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OF SOVIETISM 



BORIS L. BRASOL 



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THE BALANCE SHEET 
OF SOVIETISM 



THE 

BALANCE SHEET 
OF SOVIETISM 



By 
BORIS L. BRASOL 

Author of "Socialism Vs. Civilization," "The 
World at the Crossroads," "Critical Essays," etc. 



Lasciate ogni esperanza . . 

Dakte. Inferno. 

Awake! Arise! Or be forever fallen. 

Milton. Paradise Lost. 




NEW YORK 

DUFFIELD AND COMPANY 

1922 




Copyright, 1922, by 
DUFFIELD AND COMPANY 



Printed in V. S. A. 






CONTENTS 



^ I. The Soviet Machine 3 

DC 

2 II. Land Problem in Russia 36 

c III. The Ruin op Russian Industries .... 64 

5 

-^ IV. Trade and Finance 120 

o 

Q V. Russia Under the Soviet Heel 148 



VI. The All-Russian Famine 213 

VII. Soviet Foreign Policy 233 



112788 



FOREWORD 

npHE tragic fate of Russia has attracted the 
-■■ attention of civilized mankind. Much has 
been said and written about the amazing de- 
gradation of the political, social and economic 
life of a country which hitherto was justly- 
considered the biggest reservoir of wealth and 
economic potentiality. In our day the fact 
can scarcely be denied that Russia's present 
suffering was caused by and is the direct re- 
sult of the incompetent and sinister Communist 
practice wrought upon her people by a small 
but unscrupulous and closely organized group 
of professional agitators or incurable theoreti- 
cians belonging to the Marxian school. 

Idle are the attempts to explain the sys- 
tematic destruction of Russian economics by 
the much debated 'Allied ^* blockade," or the 
drought and other meteorological fluctuations, 
no matter how unfavorable such may have 
been. At present the most stubborn Socialist 
adherents are somewhat ashamed to attribute 
all the blame for the prevailing conditions in 
Russia to the events and circumstances which 
have had but an insignificant and rather re- 
mote bearing upon the destinies of her people. 

During a period of five years the Bolsheviki 
have been given the chance to work out a prac- 
tical program for putting their theories into 
effect. Nor was there lack of effort on their 



viii THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

part to **TJse the weapons of hell to attain the 
Communist paradise/' Hell they have at- 
tained, while paradise is still to be found in 
the column of articles lost. 

In the case of Russia, the world is witness- 
ing the most complete failure of a govern- 
mental system that has ever been recorded in 
history. Every department of present Rus- 
sian life distinctly proves the hopelessness of 
further attempts to erect a stable economic edi- 
fice upon the sandy foundations of Marxian 
principles. On the plains of Russia, Socialism 
has suffered a defeat so conclusive as to make 
its recovery impossible. The Soviet leaders 
themselves have been compelled to admit their 
failure. Their battle-cry of 1917 : '* Proletarians 
of all countries unite to smash Capitalism/' has 
been converted into a new motto: ** Capitalists 
of all countries unite to save Communism." 

Having received but little encouragement 
from international labor, the Red rulers of 
Russia are now seeking the support of Inter- 
national Finance. Those **who got slapped" 
by the Russian workers and peasants, have 
suddenly turned their attention to the pocket- 
book of the Western Banker. For it is not im- 
possible that short-sighted greed may induce the 
wealth-owning classes to disastrous endeavors 
to consolidate the waning power of Commun- 
ism in Russia. The Genoa and Hague Con- 
ferences were early manifestations of this new 



FOREWORD ix 

policy which may be put in operation on a 
colossal scale. 

But whatever course the dealings with the 
So\^ets may assume, it is apparent that the 
first stage of the Socialist experiment in Rus- 
sia has been completed and a new phase is 
rapidly evolving. With International Finance 
playing an important part in the future devel- 
opment of Eussia, the whole trend of events 
must necessarily become the joint function of 
two factors, Communism and Capitalism, seek- 
ing to make concessions to each other. Social- 
ists are hoping that these mutual reverences 
will result in converting Capitalism into mild 
Communism, while capitalists expect Commun- 
ism to assume the form of mild Capitalism. In 
all probability both groups will fail in their 
expectations as, from a strictly scientific view- 
point, Capitalism and Socialism are phenomena 
mutually excluding each other. 

However, this volume is not intended to deal 
with the problematic future. Its object is 
merely confined to an analysis of the actual 
** achievements" of Communism, in the light of 
economic and social policies enforced by the 
Bolsheviki during the whole period of their 
amazing misrule. In this sense the volume as 
it stands is nothing but the balance sheet of 
Communism, and it is no fault of ours that the 
account presents a vivid picture of fraudulent 
hanhruptcy. 



THE BALANCE SHEET 
OF SOVIETISM 



The Balance Sheet of Sovietism 

1 

CHAPTER I 

THE SOVIET MACHINE 

117' HAT is Soviet Russia?* 
^ ^ The average person having but a vague 
conception of social and political conditions 
abroad, may give a somewhat evasive answer, 
stating that Soviet Russia is a part of the terri- 
tory of the former Russian Empire, through- 
out which chaos reigns, and where nothing but 
instability is stable. 

To a certain degree such a definition would 
be accurate for it cannot be denied that the 
November revolution of 1917 did turn things 
upside down in Russia. The moment the Bol- 
sheviki placed themselves in the saddle of gov- 
ernmental power, they began issuing numerous 
decrees and regulations, the chief purpose of 
which was to tear history out of Russians heart, 

* The word "Soviet" is derived from the Eassian, meaning Coun- 
cil. In the modem sense it is used to describe a form of revolu- 
tionary organization and i» more specifically applied to the organ- 
ization of the Communist Governments which were set up in dif- 
ferent countries during the years following the World War. The 
specific meaning attached to the word "Soviet" dates its origin 
back to 1905, the time of the first outbreak of the revolutionary 
movement in Eussia, when the extremist leaders in Petrograd and 
other Eussian cities induced the industrial workers and employees to 
elect their representatives to the Central Council or Soviet, an in- 
stitution which was designed to control the revolutionary movemeot. 

3 



4 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

causing the ruin of a social and political order 
which had stood solid for many centuries in 
the past. There was a real epidemic of *' aboli- 
tions" of every kind. Everything that went 
to make up Russian statesmanship, history, 
economics, and national spirit, was overnight 
denounced, eliminated, abolished, torn into 
pieces, or otherwise destroyed, for the sake of 
erecting **a new social order" along the lines 
of Karl Marx's doctrine. 

The feverish haste with which the historical 
foundations of Russian culture were annihilated 
by the Reds was bound to result in confusion 
and general chaos. The vast majority of the 
people were utterly stupefied at this work of 
colossal destruction, ostensibly undertaken in 
their name, on their behalf, and of their own 
volition. So great was the consternation among 
the peaceful population that at first nobody 
seemed to have the courage to protest against 
the unparalleled violation of the sovereign 
rights of an independent nation, perpetrated 
by a clique of irresponsible internationalists 
and political lunatics. 

It was not until the early part of 1918 that 
the people began to revolt against the tyranny 
suddenly forced upon them. 

Still it would be a mistake to infer that the 
Communist misrule during that period was 
solely confined to destruction, because the very 
system of terror and oppression, used as a 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 5 

weapon against the nation, necessitated the im- 
mediate establishment of an elaborate admini- 
strative apparatus bearing all the tj^ical marks 
of bureaucratic management. On the other 
hand, the Communist regime, being a Socialist 
undertaking, adopted as its first measure the 
seizure of other people's property, declaring 
production and distribution the business of the 
State. Therefore, it became the business of 
the State to build up a machinery adapted to 
control all economic functions. This, in turn, 
required something in the nature of a consti- 
tution, or some kind of fundamental laws, pro- 
scribing technical methods and means for gov- 
erning a country with over 100,000,000 inhabi- 
tants, and with an area almost four times as 
large as the United States. 

The Socialist adherents who stood behind the 
Communist revolution in Russia were naturally 
faithful disciples of Karl Marx. It was their 
great ambition to follow Marx 's political alpha- 
bet as closely as possible. No wonder, therefore, 
that the fundamental aims of the so-called 
Soviet constitution fully coincide with those 
outlined by Marx over seventy years ago. His 
first concern was to destroy the ^'bourgeois 
society" founded on the principles of private 
property. As a means thereto, he advocated the 
*' forcible overthrow of all existing social condi- 
tions/' the establishment of a proletarian dic- 
tatorship, and **the expropriation of the ex- 



6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

propriators. " He also strongly emphasized that 
a Commimist revolution would necessarily en- 
tail a merciless war against the wealth-owning 
classes. On this subject Marx, indeed, used 
plain language when he concluded his Com- 
munist Manifesto with the daring threat: **Let 
the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic 
revolution/* To make the Communist program 
more appealing to the masses of the people, 
Marx sweetened the social panacea thus pre- 
scribed with the promise that: 

*'Iii pla<je of the old bourgeois society, with its 
classes land class antagonisms, we shall have an 
association, in which tihe free development of each 
is the condition for the free development of all." 

Quite in accordance with these cardinal prin- 
ciples, the immediate purposes for establishing 
the ** Russian Eepublic of Soviets of Work- 
ers,' Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies" were 
thus defined by Lenin and his associates: 

"The abolition of the exploitation of men by 
men, the entire abolition of the division of the 
people into classes, the suppression of exploiters, 
the establishment of a Socialist society, and the 
victory of Socialists in all lands, • • • • " 

This statement is embodied in the ^'Declara- 
tion of Rights of the Laboring and Exploited 
People' ' which forms part of the Soviet con- 
stitution. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 7 

In order to draw a comprehensive picture 
of the present conditions in Russia, giving a 
precise answer to the question, ''What is 
Soviet Eussia?", it is essential to analyze the 
laws and regulations which form the basis of 
the Soviet system. In this connection it must 
be remembered that the ''fundamental law" 
of the Soviet Republic consists of a series of 
separate statutes or administrative acts which 
were either first adopted or merely confirmed 
by the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets 
on July 10, 1918. The Soviet "constitution" 
in this shape contains five parts, divided into 
seventeen chapters, and subdivided into ninety 
paragraphs. Summarizing its distorted fea- 
tures, it may be noted that only two specific 
objects are set forth for the Communists to 
achieve: First, the organization of a Socialist 
society in Russia; and, second, a Socialist vic- 
tory in all lands. 

While the first aim is confined to Russia 
proper, the second applies to the world at large, 
involving all other countries in a revolutionary 
upheaval, thereby enacting a world drama, the 
prologue of which was staged on Russian soil. 
This proves that the Soviet regime is not 
merely a local matter restricted to Russian do- 
mains. On the contrary, the Soviet "constitu- 
tion" itself contains a specific provision en- 
titling the present rulers of Russia to inter- 
meddle with political affairs all over the world, 



8 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

fostering revolutionary mischief and conduct- 
ing systematic propaganda undermining legally 
constituted governments, in lieu of which they 
are pledged to introduce a standardized social 
order as decreed by Marx. 

Having thus defined their general aims, the 
Soviets further sought to devise a practical 
plan enabling them to proceed with the actual 
realization of their schemes. In this respect 
too the fundamental laws of the Soviet Re- 
public differentiate between two lines of mea- 
sures, one of which is calculated to effect the 
desired social change in Eussia, while the other 
is intended to win foreign countries over to the 
Socialist program. 

These two categories of measures are here 
analyzed separately. 

Local Measures 

The sweeping character of the Socialist coup 
d'etat in Russia is best illustrated by a mere 
reference to such paragraphs of the Soviet 
'* constitution" as were designed to bring about 
a radical change in her social structure. On 
the other hand, the fact that the Communist 
leaders in their task were blindly following 
Karl Marx is clearly demonstrated by a com- 
parison of the Soviet provisions with the revo- 
lutionary program outlined by Marx in his 
Communist Manifesto. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 



"DECLAKATION OF 
RIGHTS OF THE LAB- 
ORING AND EXPLOIT- 
ED PEOPLE." 

"Clause 3: 

' ' (a) For the purpose of 
attaining the socialization of 
land, all private property in 
land is abolished, and the 
entire land is declared to be 
national property and is to 
be apportioned among agri- 
culturists without any com- 
pensation to the former 
owners, in the measure of 
each one 's ability to till it. ' ' 

"(b) All forests treas- 
ures of the earth, and waters 
of general public utility, all 
equipment whether animate 
or inanimate, model farms 
and agricultural enterprises, 
are declared to be national 
property." 

"(c) As a first step 
toward complete transfer of 
ownership to the Soviet Re- 
public of all factories, mills, 
mines, railways, and other 
means of production and 
transportation, the Soviet 
law for the control by work- 
men and the establishment 
of the Supreme Soviet of 



THE COMMUNIST 
MANIFESTO OF KARL 
MARX. Pages 41-42.* 



"Abolition of property in 
land and application of all 
rents of land to public pur- 
poses. * ' 



"Centralization of the 
means of communication and 
transport in the hands of 
the State." 

"Extension of factories 
and instruments of produc- 
tion owned by the State." 



•Charles H. Kerr & Company, Chioago. 



lo THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 



"Centralization of credit 
in the hands of the State, by 
means of a national bank 
with State capital and an 
exclusive monopoly." 



"Equal liability of all to 
labor. Establishment of in- 
dustrial armies, especially 
for agriculture." 



National Economy is hereby 
confirmed, so as to insure the 
power of the workers over 
the exploiters. 

"(e) The transfer of all 
banks to the ownership of 
the "Workers' and Peasants' 
Government, as one of the 
conditions of the liberation 
of the toiling masses from 
the yoke of capital, is con- 
firmed." 

"(f) Universal obliga- 
tion to work is introduced 
for the purpose of eliminat- 
ing the parasitic strata of 
society and organizing the 
economic life of the coun- 
try." 



In other words, the Marxian program is re- 
flected as in a mirror, in the Soviet "consti- 
tution," with the distinction that while Marx 
is brief and explicit in his statements, the 
modern Communists resort to demagogic elo- 
quence. There is only one idea in the Soviet 
Declaration that has not been directly borrowed 
from Marx, that is the provision to build up a 
Socialist army, simultaneously disarming the 
wealth-owning classes. The provision thereto 
reads verbatim: 

"For the purpose of securing the working class 
in the possession of complete power, and in order 



THE SOVIET MACHINE ii 

to eliminate all possibility of restoring the power 
of the exploiters, it is decreed that all workers 
be armed and that a Socialist Red Army be or- 
ganized and the propertied class disarmed." 

These measures logically lead up to the 
establishment of a proletarian dictatorship 
which is specifically described in paragraph 9 
of the "constitution": 

"The fundamental problem of the Constitu- 
tion of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Re- 
public involves, in view of the present transition 
period, the establishment of a dictatorship of the 
urban and rural proletariat and the poorest peas- 
antry in the form of a powerful all-Russiam, Soviet 
authority, for the purpose of abolishing the ex- 
ploitation of men by men and of introducing So- 
cialism, in which there will be neither a division 
into classes nor a state of autocracy." 

This stipulation leaves no doubt as to the 
character of Bolshevist rule. It proclaims a 
principle which is entirely alien to the concep- 
tion of modern democracy, namely, a deliberate 
attempt to institute class rule, the rule of a 
single proletarian class over the rest of the 
population. Liberals and Soviet sympathizers 
in this country and elsewhere have devoted spe- 
cial efforts to prove that the Soviet regime in 
its actual workings hardly differs from the basic 
methods of democratic government. Mr. Morris 
Hillquit has gone so far as to assert that : 

"In all kindness to our comrades in Russia, 



12 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

* * * they do not have a dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat. The Soviet Government is neither a dic- 
tatorship nor a rule of the proletariat. That does 
not make it any less dear to us." 

On this point, however, Mr. Hillquit differs 
with *' Comrade" Lenin, who, to the great dis- 
appointment of his parlor Bolshevist friends 
abroad, explicitly states: 

''When at war we use military methods. We 
don't promise any liberty nor any democracy. ''* 

In the light of paragraph 9 of the Declara- 
tion, and Lenin's own assertion, it is apparent 
how hopeless are the endeavors to present the 
Soviet rule in the form of a "real democracy," 
with a slight admixture of mild Socialism and 
a pinkish shade of modern radicalism. The 
truth must be clearly understood : The Bolshe- 
viki did set up in Russia a class dictatorship — 
rather a class tyranny. It is all the more cruel 
as the total number of industrial workers in 
Russia did not exceed, even in pre-war times, 
5,000,000, or less than 3% per cent, of the total 
population. Morover, if it is conceivable for an 
enlightened minority to rule over a majority of 
highly ignorant people, it is quite insane to 
entrust the reins of governmental power to a 
small group of inefficient and illiterate manual 

* Compare Lenin 's address at the Third Congress of the Com- 
munist Internationale, as quoted in No. 18 of the "Communist In- 
ternationale," p. 4504. Moscow, October, 1921. Translated from 
the Russian. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 13 

workers, giving them unrestricted authority to 
use and abuse the entire political and economic 
apparatus. 

This, however, is precisely what happened in 
Eussia. For the American mind, and for those 
who have been brought up in sympathy with 
the republican ideal, the term ** Soviet Repub- 
lic^' is obviously misleading, for the kind of 
regime that was established in Eussia in con- 
sequence of the Communist revolution has noth- 
ing in common with modern conceptions of the 
republican form of government. The historical 
tendency of constitutional practice evolved a 
condition which made it possible for the major- 
ity of the people to participate either directly 
or indirectly in the administration of State 
affairs. The Soviet ^^constitution," on the con- 
trary, deliberately prevents vast multitudes of 
the Eussian population from taking any part 
in political life. For instance, on the strength 
of Clause 65 of the Bolshevist fundamental law, 
the following social groups enjoy neither the 
right to vote nor the right to be voted for: 

(a) Persons who employ hired labor in order to 
obtain from it an increase in profits. 

(b) Persons who have an income without doing 
any work, such as interest from capital, re- 
ceipts from property, etc. 

(c) Private merchants, trade and commercial 
brokers. 

(d) Monks and clergy of all denominations. 



14 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

(e) Employees and agents of the former police, 
as well as members of the former reigning 
dynasty. 

(f ) Persons "wiho have in legal form been declared 
demented or mentally deficient, and also per- 
sons under guardianship. 

'(g) Persons who have been deprived by a Soviet 
of their rights of citizenship because of selfish 
or dishonorable offenses, for the period fixed 
by the sentence." 

Even a superficial analysis of this clause 
proves that millions of Russian peasants em- 
ploying hired labor, besides great numbers of 
those involved in commercial intercourse, must 
be forced out of political activities of any kind. 
The class tyranny established in Russia is fur- 
ther emphasized in the provision of the Soviet 
* * constitution ' ' declaring : 

" • • • During the progress of the decisive 
battle between the proletariat and its exploiters, 
the exploiters shall not hold a position in any 
branch of the Soviet Government. The power 
must belong entirely to the toiling masses and 
to their plenipotentiary representatives — the Sov- 
iets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Depu- 
ties." (Clause 7.) 

On the other hand, the same policy is fol- 
lowed in Clause 14 which pertains to the prin- 
ciple of the freedom of the press. We quote it 
verbatim : 

"For the purpose of securing freedom of ex- 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 15 

pression to the toiling masses, the Russian So- 
cialist Federal Soviet Republic abolishes all de- 
pendence of the press upon capital, and turns 
over to the working people and the poorest peas- 
antry all technical and material means for the 
publication of newspapers, pamphlets, books, etc, 
and guarantees their free circulation throughout 
the country." 

This also applies to the right to hold meet- 
ings and form organizations, societies and vari- 
ous associations. In every instance these rights 
are granted "to the working class and poorest 
peasantry" only. Even regarding education, 
about which boudoir Bolsheviks have babbled 
so much, the Soviet "constitution'^ conclusively 
proves that the acquirement of knowledge is 
considered the exclusive privilege of the prole- 
tariat, while all other classes are left to grope 
in darkness. The text of Clause 17 reads: 

"For the purpose of guaranteeing to the work- 
ers real access to knowledge, the Russian Socialist 
Federal Soviet Republic sets itself the task of 
furnishing full and general free education to the 
workers cmd the poorest peasantry." 

What the Bolsheviki actually meant by the 
term "full and general free education,'' is ex- 
plained in a resolution adopted by the Eighth 
Convention of the Russian Conununist Labor 
Party. This document is of great interest, espe- 
cially in America where Soviet sympathizers 



i6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM: 

systematically allude to the so-called "educa- 
tional acMevements" of the Soviet regime. It 
is, therefore, proper to quote it at length. Re- 
ferring to the methods to be used for the edu- 
cation of the poorest peasantry, the resolution 
contains the following: 

"For the purpose of educational activities in 
the villages the following elements must co- 
operate : 

1. Communistic propaganda; 

2. General education; 

3. Agricultural education. 

"Political propaganda in the villages must be 
carried on among the literate peasants as well aa 
among the illiterate. 

"The propaganda among the literate must con- 
sist first of all in the distribution of popular 
literature and newspapers of a communistic char- 
acter, specially prepared for this purpose. Such, 
literature must be sold at very low prices in 
schools, reading huts and in all Soviet stores. 
* * * The courses for children, and especially 
those for adults — the academic as well as the 
special (agricultural for instance), must in- 
clude: (1) popular history of culture from 
a scientific socialistic point of view and with 
a specially prepared part devoted to Russian 
history and to the history of the Great Russian 
Revolution; (2) the interpretation of the Soviet 
constitution. For both of these courses proper 
text-books are to be prepared immediately. 

''The teachers are obliged to look upon them- 
selves as upon agents not only of a general hut 
also of a communistic education. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 17 

"In this respect they must be subjected to the 
control of their immediate heads, as well as the 
local party organizations. Moving picture houses, 
theatres, concerts, exhibitions, etc., inasmuch as 
they will reach the villages (and all effort is to be 
exerted for this purpose), must be utilized for 
communistic propaganda directly, i.e., through 
the upkeep of these and also by way of combining 
these with lectures and meetings. ' ' 

Analagous principles are recommended for 
general education, the Bolsheviki taking par- 
ticular care to have it serve the purpose of 
spreading Communistic ideas among the unen- 
lightened masses of the Eussian people. 

"General education" — ^thus further runs the 
text of the resolution — "within school and out- 
side of school including artistic education: thea- 
tres, concerts, motion pictures, exhibitions, etc., 
endeavoring not only to shed the light of a varied 
knowledge on the dark villages, hut primarily to 
aAd in the creation of self-conscioiosness and of a 
clear conception of things, nfiust he closely con- 
nected with the communistic propaganda/'* 

Adding to this, the provision of the Bolshe- 
vist constitution, stipulating that all workers 
be armed and the wealth-owning classes dis^ 
armed, we have in brief an accurate picture of 
the internal policies adopted by the Soviets 
to force upon the Eussian people an unparal- 

* This resolution was first published in the official Bolshevist 
** Northern Commune," in its issue of April 6, 1919, and repub- 
lished in Soviet Russia of New York on July 12, 1919, pp. 13 and 14. 



i8 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

leled tyranny. The result is that an insignifi- 
cant minority is ruling over the overwhelming 
majority of the population. The Soviet de- 
crees and regulations, having been applied to 
every-day life, produced in Russia a reign of 
terror, a proletarian dictatorship in its precise 
sense, with hopeless demagogues and worship- 
pers of Marx experimenting on a great na- 
tion and making constructive progress abso- 
lutely impossible. 

Soviet Fobeign Policy 

The Bolshevist constitution contains a num- 
ber of provisions directly bearing upon the 
Soviet foreign policy. Contrary to the Mon- 
roe Doctrine, ahnost barring America from 
participating in international affairs, the Com- 
munist rulers have laid particular stress upon 
the necessity for Russia to interfere with mat- 
ters having no relation whatsoever to her in- 
ternal situation as such. 

Faithful to the principles of Karl Marx, who, 
in his ''Communist Manifesto/' urged the So- 
cialists to "Everywhere support every revo- 
lutionary movement against the social and poli- 
tical order of things," the Bolsheviki explicitly 
stated, making it one of the cardinal points of 
their program, that they aim at *'The victory 
of Socialists in all lands." Accordingly, they 
have a special chapter in the "Declaration of 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 19 

Rights of the Laboring and Exploited People'' 
entirely dealing with the methods for fostering 
revolutionary activities abroad. Using bom- 
bastic language, they declare: 

"Expressing its fixed resolve to liberate man- 
kind from the grip of capital and imperialism, 
which flooded the earth with blood in its present 
most criminal of all wars, the Third Congress of 
Soviets fully agrees with the Soviet Government 
in its policy of abrogating secret treaties, of or- 
ganizing on a wide scale the fraternization of the 
workers and peasants of the belligerent armies, 
and of making all efforts to conclude a general 
democratic peace without annexations or indem- 
nities, upon the basis of the free determination of 
peoples," 

The determination to liberate mankind is of 
course very laudable. But is mankind pre- 
pared, or has it manifested a desire to be lib- 
erated by or rather to fall under the yoke of 
the Soviets? Each nation cherishes its own 
ideals and methods of government, and in no 
way is it bound to accept — at least without 
vigorous resistance — ^the principles of the Marx- 
ian theory, or any other theory, that might be 
forced upon it from the outside. The Soviets, 
however, have proclaimed it their task not only 
to liberate mankind, which falls within the 
range of political lyrics, but also to pursue the 
specific policy of sowing discord among the 
so-called oppressed peoples. Clause 5 of the 



20 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

''constitution" is the nucleus of a disastrous 
undertaking known as ''The Scheme of the Red 
East," which will be treated in another chap- 
ter. It reads : 

'*It is also to this end that the Third Congress 
of Soviets insists upon putting an end to the 
barbarous policy of the bourgeois civilization 
which enables the exploiters of a few chosen na- 
tions to enslave hundreds of millions of the work- 
ing population of Asia, of the colonies, and of 
small countries generally." 

Now, it may be true that Belgian rule in the 
Congo, or the British regime in India, or the 
United States policy in Haiti, do not conform 
with the sublime standards of statesmanship; 
but the question is why these and similar digres- 
sions from the ideal should be a matter of con- 
cern for the Bolsheviki in Russia? No self-re- 
specting State can nor will tolerate interference 
with its internal policies by an outside power. As 
a general rule, such interference constitutes a 
casus belli and is liable to cause grave inter- 
national disturbances. This, however, is the 
very thing that the So\iets are trying to bring 
about in order to accelerate the process of world 
revolution, which they hope will culminate in a 
Socialist victory throughout all lands. In this 
sense the Bolshevist foreign policy is a 
shrewdly preconceived plot against civilization 
at large. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 21 

As to the Bolshevist policy for the dismem- 
berment of the Russian Empire, it had its in- 
ception in the Soviet constitution itself. Clause 
6 proclaims "the full independence of Finland," 
which had been a Russian province ever since 
1809. The same article declares the principle 
of ** self-determination" for Armenia. It is a 
matter of historical record that the Soviets 
recognized the '* independence" of **Ukrainia" 
which for centuries had been an organic part 
of Russia, its capital, Kiev, being justly called 
*^The Mother of Russian cities." In further 
adherence to this policy, the Bolsheviki engin- 
eered the disintegration of the Caucasus, set- 
ting up mushroom republics, such as Georgia 
and Azerbaijan. Their program of self -disin- 
tegration was extended as far East as the 
Transbaikal region, where they established the 
so-called "Far Eastern Republic," thus split- 
ting up the basic Russian territory into numer- 
ous insignificant state communities, deprived of 
independent economic resources and without 
any historical foundation. 

After the inevitable collapse of the Soviet 
regime, decades, if not centuries, will be re- 
quired to bring together these dissected terri- 
tories and once more restore the unity of the 
Russian Nation. 

Quite in line vdth the avowed precepts of 
Bolshevist foreign policy is also the demand 
expressed by the Fifth All-Russian Congress 



22 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

of Soviets that *^The annulment of loans made 
by the Government of the Czar, by landowners 
and the bourgeoisie" be firmly upheld, giving 
new impetus to the *' Final victory of the in- 
ternational workers' revolt against the op- 
pression of capital." 

The repudiation of Russia's foreign debt was 
and still remains one of the main obstacles to 
the recognition of the Soviet regime by western 
powers. It is true that this obstacle was clev- 
erly used by the Soviet leaders in their his- 
torical controversy with western Europe at the 
time of the deliberations at Genoa. England 
and France set forth the motto: '*We will 
recognize you if you will recognize Russia's 
foreign debf; the Soviet answer to this being, 
'^We will recognize Russia's foreign debt if 
you will recognize us/' In a way, this contro- 
versy is quite groundless for no matter whether 
the Bolsheviki will or will not agree to pay, the 
whole bargaii^ has but a theoretical significance. 
Funds are not available in Russia to meet for- 
eign obligations. Moreover, Tchicherin, the 
Soviet spokesman at the Genoa Conference, im- 
plied that the recognition of her international 
obligations is conditioned upon obtaining a 
huge gold loan from those very countries to 
which she is now indebted. And then such a 
loan would mean a new asset for world revolu- 
tionary propaganda. At this place we merely 
touch upon this question, but in one of the sub- 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 



23 



sequent chapters the Soviet foreign policy will 
be analyzed at greater length. 

Such in substance are the principles of the 
Soviet *' constitution" in its two phases, deal- 
ing both with the internal conditions wrought 
upon Russia by the Communist regime, and its 
attitude toward international affairs. 

Soviet Organization 

It now becomes important to give a brief 
sketch of the organization of Soviet institu- 
tions, since much of the present plight in Russia 
is directly due to the incompetent manner in 
which the Bolsheviki sought to solve admini- 
stration problems. So far as political gen- 
eralities were concerned, the Soviet leaders 
could borrow their knowledge from Karl Marx, 
and this they have done to the utmost. But 
when it came to actually building up an appa- 
ratus adapted to govern a country, not only 
regulating its political activities but also super- 
vising the whole gamut of economic functions, 
the Communists most emphatically revealed 
their inefficiency. 

According to the Soviet *' constitution," the 
supreme power in Bolshevist Russia is vested 
in *'The AU-Russian Congress of Soviets" 
(Clause 25). This institution is composed of 
representatives of urban Soviets, one represent- 
ing 25,000 voters, and of provincial delegates 



24 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

who are elected to the AU-Russian Congress by 
Provincial Soviet Congresses (one delegate for 
every 125,000 inhabitants). 

The AU-Russian Congress is convoked by the 
AU-Russian Central Executive Committee at 
least twice a year. (Clause 26.) The AU-Rus- 
sian Congress of Soviets elects the AU-Russian 
Central Executive Committee, composed of not 
more than 200 members. Clause 29 provides 
that the AU-Russian Central Executive Com- 
mittee **is entirely responsible to the AU-Rus- 
sian Congress of Soviets," but the subsequent 
clause establishes the rule that "In the periods 
between the convocation of the Congresses, the 
AU-Russian Central Executive Committee is the 
supreme power of the Republic." There is 
further an obvious contradiction between Clause 
24, vesting the supreme power of the State in 
the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and Clause 
31 reading: 

**The All-Russian Central Executive Committee 
is the supreme legislative, executive, and con- 
trolling organ of the Bussian Socialist Federal 
Soviet Republic/' 

The analysis of the subsequent article, de- 
scribing the authority of the All-Russian Cen- 
tral Executive Committee, shows that as a 
matter of fact the actual governmental power 
is entrusted to the AU-Russian Central Execu- 
tive Committee and not to the AU-Russian Con- 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 25 

gress of Soviets. Among other rights belonging 
to the AU-Russian Central Executive Commit- 
tee, this body has the right to appoint the so- 
called ** Council of People's Commissars for the 
purpose of general management of the affairs 
of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Repub- 
lic." (Clause 35.)* The Central Executive 
Committee also forms departments ( People *s 
Conmiissariats) for the purpose of conducting 
various governmental branches. 

To make the confusion complete, the Soviet 
'* constitution" embodies two articles which we 
also quote verbatim: 

"Clause 37. The Council of People's Conimis- 
sai^ is entrusted with the general management of 
the affairs of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet 
Republic. 

"Clause 38. For the accomplishment of this 
task the Council of People's Commissars issues 
decrees, resolutions, ordere, and, in general, takes 
all steps necessary for the proper and rapid con- 
duet of governmental affairs." 

Thus, the poor Soviet citizen is at once eon- 
fronted with three supreme governmental 
powers : 

(a) The All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

(b) The AU-Russian Central Executive Com- 
mittee. 

(c) The Council of People's Commissars. 

* The Coimcil of People's Commissars is an institution similar to 
the Cabinet or Council of Ministers. 



26 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Each one of these institutions issues decrees 
and resolutions; each one of them is entitled 
to direct **in a general way" the affairs of the 
Soviet Utopia; and each one of them is de- 
pendent upon the other two. Although the 
AU-Russian Congress of Soviets elects the AU- 
Russian Central Executive Committee, never- 
theless it is the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee that convokes into session the All- 
Russian Congress, each body acting simultane- 
ously as the chief executive and the chief legis- 
lative organ of the State. On the other hand, 
while the central Executive Committee is osten- 
sibly responsible to the All-Russian Congress, 
there is no way of determining to which of the 
several All-Russian Congresses the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee is responsible, for 
there is no logical sequence in the personnel of 
the All-Russian Congresses. Furthermore, be- 
cause the term of service of the Central Execu- 
tive Committee is not specifically defined in 
the constitution, there might arise a condition 
which would make the Central Executive Com- 
mittee responsible to four or five successive 
All-Russian Congresses. This would mean that 
the Central Executive Committee is practically 
responsible to none of them. 

But the legal muddle does not end here. 
Both the All-Russian Congress and the Central 
Executive Committee, besides exercising execu- 
tive and legislative rights, are also given author- 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 27 

ity to act as the supreme judicial organs of 
the State. These two bodies combine in a most 
peculiar manner the three functions of govern- 
ment : Legislative, executive and judicial. Such 
an organization of the Central apparatus in- 
evitably results in a hopeless confusion of all 
governmental affairs and in the complete im- 
munity of governmental officials. 

Next comes the inter-relation between the 
Central Executive Committee and the Council 
of People's Commissars. 

The Council of People's Commissars is re- 
sponsible both to the All-Russian Central Ex- 
ecutive Comjnittee and the All-Russian Con- 
gress of Soviets. All orders **of great political 
significance" are referred for consideration and 
final approval to the All-Russian Central Ex- 
ecutive Committee. However, measures re- 
quiring immediate action may be decreed di- 
rectly by the Council of People's Commissars. 
In point of fact, matters requiring immediate 
action are usually those bearing ** great politi- 
cal significance." Thus one provision practi- 
cally nullifies the other, making it impossible 
to ascertain where the authority of the Council 
ends and that of the Central Executive Com- 
mittee begins. 

Still further conflict is caused by the pro- 
vision requiring that every People's Commissar 
be assisted by a Committee of which he is presi- 
dent, while its members are appointed by the 



28 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Council of People's Commissars. The role of 
these *' assisting" Committees is rather an 
amusing one, as the People's Commissar **Has 
the individual right to decide on all questions 
under the jurisdiction of his Commissariat," 
his only duty being to report his decision to 
the members of the Committee. If any of them 
happen to disagree with the Commissar, they 
may ''without stopping the execution of the 
decision, complain of it to the executive mem- 
bers of the Council of People's Commissars or 
to the All-Russian Central Executive Com- 
mittee." 

The desperately bureaucratic character of the 
Soviet Central machinery is also demonstrated 
by the fact that there are as many as seventeen 
different People's Commissars and People's 
Commissariats, each one of them having its 
special Commissariat ''Collegium." The fol- 
lowing are the departments enumerated in the 
Soviet constitution: (Clause 43.) 

**(a) Foreign Affairs, 
[b) Army. 

c) Navy. 

d) Interior. 

e) Justice. 

f) Labor, 

g) Social "Welfare, 
h) Education, 
i) Post and Telegraph, 
j) National Affairs, 
k) Finances. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 29 

(1) Ways of Communication. 

(m) Agriculture. 

(n) Commerce and Industry. 

(0) National Supplies. 

(p) State Control. 

(q) Supreme Soviet of National Economy. 

(r) Public Health." 

In addition, there is the "All-Russian Ex- 
traordinary Committee for Combatting Counter- 
Revolution, Profiteering and Sabotage," com- 
monly known as the "Cheka," which actually 
rules over the All-Eussian Congresses, the AU- 
Russian Central Executive Committee, the Peo- 
ple's Commissars and Commissariats, and which 
controls the principal domain of Soviet activity 
— terror. 

On the question of jurisdiction of the All- 
Russian Congress and the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee, the Communists became 
so befuddled that they practically gave up the 
attempt to draw a line of demarcation between 
the respective authority of the two institutions. 
They merely go on enmnerating, under one 
clause, the different matters with which these 
two organs are entitled to deal: 

"The All-Russian Congress and the All-Rus- 
sian Central Executive Committee deal with ques- 
tions of State, such as: 

(a) Ratification and amendment of the constitu- 
tion of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet 
Republic. 



30 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

(b) General direction of the entire interior and 
foreign policy of the Russian Socialist Fed- 
eral Soviet Republic. 

(c) Establishing and changing boundaries, also 
ceding territory belonging to the Russian 
Socialist Federal Soviet Republic. 

(d) Establishing boundaries for regional Soviet 
unions belonging to the Russian Socialist 
Federal Soviet Republic, also settling dis- 
putes among them. 

(h) Foreigis relations, declaration of war, and 

the ratification of peace treaties. 
(i) Making loans, signing commercial treaties 

and financial agreements. 

(k) Approval of the budget of the Russian So- 
cialist Federal Soviet Republic. ' ' ( Clause 49. ) 
And so on. 

However, modifying the above stipulations, 
Section 51 draws a distinction between the jur- 
isdiction of the AU-Russian Congress and the 
All-Russian Central Executive Committee, giv- 
ing the former exclusive right to amend the 
fundamental principles of the Soviet consti- 
tution and also to ratify peace treaties. 

The Bolshevist leaders did not confine them- 
selves to a description of the Central Soviet 
apparatus. They devoted three chapters to the 
organization of local Soviets. Without going 
into its details, it must be noted that the Local 
Soviet power is roughly divided into two 
branches, one administered by the Congresses 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 31 

of the Local Soviets and the other acting under 
the authority of the Local Soviets of Deputies. 
There are four categories of Congresses of 
Local Soviets: 

(a) Regional — formed of representatives of the 
urban and county Soviets, (One representa- 
tive for 25,000 inhabitants of the county and 
one representative for 5,000 voters in the 
cities.) These Soviets must not exceed 500 
members. 

(b) Provincial — eomi)osed of representatives of 
urban and rural Soviets. (One representa- 
tive for 10,000 inhabitants from the rural 
districts and one representative for 2,000 
voters in the cities.) The number of mem- 
bers of this category must not exceed 300. 

(c) County — these (Congresses are composed of 
representatives of rural Soviets, one delegate 
for each 1,000 inhabitants but not more than 
300 delegates for the entire county. 

(d) Rural — composed of representatives of tall 
village Soviets belonging to one volost.* 

Every Congress of Soviets (Regional, Pro- 
vincial, County and Rural) elects its own Ex- 
ecutive Committee, varying in number from 
10 to 25. The structure and authority of the 
Local Executive Committees are similiar to 
those of the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee. 

Aside from these bodies, there are the so- 

• Smallest Eussian administrative division. 



32 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

called Soviets of Deputies, both in the cities 
and other settlements (towns, villages, hamlets, 
etc.). The number of deputies in such Soviets 
varies from three to fifty for each settlement. 
The term of service of the deputies is three 
months. Therefore, in practice Soviet citizens 
are continuously kept busy electing deputies to 
Soviets of different denominations. This elec- 
toral epidemic is assuredly not contributing to 
the stability and efficiency of the Soviet system 
at large. 

The very spirit of the Bolshevist constitu- 
tion relating to organization of the Central and 
Local Soviet authority is liable to encourage the 
almost endless multiplication of Soviet insti- 
tutions which, in turn, gives birth to an almost 
unlimited number of Soviet bureaucrats. This 
fact is admitted even by the Soviet leaders them- 
selves. To give only one instance of the pre- 
vailing condition we cite No. 282 of the official 
Bolshevist organ, the Petrograd Pravda for 
1920. Therein reference is made to a decree 
of the Council of People's Commissars, bear- 
ing the official title, ^'Regulations for the Sta- 
bilisation and Improvement of the Peasants' 
Household/^ For the purpose of putting it 
into effect, the Council of People's Commissars 
decided to establish the following Soviets: 

1. In every province and county a *'S(nuing 
Soviet" is composed of not more than five 
members whose duty it is to supervise the 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 33 

sowing in tlie respective provinces and 
counties. 

2. For discussing the measures proposed by the 
Sowing Soviets, special "Agricultural Sov- 
iets" are instituted, comprising members of 
the Sowing Soviets, Regional Soviets, Peas- 
ants' Committees, etc. 

3. In order further to expedite the agricultural 
work, special Rural Soviets are formed. 

4. Finally, general supervision of the activities 
of the three above-named categories of Soviets 
is vested in the Provincial Soviet which has 
authority to issue its own special decrees, 
cancelling those set forth by other Sowing 
Soviet organizations. 

This is a typical illustration of the amazing 
inefficiency of the Communist liberators of man- 
kind. No wonder that the Bolsheviki them- 
selves are quite alarmed at the bureaucratic 
marasmus penetrating the whole Soviet system. 
So, in the Bolshevist Pravda (No. 105, 1919) 
the following confession is made: 

"World history has never known an example 
of such endless dawdling, combined with such an 
enormous number of employees, as we have it 
in our Soviet institutions." 

The governmental routine in Soviet Russia is 
quite irritating. To obtain any kind of infor- 
mation, or to have anything done through Soviet 
officials, one has to visit dozens of different de- 
partments, chanceries, and offices, sometimes 
located in different parts of the city, without 



34 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

even a remote chance of ultimately obtaining 
the information needed. In Moscow alone, out 
of the total population not exceeding 900,000, 
there are 400,000 Soviet employees. One and 
the same paper, before being issued by this or 
that Soviet, must have the signatures of scores 
of Soviet parasites, every one of whom revises 
the decision of the preceding signer. For- 
eigners who have been admitted to Soviet Rus- 
sia have presented long accounts of fabulous 
disorder reigning in Communist chanceries. 
An Italian writer, Magrini, once had the mis- 
fortune to buy a couple of photographs relating 
to revolutionary events from one of the Soviet 
photograph institutions. This is what hap- 
pened : 

"In order to pay 1200 rubles, this being the 
price of the photographs, I was compelled to waste 
two hours visiting three Auditing Departments, 
which issued six receipts. Three of these receipts 
were retained by me, while I was instructed to 
present two copies to different Accounting De- 
partments; and, finally, the last copy was turned 
over by me to the cashier. ' '* 

Because the Soviet constitution fails to prop- 
erly define the jurisdiction of the various de- 
partments within the Central apparatus, none 
of the Soviet bureaucrats seems to know pre- 

* Compare P. A. Shcherbina: "Laws of Evolution and Bolshe- 
vism," Belgrade, Ed. 1921. Translated from the Eussian. 



