PRE-REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF THE USSR
17 March 1952
Director of Instruction, ICAF
School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
Publication No. L52-116
INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE OF THE ARMED FORCES
Washington, D. C.
It is pretty difficult to cover all of that in 40 minutes, as Dr. Reichley indicated. Accordingly, I am going to try to establish only five points, or try to explain five characteristics.
The first is this: You will find in the Soviet Union throughout history a fissure, a gap between the rulers and the ruled, between the government and the people. That was established 1,000 years ago and continues.
Secondly, you will discover that the government is totalitarian. That is to say, it always assumes that it has the right to interfere with any aspect of human life. It is semidivine. It has had a private property conception of its own function and of the people and the land over which it rules.
Thirdly, it has been authoritarian. It has been a government above the law. In fact, some segments of Russian society have been without any law at all, such as the peasants who for a couple of hundred years were subject to the rule of the landlords over them and were beyond the regular laws of the public state.
Fourth—xenophobia--their hatred of foreigners, which is not a recent thing. It is not a Bolshevik invention. It is of very ancient origin.
The last point is that they have been expansionists, not just under the Soviets brat throughout Russian history.
Those five points I am going to explain in their primary history—the fissure between the government and the people, the totalitarian aspects of the government, the authoritarian aspects of the government, their xenophobia, and their expansionism.
Here I must warn you I am going to oversimplify this exposition. All causation is multiple. I don’t think any historian has tried to say that the cause of this was that. He must, rather, say, “The cause of this was this group of circumstances.” When we come to the causation of these things, I am going to mention these multiple causes.
It seems to me that the explanation of Russia, including the Soviet Union, is that it is a battleground between central Asia and Europe. That is the point I am going to try to make. Am I right? Let us see. Before I go into the history, I want to say something about two foundation stones of history. One is geography and the other is chronology.
As to the geography--and you are going to get a lot on that--it is really very simple. Russia is the western end of a tremendous plain. That plain has three parts to it, roughly, going from the north to the south--the tundra zone in the north, which is divided into two parts, but we won’t bother with that; the forest zone in the center, also divided into two parts; and the steppe zone in the south, also divided into two parts. So there are really six parts but we will speak of only three.
The steppe zone to the south forms an open highway from central Asia into Europe and across Soviet Russia, as you know, south of the Urals. That steppe zone is divided into two parts. The northern part is the fertile black land, which has always produced a surplus of food. The southern part we are not concerned with--that is desert area.
The forest area north of it has always produced a surplus of wood--for shelter and for fuel--but it has always produced a deficiency of food. Thus there was established from very remote times a natural interchange between the southern end of the forest zone, with its surplus of shelter and fuel, and the northern end of the steppe zone, with its surplus of food from the black earth region.
That is one-half of the geography. The other half of the geography is this: At the western end of this rather flat zone, there is a magnificent series of rivers, running north and south, providing communication between the north and south. If you examine these rivers, you will discover that there is a little circular zone around Smolensk, which is really in the extreme west of the flat land, from which you can go by these river systems north to the White Sea, west to the Baltic Sea, south to the Black Sea, and east to the Caspian Sea.
That being so one would think the river system going north and south should have been controlled from Smolensk; it is not. The center of Russia has consistently been much farther east and farther north. The reason for this is that the Russians have not only had pressure from the east--from the peoples of these flat lands--but they have also had pressure from Europe. And the pressure from Europe has been so intense that Smolensk for a long period of time has been in Polish hands rather than in Russian hands.
Accordingly, the center of Russia was pushed by European pressure eastward; and by moving eastward it has tended to get more exposed to the peoples of the steppes, who are coming across the black land. In fact Moscow is in the southern edge of the forest zone, relatively close to the four rivers, but not as close as Smolensk and is hidden away on what is a kind of remote tributary to the Volga River, a tributary up which the peoples of the steppes did not generally go. Thus it was protected. That is all I am going to say about geography. We have a picture of it in our minds.
Now about the chronology--I believe you have an outline of the chronology giving you the chief incidents in Russian history; that is what I’m going to speak about now.
I am going to speak to you first about something that most historians would never think of--that is, that the chronology of Russian history has been determined by two things, neither of which is concerned with chronology. One is the climate of central Asia and the other is the technological development of western Europe.
