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would not be too great a price to pay for the result.
But the hour of trial has revealed other things. It has appealed to the best feelings and the best elements of the Russian Nation. It has brought out in a striking manner the fundamental tendency of Russian political life and the essence of Russian culture, which so many people have been unable to perceive on account of the chaff on the surface. Russia has been going through a painful crisis. In the words of the manifesto of Oct. 17, (30,) 1905, the outward casing of her administration had become too narrow and oppressive for the development of society with its growing needs, its altered perceptions of rights and duties, its changed relations between Government and people. The result was that deep-seated political malaise which made itself felt during the Japanese war, when society at large refused to take any interest in the fate of the army; the feverish rush for "liberties" after the defeat; the subsequent reign of reaction and repression, which has cast such a gloom over Russian life during these last years. But the effort of the national struggle had dwarfed all these misunderstandings and misfortunes as in Great Britain the call of the common fatherland has dwarfed the dispute between Unionists and Home Rulers. Russian parties have not renounced their aspirations; Russian Liberals in particular believe in self-government and the rule of law as firmly as ever. But they have realized as one man that this war is not an adventure engineered by unscrupulous ambition, but a decisive struggle for independence and existence; and they are glad to be arrayed in close ranks with their opponents from the Conservative side. A friend, a Liberal like myself, writes to me from Moscow: "It is a great, unforgettable time; we are happy to be all at one!" And from the ranks of the most unfortunate of Russia's children, from the haunts of the political exiles in Paris, comes the news that Bourtzeff, one of the most prominent among the revolutionary leaders, has addressed an appeal to his comrades
urging them to stand by their country to the utmost of their power.
I may add that whatever may have been the shortcomings and the blunders of the Russian Government, it is a blessing in this decisive crisis that Russians should have a firmly knit organization and a traditional centre of authority in the power of the Czar. The present Emperor stands as the national leader, not in the histrionic attitude of a war lord but in the quiet dignity of his office. He has said and done the right thing, and his subjects will follow him to a man. We are sure he will remember in the hour of victory the unstinted devotion and sacrifices of all the nationalities and parties of his vast empire. It is our firm conviction that the sad tale of reaction and oppression is at an end in Russia, and that our country will issue from this momentous crisis with the insight and strength required for the constructive and progressive statesmanship of which it stands in need.
Apart from the details of political and social reform, is the regeneration of Russia a boon or a peril to European civilization? The declarations of the Germans have been as misleading in this respect as in all others. The master works of Russian literature are accessible in translation nowadays, and the cheap taunts of men like Bernhardi recoil on their own heads. A nation represented by Pushkin, Turgeneff, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky in literature, by Kramskoy, Verestchagin, Repin, Glinka, Moussorgsky, Tchaikovsky in art, by Mendeleiff, Metchnikoff, Pavloff in science, by Kluchevsky and Solovieff in history, need not be ashamed to enter the lists in an international competition for the prizes of culture. But the German historians ought to have taught their pupils that in the world of ideas it is not such competitions that are important. A nation handicapped by its geography may have to start later in the field, and yet her performance may be relatively better than that of her more favored neighbors. It is astonishing to read German diatribes about Russian backwardness when one remembers that as recently as fifty years ago Austria and Prus
sia were living under a régime which can hardly be considered more enlightened than the present rule in Russia. The Italians in Lombardy and Venice have still a vivid recollection of Austrian jails; and, as for Prussian militarism, one need not go further than the exploits of the Zabern garrisons to illustrate its meaning. This being so, it is not particularly to be wondered at that the eastern neighbor of Austria and Prussia has followed to some extent on the same lines.
But the general direction of Russia's evolution is not doubtful. Western students of her history might do well, instead of sedulously collecting damaging evidence, to pay some attention to the building up of Russia's universities, the persistent efforts of the Zemstovs, the independence and the zeal of the press. German scholars should read Hertzen's vivid description of the "idealists of the forties." And what about the history of the emancipation of the serfs, or of the regeneration of the judicature? The "reforms of the sixties" are a household word in Russia, and surely they are one of the noblest efforts ever made by a nation in the direction of moral improvement.
