CHAPTER III
LACK OF RUSSIAN UNITY

IT is well to remember that the anarchist bias inherent in the Russian race has never been uprooted nor even systematically countered. The bulk of the people are hardly any better equipped for the life-struggle than they were in the days when the Mongols of the Golden Horde held sway among them and compelled their princes to lick horses' slaver.

One of the most powerful engines for preparing, maturing, and consummating the politico-social cataclysm was the university, together with the numerous tag-rag and bobtail of loosely-thinking, wildly-speaking humanity that centred around it. I had the honour to be a member of one of the foremost Russian universities and observed this puissant influence at close quarters. The university is essentially a western institution specially adapted to the requirements of western youth reared according to certain traditions and indoctrinated with certain beliefs. Transplanted to Russian soil the university brought forth unfamiliar--Dead Sea-- fruit. And it could not well be otherwise. The Russian student was at bottom one of those peasants whose qualities and defects I have just been endeavouring to outline. Endowed with marvellous receptivity, a hypercritical cast of mind, impatience to learn everything, combined with insuperable sloth and infirmity of purpose, he was filled with awe for science, took for granted western theories, principles, and ideas, and applied them as standards of comparison to the institutions and doctrines of his own country. Capable of a passion for the abstract he worshipped western science, or rather pseudo-science which he understood more easily, as a tribesman on the shores of Lake Baikal worships his fetish. For synthesis, for constructive work, he lacked the materials, the training, and the capacity.

-26-

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