New Year. The landlord invited us over: they managed to send all the staff from the house. The next day I was to depart for the capital. Belenky announced that we need to depart without delay. He told me that central committees of anti-Bolshevik socialist parties had spoken against military protest on the opening day of the Constituent Assembly and had suggested organizing only peaceful demonstrations in its favor.
The situation is rather absurd. The motto “All power to the Constituent Assembly” has lost all sense. For the lawfully elected Constituent Assembly, it would have been impossible to exist alongside the dictatorship that has rejected the idea of population’s sovereignty. Constituent Assembly would make sense only if it received support from the government that accepted it as the supreme political power. By the end of 1917, there was no such government in Russia. The motto “All power to the Constituent Assembly” now sounded only as a unifying cry of all forces that were willing to continue the fight against usurpers.
Comrades, I greet you as the living embodiment of the Russian proletariat’s determination to fight for the triumph of the Russian revolution, for the triumph of its great slogans not only in this country, but also among the peoples of the whole world. I greet you as the first heroic volunteers of the socialist army, who are to build up a mighty revolutionary army. This army is called upon to safeguard the gains of the revolution and our people’s power, the Soviets of Soldiers’, Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, the whole of this new and truly democratic system, against the attacks of all the enemies of the people, who are bending all efforts to destroy the revolution. See more
These enemies are the world capitalists who are now organising a crusade against the Russian revolution, which holds out the prospect of liberation to all working people. We must show that we are a force capable of overcoming every obstacle on the way to world revolution. Let the example of the comrades going into the trenches buoy up the weak, steady the hesitant and rouse the weary. The peoples hear our revolution’s clarion call and are awakening; our army’s ranks will soon be swelled by the proletarian forces of other countries and we shall no longer be alone.
The Constituent Assembly (in whatever form) and the Bolsheviks CANNOT CO-EXIST EVEN FOR A MINUTE. Either it’s “all power to the Constituent Assembly”, in which case the Bolsheviks fall, or else it’s “all power to the Soviets”, in which case the Constituent Assembly falls. An either-or scenario. The SRs say that they’ve grasped this, and are constructing their plan and considering their tactics accordingly. They’re joining battle. Their “all power to the Constituent Assembly” is the first provision of the first session; if they can put it through and enact it, this will constitute a CHANGE OF POWER. They’re placing their faith in their undisputed majority and in the “idea” of the Constituent Assembly. Making allowances for the current state of the “masses” (to use their expression), who have been seduced by the Bolsheviks’ promises of “peace” and “land”, they are CONSCIOUSLY cloaking this new “power” in sweet demagoguery. (There’s nothing to lose, after all.) They, too, are making immediate promises of “peace” (only a universal one), “land”, and a federative republic (only a unified one).
Even the " industrious and conscientious worker" receives less food than is required to maintain efficiency.
New year. The weather is cold, after the snowstorm and blizzard which lasted for two days before this. There was a church service at midnight; I walked to the service and back. I didn’t go into town all Christmastide, and besides, there’s nothing to do there. It is not as if this should only be the second time that there have been pogroms. Morality has fallen into the deepest chasm – that is what we’ve come to. All private trade has stopped, so, now you’re not going to be able to quickly find what you need to buy. People are keeping accounts at the public stalls. Which means that everything is on lock-down. In a nutshell, all that’s left is to say to hell with this whole life and, with a heavy heart, to wait and see what’s next.
Moscow: duality, complexity, mobility in the highest degree, the confrontation and confusion of various surface elements which, on final investigation, constitute a quite unprecedentedly and distinctively unified image. The same qualities are also found in the inner life of the city, confounding the foreign observer (hence the many varied and contradictory reports of Moscow by foreigners) but this life, too, on final investigation, is just as distinctive and unified. I see this inner and outer Moscow as the starting point of my search. My painter’s “tuning fork”.
We left for Tobolsk early in the morning. It was a bright sunny day, and it wasn't very cold: -20 degrees. My friends gave me everything they thought I needed to travel north. I put on a huge deer fur coat on a sealskin coat. The fur coat used to belong to my uncle.
There were many violations and outrages against humanity committed in the old “bourgeois” world. Has the newly-minted world of “socialism” swept aside and overcome this old evil? No - it is committing a thousand more violations and outrages against humanity. The very idea of human freedom and sacred human rights is quite alien to this new world.
At 8 o'clock we went to Mass without Olga and Tatiana, regretfully, because they both had a fever. The Dr. thinks they probably have the German measles. The Mass was held by a different priest and deacon. The weather became magnificent, quite March-like.