PRE-REVOLUTION ORIGIN OF THE USSR
19 March 1958
INTRODUCTION--Dr. Marlin S. Reichley
SPEAKER--Dr. Carroll Quigley,
Professor of History,
School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
Publication No. L58-126
INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE OF THE ARMED FORCES
Washington, D. C.
Dr. Carroll Quigley a Professor of History, School of Foreign
Service, Georgetown University, was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
9 November 1910. He was educated at Boston Latin School and at Harvard University, obtaining an A. B. (magna cum laude) in 1933, an M.A. in 1934, and a Ph.D. in 1938. He was an instructor in history at Princeton University from 1935 to 1937, leaving there to do research work at the public archives of Paris and Milan on the Woodberry Lowery Traveling Fellowship of Harvard University. While abroad, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on “The Public Administration of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, 1805-1814.” From 1938 to 1941 he was instructor and tutor in the Division of History, of Government and Economics at Harvard University. Since 1941 he has been at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, first as lecturer in History and Civilization and now as Professor of European History. He is regarded as an authority on the comparative history of civilizations and the history of Europe in the 20th century. He is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association, the American Anthropological Association, and other learned societies. He is engaged at present in writing a book on world history in the 20th century Europe. His most recent published work is “The Origin and Diffusion of Oculi” in The American Neptune, January 1958. This is Dr. Quigley’s sixth lecture at the College.
PRE-REVOLUTION ORIGIN OF THE USSR
19 March 1958
This morning, as part of our general lecture program, but on a subject that is akin to the unit of study which you are in now, we are going to hear something about the early history of Russia. You may ask, “why?” But we are assuming, and have assumed all along, that basically you and I and others know a little bit about the history of our own country, perhaps even the historical antecedents, and can judge decisions, acts, or conduct taking place today which are based on the traditional history of this country. You just don’t change those things.
Though we also feel that our knowledge of Communist history since the Revolution has been hit and hit and hit again, what we are going to try to find today is what has occurred in the earliest history of Russia that has set certain traditional patterns which may account for actions, ideas, and concepts that exist in Russian mannerisms today.
This was alluded to in Dr. Clem's lecture here earlier this week, when he talked about certain traditional concepts.
I admit, as you can see from the outline, that we are going to cover some 1, 500 or more years of history in 45 minutes. That takes a genius. I think we have found him. You have heard him before. That will give you some idea of his ability. So I won't bother giving a biographical sketch, other than to say that he is Head of the Department of History of the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
Dr. Carroll Quigley.
After listening to Dr. Reichley, I think I should leave now while I am ahead. Admiral Clark, Dr. Reichley, Honorable Gentlemen: I became a historian because I felt that we could explain things by going back and looking at their origins in the past. What I am going to attempt to do today is to explain or demonstrate that many of the most important elements in present-day Russia can be explained by examining the past history of Russia.
I have heard people say that, if only Russia hadn’t gone Communist, or what we are opposing today is communism, or if Kerensky had done something slightly different in 1917, the whole world today would be considerably different.
My own feeling is that, if any of these events of, say, the 20th century, had been even greatly different, the situation today would be only slightly different; and the reason for that is that the situation we have today is to a very considerable extent caused by the things which happened in Russia over the last 1, 500 or more years.
If we were going to explain why a person acts the way he acts, I think we would try to go into his past—what happened in his childhood. We might even ask, What were his parents like? That's what I am going to talk about today--the childhood, and even the parents, of Russia. I am going to do this in the brief time that we have by restricting myself to five results, which are listed at the bottom of the mimeographed sheet that you have there.
In Russia there is and has been a fissure between the government and the people. They are quite different things. In most periods, or in many periods, of Russian history the rulers have been outsiders-non-Russians.
Secondly, I am going to try to demonstrate that the Russian system has generally, almost always, in fact, been totalitarian; that the government has had a semidivine, a kind of holy, aspect; that its own feeling about its role, about its relationship to the land, the people, and the property of Russia has generally been a private-property aspect, a feeling that they were, in a sense, the owners, if perhaps not in strict law at least in their extra-legal rights,
This clear when we look at the fact that in Russian history, even before the Soviets, and throughout Russian history, there was no established public law of succession, but succession was frequently by testament- "I wish So and So to be my successor" -or simply by someone's grabbing power when the incumbent died.
The third thing I would like to demonstrate is that the Russian system has been authoritarian from the beginning, that the government has been above the rules, not under the rules; that certain segments of the Russian people, of the Russian system, have been outside the law. The police we would recognize in modern Russia as one element outside of the law. But, for most of Russian history, the peasants were outside of the law, and the legal system of the state did not apply to them.
