One Hundred Red Days: A Personal Chronicle of the Bolshevik Revolution

By Edgar Sisson | Go to book overview

PREFACE
The Enemies of Peace

I HAVE waited twelve years to assure myself that time would develop two conclusions reached through observation of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 and 1918.

The first was that there could be no peace in the world while the masters of one nation warred upon all other nations by fanning within them every attack upon their forms of government and every flame of dissension, whether economic, racial, or religious. The second was that the leaders of the Russian adventure were doomed to die by violence, but that their movement--unless overthrown from within by revolt in consequence of famine or of reckless oppression, or from without because of mistaken effort for the military conquest of any of their western neighbors--would endure until the peasants became coherently conscious of their power and by pressure, either slow and continuous or centered in a single mighty impact, realized an intensely individualistic, small-landholding state, in the vernacular of the Bolsheviks themselves, a petit-bourgeois state.

A third possibility, that of military overturn of the leaders by the emergence of an able and ambitious chieftain, has of course been always inherent in the situation. Yet should such an event occur, it might only record a shift of power; or it might be transitional, either toward breakdown of Bolshevism and substitution of personal dictatorship and monarchy or toward new fury for World Revolution and military advance. The phenomenon, to this date, has not appeared; nor should its arrival more than temporarily deflect the course of the deeper-seated, broader-based peasant impulse. Under some form of government agreeable to them, the peasants, I am confident, ultimately will possess Russia.

Meantime there has been no peace. For twelve years Russian

-v-

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