Looking somewhat deeper, what right have the Germans to speak of their cultural ideals as superior to those of the Russian people? They deride the superstitions of the mujikh, as if tapers and genuflexions were the principal matters of popular religion. Those who have studied the Russian people without prejudice know better than that. Read Selma Lagerloef's touching description of Russian pilgrims in Palestine. She, the Protestant, has understood the true significance of the religious impulse which leads these poor men to the Holy Land, and which draws them to the numberless churches of the vast country. These simple people cling to the belief that there is something else in God's world besides toil and greed; they flock toward the light, and find in it the justification of their human craving for peace and mercy. For the Russian people have the Christian virtues of patience in suffering; their pity for the poor and op
pressed are more than occasional manifestations of individual feeling-they are deeply rooted in national psychology. This frame of mind has been scorned as fit for slaves! It is indeed a case where the learning of philosophers is put to shame by the insight of the simpleminded. Conquerors should remember that the greatest victories in history have been won by the unarmed-by the Christian confessors whom the Emperors sent to the lions, by the "old believers of Russia who went to Siberia and to the flames for their unyielding faith, by the Russian serfs who preserved their human dignity and social cohesion in spite of the exactions of their masters, by the Italians, Poles, and Jews, when they were trampled under foot by their rulers. It is such a victory of the spirit that Tolstoy had in mind when he preached his gospel of non-resistance, and I do not think even a German on the war path would be blind enough to suppose that Tolstoy's message came from a craven soul. The orientation of the so-called "intelligent class in Russia-that is, the educated middle class, which is much more numerous and influential than people suppose -is somewhat different, of course. It is Western in this sense, that it is imbued with current European ideas as to politics, economics, and law.
It has to a certain extent lost the simple faith and religious fervor of the peasants, but the keynote of popular ideals has been faithfully preserved by this class. It is still characteristically humanitarian in its view of the world and in its aims. A book like that of Gen. von Bernhardi would be impossible in Russia. If anybody were to publish it it would not only fall flat but earn for its author the reputation of a bloodhound. Many deeds of cruelty and brutality happen, of course, in Russia, but no writer of any standing would dream of building up a theory of violence in vindication of a claim to culture. It may be said, in fact, that the leaders of Russian public opinion are pacific, cosmopolitan, and humanitarian to a fault. The mystic philosopher Vladimir Solovieff used to dream of the union of the churches with
the Pope as the spiritual head, and democracy in the Russian sense as the broad basis of the rejuvenated Christendom. Dostoyevsky, a writer most sensitive to the claims of nationality in Russia, defined the ideal of the Russians in a celebrated speech as the embodiment of a universally humanitarian type. These are extremes, but characteristic extremes pointing to the trend of national thought. Russia is so huge and so strong that material power has ceased to be attractive to her thinkers. But we need not yet retire into the desert and
Russian Appeal for the Poles
By A. Konovalov
Member of the Russian Duma
[A Letter to the Russkia Vedomosti, Oct. 8, 1914]
HE population of Poland has been forced to experience the first horrible onslaught of the wrathful enemy. All points within the sphere of the German offensive offer a picture of utter desolation. The people are fleeing in horror before the advancing enemy, leaving their homes and their property to sure destruction. An uninterrupted line of arson fire shines on the sorrowful path of the exiles. Their fields have been devastated and furrowed by the trenches, their animals have been taken away, their savings have been wasted, and all their chattels destroyed. The prosperity of millions has been destroyed and men have been turned into homeless beggars without a morsel of bread.
The flight of these people is beyond description. One cannot fail to realize the stupefying horrors of such a deep and overwhelming national calamity. The strokes of fate have come down upon
the people of Poland with a most merciless cruelty. Shall we gaze upon these horrors with indifference? Can the Russian people remain neutral witnesses of the sufferings and privations thrust upon the population of the devastated country?
The Russians are making heavy sacrifices for the war, but in these historic days we must speed up our energies still more, we must double and treble our sacrifices. Let us not forget that despite all our sacrifices, despite all our sorrow and alarm, we are not deprived of peaceful work, we have not been drawn into . destruction as the people of Poland have been. Without further delay we have to hasten to their aid.