Now, if you examine these, you will see that central Asia has been getting drier since about 200 A.D. Before that, central Asia for about 1200 years was not very dry. Accordingly, for the 1,200 years from lO00 B.C. to 200 A.D. there was really little pressure by these barbarian peoples eat of central Asia. But from 200 A.D. onward there was considerable pressure of people out from central Asia.
If you know about history, you will think that what I said is not quite true. You will say, “The pressure of the people out of central Asia was not continuous. For instance, where was it in the year 1800? Where was it in the year 1900?” It is true that, while the climate has been getting drier for the last 1,800 years approximately, the pressure of the peoples out of Asia, driven out by the desiccation of Asia, lasted, I think, only from about 300 A.D., let us say, up to 1700.
Why? The reason is this: The population pressure out of Asia, as far as climate goes, should have continued after 1700; but they were unable to continue. The technological development of western Europe, by giving the Europeans the means for exerting terrific pressure upon barbarians or primitive people, reversed the population pressure, in spite of the continuing of the desiccation.
Now, that technological pressure from Europe, which really began with the invention of firearms in the fourteenth century, and which has continued with the improvement of firearms and the improvement of communications and the improvement of transportation--as a matter of fact, is still going on--has given Europe a tremendous pressure outward.
What does this mean? It means that Russia was caught between two pressures, the pressure of the peoples from the steppes moving westward and the pressure of the western European technology, in the hands of the Germans mostly and certain other people--the Poles and others—pushing eastward; Russia has been hammered out between those two pressures.
The result has been to create what might be regarded as an almost psychopathic society, with xenophobia. It is a society which is like a child brought up under tremendous pressure, where it would serve to distort his personality to the point at last where he would not be a peaceful, easy-going, happy-go-lucky citizen. Am I right?
We have established the geography and the chronology of the situation. I want now to look a little bit at the history.
At a very remote period the forest zone around the Pripet Marshes, up in here, was inhabited by peoples speaking a Ural-Altaic language. We call them the Finns. The Ural-Altaic languages have little to do with the Russian of today. It was primarily an Asiatic language, like the Mongol, the Turkish, and the Finnish of today, and the Hungarian. It generally originated in Asia. But at this remote period, let us say, 3,000 years ago, most of the forests, particularly with regard to Russia were inhabited by Finns.
They were timid people. They lived off in the forests. They ate squirrels, rabbits, and things of that kind; and on the whole they were not a powerfully organized people. They did not have a very effective economic system or technology.
There began to appear about the time of Christ, or a little later, around the Pripet Marshes a different group of people, the Slavs, a people with an Indo-European language. These Slavs, mostly because of their high birth rate, spread. As they spread, they tended to move northward into the forests and intermingled with the Finns and generally pushed them backward. They had a technological and economic system which was approximately the same as the Finns and of a very low level.
How did these people--living on a subsistence kind of economic system, with no advanced technology, with ineffective weapons and almost a rudimentary social organization, based largely on the family, and so forth--ever become organized into the kind of mighty power which we see today?
The answer is that it was done almost exclusively by outside influences. There were some outside influences at the beginning. The first was the Norsemen or Swedes or, as the Russian historians call them, the Varangians, from the north, from the Baltic, coming down through the river system, looking for trade, furs, and plunder.
The second force was the force of the East Roman Empire, what we call the Byzantine Empire, centering at approximately Constantinople or Byzantium, and sending out an influence which was an influence of civilization northward.
The Varangians, when they came, came in approximately the same way that the French came into this continent after the year 1600—through the St. Lawrence valley, down the Mississippi valley, as you know.
They were looking for trade. They treated the natives fairly well, and so forth. When the Varangians came, they organized a system which was a combination of trade, plunder, and exploitation. They made no distinction between plunder and legitimate trade. They regarded the whole thing with a private property conception. Then they got possession of territory, they owned it as private property. That private property conception still continues and has continued throughout the course of Russian history in the minds of the czars, because the later Russian rulers were derived from the Varangians, although the Russian rulers were exclusively Slavic, because the Varangians married Slavic women, and their women brought up their children in Slavic ways.
It was these Varangians who gave Russia its first organization. It was an organization which was widespread, exploitative, and militaristic; it took the Slavic peoples, who had a subsistence system—hunting and rudimentary agricultural--and imposed on them a system of long-range trade and even a certain amount of industry, mostly commerce. It was foreign exploitation and organization in this way.
