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Dearborn independent. [volume] (Dearborn, Mich.) 1901-1927, February 07, 1920, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2013218776/1920-02-07/ed-1/seq-2/

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View of the Russian Toiler
A Close-Up
TJEW in this country are
r so well equipped to dis
cuss the Russian situation,
Bolshevism, what it means
to Russia and to America, as
is this writer, Count lira
Tolstoy, son of the famous
Russian novelist and liberal.
What he takes up here for
discussion should he digested
carefully by all who read the
article. Bolshevism, says
Count Tolstoy, originated as
a protest against the slaugh
ter of Russians in war.
What it has developed
to be is interestingly related.
TO PREVENT Bolshevism ill America it is im
portant to know bow this disease spread in Rus
sia, what elements of the population were in
fected and why the industrial population was so easily
impressed while the peasantry remained immune and
peaceful.
The spirit of Bolshevism in Russia is nothing new.
It has been manifested by the Russian people man)
times in the history of my country. Frequently there
have been uprisings of my people, so serious on two
occasions that twice the throne was menaced. There
were rev. -It- of tenka Basin during the reign of
Alexey M ichaish vith and of Pougatheff during the
reign of Catherine the Great.
The self-restraint, so strong in the Anglo-Saxon, is
undeveloped in the Slavs, especially among uneducated
masses.
Bolshevism is but a new word applied to an ancient
phenomenon. New excuses have been found for the
low instinct! of hatred, envy and greed. Were the
country in normal condition. Bolshevism would never
have triumphed, but could have been easily suppressed.
Only a country suffering from terrifying evils of war
could succumb to Bolshevism.
The revolution broke out in Russia after she had
already lost, in killed, prisoners and crippled, more
than all the other Alius together. The internal life
of the country was wholly demoralized and Bolshevism
took root as a protest against the endless and senseless
slaughter of the Russian soldiers.
At the beginning of the revolution the most ardent
adherents of Bolshevism were the soldiers who were
demoralized by the horrors of the war. but after the de
mobilization of the Czar's army. Bolshevism was chiefly
supported by the industrial labor class of the cities.
In order that my readers may have a clear under
standing of the mode of life and the extreme poverty
of the Russian workman, let me compare his life with
that of the American worker.
Most of the industrial workers of Russia originally
belonged to the peasantry. If the peasant has not
enough land, or if he has a father or a brother to take
care of his household in the country, or if his land is
10 poor that he tan not live on it. or if he wishes to
aoid the monotony of country life, he leaves his vil
lage, his wife and children and goes to the city. Dif
ferent provinces of Russia supply a different percentage
of city workers. Territories which are extremely
Sterile s nd almost all of their male population to the
cities.
The industrial workers of the large cities, especially
of Moscow and Petrograd, are to a large extent of the
class of the peasantry. One of the characteristic fea
tures of the Russian industrial workers is that they
live alone in the city while their families live in the
country, sometimes many hundred miles away. Ac
cordingly the Russian industrial worker sees his fam
ily only two or three times a year, and sometimes even
less than that. He usually visits his home on Christmas,
during Kaster Week and sometimes during the mowing
of grass. This makes him a homeless proletarian.
Frequently his wife has to do the rough work in the
fields and at home, while he acquires the vices of the
city and his family suffers hunger and need. Having
left his native village for the purpose of supporting
his family, he soon forgets his home and frequently
Ipendi all the money he gets for his own life and
pleasure Thus he loses his connection with his coun
try home and loses all the good qualities of the peasant.
Being uneducated and often illiterate, he acquires only
a superficial culture, being, at the same time, deprived
of any moral support and of the religious traditions,
whkh are 10 strong among the peasantry.
But the average American worker is not deprived
of the comfort of family life.
' fore the war 50 cents a day was considered a
good price for an average factory worker in Russia.
Often it was even lower than that. This was due
chiefl) to the imperfect machinery, which could not
compete with that used in European and American
By COUNT 11. Y A TOLSTOY
factories. According the productivity ot the RttS
!un worker in the Srtorfcl was 30 per Cent lower than
that of his western brother! . ,
The Socialist! blanie capital tor all the hanl-
ihipi of the masses. The) believe that the income ol
the employers is so great that if the workers secure
this income themselves their material situation will De
greatly improved. They do not realize that the average
yearly net income derived from Russian industry was
only six per cent. If the labor class rids ttsell ot
capitalists, and takes all the net income m addition to
its wages, it would mean an increase ot wages not e
ceeding 20 per cent. t j .
The povert) Of the Russian workers leads to other
psychological results, the gravity of which cannot DC
underestimated.
The difference in the mode t life t the privileged
classes in comparison with that of the labor classes
in Russia is enormous. In America the worker and
Ins employer eat the same white bread, the same eggs
and butter, the same meat ; they travel in tin same
trains: they wear the same coats, the same DOOtS and
shirts and" live in decent houses. On Sundays the
worker is clad in a good suit of clothes and may en
joy life just as much as his employer.
' But the Russian worker i deprived Of all these
things. He eats black bread because it is one cent a
pound cheaper than the white. He never eats eggl and
butter and gets meat only on holidays He wears the
same old clothing and hoot the whole year, week
days and Sundays. He is deprived of all the com
forts of life and of all its opportunities. His only
pleasure is a bottle of vodka, which often changes him
to a brute. Such are the material conditions of his life.
His civil conditions before the revolution were even
worse. The Russian worker was a man deprived of
all political rights. 1 once had the patience to enumerate
all the different officials to which the Russian peasant
was subordinated, beginning by the starosiQ (chief of
the village) and ending with tin governor. I counted
17. Tin- Russian worker has all the obligations but
absolutely no privileges
In America every citizen has the right to vote. He
has at hast the illusion that the officials whom he
obeys are elected by himself. Any man born in this
country may be elected President of the United State s.
