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MKMcCabe at Apr 04, 2023 04:40 PM

1063

INTERNATIONAL SITUATION (Continued) (8)

November 24.- The situation is unchanged except that all seem to be
stunned by Trotsky's action and one feels as if on the brink of a great catas-
tophe. Even the most hardened are stirred by this phenomenon of Russian
directness and Scriptual simplicity combined with Hebrew brilliancy. For
us Allies, and for the Central Powers, this triumph of Bolshevism can be
made a blessing and not a catastrophe,- for the Russians, at least in the
immediate future, it can only mean tragedy. This vast people, with whom
one cannot live without rising to greater spiritual heights or descending to
lower depths--according to the way he chooses,-- is making a vicarious sacri-
fice for the benefit of the rest of the world. The democracies of the Wes-
tern world will learn now that to avoid; fanaticism, obstinacy, and pure egoism
as elements of the "class-consciousness" of the proletariat will be tempered
before the spectacle of the class war and economic ruin in Russia. And the
"bourgeoisie" of the Western world will learn that the people can and will make
its voice heard, very terribly, if its righteous demands are not acceded to.

It is so very hard to be fair at a time like this, even with the cold
analytical fairnces of science, to say nothing of the warm fairness of charity.
And this is especially hard for England and France, who have suffered so terrib-
ly in the war. These peoples see themselves pouring out the very best and las
they have against an implacable enemy whilst Russia disintegrates in the selfish
scramble of a class war, and its demagogues preach platitudes of truth and light
to the rest of the world. Even we, who have as yet lost little, share this
disgust: but yesterday we were welcoming this new democracy as a brother and
today Russia is no longer a member of the "league of honor" but a deserter.

These pages have been written in vain if the reader still keeps that
formal point of view, for I have tried to show by what processes a vast people
without such cause for what we call patriotism, and with little national unity,
has reached its present position. But such views are held among the Allied
embassies in Petrograd, and, what is worse they are being harshly epressed.
The result of this is to still further crush in despair the fine, educated type
of Russian, who feels about this just about as the accusers do, but to antagonize
in the sharpest way the leaders and following of the great Bolshevik movement
new in power. In spite of a keen sympathy and appreciation for the English,
to whom in the last analysis we should be closer than to any other nation, I
must say that they have failed to appraise the spiritual side of this situation
and that they are becoming very keenly disliked. One English officer ad-
vised that all the Allied embassies leave Russia and shake Russian dust off
their feet. This, he said, would have the same effect upon the Russians as
throwing a bucket of ice-cold water upon a ribald drunkard, who is staggering
down the street in forgetfulness of his engagements and his honor.

This simile is of course quite inaccurate. I should rather say that
Russia is a stricken man tottering under a burden of bodily and mental ills.
The abrupt and contemptuous retirement of the Allied embassies would not be
ice-water but a blow that would fell him to the earth,-- to be picked up,
properly cared for, and remolded by his only true friend, GERMANY.

In a frank conversation some days ago a Britisher, rather closely
in touch with his own embassy, remarked that on the score of comprehending
Russia and the movement, in which she is now swept, the personal of evry
Allied embassy should have been completely changed after the Russian Revolu-
tion. Because their previous experience rather unfitted than fitted them
to understand the new situation. This is rather harsh but it is true that
one longs for the greatest and most experienced man, men of vision and boldness,
manning our embassies at this supremely critical time.

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