RUSSIA

Follette, Robert M. La

RUSSIA An Editorial By ROBERT M. LA FOLLETTE AND now there is another splendid opportunity for everybody to "stand back of the President." The President in his message for a declaration of war,...

...Out of the chaos and anguish of this war, from the darkest quarter of its submerged field, are coming to us mighty questions which we must answer: Will the American people stand with the Interests and the Interest Press, or will it stand back of the President who speaking directly to the Soviet Congress of Russia said: "The whole heart of the people of the United States with the people of Russia in their attempt to free themselves forever from autocratic government and become the masters of their own life...
...The President in his message for a declaration of war, gave us the beautiful and inspiring battle-cry of "making the world safe for democracy...
...His refusal to consent was assailed by these same newspapers with contemptuous references to "Wilson's Watchful Waiting...
...Their people show a disposition to "Become masters of their own life...
...The Special Interests that have defeated democracy in America are against democracy everywhere...
...It was Woodrow Wilson who said in his New Freedom: "The government of the United States at present is the foster child of the special interests...
...Once in, it is smartly stated that such an army would form the nucleus around which would gather the "substantial element" of Russia...
...It should be borne in mind that this message was transmitted to tlw Russian Soviet Congress some two weeks after the Soviet Government had been forced to accept the hard terms of the Brest Lrtovsk treaty...
...It is not allowed to have its own will...
...But it is not our job to determine that question for Russia...
...It was too transparent even for these murky times...
...Has the world any right to expect Russia to bring order out of chaos in eight months...
...If an army of invasion cannot be thrust in to make an end of the Soviet Government, the enemies of that government will resort to strategy and chicane to accomplish its purpose...
...But it is making progress...
...It may not be the kind of government we would prefer...
...She has the sacred right to determine her own destiny to build for herself that form of government which will satisfy the aspirations of her own people...
...But Russia seems disposed to determine its own policy...
...And now the Interest Press has taken another tack...
...It may not be the soviet government that is to achieve the deal of the Russian people to construct not only a political democracy but an economic democracy as well...
...Root and his friends expected the new democracy to be nice proper political democracy where everybody has the ballot and nothing else...
...That is treason to the Money Power...
...This is a "God Given Right" and woe be to the nation that would on any pretext wrest that right from her...
...Since November 8, 1917, it has been the only government in Russia...
...She dares to be the architect of her own destiny, she would construct what she conceives to be the most perfect democracy in the world...
...The Russian people are struggling to es-tablish the sort of government they want...
...When the Czar government went by the board the,great body of the American people understood Russia was out of the war and accepted the result without any resentment against the Russian people...
...It is always safe to "beware of the Greeks bearing gifts...
...Day by day the news was perverted, and lying despatches printed broadcast over the country, to lay a plausible foundation for Japan's right to intervene...
...The President was not moved...
...What would have been the fate of our own democracy if some strong government had intervened with an armed force to "Put an end to bloodshed and restore order...
...The Money Power of this country has been strong enough to defeat the will of the American people and control our government for many years...
...It would put the man above the dollar...
...Even Mr...
...That Government is socialistic to the core...
...He said: "We are glad to fight for the rights of the nations, great and small and for the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and obedience...
...On the 11th day of March, only four months ago, President Wilson addressed a message to "the Congress of the Soviets," then in session at Moscow in which he said: "Although the government of the United States is unhappily not now in a position to render the direct and effective aid it would wish to render, I beg to assure the people of Russia through the Congress, that it will avail itself of every opportunity to secure for Russia once more complete sovereignty and independence in her own affairs, and a full restoration of her great role in the life of Europe and the modern world...
...The soviet government ia moving in that direction...
...The most soul-sickening hypocrisy in all this harrowing time is the pretense of the Interests and the Interest Press that their support of this war is prompted by the unselfish desire to "make the world safe for democracy...
...Scarcely a shot fired...
...Elihu Root, true Mr...
...The whole heart of the people of the United States is with the people of Russia in the attempt to free themselves forever from autocratic government and become th« masters of their own life...
...At last it has been ordained that we are to be put to the test...
...Are they at last to be unmasked ? Are they finally to unmask themselves, through their unrelenting hostility to the industrial democracy, which the Russian people amidst the havoc of revolution, are slowly building up...
...Between socialism and the Interests and its mouth-piece the Interest Press, there is war, war to the death...
...So long as it was believed that it was but a passing phase of the revolution in Russia it excited but little concern on the part of the Interests...
...That is enough...
...And he made it very clear that each nation and every people has the right to determine for itself the kind of democracy under which it desires to live...
...We were all thrilled by the birth of a new democracy...
...It may become a real danger to the Money Power...
...In the words of President Wilson the Russian people must be accorded the right "to choose their way of life...
...It had come over night...
...To "safe-guard" the activities of this Commission it is blandly suggested that a "small" army composed of American, British and Japanese soldiers shall be "introduced into Russia...
...Through all the years from the fall of the bastile to the end of the reign of terror Prance-was in the bloody grip of revolution...
...It must be destroyed...
...Verily, "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform...
...If has been in existence but eight months...
...Russia is entitled to all the time required to accomplish her great undertaking...
...It is stated by American investigators who have been on the ground for the better part of a year that its supporters constitute ninety per cent of the Russian population...
...It was the marvel of all time...
...It proposes a sort of wooden horse expedition in the form of a Russian "Relief Commission...
...Finally the President vitalized this fundamental right of a people to decide its own destiny, to "determine its own way of development" in short to govern itself after its own ideals, by giving it direct application to the Soviet Government of Russia...
...And everybody rejoiced and extended the most cordial greeting...
...Blind indeed the man who does not see that the money power of this and every other country is intensely hostile to the Russian Soviet Government...
...And again in his address of January 22, he said: 'Every people should be left free to determine its own polity, its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful...
...It may succeed...
...For months there has been a persistent, concerted drive on in the Interest Press, to force President Wilson to consent to a military invasion of Russia as a means of accomplishing the overthrow of the new government...

Vol. 10 • July 1918 • No. 7


 
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