I long desperately to get out of here, to Moscow or to Kiev, where at least life is still going on, albeit falteringly. I’d particularly like to be in Kiev! The New Year will arrive in two hours’ time. What will it bring me? I was sleeping just now, and I dreamed of Kiev, of faces dear and familiar; I dreamed that someone was playing the piano… Will the old times return?
If the hopes which inspired Communism at the start, and which still inspire its Western advocates, are ever to be realized, the problem of minimizing violence is in itself delightful to most really vigorous revolutionaries, and they feel no interest in the problem of avoiding it as far as possible. Hatred of enemies is easier and more intense than love of friends.
Marxism will in a generation or so go into the limbo of most heresies, but meanwhile, it will have poisoned the Russian Revolution.
The sitting has just taken place. Trotsky made a great and, in its way, really fine speech, calculated for the whole of Europe, in which he gave way entirely. He accepts, he says, the German-Austria 'ultimatum,' and will remain in Brest-Litovsk, as he will not give us the satisfaction of being able to blame Russia for the continuance of the war. See more
In the evening I had another long talk with Kühlmann and Hoffmann, in the course of which the General and the Secretary of State came to high words between themselves. Hoffmann, elated at the success of our ultimatum to Russia, wished to go on in the same fashion and 'give the Russians another touch of the whip.' Kühlmann and I took the opposite view, and insisted that proceedings should be commenced quietly, confining ourselves to the matters in hand, clearing up point by point as we went on, and putting all doubtful questions aside. Once we had got so far, in clearing up things generally, we could then take that which remained together, and possibly get telegraphic instructions from the two Emperors for dealing therewith. This is undoubtedly the surest way to avoid disaster and a fresh breach.
A new conflict has cropped up with the Ukrainians. They now demand recognition of their independence, and declare they will leave if this is not conceded.