THE SOVIET MACHINE 35 

cisely wHat their rights and duties are. The sit- 
uation is all the more trying as the inter-relation 
between the Central Government and Local Sov- 
iet organs remains quite obscure. The Soviet 
constitution contains no provisions whatsoever 
which would serve as a criterion for a compre- 
hensive answer as to where the authority of the 
local institutions ceases and the jurisdiction of 
the Central Government begins. The result is 
that chaos and astounding disorganization are 
the rule throughout the Soviet offices and in all 
governmental affairs. 

Truly, Lenin and Bronstein, Apf elbaum and 
Finkelstein are cunning babblers. Their elo- 
quence at times is most convincing. They talk 
their audiences almost to death. But efficient 
work and practical achievement, elementary 
knowledge and similar bourgeois ** inventions" 
are not within their realm. They seek to cap- 
ture the imagination of the people by revolu- 
tionary phraseology and cascades of demagogic 
rhetoric. They hjrpnotize. They mislead. They 
deride. They poison minds with vain promises 
and political illusions. They undermine the 
very foundations of common sense, morality and 
faith. They talk and talk, achieving nothing 
but destruction. To use Hegel's expression, 
they practice the most cruel policy: "From 
nothing, through nothing, to nothing," and it 
is not surprising that such tactics have brought 
Russia to misery and ruin. 



CHAPTER II 

THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 

n^HE land problem in Russia is the keynote 
to the whole Russian situation. This is 
explained by the fact that Russia is a typical 
agricultural country. 

Even in good old prosperous times, that is, 
prior to the revolution, Russia 's industrial level 
was rather low, while not less than 80% of the 
entire population was engaged in agricultural 
pursuit. The Russian agricultural output was 
enormouS; reaching, in 1910, a total of $4,100,- 
000,000 ; this in spite of the comparatively back- 
ward technique of land-tilling processes. Not 
only was Russia a self-supporting country, from 
the point of view of her food supply, but heavy 
agricultural export formed the basis of her pros- 
perous trade balance with foreign countries. 

Astounding miscomprehension has been dis- 
played by many foreign authors who undertook 
to render judgment on the real land conditions 
in Imperial Russia. The general conception 
of such critics was largely based upon hearsay 
accounts of the ^Herrible oppression" endured 
by Russian peasants, of the alleged despotic 
attitude of the former land nobility toward the 
small farmers, and similar stories. Some So- 
cialist writers went so far as to assert that the 

36 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 37 

Russian peasants had never been landowners 
and never could own the land, as the entire agri- 
cultural area was owned either by the nobility 
or by the State. Statements of this kind have 
been systematically disseminated from decade 
to decade, with the result that public opinion 
in western countries, and more particularly in 
America, accepted this as a true picture of the 
land situation. 

In point of fact, the whole problem was 
grossly misrepresented. Yet a clear under- 
standing of Russian agragrian relationship is 
so important that a few statistical data bearing 
upon the question will not be out of place. 

On February 19, 1861— that is to say, two 
years before the abolition of slavery in the 
United States— over 20,000,000 Russian peas- 
ants were liberated from bondage by Emperor 
Alexander II. The manifesto liberating the 
peasants was accompanied by an act granting 
to them 111,628,506 dessiatines,* or 318,257,527 
acres of land suitable for tilling. This land 
was made the property of the peasants. Every- 
one of the 8,450,782 peasant farms contained an 
average of 13 dessiatines, or 37.18 acres. Ac- 
cording to official statistics of 1878, the whole 
acreage of arable land in European Russia was 
377,020,161 dessiatines, which were distributed 
in the following way: 

*A Eussian dessiatine is equal to 2.86 acres. 

112788 



38 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Dessiatines 
State, Church and Municipal In- 
stitutions 166,317,099 

Peasants 121,726,820 

Nobility 73,163,744 

Other Castes 15.812,498 

Now it becomes important to demonstrate the 
gradual increase in peasant land ownership: 

1861 111,628,506 Dessiatines 

1878 121,726,820 

1905 167,760,289 " 

1917 (January 1).... 188,000,000 

In other words, prior to the revolution, the 
peasants in European Russia owned, on the 
basis of private property, almost 50 per cent, 
of the entire available acreage. 

Such are the main facts regarding the dis- 
tribution of lands in Russia. Thus the histori- 
cal tendency of agrarian relationship assumed 
the following features: 

(a) The gradual transference of the 
agricultural acreage to the peas- 
ants and small farmers. 

(b) The diminishing of lands owned 
by the nobility. 

(c) The gradual but systematic in- 
crease in the small farms and a 
corresponding decrease in the acre- 
age of large estates. 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 39 

This complex process obviously stood in con- 
tradiction to the Marxian theory, which affirms 
that the small farmers are apt to be ** swal- 
lowed" by the wealthy land owners, forcing the 
former into the ranks of agrarian proletarians. 
However, in spite of the fallacy of this asser- 
tion, Socialists of all denominations have con- 
ducted violent propaganda, urging the peasants 
to revolt against *Hhe greedy land owner,*' and 
to grab his lands, thus escaping the ^'miserable 
lot of sinking to the depths of pauperism." 
Year by year, beginning with the 70 's, vicious 
propaganda of this nature has been on foot. 
Innumerable Socialist leaflets have been cir- 
culated among the Russian peasants, and finally 
the revolutionists have succeeded in imbuing 
the minds of the farmers with the deeply rooted 
belief that the land should belong only to those 
who till it, and consequently that it was the 
right of the peasants to take away, by force 
if necessary, all lands belonging either to the 
State or the nobility. Instances were frequent 
when revolutionary agitators, being aware of 
the unshaken loyalty of the peasants to the 
Imperial Regime, would approach them with 
forged manifestos announcing that, although 
the Czar is willing to cede all the land to the 
"poor people," he is prevented from so doing 
by the "tricky nobility." 

The results of this propaganda first became 
apparent in 1905, when the long-expected agra- 



40 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

rian revolt broke out. At that time tlie Rus- 
sian Army was engaged in a difficult struggle 
against Japan. The attention of the Govern- 
ment was centered on Far Eastern affairs, and 
the snake of revolutionary intrigue gradually 
wormed its way to the masses of the people, in- 
citing them to start a rebellion against their 
*^ oppressors." The peasants began to destroy 
large estates, setting fire to the noblemen's coun- 
try houses, killing the cattle, wrecking agricul- 
tural machinery, and murdering the proprie- 
tors themselves. Revolutionary outbreaks in 
different cities accompanied the outrages in 
rural districts, and this considerably hampered 
the task of the Government in restoring order. 
The situation remained grave until the end of 
1906. However, with the termination of the 
Japanese War, Stolypin having become Pre- 
mier, the revolutionary movement was promptly 
suppressed. To the great disappointment of all 
Marxian sympathizers, Stolypin suddenly came 
out with his brilliant project for an all-embrac- 
ing agrarian reform, the chief aim of which was 
to accelerate the process of the peaceful ac- 
cumulation of land in the peasants' hands. The 
State was given the right to compel the land 
owners to sell their estates to the Government, 
which, in turn, resold the lands thus purchased 
to the peasants, at prices which were from 50 
per cent, to 60 per cent, lower than those pre- 
vailing on the market. Stolypin was the soul 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 41 

and brains of the reform. A man of iron will 
and boundless devotion to his country, he knew 
that this measure, if put into practice and made 
completely effective, would deprive the Social- 
ists of their last weapon of agitation and in 
this way save Russia from the horrors of "the 
great and bloodless revolution." Stolypin's 
reform was a constructive blow to the revolu- 
tionary underground and this could not be for- 
given by those who were engaged in undermin- 
ing the greatness of the Russian Empire. The 
first attempt to murder Stolypin failed. But a 
few months later he was treacherously assassi- 
nated by an alien revolutionist in the city of 
Kiev. With the death of Stolypin, the great 
work of agrarian reconstruction lost its im- 
petus. Then came the World War, with all its 
sufferings and the mechanical displacement of 
human multitudes. The balance of govern- 
mental power was lost, and Russia collapsed 
under the combined pressure of the German 
General Staff, International Socialism and In- 
ternational Finance. 

The beginning of the agricultural disaster 
dates back to the Socialist regime of Kerensky. 
1917 was a repetition of 1905, only on a larger 
scale. It was an epoch of wholesale destruc- 
tion, of baseless hopes placed in the "construc- 
tive genius of the liberated people"; it was the 
honeymoon of the revolution, when political 
and social mischief of every description was 



42 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

encouraged by the Provisional Government it- 
self. Private estates were subjected to the most 
flagrant looting. ^^Grah the land!'* became the 
resounding battle-cry of trouble-makers from 
all parts of the world, who hastened to invade 
Russia. Land owners were driven off their 
estates, their property seized, their families in- 
sulted, their art collections destroyed, their 
houses burned down. The first result of this 
rapacious policy was an astonishing decrease in 
the agricultural output in 1917 as compared 
with preceding years. Instead of 4,627,000,000 
poods of grain, jdelded in 1916, the total for 
1917 fell to 3,866,000,000 poods, showing a de- 
cline of 771,000,000 poods. Naturally, this im- 
mediately affected the whole scale of food 
prices. By June, 1918, the average market 
price of rye flour was 650 to 800 rubles per 
pood, as compared with the normal price of 
four to five rubles. 

Thus it was during the regime of the Pro- 
visional Government that private lands were 
actually seized by the peasants. By the time 
Lenin and Trotzky had intervened, the whole 
agrarian problem was practically "settled." 
The Bolshevist policy relating thereto was but 
a continuation of the insane tactics resorted to 
by the *^mild Socialists" of the Kerensky creed. 
The Soviets made a further endeavor to encour- 
age the complete abolition of private land 
ownership, substituting for it different kinds of 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 43 

** collective homesteads in agriculture/' To this 
end they passed a series of bills and land de- 
crees, all of which were ultimately summarized 
in one legislative act known as the ^* Funda- 
mental Law of the Socialization of Land." It 
went into effect in September, 1918. Inasmuch 
as this law is the basis of the whole Soviet 
policy toward the land problem, it is essential 
to analyze it at some length. 

It must be borne in mind that in spite of re- 
peated announcements in the press about the 
alleged revision of Soviet tactics, the Commun- 
ist attitude as regards the agrarian solution has 
scarcely undergone perceptible changes. 

Confirming earlier provisions of the land de- 
cree of November 7, 1917, the ** Fundamental 
Law'' in Article I proclaims: 

*^All property rights in the land, treasures of 
the earth, waters, forests, and fundamental natu- 
ral resources within the boundaries of the Russian 
Federated Soviet Republic are abolished,'* 

Article II further provides: 

"The land passes over to the use of the entire 
laboring population without any compensation, 
open or secret, to the former owners." 

It is difficult to determine what ** entire labor- 
ing population" means; but other provisions of 
the Land Law indicate that the term embraces 



44 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

"those who till the land by their own labor." 
At least Article XIII specifically states that: 

"Personal labor is the general and fundamental 
source of the right to use the land for agricultural 
purposes." 

Naturally, the employment of hired labor in 
agricultural pursuit is prohibited by the law. 
It is only in exceptional cases that such form 
of employment is permitted, provided wages 
are paid by the State and labor is subject 
to the general rules of the Workmen's Control. 

The general tendency of the Land Law is to 
repress private initiative, depriving those en- 
gaged in agriculture of every personal incentive 
to work and increase the productivity of their 
efforts. In this connection Article XXI is in- 
dicative of the whole Communist psychology. 
It reads: 

**Land is given to those who wish to work it 
themselves for the benefit of the community and 
not for personal advantage." 

Disregarding the basic laws of social science, 
which demonstrate the fact that economic prog- 
ress is largely founded upon the motive of per- 
sonal gain, the Communists have set forth a 
principle designed to outwit nature herself. 
Contrary to reason and deeply rooted human 
instincts, they believe that an economic system 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 45 

can be devised in accordance with bureaucratic 
regulations, eliminating the personal element 
from the whole range of human relationship. 
In order to force this abstract theory upon the 
people, the Land Law further provides that: 

"Surplus profits, obtained on account of the 
natural fertility of the land, or on account of its 
location near markets, are to be turned over for 
the benefit of social needs to the organs of the 
Soviet power." (Article XVII.) 

In addition, the trade in agricultural machin- 
ery and in grain, both internal and foreign, is 
proclaimed the monopoly of the Communist 
State (Articles XVIII and XIX). This, of 
course, takes away the last stimulus for thrift 
and efforts to increase the productivity of labor. 
It is precisely this provision that led the peas- 
ants to widespread opposition to the Soviet 
regime. The farmers flatly refuse to grow more 
wheat than actually needed for their personal 
use. 

Owing to the chaotic condition of Soviet 
statistics, it is impossible to give the exact fig- 
ures of the decrease in the acreage under cul- 
tivation. But it can be asserted that the situa- 
tion during the whole period of Communist 
management, in this respect, has been growing 
from bad to worse. The lands seized from 
private land owners by the peasants have re- 
mained untilled. Aside from that, a vast area 



46 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

of the peasants' own lands have been aban- 
doned, resulting in a systematic and alarming 
decline in crops. 

As far back as in 1918, in a pamphlet en- 
titled *' Struggle Against Hunger," Trotzky 
frankly admitted the fact that Russia was 
starving. He cited many wire dispatches re- 
ceived by the Soviet Government, from differ- 
ent parts of the country, in which the food con- 
ditions in rural districts were described in the 
darkest terms. Trotzky, however, did not have 
the courage to explain the real reason for this 
condition. He sought to shift the responsibility 
therefore upon the well-to-do peasants, who, he 
declared, were the *' chief enemies" of the labor- 
ing masses. It has always been the policy of 
the Soviets, while admitting Russia's economic 
degradation, to attribute the blame to anyone 
but themselves. The *' Allied Blockade," 
the ** greedy foreign capitalists," the **Czarist 
agents," the ^* village sharks and innkeepers" 
— everything was used in the way of argument 
to justify the horrible plight of the Russian 
people under the Soviet regime. 

What actually happened was that the Soviets 
found themselves at war with the entire rural 
population. Communist leaders have often re- 
ferred to the so-called ** selfishness" of the 
peasants, accusing them of concealing from the 
State their surplus products. It is true that in 
many districts the farmers would rather destroy 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 47 

their crops than surrender them to the Socialist 
Commissars. The cities controlled by the Bol- 
sheviki declared war against the villages. The 
villages, in turn, adopted a policy of passive re- 
sistance to the Soviet demands. The whole 
situation became so acute that extraordinary 
measures were needed to pump the grain out of 
the farmers. The notorious *'food crusades" 
were offered as a solution of the intolerable 
food crisis in the cities. These crusades were 
undertaken both by the Central and Local 
Soviet authorities, assisted by Red Army de- 
tachments. Very often regular battles would 
take place between the food crusaders and the 
farmers, followed by wholesale executions of 
the ** defeated counter-revolutionists." Some- 
times, in addition, punitive expeditions were 
dispatched by the Commissars in order to over- 
come the peasants* opposition. Entire villages 
were burned down, being destroyed by artillery 
fire. Fertile regions were devastated by the 
Red Army, and yet up to the present the Soviets 
have failed to ''conquer" rural Russia. 

The Bolshevist press contains but few ac- 
counts of the methods which were and still are 
being used by the Communists in their strug- 
gle against the Russian peasants. So, in No. 
450 of the ''Izvestia" of the Central Executive 
Committee for 1918 we read: 

"In Okhansk tie punitive detachments are 
mercilessly punishing the criminals and have exe- 



48 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

cuted thirty peasants who participated in the 
counter-revolutionary outbreak. ' ' 

In issue No. 25 of the same organ for the 
year 1919, there is this statement : 

"The Velij district was in the grasp of a 
peasants* White Guardist rebellion. The revolt 
was energetically quelled." 

An article in No. 27 of the ^'Izvestia'* of 
the Central Executive Committee for 1918, 
written by a Communist, Kerjentzev, describes 
a revolutionary outbreak among the peasants 
in the Kostroma district. The author briefly 
remarks : 

"The data referring to the peasants' revolt pre- 
sents a dreadful picture as regards the methods of 
suppressing it." 

But then the Kostroma methods do not differ 
in the least from those used in other provincial 
districts. 

In No. 71 of the ^'Northern Commune*^ for 
1918 we find: 

"Military food detachments invaded the pro- 
vincial districts with banners displaying the 
motto : 

"'We will not let the workmen starve from 
hunger. Merciless war against those who conceal 
the grain.' " 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 49 

According to the same paper, during the 
first three months of jl919, in one provincial dis- 
trict alone, 255 food crusades were instituted 
by the Soviets. During the first year of Soviet 
rule 77,000,000 rubles were levied as fines upon 
the peasants in consequence of their opposition 
to the Communist Land Law. 

Some of the Bolshevist officials themselves 
finally became convinced that armed oppression 
alone is incapable of winning the peasants over 
to the Communist regime. For instance, the 
oiBficial ^' Economicheskaya Jisn/' commenting 
on a decision adopted by the Congress of Trade 
Unions, held at Moscow in March, 1919, points 
out: 

"Experience has proven that it is not wise to 
dispatch armed requisitionary detachments to the 
rural districts for the results are harmful. The 
peasants must be approached, not with rifles, but 
with argument and persuasion. Food detach- 
ments alone will not help. The policy must un- 
dergo a radical change. Owing to the present, 
policy in regions where the population hitherto 
never knew what hunger was, now we witness the 
disappearance of food supplies." 

Lenin, who, by his American admirers, is 
considered the great prophet of the revolution, 
addressing on March 23, 1919, the Communist 
Congress at Moscow, emphatically declared: 

"It is necessary to win ihe confidence of the 
peasants. Up to the present we have been the 



50 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

pupils of the peasants and not their teachers. 
There can be nothing more silly than the very- 
idea of violence in the realm of economic relations 
pertaining to the medium homestead. Here the 
problem does not consist in the expropriation of 
the middle-peasantry, but in the necessity of tak- 
ing into account the peculiar conditions of their 
life, in the necessity to learn from the peasants 
the methods of gradually achieving a better order 
of things and not in 'bossing' them. In this re- 
spect, comrades, indeed we have sinned quite a 
good deal." {'^Izvestia" of the Central Execu- 
tive Committee, No. 69, 1919.) 

Still the conciliatory tone of Lenin's admis- 
sion in reality meant nothing. It must be re- 
membered that when Lenin speaks, he usually 
bears western countries in mind. His declama- 
tions are calculated to create a favorable im- 
pression upon loose-minded liberals on both 
sides of the water. When, amidst his floods of 
words, a drop of reason is suddenly discovered, 
radicals urhi et orhi begin to cheer his wisdom, 
commenting on every dot and comma, and 
twisting his formulas in ten thousand different 
ways. A great difference there is, however, be- 
tween words and deeds. The actual situation 
in the villages and rural districts in general is 
vividly described in the '^Izvestia" of May 1, 
1919. The author of the article, a peasant him- 
self, sends out an S. O. S. in the vain hope that 
his voice will be heard in the wilderness of 
the Communist State : 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 51 

**Help! We are perishing!" — thus reads the 
article — "At the time when we are starving, do 
you know what is going on in the villages? Take, 
for instance, our village, Olkhi. Speculation is 
rife there, especially with salt, which sells at 40 
rubles a pound. What does the militia do? 
What do the Soviets do? When it is reported 
to them, they wave their hands and say, 'This is 
a normal phenomenon.' Not only this, but the 
militiamen, beginning with the chief and includ- 
ing some Communists, are all engaged in brewing 
their own alcohol, which sells for 70 rubles a 
bottle. Nobody who is in close touch with the 
militia is afraid to engage in this work. Hunger 
is ahead of us, but neither the citizens nor the 
'authorities' recognize it. The people's judge 
also drinks, and if one wishes to win a case one 
only needs to treat him to a drink. We live in 
terrible filth. There is no soap. People and 
horses all suffer from skin diseases. Epidemics 
are inevitable in the summer. If Moscow will 
pay no attention to us, then we shall perish."* 

In spite of the complete fiasco of Soviet 
tactics to bring about, if not peace, then at 
least a truce, with the Russian peasantry, in 
spite of Lenin's admissions and Trotzky's con- 
fessions, the agrarian policy of the Bolsheviki 
was pursued with remarkable stubbornness. It 
culminated in the notorious decree of January 
27, 1921, which is the prime cause of the ap- 
palling famine which Russia is living through 

* Quoted from * * Memorandum on Certain Aspects of the Bolshe- 
vist Movement in Buasia. " Washington Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1919, p. 14. 



52 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

to-day. The main features of this decree can 
be summed up as follows: 

(a) Sowing the fields is declared everybody's 
duty to the State. The various Soviet insti- 
tutions are given the authority to devise 
plans for the sowing campaigns. They also 
decide which particular area must be culti- 
vated and what kind of grain must be sown. 
Individual farmers must comply with this 
program as a matter of duty to the State. 

(b) The technical methods of tilling the land are 
also regulated by the Soviets, these regula- 
tions being compulsory. Mechanical processes 
are to be applied to the tilling of land and to 
sowing the fields. 

(c) The entire crop becomes the property of the 
State, while the farmer gets only such quan- 
tities of grain as are rationed to him by the 
respective Soviet organs. 

It is doubtful if a law more inefficient than 
this, and less adapted to the realities of life, 
could be found in the history of legislation. 

On its surface it shows marks of hopeless 
bureaucratic obstinacy and failure to grasp the 
substance of economic relations. No special men- 
tal acumen is required to realize that no govern- 
ment on earth has been or will be powerful 
enough to regulate the economic activities of 
every individual citizen, teaching him how best 
to direct his creative energies, and how to apply 
his technical ability in solving diverse economic 
tasks. Even should we, for the sake of argu- 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 53 

ment, admit that there can be a government 
strong enough to control the countless individual 
efforts which go to make up the economic life 
of a nation, nevertheless, bureaucratic manage- 
ment of this kind would be bound to result in 
failure because of the inequality of individual 
faculties. John cannot be made to work equally 
well, equally efficiently and equally fast as 
Henry. Besides John and Henry are la- 
boring in different surroundings and under 
unequal difficulties. Therefore, the standardi- 
zation of their work cannot be achieved no mat- 
ter how efficient a government is, or how de- 
spotic it chooses to be. 

Almost immediately after the issuance of the 
decree of January 27, 1921, Soviet officials be- 
gan to elaborate their system of compulsory 
agriculture. On February 8, 1921, mobiliza- 
tion was ordered of all specialists in agriculture, 
including the former owners of the estates, 
their superintendents, and persons who had re- 
ceived special training in agricultural colleges. 
Simultaneously, further recommendations were 
made for abandoning individual forms of land 
ownership, and inducing the peasants to adopt 
Communal or Socialistic methods of tilling the 
land. The proposed system provided for the 
participation of entire peasants' Communes in 
plowing the soil, while the crops were to be 
stored in Communal granaries. Besides these 
stipulations, the decree regulates the method of 



54 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

distribution of grain among the population. 
All these combined measures resulted in a fur- 
ther decrease of the area under cultivation, 
thus preparing the ground for the frightful 
famine of 1922. 

The land policy of the Bolsheviki is probably 
the greatest blunder in the long series of blun- 
ders committed by them since the time they 
rose to power. Even from this brief sketch of 
Soviet measures pertaining to rural Eussia, it 
can be seen that the keynote to Communist 
legislation is the socialization of land. This 
cardinal principal was adopted by the Soviets 
in full conformity with the theories of Karl 
Marx. Guided by the avowed intention of work- 
ing out a model Marxian State, the Bolsheviki 
made an attempt to force upon 100,000,000 
Russian peasants an economic system entirely 
alien to their psychology and to the whole 
history of Russian agrarian relations. It was 
easy in times past to move the peasants to loot 
and grab the estates belonging to the nobility. 
Appeals to greed and base instincts usually 
find prompt response when made to the disor- 
derly and illiterate mob. Nor was it difficult to 
convince the peasants that if they should seize 
other peoples' lands, they would increase their 
own land holdings, thereby getting something 
for nothing. But when it came to enforce the 
program of socialization, which necessarily 
meant the abrogation of all individual titles to 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 55 

the land, the peasants emphatically declined to 
give up any of their own holdings, denying the 
authority of the Communist State to extend its 
control over the free use of their lands, a right 
which they had enjoyed in the past. 

Despite the numerous Bolshevist decrees ^* na- 
tionalizing" the land ''for the henefit of the 
entire laboring population/' the peasants, as a 
matter of fact, have never given up their prop- 
erty rights in the land, responding to Soviet 
legislation by a series of revolts against the 
Communist Commissars. In vain were the at- 
tempts to suppress by '' direct action" the coun- 
ter-revolutionary movement spreading all over 
the rural districts. Those among the Bolshe- 
viks who were familiar with the psychology of 
the people, understood that it was impossible to 
carry on a successful warfare against multi- 
tudes of rebellious peasants. Of course, Apf el- 
baum (Zinoviev), the Red dictator of Petro- 
grad, did threaten to murder a large portion of 
the j)opulation of Russia for the sake of putting 
into effect the Marxian program. It was he 
who, in 1918, made this infamous statement: 
"To overcome our enemies we must have our 
own Socialist militarism. "We must win over to 
our side 90,000,000 out of 100,000,000 of the popu- 
lation of Russia under the Soviets. As for the 
rest, we have nothing to say to them; they must 
he annihilated."* 

* Speech made by Apfelbaum, reported in the "Northern Com- 
mune," September 19, 1918, No. 109. 



56 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

The more intelligent Bolsheviks, however, 
insisted upon less brutal and more subtle mea- 
sures to be employed in the Soviet campaign 
against the Russian peasants. They accepted 
the Machiavellian principle: ^^ Divide et im- 
pera'\' in other words, a method of sowing arti- 
ficial dissension among the peasants them- 
selves. The Soviets have tried to incite the 
poorer farmers against the well-to-do peasants. 
For this purpose, they formed, in rural dis- 
tricts, so-called ^'Beggars Committees," which 
were designed to become the nuclei of Commun- 
ist organizations throughout the agricultural 
regions. These Committees were put in charge 
of the distribution of food supplies among the 
rural population, and they were also given au- 
thority to supervise the collection of *' surplus" 
food in the villages. This measure, indeed, 
did help to foster civil strife, causing further 
confusion among the farmers; but it failed to 
win the support of the peasantry as a whole 
to the Soviet regime, as neither the poorer nor 
the wealthier peasants were persuaded to sur- 
render their lands to the Communist State. 

The present situation with regard to the land 
problem may be summed up as follows: 

Nominally, all the land has been nationalized. 
In reality, however, the peasants persistently 
cling" to their property rights and their legal 
titles. On the other hand, notwithstanding offi- 
cial encouragement through legislation of Com- 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 57 

munal or Socialistic methods of cultivation, the 
land is being tilled according to old customs of 
individual enterprise. The decree giving the 
Soviets authority to confiscate the "surplus 
crops" resulted in an amazing degradation of 
agriculture as such. It can be asserted that in 
1921 the total area under cultivation in Euro- 
pean and Asiatic Russia, including '*Ukrainia" 
and Turkestan, did not exceed 25,000,000 dessia- 
tines,* while in Russia proper the gradual re- 
duction of crop areas roughly assiuned the fol- 
lowing proportions: 

1917 222,300,000 Acres 

1918 182,780,000 

1919 140,790,000 

1920 93,860,000 

1921 41,990,000 **t 

In famine-stricken regions the area actually 
sown in 1921 was only 9,789,897 acres as com- 
pared with 13,267,270 acres in 1920.t 

* Compare these data with exhaustive statistical research of Pro- 
fessor Pestrjetzky in his monography on the present land conditions 
in Russia, entitled, "Around the Land," pp. 55 to 65, Berlin, 1922. 
Published in Eussian. 

f According to Soviet statistics, the total area under cultivation 
in 1920 was 25 per cent- less than in 1916. This may be true if the 
whole territory embracing the former Eussian Empire is taken into 
consideration. However, confining the analysis to Russia proper, 
excluding the Little Eussian Governments, or the so-called Ukrainia, 
we notice a much greater reduction, which is confirmed by data fur- 
nished by the Central Soviet Statistical Board, showing the total 
output in cereals for 1921 amounted to only 32,200,000 tons, which is 
less than 50 per cent, of the average output for 1910-1914. Compare 
these data with pamphlet, entitled "How Bolshevism Wrecked Bits- 
sia," a reprint from the "Morning Post," London, 1922. 

:t:See "Soviet Bussia," No. 1, January, 1922, p. 7. Published 
in New York City. 



58 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Simultaneously, the food ration throughout 
the villages decreased in an alarming degree. 
In the Government of Tula, which is considered 
a model district from the point of view of yield- 
ing tax returns, according to Soviet statistics, 
in November, 1920, 91 per cent, of the popu- 
lation was living on food substitutes, con- 
sisting mainly of wood saw-filings and husks 
mixed with potatoes. The daily ration in that 
district in November, 1920, was equal to 2,300 
calories; while in February, 1921, it was only 
1,502 calories. In the Government of Samara, 
which in former times was one of the wealthiest 
agricultural regions, the daily ration in calories 
for November, 1920, was 2,540, while in Feb- 
ruary, 1921, it had fallen to 1,700 calories. It 
will be noted that the normal ration for per- 
sons engaged in manual labor is approxi- 
mately 6,000 calories per day. 

Further light is thrown upon the extent of 
agricultural disintegration by figures showing 
the extermination of horses in Soviet Russia: 

1918 24,000,000 Horses 

1919 9,500,000 

1920 Figures not available 

1921 3,300,000 Horses 

In 1922 the situation became so critical that 
in many rural districts plows were drawn by 
the peasants themselves as all horses had been 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 59 

killed and tlieir flesh used for food. The out- 
look for 1923 is hopeless. 

The same picture is true about cattle. Sheep- 
breeding, which was so extensive in Imperial 
Russia, has almost ceased under Communist 
rule, while the number of pigs in 1920 was 80 
per cent, less than in 1914. 

Between 1900 and 1913 the gross output of 
agricultural products in Russia increased 33 
per cent. The agrarian revolution left Russia 
almost without agricultural implements, and in 
1920 the peasants obtained a number of plows 
seven times less than in 1913. The number 
of harrows acquired by them for the same 
period was ten times less. In 1921 and 1922 
the output of agricultural machinery in Soviet 
Russia was almost nil. Therefore, in 1923 it 
will be practically impossible to till the land 
even should grain in sufficient quantities be ob- 
tainable. While the exact figures regarding the 
output of agricultural machinery for 1921 and 
1922 are lacking, the comparative table on page 
60 may give a general idea of the staggering 
depreciation in the manufacture of such ma- 
chinery. 

The number of agricultural machines im- 
ported from abroad in 1920 was insignificant 
and the total was below 16,000 machines of 
every kind. 



6o THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

1913 1914 1920 



] 


[mported from 


Manufactured Manufactured 




Abroad 


in Russia 


in Russia 


Plows 


200,000 


550,000 


500 


Harrows 


36,000 


80,000 


862 


Reaping m^chineg 


100,000 


38,000 


167 


Fanning Machines 


15,000 


38,000 


167 


Planting machines 


10,000 


70,000 


1,068 


Threshing ma 








chines operated 








by 'horses 


13,000 


27,000 


558* 



In this connection the official Bolshevist 
^' Economicheskaya Jisn'^ (No. 92, April 27, 
1922) furnishes important data. An article 
published in this issue, entitled *'The Restora- 
tion of the Manufacture of Agricultural Ma- 
chinery," reads in part as follows: 

''The convention dealing with the problem of 
the manufacture of agricultural machinery which 
adjourned a few days ago, disclosed the hope- 
less condition of that branch of industry. Fig- 
ures made public during the convention by the 
Department of Agricultural Machinery demon- 
strate that in the early part of 1922 the number 
of workers engaged in this industry was only 26 
per cent, of the pre-war number. The output 

* The above figures were taken from the following sources: 

"Agriculture," issues Nos. 1 and 2, September and October, 1921. 
Monthly magazine issued in Prague, published in Russian. 

A. Rakctov: "Synopsis of the Economic and Financial Situation 
in Present Russia According to Oflicial Data," Reval, 1921. Pub- 
lished in Russian. 

Professor A. Teme: "In the Bealm of Lenin." Published in 
Bussian, Berlin, 1922. 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 6i 

varies from 0.1 per cent, to 3 per cent, (planting 
machines, harrows, threshing machines, fanning 
machines) to 13.3 per cent, (plows) of the pre- 
war production. These figures signify a catas- 
trophe in the manufacturing of Russian agricul- 
tural machinery and in their supply to the popu- 
lation. Tliis is particularly true if we take into- 
consideration that in pre-war times Russia manu- 
factured not more than 50 per cent, of her entire 
need in these implements." 

Such in brief is the deplorable result of Bol- 
shevist management in the field of agricultural 
relationship. 

It is only natural that the peasants as a class 
were thrown into opposition to the Socialist 
regime. The wily promises made by Lenin to 
the farmers will certainly fail to catch them 
in the Communist trap. Russian peasants are 
no fools. They remember well Lenin's speech 
delivered to the Tenth Communist Congress, 
when he said, *'The interests of the workers and 
the peasants differ. Only an agreement with 
the peasants can save the Socialist revolution 
in Russia until the time when a proletarian 
revolution will take place in every country.'' 
But the farmers also remember that it was 
upon Lenin's own motion that the same Con- 
gress adopted a new form of taxation, estab- 
lishing a tax in hind, the so-called ^'Prodnalog," 
a tax levied in the form of taking from the 
farmer his agricultural products and turning 
them over to the State. Although Lenin boasted 



62 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

that this measure would tend to conciliate the 
peasants to the Soviets, in reality, however, it 
drove another wedge between rural and urban 
Russia. That is the reason why the peasants 
regard the Communists as a class of privileged 
parasites, and their urban strongholds as an 
arena for insane social experiments. 

Nor is the latest Bolshevik agrarian inven- 
tion going to solve the land problem. On May 
12, 1922 — so it was reported in the general 
press — ^the All-Eussian Central Executive Com- 
mittee of Soviets proposed a plan providing 
life tenure for the peasants engaged in agricul- 
tural pursuit. On the other hand, however, the 
principle of State ownership of all land was 
reiterated and no further changes were sug- 
gested. 

In this way the "new" land policy is but 
another version of old principles. This plan as 
well as the "Fundamental Decree of the Soviet 
Government,'' dated May 22, 1922, which pur- 
ports to grant limited concessions to property 
rights, were obviously designed to please Mr. 
Hughes and thus to drag the United States into 
a shameful deal with the Soviets. One of the 
Communist Commissars by the name of Kursky, 
commenting on the latter decree, was verv frank 
in stating that: 

"Soviet officials • * * considered this decree 
largely meets the condition of Secretary of State 
Hughes for American trade in Russia." 



THE LAND PROBLEM IN RUSSIA 63 

Nothing can be expected from such ** sur- 
renders" to capitalism. The thing which the 
peasants want is to own their land, to keep it 
on the basis of private property, including the 
right of selling, mortgaging it, and leaving it 
to their families. In other words, so long as 
private property in land is not restored in 
full, the present land chaos will prevail and 
minor changes and modifications of the ^* Funda- 
mental law of socialization of the land" will 
bring no relief whatsoever to the famine- 
stricken population, and will prove unable to 
relieve the general condition of economic de- 
spair ruling throughout Red Russia. 




CHAPTER III 

THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 

"ly/TARXIAN principles of socialization ap- 
•^ •*- plied to Russia have ruined her agricul- 
tural system and proved equally disastrous to 
her industries. 

Marx labored long and hard to show that 
the suffering of the working class is the direct 
consequence of social conditions which enable 
the capitalist to monopolize all means of pro- 
duction and distribution, leaving to the toilers 
the sad fate of selling in the open market their 
only possession, that is, their labor. Accord- 
ing to his theory, the labor problem cannot be 
solved without a radical change in the entire 
structure of modern society, as the result of 
which all industrial and financial assets would 
fall under the control and become the property 
of the working class. Marx anticipated that 
such a social transformation must necessarily 
be achieved by force, inevitably upsetting the 
whole mechanism of economic relationship. 

The Bolsheviki, having learned by heart the 
Marxian A-B-C, saw no other means of solving 
the industrial problem than that decreed by 
their stepfather. 

As far as Russia was concerned, the national- 
ization of her industries could not be justified 

64 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 65 

even from the point of view of the Socialistic 
theory itself. Generally speaking, Capitalism 
in the western sense of the term was non- 
existent there. It was only during the last 
twenty years that modern industrial methods 
gradually began to be applied to Russian soil. 
In that country industry was a weakling, nour- 
ished by the State. A high custom-wall was 
erected which gave the manufacturers sufficient 
time to get upon their own feet. The protec- 
tive policies of the Imperial Government, it is 
true, proved quite beneficial. The four years 
preceding the World War marked a deci- 
sive advance in Russia's industrial prosperity. 
Thus, during the period between 1910 and 1913, 
the number of new industrial and commercial 
corporations, and their paid-up capital, in- 
creased in the following proportion. 



Year 


Number of New 
Corporations 


Paid Up Capital 

IN Millions of 
Rubles 


1910 


104 






119.3 


1911 


166 






185.3 


1912 


202 






233.5 


1913 


240 






403.1* 



Owing also to the tireless efforts of the Gov- 
ernment, during the ten years preceding the 
war, railroad lines and transportation facilities 
in general were materially enlarged. This, in 

*See Russia— Eer Economic Past and Futwe, by Dr. Joseph M. 
Goldstein, New York, 1919, p. 80. 



66 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

turn, had a stimulating influence upon tlie 
tempo of economic development as a whole. 
With all that, the industrial technique continued 
to be backward, especially if compared with 
such countries as the United States, England 
and Germany. Under these conditions, it was 
idle to speak of the ^^concentration" of capital, 
of ''industrial magnates" controlling Russian 
production, of the "monopoly of capital," and 
similar attributes of capitalistic progress. In 
Marx's own opinion, however, these phenomena 
must precede the social decomposition of mod- 
ern civilization, ultimately substituting for it 
a Socialistic order. Moreover, orthodox So- 
cialists, including Marx himself, have always 
contended that a "successful" social revolution 
can be accomplished by no other class than the 
industrial proletariat. In this connection Marx 
stated as follows: 

"Along with the constantly diminishing num- 
ber of the magnates of capital, who usurp and 
monopolize all advantages of this process of trans- 
formation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, 
slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this 
too grows the revolt of the working-class, a class 
always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, 
united, organized by the very mechanism of the 
process of capitalist production itself. The mo- 
nopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode 
of production, which has sprung up and flourished 
along with, and under it. Centralization of the 
means of production and socialization of labor 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 67 

at last reach a point where they become incom- 
patible with their capitalist integument. This 
integument is burst asunder. The knell of capi- 
talist private property sounds. The expropriators 
are expropriated."* 

It was also Marx who asserted that: 

*'0f all classes that stand face to face with the 
bourgeoisie to-day, the proletariat alone is a revo- 
lutionary class. ' ' 

When Lenin and Trotsky started to advocate 
a social revolution in Russia, there was no pro- 
letarian class in the Marxian sense. Russia 
was and still remains a country of small farm- 
ers, tenaciously clinging to their property 
rights, their farms and their individual house- 
holds. Out of the pre-war population of the 
Russian Empire — ^that is to say out of 160,- 
000,000— there were less than 5,000,000 indus- 
trial workers. But out of this number hun- 
dreds of thousands still kept farms which were 
cultivated by their relatives. On the other 
hand, many workers were employed in indus- 
trial concerns only part of the year, while pur- 
suing their habitual agricultural occupation 
during the other part. Therefore, even from 
the orthodox Marxian point of view, there was 
no social group or class in Russia capable of 
undertaking and bringing to a ** successful" 

* Capital by Karl Marx, Vol. I., pp. 836 and 837. Charles H. 
Kerr & Company, Chicago, 1919. 



68 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

end the destruction of the capitalistic system, 
erecting on its ruins a model Communist State. 

Disregarding these fundamental facts, the 
Bolsheviki, as far back as April, 1917, suddenly 
broke loose with violent agitation among the 
workers of Petrograd and Moscow, urging them 
to join their ranks and promising to put them 
in immediate control of all factories, plants, 
mills, railroads and other industrial assets. 
The Marxian formula: '^All wealth is pro- 
duced hy labor. To labor all wealth is due/' 
was over night accepted by the toiling masses 
who were unable to grasp its real meaning. Nor 
is it strange that the *' Workers' Control" 
should have appealed to the proletariat, espe- 
cially at an epoch when the whole country was 
being kept in a state of constant unrest, and 
when the minds of the people were put out of 
balance by the trend of revolutionary events. 
It was all the easier to enforce the nationaliza- 
tion program as hundreds of factories were 
actually deserted by their owners who fled be- 
fore the terror instigated by the rebellious 
workers. In point of fact, already under Ker- 
ensky's regime, wages extorted by the laborers 
grew to be so excessive that the operation of 
the factories became next to impossible. 

The Soviet constitution does not devise an 
exhaustive system for the nationalization of in- 
dustry as is the case with the socialization of 
land. The general stipulation therefor is con- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 69 

tained in Item (c) of Clause 3 of the ''Declara- 
tion of Rights of the Laboring and Exploited 
People/' It reads verbatim: 

"As a first step toward complete transfer of 
ownership to the Soviet Republic of all factories, 
mills, mines, railways, and other means of pro- 
duction and transportation, the Soviet law for the 
control by workmen and the establishment of the 
Supreme Soviet of National Economy is hereby 
confirmed, so as to insure the power of the workers 
over the exploiters." 

In this Section two distinctly different prin- 
ciples are set forth: first, nationalization from 
the point of view of State ownership; and, 
second, nationalization in the sense of workers' 
management of industrial concerns. 