Now we bring in the next factor. These Varangians soon reached Byzantium and began to trade all the way from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea with the Byzantine Empire, the East Roman Empire. At the same time the Byzantine peoples began to utilize this trade to get things they wanted, such as furs, wax, honey--sugar had not been discovered, so they had to use honey--wax for candles came from the Russian forests even in the Middle Ages and even in the later period.
The fact is that Byzantium had a tremendous influence upon Russia. It was of the utmost importance. It was this: There was at one time only one Roman Empire, which filled the whole Mediterranean Sea area. The western half of it spoke Latin and the eastern half spoke Greek. In 476 the western half disappeared. The Roman imperial force was removed by a mercenary military leader. That was 476. The Roman Empire in the east, in Constantinople, continued for another 1,000 years, until 1453.
That Roman Empire was authoritarian; it was totalitarian. When I say it was totalitarian I mean it presumed to rule over all economic life and all religious life. They persecuted Christians because they would not worship the emperor and things of that kind. For 900 years this totalitarian government remained in the east. The Greek-speaking peoples were all that was left of the Roman Empire. It was they who became the ancestors of the culture of the Slavs.
But in the west you will find no government at all. What does this mean? It means that in the west society could exist without a government. It means that the people in the west discovered, first, that they did not need a government to have an economic system, a social system, a religious system. They learned that government is, as you might say, a kind of frosting on the cake of life. You can eat your cake without the frosting if necessary.
This is really the basic origin of our liberalism. It had many implications. Let us take two or three of them. For instance, web have a tendency to believe that the state is under the law. This is the reason: Because for hundreds of years there was no state to provide law; but they still had a customary law.
We have the feeling that religion must be independent of the State. We speak of the separation of church and state in that way. That is because the church existed way back in this period when there was no state and existed fairly well. Accordingly, we can conceive of all these different aspects of life in a relatively satisfactory way without a state.
That is not true with the Russians. It was not true with the Byzantines. In Byzantium the economic life, religious life, social life, and everything else was regulated by the government and if not regulated by the government, at least the government claimed the right to regulate it. Above all in the Byzantine Empire law was made by proclamation of the state, which means that the state was above the law in the Byzantine Empire, where in the west the law was above the state.
Now, Russia came out of this Byzantine-Varangian intermixture. We might say that Russia’s father and mother were the Varangians and Byzantine empire, the Byzantine Empire being the mother. From the Varangians they got the militaristic organization, the exploitative attitude, the belief that the rulers are a separate group from the ruled, and a number of other things. From the Byzantines they obtained their religion--the belief that religion is a department of the government and should be treated as such; their alphabet--for the Russian alphabet is the Greek alphabet, as you see, or a variation of it; and their architecture. The onion-like dome of the Russians was derived from the Byzantine churches at Constantinople, while domes were rarely used in the west. There were many other things, but those were the chief things they obtained. They got their religion, their attitude of totalitarian rule, their alphabet, and most of their arts--not only their architecture but also their painting.
The fact that western civilization disappeared and society continued thus has given us our western liberalism, the belief that the state is only the crowning and not the essential cap of society; that economic and religious life can exist without a state, that people can live and have rights without the state. From this comes the basic principles with us for which we are struggling, that is, the separation of church and state, economic laissez faire, individual rights, natural law, the rule of law, the state under the law, and not, as in the east, where the state dominated everything, where the church was a department of the government. There it was totalitarian and authoritarian, and it is totalitarian and authoritarian.
Now, this is intensified by the fact that throughout Russian history the rulers have generally been outsiders. These rulers were the ones who innovated the political, religious, and economic life. If, for example, Russia today is what we call Greek Orthodox, it is because the rulers imposed it on the people. The Slavs were barbarians. One of their rulers in the ancient city of Kiev in the ninth century decided that the people must get a new religion. So he sent out four committees. One went to investigate the Moslem religion; one, the Jewish religion; one to Rome, Latin Christianity; and the other to Byzantium, the Orthodox religion.
Their reports cane back. We have still the report of the committee that went to investigate the Byzantine; and it is quite clear that they were absolutely dazzled by the splendor of its architecture and by the imposing masses of candle lights. For instance, one passage in it makes it quite clear that they stood with jaws agape looking at the candelabra in the church at Constantinople. When the ruler at Kiev read that report, he said, “That is the religion for me.” It was on the basis of that decision by the ruler that they became Greek Orthodox.
The same is true, as I have indicated, of the fact that they went beyond subsistence agriculture to become a commercial people add ultimately to become an industrial people. These were imposed upon them from above.
