THE WAR BENEATH THE WAR
THERE was little chance of any peace based on internationalism so long as Russia was ruled by its old reactionary government. The Czardom was perhaps the lowest form of political organization under which any great people lived, and to the Russian bureaucracy our Western ideals were simply a weapon to be used against the rival bureaucracy of Prussia. The Revolution, however, brought the working classes into control of the Russian government and for the first time we had one of the great belligerents dominated by a proletarian, socialistic group. It was from this group, saturated with Marx and Engels and the whole literature of social revolution, that there issued an appeal for a settlement of the war based not on conquest but on internationalism. The Russian Democracy demanded peace without punitive indemnities or forced annexations.
For this utterance the allies of New Russia were unprepared. Suddenly out came this blunt proposal, and decorous diplomats shuddered at its crudity. In polite circles one does not do such things. Besides, the plan had not been thought out. Indemnities--there are many kinds of indemnities; and as for annexations and quasi-annexations and the innu-