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zhinsky,thas Trotzky, hrunist leaders
any material out of which such a by cornering the available supply of Civil Service could be built. A party sugar or leather or textiles in a city or of workmen and radical intellectuals, region. The spoils of trade, under they experienced the greatest difficulty these circumstances, almost invariably in finding men who were even passably flowed to the shrewd, energetic private qualified to occupy the more important trader. technical administrative posts after G iven these two factors, the absence the November Revolution. To be sure of a competent and experienced perthe Revolution brought out a good sonnel for the work of State economic deal of latent untested practical ability administration, and the conditions of in some of the Communist leaders. scarcity which acted as a stimulus to Such men as Trotzky, Rykov, Dzer- speculation, it is not surprising that zhinsky, the head of the Supreme private capital developed and accuEconomic Council, Pyatakov, one of mulated in Russia after the introduchis chief lieutenants, and Sokolnikov, tion of the Nep at a much faster tempo the Commissar for Finance, have made than the various legal and economic good records.
restraints and barriers erected by the But a few able and devoted men at Communist Government would seem the top cannot make a complex eco- to permit. The Nep has already nomic system work efficiently. And, contributed to the emergence of two in picking out candidates for such posts definite, comparatively prosperous as heads of State trusts, managers of classes from the grim, hungry equality factories, and sales-directors of syndi- of the period of military communism. cates, the Soviet Government is again These classes are the Nepmen in the and again compelled to make a difficult cities and the kulaks, or rich peasants, choice between appointing an inex- in the villages. perienced Communist, who is likely to wreck the enterprise through technical blunders, and a specialist of the old The Nepman is a familiar figure in régime, who is just as likely to wreck Moscow, Petrograd, and other large it by working out some elaborate Russian centres. He goes to the opera scheme for selling out the State in a fur-lined coat in the winter and property to private speculators at spends his summer vacation in a villa much reduced prices, receiving a share outside Moscow or in a Caucasian or of the proceeds and making up the loss Crimean health resort. His money is by charging higher prices to ordinary easily made and easily lost, so he is customers. Of course all the State prone to spend it recklessly while he enterprises are not so badly misman has it. aged. But in general corruption and The Nepmen may be divided into inefficiency constitute a heavy burden several species, according to social and for the Russian State industries. economic origin. Some of them are
Moreover, Russia's experiment in former merchants who have reopened State Socialism was carried out under their old businesses. A large element conditions of extreme national im- is made up of hardened speculators who poverishment and disorganization. Es- contrived to escape the severest persepecially during the first period of the cutions of the period of military comNew Economic Policy, the scarcity of munism by their uncanny facility for goods was so great that any clever bribing and swindling. These are the speculator could make a small fortune men who are quick to spy out the weak
spots in the State economic organiza- city the last three years have witnesstion, to tempt corruptible officials in ed a steady increase of wealth and the State trusts and coöperatives with economic power on the part of the proposals to dispose of their goods at village kulak. The kulak, or ‘fist,' was abnormally low prices in return for a a familiar figure in the pre-revolubribe. The army of Nepmen also tionary Russian peasant village. He includes an underworld and a semi- was the village usurer, the man who criminal fringe of successful boot- had got many of his poorer neighbors leggers, drug-venders, professionalgam- in his debt. The term also came to be blers, and so forth.