The seizure of industrial plants by the Sov- 
iets primarily assumed a casual character. The 
earlier decrees nationalizing such concerns were 
issued in consequence of the opposition mani- 
fested by their owners and managers to the 
Soviet order of December 8, 1917, introducing 
the "Workers' Control" over production. 

The first industrial corporation nationalized 
by the Soviets was the Simsky Mining Com- 
pany. 

The decree thereto of December 12, 1917, 
reads : 

"In view of the refusal of the Simsky Mining 
Company to submit to the decree of the Council of 



70 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

People's Commissars, relating to tlie Workers' 
Control the Soviet of People's Commissars hereby 
resolves to confiscate the entire property of the 
Simsky Mining Company, of whatever it may 
consist, declaring it the property of the Russian 
Republic. ' ' 

The same motive is given in the Soviet de- 
cree of December 19, 1917, for nationalizing 
the well-known Bogoslovsky Mining Company. 
It was not until February 1918 that the pro- 
gram began to be carried out systematically. 
In the beginning the tendency was to nation- 
alize key industries, especially the entire metal- 
lurgical, textile and mining output. The ear- 
liest attempt to take over the famous Donetz 
coal region was made on December 28, 1917, 
when a regulation was adopted ordering that 
all mines located in this district be placed under 
Soviet control, and their output monopolized by 
the State. 

On the 22nd of April, 1918, an important 
measure was introduced by the Soviets nation- 
alizing foreign trade in all its ramifications. 
According to this decree, commercial transac- 
tions with foreign countries were made the ex- 
clusive prerogative of persons duly authorized 
by the Bolsheviki. With the exception of spec- 
ial agents, nobody had the right to carry on 
trade relations with foreign countries, either 
in the way of export or import. Gradually, all 
economic functions, including production, trade 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 71 

and distribution, came under Soviet manage- 
ment. Finally, in December 1920, industrial 
concerns employing only five workers were de- 
clared the property of the State. 

Among the more drastic phases of the social- 
ization fever was the decree of December 14, 
1917. This is the edict on the seizure of pri- 
vate banks which were monopolized by the 
State. The preamble to this legislative act ex- 
presses that the nationalization of banks is 
ordered 

"In the interest of the regular organization of 
the national economy, of the thorough eradication 
of bank speculation, and the complete emancipa- 
tion of the workmen, peasants, and the whole la- 
boring population from the exploitation of bank- 
ing capital, and with a view to the establishment 
of a single national bank of the Russian Republic 
which shall serve the real interests of the people 
and the poorer classes, * * *." 

All assets and liabilities of banking institu- 
tions, in this way, were taken over by the Sov- 
iets, while all existing private joint-stock banks 
were merged in the State Bank. 

Indeed it was a simple matter, by one stroke 
of the pen, to abolish — on paper at least — the 
whole Russian banking system; but, with pri- 
vate banks blown up in the air, the Soviets 
proved thoroughly incapable of solving the 
vital problem of credit. The barbarous manner 
in which the Communist rulers grabbed all 



72 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

financial assets is quite typical of their *' gov- 
ernmental" methods. In modern economics, 
banking is an organic part of the productive 
system, its prime social function being the 
financing of industrial and commercial enter- 
prizes, which constitute the backbone of national 
existence. 

Prior to the revolution, Russia's industries 
were largely dependent upon banking capital, 
which provided the necessary means for the 
development of productive resources. The 
more efforts were made in the field of indus- 
trial research, the more it became obvious that 
extensive banking and accessible credit were 
absolutely indispensable to economic progress. 
Accordingly, during the ten years preceding the 
World War, thousands of corporations of '^ mu- 
tual credit" were established throughout Rus- 
sia, rendering prompt and efficient assistance to 
the creative efforts of the people. Petty trade, 
which had a far-reaching significance in nation- 
al economics, was actively supported by these 
institutions. 

The nationalization of banks did not entail 
the abolition of money as a mode of exchange. 
Money continues to exist in the Communist 
State. Therefore, all industrial concerns, al- 
though nationalized, have to have money for 
the purchase of raw materials, to pay wages, 
and to carry on their business in general. 
Leaving aside for the present the question of 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 73 

the deflation of the Eussian ruble, it is neces- 
sary to point out the peculiar condition which 
was the outgrowth of the nationalization of 
banks. All monies and collateral in the posses- 
sion of banking corporations, having been de- 
clared the property of the State, it became the 
business of the State to finance all such indus- 
trial and commercial concerns as heretofore had 
been supported by private banking capital. In 
other words, its nationalization threw upon the 
State a tremendous burden which in previous 
days was divided between thousands of credit 
institutions and the State itself. The effect was 
most harmful. 

In the current Soviet press there are count- 
less complaints about the inefficiency of the 
Communist State Bank, its failure to give fi- 
nancial support to nationalized enterprises, and 
the irritating routine required to obtain credits 
for industrial purposes. 

The Communists took over almost 100 per 
cent, of Russia's industries but they did not 
create a financial organization adequate to cope 
with the daily needs of production. In conse- 
quence, hundreds of plants and mills remain 
idle without a remote possibility of resuming 
operations. Even those factories which are 
considered by the Soviets as ^' shock factories" 
— that is to say, the operation of which is of 
paramount importance for the very existence of 
the Communist State — have often complained 



74 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

about the thorough neglect manifested by the 
''Gosbank" (State Bank) in relation to their 
financial requirements. 

Lenin and other Soviet leaders repeatedly 
insisted upon the utmost importance for the 
Communist State, in the first place, to organize 
and efficiently exploit the huge industrial en- 
terprises, uniting them in productive agencies 
similar to American trusts. Voluminous liter- 
ature was produced on this subject, and yet the 
practical endeavors of the Soviets to establish 
such trusts have resulted in a complete fiasco, 
not only in the sense of technical management, 
but also from a financial point of view. 

One instance described in the Soviet news- 
papers, referring to the central organization of 
Russian textile industries, may give a general 
idea of the prevailing situation. A Soviet of- 
ficial who was ordered to inspect the business 
of this "Centro-Textile" made the following 
report with regard to its financial transactions : 

"The Financial Department of the Centro- 
Textile received up to February 1, 1919, the sum 
of 3,400,000,000 rubles. No control was estab- 
lished with resrard to the apportionment of this 
fund. The money has been given away to the fac- 
tories at their request, and this was made in the 
form of advance payments against bills of lading. 
Due to this, instances were frequent where monies 
were paid to non-existent factories. From Jan- 
uary 1st up to December 1, 1918, the Central 
Textile made such advance payments against com- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 75 

modities for the amount of 1,348,619,000 rubles. 
At the same time, by January 1, 1919, commodi- 
ties which would serve as collateral for such 
advance payments were amounting only to 143,- 
716,000 rubles, that is eight times less than money 
paid out in advance. Moreover, the fact of the 
general inefficiency of the Central Textile must 
be noted, especially in connection with the pur- 
chase of wool. Thus, by January (1919) only 
129,808 poods were purchased, whereas the annual 
requirement of wool is calculated at the amount 
of 3,500,000 poods."* 

Similar is the condition in practically every 
line of industry and commerce. The official 
Soviet organ Economicheshaya Jisn, in its issue 
of the 26th of April, 1922, reported that the 
Petrograd hemp trust, formed in January of 
that year, was unable to start operations owing 
to the lack of funds which were to have been 
supplied by the Gosbank. Information of the 
same nature is given regarding the Forest and 
Textile Trusts, and the coal mines in the Don- 
etz Basin. 

There is a Russian proverb: ^'With seven 
nurses the child is blind." This can be applied 
to State ownership and Soviet Administration 
of key industries and their ''shock plants." 
Numerous Soviet institutions and Communist 
appointees are supervising, managing, control- 
ling and auditing their operations. Every Com- 

*See Prof. Sheherbina, Op. Cit., p. 100. Translated from the 
Eussian. 



76 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

missar feels it his right and duty to interfere 
with their work. The consequence is that these 
basic branches of production have been ruined, 
possibly even to a greater degree than the aux- 
iliary agencies which are less annoyed and com- 
paratively more free to pursue their own pol- 
icies. 

An equally harmful effect upon industrial de- 
velopment was caused by the Soviet invention 
known as the *' Workers' Control." The first 
decree thereto was issued on December 8, 1917. 
The object of this measure was to eliminate in- 
dividual management, but primarily the man- 
agement of those who owned the factories, put- 
ting production under the control of the indus- 
trial proletariat. The Bolsheviki were firmly 
convinced that, after all, this was an easy task 
to perform, because they maintained that man- 
ual work alone is the creative force of wealth. 
They failed to grasp the economic truth that 
natural resources which furnish the material 
substance for all mechanical processes, and the 
brain work of experts organizing industries are 
just as much the component parts of production 
as manual labor itself. 

The destructive phase of the Worker's Con- 
trol, namely, the elimination of the legitimate 
owners, was not difficult to achieve. Most brutal 
methods were used to compel them to surrender 
their factories to the Worker's Shop Commit- 
tees. The technical personnel was subjected to 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES ^^ 

both psychical and physical terror. ''Down 
with the bourgeois bloodsuckers!'', for a time, 
was the real order of the day. Thousands of 
persons who formerly supervised the mills and 
plants were either incarcerated or murdered in 
cold blood, while the rest were forced to seek 
refuge abroad. According to a statement made 
in 1919 at a meeting of the Moscow Soviet of 
Workers and Red Armies Deputies, by Mr. 
Nevsky, former Commissar of the Department 
of Railways and Communications, ''No less 
Phmi 25 per cent, of the trained engineers em- 
ployed in the management of railways since the 
revolution were murdered/' while about 50 per 
cent, of the pre-revolutionary engineering staff 
had fled *'to escape murder." Hence, only 25 
per cent, of the entire number of technically 
skilled railroad employees nominally remained 
in the ranks of the former personnel. But with 
regard to these Nevsky explained: 

*'I pass my life in hunting them out of prison 
because no proper management can go on with- 
out skilled laborers."* 

This condition by no means was confined to 
transport alone. It existed and still prevails in 
all branches of industry, commerce and State 
banking. 

* Mr. Nevsky 's report quoted in the London Morning Post, May 
1, 1919, in an article entitled, * ' Bolshevist Transport Muddle. ' ' 



78 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Such was the primitive manner by which the 
first taming of the "exploiters" was accom- 
plished by the Soviets. The second, or con- 
structive, problem relating to the workers' man- 
agement was something the Bolsheviki were 
unable to overcome. They started out on the 
premise that all the delicate functions of pro- 
duction could be properly organized and con- 
trolled by the workers themselves, no matter 
how little technical experience they may have 
had. 

The decree on the Workers' Control is cer- 
tainly one of the most startling exhibits of the 
"constructive achievements" of Communism. 
The merits of this legislative act can be best 
appreciated by examining its more fundamental 
provisions : 

"1. In the interests of a well-planned regula- 
tion of the national economy in all industrial, 
commercial, banking, agricultural, transport- 
ing, co-operative, and productive associations 
and other enterprises engaging hired workers 
or distributing work outside, "Workers' Con- 
trol shall be introduced over production, pur- 
chase, sale of products and raw materials, 
their storage, as well as over the financial 
part of the enterprise." 

"2. The Workers' Control is carried out by all 
the workers of a given enterprise through 
their elective organizations such as: factory 
committees, aldermen's boards, etc. These 
organizations shall include representatives of 
the employees and the technical personnel." 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 79 

"3. In every large town, province, or industrial 
region, a local Soviet of Workers' Control 
shall be formed, which, being an organ of the 
Soviet of Workmen, Soldiers and Peasants 
Deputies, shall be composed of representa- 
tives of trade unions, shop and other labor 
committees, and co-operative societies." 

According to the subsequent sections, the 
organs of the Workers' Control are given the 
right to supervise production, iixing a mini- 
mum ratio of output, and enabling them to take 
all necessary measures for determining the cost 
of production. (Paragraph 6). These organs 
are also allowed access to all files of the indus- 
trial enterprises. Their decisions are manda- 
tory on the owners of the enterprises and may 
be revoked solely by a resolution of the higher 
organs of the Workers' Control. (Paragraph 
8). The only exemption in favor of the owners 
is contained in Paragraph 9, reading: 

"The owner or the administration of the en- 
terprise shall, within the course of three days, have 
the right to file a protest before the higher organs 
of the Workers' Control against any resolution 
passed by the lower organs of the same Control." 

An analysis of this decree discloses two leadv. 
ing features of labor management as adopted 
by the Soviets: 

First: the so-called collegiate system of man- 
agement as distinguished from and opposed to 



8o THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

individual management of the owner; second, 
the outspoken domination of manual labor over 
technical experts. 

The former principle is but a natural feature 
of Communism. Socialism has never fav- 
ored the creative force of individual effort. 
On the contrary, it has always sustained the 
policy 'of ^'mass action." Whenever it comes 
to actually doing something requiring brains, 
Marxian followers recommend a parliament 
with scores of delegates proficient in talking 
abilities. Any minor measure pertaining for 
instance to the purchase of spare parts for a 
drilling lathe, or selecting the nearest ware- 
house, is vigorously debated by committees and 
sub-committees before being put into effect. On 
the other hand, the most complicated indus- 
trial policies have to be brought before and de- 
cided upon by large bodies of manual workers 
who have not the slightest idea as to what man- 
agement means or how it should be conducted. 

Besides, the decree establishes an extremely 
intricate procedure for carrying out the Work- 
ers' Control through four different groups of 
Soviets : 

(a) The Factory Soviet, 

(b) The City Soviet, 

(c) The Regional Soviet, and finally, 

(d) The All-Russian Soviet of Workers' Control. 

The clumsy make-up of the Central Soviet is 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 8i 

described in Paragraph 4 which provides that 
this body shall be composed of representatives 
of the following institutions: 

1. The AU-Russian Central Executive Com- 
mittee of the Soviets — 5 members. 

2. The All-Russian Central Executive Com- 
mittee of Peasants' Delegates — 5 members. 

3. The All-Russian Soviet of Trade Unions — • 
5 members. 

4. The All-Russian Center of Co-Operative So- 
cieties — 2 members. 

5. The All-Russian Bureau of Factory Commit- 
tees — 5 members. 

6. The All-Russian Union of Engineers and 
Technicians — 5 members. 

7. The All-Russian Union of Agronomists — 2 
members. 

8. From each All-Russian Labor Union with at 
least 100,000 members — 1 member. 

9. From each Trade Union whose number of 
members exceeds 100,000 — 2 members. 

10. The Petrograd Soviet of Trade Unions — 2 
members. 

Now, all these various Soviets, mutually sub- 
ordinate to each other, from stage to stage, are 
compelled to refer their decisions and regula- 
tions to higher organs of Workers' Control, un- 
til they ultimately reach the central body, — 
moving slowly along like a caterpillar tank. 
It is only here, on the top of the bureaucratic 
pyramid, that all momentous problems of na- 
tional production are finally decided upon. 



82 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Had a decree of this kind been inaugurated by 
the Imperial government, or any of the would- 
be bourgeois governments, Socialists from the 
four corners of the earth would have burst into 
an uproar, accusing the wealth-owning classes 
of every possible administrative vice. But, be- 
cause the decree bore the stamp of Lenin, lib- 
erals and radicals all over the world have de- 
voted much ^' study" and ''careful research" 
to the relative merits of this "great" Bolshe- 
vist discovery. Obviously it is impossible to 
supervise the whole range of industrial func- 
tions with a bureaucratic outfit so heavy and 
so inefficient. Nevertheless, Socialist sponsors 
in this country and elsewhere prayingly whis- 
pered, ^'Oh, give them a chance! Give them 
only a chance!'^ And the chance has been 
given to the Bolsheviki. They have been al- 
lowed to carry out their program to the fullest 
extent. 

Not even a year had passed before Soviet 
leaders themselves found out that industry was 
being rapidly brought to a state of complete 
decay. Much to their surprise, they noticed 
that the Workers' Control in reality meant 
wholesale graft, willful neglect, and the high- 
est degree of incompetency. The simplest 
questions of management were hopelessly be- 
fuddled. Urgent problems of organization 
were dragged along through numerous Soviet 
chanceries until finally they lost their mo- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 83 

mentous significance. Furthermore, tlie dif- 
ferent organs of Workers' Control came in con- 
flict with the Supreme Board of National 
Economy, the task of which is to elaborate gen- 
eral standards for the economic life of the 
country, serving as a medium between the work 
of the central and local branches of the All- 
Russian So^det of Workers' Control. Finally, 
the different Soviet agencies, such as the Fuel 
Board, the Metal Board, the Transport Board, 
the Central Supplies Committee, etc., acting 
upon their own authority, interfered all the 
time with the orders of both the Supreme 
Board of National Economy and the All-Rus- 
sian Soviet of Workers' Control, causing ex- 
treme confusion in every line of Russian in- 
dustry. 

In the factories all discipline was abandoned. 
The I. W. W. slogan, ''Strike on the joh!'' be- 
came the ruling condition of the work in na- 
tionalized concerns. The eight-hour day which 
was decreed at the very outset of the Bol- 
shevist advent to power proved nothing but 
a mji:h. The men worked as long as they chose 
to stay in the factories, while the whole course 
of industrial labor was converted into an end- 
less meeting at which Communist ideas were 
propagated and the workers incited to take re- 
venge upon the "blood-thirsty capitalists." 
But these were no longer in existence. 

Regulations recommended by Workers' Shop 



84 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Committees were deliberately violated by the 
workers themselves, and the foremen of olden 
times were held under suspicion and openly ac- 
cused of being *' bourgeois sympathizers." Un- 
der these circumstances, naturally, the entire in- 
dustrial mechanism went to pieces, and the pro- 
letarian State promptly landed outside the 
broken trough. 

The scale of economic disorganization will be 
understood by a mere comparison of the out- 
put of different supplies for 1913 or 1914 with 
that of 1920. 

After two years of Soviet management, every 
branch of industry presented practically the 
same picture of degradation. For instance, the 
textile mills, in 1914, were equipped with 7,- 
285,000 spindles, working on full time, while 
in 1920 there were only 385,000 spindles work- 
ing on part time. In 1920 only 125,000 workers 
were employed by textile manufacturers, which 
is 75 per cent, less than during normal times. 

In 1913 Russia had 37 cement plants working 
at full speed. In 1920 there was only one ce- 
ment plant, working on part time. 

In 1913 there were 140 blast furnaces as com- 
pared with 12 in 1920. 

In 1914 there were 275 glass plants and 20 
china manufacturing plants, with a total of 93,- 
000 workers. In 1920 only 67 glass plants and 
11 china manufacturing establishments were in 
operation, employing a total of 32,000 workers. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 85 

TOTAL OUTPUT* 

1913 1920 
Ores of different 

kinds 581,000,000 poods 8,000,000 poods 

Copper ore 69,000,000 " 219,000 " 

Manganese ore ... . 17,377,000 " 216,000 " 

Chromide ore 1,500,000 " 105,982 " 

(9 months) 

Salt, Perm region.. 26,000,000 " 2,000,000 " 
Salt, Baskunehak 

region 41,000,000 " 1,200,000 " 

Salt, Donetz Basin. 39,000,000 " 7,500,000 " 

1914 

Smelted cast iron . . 257,000,000 " 6,000,000 " 

1913 
Oils (vegetable) 

approximately .. 25,000,000 " 500,000 " 

Paper 24,000,000 " 2,000,000 " 

1914 
Matches (in thou- 
sands of boxes)., 3,808 " 632 

With regard to precious metals, the figures 

are as follows : 

1914 1920 
Gold, Ural region 103 poods 22 lbs. 11 poods 29 lbs 

" West'n Siberia 97 " 34 " 1 " 39 " 

" East'n Siberia 1,679 " 34 " 92 " 21 " 



Total 1,881 " 10 " 106 " 
Platinum 298 " 20.5 "t 

• See Pravda, November 14, 1920, and Economicheskaya Jisn, 
January 1, 1921. 

t Compare with data furnished by EeonomichesMya Jisn, Jan- 
uary 29, 1921. 



86 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

In view of this condition, the number of 
workers engaged in all branches of industry 
had been reduced. The Economicheskaya Jisn 
(No. 242, October 20, 1920), analyzing this 
phase of the economic situation, produced the 
following figures relating to the Moscow indus- 
trial section, which formerly was considered 
the Russian Manchester: 

NUMBER OF WORKERS 

Per Cent, of 
Eegion September 1, 1918 June 1, 1920 Decrease 

Ivanovo-Voznesensk .. 146,300 30,600 79 

Vladimir 103,100 21,200 80 

Kostroma 17,600 8,100 57 

Moscow 368,100 216,400 41 

In Petrograd and Moscow the number of 
manual laborers has decreased as follows: 

Petrograd, 1917 365,777 

1918 144,530 

1920 102,000 

Moscow, August 1, 1918 147,424 

June 1, 1919 105,210 

June 1, 1920 *87,363 

The British Labor Delegation and the Ger- 
man Socialist Commission which visited Soviet 
Russia in 1920 have made an exhaustive sur- 
vey of the industrial conditions in that coun- 
try. Both of these delegations devoted much 

♦ See Tlie Bussian Economist, Vol, 1, No. 3, p. 585, April, 1921. 
These tables were taken from the oflSeial Economicheskaya Jisn, ia- 
suea of October 1, 1920, and October 20, 1920. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 87 

attention to the startling decline in the produc- 
tivity of labor. Mr. Dittmann, who was at the 
head of the German Commission, referring to 
the Kolomna machine plant, stated: 

"The Russian employees were partly men who 
had been drafted by force from villages; others 
were volunteers whose motive was to get the spe- 
cial food ration given to factory workers. Not 
one of them showed the slightest interest in his 
work; quite on the contrary, there was universal 
disposition to sabotage, which extended even to 
some of the higher employees."* 

In January, 1919, the Soviet authorities un- 
dertook an investigation regarding the number 
of hours worked by the employees in railroad 
repair shops. The following was found: 

Every one of the workmen worked during January 
Year Hours Per Cent. 

1916 254 100. 

1917 235 92.5 

1918 159 60.0 

1919 170 66.9t 

Owing to the Workers^ Control, the Mitish- 
chi machine plant near Moscow, in pre-war 
times one of the model industrial concerns, be- 
came utterly crippled. By 1919 the produc- 
tivity of that plant showed a decrease of 60 per 

* See Mr. Dittmann 's report published in the Berlin Freikeit, ijBoea 
of August 31st and September 1st, 1920. 

fSee Sobolev's, The Present Economic Situation in Soviet 2t«- 
sia, p. 20. Kharbin, 1921. 



88 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

cent, as compared with 1916, although the work- 
ing-day had remained the same, namely, eight 
hours. 

The Economicheskaya Jisn, describing the 
deplorable situation in the textile industry, re- 
marked that, on the average, the decline in the 
productivity of work in textile mills amounted 
to 35 per cent., while in some of the nationalized 
enterprises it fell below 75 per cent., as com- 
pared with the pre-revolutionary period. 

The Bolshevist newspaper Trud, in its issue 
of April 28, 1919, frankly admitted: 

"Our misfortune consists in that we do not 
know how to use such means as are in our posses- 
sion, namely, labor. The productivity of labor in 
the textile industry experienced an amazing de- 
crease. There is no discipline. Due to carelessness 
and neglect, the machines are in a state of decay 
and they are incapable of yielding the former 
amount of efficiency." 

An interesting account of the manner in 
which Soviet factories were and still are oper- 
ated is found in the Moscow Pravda (January 
6, 1921). This paper refers specifically to a 
mill called ''Mars" which is engaged in manu- 
facturing military uniforms: 

**In the factory Mars, two thousand workmen 
are engaged. Theft has assumed extraordinary 
proportions. Those identified as thieves are pun- 
ished and compelled to perform filthy work for a 
period of one or two weeks. Those upon whom 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 89 

this punishment is inflicted immediately begin to 
steal again. There is no discipline whatsoever in 
the factory. Workmen are continuously striking 
on the job. The quality of the work performed is 
extremely poor and 70 per cent, of the goods so 
manufactured are rejected by the inspectors." 

For the present, these data may be sufficient 
as they do give a general idea of the extent of 
industrial disintegration at the close of the 
initial stage of Soviet misrule. 

When, after two years' experimentation 
along the lines of collegiate management, the 
Soviet leaders became thoroughly convinced 
that there was nothing to be hoped from the 
Workers^ Control, they began to ring the alarm 
bells. Lenin and the other Commissars were 
forced to admit the disheartening results of 
their industrial policies; but in their usual 
hypocritical manner, they sought to excuse 
their failure by ascribing it to reasons beyond 
their control, and more particularly to general 
conditions w^hich turned out to be rather im- 
favorable for the Soviets. 

Speaking before the Communist Party in 
March, 1921, Lenin tried to justify the econ- 
omic methods of the Bolsheviki by setting forth 
the following argument: 

"Our system was dictated to us by military 
considerations and necessities and not by the 
needs of the national economy. There was no 
other outcome in the conditions of unparalleled 



90 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

confusion in which we found ourselves, when, 
after the Great War, we had to endure a series 
of civil wars. Of course, in the methods of ap- 
plication of our policy, we made a great number 
of mistakes and exaggerations. As a matter of 
principle, however, this policy was right in the 
conditions of war which were wrought upon us." 

Another Communist, by the name Varga, an- 
alyzing the proposed ''changes" in the econ- 
omic policies of the Soviets, remarked: 

"Urgent needs of war, the resistance and the 
sabotage of the bourgeoisie, compelled the Soviet 
authorities, contrary to the will of the Commun- 
ists ( ?), to resort to nationalization, adopting the 
well-known system of military communism. The 
bureaucratic mechanism, once set in motion in 
a given direction, often digressed from the 
aims which were originally devised. This sys- 
tem, the social foundation of which was the mili- 
tary union of the urban workers and the poorest 
strata of peasantry, was liable to cease the mo- 
ment the war terminated."* 

Again we encounter the ''sabotage of the 
bourgeoisie," the "wicked Kolchak," the "in- 
human blockade," and the whole battery of ac- 
cessories used in the Communist phraseology. 
But whatever excuses were offered by the Bol- 
sheviki, the fact remains undeniable that the 
Workers' Control, as a concise policy of in- 

*See No. 18 of the Communist Internationale, Moscow-Petrograd, 
issue of October 8, 1921, Varga 's Article "The Turning Point in 
the Economic Policy of Soviet Russia." 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INIXJSTRIES 91 

dustrial management, does correctly interpret 
the idea of proletarian dictatorship, giving 
soap-box leaders of manual labor the upper 
hand in the economic life of the State. 

Militant proletarian dictatorship led to the 
complete elimination of the expert from the 
fields of industry. Thus the historical struggle 
between muscles and brains ended in a victory 
for the former. This, however, was a Pyrrhic 
victory, for conclusive proof was given that 
economic progress cannot be achieved without 
the aid of himian intelligence and technical 
skill. 

When, finally, the Bolsheviki had discovered 
this truism, they began to frame ''new" econ- 
omic policies. There was really nothing else 
to do since, as far back as January, 1920, the 
situation was described by Rykoff, former 
President of the Supreme Board of National 
Economy, as ^^ catastrophic.'^ 

Here are some of the measures which were 
proposed for the solution of the industrial 
crisis : 

First: The Abolition of the collegiate system of 
management. 

Second : Employment of experts in all branches 
of industry. 

Third: Improvement in transportation. 

Fourth : Compulsory labor. 

Fifth: Militarization of labor. 

Sixth: A resolute campaign against labor deser- 
tion. 



92 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

This program did not spring into existence 
fully armed, like Minerva from the head of 
Jove. On the contrary, it had been evolved 
after protracted and weary v^ord-duels between 
the two main factions of Soviet "ideology." 
One was the militant group of Apfelbaum and 
Trotzky, advocating bombastic policies and 
dreaming of world-power conquered by fire 
and sword; the other was Lenin's party which 
sought to attain the same aims, using, however, 
more ** diplomatic" methods. The first group 
refused to argue with anything but an iron 
fist. Lenin, while believing in the iron fist, pre- 
ferred to use it in a silk glove. Therein lay 
the difference. Friction between the two wings 
of Communism at one time grew so acute that 
rumors were current that either Trotsky had 
conceived a plan to depose Lenin, or that Lenin 
had made up his mind to get rid of Trotzky. 
Bolshevist press agencies of course always de- 
nied such rumors, trying to convey the impres- 
sion that between the two Soviet autocrats there 
existed a friendship as touching as between 
Castor and Pollux. As a matter of fact, dis- 
sension was there. 

At this point a brief characterization of these 
two Communist ringleaders is perhaps not out 
of place. 

Both Lenin and Trotzky are avowed disciples 
of Marx. They both have received their revo- 
lutionary training in the backyard of Euro- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 93 

pean politics. Both have had their own 
grudges against civilized society, and conse- 
quently it is not surprising that they should 
possess embittered mentality. In the depths 
of the social underground, Lenin and Trotzky 
learned the whole gamut of unscrupulous 
methods for fostering political mischief. Rus- 
sia to them meant nothing. They looked upon 
that country as an arena where, owing to the 
darkness of its populace, silly theories and 
ideas could be more easily propagated than in 
other European States. Both are too rebellious 
to be free. They are obsessed with the mania 
of grandeur. It is their ambition to eventually 
become Field Marshals of world revolution. 
But while Lenin, in the past, devoted much time 
to the study of economic sciences, Trotzky 's 
mental luggage is as light as down. He knows 
nothing outside of the Marxian primer, but this 
he knows by heart. Due, probably to his 
Semitic origin, Trotzky has a speculative, prac- 
tical mind, while Lenin is more inclined to 
theoretical argumentation and dialectics. He 
likes to be called the *' Hamlet of World Revo- 
lution." At times, Lenin is disposed to politi- 
cal meditation, while Trotzky adores parading, 
and the whole ritual of Conununist ceremonies. 
He obviously poses as a Napoleon when he 
spends his leisure hours reviewing mercenary 
troops on the plaza before the Moscow Kremlin. 
Vengeance upon the ** bourgeois society" is the 



94 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

dominant motive in Trotzky's psychology. He, 
therefore, has become the apologist for Ked 
Terror and the tortures of the Cheka. Lenin, 
on the other hand, is the great master of propa- 
ganda: he believes more in the gradual under- 
mining of the foundations of civilization than 
in high explosive methods. In the Soviet out- 
fit, Lenin is doing the thinking part, vi^hile Trot- 
zky represents the dynamic element. For 
Lenin, destruction is what he describes as the 
** necessary stage" for attaining the Communist 
millennium. For Trotzky, destruction is an 
aim in itself, a leading principle, a basic policy. 
Trotzky envies Lenin and seeks to overshadow 
his prestige among the Communist devotees both 
within and outside of Russia. Trotzky is av- 
aricious and ''thrifty," which has enabled him to 
''save" some 80,000,000 Imperial rubles in gold. 
These are being kept safe — beyond the reach of 
his Bolshevist brethren — in one of the South 
American banks. In this sense Lenin has a 
"broader character." He wantonly dissipates 
Russian State funds without giving much 
thought to the final outcome of the Soviet Dance 
Macabre. Meanwhile, however, he does enjoy 
his comfortable little home in the Imperial 
Palace at Moscow, with a number of senti- 
mental women giving a touch of artistic charm 
to the unparalleled horrors of Bolshevism. 

Amidst the industrial chaos wrought upon 
Russia, the two heralds of Communism had 



J 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 95 . 

to come to an understanding because the con- 
tinued disintegration of Russian economics in- 
evitably would become, as it actually has be- 
come, a grave menace to the existence of Soviet 
rule itself. 

Abolition of the Collegiate System and the 
Bourgeois Experts 

In the controversy over the collegiate and 
individual management, Lenin took the view 
that the reconstruction of industry can be suc- 
cessfully carried out only by the abolition of 
the Workers' Control and the restoration of the 
individualistic principle. At the Third All- 
Russian Congress of Transport Workers, he 
made it clear that he was in favor of reversing 
the whole Soviet policy in this respect. He 

said: 

"Was it possible in the former times for any- 
one who considered himself a defender of the 
bourgeoisie to say that there should not be any 
individual authority in the administration of 
the State ? If such a fool should have been found 
among the bourgeoisie, the other members of his 
class should Qiave laughed at him. They would 
have said to him: 'What has the question of in- 
dividual or collegiate management to do with the 
questions of class?' "* 

After some hesitation, Trotzky acceded to 
this viewpoint. 

* Quoted from Leo Pasvolsky 's book The Economics of Com- 
mwfiism, p. 234, New York, 1921. 



96 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Opposing this opinion, a large group of Com- 
munists continued to defend with obstinacy the 
principle of collegiate management, arguing 
that the restoration of individual control would 
inevitably bring the bourgeois expert back to 
the footlights of economic life. This, they main- 
tained, would, in turn, infringe upon the sov- 
ereign rights of the victorious proletariat, plac- 
ing it in a role subordinate to the industrial 
managers. Tomsky, President of the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Trade Unions, was the 
spokesman for the latter group. After pro- 
tracted deliberations, the Ninth Congress of the 
Russian Communist Party, in April, 1920, 
passed a resolution settling the controversy by 
adopting a sort of middle course. The idea of 
collegiate management was upheld, but the 
reservation was made that individual manage- 
ment should be favored in the executive field. 
It was, therefore, recommended that in the 
higher stages of industrial mechanism, collegiate 
forms of management be preserved, with the 
understanding, however, that the membership of 
the managing committees would be reduced. 

Yet on the crucial point regarding the parti- 
cipation of experts in organizing industries, the 
Communists are still groping in darkness, and 
no uniform policy has been adopted so far. 
Instances are known where the Bolsheviki have 
tried to secure the services of bourgeois experts. 
In this connection Russian engineers, at pres- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 97 

ent residing abroad, have been approached by 
Soviet agents with a view of inducing them to 
accept responsible positions in the Communist 
State. These approaches rarely led to the de- 
sired results as the Eussians are fully aware 
that it is impossible to work efficiently under 
the Soviet regime. Such experts as did accept 
Bolshevist offers found themselves in a very 
trying position. Theoretically they were given 
a free hand in the management of several in- 
dustrial concerns. Fat salaries were paid to 
them and they were placed in the first category 
as far as food rations are concerned. But 
despite these privileges, a Soviet spy is always 
watching them and reporting their activities to 
the Cheka. In this way the managers' decisions 
are actually governed and over-ruled by highly 
ignorant Communists and by the All-Russian 
machine of oppression. So far the new tactics ad- 
vocated by Lenin have had but little effect upon 
the general industrial status, mainly because 
the policy of terror was chiefly directed against 
the educated classes. The result was that a 
majority of technically skilled engineers and 
scientists were either murdered or otherwise in- 
capacitated. The truth is that Russian experts 
are practically unavailable. 

The latest information from Soviet Russia 
seems to indicate that the Workers' Control is 
being rapidly replaced by individual man- 
agement. If Communist statistics are to be 



98 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

taken for granted, already by January, 1921, 
only 17.3 per cent, of all industrial concerns in 
the Petrograd district had continued to remain 
under the control of Workers' Boards, while 
over 86 per cent, had been restored to individual 
management.* 

But in this respect the Bolsheviki have gone 
from one extreme to another. Wherever they 
have come back to individual methods of man- 
agement, a policy of bureaucratic centraliza- 
tion has developed and factories are left to the 
mercy of illiterate Soviet appointees acting as 
officials of the Socialistic State. Superinten- 
dents of this kind certainly are incapable of 
reinfitating industrial work on a business foot- 
ing. Accordingly, the results of centralized 
management are no better than those obtained 
under the Workers' Control. 

The following extract from an article pub- 
lished in the Soviet press may serve to corro- 
borate this assertion: 

"On November 4th, 1920, at a meeting of the 
* Special Transport Committee' presided over by 
Comrade Trotsky, and on November 5th in the 
Council of Labor and Defence, a report was 
made by an expedition of the Special Transport 
Committee, which investigated the conditions of 
the 'Shock Group' of works in the South. The 
expedition points to the existence of bureaucratic 
centralization, which entirely paralyzes the sup- 

* See EconomichesTcaya Jisn, December 22, 1920. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 99 

• ply of the works and of the railway workshops; 
the absence of competent boards of management 
at the works, resulting in a fall of discipline, an 
increase in the loss of working days, which, for 
instance, at the Makeeff works has reached for 
certain workshops as much as 60 per cent.; the 
abnormal position with the supply of food-stuffs 
and clothing to the workmen of certain concerns; 
the failure to adapt the productive capacity of 
the workshops to the program, put forward in the 
order No. 1043."* 

It is evident that the Communists are toss- 
ing about from one experiment to another with- 
out being able to find their way out of the eco- 
nomic labyrinth. As a last resort, they are now 
seeking to improve the situation by means of 
placing Russian factories in the hands of for- 
eign experts. 

Recently the Soviets started negotiations 
with German industrial firms, giving them un- 
limited power to organize the work of recon- 
struction. So, in May 1922, a German syndi- 
cate signed an agreement with the Bolsheviki 
for rebuilding the Kronstadt docks. It is 
also reported that a German banking group has 
undertaken to build up a commercial steamship 
line between Petrograd and Hamburg. In ad- 
dition, Polish manufacturers, through Mr. 
Aschkinazi, the representative of Poland in 

* Economicheskaya Jisn, 256, Nov. 1920. Published in The Rus- 
sian Econ(ymist, Journal of tlie Eussian Economic Association in 
London, Vol. I., No. 3, April, 1921, p. 599. 



100 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

the League of Nations, presented a memoran- 
dum urging the League to approve a scheme 
which practically means a technical invasion of 
Russia. The plan, if adopted, will enable Pol- 
ish experts to organize and supervise various 
branches of Eussian industry for the commer- 
cial benefit of Poland. 

These and similar schemes, however, are 
nothing but palliatives which are quite in- 
adequate to solve the Russian industrial cri- 
sis in its all-embracing scope. 

Railroad Transport 

The present aspect of Russia's economic life 
is all the more deplorable as transportation has 
been paralyzed by incompetent Soviet man- 
agement. 

The railroad problem has a particular sig- 
nificance in Russia because of her enormous 
area. The grain region is located 1,000 miles 
from Petrograd. The Caucasian oil fields are 
over 2000 miles away from Moscow. The prin- 
cipal Black Sea ports, as well as Archangel in 
the North, are thousands of miles removed 
from both Petrograd and Moscow, while the 
richest mining district, the Ural Mountains, is 
located on the border of Asia, and in former 
times it took three and one-half days to reach 
Cheliabinsk in an express train. Therefore, 
Russian economics must largely rely upon a 
highly developed railroad net, which can be 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES loi 

compared with blood-carrying veins, nourishing 
the heart of the organism. 

It is difficult to portray authentically the 
present industrial prostration of Russia with- 
out touching upon the question of transpor- 
tation. 

The total length of railroad lines through- 
out the Empire in 1916 was approximately 78,- 
000 versts.* The Versailles Treaty took Po- 
land, Finland and other border regions away 
from Russia which reduced the mileage of her 
railroads to some 55,000 versts. 

In 1914 there were 20,057 locomotives. In 
the beginning of 1920 their nominal number in 
Soviet Russia was 18,612. Out of these, how- 
ever, 10,560 were classed as disabled and only 
7,610 were considered in running order. In 
1921 the disabled locomotives constituted 59 
per cent, of their total number as compared 
with 16 per cent, in 1914. Besides, in Feb- 
ruary 1921, the number of engines idle owing 
to fuel shortage was over 1000. According to 
Soviet statistics, the number of locomotives by 
April 1, 1922, was 19,048; but 12,746 were out 
of commission and 364 were scheduled for re- 
pair, which means that the per cent, of dis- 
abled locomotives increased to 68, or 11 per 
cent, since the beginning of 1921.t The out- 
put of new locomotives shows the following: 

* One verst equals approximately three-quartera of a mile, 
t See EconomichesTcaya Jisn, No. 92, April, 1922. 



I02 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 



Year 


Output 


Year 


Output; 


1914 


816 


1917 


396 


1915 


903 


1918 


191 


1916 


599 


1919 


85* 



Addressing the Third All-Russian Congress 
of Soviets in April, 1920, Trotzky stated: 

"We do not produce any new locomotives. The 
real enemy which we have to face is hunger, mis- 
ery, darkness and general disintegration. In 1916 
there were 16,886 locomotives in working order. 
In 1918 we had 4,679 ; in 1919 only 2,411." 

Early in 1920 Rj^koff, speaking before the 
Congress of Trade Unions delegates, made this 
outspoken statement: 

"Before the war the percentage of disabled 
locomotives * * * even in most difficult times, 
did not surpass 15 per cent. To-day the percent- 
age is 59.9. In consequence, out of every 100 
locomotives in Soviet Russia, there are 60 which 
are out of service and only 40 of which are in 
working order. The repair of the disabled loco- 
motives diminishes with extraordinary rapidity. 
Before the war 8 per cent, were repaired every 
month. After the October revolution of 1917 this 
percentage was reduced sometimes to 1 per cent. ; 
at present we have been able to raise this figure 
but only to 2 per cent. Under the present con- 
dition of railroads, the work of repairing cannot 
keep pace with the destruction of locomotives, 

• Quoted from Narodnoje Khosiaistvo, semi-monthly organ of the 
Supreme Soviet of National Economy, Nos. 5-6, 1920, p. 5, Moscow. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 103 

and each month we register a decrease in the num- 
ber of locomotives at our disposal as compared 
with the preceding month. This decrease amounts 
monthly to 200 locomotives/'* 

Professor Lomonossoff, one of the Soviet 
Commissars in charge of the Transportation 
Department, estimated the minimum number 
of locomotives urgently needed in Eussia at 
f)000. This is probably a correct calculation. 
But it must not be overlooked that the maxi- 
mum annual output of all Russian locomotive 
plants does not exceed 500, and it would, there- 
fore, require at least ten years to build the 
lacking number of engines. 

The repair of locomotives also shows a back- 
ward tendency: only 467 engines were repaired 
in January, 1922, as compared with 660 in 
December 1921, and 701 in January 1921.t 

The same desperate condition is observed 
with regard to railroad cars. In 1917 their 
number was 574,486. By 1921 it was reduced 
to 454,985, out of which only 350,000 were in 
working order. On April 1, 1922, out of a 
total of 392,000 freight cars, 173,000 or 44 per 
cent were out of commission. J 

* See pamphlet Economic Eussia in 1920 by Gregor Alexinsky, 
published by the Foreign Affairs News Service, May, 1920, New 
York City. 

f See Wirtschaftspolitische Aufbau-Korrespondens, May 5, 1922. 
No. 18, published in Munich, Germany. Information quoted therein 
is based upon data furnished by the EconomichesTcaya Jisn, No. 84, 
1922. 

