[IN the fall of last year a party of Americans representing various branches of Christian work visited Russia under the leadership of Dr. Sherwood Eddy. Included in the party were Chester Rowell, of Fresno; C. Clayton Morris, editor of the Christian Century; F. W. Ramsey, Chairman of the National Council of the Y. M. C. A.; Mrs. Ralph Adams Cram, Boston; Dean William Scarlett, St. Louis; Jerome Davis, Yale; W. H. Danforth, St. Louis; and Miss Louise Gates, General Secretary of the Y. W. C. A. Mr. Kirby Page, a member of the party, has sent to friends in Tokyo a summary of his impressions, which, without professing to be complete or specially authoritative, seems to have the merit of being objective, and is produced below.]

My first impression is one of amazement at the magnitude of the economic and industrial achievement of the Bolsheviki during the past five years. Both in industry and in agriculture the pre-war level of production is now being approached, if not actually equaled, and present tendencies are upward. It is impossible to speak with certainty on this point, because of the incompleteness and possible inaccuracy of available statistics. The standard of living maintained by most industrial workers is probably slightly higher than under the Tsar. Concerning the relative status of the peasants, who

1 From the Japan Advertiser (Tokyo American daily), February 8

constitute approximately eighty-five per cent of the population, there are contrary opinions. Some authorities believe that on the average the peasants are better off economically than before the war. While all land is nominally owned by the State, more than ninety per cent of the arable area has been divided among the peasants and is actually under their control. The amount available for each family, however, is very small. The supply of live stock is also very inadequate. Very few peasants have modern farm equipment, although the Government is making heroic efforts to aid them in securing tractors and other machinery. John Maynard Keynes, the eminent British economist, who visited Russia at the end of 1925, expressed the opinion that 'the real income of the Russian peasant is not much more than half what it used to be.' Whether his estimate or the higher ones be accepted, it is a fact that, judged by conditions in the United States, the scale of living of both industrial and agricultural workers is pitifully low.

Wherever one goes in Russia there is striking evidence of the releasing of life on a vast scale. Multitudes of people who formerly were driven like dumb cattle by tyrannous government officials and grasping industrialists and landlords now feel a new sense of freedom and possess new vitality. Whatever may be its faults and dangers, the present Government of Russia is a workers' government; the proletarians are the privileged class, and are

naturally conscious of their increased importance and power. The deepest longing of the peasants has always been for land, and now that they have the land they are willing to endure proletarian dictatorship. A remarkable awakening is occurring in the villages. Millions of peasants have returned after very varied experiences in the army and in Allied prisons; additional millions have returned from service in the Red Army, where they received educational and vocational instruction; hundreds of thousands have returned from cities and industrial communities. The coöperative movement, both consumers' and agricultural, is growing with amazing rapidity. There are now more than ten million members of consumers' coöperative societies in Russia. The peasants are rapidly coming to a realization of their power, and it is certain that they will exercise more and more influence in the determination of national policies.

The Bolsheviki are making strenuous efforts to spread education, art, music, and drama throughout the land. They are severely handicapped by lack of funds, and their actual accomplishment thus far in primary and elementary education is not great. The school enrollment is only slightly above prewar days, and includes only one third of the children of school age. As a rule the equipment is poor. If economic production continues to rise, however, the Government will undoubtedly steadily increase its appropriations for education. The Russian talent for music is famous around the world. Never have we been more impressed and inspired than by the singing of the wonderful church choirs. Great emphasis is placed upon the arts. The priceless art collections of pre-war days have been preserved with scrupulous care, and have been greatly increased by additions from many private gal

leries. The treasures and jewels of the Royal Family have likewise been carefully preserved. We were privileged to see the Crown jewels- probably the most valuable collection anywhere in the world. At a conservative estimate, the various treasures now in the hands of the Soviet Government are valued at far more than five hundred million dollars. That these treasures have not been stolen or disposed of is a striking tribute to the integrity of those in control.

