A decree on the civil marriage
The Russian smash at the end of 1917 was certainly the completest that has ever happened to any modern social organisation. After the failure of the Kerensky Government to make peace and of the British naval authorities to relieve the situation upon the Baltic flank, the shattered Russian armies, weapons in hand, broke up and rolled back upon Russia, a flood of peasant soldiers making for home, without hope, without supplies, without discipline.
That time of débâcle was a time of complete social disorder. It was a social dissolution. In many parts of Russia there was a peasant revolt. There was château-burning, often accompanied by quite horrible atrocities. It was an explosion of the very worst side of human nature in despair, and for most of the abominations committed the Bolsheviks are about as responsible as the Government of Australia.
My dear Emilia! I'm sending you my best wishes from the very bottom of my heart and wish you the happiest New Year - I think we both really need it.
My warmest regards,
A decree on the civil marriage
The year now passed has smashed the hopes of countless people to smithereens like few years before it. Hopes that many only carried quietly in their hearts, or muttered shyly. See more
Hopes that were voiced only by a very few, and rebuffed by brute force. Hopes that were important to women as well. Should 1917 not have brought peace between nations, and led to a pooling together of efforts in the struggle against internal enemies – hunger, destitution, ignorance and discontent – afflicting the people at large to an ever greater degree even as the battle for world domination blazed on?
People's Commissariat has issued a decree on forming a board tasked with creating a Department to protect motherhood and infancy. The Soviet authorities are the first in the world to acknowledge maternity as a social function legally. Given that a woman in a labor republic will always have labor duty, the Soviet government has decided to solve the problem of motherhood welfare from this point of view.
It's heinous to live in Russia. Or is it like this everywhere?
Also participating: Kaledin, Denikin, Milyukov, KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, Trubetskoy, Struve, Savinkov.
The Russian revolution has turned out to be a national bankruptcy and a worldwide disgrace. That is the indisputable moral and political outcome of the events we have experienced since February 1917.
As the answer to the appeal of the Finnish Government to recognise the independence of the Republic of Finland, the Soviet of People's Commissars, in full accordance with the principle of nations' right to self-determination, propose to the Central Executive Committee that:
The independence of the Republic of Finland as a country is recognised. See more
And a special Commission, in agreement with the Finnish Government, comprising members of both parties, should be instituted to elaborate those practical measures that follow from the partition of Finland from Russia.
Time flies. The international war is still going on. Hunger is getting harsher everywhere.
Sir, — I have the utmost respect for the Bishop of Winchester, but when he talks of hating the sin but not hating the sinner he gets into a metaphysical region which, to me at least, has no relation to fact. See more
When I hear of a German kicking a wounded British soldier, it is not the kicking that I hate, but it is the German, and it is my hatred of that man, and my hope of punishing him and his fellows, which help me in my will to conquer. I claim that it would have that effect on any Briton and that it is a driving force which we do not sufficiently use because we do not disseminate the facts in a way which really reaches the people.
The Bishop uses the well-worn argument that, because the Germans have done this, and because we condemn German mentality, therefore we are debarred from doing it. This argument was raised over poison gas, and if it had prevailed we should now be at a vast military disadvantage. It was used again over retaliation for air raids when the Bishops took upon themselves the responsibility of pronouncing against reprisals, and so hampered military action until the logic of events showed that the only possible defense was an attack. Now we have this argument put forward once more. The only answer is that it is certainly wrong to initiate such methods, but that if the enemy uses them, and they are of military value, then we must either follow his example or the cause of freedom and progress will be brought to ruin. Let the sin rest with him who made it needful. To quote Christ's words upon a question of how to conduct a war can lead to no useful purpose. If we had taken isolated texts in a literal fashion and "turned the other cheek," it is obvious that the Empire of the Hohenzollerns would now have covered Europe, and that the teachings of Christ would have been superseded by those of Nietzsche.
The weather was not too cold, 5 degrees. It was windy and snowing. I stayed outside in the fresh air for a long time. I chopped firewood.