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BOLSHEVISM.

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCES

• The social and economical conditions in Russia under Bolshevism were described in a lecture which was gh'en recently at King's. College, Strand, by Mr R. Bruce Lockhart, at a meeting of the United Russia Societies, presided over by Sir Bernard Mallett. Mr Lockhart said he was debarred by the fact that he was still a Government official from dealing with the. two most interesting iquestions in connection with the situation in Russia, namely, Allied policy in Russia ..and Bolshevik foreign policy. It would be better, he; thought, if greater attention were paid in this country to the economic side of Bolshevism than to the terrorist side. It was an entire mistake to regard the Bolshevik leaders purely as a gang of German agents. Many of them were perfectly genuine and sincere in their beliefs and they knew perfectly well the fate that would befall them if they were overthrown. One type of leader was" the personification of vengeance and genuinely international, is illustrated by the Jewish, elements of Bolshevism. • Another type was the educated or semi-educated working man, who had been educated secretly by the Bqlshevik intellectuals. Yet another type was a purely Russian mixture of fanaticism and mysticism.

In its conception Bolslievfsm was not a working man's movement. The leaders hailed from the upper and middle classes, of whom Jews, nearly all living tinder assumed names, formed by far the largest proportion, though it was only fair to say that many Jews were" anti-Bolshevik. Whatever might be said of his motives and his actions Lenin was-the brain and body of the Bolshevik movement, and his unbounded confidence in 'himself was the source of his power and pre-eminence among his colleagues .which had enabled him so far to succeed in keeping the barque of Bolshevism, Avhich but for him would have been destroyed long ago, off. the rocks. The Bolsheviki of Russia .recognised' that Bolshevism could not succeed without a Bolshevik revolution in Europe, and the leaders of the movement had been able to keep their followers together by convincing them of the certainty of such a revolution. It'was a profound -error to suppose that Bolsheviki were actuated by a general desire for universal peace. They promised universal peace, but they proclaimed universal war. They praised and denounced democracy almost'in the same breath.

In a country like Prussia, it was not difficult, for. a minority to override the majority. The Bolsheviki had against them the whole of the educated classes and the great majority of the peasantry, and there was universal revolt against Bolshevism throughout.' the length and breadth of the land. But the revolt was not successful, because the Bolsheviki, having completely overthrown the anarchists, had obtained control of the chief supplies of food, guns, munitions, and rolling stock, and

were able to prevent all legitimate propaganda work. The bourgeoisie was crippled and divided againstl itself, and tlie peasants were disorganised, and hesitated lest by their action they might lose possession of the land for which they had craVed sd""iong. Bolshevism was a short cut to communism by violent methods of destruction, and so far it had made no real advance on the reconstructive social side. Almost everything had been nationalised ; by the unscrupulous use of the printing machine fabulous wages were being paid, the rehousing of the working classes was being carried out by putting them into the houses of which the owners had been dispossessed; and tlie expenditure was far in excess of. the revenue. If Bolshevik methodu had been adopted by an Imperial autocrat they would have raised a howl ri indignation in the Liberal Press ol the whole world.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190423.2.32

Bibliographic details

BOLSHEVISM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9592, 23 April 1919

Word Count
608

BOLSHEVISM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9592, 23 April 1919

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