Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

IS THERE A RUSSIAN PERIL?

nrssH.v culture and german .MILITARISM. [i’,y Zk.ohv N. Pm;r:v, iu tiie- Loudon I • Observer.'j ] It seem® now unthinkable that tvhon tins rnr.utiy was oil me veiy eve of war there w.iv some that doubt'.cl whether (ireat Britain Mould light, and who thought that ]{u*-M.., li.mce, Germany, and Austria .night to light it out amongst themselves. At if t countries could fight out between iheni*c,vcs the real bsu-:* at stake! As if Germany could settle with anyone but Great Britain tjie vita* question ol he: - world public.-, of her naval and mercantile supremacy, and of her colonial future! Even after wav was declared, and the real i.-sue became cleaior, there were still some well-mean.ng jK-uple who, although realising that Kn_kmd had: no opt on iu the mat ter, stiil had mis-| givings as to the intimate results of this | war. J'hcy were asking themselves j whether wo wore not in danger simply of j replacing Geuiian by Russian militarism. 1 and whether Russian burcauciacy was less of a danger to Kurojean civilisation than Prussian Junkeidcm. —A Knight Among Nations.— To those who know Russia as a. country of iuthless binuauemey at deatn-grips with | ievoiut.oll, this question may teem natural } and reasonable. To those who know Kuo- 1 i-ia—the real Russia of idealists and hu manitarians, le’igious and otinnviec—this j question seems beside the mail;. If ever | there was a country oi Don Quixotes, | surely it. is Russia. Her lecent wars wore ; inosliy either in self-defence- or in defence I of .someone, else. All her wars against i Poland weie for the defence of her ortho- 1 clox faith against aggro-sive Catholicism. She foilglit the Hungarians to help the Austrians. Peter the Great fought the Swedes, not in order to increase Russian territory, hut “to open a window into Europe,’’ through which light was to How into daik Russia When we come to consider the great national wars of Russia | against the two great world conquerors, 1 Ghengis Khan and Napoleon. Russia fought them in sheer self-defence..- Of course, wo, shall be reminded of the Japanese War and of the subjection of Persia by Russia. True, those were the wars of aggression : but their history only proves once more that the Russian people, ae a people, would have no .‘.hare in any war of territorial aggrandisement. During tim Japanese War, as every observer con'd testify, the Ru.s:au people, went to the front umvillin dy when they went at all, ne if saying : “Wo wash our bands of this. We are not responsible.'' 'Tim war was brought to a quick ending, not because Russia- was easily beaten, but because the Russian nation rould not bo induced to fight. As to the Russian invasion of Persia, the bulk of the Russian people were absolutely ignorant of it; it was a military and diplomatic adventure, which did not touch their life. —Russia's .Strength amd Weakness.. — When people talk of the Russian danger, when they fear that a triumphant Russian militarism may supplant that of Germany, and fancy that another great European war mar come about, they do not. realise that to make such a thing even imaginable the great bulk of the Russian! people will have to be inspired with those ideals which' it has taken generations to drill into the, Ger mans. The Russian bureaucracy and the Russian military caste may be capable of desiring such a thing, but neither Russia nor any other nation over succeeds in 1 great war without the hearty co-operation of a very considerable element in its population. Russia has that co-operation at present, and with it she is invincible. But she would never get it for a war of aggression. Such a war cannot be waged by a Government or by a military caste, but only by a great and united nation. To prepare for it generationc of training, both material and intellectual, would be required Only now are wo beginning to realise what ! it has taken to bring the German nation ! to such a frame of mind as would induce them to acquiesce in their present tragic j adventure. Clauzewitz, Neitzsehc, Treutzrohke, and Bernhnrdi have no parallels in modem Russian thought. If wo compare , them, in point of influence only, with the leaders of Russian public opinion we, have | to match against them Tolstoy, Tcherni- ( cheffsky, Gerstcn. Mikaloffsky, SoloviefT, i and Korolenko; thinkers whoso ideas, are as much opposed to those of the makers of ; German public opinion as peace is to war i and culture to vandalism. —Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism.— Similarly, the ideas Pan-Slavism and Pan-Germanism, in spite of their common prefix, are totally different conceptions of national policy. Pan-Germanism aims not, only at uniting all German nations, but ai carrying the German flag to the further- | most corners of the earth. You may ran- ' sack the whole of Pan-Slav literature and you will not find a single word about a colonial empire, world supremacy, or the planting of the flag. You will read only of the brotherhood of the slavs, of their common culture, and the great intellectual and artistic future that awaits them. The more on© looks at Russia tho more one fails to see any of the signs which must characterise a nation of jingoes. Tho idea of Imperialism and the gift of colonisation are alike utterly strange to the Russian nature. The creed" of might clashes with their whole conception of life and tho destiny of man. Whether we take the deeplyreligious peasant or the agnostic “intelligent,” humanitarianism and idealism are inherent in the Russian nature along with laziness and fatalism, and all these thing.-: tonrl to make the Russians men of peace.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141126.2.88

Bibliographic details

IS THERE A RUSSIAN PERIL?, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

Word Count
946

IS THERE A RUSSIAN PERIL? Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.

Working