applied, somewhat less justly, to those How much the Nepmen have made peasants who had the skill or good is a subject of heated debate in Com- fortune to accumulate more land and munist economic circles. Mr. Preo- property than their neighbors. brazhensky, a well-known economist During the Civil War the kulaks, and one of the members of the Russian who generally ranged themselves on delegation to the London Conference, the anti-Bolshevist side, fared rather estimated the gains of the Nepmen in badly. Their horses, cattle, and grain trade during the last year at $300,000,- were ruthlessly requisitioned; their 000. During the same period the State land allotments were cut down to industries generally showed losses, correspond with those of the poorer amounting, as is generally estimated, peasants. But the introduction of the to a little less than $100,000,000; and Nep paved the way for the return of these losses had to be made good by the kulak to something of his old means of subsidies from the hard- predominant position in the village pressed State treasury. Preobrazhen- community. War, requisitions, and sky's figures about the gains of the famine played havoc with the peasants' Nepmen are disputed, and no very supply of live stock. According to accurate statistics on the subject seem figures prepared by Mr. Yakovlev, who to be available. However, it is known has been carrying out an extensive that five sixths of the retail trade of the investigation of the peasant problem country is in the hands of private on behalf of the Central Committee of individuals, and private capital is more the Communist Party, 52.7 per cent and more penetrating the fields of of the Ukrainian peasants have no wholesale and wholesale-retail trade. horses. Ukrainia, to be sure, suffered In any campaign to carry out a plan of especially from civil war and banditism; coördinated price reduction the Nep but figures for other regions also show trader is a factor with which the a large proportion of horseless peasants. Government must reckon seriously. The percentages for three other dis
Of course the Nepmen have no hold tricts in different parts of Russia are on transport, basic industries or natural 37.7, 34.1 and 42.2. Now, the peasant resources; and they are completely who has no horse is economically very excluded from any share in political much at the mercy of his richer power. But within a comparatively neighbor. The poorer peasant is legally short time they have gained a com- entitled to his equal share in the village manding position in the field of trade, land allotment, but he cannot harvest and their real economic power is his crop unless he can get the use of somewhat greater than would appear one of the kulak's spare horses. He on the surface.
must pay heavily for this, and by the Side by side with the Nepman in the time the demands of the tax-gatherer
are satisfied the poorer peasant usually so long as they left the capital. Last has barely enough grain left to meet the March the well-known Communist food needs of his family and to ex- bank president, Krasnoschekhov, was change for the most necessary articles brought to trial on charges of abusing of household use. So his economic his position to serve his private interbondage continues from year to year, ests and received a sentence of six whereas the kulak, fattening on the years in prison. Krasnoschekhov was rental of his working animals, pays his not convicted of any flagrant cortaxes promptly, thereby securing a ruption; and his case was clearly reduction in the amount, holds back designed as a warning to Communist his grain when prices are low in the fall industrial administrators who might and gets the advantage of the higher be tempted by their surroundings into prices in winter and spring. The rapid living too luxuriously, thereby bringing accentuation of class differences in on the Party the reproach of harboring the villages since the introduction of 'careerists' and bureaucrats. Lately a the Nep is commented on both by "cheestka,' or cleansing has been going Yakovlev and by other students of the on among the Communists employed agrarian problem.
in such institutions as the State Bank, The leaders of the Communist Party the Foreign Trade Commissariat, the are by no means blind to the growth of Supreme Economic Council, and the the Nep and to the dangers which this Centrosoyuz or Central Coöperative growth implies for their political and Organization. This is avowedly deeconomic hegemony. They see in the signed to weed out Communists who Nepmen and in the kulaks the embryo have succumbed to the temptations of formations of classes which, if they the Nep and are living in 'bourgeois' continue to develop and accumulate style. The admission of two hundred wealth, will come to constitute a thousand manual workers directly political as well as an economic menace from the factories represents another to the existing régime. To a certain attempt on the part of the Communist extent, of course, they recognize their leaders to give the Party a more definite helplessness in the face of circum- working-class revolutionary orientastances. The memory of the desperate tion, as a counter-balance to the reconditions which produced the Kron- laxed morale that has made itself felt stadt mutiny and the peasant revolts since the introduction of the Nep. of 1921 is too fresh to permit any responsible Communist even to think
V of the possibility of doing away with the New Economic Policy; but it is It is a tragic and fascinating specpossible, within limits, to take political tacle, this effort of a small band of steps against certain phases of the fanatical Marxian revolutionaries to Nep, and some of the recent actions of apply their theories in a primitive, the Soviet Government seem to have half-Asiatic country like Russia, which been designed with this in view. So, differs in almost every conceivable way during the last winter a large number from Marx's vision of a thoroughly of Nepmen, estimated at several thou- industrialized society. One constantly sand, were summarily told to leave returns to the futile but absorbing Moscow. Some were sent in exile to question: How will it all end? The remote parts of the country; others consequences of the social upheaval in were allowed to go where they chose, Russia are so complex and far-reaching,