■^ Compare Commerce 'Reports, published by the U. Si Department 
of Commerce, issue of June 5, 1922, p. 644. 



104 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

The state of the railroad track itself is also 
undergoing rapid decay. It is estimated that 
in order to maintain the railroad tracks in 
serviceable condition, it is necessary every year 
to replace the rails on a mileage of 3,500 versts. 
In 1920, however, only 240 versts of new rails 
were laid. In addition, there was a shortage of 
some 18,000,000 railroad ties which made the 
rebuilding of the tracks practically impossible. 

Out of 38,000 railroad telephone apparatus, 
32,500 need fundamental repair. Russian rail- 
roads are equipped with 10,000 telephones, but 
8,000 or 80 per cent., are out of commission. 
Finally, in order to restore the railroad tele- 
graph system to pre-war efficiency, 10,000,000 
new poles are required. 

The financial side of railroad operation un- 
der the Soviets is just as bad as its technical 
status. The deficit of Russian railways for the 
first two months in 1922 amounted to 14,100,- 
000,000,000 paper rubles (approximately 94,- 
000,000 gold rubles). Added to the arrears in 
wages and supplies not paid for, the deficit 
reached the stupendous mark of 15,300,000,000,- 
000 Soviet rubles.* 

In brief, such is the deplorable condition of 
railroad transport under Soviet management. 

The Communist authorities have delivered 
countless speeches on the question of disinte- 
gration of the railroad traffic. At every Com- 

* Compare with data in Commerce "Reports, June 5, 1922, p. 644. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 105 

munist Convention, at every gathering of trade 
unions and other labor organizations, the sit- 
uation is rehashed again and again. Lenin 
and Rykoff are submitting elaborate reports 
on the subject, inventing new reasons for the 
present collapse of the railroads. Trotzky many 
times has shaken his fist in anger at the imag- 
inary enemy hampering the work of Soviet re- 
construction. Volumes have been written on 
this problem, and yet not only has the trans- 
portation system failed to improve in the least, 
but from month to month Soviet statisticians 
record an ever-growing number of losses in 
the rolling stock and a further disorganization 
in the railroad service. In the light of these 
facts, the Commissars themselves admit that 
unless a radical change and rapid improvement 
in transport are effected, the fate of the So- 
cialistic State is doomed. 

Compulsory Labor and Militarization of Labor 

The universal obligation to work is one of 
the cardinal principles proclaimed by the Sov- 
iet State. From the point of view of the 
Marxian theory, a Socialistic enterprise is a 
single economic unit within the limits of the 
State, having a standard plan of production 
and distribution guaranteed by universal labor 
service. Such an organization presupposes an 
obligatory distribution of human labor through- 



io6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

out tlie different branches of national econ- 
omics, as agriculture, industry and transporta- 
tion. But human beings — at least in civilized 
countries — ^have become accustomed to look 
upon their right to freely dispose of their work- 
ing energy as the most sacred guarantee of 
liberty and progress. In view of this, for a 
Socialistic State, it becomes necessary to in- 
troduce compulsory labor by a series of legis- 
lative acts, the enforcement of which must be 
supported by measures of a compulsory char- 
acter, or in the last analysis, by military force 
of the proletarian State. Such is the theory 
of Socialism. 

In practice, the Commissars have literally 
applied these abstract premises to every-day 
intercourse in Russian life. 

In the '^Declaration of Rights of tJie Labor- 
ing and Exploited People'' the principle of 
compulsory labor has been proclaimed but in a 
general way. However, on account of the ag- 
gravation of the industrial crisis, and because 
of the obdurate resistance of the citizens to 
compulsory regulations prescribing the meth- 
ods and amount of work to be yielded, the Bol- 
sheviki began to be restive over their ability to 
put the Marxian theory into effect. Owing to 
this experience, by the year 1919 they saw fit 
to elaborate a number of regulations on com- 
pulsory labor, enacting them in the ''Code of 
Labor Laws of the Russian Socialist Federal 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 107 

Soviet Republic/' The opening paragraph is 
really the keynote to the entire document. It 
reads ; 

''All citizens of the Russian Socialist Federal 
Soviet RepuUic, with the exceptions stated in Sec- 
tion 2 and 3, shall be subject to compulsory 
labor." 

Persons exempted from this general rule are 
those under sixteen and over fifty years of age, 
as well as those who have become incapacitated 
by injury or illness. Even students in colleges, 
according to Paragraph 4, are subject to com- 
pulsory labor. 

The enforcement of this law is secured 
through the Division of Labor Distribution, 
Trade Unions, and all institutions of the Soviet 
Republic. The assignment of workers to par- 
ticular jobs is made through the Division of 
Labor Distribution, or the so-called ''Kom- 
trud." (Paragraphs 15 and 16.) Although 
the Soviet Labor Code declares, as a general 
principle, that employment must be based upon 
vocation or natural inclination to a particular 
kind of work, nevertheless, according to Sec- 
tion 29, an "unemployed person who is offered 
work outside his vocation shall be obliged to 
accept it," at least as a temporary occupation. 
Acceptance of workers for permanent em- 
ployment is preceded by a period of probation 
of not more than six days. According to the 



io8 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

showings of the test, the men are either given 
a permanent position or rejected with pay- 
ment for the trial period. In the event of their 
rejection, the Labor Code establishes an oner- 
ous procedure for applicants desiring to file ap- 
peals. These must be filed with the respective 
trade unions. 

Paragraph 27: 

"If the trade union deems the appeal .... 
justified, it shall enter into negotiations with the 
establishment or person who has rejected the 
worker, with the request that the complainant be 
accepted. ' ' 

Paragraph 28: 

"In case of failure of the negotiations .... 
the matter shall be submitted to the local Depart- 
ment of Labor whoee decision shall be final and 
subject to no further appeal." 

Anyone familiar with the bureaucratic rou- 
tine prevailing in Soviet Russia will readily 
understand what these provisions actually 
mean. In practice, instances are frequent 
where a person assigned by the Komtrud to a 
certain work is thereupon rejected by one em- 
ployer after another so that the ^'productive 
efforts" of such an applicant are restricted to 
filing appeals with and lobbying in different 
Trade Unions, Soviets and Labor Boards. 

Among the more odious features of the 
Labor Law is the right of the State to trans- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 109 

fer the worker not only to another enterprise 
situated in the same locality, but even to have 
him sent to other labor districts which may be 
far removed from the place of his original em- 
ployment. 

Human labor is considered the property of 
the State and human beings are shipped like 
so many cattle from one part of Russia to 
another without the slightest regard for their 
personal comfort and habitual occupations. 

The Soviet Labor Code is being used as a 
means of oppression against the unfortunate 
bourgeoisie, while the privileged Communist 
class is either exempt from compulsory labor, 
or else assigned to easy jobs. During the un- 
ceasing epidemics ravaging the country, the 
bourgeoisie, on the strength of the regulations 
of the Labor Code, are being forced to dig 
graves and bury the dead. During guerrilla 
periods, under the pretext of the same rules, 
the bourgeoisie are being compelled to dig 
trenches for the Red Army. When the Com- 
munists suddenly decide to establish some kind 
of a new ''front," for instance when they wish 
to clean up their filthy cities, again it is the 
bourgeoisie who has to perform the job. It is a 
cruel and relentless mockery. Eminent phy- 
sicians and jurists, skilled engineers and scien- 
tists, refined women and ladies of society are 
forced to work as grave-diggers and street- 
sweepers. 



no THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Of course, these drafted workers are **strik' 
ing on their jobs" and sabotaging the Com- 
munist State. 

Compulsory labor, as an avowed policy in 
Russian economics, was introduced not only in 
conformity with the Marxian stipulations, but 
also as a measure to increase productivity. 
Soviet decrees recommending methods for se- 
curing labor efficiency were thoroughly ignored 
both by the workers and the Communist super- 
intendents themselves. The reason therefor 
is to be found not so much in the opposition 
of the masses of the people to the Bolsheviki, as 
in the fact that their legislation has always 
refused to deal with actual conditions and 
social realities. The Communist lawmakers 
try to squeeze life into the Procrustean bed 
of abstract theories and dead formulas. Take 
this rule: 

''Every worker must, during a normal worMng 
day and under normal conditions, perform the 
standard amount of work fixed for the category 
and group in which he is enrolled/'* 

What does ''the standard amount of work" 
mean? What significance have the "Valua- 
tion Commissions" established to determine 
the standard output for workers in each trade? 
They are merely defunct bureaucratic bodies 
sapping the Soviet treasury. Any consid- 

* Paragraph 114 of the Soviet Labor Code. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES in 

eration for fixing the standard output must 
be based upon *' normal working conditions," 
that is, satisfactory conditions of machinery 
and accessories, timely delivery of materials 
and tools, a good quality of materials, and 
similar factors bearing the greatest importance 
upon the tempo of industrial production. But 
what is normalcy as applied to Soviet Eussia? 
Every department of life is upset; every in- 
dustrial agency is broken, and the whole tech- 
nique of production is brought to a standstill. 
What then is "the standard output"? And 
what is the object in putting up this smoke 
screen of theoretical dissertations on the meth- 
ods for increasing labor productivity when fac- 
tories have nothing to keep them running, no 
raw materials, no fuel, no lubricants, and no 
food to feed the workers? 

Much hope has been placed by the Commun- 
ists in their Labor Code. It was expected that 
as soon as these cruel regulations were put 
into effect, the creative faculty of the people 
would be restored and the citizens of the So- 
cialist State would quickly resume tiieir peace- 
ful labors. But, alas! from the point of view 
of industrial returns, the year 1919 proved 
even more disappointing than the preceding 
years. The immediate effect of the reinstitu- 
tion of slavery was that workers by the thou- 
sands began to desert the factories, fleeing to 
rural districts. Even the *' shock plants" in 



112 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

whicli food rations were somewhat better than 
in ordinary enterprises, began to experience an 
acute shortage of workmen. Labor desertion 
assumed colossal proportions, especially in the 
northern and central industrial districts. The 
pressure brought by the Central Soviet upon 
the Trade Unions in order to arrest further 
reduction in the number of industrial workers 
failed to bring about the desired effect. Futile 
were also the efforts to increase production by 
lengthening the labor-day and staging the ri- 
diculous ''Communist Sabbaths."* The notori- 
ous "eight-hour day" was given up. A Soviet 
radio dating back to February, 1920, stated: 

"The toiling masses must understand that it 
is necessary to abandon the idea of an eight- 
hour day in this time of disorganization and hard 
work. They must work ten and twelve hours a 
da/y and realize that they are working for a 
hrighter future/^ 

But babbling about "a brighter future" did 
not help. No one in Russia places any credence 
in Communist promises. 

It was then that Trotzky came out with his 
nefarious project for the "Red Labor Army." 
In short, it called for a census of the popula- 

* In order to increase production, Trotzky began to advocate the 
institution of the so-called "Communist Sabbaths," which means 
that the members of the Communist Party were urged to voluntarily 
work on Saturdays and holidays. Much boasting has been on foot 
about the wonderful spirit which the Communist partisans mani- 
fested toward the needs of the ' ' Workers ' and Peasants ' State, ' ' but 
the actual results of the ' ' Communist Sabbaths ' ' are negligible. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 113 

lion fitted for work and coincided with military 
conscription. The local Commissars of the War 
Department were instructed to act as agents 
for labor mobilization. 

At the Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets 
of National Economy, Lenin, on this point, 
quite in accord with Trotzky's bestial psychol- 
ogy, tried to justify slavery by stating: 

"I should like only to point out that during 
the transition period from civil warfare to new 
problems, we should throw everything on the 
front of labor, and concentrate here all forces 
for a maximum effort, with a merciless determina- 
tion. Just now we shall not permit any evasion. 
Throwing out this slogan, we shall justify that we 
must to the utmost bend all the vital forces of 
workmen and peasants to this task and demand 
that they give us all their help. And that, by 
creating a labor army, by straining all the forces 
of workmen and peasants, we shall be carrying out 
our basic task. We shall be able to collect hun- 
dreds of millions of poods of grain. We have 
them. But incredible, diabolical efforts are re- 
quired "* 

In further elucidation of this program, the 
Moscow authorities on March 11, 1920, sent 
out the following radio: 

"The utilization of military units for labor 
has both a practical (economic and social) and 
educational significance. The conditions under 
which the utilization of labor on a large scale 

* See Izvestia, issue of January 29, 1920. Translated from the 
Bussian. 



114 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

would be commendable are as follows : "Work of a 
simple nature which can be performed by any Red 
Army soldier, adoption of a system of stating a 
clearly defined task, which when not accomplished 
leads to the reduction of the food ration, adop- 
tion of the premium system, the employment of 
a great number of Communists in the same work- 
ing district so that they may set Red Army units 
a good example (?). The employment of large 
military units unavoidably leads to a great per- 
centage of Red Army soldiers unemployed direct- 
ly in productive labor. For this reason the util- 
ization of all labor armies, retaining the army 
system and organization, may only be justified 
from the point of view of keeping the army in- 
tact for military purposes." 

One of the well-known Communists, Khodo- 
rovsky, in tlie Moscow Pravda, advocated the 
militarization of trade unions so that they could 
be used as agencies for enforcing decrees on 
militarization of labor. To cite only one in- 
stance of the general attitude of the workers 
toward labor conscription, an article published 
in the Bolshevist Bed Gazette may be referred 
to. A Communist reporter gives these com- 
ments on interviews with mobilized workers in 
Petrograd : 

"Not all of them speak the truth. Some one 
Bpread the rumor that all unskilled laborers would 
be permitted to return to their villages for agri- 
cultural work, while the skilled were done for. 
. . . When asked why they did not report for 
the first draft, they seemed to hesitate. They in- 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 115 

vented all sorts of excuses: one would not have 
finished building a house; another would plead 
some family cause. In one way or another it 
was obvious that had it not been for mobilization, 
the Petrograd factories would never have even 
got a glimpse of them."* 

The Eussian workers tried to defend them- 
selves as well as they could. In many factories 
when electing Workers' Shop Committees, they 
voted down all the Communist candidates. 
Sometimes they consciously elected anarchists 
because they knew that these were opposed to 
everything, no matter what it was. In one of 
the issues of the Economicheskaya Jisn an 
incident referring to the elections, at the rail- 
way shops near Moscow is described: 

"The workers" — thus runs the account — 
"were simply frightened at the introduction of 
compulsory labor and of the threats of labor 
discipline. The only anarchist in the work shop 
(whose head is a perfect jumble of ideas and 
catch-words) explained to his fellow-workers that 
this is nothing more than the reinstitution of serf- 
dom. The result was that this anarchist 'with 
his jumble of ideas' was elected to the Soviet. 
He will make short work of them,' they said."t 

But the bitter resentment of the poor Eus- 
sian proletarians to Bolshevist inquisitionary 
methods did not modify them in the slightest 
degree. On the contrary, Trotzky, reiterating 

♦See Krasnaya Gaseta (The Red Gazette), No. 240, October, 1920. 
t Quoted in The Eussian Economist. Vol. I., p. 595. 



ii6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Karl Marx's stipulation (Communist Mani- 
festo) went so far as to urge militarization of 
all agricultural processes, which, if put into 
effect, would have placed 100,000,000 Russian 
peasants under the yoke of Red Army Com- 
missars. On this subject Trotzky came out with 
a startling explanation: 

"At present the militarization of labor is all 
the more needed because we have now come to 
the mobilization of the peasants as a means of 
solving the problems requiring mass action. We 
are mobilizing the peasants and orgamzing them 
into lahor detachments which very much resemble 
military detachm,ents. . . . We have in the im- 
portant branches of our industry more than 
1,000,000 workmen on the list; in reality, how- 
ever, not more than 800,000 are actually en- 
gaged in work. Now, where are the remainder? 
They have gone to the villages or other divisions 
of industry or into speculation. Among the sol- 
diers this is called desertion in one form or an- 
other. The methods used to compel soldiers to 
perform their duty must also be applied in the 
field of labor. Under the unified system of econ- 
omy, the masses of workmen should be moved 
about, ordered and sent from place to place in 
exactly the same manner as soldiers. This is the 
foundation of the militarization of labor and 
without this we shall be unable to speak seriously 
of any organization of industry on a new basis 
under the conditions of starvation and disorgan- 
ization existing to-day."* 

* Moscow Izvestia, March 21, 1920. Further details on labor con- 
scription and mobilization of labor may bo found in Chapter 8 of 
Trotzky 'a Book The Defence of Terrorism, London, 1921. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 117 

Such are — to use Lenin's own expression — 
the ** diabolical methods" which have been in- 
troduced by the Soviet rulers, ostensibly for 
the purpose of solving the industrial crisis; in 
reality, however, to enslave the whole nation, tor- 
turing it in the All-Russian Cheka, in filthy 
Soviet prisons, and in miserable Red Guard 
armories. Under the pretext of establishing a 
dictatorship of the proletariat, the Communists 
have imposed a horrid dictatorship over the 
proletariat. Indeed, hell they have attained. 
But the industrial crisis in all its magnitude 
continues to be the nightmare of Russian life. 

It is hardly necessary to go into further de- 
tails describing the extent and the various 
phases of the Russian industrial catastrophe. 
Incidentally it may be noted that all Soviet 
measures, culminating in the restoration of 
slavery and militarization of labor, have failed 
to relieve the tragic situation. Production con- 
tinues to decrease in ever-growing proportions. 
Here are a few additional figures bringing the 
analysis up to date: 

SOUTH RUSSIAN INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS 

December, 1921, coal output 7,500,000 poods 

January, 1922, coal output 4,600,000 

December, 1921, cast iron smelted 491,000 

January, 1922, cast iron smelted 347,000 

December, 1921, smelted in furnaces 896,000 

January, 1922, smelted in furnaces 724,000 

•See Economicheskaya Jisn, No. 82, April 12, 1922. 



Ii8 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

As compared with December, 1921, in Janu- 
ary, 1922, the rolling mills reduced their opera- 
tions by 52 per cent. In February, 1922, there 
was a further reduction of 18 per cent. The 
most significant decrease, however, was regis- 
tered in smelting cast iron ; of the two furnaces 
in the South Russian District, the famous Uzov- 
sky furnace was extinguished, with the result 
that in February, 1922, only 8,000 poods of 
cast iron were smelted.* 

Similar disintegration is observed in textile 
industries. Here, too, the production of manu- 
factured goods infallibly grows less: 

November, 1921 1,518,000 arshinest 

December, 1921 2,179,000 " 

January, 1922 1,402,000 " 

February, 1922 ;,000,000 " 

Everywhere the picture of decay and despair 
is the same. 

As a general remark it must be said that 
wholesale destruction of Russian industries is 
in no way a casual phenomenon. It is the logi- 
cal outcome of the nonsensical and brutal poli- 
cies which have been pursued by the Commun- 
ists during the entire period of their incredible 
misrule. 

* See Eccmomicheskaya Jisn, No. 82, April 12, 1922. 
t One arshine is equal to 2.3 feet. See EconomichesTcaya Jisn, No. 
82, AprU 12, 1922. 



THE RUIN OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES 119 

Marxism, fallacious as it is in theory, when 
applied to practice produces dismal conditions. 
Chaos, Misery and Death are the three monsters 
— the three symbols of Bolshevism. 

Shall civilized mankind bow down before 
these monsters'? 



CHAPTER IV 

TRADE AND FINANCE 

TV/f ODERN economic life is a complex mecli- 
•*-■■• anism, the integral parts of which, such 
as agriculture, industry, trade and finance, are 
so closely inter-related that the functioning of 
one branch is conditional upon the normal and 
uninterrupted operation of the others. With 
chaos reigning in Russia's agriculture, and dis- 
integration prevailing in her industries, it was 
natural that both trade and finance could not 
remain on a sound footing. 

In the preceding brief sketch of the national- 
ization program the fact was emphasized that 
trade, in the same way as industry, was placed 
under Soviet control. Foreign and internal 
commercial intercourse were monopolized by 
the Communist State, and no private trade 
transactions could be carried on no matter 
whether they were confined to Russia proper or 
extended to foreign countries. 

By the end of 1920 tlie nationalization cycle 
was completed. Distribution of commodities, 
and trade exchange at large, were entrusted 
to bureaucratic institutions, while even petty 
trade was declared a crime against the Soviet 
Republic and labeled as "speculation." It 
was due to this policy and not to the ** blockade" 

120 



TRADE AND FINANCE 121 

that trade relations between Soviet Russia and 
foreign countries have almost ceased. Nothing 
was exported from Russia since there was noth- 
ing to export. The table below shows the 
rapid decline in shipments to foreign countries : 

RUSSIAN EXPORTS 

1913 23,017,500 tons 

1918 29,490 " 

1919 20,210 " 

1920 10,900 " 

1921 209,080 "* 

In 1921 the Soviets began to modify their 
trade policies, and commercial relations in sev- 
eral lines were freed from Soviet tutelage. 
This explains the puzzling increase of exports 
in that year. But the improvement did not 
last long. In January, 1922, the total amount 
of exports did not exceed 16,600 tons and in 
February it was again reduced to only 13,300 
tons. 

The stoppage of exports produced a recipro- 
cal condition regarding imports. According to 
a report of the People's Commissariat for 
Foreign Trade, in 1921 the imports were only 
916,666 tons, including charity shipments of the 
American Relief Administration and kindred 
organizations. The value of these goods was 
approximately 248,557,000 gold rubles at pre- 

* EconomichesTcaya Jisn, issae of March 7, 1922. 



122 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

war prices. In 1910 Russia's foreign trade 
balance showed the following: 

Imports 1,084,446,000 gold rubles 

Exports 1,449,085,900 gold rubles 

Comparing these figures with the turnover in 
foreign trade for 1921, we see that it consti- 
tuted about 10 per cent, of that in 1910, 
while with regard to weight is was only 2.8 
per cent.* 

The increase in imports from western coun- 
tries, mainly from England, took place during 
the first part of 1920, reaching the peak (10,- 
000,000 poods) in the month of September. 
But beginning with October, foreign consign* 
ments again began to fall off: 

O'Ctober, 1921, 7,800,000 poods 

November, 1921, 6,500,000 " 

December, 1921, 5,200,000 " 

January, 1922, 4,439,000 " 

In February, 1922, the volume of imports 
showed a somewhat livelier tendency owing to 
larger quantities of food shipped by the Ameri- 
can Relief Administration. 

• The total value of gooda exported from Soviet Eussia in 1921 did 
not exceed 20,000,000 gold rubles. Compare these figures with data 
furnished by the EconomichesTcaya Jisn, issues February 16th and 
18th, and March 18th and 21st, and the Weekly Bulletin of the 
Supreme Monarchical Council, No. 39, May 1, 1922. Published in 
Berlin in Bussian. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 123 

The significance of these statistics will be 
made quite clear if it is considered that even 
in former times Russian economic life had to 
rely upon commodities imported from abroad. 
The following table indicates the percentage of 
imports in proportion to domestic production 
in pre-war times : 

Agricultural machinery: 

(a) Not equipped with steam engines 42 % 

(b) Complex machinery 72 % 

(c) Scythes , 78 % 

Coal 25 % 

Mathematical and astronomical instruments 70 % 

Medical instruments 75 % 

Electrical instruments 80 % 

Zinc 65 % 

Lead ^ 98 % 

Cotton-wool 47 % 

♦Silk ., 90 % 

Nationalization measures, having brought to 
a standstill Russia's commercial intercourse, 
with foreign nations had an equally deleterious 
effect upon the distribution of commodities 
within the country itself. The Soviets had 
private stores closed and their merchandise 
seized by the State. Traditional Russian cus- 
toms of bartering, such as fairs and bazaars, 
were prohibited and the exchange of goods 
was put under the supervision of State officials. 

* See A. Raketoff, Op. Cit. p. 70. 



124 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Nominally every citizen of the Soviet Repub- 
lic had the right to purchase from Soviet stores 
everything needed for the daily upkeep of his 
household. It was the prerogative of the State 
to regulate prices. On the other hand, it was 
also its duty to supply the different regions 
with various kinds of goods in sufficient quan- 
tities. Such was the theory. The practice 
was entirely different. 

When the trade mechanism fell into the hands 
of the State, it was found that the bureau- 
cratic organization set up by the Soviets was 
unequal to coping with the task of furnishing 
the people vdth the necessary commodities. Un- 
derproduction, combined with the elimination of 
imports from abroad, caused an acute shortage 
of merchandise of every description. The 
stocks of private merchants which had been 
confiscated were either sold out or appropriated 
by Soviet functionaries themselves. No wonder 
prices of food, fuel and other daily necessities 
became prohibitive. But even in a Soviet 
State, and under a Marxian regime, people have 
to live somehow or other. The mere fact that 
the Bolsheviki dispensed with private trade 
could not and did not bar commercial inter- 
course among private citizens. However, the 
effect of the Communist program has been two- 
fold: First, hundreds of thousands of citizens, 
including the Commissars, have gone into specu- 
lation, making regular trips to rural districts 



TRADE AND FINANCE 125 

to procure food, linen, and other necessities, 
which were thereafter resold in the cities at 
extortionate prices. The Bolsheviki have thus 
created a new caste of society — the speculators 
— who, like social parasites, are looting and 
snatching whatever there is left in the posses- 
sion of private individuals. Second, the colos- 
sal wealth which through centuries had accumu- 
lated in the cities has been gradually smuggled 
out to rural districts. The reason for this 
was that in the cities the greatest need was 
food. Food was available only in the villages. 
Soviet rubles meant nothing to the peasants. 
They flatly refused to exchange their products 
for rubbish currency. But they did sell them 
for such things as they either needed in their 
households, or wanted to keep as objects of 
luxury. In view of this situation, the urban 
residents were compelled to give up their all, 
from matches, hammers and nails, to paintings 
by Raphael, rare musical instruments, priceless 
libraries, and most precious gems. 

Like conspirators, the poor Soviet citizens 
secretly crept to the 'Hhief markets" where 
they met the speculators. It was there that 
the bulk of the ** business" was carried on. It 
was there, and not in Soviet stores, that people 
procured their daily bread. Communist spies 
and agents of the Cheka, sneaking around these 
markets, took part in swindling, stealing and 
smuggling. Meanwhile the things belonging to 



126 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

urban residents grew scarcer every day. Many 
have already sold everything they had and now 
there is nothing more to sell. Theft is the 
only solution, the only means of making a live- 
lihood, and they become thieves in order to 
save themselves and their families from hunger 
and death. 

One of the most pitiful features of the trad- 
ing practice in Soviet Russia is the large num- 
ber of children at present engaged in specula- 
tive activities. Boys and girls between the 
ages of eight and twelve are flocking around 
bazaars and railroad stations, waiting for a 
chance to steal a loaf of bread or a bundle of 
vegetables. Then they go to a starving ^'bour- 
geois" and he pays for the stolen morsels with 
his last ring or overcoat. 

The Moscow Izvestia, issue No. 254, for 1920, 
stated that between the months of February 
and November of that year 7,000 children en- 
gaged in speculation and swindling were 
brought before the Moscow Commission in 
charge of minor criminals. These children, 
left to their own care, lead a vagabond life. 
All of them are morally degenerate. Easy 
money is all they are after. Venereal diseases 
are rampant among them. What drags these 
little ones to the depths of the social inferno ? 
Sometimes it is the unselfish desire to help 
their destitute parents who are starving on the 
Soviet ration; in other instances it is their 



TRADE AND FINANCE 127 

greed, or the sordid instincts of their elder 
relatives who seek to make a fortune by em- 
ploying children to do the actual stealing. The 
ranks of this infantile army of speculators com- 
prise many who have managed to escape from 
Soviet asylums and hospitals. 

The socialistic methods of distribution pro- 
duced a peculiar type of speculators known in 
Russia as "hag-carriers" (meshechniki) , mean- 
ing those who carry in their bags food and 
other things for sale. In Petrograd and in 
Moscow these traders are almost unionized, 
forming numerous detachments, with foremen, 
treasurers and collectors of their own. Bag- 
carriers journey to remote rural districts where 
they *' collect their crops." They return to the 
cities in railroad cars, often occupying places 
on the platforms and roofs. As a general 
rule, they are in collusion with Soviet officials 
who get the lion's share. One of such specu- 
lators tells the following story of his experi- 
ence in the smuggling business. 

"I made trips to Ukrainia where I paid 400 
rubles for one pood of potatoes. In Petrograd I 
charged 500 rubles for one pound* and in addi- 
tion I insisted upon douma rubles.] I was aware 
that the buyer was giving up his last clothes in 
order to purchase my potatoes or my pound of 
flour. But what could I do? — I was employed 

• 1 Eussian pood is equal to 40 pounds. 

t Eubles issued by the Provisional Government. They are valued 
higher than Soviet rubles. 



128 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

in the Truck Transportation Department as as- 
sistant chauffeur. I was fed very poorly. I did 
not want to go to the Commissar and beg favors 
from him. Besides I had a grandmother to sup- 
port. She had nothing to eat. In the meantime 
I began to bloat from hunger. So I made up my 
mind to desert the Truck Department. I got up a 
gang, and once a month we would go to Ukrainia. 
Really it made no difference in what way we 
died, whether by starving to death or being mur- 
dered. In Ukrainia we would buy or exchange 
for calico, matches and soap, various products 
and take them back to Petrograd. Now, if one 
carries these goods as a bag-carrier in a pas- 
senger car, there is always a chance that he may 
be caught and his goods confiscated. Therefore, 
we usually made an agreement with the Train 
Commissar. We would pay him 20,000 rubles and he 
would take us, along with our bags, into a freight 
car. Then this car would be sealed up and from 
Bakhmach to Petrograd we would be carried with- 
out being disturbed. There were several such 
freight cars in one train. The oar records are 
kept by the Commissar and no one among the 
superiors ever checked us up. A single trip 
gave me a monthly return of thousands of rubles, 
a,nd in addition I had food for myself and my 
grandmother. On railroad stations speculators of 
our type outnumbered the general public. Of 
course everyone of us had an official pass executed 
in Petrograd by the various Soviets. What did 
they care? For 100 or 200 rubles they will al- 
ways affix a seal. Railroad officials are well aware 
of this procedure, but they keep quiet as all of 
them receive their 'ration.' They charge just 
as much as they like because our lives are in their 



TRADE AND FINANCE 129 

hands. Now and then, in order to 'raise the ex- 
change' they execute someone among the less ex- 
perienced. The result is: If a Soviet in charge 
of food supplies (Prodkom) intends to ship bread 
to Petrograd, no cars are found available, where- 
as with us it is different. Three of us are permitted 
to occupy an empty car which is allowed to run 
to the place of destination without being un- 
coupled. ' '* 

True seems the new proverb originated by 
the Russians: '^He who does not speculate 
shall not eat." 

From a sanitary point of view, the bag-car- 
rying trade turned out to be a misfortune. 
Owing to the scarcity of bags and the difficulty 
of laundering them — for practically no soap 
is to be had — food is being dragged all over 
Russia in filthy bags which are infested with 
vermin. This indisputably is one of the con- 
tributing causes of epidemics and the terrible 
spread of infectious diseases. 

Of course, this kind of commercial inter- 
course could not solve the distribution problem. 
The ill-feeling harbored against trade restric- 
tions grew so intense that finally revolts broke 
out all over the country, culminating in the 
Kronstadt uprising. Urban workers assidu- 
ously protested against the idiotic Soviet pol- 
icy relating to internal trade. The mass of the 
population was steadfastly opposed to the Cheka 

* See Professor Shcherbina 's ' ' Laws of Evolution and Bolshe- 
vism," pp. 78, 79. Belgrade, 1921. Translated from the Eussian. 



130 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

prosecution of petty traders. Even the specu- 
lators enjoyed the sympathy of the majority 
of the people because everybody knew that 
without speculation and bag-carrying, no food 
could be obtained in the cities. Therefore, 
among the essential points raised by the Kron- 
stadt rebels was the demand for the abolition of 
all trade restrictions and the reinstitution of 
free trade. It was reported that Apfelbaiun 
(Zinoviev), Chairman of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Third Internationale (^'Komi- 
tern") and the Eed Dictator of Petrograd, was 
one of the most ardent opponents of this move- 
ment. But ultimately the Bolsheviki were com- 
pelled to submit to the unanimous pressure of 
the people. 

Beginning with 1921, step by step, conces- 
sions on the trade issue have been made by 
Soviet authorities. In the first place, petty 
trade was nominally freed. Small shops were 
reopened in many places, and retailers given 
the right to sell certain categories of goods. 
On the other hand, simultaneously with the 
adoption of Lenin's project known as the 
" Prodnalog, "* the peasants were permitted to 
trade in their "surplus" grain and this unfor- 
tunately was bitter irony. In addition, there is 
a tendency at present to facilitate the pro- 
cedure required for the opening of commercial 
concerns. 

• See Chapter II. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 131 

Nevertheless, general trade conditions in 
Soviet Russia remain intolerable. The All- 
Russian Cheka still clings to its aggressive 
policy towards private commerce, while the 
Local Soviets deliberately disregard the decrees 
ordering reinstitution of free trade. 

In one of the issues of the Economicheshaya 
Jisn is published an interview with Jacob Hal- 
perstein, a Communist in charge of a Soviet 
department store at Moscow. He stated: 

*'We must strive to organize State retail trade, 
at the same time encouraging individual retail 
merchants. State stores alone cannot satisfy the 
requirements even of Moscow, not to speak about 
the provincial districts It is to be re- 
gretted, however, that the common view is dif- 
ferent: Private trade both wholesale and retail 
as considered a grave sin."* 

Another Communist, by the name of Eismona, 
recently admitted that : 

*'Due to the guilt of the local organizations 
which have been destroying private petty trade in 
everj^ possible way, and burdening it with unbear- 
able taxes, it still remains to a large extent, a 
'shyster' profession. "f 

But Moscow Soviet authorities are hardly 
any better than their provincial colleagues. 
Professor Terne gives the following account of 

* See Economicheslcaya Jisn, No. 92, issue of April 27, 1922. 
flbid, see article, "The Struggle Against the Industrial Crisis." 



132 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

the procedure for obtaining a license to open 
a store: 

"First of all, the Soviets require that a person 
desiring to open a trade concern shall produce a 
certificate from the so-called 'Kvartkhoz' (The 
Soviet in charge of economic activities in a given 
block), to the effect that premises therefor are 
available. This, of course, means that the partic- 
ular Commissar has to be bribed. After having 
received such a certificate, the prospective mer- 
chant must procure another permit to actually oc- 
cupy the space allotted to him, which, in turn, 
necessitates another and higher bribe. The next 
step consists of filling out an application giving 
exhaustive answers as to the nature of trade, the 
profession of the applicant prior to the revolution, 
his attitude toward the Soviet Government, etc. 
At the prevailing bribing rates, the approval of 
such an application costs anywhere from 2,000, 
000 to 3,000,000 rubles. In addition, there is 
always a danger that the information thus fur- 
nished in the application might serve the Cheka, 
with the result that the daring merchant would 
finally land in a Soviet prison."* 

Such was the condition early in 1922. 

The reinstitution of free trade has become 
all the more difficult as practically all suitable 
buildings are requisitioned by the Soviets and 
used for official purposes. At the same time, 
space for temporary wooden sheds in open mar- 
kets is being auctioned off at prohibitive prices. 

• See Prof. A. Terne 's In the Realm of Lenin, pp. 256, 257. 
Berlin, 1922. Publiahed in Russian. 



TRADE AND FINANCE i33 

For instance, in May, 1922, the renting of such 
space for one year was 46,000,000 rubles.* 

Furthermore, the decree of July 26, 1921, 
established a special trade tax levied by the 
State. The new law divides trading into three 
classes. The price of a six months' license 
for the first class is 60,000 rubles; the second, 
180,000 rubles; and the third, 600,000 rubles. 

It is evident that only the privileged class 
— that is, the Communists, ex-convicts and 
Soviet officials— can afford to pay such prices 
and taxes. 

In view of these conditions, it is not surpris- 
ing that the prices of commodities have reached 
a fabulous level. In December, 1918, after 
twelve months of Communist practice, food 
was sold in Moscow at these rates: 

Potatoes 10 rubles per lb. 

Salt Fish 9 to 10 

Bread (in open markets) 18 to 20 

Pork 50 

Beef 23 

Sugar 80 

Tea 100 

Butter 80 

'A suit of clothes could be bought for 800 to 
900 rubles, and a pair of shoes for 400 rubles.f 

* See Russian paper The Last News, issue of May 5, 1922. Pub- 
lished in Reval. 

fSee A Collection of Beports on BolsJievism in Bussia, presented 
to Parliament by command of His Majesty, April, 1919, p. 67. 
































134 



THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 



These prices were justly considered exorbi- 
tant at that time. After four and one-half 
years of Soviet mismanagement, in April, 1922, 
the market prices were fixed by the Soviets as 
follows : 



April 1, 1922 April 14, 1922 

Rubles per Rubles per 

Barley 4,400,000 pood 6,000,000 pood 

Millet 5,200,000 pood 6,000,000 pood 

Fish (large cans) . . . 500,000 can 800,000 can 

Fish (medium cans) 250,000 can 400,000 can 

Fish (small cans) . . 140,000 can 220,000 can 

Raisins 10,000,000 pood 14,000,000 pood 

Refined sugar 16,000,000 pood 17,000,000 pood 

Raw sugar 9,000,000 pood 10,500,000 pood 

Honey 10,000,000 pood 16,000,000 pood 

Preserves 175,000 lb. 250,000 lb. 

Caramel sugar 275,000 lb. 440,000 lb. 

Salt 1,400,000 pood 1,600,000 pood 

Vinegar 3,000,000 pood 3,300,000 pood 

Soap (good quality) 8,000,000 pood 10,000,000 pood 

Soap (poor quality) 5,000,000 pood 7,000,000 pood 

Toilet soap 175,000 cake 225,000 cake 

Matches 4,000 box 4,500 box 

Swedish matches . . 4,500 box 5,500 box 

Tea 1,200,000 lb. 1,500,000 lb. 

Coffee 140,000 lb. 200,000 lb.* 

The price folly reigns not only in Petrograd 
and Moscow but throughout all Russia. Accord- 
ing to Soviet data, in the city of Rostov-on- 

• See EconomichesTcaya Jisn, No. 89, issue of April 23, 1922. 



TRADE AND FINANCE i35 

the-Don, the cost of a monthly ration, at 3,600 
calories per day, on March 1, 1922, was 10,265,- 
000 rubles, whereas on March 15, 1922, it had 
risen to 16,500,000 rubles, or in two weeks the 
prices had advanced 60 per cent.* 

Commenting upon market conditions in Mos- 
cow, the Economicheskaya Jisn (No. 91, April 
26, 1922) stated: 

"Prices of all products without exception have 
advanced considerably. The proportion of in- 
crease with regard to several products was 40 per 
cent, (butter), 55 per cent, (buckwheat flour and 
cabbages), and even 91 per cent. (beef). Calcu- 
lating the cost of the monthly food ratio at 3,600 
calories, which by April 23rd reached the level 
of 30,269,000 rubles, we notice, as compared with 
April 15th, when it was only 21,107,000 rubles, 
an increase of 43 per cent., while for the whole 
month the advance is 94 per cent. Comparing 
the prices for the month of October, 1921, when 
the ratio was 529,000 rubles, we see an incre- 
ment of more than 57 times." 

The present trade muddle in Soviet Russia 
comes as a consequence of the general economic 
collapse. The fact that the Communist authori- 
ties were forced to make minor concessions to 
the Russian people on the question of commer- 
cial intercourse did not bring the expected re- 
lief. Sovietism is so insane in its foundations, 
so corrupt in its workings, that secondary im- 

* See Economicheskaya Jisn, No. 82, issue of April 12, 1922. 



136 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

provements and insignificant changes cannot 
restore the country to normal conditions. 

There was a time when liberals, lamenting 
over Russia's economic plight, argued that it 
was caused by the Allied blockade and the ego- 
tistic attitude of capitalism towards the re- 
sumption of trade relations with the Soviets. 
Mass meetings were held, radical organizations 
formed, and newspaper campaigns engineered 
with the exclusive aim of inducing the western 
world to start trade with the Soviets. This 
agitation assumed a virulent form especially in 
Anglo-Saxon countries. In England where the 
Labor Party is thoroughly Sovietized, and 
where Lloyd George manifests a sort of natural 
proclivity toward the oppressors of the Rus- 
sian people, a trade agreement with Soviet Rus- 
sia was signed on March 16, 1921. 

Bolshevik sympathizers on the Thames antici- 
pated that the resumption of trade with the 
Bolsheviki was rather a measure of political 
self-defense than a constructive economic pol- 
icy. The gentlemen of Downing Street, short- 
sighted as they may have been, placed but little 
faith in Krassin's assurance that Russia pre- 
sented *' wonderful opportunities" for the Eng- 
lish merchant. The underlying motive for deal- 
ing with the Soviets was and still remains 
England's dread of Communist propaganda in 
British Asiatic Dominions. The Bolsheviki 
agreed all the more readily to the clause to 



TRADE AND FINANCE 137 

refrain from propaganda as they knew that 
they would never fulfill their promise. 

In the fall of 1921 Lord Curzon openly ad- 
mitted before Parliament that, from a politi- 
cal standpoint, the Anglo-Saxon Treaty has 
been shamelessly broken by the Bolsheviki, 
while in the way of economic advantage, Eng- 
lish merchants and manufacturers have gained 
very little. 

The same applies to other countries which 
were moved either by greed or political con- 
siderations to sign commercial treaties with the 
Moscow Communists. These "scraps of paper" 
have proved of no help to Russia or to western 
countries. 

Some light was shed on the whole problem 
of trade with Soviet Russia when Mr. Finkel- 
stein (Litvinoff) advised the members of the 
Credits Sub-commission of The Hague Con- 
ference that: 

''There should he no question of confidence ty 
shippers in the Russian Oovernment, because the 
shippers should not look to Moscow for the money, 
hut to their own governments."* 

This certainly must have come as a great 
disappointment to the political flappers of both 
continents. All's well that ends well! Now, at 
least, the world knows what the Bolsheviki 

* See The New TorTc Times, June 28, 1922. article entitlea ^TTus- 
sians at Hague Held to Business." 



