“Tell me how you feel about the war, and I will tell you what kind of person you are” is an axiom which can be applied to all who call themselves socialists, and not only to individuals, but even to whole parties.
Now, after a long period of calm, the Russian offensive has begun. A considerable number (10,000) of prisoners have been taken, but at the same time our losses cannot be ignored. The jubilation this has caused in the Cadet camp is understandable: the more blood is spilt, on either side of the border, the greater chance the bourgeoisie has to find its feet again; they must drag the country into utter exhaustion, they must bleed Russia and cloud the people’s minds with the fog of militarism and patriotism, and then the cause of the bourgeoisie is won. But what do the Mensheviks and SRs have to be so pleased about?
The rain had stopped before my morning walk, and at 3 o'clock the weather cleared up. Until dinner I gave Alexis a history lesson. We worked In the park, and Alix was there sitting in her chair. I finished Julian; I liked it. See more
Until dinner we took a walk. During the evening I read aloud the sixth book of Le comte de Monte Christo.
I spend my days idly and aimlessly. Now I'm too old for household duties. I lack strength and my perception is negligible. Newspapers write about the 10,000 prisoners, about the battles - but it does not please me, I'm upset about people's suffering...
The laundry girls, the bakers and the domestic servants have gone on strike. The party has sent me to direct the striking laundry girls. These girls, who work in private enterprises, are not backing down. They are calling for greater pay, a fixed working day and the municipalisation of their enterprises. They show no sign of being “retrograde elements” of the proletariat; they are highly-organised and capable. See more
They are led by a fine comrade, a Bolshevik by the name of Sakharova. They are holding meetings across the city, making the dreadful conditions of their work, the swollen legs, the rheumatism, the invalidity at a flowering age, their unthinkable starvation wages, known to the public.
But together with their demands for better working conditions and the municipalisation of their workplaces (a demand which Minister Gvozdev particularly objects to) the laundry girls are adopting Bolshevik revolutions, on the war, on the Soviets, on the traitor-compromisers, at their meetings.
These meetings among the striking laundry-establishment workers have been very reinvigorating.
What a dreadful, difficult time! We all live on rumors, assumptions, hopes - and memories. There is nothing definite, nothing constant, everyone is perplexed and confused. Essentially, no one knows what they want and everyone is afraid of what others want. There is a lull in Petrograd, but the mood is quite strung - a scent of blood is in the air. The city is indescribably dirty. Turmoil, unrest, anarchy. In a word - revolution… See more
The offensive has begun - but in what way! We suffer great losses, mostly among officers and volunteers. During this war 60% of officers were killed, and less of soldiers - 40%.
It is funny how everyone remained, in essence, true to themselves: scoundrels have proven to be scoundrels, cowards have remained cowards, valiants are still valiants. Impudence is growing. Like a rotten tree it spreads its stinking branches and catches on everything. Even the most humane soul has to admit that Russia cannot live without a stick. She needs police, not freedom. Revolution has ruined itself - it is already laughable. If a Tsar comes, he will be very strict.
Do we have the right to fear our great, clever and kind people?
Newspapers brought us news that the offensive had begun. I met this dreadful news with a stupid indifference, without anger and despair. In recent weeks, everything in me has worn out, changed and faded. If you want to die, so die!
So, our campaign has failed! Even though our artillery was stronger than ever!