I MADE that forecast in the year 1906 and everything that has happened since tended to confirm it.
But what of the future? the reader may ask. Have Russia's sands indeed run down? Will her dissolution not be followed by a glorious resurrection? In answer to these and kindred questions it may be pointed out that the province of the historian and that of his less ambitious auxiliaries is to supply the public with relevant and well-sifted facts, not with forecasts that cannot be verified.
From the partial sketch outlined in the foregoing pages it may seem to follow that the Russian people has been not merely knocked out of the lists as a belligerent, but also permanently incapacitated as a nation for a prominent part in the politico-social progress of the world. And one may ask why I have refrained from drawing this conclusion? For if it be true that the bulk of the population is intellectually benighted, morally obtuse, politically indifferent, and socially incohesive, it follows that it is also insensible to the only motives strong enough to determine such an effort as would make regeneration possible. Not even an army can be raised until these conditions are remedied. And an army is but the first of a long series of conditions requisite for a new birth. When Russia has national forces again, she will be in possession of a most important element of renewed vitality, but only of one. And as yet she is still far removed even from that.
Those who reason thus are assuming that the future development of mankind will run on the lines of its past progress. And the grounds for this assumption are inadequate. Yet oddly enough, many of these critics are also zealous champions of the supremacy of right over force and of arbitration as a substitute for war, and these doctrines, warped it may be and discoloured, are to be discerned at the roots of Russia's great renunciation. It must therefore be