Then the last two results are xenophobia, which is hatred and distrust of foreigners, and expansionism, which has been endemic in the Russian situation.
In order to explain these five points, I am going to give a terrible oversimplification. As a historian I know that any result is caused by innumerable factors acting upon one another. Here I am going to give a single cause. I think that the cause of these five things is to a considerable extent due to the fact that Russia, throughout her history, has been a battleground between Asia and Europe, between the population pressures of Asia and the technological pressures of Europe.
If we look at the geography we see that Russia, and the center of Russia, particularly, is the western end of a tremendous plain running across Asia up into Europe, and, indeed, continuing, to a considerable extent, right to The Netherlands. As you can see (on map) they are the northern flatlands, as we generally call them. That great expanse has running across the western end a system of rivers which go north and south, If you examine that system of rivers, you will see that, around Smolensk, which is in extreme western Russia, you have rivers within 50, 60, or 100 miles of Smolensk which go off in all directions and can be followed to the four great water bodies- -the White Sea, the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea.
It would seem that, with a system of communication by water, of that kind, the center of Russia, politically, should have been around Smolensk. As you know, it hasn't been. In fact it never really was. Instead it has been around Moscow. I think the explanation of this displacement, which is both eastward and northward from Smolensk, is due to the fact that the technology of Europe, pressing eastward, has for many years made Smolensk non-Russian. For example, it was controlled by the Poles for considerable periods.
Furthermore, by pushing the center of Russia eastward in this way, it was pushing it toward the pressure of population out of Asia and, as a result of that, the Russian center moved northward into the forest area. I would like to point out that, in this land, this plain, this great wedge of flatland which runs westward, there are numerous lines in which the terrain changes. In fact there are six of them. I wish to speak of only one.
At a certain point here (on map) just south of Moscow, there is a line between deciduous forests, north of the line, and the fertile black soil plain, south of the line. This has created a situation where, in the forest zone, north of the line directly around Moscow, there was an excess of fuel and shelter, because they had an excess supply of wood; but, south of that line, particularly in the modern period, they have had an excess of food, because the black-earth region is a tremendous producer of grain, as you know. This has led to interchange, in which the forest has been sending southward fuel, wood, honey, and various forest products—wax, which was of some importance in the religious sense—wax candles were required, for instance, for the Catholic religious ceremonies, by the liturgical law, and so forth. At the same time, the black lands have been exchanging northward, food and grain.
All right. Now, that is the geographic situation. I'd like to say a few words about chronology. When I speak of chronology, I will speak of two things which are not generally, I believe, mentioned by historians. It seems to me that there are two vital chronological points in the history of Russia.
One of them occurred about 200 A.D. The second one occurred, I suppose, around 1600 A.D. The first change, 200 A.D., was a change in climate. If we study the climate of the last few thousand years, I think we will see that, from 1000 B.C. to 200 A.D., a period of 1, 200 years, there was an adequate supply of rain. An adequate supply of rain meant that there was a sufficient supply of grass in this area (Asia). If there was a sufficient supply of grass, there were lots of horses and animals, off which the men could live. And, as a result, during that 1, 200 years, from 1000 B.C. to 200 A.D., the people who were in that flatland stayed there. They didn't come out. This meant that the pressure in outside areas, notably in classical civilization, which was in the Mediterranean Basin, the civilization of Greece and Rome, was not tremendous. But in 200 A.D. there was a sudden change toward dryness, a dryness which is still there, so that today the desiccation of that area is one of the great problems facing the Soviets.
That change meant that the people pushed outward and, among other places, they went into China and destroyed the Han Empire, but they also came down to the Mediterranean and destroyed the Roman Empire, within 200 years, or 300 years, afterward.
The second chronological point that I wish to indicate is that, about 1600, the technological pressure of Europe was greatly increased. The technology of Europe was advanced, although to us it looks extremely backward, long before 200. I'll give you one piece of evidence. In 732 the Saracens were within 100 miles of Paris, and they were defeated. By 1100 Europe had captured Jerusalem. This was a tremendous military counteroffensive. It is a symptom, it seems to me, of a superior technology, that could mount such an offensive at such a distance. But 1100 was right back in the dark ages. By 1600 the technological pressure of Europe was immensely increased, above all, by gun powder, as you know.