A widely organized social aid must be brought to the fleeing people. We must provide them with shelter and food. These victims are flocking to the central provinces of Russia, to Moscow, and they must be assisted up to the time when
they shall be able to return to their country. It is necessary to ascertain the degree of their distress and to help to provide them with the necessities of life in places already cleared from the enemy by the aggressiveness of the Russian Army.
Of course, the main duty in the regaining of the prosperity of Poland lies with the Government. Only the Government is able to stand the expense of millions required for this task, only the State through its legislative organs is capable of creating the social, economic, and political conditions making possible. the reconstruction of the civilization of Poland. But we also owe a duty of help, a sacred duty of immediate sympathy to those stricken with disaster.
To carry out our task we need funds. In submitting this problem to the Russian people, in calling upon it for the solution of this tremendous and pressing issue, as far as possible, I herewith for
ward my little contribution of 10,000 rubles for aid to the people of Poland suffering from war.
A. KONOVALOV, Member of the Duma.
Moscow, Oct. 7, (20,) 1914. Note.-Konovalov's appeal met with a most generous response. Not only individuals and charitable associations came forward with funds and food, but a large number of Russian cities organized permanent aid committees for the benefit of the war victims in Poland. Street and house-to-house collections were organized, and considerable funds have already been collected. Not only Russians, but also the Armenians, the Jews, and other nationalities of Russia have shown a deep and substantial sympathy for the Poles.
Prince Trubetskoï's appeal emphasized the political side of this campaign of succor, while Mr. Konovalov has given prominence to the human side of it. Prince Trubetskoï's appeal follows.
By Peter Struve
[Prof. Peter Struve, editor of the monthly, Russian Thought, is recognized as one of the most acute political thinkers in Europe. He was one of the chief founders of the Constitutional Democratic Party (the Cadets) and was member for St. Petersburg in the Second Duma. He is also known as an economist of great erudition.]
PETROGRAD, Sept. 16, 1914. HE future historian will note with astonishment that official Germany, when she declared war on Russia, was in no way informed of the state of public opinion in our country.
This is all the more astonishing because not a single country to the west of Russia maintains so close a communication with Russia as Germany. The Germans, better than other peoples, could and should have known Russia and her material resources, her internal state, and her moral condition. When she declared war on Russia, Germany evidently counted, above all, on the weakness of the Russian Army. There was nothing, however, to justify such an estimate of the armed forces of Russia. Certainly Russia had been beaten in the Japanese war, but in that war the decision was reached on the sea, and after the fall of Port Arthur the land war had no object. The Germans have probably convinced themselves alread; how superficial was such an estimate of the forces of Russia, but in reality their mistake was due to an entirely superficial view of the national culture of Russia and an extremely elementary idea of our internal development. The Germans did not believe that there is in Russia a genuine and growing national civilization, and did not understand that the liberation movement in Russia had not only not shaken the power of the Russian State, but had, on the contrary, increased it.
Not understanding this, they thought
that any blow from outside would tumble over the Russian State like a rotten tree. German aggression, on the contrary, united the whole population of Russia, and by this alone strengthened a hundredfold her external power. This, of course, would have been the natural effect of any attack from without upon any sound people or any State that was not in decomposition. But in this case there was something else. Such a war as this could not fail to take on at once the character both of a world war and of a national war. That is why in this struggle with Germany and AustriaHungary, elemental forces united in one impulse and spirit both the Russian Radicals, with their tendency to cosmopolitanism, and the extreme Nationalist Conservatives. Nay, more than that, all the races of Russia understood that a challenge had been thrown out to Russia by Germany that morally compelled her, in the interests of the whole and of the various parts, to forget for the time all quarrels and grievances.
This showed itself in the most natural and inevitable way with the Poles, of whose national culture Germanism is the sworn foe. The well-known manifesto of the Commander in Chief did not awake this feeling among the Poles of Russia, but simply met it and gave it support. Equally natural and elemental was the patriotic outburst that spread among the Jews of Russia. In their case the political and social Radicalism which we always find in the Jews turned by some sound instinct against