138 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

mean when they refer to Soviet Russia as the 
land of *' commercial opportunities." 

Soviet sympathizers have also tried to make 
it appear that the resumption of trade with 
the Marxian State would overnight cure the un- 
employment situation. They knew that what 
they were telling was nonsense, for Russia had 
nothing to trade with and any orders placed 
by the Soviets with western manufacturers 
would inevitably be fake orders.* 

"LABOB LEADS IN SENATE FOB SOVIET TBADE. 
Spokesmen of 3,000,000 Toilers Demand Eussia of Workers 
Have Same Privilege as Russia of Czars. Besumption of Com- 
merce Necessary to Believe Unemployment, Leaders say." 

And still these idealistic creatures agitated, 
babbled, lobbied and otherwise labored to the 
utmost of their limited ability to force their 
respective governments into shameful deals with 
the usurpers in the Kremlin. It was hoped 
that this would bring about the first step 
toward the recognition of the Soviet regime. 

Much in the same way the notorious Soviet 
campaign for "concessions" had but a remote 
connection with trade policies and financial 
openings. People with common sense did not 
fail to understand that Washington D. Van- 
derlip would never receive Kamchatka as a 
Christmas gift from '* comrade" Trotzky. Nor 

* Compare this with the headlines in the New York Call, the 
oflBcial organ of the American Socialist Party, in its issue of 
January 27, 1921: 



TRADE AND FINANCE 139 

was it difficult to grasp that promises made 
by Lenin to "Bill Haywood" and his I. W. W. 
pals to give up the Kouznetzk mines were 
merely a political move designed to place the 
"American" beneficiaries under the control of 
the Third Internationale. Nevertheless, parlor 
agitation in favor of such and similar "con- 
cessions" is in full swing. At this point it 
may be well to recall the statements made by 
Communist leaders regarding the matter. 

Milutin, who is among the "foremost" Bol- 
shevist economists, addressing the Petrograd 
Soviet in December, 1920, declared: 

"We have seized the means of production from 
our own bourgeoisie. At present we are de- 
termined to seize the means of productions from 
the foreign bourgeoisie. Because, however, we 
are unable to nationalize the plants of Vanderlip 
and Krupp, we must give them concessions and 
thus take possession of the technique of theii; 
means of production."* 

Significant is also Lenin's statement made 
before the Moscow District Conference of the 
Communist Party on November 23, 1920: 

"The differences between our enemies have re- 
cently increased, particularly in connection with 
the proposed concessions to be granted to a group 
of American capitalist sharks, headed by a multi- 
millionaire, who reckons upon grouping around 

* Quoted from Bulletin No. 1 of the Kussian National Society, 
issue of February 3, 1921, p. 4, New York City. 



140 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

himself a number of other multi-millionaires. 
Now, all the communications coming from the Far 
East bear testimony to the fact that there is dis- 
satisfaction in Japan regarding this agreement, 
although the latter has not been signed yet, and is 
so far only a draft. Nevertheless, Japanese public 
opinion has been brought to the boiling-point and 
I have read to-day a communication to the effect 
that Japan accuses Soviet Russia of planning to 
embroil Japan Vi^ith America. We have rightly 
estimated this imperialist rivalry and we have 
made up our m^nds as to the 7iec4ssity of sys- 
tematically utilizing this rivalry in order to make 
their fight against us difficult." 

Lenin further explained: 

"There can be no better proof of the material 
and moral victory of our Soviet Republic over 
vs^orld capitalism than the fact that the powers 
which went to war against us on account of our ter- 
rorism and on account of our new order ( ?) were 
compelled, in spite of their own wish, to enter into 
relations with us, knowing full well that they 
are thus strengthening us."* 

But then the reply of the parlor Bolshevik 
to this outspoken argument of Lenin's is classi- 
cally simple: ^^Ee really doesn't mean it/' 

Finance 
It is next to impossible to speak seriously 
of the Soviet '* financial system" for this is a 
case where there is no method in madness. 

* Quoted from The Workers' Challenge. See issue of January 16, 
1921, p. 6. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 141 

Imperial Russia bequeathed to Soviet Russia 
a gold fund amounting to 1,350,000,000 rubles. 
Communist activities as far as finances are 
concerned consisted mainly of two things: (a) 
the dissipation of the gold fund, and (b) un- 
restricted issuance of paper currency. In both 
tasks they have succeeded splendidly. After 
one year of Bolshevist management, the gold 
fund was reduced to 825,000,000 rubles. By 
1919 it amounted to 410,000,000 rubles; by 

1920, to 200,000,000 rubles, and by the end of 

1921, to only 70,000,000 rubles. There is no 
way of determining the exact sum of gold left 
in Russia for no reliable statistics are avail- 
able. According to the American press, soon 
after the Genoa Conference, the Bolsheviki ad- 
mitted that their regime would collapse within 
six months unless large sums of cash were 
obtained.* 

The latest advices from Russia seem to in- 
dicate that out of the original Imperial fund 
there is practically no gold left, with the ex- 
ception of a certain minimum allotted for 
foreign propaganda. 

The infamous pillage of the Russian Church 
was undertaken by the Bolsheviki with the 
object of increasing their gold reserve and by 
no means for the purpose of relieving the 

* See cable from The Hague to The New York Times, issue of 
June 7, 1922, article entitled, "Bolsheviki Said to Admit Cash 
Alone Can Save Soviet." 



142 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

starving population. This vandalism, accord- 
ing to The Journal of Commerce^ yielded con- 
siderable booty, amounting to 314,000,000 gold 
rubles. The correspondent of the paper added : 

"These are absolutely the last reserves of the 
Soviet; nothing else remains with which to make 
international payments. ' 



»»* 



This information was not quite correct, for 
a few days later news came from Petrograd 
that the Bolsheviki had desecrated the Imperial 
tombs in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. 
This abominable crime was committed for the 
purpose of appropriating the jewels which were 
placed in the sarcophaguses wherein the corpses 
of the late emperors repose. 

Russia's gold has been lavishly spent by the 
Communists for propaganda abroad. Immense 
sums were also appropriated by them and smug- 
gled over the border. The time has not yet 
come to tell a comprehensive story regarding 
the dissipation of Russian gold reserves. This 
much, however, can be asserted: Colossal graft 
has been freely practiced by the Marxian 
disciples, who, disguised in proletarian over- 
alls, have managed to make huge fortunes at 
the expense of the Russian people. 

Simultaneously with the scattering of the 
gold fund came the issuance of paper currency 

* See Journal of Commerce, May 16, 1922. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 143 

in ever-growing quantities. Paper circulation 
in Russia increased as follows: 

January 1, 1917 9,103,000,000 

October 23, 1917 18,927,000,000 

January 1, 1918 25,200,000,000 

January 1, 1919 55,000,000,000 

January 1, 1920 194,000,000,000 

June 1, 1920 455,000,000,000 

November 1, 1920 855,000,000,000 

January 1, 1921 1,168,000,000,000* 

The precise quantity of rubbish rubles can- 
not be calculated. At the time of The Hague 
Conference, however, some light at least was 
thrown upon the general chaos prevailing in 
Soviet treasury matters. The fact, for instance, 
was made known that for the first four months 
of 1922 the expenses of the Soviet Republic 
reached 130,000,000,000,000 paper rubles and 
104,000,000,000,000 of new paper was issued. 
Two hundred and fifty thousand billion new pa- 
per rubles have been printed during the first six 
months of 1922. Analyzing these figures, Ed- 
win L. James, New York Times Special Cor- 
respondent at The Hague, remarked: 

**The best comment on the Russian budget is 
that while the covering letter makes a general 
claim that only 20 per cent, of the expenses have 
been met by paper money issue, the actual figures 
they themselves give, show that the expenditures 

•Eaketoff, Op. Cit., p. 67. 



144 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

in June this year were 130,000,000,000,000 rubles 
paper with a money issue of 85,000,000,000,000. 
This represents 53 per cent. The Russian claim of 
20 per cent, must be a lie or else the Treasury De- 
partment shows a default of some 40,000,000,000,- 
000 rubles for one month."* 

As a matter of guesswork, it was estimated 
that on July 1, 1922, there were approximately 
280,000,000,000,000 paper rubles in circulation. 

In these circumstances, it is idle to speak 
about a *' budget system," or a State balance, 
as far as Soviet Eussia is concerned. 

All figures appearing on Soviet balance 
sheets are quite fictitious since the actual ex- 
penditures are much larger and the revenues 
much smaller than originally estimated in the 
budgets. Attempts to analyze these annual 
and semi-annual statements are futile for the 
disbursements, according to the allocations to 
the various Commissariats, if added up, do not 
coincide with the grand total. Thus, for the 
year 1920, the specific allocations give a total 
of 504,500,000,000 rubles, which, however, is 
only 48 per cent, of the total disbursements. 
The question, of course, arises: What has be- 
come of the remaining 52 per cent ^ 

Referring to the revenues, it must be borne 
in mind that such consist almost exclusively 

* See article * * Soviet Budget Staggers Experts, * ' New York 
Times, July 5, 1922. 
f See Economicheskaya Jisn, September 21, 1920. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 145 

of new paper issues. The Soviet printing office 
is probably the only Soviet factory the output 
of which has increased tremendously. 

Things have gone so far that a special Soviet 
Commission was appointed in 1920 to devise a 
plan for the acceleration of the output of paper 
money. 

Owing to the perturbed conditions of Com- 
munist finances, Soviet rubles have lost all 
value on the international exchange. On April 
22, 1922, the *'Gosbank" (State Bank) fixed 
the following rates for foreign currency: 

1 pound sterling, 4,100,000 rubles (April 21, 3,300,000) 



1 American dollar 


900,000 " 




708,000) 


1 Canadian dollar 


850,000 ** 




700,000) 


I French franc . . . 


85,000 " 




60,000) 


1 Swedish krona. 


245,000 " 




190,000) 


1 German mark. . 


4,000 ** 




*3,000) 



Low as these quotations are, they do not 
nearly represent the actual devaluation of 
Soviet rubles. According to The Netv York 
Times of June 13, 1922, 3,300,000 Soviet rubles 
could then be bought for $1.00. 

The bankruptcy of the Communist regime 
has become so obvious that Soviet officials them- 
selves have admitted it on many occasions. As 
the last resort to save the situation, they have 
adopted a new system of swindling the people 
by marking 100,000,000 ruble bills as '* 10,000 

•See EconomicTieslcaya Jisn, No. 89, April 23, 1922. 



146 THE BAL'ANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

rubles." In this way they hope to fool the 
public, eventually forcing a deflation. 

Here is what Mr. Walter Duranty relates 
about this affair: 

**The authorities hope that when the latter 
(high denomination bills) are retired the new 
figures will be adopted as written, which will have 
the effect of reducing the internal debt 10,000- 
fold. This is deflation with a vengeance, as if the 
value of the dollar were suddenly fixed at one- 
tenth of a mill. Yet such deflation will quite 
probably be accomplished as the result of the ex- 
traordinary 'bread loan' which the Soviet Gov- 
ernment is now floating. As the price of a pood 
of flour is now around 5,750,000 rubles, the propo- 
sition might seem to be most advantageous to the 
public. In reality the whole affair is a gigantic 
gamble in futures; for if the harvest is good, as 
is now hoped, the price of flour in December will 
probably be less than 3,000,000 rubles. In that 
case the result will be that the Grovernment will 
kill two birds with one stone — retire the old high- 
denomination paper and reduce inflation directly 
to the benefit of its currency."* 

What Mr. Duranty chooses to call "a gi- 
gantic gamhle*' should properly be described as 
a gigantic swindle. 

Spectacles of wisdom are not needed to 
see how completely Marxian disciples have 
wrecked a great and wealthy country. At pres- 

•See article "Unique Soviet Plan to Force Deflation,'* The 
Hew Yorlc Times, June 13, 1922. 



TRADE AND FINANCE 147 

ent it is only the incurable imbecile of the 
sentimental type who is still hoping for better 
days to come. In his phraseology, however, 
there always is a little **but" to be added — 
namely, his pious desire that the Soviets be 
given a further chance. This means perhaps 
that the entire world should yield its cash to 
^* comrade" Lenin, thus making his task ''more 
comfortable and easy." 

Paraphrasing Heine's remark about the Ger- 
mans, it may be said to these ''Friends of 
Soviet Russia": 

"People have the right to he stupid, hut you, 
gentlemen^ abu^e this right." 



CHAPTER V 

RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 

TN no land have revolutions ever been found 
pleasant. Forcible destruction of civil order 
and political organizations inevitably leads to 
grave perturbances in the national organism. It 
is an error to imagine that peoples who have be- 
come infected with the revolutionary disease 
recover from it as easily as philosophers and 
politicians have written books which paved the 
way for social cataclysms in various countries. 
Smooth are the theories but rough the events 
that form the substance of revolutionary up- 
heavals. Cromwell's epoch in England and 
1793 in France have many bloody episodes on 
their records. The fact that we, in our day, 
are viewing them from misty historical dis- 
tances and through the prism of all-pacifying 
Time, makes them no less abhorrent, for tears 
shed by mourning nations do leave ineradicable 
traces in their hearts. When human multi- 
tudes are dragged through furnaces of suffer- 
ing and grief, how is tragedy to be eluded ? We 
may not exactly understand it, but we always 
have the right to presume that behind the 
veil of Space and Time things have happened 
that would have made us quiver had we wit- 
nessed them. 

148 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 149 

And yet how insignificant and paltry the 
deeds of the Convention do appear compared 
with the boundless despair pervading Russia of 
the present. The great French Revolution seems 
like a mere rehearsal, a children's masquerade, 
in the face of the crushing catastrophe, under 
the debris of which the Northern Giant lies 
buried. 

Only those who have actually lived through 
the agony of the disaster, through all its mani- 
fold phases, the shameful wretchedness and 
vulgar misery of Communism, who, them- 
selves, have lost their homes, their Motherland, 
and all they held sacred in their lives, only 
they who, themselves, have undergone the tor- 
tures of the Cheka, the base humiliation of 
cruel serfdom — only they are capable of grasp- 
ing the full meaning, the hopeless aspect of an 
existence which is neither life nor death, but 
a slow process of dying. 

It is not the object of this volume to render 
exhaustive account of the intolerable condi- 
tions prevailing in every-day experience under 
the Soviet yoke. The most that can be at- 
tempted is a general sketch of the fundamental 
features characteristic of the present State. 
Nor is it possible to focus attention on any 
individual plight, no matter how deep our 
sjnnpathy may be for this or that person sub- 
jected to torment and death. From time to 
time, civilized humanity is staggered by news 



I50 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

coming from the depths of that unfortunate 
country, and then, for a day or two, newspaper 
columns are filled with dreadful stories depict- 
ing the inhuman conduct of the Soviet tyrants. 
Thus it was when the shocking Ekaterinburg 
crime was revealed to the world, and the details 
learned about the detestable murder of the 
martyred Emperor Nicholas II and his whole 
family, including the young Czarevitch and the 
Grand Duchesses. 

The grim background of Russia's agony is 
Terror which penetrates all the pores and fibres 
of the nation, keeping it in a state of constant 
fear and depression. It is true that the first 
stage of red outrages has passed, when slaughter- 
ing was openly practiced in squares and market 
places, and when the corpses of victims were 
found lying around on street corners. At 
present, terror is no longer a public demonstra- 
tion of cynical criminals against the peaceful 
population. It has assumed an organized and 
"orderly'' form. It is less obvious but just as 
ruthless as in those days of the past. While 
in 1918, during the bright spring days of Bol- 
shevism, Red Guard soldiers and drunken 
Kronstadt sailors, whom, incidentally, Kerensky 
called *Hhe beauty and pride of the Russian 
revolution/' on their own initiative, were plun- 
dering, raping and butchering the ''liberated 
people" — now the terroristic procedure is regu- 
lated by hundreds of decrees and elaborate in- 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 151 

structions of the AU-Russian Cheka to its 
agents scattered throughout the country. At 
present Terror is a closely devised plan, a care- 
fully laid out system of murder combined with 
espionage and provocation. As Mrs. Snowden, 
the liberal British laborite, remarked when 
she got out of Soviet Russia: 

"The people are afraid of the police and spies, 
spies are afraid of one another. All dwell in an 
atmosphere of suspicion and the Red Terror is a 
dreadful reality."* 

What is the Cheka ? Peters, one of the most 
sinister types of Bolshevik Jacobins gave the 
following definition of this slang word: 

* ' The All -Russian Cheka with its local branches 
must be the organ of the proletarian dictatorship, 
of the merciless dictatorship of one party, "f 

'^The Cheka is the sentinel of the revolution," 
says the Bolshevik paper The Red Sword. 
Paraphrasing Kerensky's remark about the 
drunken sailors, Apfelbaum (Zinoviev) de- 
clared : 

''The heauty and glory of our party are the 
Red Army and the Cheka." % 

'Mrs. Philip Snowden, Through Bolshevist Russia, p. 161. Castle 
& Company, Ltd., London, 1920. 

fSee the weekly of the Extraordinary Committee, No. 27, 1918. 
Translation from the Eussian. 

4: See an important volume entitled ' ' Cheka, ' ' published by the 
Central Bureau of the Social Eevolutionajy Party, p. 15, 1922. 



152 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

In other words, the Cheka is the machine 
of oppression, a terrible weapon which the 
Communists wield to keep the Russians in 
obeisance. A Lettish Bolshevik, by the name 
of Latzis, who at one time was considered the 
guiding spirit of the Cheka, gave this instruc- 
tion to his subordinates: 

"We do not conduct war against individuals. 
We exterminate the bourgeoisie as a class. "When 
investigating, do not take the trouble to gather 
material and evidence to the effect that the de- 
fendant by word or deed opposed the Soviets. 
The first questions which you must propound to 
him are : To what class does 'he belong ? What is 
his birth ? How was he brought up ? What is his 
education, and to what profession does he belong ? 
These questions shall determine the fate of the de- 
fendant. Therein lies the meaning and the sub- 
stance of Red Terror."* 

But these Lettish Robespierres of the Com- 
munist State indeed are merely tame sheep in 
comparison with a Dzerjinsky who is the grand- 
master of the Cheka. An ex-convict of Polish 
descent, he rose to power which is even greater 
than that of Trotzky, because he justly enjoys 
the reputation of a man with a stony heart. 
In the whole range of human feelings, mercy 
is the one which he completely lacks. For 
him, Red Terror not only is *'cold business, '^ 

*See the Bolshevist publication Bed Terror October 1, 1918. 
Tranalation from the Eussian. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 153 

but to a greater extent perhaps, it is poesy in 
which he finds depraved delight. Like a real 
connoisseur, he relishes every manifestation of 
other peoples' suffering, every new form of 
inquisition. In inventing the most refined 
methods of torturing the victim, Dzerjin- 
sky's imagination has no limits. It is prob- 
ably only his companion, the Jewess Braude 
of the Moscow Cheka, who can compete with 
him in these fields. For a psychologist, it 
must be an instructive sight to watch Dzer- 
jinsky, with his pale face, with his thin nos- 
trils always trembling, with his drowsy gaze 
expressing mortal fatigue, and his constantly 
weeping eyes, while interrogating the panic- 
stricken defendant who knows that there is no 
hope for him who enters the gate of the All- 
Russian Cheka. Dzerjinsky is a clever actor. 
He has scrupulously learned all those catty 
little gestures, those shades of mimicry, some- 
times conveying the impression that he is ani- 
mated by condolence or overcome by emotion 
of sincere sympathy for the victim. There are 
moments when a mysterious flame may be ob- 
served in his usually dull eyes, a symptom 
which leaves no further doubt as to the out- 
come of the deadly game. 

The Cheka is located in one of the crowaed 
quarters of old Moscow. The Bolshaya Loubi- 
anka Street, where in former times the biggest 
insurance companies had their offices, has be- 



154 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

come a huge prison in which all sections of the 
Cheka are located. People go far out of their 
way to avoid passing these places full of horror. 
The immense building heretofore occupied by 
the insurance company ** Russia" is now the 
headquarters of the All-Russian Cheka, and 
it is there that its ** inner prison" has been 
established. At No. 13 on the Loubianka there 
is a club for Cheka employees who, by the order 
of Dzerjinsky, are being ** educated in aes- 
thetics." Once a week the best Moscow artists 
are summoned to deliver lectures at the club, 
and entertain the distinguished audience with 
dramatic performances. 

In the evenings, when Moscow sinks into 
darkness owing to the lack of fuel, it is only on 
the Loubianka that electric lights twinkle, warn- 
ing the citizens that the Cheka is at work and 
that nothing can be concealed from it even 
under the mantle of night. 

Connected with the main building of the 
Cheka is an annex facing the backyard, where 
the "Death Ship"* is situated. 

To the right of the entrance there is a big 
room with a balustrade extending along the 
four walls. In the center there is an open 
space with a spiral stairway leading down to 
the cellar in which those condemned to die are 
kept. In one of the stone walls of the "hold" 

* The ' ' Death Ship " is a part of the Cheka prison where those 
sentenced to die are confined. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 155 

small cells are cut out. These are the so- 
called ^^ Chambers of departing souls/' 
Therein the victims are left to live their last 
hours. Profound silence reigns there for no 
noise from the outside can reach the under- 
ground. Here every link with life is severed. 
In the evenings, after sunset, the death num- 
bers are called out from upstairs, and the cells, 
when vacated, are immediately re-occupied by 
those who are **next" on the Cheka execution 
list. A man, who by a miracle managed to 
escape from this sombre tomb, gives the follow- 
ing simple, yet heart-breaking story, which 
throws a ray of light in the dark realm of 
the Communist inferno: 

"At the end of January, 1921, I was thrown 
into the ' Ship ' where there were two others await- 
ing their turn to die. * » * Those who were 
tried by the *TroyJca'* usually were executed 
on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Therefore, on 
"Wednesday, January 26th, they clearly realized 
that this was their last day. Still they were ap- 
parently very quiet, and even at dinner they 
applied to the foreman with the request: 'Pour 
us some thick stuff! Mind, you are feeding us 
to-day for the last time.' * * * Around six 
o'clock, the man on duty appeared, giving in- 
structions to evacuate all those who had been 
casually thrown into these cells. Then it became 
apparent that in a few minutes the remaining 
ones would be taken out for execution. Our two 

* The Cheka Council of three who deal with the important of- 
fenses against Soviet rule. 



156 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

single cells were open but there was no chance 
to converse with the men in the adjoining cells 
as the jailer closely watched every move of theirs. 
In spite of this, they succeeded in hastily destroy- 
ing some pencil notes. However, an hour later 
the executioner, Pankratov, accompanied by the 
commandant, Rodionov, came down to the cellar. 
Persons sentenced to death were called out of their 
cells and ordered to undress. They took off their 
overcoats, suits, and even their shirts. They un- 
dressed very quickly as though they were in a 
great hurry. Their faces were very pale. Their 
emotion was so strong that some of them proved 
unable to stand firmly on their feet, and then 
they would fall. But once more they would get 
up. They smoked one cigarette after another and 
kept deadly still. After that, also without saying 
a word, promptly, almost running, the six began 
to mount the spiral stairway. * * * "We were 
as though paralyzed on the spot. Benumbed, we 
watched them leave. I was struck by the thought 
that the same fate was awaiting me. Soon after- 
ward the guards came in and took the belongings 
of the victims. The food was immediately divided 
among them, while some of their clothes were 
later observed on the executioner, Pankratov. 
Twenty minutes later a truck passed through the 
gates of the Moscow Cheka. * * * It was the 
truck which carried away the dead bodies of the 
executed, taking them to the Lefort morgue for 
postmortem examination and burial in a common 
grave. The judgment against the executed was 
rendered in default. For six weeks they had been 
waiting to be executed."* 

* Cheka, pp. 33 and 34. Translation from the Russian. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 157 

Practically every city of importance has a 
Cheka of its own. Some of the provincial 
branches exercise even more cruelty than the 
central body itself. The infamous activities of 
the Odessa, Kharkov and Don Chekas are 
known all over Russia, having assumed legen- 
dary proportions. 

The Rev. R. Courtier-Forster, late British 
Chaplain at Odessa, who in 1919 witnessed a 
reign of terror, gives this vivid description: 

"The house in the Catherine Square in which 
I was first in captivity afterwards became the 
Bolshevists' House of Torture in which hundreds 
of victims were done to death. The shrieks of 
the people being tortured to death or having splin- 
ters of wood driven under the quick of their nails 
were so agonizing and appalling that personal 
friends of my own living more than a hundred 
yards away in the Vorontsoffsky Pereulok were 
obliged to fasten their double windows to prevent 
the cries of anguish penetrating into the house. 
The horror and fear of the surviving citizens was 
so great that the Bolshevists kept motor lorries 
thundering up and down the street to drown the 
awful screams of agony wrung from their dying 
victims. 

"Week by week the newspapers published arti- 
cles for and against the nationalization of 
women. In South Russia the proposal did not 
become a legal measure, but in Odessa bands of 
Bolshevists seized women and girls and carried 
them off to the Port, the timber yards, and the 
Alexandrovsky Park for their own purposes. 
Women used in this way were found in the mom- 



158 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

ings either dead or mad or in a dying condition. 
Those found still alive were shot. One of the 
most awful of my own personal experiences of the 
New Civilization was hearing at night from my 
bedroom windows the frantic shrieks of women 
being raped to death in the park opposite. Screams 
of shrill terror and despair repeated at intervals 
until they became nothing but hoarse cries of 
agony like the death calls of a dying animal. This 
happened not once, or twice, but many times. 
Never to the day of my death shall I forget the 
horror of those dreadful shrieks of tortured women, 
and one's own utter powerlessness to aid the vic- 
tims or punish the Bolshevist devils in their 
bestial orgies."* 

The personnel of the Cheka employees is 
composed of ex-convicts, sexual degenerates, 
political crooks and similar elements who go 
to make up the cream of the Communist Party. 
Their behavior is outrageous. Dressed in 
leather coats, with Brownings hanging from 
their belts, and wearing riding-boots, they can 
be seen everywhere — in the theatres, at labor 
meetings, at Conununist Clubs, and in various 
"educational centers." The Cheka pass opens 
all doors to them. With this badge they have 
the right to raid private apartments at their 
discretion. Searches, as a general rule, are 
accompanied by theft, and things stolen by the 
Chekists can never be recovered, for there is 

*Eev. R. Courtier-Forster, "Bolshevism, Reign of Torture afc 
Odessa," reprinted from the London Times, December 3, 1919, pp. 
2, 3, and 4. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 159 

no institution where complaints can be filed 
against these parasites of the Communist State. 
The various Soviets themselves are terrorized 
by the Cheka. Sometimes a mere anonymous 
letter, accusing a Soviet official of pro-bourgeois 
leanings, is sufficient to cause his arrest and 
have him "tried" on the Loubianka. Nobody 
feels safe under the Soviet regime because, as 
adjuncts to the official agents of the Cheka, 
there are innumerable "volunteer workers" in 
its employ. Soviet spies are everywhere. Every- 
body is watched, and Dzerjinsky went so far as 
to declare that he was quite willing to be shad- 
owed by dozens of Chekists. "The Workers' 
and Peasants' State" has set up a model dy- 
namo of espionage with a network of wires 
running to every section of the country. 

All those who, as a result of Bolshevism, have 
become degraded and sunk to the social bottom, 
thieves and swindlers of former times, crimi- 
nals guilty of sexual abuses, prostitutes, and de- 
generate young men who in days passed be- 
longed to the idle strata of society — ^they all 
are now on the staffs of the AU-Russian Cheka. 

Russian counter-revolutionary organizations 
have collected albums containing pictures of 
these Communist spies. One glance at their 
faces, with loose-lipped, drooping mouths, flop- 
ping ears, weary eyes with not even a spark of 
will or courage in them, is sufficient to prove 



i6o THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

that these records furnish priceless material for 
the future criminologist. 

It is noteworthy that, while general science 
has been practically abandoned in Soviet Rus- 
sia, a number of new *' scientific disci- 
plines," hitherto unknown to civilized man- 
kind, have been invented by the Communist 
rulers. Special courses pertaining to the prac- 
tice of espionage and its "theoretical founda- 
tions" are being given in the Cheka, with spies 
and executioners in attendance. 

In the beginning of 1922, on the Loubianka, 
lectures were given on the following subjects: 

(a) The general aims of the Extraordinary Com- 
mittees. 

(b) The organization of espionage. 

(c) Methods of investigating counter-revolution- 
ary "crimes." 

(d) The organization of espionage on railroads. 

(e) The methods for struggling with counter- 
revolutionary activities in the army. 

(f) Methods for combating speculation. 

(g) The inter-relation between the different 
branches of the All-Russian Cheka. 

(h) The organization of searches and arrests. 

The new Communist "learning" is rapidly 
replacing the old bourgeois science of the New- 
tons, Kants, Lobachevskys, and Darwins. These 
were found to be no good, at least compared 
with a Morozov, author of The All-Russian 
Cheka and the October Revolution, or a Latzis 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL i6i 

enlightening the world with his booklet, Two 
Years of Struggle on the Internal Front. 
Trotzky himself, envying the scientific laurels 
of his Cheka companions, has devoted much of 
his precious time to writing a volume which 
bears the reassuring title. The Defence of Ter- 
rorism. Therein he expatiates at length on the 
virtues of Terrorism in practice, and explains 
in what respect Marx would have sanctioned 
the Communist inquisition had he been alive 
to-day. Trotzky 's book, as a whole, is a glori- 
fication of the extreme brutality which has 
marked the Socialist regime in Russia. His 
general deduction on the subject is: 

**The State terror of a revolutionary class can 
be condemned 'morally' only by a man who, as 
a principle, rejects (in words) every form of vio- 
lence whatsoever — consequently, every war and 
every rising. For this one has to be merely and 
simply a hypocritical Quaker."* 

Indeed, Trotzky 's vindication of Terror does 
not leave much ground for a liberal heart to 
rejoice. Take this passage, for instance: 

"The press is a weapon not of an abstract so- 
ciety, but of two irreconcilable, armed and eon- 
tending sides. We are destroying the press of 
the counter-revolution, just as we destroyed its 
fortified positions, its stores, its communications 
and its intelligence system. Are we depriving 

• Trotzky 's The Defence of Terrorism, p. 55, London, 1921. 



i62 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

ourselves of Cadet and Menshevik criticisms of 
the corruption of the working class? In return 
we are victoriously destroying the very founda- 
tions of capitalist corruption."^ 



»* 



Or, 

"Without the Red Terror the Russian Bour- 
geoisie, t{^ether with the world bourgeoisie, 
would throttle us long before the coming of the 
revolution in Europe. One must be blind not to 
see this, or a swindler to deny it."t 

In this respect Trotzky is merely reiterating 
such statements as have become commonplaces 
in the Bolshevist press. As far back as 1918 
the official policy regarding Red Terror was 
formulated thus: 

"Only those among the representatives of the 
bourgeois class who during the period of nine 
months succeeded in proving their loyalty to the 
Soviet rule should be spared. All the others are 
our hostages and we should treat them accord- 
ingly. Enough of mildness. The interest of the 
revolution necessitates the physical annihilation 
of the bourgeoise class. It is time for v^ to start. "t 

The important point about this and similar 
utterances is that the Bolsheviki do mean what 
they say. According to Latzis's own boast: 

"In Petrograd alone as many as five hundred 

•Ibid, p. 58. 
t Ibid, pp. 60 and 61. 

■j^Bed Gazette, editorial article in the issue of August 31, 1918. 
Translation from the Bussian. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 163 

persons were shot as an answer to the shots fired 
at Lenin and Uritsky."* 

Nor is it possible to determine the precise 
number of Soviet victims — of all those who 
have been murdered either in the cellars of the 
Cheka or in the course of open banditism car- 
ried on by Red sailors and other "beauties" of 
the Communist Regime. The number of mar- 
tyrs is unknown. Their names oftentimes have 
not even been recorded by Soviet chanceries. 

In the spring of 1922, a member of British 
Parliament put the question to the Cabinet, 
whether it was true that from the beginning of 
Bolshevist rule up to July 1, 1921, the Soviets 
had executed the following number of people 
belonging to different classes: 

Clergymen 1,215 

Bishops 28 

Professors and school teachers 6,775 

Physicians and their assistants 8,800 

Army and Navy officers 54,650 

Soldiers 260,000 

Policemen of higher ranks 10,500 

Policemen of lower ranks 48,500 

Land owners 12,950 

Belonging to the intellectual class 355,250 

Manual Workers 192,350 

Peasants 815,100 

Total 1,766,118 

• N. Y, Latzis, Popular Synopsis of Two Tears' Activity on the 
Extraordinary Commissions, quoted from Allan J. Carter's article, 
"The Bolshevist Substitute for a Judicial System," in the Illinois 
Law Review, January, 1922. 



i64 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

The answer was that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment had no authentic figures. 

As a matter of fact, the subject is one that 
precludes astronomic accuracy. The bloody 
reality of Red Terror stands out as a frightful 
indictment of Communist rule. The slaughter 
of the Russian Nation has not ceased; it con- 
tinues with uninterrupted ferocity. Lenin and 
Trotzky are butchering their serfs in haste, but 
systematically. The machine of oppression 
crushes its opponents without discrimination 
but also without mercy. 

A few words should be mentioned about the 
Bolshevist judicial institutions, such as Revo- 
lutionary Tribunals and the "People's'' Courts. 
Justice in the most elementary sense of the 
term does not exist in the Marxian State. One 
of the leading Soviet "jurists" frankly ad- 
mitted : 

"The task of Revolutionary Tribunals con- 
sists in passing judgment swiftly and ruthlessly 
on the enemies of the proletarian revolution. 
These courts are one of the arms for the suppres- 
sion of the exploiters and in this sense they are 
just as much weapons of proletarian offence and 
defence as the Red Guard, the Red Army, the 
Extraordinary Commissions."* 

Bolshevist judicial practice is as much of a 
mockery as it is an insult to the conscience 

* See Soviet Eussia, issue of September, 1921, p. 123. Published 
in New York City. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 165 

of the nation. Illiterate judges are turning 
over their decisions like so many pancakes, 
leaving the Soviet citizens in a state of per- 
plexity. At times, court proceedings are con- 
verted in a real "Comedy of Errors," where 
the judge fails to grasp the difference between 
the plaintiff and the defendant, while the liti- 
gants are puzzled over the distinction between 
the judge and the witness. 

The administration of justice in Soviet Rus- 
sia does not differ from other modes of oppres- 
sion, the sole purpose of which is to safeguard 
the proletarian oligarchy. Everything is 
adapted to this end. This is particularly true 
about the Red Army, which grew out of the 
original Red Guard bands and small Commun- 
ist detachments. The scattered Red Guard 
units, however, were later brought under uni- 
form management and centralized command. 
When Trotzky became War Commissar, he 
strove to build up a formidable Red force with 
two objects in mind: First, to use it as a 
weapon for fostering world revolution; and 
second, as a deadly tool against the Russian 
people themselves. 

At an epoch when all civilized nations are 
concerned about the problem of limitation of 
armament, Soviet Russia is feverishly increas- 
ing her standing army, which justly causes 
grave anxiety to her neighboring States. While 
Russian industries are at a standstill, the Soviet 



i66 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

munition plants are working at full speed. 
Rifles and machine guns, which are the basic 
elements of modern military equipment, are 
being turned out at a rate which exceeds the 
pre-war output. Beginning with 1919, approxi- 
mately 1,700,000 rifles were manufactured per 
year; at present their total supply on hand in 
arsenals is not less than 19,500,000. 

Trotzky is continuously agitating in an en- 
deavor to keep the militaristic spirit alive. 
His inflammatory speeches always refer to pre- 
paredness, and ever-increasing armaments are 
urged. By January, 1922, the standing army 
of Red Russia was approximately 700,000. In 
the army ranks, industrial workers represent 
scarcely more than 15 per cent., the rest being 
made up of peasants who are unreservedly 
opposed to the Soviet Regime. Still, espionage 
in the Red Army is so developed that any 
attempt to turn bayonets against the oppressors 
must necessarily encounter great obstacles. 
Every regiment has a Communist group which 
attentively watches the mood and behavior 
both of the officers' corps and the privates. 
The least manifestation of disobeyance leads 
to immediate execution. Soldiers do not dare 
to form counter-revolutionary organizations be- 
cause of the fear that Communist spies might 
get into them. Furthermore, mercenary detach- 
ments composed of Chinese coolies and Lettish 
Communists, together with Jewish Interna- 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 167 

tional battalions, are there to quell every pos- 
sible uprising against the Soviets. Special 
military training is being given to members of 
the Communist Party. In this connection the 
** younger set" of Bolsheviks received the fol- 
lowing instructions from their superiors: 

"Every Communist must learn military science ; 
must learn to 'handle a rifle, a machine gun, and 
a trench gun and drive an armored motor truck 
— in general, learn military science. The Central 
Committee of the party ordered to create from 
all Communists in good health regiments for spe- 
cial service, with regular training in military 
matters, and to organize Communist women to 
study sanitation. * * * The young Commun- 
ist must pay the most serious attention to his 
studies in these regiments. He must know that 
the calling of a Communist imposes on him a 
special obligation to be ready at any moment, on 
the call of his party, to come to the defence of 
the Soviet authority against the attacks of its 
enemies — ^whether it be an internal counter-revo- 
lutionary conspiracy or a danger on external 
fronts. We must say then: 'Young Commun- 
ists, learn military science I ' "* 

Those very people who in 1917 persuaded the 
Russian soldiers to lay down their arms, 
preaching fraternization, and delivering ser- 

* Compare Bed Gazette, September 27, 1919, article entitled "The 
Duty of New Members of the Party," quoted from "Memorandum 
on the Bolshevist or Communist party in Russia and its Relations to 
the Third or Communist International," p. 29. Washington Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1920. 



i68 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

mons on ** eternal peace," are now seeking to 
convert Russia into an armed camp, and propa- 
gate the most despicable type of militarism 
which thoroughly ignores the idea of patriot- 
ism. To-day the sole aim of Trotzky's prepar- 
edness is the preservation at all cost of his 
unscrupulous regime of violence. Things have 
gone so far that universal military drilling has 
been decreed not only for men but women as 
well. Mrs. KoUontay has boasted that begin- 
ning with June, 1920, all girls between the 
ages of sixteen and eighteen have been made 
to drill equally with young men. Those under 
military age are forced to attend special courses 
for physical training and preliminary military 
drill. In Moscow alone, she said, six thousand 
women were drilling in January, 1922.* 

Himgry and wretched as they are, the Rus- 
sian people have no other choice than to sub- 
mit, at least temporarily, to the will of a shame- 
ful clique. Harried by the Cheka, menaced by 
the Red Army, their most sacred beliefs in- 
sulted and debauched, they have to endure the 
yoke. But in their hearts the Holy Image of 
Christ still shines like a ray of hope. 

The late Alexander Block, the Pierrot of 
Russian poetry, who in years gone by composed 
mellifluous sonnets to the ^* Azure Dame," de- 
voted his last poem, "The Twelve," to a deeply 
pathetic portrayal of Russia's present agony. 

* Compare Soviet Bussia, issue of January, 1922, p. 27. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 169 

"The Twelve" is a symbol of the Red Army in 
all its naked ugliness and boundless hooligan- 
ism. In their march forward they tread over 
the strangled body of their Motherland, while 
the starving people lag behind: 

"So they marcli in Sover'ign manner, 
In their rear — a hungry hound, 
Leading — ^with the bloody banner, 

*'From the Bullets' touch proteeted'. 
By the Tempest undetected, 

"In a snow-like gentle pace, 
In a pearl-like whirl of grace, 
"With a few white roses crown 'd—* 
Leading — Jesus Christ is found. *'• 

Red Terror, in its various ramifications, is 
the background of the Russian disaster. Not- 
withstanding its gigantic scale and atrocious 
nature, Bolshevism has failed to extinguish 
completely the flame of life. Human beings, 
labeled as Soviet citizens, still continue, if not 
to live, then at least to vegetate in a state of 
incessant apprehension, their psychology hav- 
ing been reduced to a few primitive longings. 
Among these the persistent craving to eat is 
the propelling force which drives them to pur- 
sue their every-day business, be it theft, or 
speculation, or forced labor In Soviet factories. 

* The Twelve by Alexander Block. Author's translation from the 
Bussian. 



J 70 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

From a narrow biological viewpoint, such a 
pitiful existence might be termed life. Yet in 
a broader sense the life of man cannot be re- 
stricted to mere physiological functioning. At 
the dawn of history, it is true, wild tribes in 
their mode of living did not differ much from 
kindred zoological formations. In higher 
stages of civilization, however, the animal in- 
stinct gradually became subjugated to a long 
range of loftier aspirations, which since then 
have borne a strong influence upon the history 
of mankind. 

In the case of Soviet Russia that part of life 
which lifts man above the ape is non-existent, 
or else it exists on paper only. 

Had the workings of Soviet rule been con- 
fined exclusively to the dissipation of material 
wealth, the defence of Sovietism might not have 
been a task so hopeless; but utter degradation 
has permeated all the manifestations of na- 
tional being. Constructive thought as a guiding 
principle, and a basis for intellectual achieve- 
ment, is killed. 

Charles E. Crane, former U. S. Minister to 
China, who recently visited Soviet Russia, thus 
summarizes his impressions regarding general 
conditions there : 

**Russia," he said, '*• • * is * • • a 
vast prison and the people are living under prison 
conditions * * *. The Terror is present at 
all times and everywhere. The new bourgeoisie 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 171 

and the new aristocracy have stolen an empire 
right out from under the eyes of the whole world, 
and not only have reversed all natural processes 
of evolution, but as regards liberty and progress 
have pushed Russia back to the darkness in which 
she lay before the time of Peter the Great."* 

Every country has lights and shadows of its 
own. But Russia dwells in perpetual mid- 
night. Filthy and diseased, she lies helplessly 
in her rags of poverty. The mass of wreckage 
of that which once was Holy Eussia impedes 
the progress of reconstruction everywhere. 

To fully comprehend this condition, it be- 
comes necessary to examine some of its out- 
standing features. 