These two things - the population pressure of Asia and the technological pressure of Europe, which became steadily more and more intense, from 1600 on, for at least 300 years - to 1900 or even beyond-hammered out Russia and created a system where you really had a kind of military-barracks despotism, superimposed over a relatively supine, producing population.
Now let's look at the history. In the very earliest period there were scattered through Russia the Finns. The Finns lived by a rudimentary economic and social system. It was made up largely of gleaning, collecting, primitive agriculture, and hunting. There appeared about 2, 000 years ago a new people, probably around the Pripet Marshes. These were the Slavs. These Slavs steadily have pushed outward, pushing outward by biological superiority, rather than by any other means; simply, they were reproducing, with a high birthrate, and moving slowly eastward, and to some extent, as you know, also southward and southwestward. But principally they were moving eastward through the forests.
In this movement they were relatively peaceful. They were not conquering the Finns. They were amalgamating with them. These Slavs would have remained there, I suppose, for a considerable period, with this low, primitive, productive system, a system which depended upon hunting, even more, perhaps than it did upon agriculture, and which had no commerce, because it produced no surpluses, and of course had no industry worth speaking about,
Two came into this situation which changed it. The first was that the Vikings came down from the north. The Russians called them the Varangians. The second the influence of the Byzantine Empire coming up from the south.
Varangians came in to exploit this area. They followed the river systems. At strategic points they set up little stockades and forts. They superimposed on the primitive economy of the Slavs a commercial system, and ultimately they superimposed over them a relatively centralized political system.
In other words, the advance of the economic system, the advance of the political system, to a higher level was due to outsiders who came in.
The Varangians brought in certain characteristics. They were militaristic. They had a love of booty. They made no distinction between legitimate trade and plunder; they'd use whichever seemed to them the more effective. They had a private-property concept of their whole situation. For example, as they lived in their forts, there, getting furs, let us say, from the native people, and getting honey, wax, or another commercial commodity, and then shipping those commodities to the Baltic, or, later, down to the Black Sea, they regarded the whole system as a private system, not a system of public law or government. In this way they were somewhat similar, perhaps, to the Hudson Bay Company, or the East India Company of the British.
Ultimately they reached Byzantium. When they first reached Byzantium, they tried to take it by military force. They besieged it, but were unsuccessful. Accordingly, they established a modus vivendi and brought in, from Byzantium, their culture. We might say that the early Slavs got their organization and structure from the Varangians. They got the culture which filled that structure and put flesh upon it from Byzantium.
You are familiar with examples of this, I am sure. The Russian alphabet today is a form of the Greek alphabet. Their religious system today is the Eastern Orthodox, Greek Catholic religion. Their architecture today is based, or at least the ecclesiastical architecture in the modern period has been based, on the dome, which is a Byzantine, rather than a Western, form of architecture.
But they brought many other things. Their political organization increasingly became Byzantine. The word “Czar”, is simply their version of the word “Caesar” which shows that they recognized that they were copying. They brought other things.
Of the results which I have listed, the first three, to a considerable extent, are derived from the Byzantine model--fissure between the government and the people; the totalitarian aspect; and the authoritarian aspect.
Why should this have occurred in Russia, which does not seem directly to be a descendant of classical antiquity, while it did not happen in the West, where we live, and we seem to be an even more direct descendant? The answer is one which is usually neglected by historians; namely, the Dark Ages occurred in the West. If you go back and look at classical antiquity, it occupied the Mediterranean Basin for about 1, 500 years, from 1000 B.C. to almost 500 A.D. That system was always totalitarian. The teacher who teaches you Latin and Greek doesn't tell you this; but the system of antiquity was a totalitarian system. In the first half, up to the time of Alexander the Great, about the year 300, their political unit was the polis. After that, and of course above all, after the Roman Empire was established, their political unit was the imperium. The word "polis" and the word “imperium” cannot be translated into English, because we make a distinction between our political system, religious system, and economic system, social system, and so forth. But the people of classical antiquity did not make such a distinction until very late.
Polis was a religious system. All citizens of Athens engaged in the religious festivals. Socrates was executed for teaching gods other than the gods of the Athenian State. That was an act of impiety. Their economic system was part of the polis. Their social system was the same thing--the polis. It is the failure to distinguish between a political system and a social system which made classical antiquity totalitarian.
