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November 22.- Trostky has made and published his speech as
the Peoples' Commisary for Foreign Affairs, and has had letters to the
various ambassadors delivered to their embassies. This morning he
has began the publication of the such discussed secret treaties.
The impression all this produced upon me at first was one of violent
insolence, and anger rose, but this yielded upon reflection to the con-
viction that Trotsky is a man of intellect. It is very possible that
there is German influence in Trotsky's statements but it is not the key-
note and one is deluding himself if he thinks to explain the matter away

As to Trotsky’s speech it is one of the most astute documents
in the whole history of the war. It is inaccurate but its inaccuracies
are in its conception and in the fanatic point of view, from which it was
written rather than in individual statements. The point of view is that
of a most radical Socialist, who interprets life and motives in economic
terms and will achieve happiness by forcing his political system upon us,
in his ideology the Devil is Capital and the will of God that of the
proletarist, Heaven a Bolshevik State.

In ways that he probably does not fully appreciate Trotsky has
probably done the world a great service. The audacity, with which he
seizes the sceret treaties and publishes them is almost a relief after the
months of side-stepping and refusal to do this because of fancied harm and
the power of tradition in the various chanceries of the great povers.
Discounting for its bias Trotsky's speech is refreshing in its candor.

What should be our conclusion? Simply that once more because
of being stiffnecked and without vision and imagination to grasp the
trend of the times and use it we have allowed a fanatic to "beat us to"
a big thing and get the credit for it. What an other impression would have
been produced had we published the treaties monts ago ourselves and ac-
companied the publication by such a clear-cut definition of aims as no one
could fail to understand, least of all the German common people, who keep Germany in
the war. We are always letting Prussian autocrats and Bolshevik fanatics
and demagogues publicly monopolize the ideals and when asked for bread
hand out a diplomatic stone.

In this way we are drifting toward a sort of prosaic and soulless
ending of the war, which is unworthy of all the noble men who have died in
it for an ideal. We seem to be drifting toward the council table where
we shall sit without the power and conviction, which moral élan would give.
It is not a question of stopping the war; on the contrary the military argu-
ment should be made as strong and as uninterrupted as possible. But it is
a question of helping the military by a statement of aims that any soldier
would gladly lay down his life for. This may involve some renunciation
but, from the practical business point of view, why not renounce now and
receive the credit for this action and the moral power and the weakening of
the enemy governments. Then one could go to the council for discussing
peace terms with a moral plus over the enemy, consciously prepared to fight
for essentials and not to bargain like a cheap trader. If we do not plan
for the ending of the war in this way it will come without us, who knows
but that there will appear another Trotsky somewhere else? It is hard
to have fanatics and demagogues steal our moral thunder but the people will
have their will, and if we refuse to obey it they will take other agents--
even fanactics and demagogues.


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