Sanitary Conditions 

Probably one of the most horrible aspects of 
Russia's tragic plight is the total ruin of her 
cities. Hitherto flourishing urban communities, 
including both capitals, Petrograd and Moscow, 
now resemble dreary cemeteries. The streets 
which in days past gleamed with smiling 
crowds and happy life, now are found de- 
serted. The stores are closed and their show- 
windows either smashed or boarded up. Here 
and there, one finds wooden houses partly de- 
molished; sidewalks and pavements are in a 

* Compare interview with Charles R. Crane published in the Chi- 
cago Daily News, issue of October 25, 1921. 



172 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

state of decay; street traffic has been aban- 
doned. It is on rare occasions only that a heavy 
truck laden with a score of Red Guards thun- 
ders down a deserted boulevard. The rattling 
noise produced by such a vehicle tends to in- 
tensify the deadly silence reigning all around. 

When the Bolsheviki usurped the power, 
they promptly dissolved all municipal institu- 
tions. In their place various kinds of Soviets 
were set up with ignorant Communist politi- 
cians managing and mismanaging city affairs. 
A few months later urban life at large was 
hopelessly wrecked. The crisis was aggravated 
by the acute shortage of food and fuel. 

Francis McCuUagh who, in 1920, for several 
weeks, was detained in Moscow, gives a glimpse 
of his pleasant experiences there: 

**At first I lived in the railway carriage in which 
I had come, and I found that other people were 
living there also. On these people I managed to 
'sponge,' more or less successfully, but for some 
weeks I could not get anything to eat or drink 
till six o'clock in the evening. What this means I 
leave the reader to imagine. One can live without 
food for a long time if one lives quietly in a warm 
room and drinks plenty of water, but I walked a 
great deal about Moscow in cold weather and with 
the streets knee-deep in snow and slush. Later on, 
when the snow melted, great pools of water made 
some of the principal thoroughfares almost im- 
passable. In some places there were stepping- 
stones, or one could creep along close by the sides 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 173 

of the houses where there was a broken margin 
of dry land about an inch wide ; and it was strange 
to see long queues of people waiting at such 
places till they could negotiate these dangerous 
crossings slowly and in single file. As my own 
pair of boots was worn out, I soon began to suffer 
from 'trench foot,' which I had never known when 
in the trenches. My hair grew long, I ceased to 
shave, I could not even wash every day ; I was only 
able to clean my boots once during the course of 
a month; * * *."* 

This is typical of the conditions prevailing in 
that country, for everybody is dirty, starving 
on Marxian rations, and clothes are worn until 
they hang in tatters. Whatever food abounds, 
is filthy and rotten. There is a long "bag-car- 
rying" experience behind every Soviet menu. 
On this point our English author has this to 
teU: 

"At several places near the Kremlin, women 
sold a sort of rough porridge for one hundred 
roubles a cup — equivalent to £10 in the old cur- 
rency — and I used to stand in the street amid a 
crowd of famished derelicts who looked almost as 
disreputable as myself, eating out of a wooden 
porringer, with the aid of a wooden spoon this 
grateful and comforting food. The porridge was 
kept in a large wooden bucket like what cattle 
are fed out of; and, being carefully covered, it 
was always warm, though there was very little 
nourishment in it.'*t 

* Francis McCullagh, A Prisoner of the Beds, p. 206, Nmr York 
CSty, 1922. 

fUjld., pp. 206 and 207. 



174 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Deplorable as the external appearance of 
Soviet cities is, still worse are the housing 
conditions which the Russians have to endure. 

There is a peculiar institution which suppos- 
edly administers all dwelling-houses; these 
are the notorious ** Beggars' Committees," elec- 
ted from among the inhabitants themselves. 
As a general rule, however, a Communist spy 
always plays the first fiddle in such institutions. 
Instead of taking proper care of the house, he 
exerts his energies to protect the ** Workers' and 
Peasants' State." It is he, in fact, who reports 
to the local Soviet on any ** suspicious indivi- 
dual" residing within the boundaries of his 
jurisdiction. It is he who leads in searches, 
which from time to time are decreed by the 
Cheka. It is finally he who decides upon the 
policies of the ** Beggars' Committees" as a 
whole. 

Owing to the incredible incompetency of the 
Communist officials, and to the general chaos 
reigning throughout the country, fuel, which is 
quite indispensable during the long and cold 
Russian winters, is almost unavailable. Wood- 
yards, where in previous times firewood was 
purchased, have been nationalized. In Petro- 
grad some of the sawmills are engaged exclu- 
sively in the manufacture of coffins, the output 
of which is over 30,000 per month. Yet this 
quantity proves insufficient. Fuel is so scarce 
that wooden houses are razed to the ground and 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 175 

block pavements torn tip and used for heating 
the apartments. 

Likewise barges in which timber was carried 
have been taken to pieces and added to the 
meagre fuel supply. 

The municipal transportation system has 
completely broken down, since all horses were 
requisitioned for food and other purposes. It, 
therefore, became impossible to remove the 
dirt from the streets, and garbage from the 
houses which are being dmnped in vacant 
lots and city squares. 

In December 1919, an amusing convention of 
** Beggars' Committees" deputies was held in 
Petrograd. Questions pertaining to the de- 
plorable condition of the city were discussed. 
It was pointed out that water pipes in nearly 
all houses had frozen and burst and apartments 
had been flooded with sewage. 

Governmental buildings are in no better 
state. Professor Zeidler, an eminent Russian 
surgeon who is in charge of the Eed Cross 
work in Viborg, Finland, some time ago made a 
lengthy report on sanitary conditions in the 
Russian capital. Here is what he says : 

"At No. 11 Chemishoff Street one can visit an 
institution bearing the pretentious title 'Commit- 
tee of Sanitary Welfare of the City of Petrograd. ' 
In this building the central heating is out of com- 
mission, despite every endeavor to put it in order, 
and notwithstanding all the means and knowledge 



176 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

at the disposal of the municipal administration. 
Only a few rooms are heated with small iron 
stoves, the pipes of which are stuck out through 
the windows. In the same institution one can no- 
tice that water fixtures and toilets are completely 
out of repair."* 

Similar is the condition in schools and other 
educational centers managed by the Bolsheviki. 

"Generally speaking," says Dr. N. N., one of 
Professor Zeidler^s informants, **the whole school 
life has been turned into a continuous caricature. 
If one attempts to visit a school at nine a. m., it 
might be observed that owing to the absence of 
lights, it is x>ossible to walk through the rooms 
only by groping along. In the classes one can see 
small shadows grouped around one big shadow; 
those are the children wrapped up in their winter 
clothes and their teacher also bundled up from 
head to foot to protect herself from the cold, per- 
forming her pedagogical duties." 

Much worse, if possible, is the condition m 
hospitals and other medical institutions. In 
this connection Professor Zeidler gives heart- 
breaking details. Referring to one of the ty- 
phus epidemics in Petrograd, he says: 

** Without exaggeration, it can be asserted that 
a majority of the sick with spotted or intermit- 
tent typhus were taken into the ward covered with 
lice. They infected the others and spread the 

* See Prof. Zeidler 's report on Sanitary Conditions in Petrograd. 
iViborg, 1920. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 177 

disease amongst the medical personnel and their 
assistants. Hospital inventories are in a chaotic 
state. Patients steal night clothes, bed linen and 
blankets; the belongings of the patients are like- 
wise stolen from lockers, while the nurses steal 
firewood and cany it to their homes. * * • 
Medical supplies are very scarce, and there is 
a complete absence of some of the most common 
and indispensable remedies. Bicarbonate of soda 
is not available, nor is there any castor oil, pyrami- 
don, phenacetin, etc., etc. Quinine and camphor 
oil are given in minimum doses. * * * Opera- 
tions are performed under the most difficult con- 
ditions, the temperature in the operating-rooms 
varying from 3 to 6 degrees R. The patients 
freeze and the hands of the surgeon freeze too. 
Almost all operations are followed by complica- 
tions, such as pneumonia and ulcers. Water pipes 
have burst and toilets are out of order. * • * 
Laundries and fumigating plants yield very in- 
efficient work, partly due to the destruction of 
the pipes, and partly to the lack of fuel. In the 
morgues * * * an enormous number of corpses 
are piled up, and there are no coffins to bury 
them in. * * * Physicians are overworked 
and exhausted in the extreme. Every doctor has 
from one hundred and fifty to two hundred pa- 
tients to attend. * * » Scientific life hafi 
stopped entirely." 

All this relates to Petrograd, but tHe same 
conditions are found everywhere. An Amer- 
ican physician, Dr. Weston B. Estes, who in 
1921 was kept an inmate in one of the Soviet 
prisons at Moscow, and later transferred to a 
hospital in the same city, says the following: 



178 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

**The surgeon in charge of the barracks where 
I was an inmate, was a very hard-working, able 
man. The operations were confined largely to 
patients suffering from hernia, appendicitis and 
gun-shot wounds. * * » Scarcely ever was a 
clean operation carried out without infection, ex- 
cept in isolated cases where the liberal use of 
bribe money obtained better work from the at- 
tendants. In connection with the operating room 
there was only one of the five sterilizers in order 
when I was there. Consequently the field of work 
was distinctly limited, especially in view of the 
fact that the chief surgeon had' no assistant. 
* * * Many men died in the ward. They 
never received any helpful attention. Never once 
did I see a laboratory diagnosis attempted. In 
fact, there was no laboratory. If there was strych- 
nine in the hospital I never saw it, and I do not 
believe there was any. * * * The deaths in 
the ward were harrowing because of the lack of 
opiates and anodynes, so relief from pain was 
almost impossible. Men died like sheep, with no 
more self-consciousness than an animal would 
have. In fact, animals in America are better 
treated than men in Soviet Russian hospitals and 
in prisons."* 

Life in Petrograd apartment houses has be- 
come a real torture. Professor Zeidler's re- 
port reveals the following details: 

**AU the filth from the pipes has risen to the 
surface, while the tenants in their apartments 

* Address delivered by Dr. Weston B. Estes before the members 
of the Associated Physicians of Long Island, "Prison and Hospital 
Ufa in Soviet Eui»a," p. 10, New York City, 1922. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 179 

heap up dirt to the last degree. Rubbish and 
waste water are thrown out anywhere: on stair- 
cases, in yards, and even through the windows into 
the streets. None of this is being removed. Dirt 
accumulates, converting the houses into rubbish 
piles. In many apartments the temperature is 
below zero. The inhabitants no longer undress; 
they keep on their fur coats. * * * They 
sleep with their clothes on covered up with nu- 
merous sweaters and scarfs. They do not wash 
for several months, nor do they change their . 
underwear; naturally, they become infected with 
lice. The slightest illness leads to most serious 
complications. As a result of hunger and cold, in 
the skin on the hands and feet, especially among 
elderly men and children, there appear peculiar 
knots, smaller or larger in size, which have a 
tendency of being converted into ulcers; these 
practically cannot be healed." 

In some of the big apartment houses in both 
Petrograd and other cities, the tenants throw 
out their dirt onto the lower floors of the 
buildings. Gradually these floors become un- 
inhabitable; then the tenants move to the next 
floor above, until finally the whole house be- 
comes a horrible depository of human refuse. 
Such houses are thereafter abandoned. They 
stand out as monuments of the dirty Bolshevist 
rule itself. 

No wonder that under these circumstances 
epidemics of all kinds ravage Soviet Russia. In 
1920-1921 spotted typhus killed more people than 
the Chekas did. In 1922 Asiatic cholera broke 



i8o THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

out not only in the famine stricken districts, 
but also in the Northwestern parts of Russia. 
The sick were doomed since there was no medi- 
cal help, especially in rural districts. 

There has been a staggering decline in the 
urban population. In pre-war times there were 
about two million inhabitants in Petrograd. In 
January, 1921, according to the Bolshevist 
press itself, its population was 706,800. This 
was a decrease of 71 per cent. The census of 
Moscow shows a decrease of 50 per cent, since 
1917, notwithstanding the fact that all gov- 
ernmental institutions were removed from Pet- 
rograd to Moscow. Odessa which before the 
war had a population of over one million, at 
present has not more than 400,000. Equally 
tragic is the situation in Kiev, Kharkov, Kazan 
and other principal cities. 

The average mortality in Petrograd in 1911 
was 21.5 per one thousand, while in 1919 it 
was 74.9. In 1921 conditions had grown still 
worse. The birth-rate in Petrograd for 1911 
was 29.4 per one thousand, dropping to 13 by 
1920. 

According to Professor Shcherbina, who re- 
fers to six districts: Penza, Tamboff, Orel, 
Kursk, Chernigoff and Kharkov, out of the 
total number of newborn in 1920 ninety per 
cent, died, whilst five per cent, were found to 
be affected with rachitis. Out of the 1,200 
foundlings registered in the Samara nurseries 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL i8l 

in 1920, seventy-two per cent, died of under- 
nourishment, and twenty-five per cent, of 
syphilis.^ 

Disregarding all these facts, Semashko, the 
Bolshevist Commissar of Public Health, hypo- 
critically stated: 

^'The Workers' and Peasants' State attaches the 
greatest importance to the physical welfare of the 
children, realizing that the young Communists 
are the foundation of future Socialistic Russia; 
for it is only a generation in fine mental and 
physical condition that wiU prove capable of con- 
solidating the achievements of the great Russian 
Social Revolution, leading the country to the ful- 
fillment of its final aim, that is, the establishment 
of a Communist Regime, "t 

How can such utterances be taken seriously? 
What value is there in various Communist 
posters bearing camouflage inscriptions: 

"Soviet Russia takes care of her children/* 

Or, 

"The Socialist State protects the mother and 
nourishes the child," 

and so on. Propaganda of this nature does 
not help. Sanitary conditions remain appall- 

• Professor Shcherbina, Op. Cit., p. 103. 

t Communist International No. 9, March, 1920, p. 13.30. Published 
in Petrograd and Moscow. Translation from the Russian. 



i82 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

ing. It is a state of wholesale putrefaction, it 
is the rapid decadence of a great nation. 

Education 

There has been a big boom in liberal quar- 
ters about the ** educational achievements" of 
Soviet Russia. Until recently, it has been 
maintained that the conspicuous ^* revolt 
against illiteracy," led by no one else than the 
illiterate Commissars themselves, should be 
taken seriously. A comparison was always 
drawn between the *' cruel" Czarist regime, 
when the Government was said to have exerted 
every effort to suppress education, and the 
benevolent Soviet rule which is purported to 
be engaged in enlightening the masses, making 
science popular and accessible to all. This 
was a clever way to present the case. 

Yet the fact was concealed that in pre- 
war times, particularly during the decade pre- 
ceding the World War, tremendous progress 
was made along educational lines. The labors 
of the Imperial Government, the Zemstvos, 
and the municipal institutions, combined with 
private initiative, succeeded in eliminating the 
disease of illiteracy in urban districts. A great 
portion of rural Russia had been also covered 
with a network of primary schools. Long 
before the Bolshevist coup d'etat, universal edu- 
cation for the peasants' children had been put 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 183 

into effect in the Little Russian districts. An- 
other fact is usually forgotten or consciously 
ignored by Soviet sympathizers, namely, that 
Petrograd alone, in 1914, had twenty-five uni- 
versities and colleges with a total number of 
students not less than 30,000 belonging to dif- 
ferent strata of society. 

Moscow was the second great educational 
center, with its world-famous University and 
the unique Institution of Eastern Languages. 

The progress of elementary education met 
with almost insurmountable obstacles in the 
northern part of the Empire because of its 
widely scattered population. On the contrary, 
in the central, southern and western parts of 
European Russia, there were but few among the 
younger generation who did not know how to 
read and write. In another twenty-five years 
illiteracy in Russia probal^ly would have be- 
come a condition of the past. 

After the November revolution of 1917, the 
Soviets started their educational program with 
the destruction of all educational institutions 
on the ground that they were offshoots of the 
bourgeois state, and consequently serving capi- 
talistic ends. 

Education, like everything else, overnight 
was declared the monopoly of the Communist 
State. In lieu of the model colleges then in 
existence, nonsensical institutions in the shape 
of "Karl Marx Universities" have been estab- 



i84 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

lished, in which the educational program is 
limited to Communist propaganda, and inciting 
class hatred under the cloak of science. 

The majority of the original pedagogical 
personnel fled before the monster of Red Ter- 
ror. Professors who were unable to make 
their escape are now living through a period 
of apathy, deprived of all scientific means, such 
as foreign literature, laboratory instruments, 
every kind of chemical supplies, and sometimes 
even paper, pencils and ink. Lunacharsky, 
who is reputed to be the great educational 
genius, confessed in an interview with W. 
MacLane, that public education in the domain 
of Lenin has a few shortcomings of its own: 

*'We are terribly short of appliances for physi- 
cal culture and for the ordinary educational work. 
We can only supply one pen point for every one 
hundred and fifty children, one pencil for the 
same number, one exercise book for every two 
pupils. The situation is really desperate."* 

Old text-books were, of course, abolished by 
the Bolsheviki, who decided to found the teach- 
ing system along entirely new, proletarian 
principles. 

Much in the same way that destruction was 
easy to "achieve" in Russian economics, the 
annihilation of the firmly established eduea- 

* See Soviet Bussia, issue of January 1, 1921, p. 14. Article en- 
titled, "The Educational Work of Soviet Eusaia." 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 185 

tional methods was found a trifling task. For 
what msdom was needed to pile up old manuals 
and "bourgeois" manuscripts, turning them 
into a splendid auto-da-fcf The constructive 
phase, however, proved a task immensely more 
difficult* 

To begin with, the whole educational pro- 
gram had to be laid out on a strictly sectarian 
Marxian basis. The Soviet Commission which 
was entrusted with the general school re- 
form, in its decree of December 8, 1920, stated : 

"In a society divided into classes there can be 
no freedom or neutrality in science. The scien- 
tific, artistic and philosophic thought reflects the 
psychology of the struggling classes. Russia, hav- 
ing thrown off the bourgeoisie, is now living 
through a transition period, during which the 
struggle against the remnants of the past must 
continue. This struggle requires the utmost effort 
on the part of the people. Under these circum- 
stances the Soviet Government would have com- 
mitted suicide had it proclaimed freedom of scien- 
tific teaching and research. The Soviet power 
during its present phase of material and spiritual 
development is unable to grant everybody the 
right to teach anywhere subjects in whatever way 
one might choose. On the contrary, having pro- 
claimed the dictatorship of the proletariat in po- 
litical and economic fields, the Soviet authority 
must in equal manner frankly declare that this 
dictatorship also applies to science." 

The principles as set forth by the Commis- 



i86 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

sion were literally followed out by Lunachar- 
sky. At present in Soviet Russia there are no 
private schools, for both teachers and pupils 
were Sovietised. 

Whilst nominally on paper there may be 
more school buildings than in the Russia of 
the past, still the effect of Communist edu- 
cational policies is disastrous. 

School life is utterly vulgarized. Co-educa- 
tion, which is so ardently advocated by Luna- 
charsky and Mrs. Kollontay, has ruined disci- 
pline and undermined morality. Venereal dis- 
eases are spreading among school children to 
an alarming extent. Undoubtedly, this is 
largely due to the fact that Communist women 
of Kollontay 's type are daily preaching to the 
young principles of freedom of relationship 
between the sexes. Special courses ''for sexual 
enlightenment'' have been established in Soviet 
schools. This delicate subject is handled by the 
Women's Sections of the Communist Party. 

Mrs. Kollontay, addressing the Third Con- 
gress of Women's Sections of the Communist 
Party, made this comment: 

"The "Women's sections in the provinces also 
must enter into contact with the national edu- 
cators, in order to push into the foreground the 
question of proper provision for sexual enlighten- 
ment in the schools. In addition, a number of 
conversations and lessons must be introduced, of 
social, scientific or scientific-hygienic character, 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 187 

as to questions of marriage, the family, the history 
of the forms of the relationship between the sexes, 
the dependence of these forms, and of sexual mor- 
ality itself, on purely economic, material causes."* 

In order to realize the grave danger of this 
obnoxious project, it must be borne in mind 
that the pedagogical staff under the Sov- 
iets has become morally crippled. Many teach- 
ers have secured their appointments owing ex- 
clusively to their membership in the Commun- 
ist Party. This body, however, is composed of 
social rubbish which has risen to the surface of 
political life as a result of the general revolu- 
tionary upheaval. In the hands of these de- 
graded educators the ** sexual enlightenment" 
of Juvenile Russia has been placed. 

Furthermore, the old-fashioned type of the 
experienced teacher has entirely vanished. 
This has been specifically admitted in the Sov- 
iet press. Thus the Red Gazette in its issue of 
December 1, 1920, printed a statement which 
ought to be learned by heart by all admirers of 
the Soviet experiment: 

"There are no teachers. The ranks of the old 
teachers have surprisingly thinned, whilst there 
are few new teachers. There is a regular hunt for 
them. They are enticed from other schools. In 
one place, dinner without producing a food card 
is promised; in another, full board is the in- 

* Soviet Eussia, issue of September, 1921, p. 120. Alexandra 
Kollontay's article entitled "The Fight Against Prostitution." 



i88 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

ducement. * * * But after awhile, waving 
all considerations aside, people take the first 
teacher whom they come across. Thus, an in- 
structor in French, gives lessons in mathematics; 
or a teacher in literature — in natural history. The 
teachers' problem indeed is a grave one. "We must 
confess that the schools have really become like 
almshouses. They are places for casual and 
played-out people." 

Because of the alarming deficiency in tlie 
teachers' personnel, many of the high schools 
have been closed. Lunacharsky, in one of his re- 
ports to the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee, revealed the fact that only seven to 
eight per cent, of all the children who were to 
attend these schools were actually given the op- 
portunity to receive educational instruction. 
What is the fate of the remaining ninety-two 
per cent.? 

The slogan ** Democratize the School" af- 
fected college life in a most harmful way. It 
will be recalled that in 1918 Lunacharsky came 
out with his insensate decree, according to 
which ''every person, regardless of citizenship 
and sex, who has attained the age of sixteen, 
shall have the right to enroll as a student in 
any educational institution, without producing 
a diploma or certificate of graduation from a 
high school or any other school." 

The immediate effect of this measure was 
that out of the five thousand who matriculated 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 189 

in the Moscow University, 'Hhe majority were 
found illiterate in the rudimentary sense of 
the term/"* 

It can be easily imagined what educational 
standard must have been maintained to match 
the intellectual level of such ' * students. ' ' Would 
not their proper place have been in a kinder- 
garten 9 

In their attempt to pollute everything that 
has the appearance of decency, the Commun- 
ists have not only ruined the schools, but in an 
equal manner they have ruined the Russian lan- 
guage, the precious heritage of Russia's whole 
history. Referring to its deep and harmonious 
nature, Turgenev, the great Russian novelist, 
spoke thus: 

"In days of doubt, in days of dreary misgiv- 
ings on my country's fate, thou alone art my stay 
and hope; 0, mighty, true, free Russian speech! 
If it were not for thee, how should I not despair, 
seeing all that is at home ? But who can think that 
such a tongue is not the gift of a great people?" 

After five years of Soviet misrule, the Rus- 
sian language has been partly converted into a 
filthy jargon of abbreviated words and cut-in- 
half sentences. People who were born and 
brought up in Russia, when they pick up a 
Bolshevist newspaper, have difficulty in de- 
ciphering the Communist argo which resem- 

*See Izvestia, No. 15, of the Central Executive Committee for 
1919. 



I90 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

bles thieves' Latin. The dignified rhjrfchm 
of classical Russian is dead. Now the of- 
ficial language is a concoction of German, Yid- 
dish and Latin words, with an admixture of 
the old Russian. It is a peculiar kind of Esper- 
anto, through the medium of which a Bill Hay- 
wood makes himself understood when address- 
ing a Bela Kuhn, nee Cohen, of Hungary, or a 
Katayama from Japan. To make the destruc- 
tion of the Russian tongue complete, the Com- 
munists introduced a jazz spelling which 
spelling reform enthusiasts call "Scientific 
Phonetic Spelling." The result is that the 
refined beauty of the Russian printed speech 
has been eliminated. Many words are quite 
senseless since their ''simplified" spelling can 
have many meanings at one and the same time. 
To make this point comprehensible to an Eng- 
lish-speaking reader, it may be of interest to 
reproduce verbatim a few lines from an article 
under the caption, "Aunt Julia Says": 

"That woz a weiz gie. wozn' it? — huu sed 
'Foarmativ eksersiez ov fakulti aloan iz the soars 
ov awl heuman enjoiment.' That iz whie children 
halt dishwoshing and skuul and dusting; thai 
kahn't see a bit ov eus in it; and that iz whie 
thai will work twies and three timez az hahrd at 
sumtthing that eksersiezez their injeneuiti and 
muslz foar it deevlups them." 

This is the way in which the Soviets are en- 
lightening the Russian people. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 191 
Aet 

What has happened to Russia's art? On 
this topic, too, insidious propaganda has been 
on foot ever since Trotzky ascended the Com- 
munist throne. Of course, it was impossible for 
his Socialist adherents abroad not to concede 
that under the Imperial regime Russian 
thought created a world of art that is immortal. 
Consequently, it would have been absurd to 
start out with the premise ** denying" the Rus- 
sian theatre, or denouncing Tolstoy in litera- 
ure and Tchaikowsky in music. Another fact 
which had to be admitted was the panic-flight 
of Russian artists out of Soviet Russia. Only 
those remained there who were unable to make 
their escape. For a while, the law of inertia 
enabled some of them to continue their artistic 
occupations. Gradually, however, the great 
aesthetic assets of Russian culture became ex- 
hausted, while the ugly features of the Marx- 
ian regime supplied no incentive for further 
creative efforts. The old masters who were 
forced to stay there, in tlie realm of Hunger 
and Death, slowly used up their impaired ener- 
gies, and now they drag out a weary existence 
under a gang which does not discriminate be- 
tween a pound of nails and a painting of Mur- 
illo. A hint of what the artists' life in Soviet 
Russia is like was furnished by H. G. Wells 
who, during his short sojourn in Petrograd, 



192 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

met Glazounov, one of the foremost Russian 
composers : 

"All musical people in England," says Wells, 
**know the work of Glazounov; he has conducted 
concerts in London and is an honorary doctor both 
of Oxford and Cambridge. I was very deeply 
touched by my meeting with him. He used to be 
a very big florid man, but now he is pallid and 
very much fallen away, so that his clothes hang 
loosely on him. * * * He told me he still com- 
posed, but that his stock of music paper was almost 
exhausted. 'Then there will be no more.' I said 
there would be much more, and that soon. He 
doubted it. He spoke of London and Oxford ; I 
could see that he was consumed by an almost in- 
tolerable longing for some great city full of 
life, a city with abundance, with pleasant crowds, 
a city that would give him still audiences in warm, 
brightly-lit places."* 

This is the death agony of a great artist. 
And how many of these martyrs have passed 
away! Lord Byron's tribute: 

"There is a mourner over the humblest grave/' 

cannot be paid to them. Forgotten, they have 
left this world of sorrow. 

How many more among them have sunk to 
the lowest depths of abject pauperism, with the 
last spark of artistic flame extinguished! The 
great wreck that ruined Russia could not have 
left intact the intellectual life of the old order. 
Nationalized artists and Sovietized art do not 

* H. G. Wells, Bussia in the Shadows, p. 53, New York, 1921. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 193 

elevate the people to the snowy heights of har- 
mony and perfection. Quite the reverse: art 
itself is dragged down to the level of self -con- 
ceited mediocrit}^ 

Much has been rumored about Shakespear- 
ian plays being produced in Soviet theatres; 
still there is an irreconcilable contradiction in 
this antithesis: There— a Prince Hamlet, a 
King Lear, a Julius Caesar, all those royal 
figures of the past, with the majestic greatness 
of their passions, — and here, the pigmy Soviet 
rulers of the present, with their petty greed, 
their little envies of everj'-thing that is superb 
and great. Proletarian audiences made up of 
Eed soldiers and unruly sailors may listen 
to a performance of Griboyedov's '*Woe From 
Wit," but certainly they do not appreciate the 
delicate weaving of rhymes where the brilliant 
French vocabulary intermingles with the Clas- 
sic Russian, where every sound has its precise 
meaning, every word its peculiar shade of 
thought. Formerly there was the most ap- 
preciative response to all this on the part of 
the Russian public; but now it is gone. As 
Captain Francis McCullagh remarked: 

"Some provincial delegates with. whom. I sat 
during the progress of a delicate artistic operetta, 
reminded me of cows looking at a railway train."* 

It is only the refined training of the old Rus- 
sian actors that still enables them to act before 

* Op. Cit., p. 218. 



194 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

such audiences and such spectators. Threat- 
ened by Communist reprisals, they still act, but 
the very spirit of creation has faded away. No 
longer does there exist that charming intimacy 
of olden times, that atmosphere of sympathetic 
understanding between the achievements on the 
stage and the vibrating pulses across the foot- 
lights. 

The new generation of Soviet artists is 
tainted with hooliganism. Vulgar is Com- 
munist reality, and vulgar is their work. They 
have no use for the sublime masterpieces of the 
past in which divine inspiration blended with 
religious zeal. Of what value to them is the 
whole school of Renaissance with Christ and 
the Madonna the guiding motives of creation? 
What ties them to traditions of the old Russian 
school with its magnificent Byzantine Icono- 
graphy? What charm is there for a true-bred 
Communist versifier in the melodies of Push- 
kin and Fet whose hearts and souls were 
boundlessly devoted to old Russia, with her 
beauty and splendor, her palaces and cathe- 
drals, her fountains and dreamy parks? To- 
day the most prominent Bolshevist **poet," 
Serge Yessenin, writes a volume. The Confes- 
sion of a Hooligan, (Moscow, 1921), in which 
he says: 

"I am a robber and a serf, 
Horse-stealer's blood there is in me." 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 195 
In another place: 

"On purpose I march with my hair uncombed, 
With a head that resembles a kerosene lamp." 

There is a still better couplet in which the dig- 
nified desire is expressed — 

*' To-day I feel awfully eager 
To spit at the moon through my window." 

Some of his sonnets are so obscene they are 
unfit for translation. 

The destructive spirit of Communism is 
graphically expressed in the following five lines 
taken from one of Mayakovsky's "poems": 

"If you find a White Guardist 
Pin him to the wall! 
Has been Raphael forgotten? 
The time is ripe for bullets 
To stick in the museum's walls." 

Sometimes poetry is used as a means to in- 
cite class hatred. Then chef d'ceuvres of this 
kind are produced: 

"We will not spare the enemies of labor, 
Make a list of every one of them; 
We shall exterminate the most dangerous, 
They have lived long enough in comfort. 



196 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

"All the handmaids of capitalism, 

"We shall take as hostages, 

We shall not forgive them, 

But we shall crush them like dogs. 
And throw them into the rubbish ditch."* 

In 1922 the Bolsheviki themselves inadver- 
tently admitted the absurdity of proletarian 
** aesthetics" when they closed the Imperial 
Academy of Arts in Petrograd following an 
exhibition held there by a group of **Neo- 
Cubists," ''Imaginists/' and **Cubo-Impres- 
sionists." One of the exhibits produced by 
these insane fanatics represented a board to 
which a round plate was tied. Below the plate 
there was a braid of woman's hair hanging. 
That was all.f 

Art is dead. 

Women in Soviet Russia 
In civilized society for centuries the family 
has been the firm foundation of civil order. 
This assertion may be commonplace: neverthe- 
less it is one of paramount importance. 

Karl Marx was the first to openly assail the 
family and advocate its abolition. In his Com- 
munist Manifesto he puts it in these terms : 

"Abolition of the family! Even the most radi- 
cal flare up at this infamous proposal of the Com- 

*Eed Gazette, September 23, 1919, Petrograd. Translation from 
the Russian. 

fSee The Last News, Russian daily published in Reval, issue of 
June 2, 1922, No. 124. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 197 

munists. On what foundation is tlie present fam- 
ily, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on 
private gain. In its completely developed form 
this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. 
But this state of things finds its complement in 
the practical absence of the family among the pro- 
letarians, and in public prostitution."* 

Accordingly, one of the first measures adop- 
ted by the Bolshevik! was the abolition of the 
bourgeois family. This they have attained by 
so facilitating the divorce procedure that in 
practice it has become a matter of mere form- 
ality, since on the strength of Section 1 of the 
Divorce Law: 

** Marriage is annulled by petition of both par- 
ties or even one of them." 

The only technicality required by this decree is 
that the judge shall ascertain whether the peti- 
tion comes from the party who wishes to be 
divorced. Section 6 reads: 

* * Having convinced himself that the petition for 
the annulment of the marriage really comes from 
both parties, or from one of them, the judge per- 
sonally and singly renders the decision of the an- 
nulment of the marriage and issues a certificate 
thereto to the parties * * *." 

It is also the judge who ''personally and 
singly" determines with which of the parents 

* Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, p. 36. 



198 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

their minor children shall live, and who of the 
two shall bear the expense of the maintenance 
and education of the children. 

No legal grounds for divorce are required 
by the decree of December 18, 1917, which es- 
tablished this classically simple procedure. Of 
course, if marriage is no longer considered a 
lasting and mutual obligation between husband 
and wife, and if divorce is granted as easily as 
water runs down hill, then family ties are so 
loosened that marriage ceases to be a basic in- 
stitution, becoming a farce which can be ended 
any time at the discretion of either party or 
both. 

Such is the legal situation. In addition, the 
Bolshevist press — and this is the only press 
that exists in Soviet Russia — has been carrying 
on virulent propaganda against what is termed 
the reactionary institution of the bourgeois 
family. The very conception of domestic life 
is being daily attacked, while in its place Com- 
munist modes of living are recommended. In 
relation thereto the following theses on the 
feminist movement, urged upon womanhood by 
the Second Congress of the Third Internation- 
ale, are to be borne in mind: 



* ' Endeavors must be made to induce the house- 
wife of the traditional family (the most backward, 
ugly, and undeveloped form of economic me- 
diaevalism) to adopt collectivism, thus convert- 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 199 

ing her from a serf into a free worker in a large 
Communal household. 

"Endeavors must be made to establish model 
Communal institutions which shall take charge 
of the domestic problems which hitherto have been 
the task of the women belonging to the former 
bourgeois family, and which in every way shall 
facilitate their maternal duties. 

"It is necessary to explain to the women that 
the individual household in its original form bears 
a backward character and causes superfluous waste 
of time, labor and money; that capitalism uses 
individual households as a means of maintaining 
for the husband a low level of wages, relying upon 
the free housework of his wife, and in order to 
keep his wife in a state of mental and political 
baekwardnass, excluding her from social life."* 

The insidious meaning of these pia desideria 
amounts to the following: 

1. The family in its present privacy must be 
abolished. 

2. The touch of loveliness and intimacy that is 
conveyed to family life through the care of 
the wife must be abolished, and mechanical 
forms of Communal life substituted therefor, 

3. The mother must be relieved of the care of 
her children, and they be entrusted to the 
eare of "model" institutions administrated by 
special appointees. 

Mrs. Kollontay puts this in energetic terms 
when she screams from her pulpit: 

* See The Communist Internationale, No. 15, pp. 3464-3467, Petro- 
grad, December 20, 1920. Translation from the Eusaian. 



200 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

"Down with the unproductive labor in do- 
mestic life, with the exploitation of children in 
the home!"* 

The woman's task must be made quite easy. 
It is a question of Communist chivalry. Now, 
therefore, Soviet legislators enact a law the 
first article of which reads: 

** Artificial interruption of pregnancy is hereby 
permitted provided it is performed in Soviet 
hospitals where the minimum of injury is as- 
sured. ' 't 

Everything is allowed and a real bacchanalia 
inaugurated in the range of sexual relations. 

That the Communists are actually struggling 
against the very principle of the family is best 
demonstrated by Mrs. Kollontay's own state- 
ment. Addressing the Third Congress of 
Women's Sections of the Communist Party, 
she said: 

"We are ready to renounce all the accustomed 
forms of life, ready to hail the revolution in 
every field, and yet we are afraid to touch the 
family ! Only do not touch the marriage system ! 
* * * It is necessary to declare the truth 
outright: The old form of the family is passing 
away. The Communist society has no use for 
it * * *."$ 

* Mrs. Kollontay's address is published in full in Soviet Russia, 
issues of August and September, 1921. 

f See Izvestia of the All-Russian Central Executive Conunittee, 
No. 259, November 18, 1920. 

% Mrs. Kollantay 's address published in Soviet Eussia, issue of 
September, 1921, p. 121. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 201 

In the concluding paragraph of her speech 
she reiterated the same thought by saying: 

"Comrades! Our task is to destroy the roots 
that nourish prostitution. Our task is to wage 
relentless warfare on the vestiges of individual- 
ism, which has hitherto been the moral basis of 
marriage. Our task is to revolutionize thought in 
the field of marriage relations and to dear the 
way for a new, healthy, conjugal morality that 
shall correspond with the interests of the work- 
ers' commonwealth. * * * Comrades! In the 
place of the family which is passing away, the 
family of the past, there is already arising, solidi- 
fying, and spreading, the new family — the great 
workers' family of the victorious world prole- 
tariat."* 

According to Soviet usage, a bombastic pas- 
sage of this kind is followed by singing the 
anthem of the Third Internationale. One mon- 
strous project after another is being handed 
out as liberally as Soviet rubles. In this sense 
Lenin's proposition to electrify Russia is just 
as prodigious as Kollontay's plan to national- 
ize family life at large. 

However, putting aside Kollontay's revolu- 
tionary phraseology, the following must be ob- 
served : 

In Soviet Russia private property has been 
done away with; the last layers of bourgeois 

*Mrs. Kollontay's address published in Soviet Bussia, issue of 
September, 1921, p. 121. 



202 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

strata have been torn out; Communism, in its 
most extreme manifestations, is flourishing. 
But what about prostitution which, according 
to Marx — the Great Mogul of Socialism — is the 
reverse side of the bourgeois family medal? 
Has it been eliminated? — Were one to quote 
data furnished by opponents to the Soviet 
regime, volumes could be produced on this sub- 
ject ; it would be possible to prove that in Marxia 
prostitution is freely practiced, having become 
the prevailing form of relations between the 
sexes. But even the Communist writers are 
quite outspoken on the question. Mrs. KoUon- 
tay narrates as follows: 

"We know that prostitution is an evil; we even 
understand that now, in this extremely difficult 
transition period, prostitution is assuming large 
and intolerably extensive proportions, but we sim- 
ply wave it aside, we are silent on this phenome- 
non, partly through a remnant of hypocrisy that 
is stUl with us as the heritage of the bourgeois 
view of life, partly through inability to properly 
grasp and become conscious of the damage which 
a widely developed prostitution is inflicting upon 
the working society."* 

Perhaps it is only the wicked remnants of 
the bourgeoisie who are engaged in this pro- 
fession? — Alas! Even that is denied by Mrs. 
Kollontay : 

•Mrs. Kollontay 'b address, Soviet Bussia, August, 1921, p. 42. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 203 

"Prostitution," she says, "is practiced by the 
Soviet office employees, in order to obtain, by the 
sale of their caresses, boots that go up to the knee; 
prostitution is resorted to by mothers of families, 
working women, peasant women, who are out 
after flour for their children and sell their bodies 
to the manager of the rations division in order to 
obtain from him a full bag of the precious flour. 
Sometimes the girls in the offices associate with 
their male superiors not for manifestly material 
gain, for rations, shoes, etc., but in the hope of ad- 
vancement in office. And there is an additional 
form of prostitution- — 'careerist prostitution' — 
which is also based in the last analysis, however, 
on material calculations.*'* 

In truth, the author immediately admits : 

"The freedom of relations between the sexes 
does not contradict the ideology of Communism. 
The interests of the commonwealth of the workers 
are not in any way disturbed by the fact that mar- 
riage is of a short or prolonged duration, whether 
its basis is love, passion, or even a transitory 
physical attraction. ' '* 

Nevertheless, the fact that prostitution is 
assuming colossal proportion in Soviet Russia 
seems to worry Mrs. KoUontay. In her fear, 
however, moral considerations play no part 
whatsoever, for she makes the startling asser- 
tion: 

"From the standpoint of the worker's collec- 
tive, a woman is to be condemned, not for selling 

* Mrs. Kollontay 's address, Soviet Russia, September, 1921, p. 119. 



204 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

her body, but for the fact that, just like a legally 
married idle woman, she does no useful work for 
the collective."* 

SHe argues further: 

"How are we to consider the professional pros- 
titute from the standpoint of the interests of 
national economy ? Only as a deserter from work. 
In this sense we may mercilessly condemn pros- 
titution."! 

Communist ideology is fully expressed in 
these quotations from Karl Marx, ^^The Com- 
munist Internatimiale'^ and Mrs. Kollontay, 
*'The Little Grandmother of Communism." 
The passages referred to are useful, for there 
are many women, worthy women too, who, 
without any idea of what Communism is or 
what it stands for, merely because they are 
emotional, wish to put themselves *'on record" 
as being ** certainly in sympathy with the Sov- 
iet form of government." 

Bolshevism and Christianity 

Quoting Karl Marx, the Bolsheviki inscribed 
on the wall of one of the Moscow churches: 

^'Religion is the opium of the people.** 

* Tbid, p. 46. 
t Ibid, p. 45. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 205 

From the early days of their reign, the Com- 
munists have manifested a distinctly hostile 
attitude towards the Christian Church in gen- 
eral, and the Russian Church in particular; in 
addition, they have treated the clergy, and es- 
pecially Russian priests, with the utmost 
cruelty. 

Soviet tactics as regards the Church are 
twofold: First, direct aggression; and second, 
the gradual undermining through propaganda 
of all religious devotion. 

From the dawn of their history, the Ortho- 
dox Church has exercised a steady and benevo- 
lent influence on the life of the Russian people. 
Religion has always been a guiding principle. 
During the two and a half centuries under 
the Mongol yoke, the monasteries stood on 
watch over the educational work, and it was 
in them that all historical records were kept. 
In the seventeenth century, after the last Czar 
of the Rurik Dynasty had passed away, when 
the country was brought to a state of civil war, 
it was the Church that saved the unity of the 
nation. In the popular mind the Church has 
always been associated with the conception of 
the State itself, the two forming a harmonious 
ideal of divine authority and civil order. The 
names of such historical figures as Saints Serge 
Radonejsky, Theodosy Pechersky, Nil Sorsky 
and Patriarch Hermogen are deeply rooted in 
the hearts of the people. Not only have these 



2o6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

men attained moral perfection in private life, 
but also they have shown deep wisdom and con- 
structive statesmanship at the most crucial mo- 
ments of Russia's history. Through centuries 
the Russian prikhod (parish), with priests and 
villagers united by bonds of friendship and the 
spirit of mutual assistance, served as a solid 
foundation for State existence and every-day 
intercourse among the parishioners themselves. 