I think the same thing could, to a considerable extent, be said about Russia. In Russia today they are incapable of distinguishing between a social system and a political system. When we think of Rome, the imperium was similarly a totalitarian organization. The government intervened in economic life. The chief economic activity of ancient Rome in the imperial period was the grain trade, a government monopoly. The ruler was not only head of the government--we call him “princeps” --but he had another title--he was “imperator,” which means commander-in-chief. Our word "emperor" comes from the Latin word for commander-in-chief. So he was the military head. He was also "Pontifex Maximus,” chief priest of the religious system. He was the head of the social system. It was all one--a totalitarian system.
In the West, that is to say, in the Latin-speaking half of classical antiquity, this system was destroyed. In the eastern half, it survived. When I say the system was destroyed in the West, I mean that in 476 the political system disappeared, and those people who felt that the political system was the same as the social system discovered that it wasn't true; because society continued; the political system had gone.
This changed their ideas about many things. It showed them, for example, that you could have a religious system separate from the political system. Today we believe in the separation of church and state. It showed them that they could have an economic system which would function without any centralized control. The medieval manorial system, as you know, was highly decentralized. It showed them that they could have a military system without a centralized control. We call it feudalism. It showed them certain other things, perhaps even more vital to us today. It showed them this--that a society has rules. Those rules which keep the society functioning are not enacted by a government which is above them; rather they arise out of the nature of the relationships which exist in the society. So that, after Rome disappeared in the West, they discovered that they still had law. Thus, law is not a creation or an enactment of a political authority; it is rather something which is found, and the political authority should be under the law.
These are some of the ideas we believe today. Our idea of government under law, our idea of natural law, our idea of liberalism, that the economic system should be separate from the political system, our idea that religion is not part of the political system, all of these, go back to the fact that, in the Latin-speaking world, the political system disappeared and they found they still could live a full and adequate life.
But in the Byzantine East, this was not so. In Byzantium, the system continued. I would like to point out a couple of aspects of the Roman system which are, again, rarely emphasized. The Roman Empire had no system of public law which would determine the succession. Accordingly, every time an emperor disappeared, whether by assassination or by natural death, there had to be a power struggle to determine his successor. This is similar to what we have today in Russia, and have had throughout the history of Russia--no public law system of succession.
Similarly, the economic system of classical antiquity, particularly for the last 500 or 600 years of its existence, was an exploitative system--I don't mean in the Marxist sense, I mean it was a system that could not function in any economic sense. Rome produced almost nothing that it could export to the periphery, yet, all the time it wag importing from the periphery the very essentials of Life—notably, of course, food, but also raw materials and all kinds of goods, How could Rome pay for the goods which poured into Rome, if no goods poured out? Because gold and silver went out. But they could not continue to export gold and silver unless they had gold and silver being produced in Rome, which was not so. This meant that, in Rome, when the supply of gold and silver became so low that they could no longer continue to pay for their imports, they had to go out into the provinces, ransack them by force, and plunder them to bring the gold and silver back. This plundering at the beginning was military; later it was an administrative thing.
Cicero tells us that a governor of a province had to make three fortunes--one to pay off the bribes by which he obtained the position, a second to defend himself against the judicial charges of peculation and corruption, which would follow high return, and the third one for himself, This is the way the system functioned. Thig is an exploitative system. And these examples, with which we are not usually familiar, in classical antiquity, continued sufficiently in the Byzantine state to become an example to the Russian system.
The things which happened in the history of Russia have intensified these basic elements which Russia obtained from its predecessors. If we were to regard the Varangian as the father of Russia, and Byzantium as tie mother of Russia, we could see that these hereditary elements were intensified by what happened to Russia subsequently, during, let us say, the last 1,000 years.
In the middle of the 13th century, for example, the pressure of population coming from the East became much intensified. It culminated in the Mongol raids and the Mongol conquest of Russia. The Mongol raids, as you know, went all over Europe. In fact, Batu, in, I believe, 1239 and 1240, raided all the way across to the Adriatic Sea, circled around, and went back; but he didn't go back to Asia. They went back only to Russia; and over the Russian people the Mongols set up an exploitative governmental system. The only thing they were really interested in was extracting money, tribute. They left much of the government to local units, as long as the tribute was paid. In this process of leaving much of the government to local units, they increasingly depended upon Moscow.
Under Ivan I, they established that the Prince of Moscow wag to be the collector of their tribute. Under Dimitri Donskoi, they established that any judicial appeals from local authority would come to the Prince of Moscow. So then the Prince of Moscow was the financial center and the judicial center of Russia, as a collaborator of the Mongols. As you know, Dimitri Donskoi threw the Mongols out; but he maintained the position of tribute collector and supreme judicial authority, and he and his successors added two attributes.