Every man feels free and knows that he has the same
opportunities as anyone else
The first thing that strikes a Russian in America
is the gre at freedom and as. w ith whnh one may be
addressed by any simple worker. He feels that he is
a gentleman and stretches to you his callous hand as
to an equal. The conductor on the Pullman car sits
in the same parLor where you are and reads the same
newspaper, in Russia the conductor never dares take
a seat with you. The American worker is Mr. John
Smith; the Russian is simply John, Ivan, or even the
diminutive, Vonnka, if you please to call him so.
It is evident, therefore, that when this same I'annka
came into power, he thought tirst of his own individual
welfare. He was not socially educated. Liberty for
him meant license: equality meant depriving others of
what they had. for his own sake, and fraternity meant
the fraternity of a narrow group of proletarians. Xa-
turallv the labor class was not anxious to increase its
productiveness They never thought that had
anything to do with their material welfare. the
busied themselves at once with the distribute- 0j te
wealth already accumulated. Hut as this we., h was
comparative!) small, the country was soon ,llce('j
to want.
Such are the characteristic features of tin i :M;il
industrial worker that make him unprepared a- r unfit
tor the leadership of the revolution. He nisi d jnt0
it with all the fanaticism of his Slavonic nature, broke
all the chains that bound him ; but when tin me to
build up a new state came, his former servitr niade
him unable to create anything etVicient or sta!
Russian peasants eagerly joined the revolution, but
when it came to Bolshevism, they soon discovi i that
their interests were Opposed to those of the working
class. But the idea ot (quality was carried or. by the
peasantry in the same way as by the city workers. 4c
cording!) tiny divided all the land among thi lelves.
Being absolutely deprived of education, the) had less
understanding of socialization than the city pi turiat.
In their simple conception, to socialize meant t divide,
and thus tin divided everything they could. They
divided the land, the buildings, the cattle and the fac
tories. Housx s were demolished and costly machinei
were broken tO piecei in order to give every member of
the village a certain number of bricks, of timber, of
iron and of copper. But when asked to divide their
bread with the population of the cities; when asked to
socialize then- crops, the peasantry revolted, and now
is ret using to b ln ve in the benefits of Bolshevism,
which deprived him of the commodities of lite which
his family enjoys, such as tea, sugar, boots, agricultural
implements, and even the product of his own labor.
Such is the attitude toward P.olshcvism of the rural
and urban working classes of Russia.
I think that the Russian middle class does not differ
from that in other countries. All of the middle class
favored tin- revolution; but only a few are Bolsheviks.
These are mostly Jews, Letts, Finns and others who
availed themselves ol the opportunity offered to play
a leading part in the political life of Russia, opportuni
ties of whnh tiny were before deprived.
Among the adherents of Bolshevism the intellectuals
are still more scarce.
The intellectuals of Russia always fought against
tin' despotism of the Czar; they supplied the country
with leaders of the radical movement; they created
the liberal literature of Russia; they were first to awake
the spirit of democracy all over the country; they
worked in the Duma for the revolution and they were
the first to join the revolution in March. 1917, but
they aNo were the tirst to denounce Bolshevism and
to fight it wherever and whenever they could.
Resuming, 1 may say that a Bolshevik rei iution
such as happened in Russia is impossible in America.
The industrial worker in this country is too b urgeois
to destroy the industry upon which he lives, li leekl
to nationalize industry along evolutionary methods. Ill
realizes the value ot the factories and will t de
stroy them.
Strikes are not a manifestation of Bolshevist- they
are inevitable in every civilized country. The improve
ment in the condition of the life of the worker is the
best weapon against the horrors of Bolshevism Not
slavery, but co-operation of capital with labor will
save the world from disorder and despair.
Where the Constitution of the United States is Kep
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Vjj B 3ft raaBPafaaWa'aaBB Hf V bH v aaaaH
lBH$rffS S I v IBII BMBU Mil m I? aV M " ; M
IKIif'flB I B rtvII Kill 1 ' H
bsssbssSsk war as aav hh aAflji bbi he ? aaai
aWsJrf BrV WWmI MffWll III 1 H
HREJiPi Jr3nH Jot 1 'II I
THE original documents of the Declaration of
Independence and the Constitution of the United
States are specially preserved in the archives of the
State Department of Washington, and are never re
vealed to the light except upon occasions of special
significance. They represent the official acts, duly
(C) Harris 4 Ewlni
described, signed am' ealed,
o n which this govern
ment stands. Our I rm of
government, the pou r re
posed in the govt tnent.
the guaranties o the
American forms of iberty,
are all found upon a few
pages of ban d written
parchment.
The work of . tually
preparing the Con itution
was done in Philadelphia,
in Independence Hall and
occupied four in nths.
The sessions began, under
the leadership of Geofl
Washington, on May 14,
1787, and concluded on Sep
tember 17 of the same year.
It was not until the year
1790 that all the Thirteen
States accepted the ' nsti
t u t i o n. An interesting
comparison might there
fore be drawn between that
piece of work and the labor
of drafting the constitu
tion of the League JJ
X at ions, which OCCttpt
BOOM eight months of ac
tual work all told. H the
same length of time elap
se, before the constitution
of the League is general )
accepted, it will bring' us t
,p, Mijom ine year i?- " .
I he photograph shows Secretary of State Unsing
--the grey haired gentleman in the cutaway coat-
Mter he had delivered an address on American"
t the bureau chiefs of his department. The paJ
being shown is the last page of the Constitution hicn
contains the majority of the signatures.

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