When the Marxian roughnecks arrived on 
the field, they hurriedly began the destruction 
of this simple, and yet firmly founded organ- 
ization. In December, 1917, they came out 
with their decree separating the State from 
the Church. All properties of existing Churches 
and religious societies were nationalized. These 
institutions were deprived of the right to act 
as juridical persons or to own any property 
whatsoever. Buildings, and sacred vessels 
could be given for the free use of the congrega- 
tions only by special decision of the Local or 
Central Soviet. The teaching of religious doc- 
trines in State and public schools was for- 
bidden. 

The provisions of this decree have been vig- 
orously carried out by the Bolsheviki who 
never miss an opportunity to subject the 
members of the Christian clergy to humiliation. 
When, on the strength of the Soviet Labor 
Code, the bourgeoisie was drafted and as- 
signed to forced labor, priests were always 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 207 

made to perform the most degrading jobs. 
Disregarding a tradition sanctioned by cen- 
turies, the Soviets have compelled ecclesiastics 
to serve as privates in the Red Army. 

Lawless Red Guards, acting under the in- 
structions of the Commissars, raided the 
Churches during the time when divine service 
was held. Priests were dragged from the 
altars, and the altars desecrated, while those 
attending the service were locked up in jails 
and tortured by the Cheka. 

When the dreadful famine came the Bolshe- 
viki used it as a pretext for robbing the Church 
of its treasures. The whole world was shocked 
when the decree ordering their requisition was 
made known. In many cities the priests and 
parishioners showed organized opposition to 
the new barbarism inflicted upon the people. 
Tikhon, Patriarch of All-Russia, who for a 
long time was kept as a prisoner de facto in 
the Moscow Kremlin, faithful to his religious 
duties, not only refused to sanction the outrage- 
ous Communist order, but forcibly protested 
against it. In consequence of this, the Soviets 
charged him with high treason. His fate still 
remains doubtful, notwithstanding unanimous 
protests made by the Christian Church in both 
America and Europe. 

Patriarch Tikhon, a venerable man of sev- 
enty, with his vital force weakened by age and 
privation, is the only person in Russia who dares 



208 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

to openly oppose the diabolical rule of Trotzky. 
It was he who in 1918 excommunicated the 
Bolsheviki as a body, and it was upon his in- 
structions that the canon of anathema was read 
in all Churches. While under arrest, the Pat- 
riarch issued a declaration which had a large 
circulation all over Russia. Vehemently accus- 
ing the Red rulers of heinous crimes, he stated 
therein : 

*'It is not enough that you have stained the 
hands of the Eussian people with the blood of 
their brethren. You have instigated the people 
to open, shameless robbery. You have befogged 
their consciences and stifled their conviction of 
sin; but under whatever name you may disguise 
an evil deed, murder, violence and robbery will 
always remain crimes and deeds of evil that 
clamor to Heaven for vengeance. Yea, we are 
living through a dreadful time under your dom- 
ination, and it will be long before it fades from 
the hearts of the nation, where it has dimmed the 
image of God and impressed that of the beast." 

Had the Russian Cardinal Mercier the right 
to accuse the Soviets of all these crimes ? The 
answer is given by the Reverend R. Courtier- 
Forster who thus pictures the horrors of the 
persecution of Christians in Odessa: 

*'It was the martyrdom of the two Metropoli- 
tans and the assassination of so many Bishops and 
the killing of hundreds of various Christian min- 
isters of religion, regardless of denomination or 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 209 

school of thought, that proved the undoing of the 
Scourge. Russian Orthodox clergy, Protestant 
Lutheran pastors, Roman Catholic priests, were 
tortured and done to death with the same light- 
hearted indiscrimination in the name of tolera- 
tion and Freedom. Then it was that the Scourge, 
seeing the last remnants of Liberty ground under 
the heel of a tyranny more brutal in its methods 
than a medieval torture chamber, published an- 
other full-page cartoon representing Moses des- 
cending from the Burning Mount, bringing in 
his arms the Tables of Ten Commandments to 
Humanity, and being stoned to death by a mob of 
workmen's and soldiers' delegates. 

"The following Sunday afternoon I was pass- 
ing through the Town Gardens when I saw a 
group of Bolshevist soldiers insulting an Ikon of 
the Thorn-crowned Face of Christ. The owner 
of the Ikon was spitting in the pictured Face, 
while the others were standing around watching 
with loud guffaws of laughter. Presently they 
tore the sacred picture into fragments, danced on 
it, and trampled and stamped the pieces into the 
mud."* 

Shall we forget Archbishop Andronik who 
was buried alive? Or Vassili, Archbishop of 
Chernigov, who had come to Moscow to inquire 
about the fate of the former, and who was cut 
down and killed with his two companions ? Or 
Bishop Feofan, who, after unspeakable tor- 
tures, was dipped several times into the river 
through a hole in the ice, and finally drowned 

• See Eev. E. Courtier-Forster, reprint from the London Times, 
December 3, 1919, p. 4. 



2IO THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

in the Kama? Shall we forget the latest atro- 
cities committed by the Bolsheviki in Petro- 
grad when Metropolitan Banjamin and over 
ten other High Dignitaries of the Russian 
Church were sentenced to death for interfering 
with the seizure of Church treasures?* Shall 
we forget, the long list of other martyrs who 
have been murdered in cold blood for no other 
crime than worshipping Christ? 

Was Patriarch Tikhon justified in accusing 
the Bolsheviki of all these abominations? Can 
it not be said in their defence that all this is 
being perpetrated by them because ^'They know 
not what they do"? Perhaps this may be so 
in the case of a rebellious sailor in whose per- 
verted mind the conception of sanctity has been 
artificially destroyed. But what justification 
is there when Communist poets engage them- 
selves in the defamation of Christ? Or when 
these paid '^ minstrels" and writers compose, 
under the orders of the People's Commissars 
themselves sacrilegious prayers designed to un- 
dermine those precious feelings that uplift the 
human soul to spiritual heights, where this 
realm of tears and grief ends and the kingdom 
of peace and infinite love begins. 

Read: 

1. "In the name of Father — Socialism, and the 
Son — Communism, and the Holy Ghost — 

* See Associated Press dispatch of July 6, 1922. 



RUSSIA UNDER THE SOVIET HEEL 211 

Marxism, — proletarians of all countries 
unite." 

2. "Mother of God, Holy Virgin — the Commune, 

— blessed be thou, mother of equality and 
fraternity, Lord — Labor, be with thee. 
Blessed be thou as the wife of the proletariat 
of the whole world, and blessed be the fruit 
of thy motherhood — ^the Internationale." 

3. "The Holy Trinity — Socialism, Communism 

and Marxism — kill the tyrants. Lord — 
Labor, purge us from the sins of capitalism. 
God — proletariat, forgive the crimes of the 
tyrants, exploiters and parasites, and chain 
them to the lathes in the factories and to the 
plows on the soil."* 

Next comes Soviet poetry on the same sub- 
ject. The two excerpts given below are taken 
from the Bolshevist monthly magazine Yav, 
issue of October, 1920, p. 7) : 

"Stability, Stability! We drag thee in the whirl, 
We thrash holiness with the whip. 
We torture the weak body of Christ, 
We torture it in the Cheka." 

"Now then, do pardon us sinners! 
Save us as thou didst the robber on Golgotha. 
We wildly spill thy holy blood. 
As we spill water from the washbowl." 

And this: 
"Go to the devil! Splendid is our obscene dance 

* This blasphemous prayer was reproduced in the Russian daily 
paper The New Bussian Life, issue of April 8, 1921, No. 79. Trans- 
lated from the Russian. 



212 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

On the porch of the Church. 

Christ is again on the Cross, while we have taken 

Barabbas for a walk down the Tverskoi Boulevard."* 

Mr. Hillquit, however, asserts that the Sov- 
iets represent ^'The best spirit of the Socialist 
movement at this time." Is this to be taken as 
a compliment or an insult to Socialism? 

* The Tverskoi Boulevard is one of the main streets in Moscow. 



CHAPTER VI 
THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 

EInow'st thou the land where all with plenty 
breathes? * * * Count Alexis Tolstoi 

So now prosperity begins to mellow 
And drops into the rotten mouth of death. 

Richard III., Shakespeare 

Victor Hugo in one of Ms Parliamentary 
speeches in the French Chamber made this re- 
mark: 

"When men forget God, Grod, by earthquakes, 
reminds them of His existence." 

The Russian famine is a world-debated topic. 
Everybody is alive to the fact that Russia is 
starving. It is also known that the scale of the 
disaster is colossal, embracing all parts of the 
former Empire. Therefore, an exposition here 
of this situation can be confined to a brief sum- 
mary of its main features and the general out- 
look for 1923. 

A few lines, however, may be devoted to the 
cause of the famine. The Soviet press, through 
all its foreign agencies, has been conducting 
a strenuous campaign, the object of which was 
to convince Western public opinion that the 
acute shortage of food came as a consequence 

213 



214 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

of the drought. In the spring and summer of 
1921, it is true, both the absolute and relative 
humidity was unusually low in the Volga basin, 
which to a certain degree tends to explain the 
scarcity of crops in that sector. But in other 
parts of the country meteorological conditions 
were more or less normal, compared with the 
average for the preceding ten years. Still the 
harvest everywhere, especially in the most fer- 
tile regions, like Little Russia, was extremely 
poor. For this reason, agricultural districts, 
outside of the region directly damaged by the 
drought, were unable to come to the relief of 
the hunger-bitten population in the Volga 
Provinces. 

Mr. Nansen, the League of Nations Commis- 
sioner for relief in South Russia, an extreme 
radical himself, referring to the causes of the 
All-Russian famine, said: 

*'The Soviet principle used to be that of 
requisitioning from the peasant all the surplus 
he had and only paying him in paper which could 
not buy anything for him. It could not buy 
agricultural machinery, because it did not exist, 
and it could not buy clothing. Consequently, the 
peasant said: 'I will not cultivate more than nec- 
essary for myself and my family; otherwise it 
will be taken away from me.' "* 

Being a Soviet sympathizer, he, of course, 

•See Fridtjof Nansen's report to the League of Nations pub- 
lished in the Provisional 'Record, No. 17, November 12, 1921. 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 215 

maintains that since then the agricultural poli- 
cies of the Soviets have changed considerably, 
and that now the peasants are taking a more 
reasonable attitude toward the problem of cul- 
tivating their lands. The Scandinavian scien- 
tist argues that the change was caused by the 
introduction of Lenin's notorious "Prodnalog," 
which, as will be recalled, means the levying of 
taxes in kind, leaving the ^* surplus crop" for 
the free use of the peasant. That such a con- 
tention is wrong is evidenced by a comparison 
of the acreage sown in 1920, prior to the adop- 
tion of the "Prodnalog," with that sown in the 
Autumn of 1921, after the new form of tax 
had been in operation for about six months : 

Percentage 
of area sown 
Name of Acres sown Acres sown compared 
Province in 1920 in 1921 with 1920 

Samara 1,429,920 1,152,443 80.5 

Simbirsk 1,202,040 636,743 52.9 

Saratov 2,072,520 2,430,000 117.2 

Mari Area 367,200 200,277 54.5 

Chuvash Area. . 373,680 393,840 105.3 

Ufa 1,407,240 591,391 42.0 

Viatka 1,857,610 1,472,850 79.2 

Votiak Area .. 619,380 395,150 63.7 

Bashkir Republic 408,780 66,744 16.3 

Tartar Republic 2,284,470 969,734 42.4* 

* Figures taken from a statement issued by the Soviet Trade 
Delegation in London. Published in Soviet Bussia, January, 1922, 
p. 7. 



2i6 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Thus, in spite of the ^^Prodnalog," the acre- 
age under cultivation has been steadily de- 
creasing, with the result that in the spring of 
1922 the entire country, excepting several in- 
significant districts, was in the grip of King 
Hunger. 

The underlying causes of the Russian fam- 
ine are to be sought in the general economic 
upheaval brought about by the insane Commun- 
ist experiment. 

In 1916 the crops were good; in 1917 they 
were not below normal; but ever since 1918 
Russia has been living through an agony of 
starvation whicii first affected the cities, and 
then gradually spread to the rual districts. It 
was due to the industrial crisis that the agricul- 
tural technique from year to year has been 
growing less efficient. The peasants could not 
be blamed for this, because farming implements 
were unobtainable, and horses were either re- 
quisitioned by the Soviets or killed for food. 
Without horses, the land could not be cultivated, 
at least in Russia, where, after the revolution, 
mechanical methods for tilling were almost 
abandoned. In addition, oxen and cows, hav- 
ing also been eaten, the farmers in many locali- 
ties were obliged to draw the plows themselves; 
this, in turn, meant that deep plowing could 
not be done and the soil was merely scratched. 
Therefore, the slightest unfavorable atmos- 
pheric influence inevitably affected the matur- 



THE ALI^RUSSIAN FAMINE 217 

ing of the seed. In this connection some of 
the figures submitted in Mr. Nansen's report 
to the League of Nations are of particular in- 
terest. He refers to the harvest of 1921 and 
compares it with the average crops for the nine 
years between 1905 and 1913 in the wealthiest 
agricultural region, South Russia, including the 
provinces of Kherson and Ekaterinoslav. 



Winter 


Pooda 


Poods 


Pooda 


Summer Poods 


Wheat 


Eye 


Barley 


Oats 


Wheat Com 


verage per 1 42.1 


41.6 


42.7 


51.2 


26.3 70.5 


dessiatine for to 


to 


to 


to 


to 


9 yrs. 1905-13 42.6 


42.0 


50.4 


54.9 


32.5 



Returns for 1921, 
Province of Kherson: 

Odessa District. 4.0 1.5 2.0 2.0 1.5 5.0 

Tiraspol Dist. . 5.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 10.0 
Yelisave t g r a d 

District .... 10.6 13.0 5.2 9.3 8.3 12.9 

Nickolev Dist.. 4.5 3.1 2.1 1.6 3.4 3.0 

Dneprovsk Dist. 2.6 2.2 0.2 . . 0.5 2.3 
Province of 

Ekaterinoslav . 3.9 3.6 2.9 4.0 2.9 ..* 

Practically the same returns were yielded in 
the Alexandrovsk District, which at present 
bears the name ''Zaporoge." 

Among the contributing causes of the calam- 

* Compare this table with figures given in a pamphlet entitled 
'*La Famine en UJcraine," League of Nations Bulletin, No. 22, 
Geneva, April 30, 1922, p. 5. 



2i8 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

ity, the wreck of transportation cannot be over- 
looked. When in 1891 the Volga region suffered 
so heavily from drought, the famine situation 
was solved in less than sixty days. At that time 
the railroads were in perfect order, and it took 
but several days to turn the whole traffic east- 
ward, the first carloads of wheat arriving in 
Samara and Simbirsk ten days after the famine 
had been officially registered. At present, not- 
withstanding the combined efforts of the Amer- 
ican Relief Administration, the Nansen organ- 
ization, and the British volunteer work, the 
situation is becoming more and more menacing, 
largely owing to the lack of transportation 
facilities. 

The various causes which led to the outburst 
of the famine may be summed up as follows ; 

1. Nationalization of land. 

2. Nationalization of trade, and more particu- 
larly the monopolization of grain and other 
food supplies. 

3. Systematic decrease in the acreage under cul- 
tivation. 

4. The general industrial crisis with a sharp de- 
cline in the manufacture of agricultural im- 
plements. 

5. General deterioration of the agricultural 
technique in peasants' households and the de- 
struction of model estates. 

6. The incompetent manner in which the "Prod- 
nalog" was put into operation. 

7. The bitter and unanimous resentment of the 
people to the Communist Regime. 



THE ALI^RUSSIAN FAMINE 219 

8. The complete collapse of the transportation 
system. 

9. The drought. 

Gigantic events are never the outcome of one 
specific cause or factor. It is always the amal- 
gamation of many diverse phenomena and their 
combined functioning that produces the ulti- 
mate result. Childish, therefore, is the attempt 
to explain the All-Russian famine by a casual 
atmospheric condition which, moreover, affected 
only one section of the country. Still, this is 
precisely what Bolshevist ** scientists" have 
tried to prove. 

As to the extent of the famine, Tchitcherin, 
the Commissar for Foreign Affairs, in August, 
1921, made an estimate that 18,000,000 persons 
were affected by the disaster. This number, 
however, applied to the Volga region alone.* 

The vast Ural territory, the Northern Cau- 
casus, the Don Region, and Little Russia, were 
not included in the original Soviet calculation. 
Adding to this number Hansen's figures for 
South Russia, 5,500,000, which are by no means 
complete, we have a total of 23,500,000, which 
leaves out both North Caucasus and the Ural 
District. 

The official figures hardly represent the actual 
numher of starving Russians for they relate 
only to those localities which are classed by the 

*See Tchitcherin 's "Circular Note to all Governments/' dated, 
Moscow, August 3, 1921. 



220 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Central Statistical Bureau as *'f amine strick- 
en." Hungry cities, such as Petrograd, Mos- 
cow and Kiev, are excluded therefrom. Be- 
sides, the latest available information dates 
back to May, 1922; whereas, the famine 
is assuming ever-growing proportions, drawing 
in its deadly clasp larger and larger masses of 
the people. 

The spread of the calamity is demonstrated 
by the two following tables taken from Mr. 
Nansen's report; 

Percen- 
Alexandrovsk Number of tage of 

District starving population 

November 1, 1921 175,000 14 

December 1, 1921 225,000 18 

January 1, 1922 400,000 31 

February 1, 1922 900,000 70 

March 1,1922 1,000,000 78 

April 1, 1922 1,075,000 82 

May 1, 1922 1,100,000 88 

Number of 
Donetz District starving 

October 1, 1921 2,299 

November 1, 1921 48,297 

December 1, 1921 204,884 

January 1, 1922 274,060 

February 1, 1922 493,404 

March 1, 1922 654,749* 

* Ibid, p. 13. 



THE ALI^RUSSIAN FAMINE 221 

Mr. Nansen laconically remarks: 

"If formidable relief is not given, it is almost 
certain that the statistical curve relating to mor- 
tality will follow the same path. In fact, thou- 
sands of deaths are registered daily. Soon these 
will reach tens of thousands."* 

Putting the number of Russians who are 
virtually starving to death at the modest figure 
of 23,500,000, it is essential to bear in mind 
that by July, 1922, all foreign relief organiza- 
tions combined were feeding only 9,000,000 
adults and children. As to the Bolsheviki, 
their schedule of relief was finally endorsed 
by the Ninth All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 
The plan provided for a gradual expansion of 
work; it was intended to start by feeding 500,- 
000 sufferers in October, 1921, bringing the 
number up to 3,250,000 in March and April, 
1922. This scheme, which incidentally was 
never carried out, stipulated as follows: 

Number of People to Be Fed 



Month 


Children 


Adults 


Total 


October, 1921 


375,000 


125,000 


500,000 


November, *' 


750,000 


250,000 


1,000,000 


December, * ' 


1,125,000 


375,000 


1,500,000 


January, 1922 


1,500,000 


1,000,000 


2,500,000 


February, ' * 


1,500,000 


1,500,000 


3,000,000 


March, 


1,500,000 


1,750,000 


3,250,000 


April, 


1,500,000 


1,750,000 


3,250,000 


May, 


1,500,000 


1,500,000 


3,000,000 


June, " 


1,500,000 


750,000 


2,250,000 


* Ibid, p. 13. 









222 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

The following quantities of foodstuffs were 
set aside (on paper only) for this purpose: 

Name of To be used To be used 

Foodstuffs for children for adults Total 

Grain 70,313 tons 28,125 tons 98,438 

Groats 28,126 



Meat 35,160 

Potatoes 46,876 

Other roots. 52,736 

Salt 8,128 

Sugar 2,350 



7,501 *' 35,627 

28,123 *' 63,283 

112,501 " 159,377 

56,251 " 108,987 

3,753 '' 6,881 

2,350* 



238,689 tons 236,254 tons 474,943 

In carrying out their proposition the Soviets 
met with utter failure. Up to December 1, 
1921, they had succeeded in requisitioning only 
44,000 tons of grain and other food supplies, 
which was but a little over 9 per cent, of the 
total. Simultaneously the levying of the ^'Prod- 
nalog" evinced an ever-decreasing tendency 
and, according to the Pravda (No. 256, 1921), 
gave the following returns: 

Collected from Poods 

October 1st to October 10th 10,932,000 

October 11th to October 20th 8,404,000 

October 21st to October 30th 7,644,000 

Nov. 1st to Nov. 10th 1,754,000 

Taking the most optimistic view, it can be 
asserted that the Soviets succeeded in collect- 

* See Kalinin 's report to the Ninth Congress of Soviets. Quoted 
from Soviet Russia, March 1, 1922. 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 223 

ing only 26 per cent, of food set aside by the 
Ninth Congress for famine relief. Thus, not 
more than 800,000 are being actually fed by the 
Soviets. In other words, foreign charity, to- 
gether with Soviet work, gives relief to not 
more than 10,000,000 sufferers, while not less 
than 13,000,000 are doomed to die. 

Leaving aside the Volga region, which, since 
the tragic exodus in the fall of 1921, resembles 
a vast cemetery, brief data should be presented 
regarding such sectors as are considered com- 
paratively in better condition. The Econo- 
micheshaya Jisn in an article entitled, ** Hunger 
in the Urals," says: 

"People eat carrion, different kinds of refuse, 
and food substitutes. Relief for the starving is 
organized very poorly. The satiated districts are 
quite indifferent to their hungry brethren and 
openly refuse to help them. * * * Clamors 
for help grow stronger every day. There is no 
time to waste. We have to face the sowing sea- 
son. But will there be any seeds? In the Prov- 
ince of Ekaterinburg one hundred famine coun- 
ties have been registered, with a total number of 
350,000 starving, of which children form 60 
per cent. Hunger is becoming extremely intense. 
Everything has been eaten up. According to the 
Commission for Famine Relief ("Kompomgol"), 
if all forces and means are mobilized, it will be- 
come possible to feed 50 per cent, of those starv- 
ing; the rest are doomed to death. Peasants' 
households are destroyed. Cattle breeding 
has practically stopped. * * * Mortality is 



224 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

enormous, and the number of abandoned children 
and children's crimes is rapidly increasing."* 

Because the population throughout Russia is 
using food substitutes, the rate of mortality is 
rising everywhere, while the birthrate is 
sharply declining. In Little Russia, straw is 
pulled off from the roofs and cut up into very 
small pieces, which, mixed with water and 
refuse, is used for food. Sometimes, apricot 
seeds are pounded up and added to the meagre 
supply of flour. Approximately 50 per cent, 
of those who eat such "bread" die almost in- 
stantly. In other localities acorns constitute 
the main food supply, together with mice and 
rats, which have not yet perished from the 
famine. Various diseases, like swellings, gan- 
grene and ulcers, are rampant among the popu- 
lation as a result of eating such ''food." 

Cannibalism has become a common phenome- 
non. In No. 20 of the Bolshevist Pravda for 
1922 this report was published: 

"A peasant woman, Providochina, from the vil- 
lage of Stary Nachrantov, in the Province of 
Kazan, has almost completely eaten up her dead 
son who was 19 years old. The remnants of 
his corpse were buried. A peasant, by the name 
of Murzakov, has eaten the liver and lungs of his 
deceased wife. In the steppe district of the Sa- 
mara Province, regular nightmares can be wit- 
nessed. There is an amazing spread of cannibal- 

* Economicheskaya Jisn, No. 92, April 27, 1922. 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 225 

ism. In the village of Lubimovka a peasant dug 
out of the grave the corpse of a fourteen-year-old 
youth, intending to cook it, but he was arrested. 
The Executive Committee of the same village 
states as follows: 'Wild cannibalism assumes mass 
proportions. During dark nights corpses are be- 
ing cooked in peasants' huts.' In the village of 
Andreevka the head of a sixty-year-old woman 
is being preserved, her body having been eaten 
by a peasant in the same village, Andrew Pirogov. ' ' 

Dr. Francis Rollins, formerly connected with 
the American Relief Administration, in an in- 
terview with the correspondent of Rigasche 
Rundschau, said this: 

*'I am leaving Russia for good, since I cannot 
stand the horrors which I have been witnessing 
for the last months. It is beyond human endur- 
ance from day to day, to look at the corpses of 
those who have died from starvation, half-eaten 
up dead bodies, sometimes only heaps of bones, 
indicating that once a corpse lay there which was 
devoured by other sufferers who desired to drag 
out their existence for a few days. Aside from 
hunger victims, thousands are affected with differ- 
ent kinds of epidemics; typhus, measles, dysen- 
tery and tuberculosis; recently cholera has been 
added, with a 60 per cent, mortality,"* 

In some of the starving areas cannibalism is 
menacing those who have managed to keep up 

* See The Last News, issue of May 5, 1922, p. 2, article entitled, 
" Eepresentative of the 'ARA' on the situation in Soviet Eussia." 
Published in Eeval. Translation from the Eussian. 



226 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

their physical constitution. For instance, in 
the Kazan Province, hungry Tartars lie in 
ambush along the roads, waiting to lasso the 
people as they pass by. The dreadful feature 
about this habit is that those who have become 
accustomed to eat human flesh do not seem to 
care for any other kind of food. Commissars 
in Moscow are daily receiving inquiries from 
the local Soviets as to what reprisals should 
be taken against the troglodytes of the twen- 
tieth century. On many occasions physicians 
and nurses refuse to visit remote villages since 
there is always danger that the starving peas- 
ants might attack and devour them. 

A ghastly episode of anthropohagy is de- 
scribed in a letter sent from Moscow on May 18, 
1922. It reads verbatim: 

"A small tradesman with great difSculty suc- 
ceeded in collecting a little supply of flour, groats, 
sugar and tea, and went to see his brother who 
was living in a village in the Samara Province. 
When he arrived at the last railroad station, he met 
several peasants with whom he was acquainted. He 
asked them: 'How is my brother?' They an- 
swered : 'Well, he's all right, but you better not go 
to see him.' Defying this advice, the tradesman 
proceeded to his native village. There he met his 
brother who accepted the food with indifference. 
Soon he began to feel his flesh and remarked: 

" *You certainly are fat!' 

" 'But where are the children?' 

** 'They are in the cellar.' 

** 'And your wife?' 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 227 

** 'She's there too.' 

"After a while the wife came up and the first 
thing she did was to take hold of the visitor, press- 
ing him all over; then she also dropped the re- 
mark: 'How stout you are!' In the meantime 
a group of over ten peasants had gathered out- 
side, gazing through the windows. They all came 
to take a look at the newcomer. 

" 'If you wish to see the children, step down 
cellar.' 

" 'I would rather have you bring them up here.' 
' ' ' They are living there, so you better descend 
first and I will follow you.' 

"The tradesman instinctively felt that some- 
thing dreadful would happen. Finally he per- 
suaded the host to open the trap door and show 
him the way down. The moment, however, the 
host did this, the tradesman slammed the door 
shut and fled from the house. Outside the peo- 
ple immediately attacked him, and it was obvious 
that they had been watching him. Fortunately 
these men were as weak as flies ; it was sufficient 
to touch one, and he would fall over. In this 
way the tradesman was able to make his escape 
and he hurried back to the railroad station."* 

Additional information on the same subject 
was given by Mr. William Shafrotb, son of 
former Governor Shafroth of Colorado, who 
in June, 1922, arrived in London after a yearns 
work with the American Relief Administration. 
In an interview with the Associated Press he 
gave the following shocking story: 

* This letter was published in the weekly organ of the Suprema 
Eussian Monarchical Council, No. 44, June 5, 1922, p. 3. 



228 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

"The desperate people," he said, "are eating 
human beings, diseased horses, dogs and cats. 
Cemeteries are being dug up and long-buried 
bodies snatched as food. In their hunger-mad- 
ness, the people are stealing bodies from morgues 
and hospitals to eat. * * * A Russian mem- 
ber of the A. R. A., who died of typhus, was dis- 
interred at night and eaten by the crazed inhabi- 
tants. I know one instance," said Mr. Shafroth, 
"where a distracted mother of five children killed 
the youngest in order to appease the pangs of 
the rest of the flock; but the oldest boy cried 
bitterly when he saw his mother sever his little 
brother's head and place the body into a pot. 
He refused to eat the flesh. The famine in Russia 
is unequalled even by the dreadful famines of 
India, China or any other in history. In some 
districts the people, made insane by hunger, have 
gone secretly at night to the warehouses where 
hundreds of dead bodies were stored because 
graves could not be found for them and have car- 
ried off these cadavers and used them for food. 
Ten butcher shops in Samara were closed by the 
authorities because it was learned that they were 
selling human flesh. The melting snow has dis- 
closed thousands of bodies strewn over the fields 
and along roadways. It was impossible to bury all 
these, so they were placed in warehouses like logs 
of kindling wood."* 

In brief, such was the situation in July, 
1922. 

What is the outlook for 1923? It is gloomy 

* See Associated Press cable dispatch as published in the New 
York press, June 9, 1922. 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 229 

in the extreme. First of all, the "Bread 
Loan," which was so much heralded in the 
Soviet press, failed completely. The scheme 
was to sell State Certificates at a nominal price 
of 380 rubles, which would entitle the bearer 
to receive one pood of rye flour between Decem- 
ber, 1, 1922, and January 31, 1923. The "Prod- 
nalog," according to the terms of the loan, can 
be paid by surrendering bread certificates equiv- 
alent in sum to the amount of tax levied. The 
Moscow quota was fixed at 10,000,000 poods of 
rye. The subscription in that city gave a 
return of only several hundreds of poods. 
Throughout the entire country the response of 
the population to the Bread Loan campaign 
was quite insignificant. Secondly, in the spring 
of 1922, many parts of South Russia and the 
Volga basin were infested with swarms of 
locusts, and the new crops destroyed. Further- 
more, the area under cultivation is still falling 
off, and in some of the wealthiest Caucasian 
districts it is only 25 per cent, as compared with 
that of 1921. Finally, the crops in the Volga 
region for 1922 were hardly any better than 
in 1921. Seeds delivered to the starving peas- 
ants by the American Relief Administration 
were eaten up long before the time for sowing 
came. Such was the condition in the Samara 
Province. Throughout Little Russia weather 
conditions were very unfavorable during the 
spring and summer of 1922, and it is believed 



230 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

that only on the right shore of the Dniper 
will there be something to collect, while on the 
left shore corn has. not come up at all. In the 
Don Valley the land under cultivation for 

1922 did not exceed 30 per cent, of the pre- 
war acreage. Some places near Odessa were 
left unsown by the peasants. The spring was 
unusually cold and dry in northeastern 
parts of Russia, for example in the Ufa Prov- 
ince. Owing to this, the seed froze in the 
ground. Approximately 40 per cent, of all 
land in the Petrograd District was damaged by 
frosts. The Commissariat for Food and Sup- 
ply estimated that land tilled in 1922, for all 
of Russia, did not exceed 27 per cent, of the 
pre-war acreage. Accordingly, the famine is 
far from having been brought under control. 
Quite the reverse; there is every reason to be- 
lieve that by February, 1923, the scale of the 
disaster will overshadow the horrors of 1921 
and 1922. 

At the time of The Hague Conference, the 
Bolshevist Delegation more than once made the 
assertion that there will be a good harvest in 
1922. Finkelstein went further when he re- 
sorted to an obvious bluff, explaining that in 

1923 Russia will become again a self-supporting 
country. There was a purpose in this lie : The 
Communists needed cash and there was nothing 
they would not use as an argument to obtain 
it. At present, however, it is not easy to dupe 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN FAMINE 231 

Western Europe with Communist propaganda. 
Some of the British statesmen themselves begin 
to awake to the fact that the Soviets are 
swindling capitalist countries, using the famine 
as a pretext. The Soviets are fast becoming 
impudent. Encouraged by silly little courtesies 
extended to them— be it by Lloyd George or the 
King of Italy— they are openly ridiculing 
European politicians. They do not longer take 
the trouble to mask their activities. In this 
connection Mr. Chamberlain's statement in the 
House of Commons, made in February, 1922, 
revealed a very piquant situation. Reporting 
his speech, the Gazette de Lausanne, spoke 
thus: 

"The Soviets have just bought in London, on 
Moorgate Street, some real estate for use as their 
headquarters, at a cost of 250,000 pounds (12,- 
500,000 francs). The exceedingly luxurious 
equipment for this house involved a disbursement 
of 100,000 pounds (5,000,000 francs). This 
'Soviet Palace' is occupied by Mr. Krassin who 
is surrounded by a whole army of stenographers 
and dactylographs to whom he pays salaries 
of 350 to 400 francs per week. The sum of 17,- 
500,000 francs which Russia expended for her 
palace in London is precisely the sum which Russia 
demands from England to give relief to the 
starving people."* 

* See Gaseite de Lausanne, No. 70, March 12, 1922. The figures 
in parenthesis are furnished by the Swiss paper from which the 
quotation is taken. 



232 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Communist graft has become a living legend. 
The Soviet rulers encompass themselves with 
all the comforts of life at the very moment 
when Russians everywhere are undergoing in- 
describable hardships. There is indeed a strik- 
ing contrast between Soviet luxury on the 
Thames and humiliating misery on the Volga. 

The people on this side of the water are 
unable to grasp the full meaning of the Russian 
tragedy, the extent of despair driving creatures 
that once were men to cannibalism and other 
atrocities. One must personally live through 
the abomination of Sovietism to understand 
that years will pass before the bestial instincts 
aroused by Marxian practice can be overcome. 

As long as Trotzky remains planted on the 
Communist throne in Russia, there is no hope 
for that country. 

Mr. Hoover's splendid work is incapable of 
solving the Herculean task of regenerating a 
great nation reduced, through Socialism, to a 
state of savageness and cave-like existence. 



CHAPTER VII 

SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 

r> OLSHEVISM is not a local Russian matter, 
nor is it a Russian affair at all. Only in so 
far as Marxism has been particularly used for 
the destruction of Russia can it be associated 
with that country. At this point, however, con- 
nection between the two ends. 

Bolshevism is decidedh^ anti-Russian. Not 
only is the personnel of the Soviet bureaucracy 
made up of the international canaille, with a 
slight admixture of native Russians, but Com- 
munist policies are diametrically opposed to 
everything the Russian people have stood for 
during one thousand years of their history. In 
this sense Bolshevism is a direct negation of 
Russian nationalism. From a scientific view- 
point, to speak of Russian Bolshevism is just 
as erroneous as to refer to American Confucian- 
ism or Chinese Calvinism. 

The official expose of Bolshevism and its 
aims was made by Bukharin in a pamphlet, 
'^Program of the Communists/' issued in 1918. 
The opening paragraph of one of its chapters 
reads : 

"The program of the Communist Party is a 
program not only of liberating the proletariat of 
233 



234 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

one country; it is the program for the liberation 
of the world proletariat since such is the program 
of the international revolution." 

The author further goes on to explain : 

"The better we are organized, the stronger the 
armed detachments of workmen and peasants, the 
more powerful the dictatorship of the proletariat 
in Russia, the more quickly will the international 
revolution come. * * * Sooner or later we will 
have the International Republic of Soviets." 

Apfelbaum, the President of the Executive 
Committee of the Third Internationale, closing 
his first May appeal in 1920, thus formulated 
the same idea: 

"Amidst storms, blood and tears, hunger and 
endless suffering, a new world is being born, a 
bright world of Communism; of the universal 
brotherhood of the toilers. 

"In 1918 the great Communist Internationale 
was bom. In 1920 the great International Soviet 
Republic will be bom." 

Again, Lenin speaking before the Second 
Congress of the Third International (July 
19th to August 7th, 1920) expressed this basic 
principle by stating: 

**Now, we have everywhere advance detach- 
ments, and everywhere we have proletarian armies, 
although poorly organized and requiring reor- 
ganization. We are able to organize these into 
a single detachment, into a single force. If you 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 235 

will help us to accomplish this, then no mental 
exercises or guesses with respect to what cannot be 
known and what no one can know, will prevent 
us from accomplishing our task, and this task will 
he that of leading 0^1, to the victory of the world 
revolution and to the establishment of an inter- 
national proletarian Soviet Republic."* 

One year later Apf elbaum, when greeting the 
Third Congress of the Communist Internation- 
ale, emphasized the aims of Bolshevism in the 
following terms: 

"Comrades, in the whole history of the labor 
movement there has been no congress which had 
such a large representation of the peoples of the 
Near and Far East, as our present meeting. You 
will recall our Baku Convention which followed 
the Second Congress. Since then the influence of 
the Communist Internationale has been growing 
day by day in countries of the Near and Far East. 
The fact itself of the presence here of numerous 
delegations from those countries, gives us evidence 
that our organization is not only a workers' 
brotherhood of Europe, but indeed a toilers' or- 
ganization of the world at large. Therein we see 
the pledge that the victory of the revolution in 
which we all, assembled here, are firmly convinced, 
will be not merely a European revolution, but a 
real world revolution in the precise meaning of 
the term. * * * Long live world revolution! 
Long live the Communist Internationale !"t 

• The 2Dd Congress of the Communist Internationale, p. 30, Wash- 
ington Government Printing Office, 1920. 

^ The Communist Internationale, No. 18, pp. 4487 and 4488. 
Petrograd, October, 1921. Translated from the Russian. 



236 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Russia, having been the first to fall under the 
blows of Marxism, was naturally chosen as the 
stronghold and headquarters of the world revo- 
lutionary movement. For this reason, Soviet 
foreign policy is prominently devoted to the 
acceleration of a process which Marx described 
as ^'the decomposition of bourgeois society." 

There is a certain parallelism between the 
domestic tactics of Bolshevism and its attitude 
toward foreign countries. In the same way that 
in Russia the original banditism of Red Guard- 
ists gradually assumed the form of organized 
oppression, likewise militant tactics formerly 
used against the "Western World, have recently 
been substituted by a policy of subtle under- 
mining of all traditional modes of civil order. 
Both courses of action, however, pursued one 
and the same aim — that is world revolution. 

Nowadays, true enough, the Soviets refrain 
from composing impudent notes in the style of 
Tchicherin's first communication to President 
"Wilson. Nor do they admit that the red tape 
of their negotiations with the Lloyd Georges, 
Rathenaus, or Schanzers, is designed to worm 
the poison of Communist disease into the hearts 
and brains of European nations. At Genoa 
and The Hague they wash, shave, and wear silk 
hats. There they try to appear genteel, and 
smile pleasantly into the cameras of the news- 
paper reporters, — ^but can the leopard change 
his spots? 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 237 

Still, even in Western Europe, the Pinkel- 
steins and other Soviet envoys, forgetting their 
diplomatic role, from time to time, resort to 
rude jargon, swearing against capitalism and 
similar dreadful things that appear to burden 
their minds. Otherwise, as a general rule, when 
in the political foreground, they strive to use a 
language which can be understood not only by 
their brethren, but by Mr. Lloyd George him- 
self. The more short-sighted among the Euro- 
pean politicians earnestly maintain that a fun- 
damental change has taken place in Communist 
psychology. With this contention in mind, they 
advocate peace at all costs with the Moscow 
trouble-makers. They overlook that on the eve 
of 1922 Apf elbaum, in an appeal to the workers 
of the world, made the positive assertion that, 
despite the ostensible changes in Communist 
tactics, merciless war with the outside world 
remains the guiding policy of the Soviets. 

Everywhere abroad Bolshevist delegations 
have become the centers of revolutionary propa- 
ganda, and hardly is there a single disloyal 
movement now on foot which is not directly or 
indirectly backed by the Soviets. This is par- 
ticularly true as regards Eastern countries. 
Tchicherin himself, submitting his report to 
the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets, 
stated : 

"In the East the Soviet Government ia reaping 



238 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

the fruits of the frank and far-seeing policy which 
it had adopted from the first days of its formation. 
• * * To whatever eastern country we turn our 
eyes, whether Persia, China, Korea, Turkey or 
Egypt, we observe a deep fermentation which is 
assuming more and more the concrete form of a 
movement against European and American capi- 
talism. This movement has for its ultimate object 
the atta/inment of our ideals.'** 

Modern Communism is not merely a theory; 
to a greater extent it is a mode of action, a 
manner of bad behavior. Its schemes are pro- 
nouncedly militant. World revolution is the 
immediate task of its efforts, while the con- 
quest of world power is the ultimate goal. 
For the realization of this end, the Bolsheviki 
have devised an elaborate plan which in sub- 
stance covers the following : 

1. In Russia, Communist dictatorship en- 
ables the Red rulers to so organize her man- 
power and natural resources as to transform 
the whole country into a tremendous armed 
camp, ready to deliver heavy blows in any 
given direction. 

2. For the exercising of proper control over 
the revolutionary movement in foreign coun- 
tries, a special body was set up in 1919 which 
is known under the name of the Third or 

• See pamphlet publishcfl in London, entitled * * The Foreign 
Policy of Soviet Russia. ' ' A report submitted by the People 's Com- 
missariat for Foreign Affairs to the Seventh All-Russian Congress 
of Soviets, pp. 30 to 32. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 239 

** Communist Internationale, "—in Soviet slang, 
called the "Komintern." It is composed of 
professional agitators and revolutionary inter- 
nationalists. Communist Parties in all lands 
are acting under the direct guidance and super- 
vision of the Komintern. Drastic discipline 
has been introduced among all these groups 
and instructions regulating their activities were 
issued by the Komintern in a document known 
as ''The Twenty-one Terms of Admittance to 
the Third Internationale."* 

3. The administrative power of the Third 
Internationale is vested in its Executive Com- 
mittee. Apfelbaum is president, while Lenin, 
Trotzky, Sobelsohn and Bukharin are among 
its members. 

4. The Soviet of People's Commissars is 
subordinate to the Executive Committee of the 
Third Internationale. 

5. The Executive Committee of the Third 
Internationale takes charge of all organization 
matters pertaining to the Bolshevist movement 
in every part of the world. 

6. Every national group reports to the Ex- 
ecutive Committee of the Komintern, and re- 
ceives orders from it. 

7. Every country has a National Communist 
Center whose policies are co-ordinated with 
those of the Executive Committee. 

* See The Communist Internationale, No. 13, pp. 2387-2392. 
PetTograd and Moscow, September, 1920. 