For example, Ivan III, in the Moscovite Period from 1380 onward, after Dimitri Donskoi, married the daughter of the last emperor of the Byzantium state. When that last emperor was removed by the Turks, Ivan Ill claimed that, through his wife, he was the successor of the Byzantine religious system. He was the patriarch of the East and the head of the other patriarchs, head of the orthodox church. This gave him three elements—financial, judicial, religious.
His grandson, Ivan IV, was the first to assume the title of Czar-Caesar. When he assumed that title, Caesar, he assumed all of these various aspects which were associated with the Roman Empire-religious head, social head, political head, military head, and, to some extent, economic head of the system.
Ivan the Terrible, Ivan IV, got in touch with England, in an attempt to obtain some kind of economic improvement and possibly even political support against the pressure from the West; because the Russian State now, having to some extent alleviated the population pressure from the East, found itself increasingly under the technological pressure of the West.
This again is something we don't think of, because the pressures on Russia from the West, back in those days, 1500, were from states which we now do not think of as pressure states-Sweden, Poland, and Turkey. But the Swedes, for example, at one time probably had the best artillery in Europe. That was a threat to Russia. The Poles, as you know, had the water system, at least the key central parts of that water system, which would control the economic distribution of the western part of the Russian Empire.
Accordingly, it became clear to the Czars that they must get a western technology in order to resist the West; they must get a more effective military system in order to resist both the West and the East. We must never forget that the drying up of Asia was still continuing. It is true that movement of people out of Asia has not been a predominant feature of the history of this area in the last few hundred years, That is not because the area is a good place to be alive; it is because the technology of the West, as adopted by the Russians, has made it possible to keep the population pressure of Asia down, and even to go across Asia and conquer these people.
The effort to westernize Russia took forms which to us would not be familiar. For one thing, this meant that the economic advance of Russia became a state activity. The tremendous economic advance of the West was based upon private enterprise. Any economic advance we are talking about in Russia was largely based upon government enterprise. And that was true not just in the Soviet period. If you go back only 60 years ago, you will see that the railroad system of Russia was built by government action. Count Witte, for example, is the great figure. Much of the industry of Russia was built up by government action, getting foreigners--Germans and Swedes and others—to come in and set up factories by giving them extensive concessions. This is true even back in the period of Catherine the Great or Peter the Great.
Another distinction, a distinction which is rather complicated- -I have spoken of it here before, and some of you may have heard me speak of it--is this: If we are seeking technological advance to resist anyone-as we today are seeking technological advance to resist the Russians--we must, to a considerable extent, make that advance in technology appear in weapons. The technological advance in weapons sometimes takes the form of making weapons which are easy to use and cheap to obtain. That occurred in the West. 1600 onward, until, I would say, practically 1900, the weapons which the West obtained became cheaper and cheaper and cheaper to get and easier and easier and easier to use. If you were to look at the time of the American Revolution, or 20 years or 30 years after the American Revolution, the time of Napoleon, you would find that the best weapon which the West had would be a musket, and possibly a rifle under certain conditions. And such a musket or rifle was so cheap—-and steadily getting cheaper--that the ordinary individual could get it. A musket or even a rifle could be bought in the year 1810, 1820, and 1830 with the work of perhaps two or three months at the most,
If the best weapon available in a society is cheap enough for the ordinary man to obtain it, and easy enough for the ordinary man to use it, you get a wide dispersal of power, and eventually, I think, you get a democratic political structure to reflect this wide dispersal of power. That did not happen anywhere in Asia. In Asia, even when muskets came in they were expensive. The ordinary person could not obtain them, and, as a result, they were obtained by the government and became a method by which the government could put increased pressure on the people--not as in Europe a method by which the people could resist governmental pressure and establish some kind of government based on consent.
The increased pressure upon the Russian people, arising from the westernization of Russia, and above all from the fact that the government had weapons and that the government alone was engaged in industrializing, led to profound changes in Russian society. It made it possible for the government to demand service from the landlords, to demand that they serve in the bureaucracy, in the administrative system, or as officers in the Army, and so forth. In return for these demands upon what we would regard as the upper class, the government gave concessions to the upper classes, and the chief concession which they gave was that they handed over to their tender mercy the peasantry,
They established that the peasantry would become serfs. That means that, working on a landlord’s estate, they were forbidden to leave. But it went further than that. They deprived those serfs of the government’s judicial remedies. They established in law that the peasants, tor ordinary disputes, ordinary civil and criminal actions, would be responsible to their lord and they could not get into any state system of judicial appeal, This, of course, allowed the landlords to put increased pressure on the peasants, to take from them much of what Oley were producing; and this surplus of economic production thus flowed upward. In flowing upward, it did not remain with the landlords, but came into the governmental system to pay for mercenary soldiers, cannon, and the expenses of government, and even went to the corruption of the governmental system, as you well know.