Even industry, for example, which made it possible for the labor movement to rise in Russia back in the eighties and nineties and the nineteen hundreds, was brought in as another thing that the government imposed on them. The government provided the money. Industry was built up under government direction. The government built the railroads and factories and exploited the mines in a modern industrial manner.
Let us look at history again. During this early period the Slav peoples were moving slowly eastward, keeping largely in the forests as much as they could in order to avoid the great raids of the people of the steppes. They were intermixing with the Finns. It was in this period that the Varangians arrived and imposed their organized unity system on top of theirs. That caused what is known as the Kievan period, from 878 to about 1237.
This Kievan period saw the organization of the north-south-flowing rivers of the Russian area into the Novgorod-Smolensk-Kiev water route. It was a foreign commercial system imposed as private property exploitation. It was something like the British East India Company or the Dutch East India Company, which were private property systems. It was imposed on the Slavic agricultural population. Greek Christianity was brought in at this time.
The raids from the steppes began to increase in violence. As they did, they cut across the river system of the south. Eventually the raiders pushed all the way up into the Carpathian Mountains and thus cut the river system. No longer could Kiev be the center. It was this which made the center move northward into the forest area at Moscow, because the southern end of the river system could not be held against the raids of the steppes.
Then finally came the greatest of these raiders, the Mongols. In the Mongol period, from 1237 to 1380, they imposed on Russia that system which still exists. The Mongols made terrific raids. In 1240 they raided all the way into central Europe, into Bavaria, down around Vienna, into Italy, and so forth. That raid into central Europe was rather a show-off feat. The Mongols soon fell back to Russia. They did not withdraw from Russia. They stayed in Russia for, let us say, 100 years or more.
The Mongols used Moscow for their administration; that is to say, they imposed tribute upon the Slavic people, but they asked the Duke of Moscow, the leader at Moscow, to collect it for them. They established a kind of centralized Judicial system, where cases would be settled locally in court. But if there were appeals, they would go to Moscow. Thus the Mongols established a centralized financial system and a centralized Judicial system; that center was in Moscow, because the leader of the Moscow state was prepared to play ball with them. He was a collaborator.
Moreover, shortly after this, the Turks, who were, of course, closely related to these Mongols, succeeded in taking Constantinople in 1453. This ended the Byzantine Empire, but it also ended the central administrative system for the Greek Orthodox Church. For instance, the Russians were then faced with the following question: Where is the center of the church going to be? Another center would undoubtedly arise. That is exactly what happened. When Constantinople was captured by the Turks, Moscow proclaimed itself the leader of the Orthodox Church. Thus we have the financial system, the judicial system, and now the religious system, making Moscow the center of this exploitative system which was sort of superimposed above the Slavic people.
The Mongol period, of course, made it necessary for the Russians to become increasingly militarized. Eventually, they had to defeat the Mongols and force them back. That was done by Dimitri Donskoi, who lived 1359-1389--Dimitri of the Don. He was named after that battle, the Battle of the Don, in which he defeated the Mongols. From that point the Mongols were in retreat.
How were the Russians able finally to defeat the people of the steppes? The answer is, by using the western European technology. This was not a technology invented by the Russians. For example, firearms helped. They were able to use that technology, which was not theirs, and which they had gotten from the pressure on the west, in order to push back the pressure from the east. This, again, indicates that the Russian ruling system has been an imported one. Accordingly, from that point on, there grew up in Russia a group of people who said: “Our only salvation against the pressure from the west and the pressure from the east is to westernize.”
There grew up in contradiction to that another group of what we call Slavophiles who said: “No. Our salvation is not to be found in militarism or westernism, but it is to be found in the spiritual values of the Russian soul.” It was a kind of mysticism. They believed: “If we lie low, people may trample over us physically, but spiritually we will be unconquered.”
Now, what has happened ultimately is that the Soviets succeeded in combining both of those together. They combined our westernized technology with the Slavic point of view, that is, that the Slavs have tremendous spiritual powers. Out of it has come the attitude which makes it necessary not only for them to resist outside pressure, but even to go out and spread the benefits of their system elsewhere.
Once the Mongols were gone, it was quite clear that the center of the system was in Moscow. Accordingly, we get the Muscovite period, 1380-1694. That was the period in which Russia really took shape. Now, Why? Because at this period the pressure from the west became intensive. The Russians had been fighting the Teutonic knights. They had been fighting various other military groups. But now began this great period of pressure from Poland and Germany.