This leads me to refer to a third impression - namely, that the leaders of the Government are for the most part men of exceptional ability, unquestioned courage, and unswerving devotion to their cause. The very fact that they have maintained themselves in power for nine years and have accomplished such remarkable results in the face of terrific odds speaks volumes as to their qualifications for leadership.

Moral and religious conditions in Russia are such as to cause alarm for the future. The Bolsheviki are bitterly hostile to religion. This is due in part to their scientific materialism and in part to the kind of religion with which they have had contact. The Orthodox Church was under the complete control of the Tsarist government, and was the corrupt tool of autocracy and tyranny. The Bolsheviki are now trying to destroy the influence of religion and the Church. There is complete separation of Church and State. All Church lands and buildings have been nationalized. About ninety-six per cent of Church buildings have been leased to congregations and are being used for religious purposes. There is complete freedom of worship, and the churches are fairly well attended. Organized religious instruction of children under eighteen is a criminal offense, although parents may give

religious teaching to their own children at home, and certain exceptions are made in favor of the sectarian groups which conducted classes in the Catechism prior to the Revolution. Priests and ministers are deprived of the right to vote or hold office. While in the past there has undoubtedly been a great deal of persecution of the priests and many have been executed on the charge of counter-revolutionary activities, so far as we could learn the number of priests imprisoned in recent months has been very small. Antireligious propaganda is still carried on with vigor by members of the Communist Party, no one of whom could enter or remain in the Party if he believed in God. There can be no doubt that organized religion in Russia is meeting the most bitter opposition of modern times. There are some signs, however, that persecution is purging and purifying the Church, and it may be that once more the blood of the martyrs will prove to be the seed of the Church.

Concerning moral conditions, it is exceedingly difficult to form accurate impressions. Even before the war, moral standards in Russia were very different from our own. There has always been more freedom and promiscuity in sex relations than in America. Throughout most of Europe moral standards have deteriorated in the past decade. The Communist theories of marriage and the family have undoubtedly increased sexual looseness since the Revolution. Illegitimacy is not visited with legal or social penalties, although severe financial penalties are imposed upon the father. Although marriage is very easy, many couples do not take the trouble to register. Divorce may be obtained upon request by either party, regardless of the wishes of the other. Sexual crimes, however,

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Children are being indoctrinated with atheism. What the future holds in store cannot be foretold, but I confess that I am greatly alarmed over the prospects.

The present government of Russia is a rigorous dictatorship by the Communist Party, which now has slightly more than a million members. No opposition party is allowed. Even within the Communist Party no freedom of discussion is permitted after a Party decision has been reached. The slightest breach of discipline may be met by expulsion from the Party, as many as two hundred and fifty thousand members having been expelled in a single year. There are drastic limitations upon freedom of the press and public assembly. Public criticism of or opposition to decrees of the Government that is construed as counterrevolutionary activity is severely punished. Control of the Government is highly centralized, and the bureaucracy is all-powerful. An elaborate and effective secret service or spy system, known as the G. P. U., is maintained. Members of the former middle and upper classes are under constant surveillance, many of whom, with or without cause, are living in constant fear. The right to vote or hold office is denied to all persons who are not engaged in productive labor by hand or brain. The disfranchised group includes employers of labor for private profit, as well as priests and servants of the Church.

The international policy of the Soviet Union includes many elements that command my admiration and other phases that make me very apprehensive. In few countries are the rights of racial minorities so well safeguarded as in the Soviet Union. We saw striking evidence of this fact when we visited the Tatar Republic and talked with its President and Prime Minister. The

Union is a loose federation of many different republics and autonomous states, any one of which has the right to secede at will. So far as we could discover, there is very little racial discrimination. The Soviet Government has repeatedly disavowed the imperialist ambitions of the old Tsarist régime. The Red Army has been reduced to about four hundred and fifty thousand men, which is relatively very much smaller than the armies maintained by most other European nations.