In spite of the restrictions of serfdom, the peasants tried to evade this system. The peasants who, in the remote past, had been drifting eastward, through the forests, continued to drift eastward through the forests, trying to escape from the pressure of the land— lords and the Moscow system. As they drifted eastward in this way, first the landlords took off after them, and then the government took off after them. The eastern movement of the Russian system was not originally a movement of the government. It was rather a movement of the peasants, pursued by the government.
Ultimately, as you know, 100 or so years ago, the Russians reached the Eastern Ocean, the Amur River, and the edges of China. This system that was established in this way wag intensified by Peter the Great and by Catherine the Great, They extended the Russian system to the Baltic and to the Black Sea, and they were able to do this because of the decline of Sweden, the decline of Poland, and the decline of Turkey, In that interval, when these three states had declined, which was clearly seen. Let us say, by the year 1800, or even earlier--Poland had ceased to exist by 1800--Sweden had been back in an innocuous position by the year 1650--Turkey by 1800 clearly was in decay and collapse-and the threat of Germany didn’t come until 1870--the Russian system seemingly was a terrific success. The Russians could control the pressure of population from the East; they could deal with the pressure of technology from the West by adopting a western technology; and the system did not reflect itself for almost two generations in political and military pressure.
Then a strange thing happened. With the pressure off, the ruling group got a guilty conscience. They got a guilty conscience for reasons on which I can't really go into detail, except to say that the religious system of Russia has always been a religious system, as you know, of black threat of damnation, of guilt--well, I don't want to describe it--every time I do things like this I offend people. I find my audience is filled with Greek Orthodoxes, and so forth. So I won't go on. But I'll simply say that the religious system is a system in which judgment, damnation, and guilt are given a predominant role. Accordingly, the rulers, with the pressure temporarily off, got what we call a guilty conscience. This included many of the landlord class. Tolstoi would be a typical figure, rather late. Accordingly, they got reform.
That reform went on from about the time of the American Revolution until about the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The movement toward reform was intensified by another extraordinary demonstration that the Moscow system was a success. That was the victory over Napoleon. We may say that the victory over Napoleon in 1812 was not caused by the power, efficiency, or whatever you will--high technological achievements of the Moscow system. We say it was due to the weather or some other causes. But, to the Moscow people, the ones who were running the system, it seemed that the defeat of Napoleon was both an evidence of divine favor and a clear indication that their system was a g)0d one. The combination of those gave them the feeling of guilt.
If you look at the Czars of the 19th century as they are listed on the mimeographed sheet, you will see that alternately you have periods of reform and reaction. The reason is this: When the feeling of guilt gave them reform, the Russian people didn't have the traditions, they didn’t have the training. Instead they had the things I have listed, but the things I have listed did not in any wat prepare the Russian people for any role of self-government, of private initiative, of any of the things that would be necessary to establish a functioning reform system in Russia. Instead, the efforts to give reform led to outbursts of revolution, violence, assassination, and so forth. That automatically led to repression.
We see that Alexander I, after the defeat of Napoleon, established reforms, associated with men like Speransky. Nicholas I, his successor, had reaction. Alexander II established tremendous reforms, including the abolition of serfdom. But then he was assassinated for his pains. The next phase was reaction--Alexander Ill. The last Czar there has after his name neither the word "reform" nor the word "reaction, because, by the time of Nicholas Il, the system was terribly corrupt, it was paralyzed with indecision, with incompetence, with an inability to make a choice whether to carry on reaction to the ultimate or to carry on reform. Which? Nicholas was incapable of making any decision. He was surrounded by advisers who were following both paths simultaneously.
Out of this paralysis, out of the defeat of the First World War, and out of the fact that, in order to resist German pressure in the First World War, it was necessary to give weapons to the peasants, you got the revolutionary upheaval of 1917.
Looking at the past history of Russia as I have outlined it here, I hope you can see that the Russian experience has been totally different from our experience. It is an Asiatic experience rather than a Western experience. The reason that we are facing Russia today is due to many causes, of which this historical causation is a chief element,
Thank you, gentlemen.
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