The Shadow of the Gloomy East/Chapter 24

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Fetishism of the Word


A REVOLUTION can never be contained within the frame designed for it for a given moment, but rushes on in its impetuous course. The Tsar abdicated the throne in his own and in his heir Alexy's name. Then came those painful moments when he saw those who "worshipped" him while he was Emperor turn their backs on him. The hideous spectacle of the debasement, cowardice, and vulgarity of the aristocracy caused universal disgust. Only a few persons of subaltern positions remained with the Imperial family to the very end, sharing their tragic suffering until the end.

The first revolutionary Government of Prince Lvov and the second Government of Kerensky's cultivated mysticism and fetishism of the word.

"And the Word became flesh," says the Scripture.

But the word of Lvov, Milyukov, Kerensky, and of the thousands of revolutionary orators remained a word which passed without an echo. It was a pitiful picture of the Impotence and wretchedness of the Russian intelligentsia.

Till at last the flesh came.

Bolshevism came, drowning the monarchists in a sea of blood, issuing new pass-words founded upon the destruction of Russia.

The Commissars of the people, Dzierjynski, Wolodarski, and Pavlunovski of the Cheka offered the bloody hecatomb, murdering all who believed in the great powerful Russia, in the return to the old order.

Special detachments of Finns, Letts, Hungarians, Germans, and Chinese were at their disposal, and for their protection against the efforts of "counter-revolution."

Sailors of the fleet, inflamed by propaganda, hewed down their officers with axes, tore them to pieces, drowned them in the sea at Wiborg, till their bodies formed dams. They broke up and robbed their ships, and sold the machinery, guns, and scrap metal on the markets in the capital and in Finland.

Blood flowed in streams, covering with a scarlet veil the "bloodless" revolution which was dreamt of and discussed at the British Embassy in Petrograd.

The new lord—Bolshevism—achieved great things during the five years, while throwing out to the civilised countries lofty slogans, bold, new words, and dazzling them with its energy, alacrity, and determination.

It conquered its enemies with the armed hand, destroyed Russia till she was laid bare, dying, imbued with blood; it changed the political configuration of Europe; on the ruins of monarchism and socialism it founded a new empire. Only its ruler needs not one crown, but five, or sixty-three. … Full-fledged autocracy is being floated upon the sea of social-communistic slogans, which remain an empty sound.

Europe, enchanted, listens to the wonderful song of words—fetishes—and does not perceive the spreading licence, disease, famine, and death, remains deaf to the cracking of human bones devoured by human beings, does not look into the caves of the Cheka, does not want to understand that everything in Bolshevism is and will remain as of old, although the scenery is changed, and sometimes the names and even the persons are changed.

Bolshevism rolls on like a ball of snow, and threatens, not only through the propagation of its slogans, but through millions of hungry, despondent men, grown wild, whom it can throw against the West; threatens through "awakened Asia," where the conflagration is already blazing. The flame will have abundant food—eight hundred million men—who gnash their teeth and clench their fists, while treacherous Bolshevism and Communism, concealing its true face, whispers:

"Forward against the white man! Away with Christian civilisation! We are on your side!"

Now they do not whisper it only; they proclaim it aloud and gravely in Thibet, India, Mongolia, and China.

The Circassians, the Calmuks, the Djungars, the Burlats, and Tartars, the chieftains of the valiant Chinese Chunchuzes, sing songs of this day of revenge.

I listened to the gloomy lays breathing horror in the plain of Caydam, on the slopes of Bogdo-Ulu, in the forests of Tauan-Ola, and the waters of the Hwang Ho.

This is the aim of the hapless "great" Russian revolution, the revolution of nomads, suicides, wizards, witches, and various other fiends, and almost apocalyptic monsters.

It ended in a genuine counter-revolution: Bolshevism, a movement directed against Socialism, nationhood, and civilisation, ultimately leading somebody—unknown as yet—to the throne of the Tsars of a new dynasty unprecedented in its autocracy.


Perhaps a new Great Mogol, Jengiz-Temudjin or Tamerlane. …

And he will be for Christian civilisation an Antichrist, black or red, an antithesis of the evolution of the spirit and of progress—the first harbinger of the approaching doom of mankind.

That terrible shadow coming from the East has happened more than once before in the history of mankind, and has been always gloomy, like autumnal night, like the soul of suicide.