The Shadow of the Gloomy East/Chapter 25

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IT must be clear to everybody whose eyes have seen and whose ears have listened that Russia is lost morally, and that she now stands on the edge of the abyss of physical perdition.

The policy of the Soviets, which was always and is still directed towards the ruin of family, Church, morality, and society, has conquered.

The women, cast into the whirl of a ruthless struggle for the day that is, have ceased to be wives and mothers.

The men, young or old, working hard, have drifted away from the family and are not in a position to assure its existence, to give it protection and moral influence.

The children, corrupted by Bolshevik agents, have become their parents' enemies. They do not see much of them, but they often serve as secret agents of the "Cheka," spying upon their kin, overhearing their conversations, which they report to the blood-stained judges of the "Cheka" and other institutions of a similar character.

The tribal bonds of the peoples and races constituting Russia have loosened, and there now remains nothing to bind them together again.

Terror, famine, disease, a struggle for existence baffling all imagination, have demoralised the whole of Russian society. The educated man has become degraded, has let himself go, has again approached the state of primitive nomad who only fights for his crumbs of bread, and is even unable to find sustenance for his own family, which has broken up completely, if not physically, sometimes certainly morally.

The workmen, allured by Soviet promises, have ceased to work and have joined the Red Army. When, later on, they wanted to return to work, they had lost the habit, lost the skill, and could not find the workshops amid the general decay, when everything fell into utter ruin. The peasant ceased to till the soil till, confronted by hunger, he was driven with his family into the towns, where he swelled the cadres of hungry men dispossessed of their class, without work, without profession, without a to-morrow, and without hope.

It was they who killed their children for food, it is their peasant women-mothers who, with their starved and enfeebled babes pressed to their bosoms, drowned themselves in the rivers. It is the declassed peasants who form robber bands, who are as the locust migrating from east to west and from north to south in search of bread, in search of life.

And the Soviet autocrats with their heavy, blood-stained hand, have curbed into obedience the people they have terrorised and debased, while there in the very depths of the hungry masses, trembling fingers are sewing the gigantic "Black Flag" of an anarchy overflowing all bounds of any external form of nationhood.

There, Solncev-Blejchman, the poet Gordin, Suknotov, all leaders of anarchism, are making ready for a new struggle for a "new Russia," for a few short but "jolly" days.

In a proclamation issued some time ago Solncev said:

"The Soviets are defrauding you every day, prolonging our agonies of hunger and disease. We have had enough of it! Let us hoist our Black Flag on Kremlin, let us take the cities, factories, and estates, with our arms in hand let us share out everything and be safe for a few days. Then, nourished and secure, we can think how we ought and can arrange the life of the entire nation. Be ready! Get your arms! Attention! Our day will soon come! Long live the 'Black Flag'!"

Thus speaks and thereof dreams the minstrel of anarchy.

And at the same time the exiles, the Russian emigres, split up into ever smaller and uninfluential political groups.

Kerensky, Milyukov, Guchkov, have a policy of their own. The monarchists are forging a crude, concise, and reactionary scheme of the restoration of monarchy, and only lack a candidate who would like, as of old, to "love" and to "worship" the mob of one hundred and forty millions of men grown savage, hungry, evil, lascivious, and lazy.

The Homeric task of saving the population of Russia, the dire need of transforming it, of educating it morally, of teaching it how to work, of awakening its cultural instincts anew, will be left as heritage by the Red Flag of Bolshevism or the Black Flag of Anarchy to the civilised world.