commune of 1848. Lenin is in hiding, Kerensky is a dictator serving the allies. The bourgeoisie in Germany, France and other countries should be relieved.
Recently, the deposed king of Greece, George, was roughed up in Lugano.
I sympathise with socialism, under the condition that it does not adopt the oppressive methods of the classes with which it fights, and does not violate the freedom of the individual.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Lord Robert Cecil said “Making peace now would be ridiculous”. Really. Two million corpses, and you think it is funny?! The discourse of these English statesmen is so tactlessly cynical. What’s the difference between this and the German atrocities? The only difference is that they are colder.
The membership of the Provisional Government is still a conundrum. Born of a popular revolution, it is now made up of people who are as far away from the spirit of revolution and as close to the spirit of a coup d’etat as it as it is possible to imagine. The Minister of War in the Provisional Government, Guchkov, is the former alter ago of Stolypin the “hangman”. The Foreign Minister, Milyukov, is an imperialist who supports continuing the war “to a victorious end”. It is impossible to place one’s trust in any of the generals. See more
There is no support for the revolutionaries either among the regular officers or among the tradesmen. The peasants do not share the idea of internationalism, as the workers do, and are susceptible to the influence of nationalism under the pretext of a defensive war. The internationalists in the army are the worst soldiers. And finally, the Russian internationalist cause has neither a single outstanding leader, nor a single representative in government. Lenin is not sufficiently even-tempered.
I am deeply concerned by this Russian fickleness, especially at such a fateful moment. I believe it is their exclusively psychological intelligence, their critical irony, which has made their characters so malleable. They take pleasure from strange, difficult and confusing situations, thriving on the risk and romance and enjoying their victories over others, who they mercilessly ridicule and play with like a marionette pulling at strings. See more
The existence of these monsters in the current revolution is its most frightful aspect. Who can say whether they have not already occupied the highest posts of government, and are preparing a monstrous betrayal of their responsibilities. The fact that there remains some possibility of exerting an influence from the outside gives me hope that my worst fears will not come to pass.
News from Russia: “Liberal” England forbids the publishing of Russian socialist newspapers in Russia, checks Russian passports in Russia, has laid its paws on an area in the North of Russia, and has seized the revolutionary Trotsky of a Swedish ship and arrrested him.
I was chatting to Lunacharsky at a musical evening. I heard from him that Lenin had left for Russia three days ago, travelling through Germany in a sealed carriage with four revolutionary comrades, Jews and Zionists. There were heated discussions before they left. The patriotically inclined socialists had spoken out against Lenin, whereas others accused him of indiscretion. As for Lenin, it is pointless trying to argue with him. See more
Lunacharsky describes him as an exceptionally energetic man, the only one of all the socialist leaders to exert an enormous influence with the people, due to the clarity of his aims and the infectious power of his will. He exercises the control of an authoritative leader within the party and is one of only a few aristocrats (just as Plekhanov is) among the socialists, where Jews predominate.
Guilbeaux, in confidence, told me about a serious plan of his friends, Russian revolutionaries, that seems to me to be very serious. Having exhausted all usual and unusual ways of trying to get entry into their country, having been denied by France and England, unsuccessfully trying to have the International Red Cross involved, they had a daring thought to try to get in touch with the general consul of Germany through their friends in Switzerland. See more
They have signed (or will sign) an agreement, according to which they are obligated to demand the release of all civilian German prisoners. In return, Germany obliges to let them pass through their territory into Russia, from one border to the other, in stamped and sealed train cars. I am vehemently against this plan. I have no doubts in the clear conscience of Russian revolutionaries and I understand the impatience that gnaws at them very well. But I cannot accept that they have gone to German government for help, not only because it is the enemy (they do not recognize it as such), but because it is the worst supporter of militant imperialism. Whatever they do in the future and however honest their intentions are, in the eyes of Europe and their own people they will be enemy’s accomplices.