Ultimately, as you know, Germans became the czars. Most of the czars in the eighteen hundreds were not Russians at all; they were Germans. Many of them spoke German. This arose from marriages outside Russia. If a Russian czar married a German girl and he died, she became the empress, for example, Elizabeth and Catherine the Great--people like that; they were Germans but they also got to be rulers.
Now, in this period the czar was the head of the whole system. There was pressure from the west. This pressure from the west meant that they had to adopt western technology sufficiently to resist the west. How could it be done? It had to be done, not on a quality basis but on a quantity basis. It had to be done by putting tremendous pressure upon the Slav people and to a certain extent by putting a tremendous burden upon the Russian upper classes, the aristocrats.
What was done then? In order to get the aristocrats to serve in the bureaucracy the army, and other public service to resist the west, they handed the peasantry over to the aristocracy’s tender mercy. They said: “Here is your estate. All the peasants upon it must stay there. You have enormous rights over them--to take their property from them, to arrange their marriages, and all sorts of things of that kind.” In consequence, right down to about 1863 a Russian aristocrat did not measure his property in rubles or in money value. He said: “I am worth 10,000 souls,” meaning that he had 10,000 peasants working on his estate.
It was in this Moscovite period, up to 1694, that the czars, in order to build up the means which would resist the west, put this tremendous burden of service on the aristocrats, and then handed the peasantry over to the aristocrats, so that they presumably would be able to serve. They could serve in the army, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary and in various other things only if their estates were producing economic wealth; they could do that presumably only if the peasants were there.
Of course the peasants didn’t stay there. They fled constantly into the forests. In this period there was a rapid drift of the Russian peasants to the east through the woods eluding their landlords. To this day you will find that the characteristics of the Russian peasant are determined by this period--their mobility, for one thing. They loved their native village; yet, in a crisis they disappeared overnight into the forest. Then when the crisis died down a little, they went back to the village.
Or again their evasiveness--if you ask them a question, they will give you, not the correct answer, not even a lie; they will give you the answer which will get rid of you. They will give you any answer which will satisfy you long enough for you to leave. Then you have to find them again. This situation grew up in the Moscovite period. The peasants became suspicious of outsiders, because any outsider coming in represented either a landlord sending an agent out from wherever he was--at the military camp or at Moscow or some other place--or he represented the government coming in. In a few cases it represented the church investigating to see if the church dues had been paid. But in any case the peasants soon realized that any stranger coming around wanted something from them. So when any stranger appeared, they disappeared, at least behind a tree.
It gave them other characteristics too. They, on the whole, were people who believed that the best defense was evasion. They were not people who rose up in their wrath and hit down the enemy. When the enemy was there, they were on the whole submissive. To us some of the submissiveness of the Slav peasant seems actually fantastic. The instant their landlord appeared, they threw themselves on their knees, kissed his hands, and things of that kind. But if he asked them anything at all, they gave him an evasive answer and hoped he would go away. Then they went home and hid whatever they had. They even hid themselves if necessary. It is a strange combination.
We have, then, in this period the pressure from the west, the pressure from above, and the flow of peasants to the east. That flow of peasants to the east has continued for hundreds of years. As you will learn from other lectures this week, the most noticeable thing in the Soviet Union has beau the tremendous building up of Asia in population, in industry, and everything else. That is not a Soviet innovation. It has been going on for more than 200 years. In fact, really as far back as 186h the Russians were readying over toward the Pacific coast.
Another point which because quite clearly established during this Moscovite period was this: As the European technology came into Russia, I said it had to be brought in by the government and the upper classes. One item of that technology is to me of the utmost importance, that is firearms. In the west wealth became so widespread that almost any man could afford a firearm.
Let us say that about 1770 in our society the most effective existing weapon was a certain kind of musket, the muzzle-loading musket. That musket could be bought for a very moderate price. Anyone could get that price. They just worked a little harder for a year and they would have it. Thus everyone had the ability to possess the most effective existing weapon. He could go out and trap for beaver in order to get it. This means that power was widely dispersed throughout society. Since power in fact was widely dispersed, we get power in law widely dispersed in what we call democracy.