240 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

8. All differences between the various Com- 
munist groups abroad are finally decided upon 
by the Executive Committee of the Komintern. 

Following out this program, the Executive 
Committee of the Third Internationale, begin- 
ning with 1919, has been feverishly at work 
in all countries, including the United States. 

By the end of 1921, an estimate was made by 
the Komintern as to the membership of what is 
termed ''The Army of the Communist Inter- 
nationale." The official research gave these 
returns : 

Number 
Number of weeklies 
of Com- and other 
Number munist Communist 

Country of members dailies periodicala 

U. S. of America. . . . 13,000 8 13 

Austria 18,000 1 3 

England 10,000 . . 2 

Argentine 5,000 1 1 

Australia 2,900 .. 2 

Armenia 5,000 . . 1 

Azerbaijan 16,000 

Bulgaria 37,000 1 21 

Belgium 1,100 .. 1 

Bokhara 6,000 .. 2 

Hungary* . . 1 

Greece 2,200 1 3 

Germany 360,000 33 12 

Holland 4,000 1 3 

Georgia 11,000 4 5 

Gorsky Republic . . . 10,000 

• The number of Communist members in Hungary is not given 
because the party works underground. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 241 

Namber 
Number of weekliea 
of Com- and other 
Number munist Communist 

Country of members dailies periodicals 

Denmark 1,200 1 1 

Daghestan 7,000 

Far Eastern Republic 7,095 6 

Egypt 1,500 

Italy 70,000 3 15 

Spain 10,000 . . 6 

Iceland 3,000 1 

Canada 1,000 .. 1 

China* 

Koreat 

Luxemburg 500 . . 1 

Latviat 

Mexico 1,200 . . 2 

Norway 97,600 14 27 

Polandt .. 4 

Persia 2,000 .. 1 

Palestine! 500 

Portugal 400 .. 1 

Roumania 40,000 3 6 

Russian Soviet Re- 
public 550,000 500 96 

Turkeyt .. 1 

Ukrainian Soviet Re- 
public 61,400 45 2 

Uruguay 1,500 1 1 

France 131,000 8 43 

Finland . ." 40,000 3 8 

Khiva 1,000 .. 1 

* No information ia available. 

f No data are given because the Communist Party works under- 
ground. 
:j:This number does not include Poale-Zionists. 



242 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 



Number 
Country of members 

Chile 2,000 

Sweden 14,000 

Switzerland 7,000 

Czeeho-Slovakia 360,000 

Esthonia 3,000 

Jugo-Slavia 85,000 

South Africa 750 

Java 4,000 

Japan* 900 

Y. M. C. I. (Young 

Men 's Communist 

Internationale) .. 800,000 





Number 


Number 


of weeklies 


of Com- 


and other 


munist 


Communist 


dailies 


periodicals 


^ ^ 


1 


2 


15 


4 


2 


10 


46 


1 


, . 


4 


16 


. . 


3 


• • 


1 


^ ^ 


2 



50t 



2,805,745 



656 



425 



Because figures are missing for several coun- 
tries, such as China, Poland, Turkey, Hungary 
and Korea, which were purposely left out by 
the Soviets, it can be estimated, with a degree 
of certainty, that the total Communist member- 
ship throughout the world is not less than 
3,500,000. 

In Western countries the attention of the 
Komintern is focused on Germany. This is 
explained by the peculiar condition through 
which that country is living at present. The 

• The Party works underground. 

t This table is taken from the official publication of the Komintern, 
entitled, "The Army of the Communist Internationale," pp. 109, 
110 and 111. Petrograd, 1921. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 243 

defeat of the Central Powers in the Great War, 
and the subsequent Versailles Treaty, have 
made Germany the arena of most complex in- 
trigues in which the Allies themselves take an 
important part. Between France and England, 
the former Teuton Empire has indeed become 
the apple of dissension. On the other hand, 
the heavy financial burden imposed by the En- 
tente upon Germany leads her to play a clever 
game, alternately using the Red menace and the 
prospect of the restoration of a monarchy as 
means of inducing France to modify her repa- 
ration policy. Realizing this situation, the 
Soviets, with the assistance of the late Rathe- 
nau, have concluded the much-talked-of Rap- 
palo Treaty, establishing close bonds of cama- 
raderie between Red Russia and. Pink Ger- 
many. The German toreadors are waving this 
document as a red flag before France. Fur- 
thermore, the Bolsheviki are cognizant of the 
fact that if any European country at all is in 
a position to help them to restore Russia's in- 
dustries, it is Germany, the technical assets 
of which have been left intact. For all these 
reasons the Komintern took special care to 
build up a model revolutionary apparatus on 
the Spree. Koppelevitch, alias Kopp, the 
"Soviet Ambassador" in Berlin, is the direct- 
ing manager of the revolutionary movement 
throughout Germany. In his delicate task he is 
assisted by his Secretary, Eberstein, while all 



244 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

financial transactions are being conducted 
through a Jewish banking firm, Otto Marque- 
vitch, of which Kopp himself is a partner. 

The Communist organization center is lo- 
cated in Berlin; its more important local 
brancEes are established in Hamburg, Leipzig, 
Halle and Dresden. Kopp works in intimate 
toucB with the Spartacan Group. He takes a 
lively interest in the secret mobilization of the 
German Red Army detachments, scattered over 
industrial districts, as well as throughout vil- 
lages, especially in the Ruhr and Silesia Prov- 
inces. The following agencies are placed under 
the supervision of Kopp: 

(a) The Political Section. 

(b) The Commercial Department. 

(c) The Propaganda Bureau. 

(d) The Soviet of Workers and German Red 

Army Deputies. 

(e) The Cheka. 

(f) The Espionage Division. 

Oscar Kohn serves as a liaison officer between 
the Kopp outfit and the German Spartacan 
Group. 

In every country the structure of the Com- 
munist Center is adapted to local political and 
social conditions. For instance, in Esthonia, 
where the government is fighting the native 
Bolsheviks, the Communist Party has a double 
organization : First, the illegal or underground 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 245 

group; and, second, its parliamentary delega- 
tion. 

I. The underground group forms the Central 
Committee of the Esthonian Section of the 
Third Internationale. It is composed of: 

(a) The Central Executive Committee. 

(b) The Political Section. 

(e) The Information, or Espionage Bureau, 
(d) The Propaganda Department. 

Victor Kingissepp, who was tried on a charge 
of high treason and executed in the spring of 
1922, was the administrative head of the under- 
ground organization. Every one of its branches 
is entrusted to one "responsible member" of 
the Communist Party. Reval is its headquar- 
ters. Aside from the various sections which go 
to make up the illegal group, many factories 
have their own local committees which, in turn, 
are the nuclei of Communist work among the 
Esthonian laborers. The total membership of 
these Factory Committees, in June, 1922, did 
not exceed 135; but being closely united and 
belonging to different Esthonian trade unions, 
they do reach large workers' audiences. Con- 
nected with the same group is the Esthonian 
division of the Y. M. C. I. (Young Men's Com- 
munist Internationale), which Association, in 
April, 1921, was dissolved by order of the 
Esthonian Government. 

II. As to the parliamentary delegation, it 



246 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

works in the open. It uses the Esthonian In- 
dependent Socialist Party as a cover organiza- 
tion. In addition, the Communist members of 
the Esthonian Assembly maintain lively rela- 
tions with the Central Council of the trade 
unions. This body is being rapidly sovietized. 
Although the official membership of the Esthon- 
ian Section of the Komintern does not exceed 
three thousand, nevertheless the number of 
Soviet sympathizers can be roughly put at 
twenty thousand. All sums spent for Com- 
munist propaganda are supplied by Moscow 
through the Soviet representative in Esthonia, 
Panchilevitch. 

Similar are the contours of the Soviet 
Agency in Sweden, where direct contact is 
maintained between the Communist Center and 
the Communist members of the Diet, headed by 
Stroem and Begarsohn. The more confidential 
documents of the Soviet delegation are kept in 
the library of the Left Wing Parliamentary 
Group. It is in Sweden that the Soviet Tele- 
graphic Agency, the **Rosta," is located.* 

The nature of the instructions issued by the 
Komintern to kindred organizations abroad is 
exemplified by a circular letter of Bukharin's 
to the Communists residing in the United 
States. This document, which reached these 
shores early in 1921, reads in part as follows: 

• Compare theae data with Efizanof* s cited work, pp. 90, 91 and 92, 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 

* ' Esteemed Comrades : I wish to express to you 
a series of considerations regarding the current 
work in America. We believe that since the ex- 
pulsion of all nationalistic elements from the 
American Communist Party, the time is now ripe 
for the formation of a Communist Party in Amer- 
ica which will officially link itself up with the 
Communist Internationale. We also believe that 
such a party could consist of: (a) the former 
Socialist Propaganda League and those Left Ele- 
ments which were expelled from the American 
Socialist Party ; (b) Left Elements of the Socialist 
Labor Party, in which it is necessary to bring 
about a split, for, as we are aware, one of its sec- 
tions does not behave decently; (c) the I. W. W.'s, 
the passive attitude of whom towards political 
matters has vanished, since they have acknowl- 
edged the dictatorship of the proletariat and the 
Soviet power. Should a Communist Party be 
formed, it would be reasonable to expect that it 
would have a representative of its own at Moscow. 

"We Relieve that one of the foremost problems 
at present is the formation of Communist nuclei 
among the soldiers and sailors {military party or- 
gamizations) , the duty of which must he to con- 
duct energetic propaganda for the formation of 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Soviets, and the reckless 
persecution of the officers. 

"Attempts to form Workers' Councils (Soviets 
of workers) by no means should assume the form 
of philanthropic or cultural institutions. We are 
very much afraid that a danger of this kind does 
exist in America. Therefore, it is necessary to 
invariably emphasize that such Soviets, before 
they shall prove able to seize the power, must be- 
come fighting organizations, aiming at the seizure 



247 



248 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

of the power of the State and workers' dictator- 
§hip. * * * Your chief slogans shall be: 

(a) Down with the Senate and Congress! 

(b) Long live the Workers' Government! 
[(c). Long live the Government of "Workers* 

Soviets ! 
((d) Down with capitalists and throw them 

out of their factories! 
[(e) Long live the workers' control over the 

factories and mills! 
(f) Down with the profiteers! 

• ••••••• 

"It is necessary to pay special attention to the 
American Federation of Labor. It is necessary to 
break it, working harmoniously in this direction 
with the I. W. W.'s for the establishment of a 
revolutionary trade unions' movement. It is neo 
essary to propagate to the utmost the idea of 
arming the workmen. Demobilized revolutionary 
soldiers must not give up their rifles. Our gen- 
eral slogan is: 

**A WORLD SOVIET REPUBLIC!" 

• ••••••• 

It is important to bear in mind that in 
obedience to these instructions the United 
Communist Party of America, at its secret con- 
vention held in February, 1921, among other 
resolutions, adopted the following: 

"The convention was dominated by an appre- 
ciation of the dawning industrial crisis, the mass 
lockouts, and the consequent imperative need of 
unifying all the forces of Communism as directed 
hy the Third Internationale, at any cost within 
reasonable security to the revolutionary movement. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 249 

• • * The United Communist Party will sys- 
tematically and persistently familiarize the work- 
ing class with the fact of the inevitability of the 
armed conflict in the proletarian revolution. The 
United Communist Party must prepare the work- 
ing class for arm£d insurrection as the final form 
of mxLss action, hy which the workers shall con- 
quer the State." 

A special paragrapli is devoted to the '^Pene- 
tration of Military Units/ ^ It reads: 

"The party must conduct a systematic propa- 
ganda in all military units, making clear to them 
the real function of military organizations, in 
order to awaken class consciousness amongst them 
suid swing them over to the side of the proletarian 
revolution. The Communist Party will issue ap- 
peals to the soldiers and sailors, which will be 
distributed among them and will create Commun- 
ist groups in the army and navy, which shall be 
closely connected, in order to establish a unified 
revolutionary body within the armed forces of the 
State."* 

No matter what Soviet representatives at 
European conferences say, the Komintern, 
which is the superstructure of Marxism, acts 
in a way that leaves no doubt as to the nature 
of its work and final goal. It is not in Genoa 
and The Hague that the Soviet policy is being 
framed. Tchicherin and Finkelstein themselves 
have to obey the orders of their superiors who 

* See issue No. 13 of the underground publication of the United 
Communist Party of America, The Commv/nist, for 1921. 



250 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

sit in permanent council at Red Moscow. The 
momentous tactical retreat of Communism be- 
fore capitalistic countries of tlie world is 
nothing but a clever manoeuvre calculated to 
draw them more securely into the revolution- 
ary whirlpool. 

Three basic features have been observed by 
the managers of the Komintern: First, the 
utter fiasco of their economic policies in Rus- 
sia, which tends to increase the difficulties of 
the Soviets in the way of fostering the scheme 
of world revolution. On account of Russia's 
domestic bankruptcy, it has become next to im- 
possible to make large appropriations to the 
international revolutionary fund.* The authori- 

* The first appropriation by the Soviets for international propa- 
ganda purposes was made on December 13, 1917, when the following 
decree was issued: 

"Taking into consideration that Soviet authority stands 
on the ground of the principles of international solidarity 
of the proletariat and the brotherhood of the toilers of all 
countries, that the struggle against war and imperialism, only 
if conducted on an international scale, can lead to complete 
victory, the Soviet of People's Commissars deems it neces- 
sary to come forth with all aid, including financial aid, to 
the assistance of the Left International Wing of the labor 
movement in all countries, quite regardless of whether these 
countries are at war with Russia, or in alliance with her, 
or whether they retain neutrality. In view of these con- 
eiderations, the Soviet of People's Commissars ordains: the 
appropriation of two million rubles for the needs of the 
revolutionary internationalist movement to be placed at the 
disposition of foreign representatives of the Commissariat 
for Foreign Affairs. President of the Soviet of People's 
Commissars — Oulianoff (Lenin), People's Commissar for 
Foreign Affairs — L. Trotzky * * *. 

See Gazette of the Temporary Workers' and Peasants' 
Government, issue No. 31, 1917. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 251 

ties at Moscow are daily being urged by their 
foreign representatives not to delay shipments 
of gold lest the entire preparatory work abroad 
be wrecked. But gold is no longer available in 
the Soviet treasury. Cash from the outside is 
the one thing which can solve the problem. For 
this reason, the Komintern so readily speaks of 
concessions and overtures to international capi- 
talism. 

Second, much to the regret of the Komintern, 
revolutionary fermentation assumed a much 
slower tempo than was originally anticipated. 
In many countries the Communist program not 
merely failed to solidify the forces of social re- 
action, the radicals of all denominations. Social- 
democrats, and anarchists, but also it gave birth 
to dissension within these groups themselves. 
In Germany, France and Italy, several social- 
istic factions refused to submit to Lenin's 
*' terms of admittance.'' The split caused 
thereby in the Marxian camp created much 
bitter comment on both sides. Trotzky accused 
Kautsky of pro-bourgeois leanings; Kautsky 
swore in the name of Marx that he was the sole 
and duly authorized commentator of the ''Com- 
munist Manifesto" and the ''Capital"; the 
yellow, or Amsterdam Internationale, was ex- 
communicated by the Red Internationale; 
French labor leaders of Frossar's type pro- 
tested against "the United Communist Front," 
as prescribed by the Moscow "comrades," as- 



252 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

serting that such a drastic measure would ruin 
the French Communist Party. In other words, 
the arrogant behavior of the Komintern pro- 
duced a regular storm in the Socialist teapot. 
Owing to this fact, many organization plans 
adopted by the Executive Committee of the 
Third Internationale were postponed or even 
given up. Accordingly, the general scheme for 
the world revolutionary offensive had also to 
be delayed. 

Last but not least, the Red leaders are laying 
great emphasis upon the economic disorganiza- 
tion prevailing in Europe. They plan to use it 
as an asset for their infernal aims. They be- 
lieve that Europe, having been thoroughly 
Balkanized as a result of the Versailles Treaty, 
will never be able to regain its internal equi- 
librium. Endless friction between Western 
Nations will eventually — so they hope — bring 
about a state of chaos, in the midst of which 
existing governments will totter, and in lieu of 
these, So^det Republics will be easily set up. 

Lozovsky, one of the originators of the Red 
Trade Unions Internationale (''The Profin- 
tern"), analyzing this prospect, expressed the 
following view: 

"We are witnessing a conflict between Japan 
and America, which is still brewing. The Wash- 
ington Conference in no way has settled it; for 
while Japan is allowed to build only sixty per 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 253 

cent, of the warships which will actually be built 
by America, still Japan will build just as many 
ships as she possibly can, since the question of 
Siberia and China is involved. On the other hand, 
these countries are designed to serve as elements 
for the restoration of capitalistic peace. Further- 
more, between France and England, we see a 
sharp struggle which is daily becoming more 
acute ; this because France exercises control over 
Poland, Roumania, Jugo-Slavia, and Czecho-Slo- 
vakia, and thus is maintaining at present hege- 
mony on the Continent. She expands her influ- 
ence also to Turkey, which brings her interests into 
conflict with those of England. It is therefore 
profitable for England to partly uplift Germany 
so as to enable her to oppose France and neutral- 
ize her onslaught upon England, which, after 
Germany, is the strongest 'hereditary enemy' of 
the French Fatherland. * * * The political and 
economic controversy regarding Upper Silesia 
now begins to develop, confusing the whole situa- 
tion, which, of course, does not help to restore the 
equilibrium. Likewise, friction between Jugo- 
slavia and Italy, between Turkey and Greece, are 
far from being conducive to the restoration of 
peace in the Balkans. The same is true about the 
decomposition of the world power of the British 
Empire. Within its own boundaries we are watch- 
ing a strong revolutionary and nationalistic move- 
ment (India, Egypt, etc.), which is tearing this 
world empire apart. The biggest British Colonies, 
such as Canada, India, Australia, etc., are begin- 
ning to raise custom barriers against their Met- 
ropole."* 



254 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

The Komintern keeps a vigilant eye upon 
this phase of world politics. Soviet papers are 
persistently publishing articles in which the 
international situation is pictured in the dark- 
est colors. One quotation will be sufficient to 
give a general idea of the tenor predominating 
in the Bolshevist press. 

"There is no hope. Different kinds of oppor- 
tunists tricks lead to nothing. Our class enemies 
dig their own graves, while Poincare, the most 
blunt and blind among the counter-revolutionists, 
feels happy that he was able to destroy the last 
straw to which drowning capitalism was clinging. 
Again he looks to impoverished and humiliated 
Germany in order to take out of her empty pocket 
those billions which he lacks. The international 
situation at no time in the past was so hopeless and 
dark."t 

These three factors: The economic collapse 
of Russia, the unexpected delays in the process 
of world revolution, and the complex inter- 
national conjuncture, have forced the Komin- 
tern to revise its original foreign policy. A 
temporary truce with capitalistic countries has 
been announced. The Soviets have accepted 

* See Lozovsky 's ' ' The World Offensive of Capital and the United 
Proletarian Front," pp. 34 and 35, Moscow, 1922. Published by *'The 
Profintern." Tramslated from the Eussian. 

fSee Izvestia of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, 
June 3, 1922, article by Rappoport. Translation from the Eussian. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 255 

Nietzsche's motto: ^'Promote peace as a means 
for waging new wars/* Yet their principles 
remain the same, their cardinal policies un- 
changed, their aims unaltered, their malicious 
hopes unshattered. Behind the screen of propa- 
ganda, disguised under the cloak of lies dis- 
seminated everywhere, protected by the dull 
indifference of their opponents, posing as 
friends of the toiling masses, the Soviets con- 
tinue their diabolical work unmolested. 

Astonishing ignorance and corruption drive 
European politicians from one blunder to an- 
other in their dealings with the Soviet regime. 
On this point the Bolsheviki are right : Western 
Nations, in their strife for economic recovery, 
are playing with powder; they lose one strong- 
hold after another. There is a symbolic signi- 
ficance in the fact that a Lloyd George finds it 
pleasant to sit at the same table in company 
with habitual criminals.* It is a sinister thing 
when a King of Italy is not ashamed to shake 
the bloody hand of a Tchicherin. This signi- 



* Most of the present rulers of Eussia have served prison terms, 
and not for so-called political crimes. Some of them were sentenced 
by Eussian Courts for grand larceny, raping and murder in the first 
degree. According to information given by A. Eezanof in his valu- 
able book, "La Trois^me Internationale Communiste," prepared for 
the members of the Genoa Conference, Finkelstein, alias "Meer- 
Henoch-Movchev Vallach" (Litvinoff), is known to have participated 
in the robbery of the Post Office at Tiflis on June 13, 1906. He 
escaped to Paris, where, during a search, the stolen goods were found. 
He is head of Bolshevist propaganda abroad. Formerly he was regis- 
tered as a German spy by the Allied Intelligence Service, p. 48, 
Paris, 1922." 



256 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

fies the universal lowering of moral standards 
and ideals. In this atmosphere of decadence, 
people begin to cling to the egotistic formula: 
''Apres moi le deluge.' ' Nothing is stable, 
notliing is sacred. Traditions are broken, 
everything ridiculed, everything polluted. 

Sobelsohn (Radek) put the historical con- 
troversy between Bolshevism and anti-Bolshe- 
vism in these forcible terms: 

"The Russian peasants and workmen," he said, 
''are fully aware that they will either be beaten 
or else international capitalism will be destroyed; 
they know that it is impossible for Soviet Russia 
to exist side by side with capitalist countries. 
Russian peasants and workmen are also awakened 
to the fact that if they do not crush English capi- 
talists, if they will not thrash French capitalists, 
the latter will crush them. The Russian workmen 
may seek to make temporary peace, or rather a 
truce, with them, during which the revolution will 
grow stronger in other countries ; but no peace can 
exist between the Workers' State and the coun- 
tries of exploitation."* 

It is remarkable, however, that the leading 
European politicians refuse to recognize this 
elementary truth. Like ostriches, they try to 
hide from the enemy by merely sticking their 
heads in the sand. They consciously ignore 
volumes of Soviet propaganda in which the plot 

* See Sobelsohn 's speech at the Conference of Eastern Peoples at 
Baku. Stenographic report of the proceedings, quoted from Efizanof '3 
work, p. 127. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 257 

against civilization is frankly revealed. France, 
which has every reason to dread Red Germany, 
and which still to a large extent exercises con- 
trol over domestic matters across the Rhine, al- 
lows Kopp to openly conspire against the wel- 
fare of the French people. England, whose in- 
terests in Asia are vital, and which has ample 
ground to doubt the safety of her Eastern Do- 
minions, helplessly throws down her hands 
when it comes to coping with the Bolshevist 
plague and its germ-carriers on the Ganges. In 
full knowledge of all circumstances accompany- 
ing the destructive work of the Soviets in Asia, 
England tries to buy off an enemy that has nei- 
ther honor nor mercy. The Anglo-Soviet Treaty 
of 1921 did not, of course, arrest the scheme of 
the Red East. Under the eyes of Western Na- 
tions, in the bright daylight, a second gigantic 
theft is taking place: First, Russia was stolen 
from the world ; at present the Communists in- 
tend to snatch the entire Asiatic Continent. 
Their language is plain. In their ^^ Appeal to 
the Peoples of the East," they state»- 

"The peoples of the East have long dwelled in 
the darkness of ignorance, under the yoke of des- 
potism of their tyrannic rulers, under the oppres- 
sion of alien capitalistic conquerors. But the 
rumble of the world butchery, the thunder of the 
Russian workers' revolution which tore down from 
the Eastern Russian people the historical chains 
of capitalistic serfdom, awoke them, and now, 



258 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

having awakened from their century-long dream, 
they commence to rise. They are awakening and 
they begin to hear the apjpeal to the sacred war, 
to the ' Grazavata. ' This is our appeal : The ap- 
peal of the first convention of the representatives 
of the Eastern peoples who, under the banner 
of the Communist Internationale, have allied 
themselves with the revolutionary proletar- 
iat of the west. It is we, the representatives 
of the toiling masses of all eastern peoples — India, 
Turkey, Persia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, 
Kashgar, China, Indo-China, Japan, Korea, 
Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Daghestan, North- 
em Caucasus, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Pal- 
estine, Khiva, Bokhara, Turkestan, Fergan, Tar- 
taria, Bashkiria, Kirghisia, and others — ^united in 
an unbreakable alliance with the revolutionary 
workers of the west, it is we, who urge our peoples 
to start the sacred war. We say: 'Peoples of the 
East; many times have you heard appeals from 
your governments for the sacred war, and indeed, * 
you did wage such wars under the green banner 
of the Prophet; but all these sacred wars were 
nothing but deceit and lies for they served the in- 
terests of your greedy rulers, while you, peasants 
and workers, after the struggle was over, remained 
in the same state of misery and serfdom. You 
secured all the blessings of the world for others, 
but you never profited yourselves. Now, we issue 
to you the first call for a real sacred war under 
the Red banner of the Communist Internationale. ' 
* * * Long live the union of all workers and 
peasants of the east and west, a union of all toil- 
ers, of all oppressed and exploited ! Long live the 
military staff of this union, the Communist In- 
ternationale. Let the flame of the sacred war of 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 259 

all eastern peoples and the toiling masses of the 
world against imperialistic England never be ex- 
tinguished ! "* 

The Bolsheviki invariably emphasize that 
Communism cannot be introduced in Eastern 
countries. They are familiar with economics 
in Asia, and they know that no capitalism is 
there, at least not in the sense in which this 
term was used by Marx. 

Saf aroff, the leading Soviet expert on Eastern 
matters, is quite outspoken on this point. He 
says: 

"The East is a living history. There, in some 
localities, the relics of patrimonial Communism 
and of the patriarchal household are still alive; 
there, feudal and patriarchal relations are as yet 
in force. The religion of the East is a social and 
political religion. It sanctions the existing civil 
order and family life. It is religion that forms 
the basis of social inequality. * * * Many Eastern 
tribes have not yet finally settled as agriculturists 
(the Kirghiz, Turkoman, Arabs, tribes of North- 
em India, Kurds, etc.) ; nevertheless, in their 
midst the odds and ends of patrimonial Commun- 
ism long ago became the source of exploitation of 
the destitute majority by the wealthy patrimonial 
chieftains, "t 

* See The Communist Internationale, No. 15, pp. 3148-3150, Pet- 
rograd, December, 1920. 

t See Saf aroff 's article, ' ' The East and the Eevolution, ' ' published 
in No. 15 of The Comnvunist Internationale, pp. 3137 and 3138. 



26o THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

Another author, referring more specifically 
to Persia, makes this remark: 

"Persia is neither a state nor a nation. She is 
a peculiar conglomeration of feudal anarchy and 
a centralized fiscal system, a wavering assimila- 
tion of nomadic tribes and agriculturists, weakly 
linked to their lands, a monarchical federation; 
or, to be more precise, a Shah herd of various 
tribes."* 

The Red rulers of Moscow, who are so par- 
ticular about matters concerning the Marxian 
program, and who have been fighting for the 
** purity" of the Communist dogma, suddenly 
become quite apathetic when their doctrine is 
propagated amongst the Eastern peoples. They 
know that conceptions of Socialism are en- 
tirely alien to the mind of a Buddhist or a 
Brahmanist. In fact, when BarantuUa, a Hin- 
doo professor, arrived in Moscow at the head 
of the Afghan Mission, he hastened to explain : 

"I am neither a Communist nor a Socialist, but 
my political program involves the expulsion of the 
British from Asia. I am an implacable foe of 
the European capitalization of Asia, the principal 
representatives of which are the British. In this 
I approximate to the Communists, and in this 
respect we are natural comrades. The ideas of 
the Bolsheviks, whom we call the 'Intrakion' have 
already been absorbed by the masses of India, and 

• Compare with V. Berar 's ' ' Persia and the Persian Upheaval of 
1912," p. 10. Translation from the Bussian. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 261 

a small spark of active propaganda is enough to 
set all Central Asia ablaze with revolution. ' '* 

The economic situation in Asia is everywhere 
the same: The cultural backwardness of Asi- 
atic tribes and nations, the absence of industrial 
development, the theocratic foundation of East- 
ern States, stand in diametrical contradiction 
to the theory of Communism; and yet every- 
where Communist propaganda is rapidly gain- 
ing way among the Asiatic masses. It is true 
that tremendous sums were spent by the Soviets 
for revolutionary agitation in the East. Ac- 
cording to a confidential report of the Cheka, 
dated July 25, 1921, out of 16,200 poods of gold 
requisitioned by the Bolsheviki during the first 
six months of that year, the major part was ex- 
pended for revolutionary purposes in India. 

When Urin, alias Dzevaltvosky, proceeded 
to China in the role of Soviet Ambassador, he 
carried in his luggage a bag containing 3 poods 
and 22 pounds of gems and precious stones, 
which were later exchanged for Chinese dol- 
lars and spent for propaganda. 

The Bolshevist scheme of the Red East is an 
adroit plan in which even minor details of the 
work have been discussed at length and scrupu- 
lously weighed. Its general outline, however, 
is based upon the plain fact of the discontent 
among the masses inhabitating the Asiatic Con- 

* Compare Isvestia, May 6, 1922. 



262 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

tinent. This is the great premise from which 
the deduction is drawn that subconscious fer- 
mentation among the Eastern peoples must be 
used ad majorem Marxi gloriam. To this end, 
all means are acceptable, all methods should be 
tried, all destructive forces set in motion. 

When laying out their strategic plans, the 
Bolsheviki took into consideration that Asia is 
a land where all varieties of climate are found, 
where every tribe has peculiar customs of its 
own, religious traditions unknown to other 
ethnographic groups. Accordingly, propaganda 
and organization methods employed in Eastern 
countries had to be adapted to the individual 
character of the people with whom Soviet agi- 
tators came into contact. 

A special institution was established in Mos- 
cow for the study of the different dialects 
spoken by Asiatic tribes, and their exotic habits. 
The whole map of Asia was divided into 
sections and zones and assigned to Soviet agents 
who are considered experts on the Eastern 
problem. They are given authority to form on 
their own initiative such agencies as are re- 
quired for the success of the Communist offen- 
sive. As a typical example of Soviet *' achieve- 
ments" in that line, the Far Eastern Commun- 
ist organization may be mentioned. Chita, the 
capital of the Transbaikal region,* was made 

* The Soviets have carved out of this region a camouflage buffer 
state known as the "Far Eastern Kepublic." 



30VIET FOREIGN POLICY 263 

the general headquarters for the Eastern Asi- 
atic zone, comprising China, Japan, Korea and 
Eastern Siberia. China is subdivided into four 
belts, with Peking, Tien-Tsin, Canton and 
Shanghai, serving as communicating centers. 
Each of them has business ramifications of its 
own, subordinate to the local Soviet chiefs. 
Thus, the Shanghai organization, which prob- 
ably is the strongest among the Chinese groups, 
works through the following subsidiaries: 

(a) The Chinese Labor Party, Gun-Dan-Koui, 
which disposes of considerable funds. Its 
members are conducting propaganda mainly 
among the army units. It also is engaged in 
buying munitions and supplies for rebel sol- 
diers. This party publishes in Shanghai two 
newspapers and one underground organ, 
Jan-Bao. 

(b) The Chinese Students' Federation. 

(c) The Chinese Labor Union. 

(d) The Korean National Organization. 

(e) The Zionist Group. 

(f) The Esperanto Club. i 

(g) A Special Committee which prints The Shang- 
hai Life. 

Propaganda, purchase of munitions, and 
espionage, are the three main lines of work in 
which the Shanghai Communist Center is en- 
gaged. 

Many obstacles had to be overcome by the 
Soviets before they were able to solve, at least 
in part, their revolutionary task. First of all, 



264 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

traveling through the steppes, deserts and 
mountain passes in Asia is a hazardous under- 
taking which cannot be attempted without ex- 
perienced guides from among the natives. 
There also comes the question of dialects. 
Oftentimes two tribes which have lived side by 
side for many years do not understand each 
other due to the differences in their speech. 
Therefore, a special staff of interpreters or 
dragomans was necessary to enable the Moscow 
agitators to carry on their work. The princi- 
pal difficulty, however, with which the Bol- 
sheviki still have to contend is what they call 
the ^'religious prejudices" of the Orientals. In 
Asiatic countries straightforward attacks 
against religious faith are liable to produce re- 
sults entirely opposite to those intended. Re- 
spect for the clergy there has always been an 
inherent duty, an integral part of the habitual 
mode of life. The Koran for the Mohammedans, 
like the Talmud for the Hebrews, is not merely 
a Book of Prayer ; it is a code of laws and regu- 
lations which govern their daily conduct. In 
the light of these considerations, the Bolsheviki 
themselves were compelled to modify their 
standard methods of propaganda. The Soviet 
** instructions" to the Red East agents contain 
this interesting paragraph: 

"Religious prejudices are far stronger among 
the Mohammedan peoples than among Russian 
and other European peasantry and proletariat. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 265 

* * * Because of this fact, great care must be 
exercised in combating religious prejudices. These 
should not be fought by open repudiation but by 
means of gradually undermining the same by pro- 
paganda . . . especially by emphasizing the class 
character of the institutions controlled by the Mo- 
hammedan clergy and their greedy attitude toward 
the needy classes of the population."* 

Following this recipe, the Bolsheviki, when 
acting on Asiatic soil, refrain from insulting 
the native clergy. They tame their arrogance 
with cunning, they appeal to the lowest instincts 
of human nature. Wherever they find a solid 
trunk of faith, they plant the seed of doubt; 
they work like worms, and little by little, step 
by step, they shake loose the rock stability of 
eternal tradition. 

But Oriental psychology is impregnated not 
only with religious principles, but also with 
deeply rooted conceptions of nationalism, which 
have for their source the economic seclusion of 
Eastern tribes. The Soviets quickly grasped 
that Eastern nationalism could not be defeated 
by Marxian internationalism. On the other 
hand, however, they found that nationalistic 
agitation, inasmuch as its nature was rebellious, 
could be effectively used for furthering the 
Coromunist program. Consequently, Soviet 
agents were instructed to render their support 

♦For further details relating to these "instructions" see Brasol's 
"The World at the Crossroads," p. 316. 



266 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

to such movements as Gandhism in India, Poale- 
Zionism in Palestine, and Kemalism in Ana- 
tolia. Similarly, the Korean movement, which 
is purely nationalistic in its aims, is being 
backed by the Komintern. 

It goes without saying that manoeuvering of 
this kind digresses a long way from the Com- 
munist dogma as outlined by Marx and pro- 
fessed by modern augurs of Socialism. But 
with the Communists, it is always so: the end 
justifies the means. Anything is good so long 
as it leads to a *' Soviet Republic." 

The economic policy to be pursued in the 
Red East was thus defined by Safaroff : 

"An alliance of the peasants' Soviet Republics 
of the East with the Socialist Soviet Republics of 
the West, such is the path of Communism for the 
seizure of world economics. * * * It is by this 
method only that it will become possible to put an 
end to the colonial dependence of the Eastern 
peoples upon European and American banks, 
trusts and syndicates."* 

There is no chance for Communism to tri- 
umph in Asia. Yet under the pressure of 
Soviet teaching, the East is being rapidly revo- 
lutionized. Race is being thrown against race, 
creed against creed. No Communists are there 
among the iTastern nomadic tribes, but duped 
millions are looking forward to the bleeding 

•See Safaroff's article previouily quoted. 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 267 

Heart of Russia. The exact number of such 
unconscious supporters is unknown. At the 
time of the Washington Conference, however, 
experts on the Oriental situation made the fol- 
lowing rough estimate: 

China: Soviet sympathizers, most of 
whom are armed 1,000,000 

Afghanistan: Native Red troops.... 80,000 

Persia : Native Red troops 35,000 

India: Natives in sympathy with the 
Intrakion movement and followers 
of Gandhi 800,000 

Mongolia: Native Soviet supporters, 
all of whom are armed 43,000 

Total 1,958,000 

For the Komintern, the great task is to set 
Asia on fire, to unite all rebel elements into 
one force, to combine the Red danger with the 
Yellow, strengthening the tension until finally 
the colossal discharge of revolutionary energy 
takes on the form of a new invasion of Europe. 
Then the epoch of Attila will be revived. 

Innumerable leaflets and pamphlets have been 
distributed among Asiatic peoples, picturing 
Red Moscow as the Mecca of the East, and 
Lenin as the Mohammed of the Twentieth Cen- 
tury. On the highways to Tibet and India, 
from the Red Sea to the Pacific, from Punjab 
to the Arctic Ocean, Soviet agitators and spies 
are sneaking and whispering into the ears of 



268 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

the natives deceitful stories about the heroic 
deeds of Red Russia and her altruistic struggle 
for the good of the exploited and oppressed. At 
times, to make their tales more enticing, Ori- 
ental legends are woven in. 

A folklore lives among the Eastern peoples: 
It tells that in days gone by, when the invading 
clans of Chingishan were sweeping westward 
over the plains of Asia, they encountered the 
Sopoti, a small and peaceful Mongol tribe 
which lived on the mountain slopes in Northern 
China. Their religion forbade the shedding of 
human blood and they refused to join the hordes 
of the stem ruler. Chingishan without delay 
dispatched a special detachment to capture the 
Sopot Khans. But the Great Khutukhta, the 
Sopot King, together with his tribesmen, fled 
across the mountains. Suddenly, however, a 
wide and deep river barred Khutukhta in his 
flight. Imminent was the danger for the pur- 
suing soldiers of Chingishan were near. Khu- 
tukhta then fell upon his knees, praying Heaven 
to save him and his good people. These prayers 
were heard by Lama, and on the river bank a 
cavern was discovered through which the whole 
tribe, headed by their sovereign, escaped to 
the Subterranean Kingdom, the realm of eternal 
peace and justice, where — it is said — the Great 
Khutukhta still rules over his happy subjects. 
Such is the legend. 

In our time, the Lamaites believe that as a 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 269 

reward for pious life, when death comes, they 
will be led to the domain of restful shadows, 
where Great Khutukhta reigns. 

Combining this folklore with propaganda, 
the Bolsheviki are spreading rumors that 
Lenin has found the way to the Subterranean 
Kingdom, and that he saw the Great Khutukhta, 
who told him to convey a message to the Lama- 
ites, advising them that their hopes will be 
fulfilled as soon as they embrace the Com- 
munistic doctrine. Thus, in the humble mind 
of the Mongolian herdsman, Lenin's name be- 
comes connected with thoughts and hopes that 
are held sacred to his heart. 

From mouth to mouth, from tribe to tribe, 
insidious propaganda is spreading like fire on 
a prairie. 

It is the Red dawn of the East. 



Is anything being done to arrest the grow- 
ing danger? — 

Now and then warnings are being served 
upon those who in their hands hold the fate of 
Christian civilization. 

But these distracted voices seem to be lost in 
the wilderness of invincible apathy. 

Here and there people temporarily pull to- 
gether in an endeavor to stem the tide of hatred 
and destruction, surging from Red Moscow. 
Yet how weak are these sporadic efforts. 

The principal fact remains unnoticed, that 



270 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

peace on earth will never be achieved so long as 
a great nation is left in the mad clutches of its 
present rulers. In vain are the attempts to 
untie the Gordian knot of Bolshevism by 
conferences with those whose hands are be- 
smirched with the blood of the Russian peo- 
ple. Idle is the hope to tame the beast by 
feeding him with human flesh. Bolshevism can- 
not be conquered by flirting with Trotzky in 
the backyard of European politics. 

Moral courage is the one great thing which 
is imperative at this solemn hour of history. 
Had every European premier emulated the 
wise example of Mr. Hughes, Sovietism long 
ago would have collapsed and Russia been 
liberated for her own sake and for the benefit 
of mankind. The impotency of Western Europe 
to adequately deal with the Communist plague 
is unmistakably demonstrated by the fact itself 
that so far the nations on the other side have 
utterly failed to work out a uniform policy on 
a subject which is of greater importance than 
the Irish question, the enforcement of the Ver- 
sailles Treaty, or the formation of a League of 
Nations. For after all, what has been the 
European attitude towards Sovietism? It was 
neither peace nor war. 

Even France, which in the whole concert of 
Continental States has taken a more aggressive 
course regarding Communism, proved thor- 
oughly incapable of setting the moral principle 



SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY 271 

in the foreground. France, too, laid empliasis 
on minor egotistic considerations, on the res- 
toration of private property seized by the 
Soviets from foreign citizens, and other tech- 
nicalities—as though these and similar matters 
could bear a decisive influence upon the far- 
reaching issues of the eternal conflict between 
Judas and Christ. 

The historic ''To be or not to be," of course, 
is not confined to the speculative guess whether 
Russia will or will not pay her foreign debt. 
No doubt is there that Russia will pay the 
moment she is restored to normal life. But 
it is also clear that a regime that shows on its 
balance sheet fraudulent bankruptcy cannot 
and will not justly settle the claims of foreign 
countries. The center of gravity, therefore, 
does not rest in this phase of the dispute, for 
it is ethics rather than economics that must be 
called into council. 

Now it is time to realize that in the great 
traffic of life there are nobler aspirations than 
the petty strife for larger interest and higher 
wages. Dostoievsky once proposed this ques- 
tion: ''If the happiness of a nation had to de- 
pend upon the murder of only one innocent 
child, would we accept his life in payment for 
our welfare?" This is the crucial point, in 
fact, the climax of the world drama. 

If Western peoples feel prepared to sacrifice 
Russia on the counter of mercantile hopes and 



272 THE BALANCE SHEET OF SOVIETISM 

calculations, if Eussia is the price which must 
be paid to satisfy shortsighted avarice and 
the pernicious ambitions of foreign countries, 
then let those nations start at once their petty 
trade with Lenin, their Shylock bargaining with 
Trotzky. But if the price at stake is found too 
high, the thirty shekels offered for Russia's 
existence must be rejected, and new modes 
evolved that are designed to build not merely 
with stones and plaster, but with the refined 
fabrics of high ideals and noble wisdom. 

Sovietism has become a deadly menace to 
universal order. Its challenge must be met 
with valiant resolve. Where the coward has 
failed, the brave will win. 

The storm of war is near; its roarings can 
be heard. No time is there to waste. All the 
reserve forces of civilization must be sum- 
moned and placed on the firing-line to check the 
advance of the invading hordes. The great 
battle must not be evaded, for vital issues can- 
not be avoided. 

The triumph of Bolshevism would mean death 
to Christianity. The triumph of Christianity 
will be the death of Bolshevism. 

The Cross shall conquer. 



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