When we come to the question of Bolshevist propaganda abroad for the purpose of inciting world revolution, we are met with contradictory evidence. The Soviet Government has signed numerous treaties with other Powers in which provisions against propaganda are included. And yet we know that Communist propaganda and agitation are carried on by Russians in many different countries, notably in China, India, the Balkans, Germany, and Great Britain. The question naturally arises as to the relationship of the Soviet Government to the activities of the Communist (or Third) International. In theory the Soviet Government is entirely separate from and in no sense responsible for the Commintern (Communist International). In theory the Commintern is controlled by an annual meeting of delegates from the various Communist parties of the world. In fact, it is, in my opinion, controlled by the Communist Party of Russia. It was founded by Russians; its chief officers are Russians; its headquarters are in Moscow; only in Russia of all the Great Powers are Communists in control of the government. The real seat of authority for both the Soviet Union and the Commintern is the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia, consisting of sixty members, and the all-powerful inner group of nine mem

bers of the Politburo of the Party.

The aims and methods of the Communist Party of Russia are, therefore, of great significance in relation to foreign propaganda. That the Communists are fully committed to a programme of world revolution cannot be denied. The methods advocated are likewise clearly known, and include agitation, plotting, the violent overthrow of existing capitalist governments, the maintenance of power by proletarian dictatorship and, if necessary, by terror. Communists pride themselves on being realists, and look with contempt upon 'idealists' and 'sentimentalists.' They believe that the end justifies the means, and say that any method which aids world revolution is right and any method that hinders it is wrong. This is not only their theory of revolution wherever conditions have been ripe in one degree or another the theory has been put into practice. The only test is one of expediency. So long as these are the tactics of the Communist Party of Russia, and so long as it retains control of the Soviet Union and the Commintern, it is needless to expect propaganda to cease, regardless of any promises the Soviet Government may make. As a matter of fact, we were told by a high official of the British Government that the clauses against propaganda in England's treaty with Russia have been violated repeatedly.

The next question which comes to mind concerns the seriousness of the menace of Bolshevist propaganda. My own opinion is that so far as the United States is concerned we have little to fear from such propaganda in the near future, and that the most effective means of combating it is not by ostracism of Russia and the legal suppression of the Communist Party in our country, but by meeting idea with idea in the open light of day. Unless

we refuse to deal with the excesses of our social order, and unless Bolshevist ideas are inherently superior to our own, we need not fear that they will overthrow our government. As Norman Angell has pointed out in his extraordinarily stimulating book, Must Britain Travel the Moscow Road? revolutions are not caused by radicals, but by conservatives who resist necessary social changes. Even Communists maintain that they do not 'advocate' revolution, but that revolution is 'inevitable' because injustice is allowed to remain unremedied.

There is another factor which should be considered namely, the division within the Communist ranks concerning the tactics of the world revolution. The practical administrators of the Soviet Government say that to make

a success of their own efforts is more important than foreign propaganda. Men like Chicherin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, realize that propaganda is one of the chief barriers to normal relations with other nations. It is my opinion that if the United States would recognize the Soviet Union and resume diplomatic relations the effect would be to strengthen the hands of the administrators and weaken the agitators. For this and other reasons, I strongly favor such recognition. There is, of course, the possibility that increasing success on the part of the Bolshevist Government would stimulate radicals in other countries to follow their example of violence and dictatorship. Personally, I regard this danger as less than the menace of ostracism and suppression.



[Nation and Athenæum]

ACROSS the lawn the little tiger walks,
Seeking an ambush in the cabbage stalks-
The tabby tiger, the domestic cat.

With twitching tail, stiff whiskers, ears laid flat,
The prowling garden monster brings dismay
To mouse and bird; but neither he nor they
Visage that other tiger, bringing dread
To jungles vaster than a cabbage bed.

Tigers and cats and men ah, who can tell Where, in uncharted seas of space, may dwell Man's prototype? Or who can say what Mind Likens that unknown man to us, who find Resemblance in the beasts or when began Earth's back-yard version of that other man?

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