This did not happen in Russia. In Russia the standard of living was so low, and the masses of the people were so exploited by the government and the aristocrats for purposes of resisting the west, that the masses of the people never could get to the point where they could afford firearms. For instance, if they went out to hunt, they used snares and things of that kind to catch rabbits. Only the landlords had firearms.
This meant that they lacked the very basis, it seems to me, of our democracy. As our western society developed into the nineteenth century, we had a western trend toward democracy for many reasons, one of which is this technological one. Russia did not turn to democracy, but the authoritarian regime was strengthened, because only the regime had firearms; the masses of the people did not.
The Moscovite period ended about 1694. That was the period in which the very structure of modern Russia was created. It was followed by what is called the Imperial period, the czarist period from 1694 up to about 1917, with all those famous names, like Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander I, and so forth.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there grew up in imperial Russia under these foreign rulers a tremendous westernization of Russia. Peter the Great went to Holland and other places and studied shipbuilding. He went to England. He roamed around western Europe chiefly interested in mechanics, in technology, in methods of shipbuilding, methods of manufacturing armament, and so forth, as part of the effort to westernize to resist the west.
Catherine the Great continued in this same way. There were attempts to reform the Russians’ administrative system, to centralize, to rationalize their financial system, to reorganize the judicial system, to cut out the cumbersome parts of the administration, and so forth. This was largely the task of Russia in the eighteenth century, and, notice, by foreign rulers, German-speaking rulers.
They were successful. That is to say, Russia did succeed in triumphing over the west. And-the proof of that is found in 1812, when Napoleon was defeated, whether Napoleon was defeated by the weather or by the Russian peasants, this, that, or the other force, the fact remains that Napoleon was defeated. And in 1815, when the peace conference assembled at Vienna, for the Congress of Vienna, the Dancing Congress, a startling figure there, the figure toward which all eyes turned, was Alexander the Great of Russia. Was he a threat? Was he a savior? Was he just a mystic? At any rate, Russia’s resistance to the west on the whole was successful.
This success led to the next stage, which is nineteenth century Russia. That is the period of Russian autocracy, which was also a success. The rulers had a united Russia and a subservient population a world power. In fact, they were so successful that they got a bad conscience, because at this point they began to believe this talk about Russia’s spiritual mission, its tremendous spiritual powers, and the evil nature of material accomplishments.
Accordingly, we began to get an alternation of reforms arising from bad conscience and then reaction arising from fear of those reforms. Alexander the First, having defeated Napoleon or helped in the defeat of Napoleon, as you know, became a complete religious mystic. He took much of his advice on how to behave from a clairvoyant named Madame Krudener. He decided he must reform; he must give his dear Russian people certain advantages.
He was followed by the worst reactionary, Nicholas the First, because in 1825, encouraged by the reforms of Alexander the First, there was a revolt in Poland. It was the fact that Alexander stirred up people’s hopes that made the Poles revolt. But the reaction of Nicholas the First led to disaster, as the defeat in the Crimean War showed. While the war was still on, he died (1855).
Then came a succession of reform and reaction. Alexander the Second (1855-1881) Was one of the greatest reformers in history. He freed more serfs than Abraham Lincoln freed slaves. At the same time, he did it without civil war or bloodshed. He put in other reforms, for which he was rewarded by assassination. Then came reaction. Alexander the Third was an oppressive ruler.
Toward the end of this period came Nicholas the Second, the last czar, under whom Russia was confused. He ruled between 1894 and 1917. He didn’t know what he was doing. Was he reforming? Was he a figure of reaction? He had no idea. He was completely bewildered.
In fact, there was some doubt that he had any idea about the important things that were happening. For example, a great battle in the Russo-Japanese War took place in 1904; and, when the news came in about it, all that he put in his diary was something to this effect: “Took a walk in the morning. Shot two crows. Took a walk with So-and-so in the afternoon.”
Let me look here and see what it was that I have tried to explain. There were five points. The first was the fissure which still exists between the government and the people. The second was that the government is totalitarian, semidivine, and private property in its conception. That private property conception was so important that even eighteenth century there was no established method by which the czardom was inherited. It was willed to anyone. You could leave it to your wife or nephew or someone else. That still remains. We hear questions about who Stalin’s successor will be. He can leave it to anyone. That is their private property conception.
The third point is that the government is authoritarian; that the government is above the law, with claims on society, like the peasants, who were more or less outside the law. The fourth is their xenophobia, their fear of foreigners and strangers. Lastly, their expansionism.
Now, gentlemen, that finishes our lecture.
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