conditions w and the ho permi
the present phase in the post-revolu- President of the Chamber of Comtionary development is so confused and merce of the State of New York. This apparently transitional in some of its is the possibility that State Socialism, manifestations, that one shrinks from like the military Communism which anything in the nature of premature preceded it, is only a passing economic dogmatic prophecy. One may, perhaps, phase in the history of the Russian venture to sketch two alternative lines Revolution; that the restoration of along which the Communist dictator- full-fledged capitalism, symbolized by ship may develop. The Soviet Govern- the recognition of the Tsarist debts and ment may preserve its present State the turning over of many of the State Socialist organization of industry and industries to private operation, is a finance, maintaining the monopoly of likely development of the near future. foreign trade and contenting itself with This point of view, however, would seem the very modest sums of foreign capital to underestimate the fanatical loyalty which may flow into the country under of the Soviet leaders to their ultimate these conditions. Some Communists Communist ideal. Among the Comare convinced that the salvation of munist political leaders, such as TrotRussia lies in this direction. The coun- zky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, and Stalin, try will be built up, they argue, slowly there is no division on the issue of and painfully but steadily; the eco- yielding to foreign capital. All are nomic and administrative measures of committed to holding the bases of the State will keep the Nepmen in a economic power to the bitter end. subordinate position; with the passing There is really no historical preceof time a new generation will grow up dent to enable one to calculate the under the influence of revolutionary future prospects of the Russian Comideals and capable of adjusting itself munists. By making the compromises to the demands of the Socialist State. with the peasant and the small trader
The chief obstacle to the recon- which were implicit in the Nep they struction of Russia along these lines have prolonged the term of their would seem to be the sacrifices which existence far beyond that of their it will demand from the masses of the historical spiritual ancestors, the French Russian people in the way of a much Jacobins. A hostile commentator once lowered standard of living over a very spoke of the Nep as 'the economic long period. Material hardship breeds Ninth Thermidor' of the Bolshevist political discontent; and the Soviet Revolution; and to some extent the Government, despite its absolutist present phase of the Revolution, with political system, may some day find its lack of a strong, unquestioned itself confronted with a new kind of leader, its mixture of old and new opposition — not the dead and buried social and economic forms, its halfopposition of the Whites and the realized and unrealized ideals, suggests Interventionists, but a demand on the the French Revolutionary aftermath part of the Russian masses for better under the rule of the Directory. But living conditions.
no Napoleon has appeared on the There is also the possibility which Russian horizon, and, if there were has been mentioned by several Ameri- such a figure, he would think twice cans who have recently been in Russia, before risking his life in an attempt to notably by Colonel Haskell, the former substitute personal rule for the Argushead of the A. R. A. relief work in Rus- eyed dictatorship of the Communist sia, and Mr. Irving T. Bush, former Party Central Committee.
rule of theionary aftuseste POLITICAL PROGRESS IN THE NETHERLANDS INDIES
BY RALSTON HAYDEN
One of the most important and least world; the Dutch islands because of understood factors in the complex position, richness, and the military politics of the Eastern Pacific is the weakness of their sovereign occupy a Dutch island-empire called Insulinde. peculiar place in the Oriental political Writing many years ago Paul Leroy- system; and Dutch Malaysia contains Beaulieu, the far-seeing French econ- oil reserves to participate in which the omist and political scientist, urged his United States has already fought, and people ‘to dwell attentively upon the apparently lost, one stubborn diplorôle of Holland in Asia and on the matic battle. creation and development of her col- Recent activities of Japan in Java onies in that region. An intimation indicate clearly the interest of that of the interest of the American govern- Empire in the Dutch colonies. Last ment in present developments in the summer a distinguished commercialNetherlands Indies may be found in political mission visited the islands and the fact that the chief representative completed arrangements for a biof the United States in the Orient, the weekly Japan-Java steamship service Governor-General of the Philippines, to run from Kobe to Sourabaya via recently made the long journey from Japan's mandated islands lying west of Manila to Batavia to acquire first-hand the Philippines. Within the past year information as to the situation there, millions of dollars have been invested at a time when political developments by Japanese corporations in plantawithin his own jurisdiction might have tions in western Java. Japanese in rendered his absence extremely un- Java have been capitalizing the present fortunate.
Dutch-Indian distrust of the United America has, indeed, much reason to States, a sentiment arising from our ‘dwell attentively upon the rôle of attitude on Sumatra oil and our warHolland in Asia. As the sovereign of time invasion of a hitherto virtually more than 11,000,000 Malayan people, closed market, to work up antifor whose future we are in some degree American feeling wherever possible. responsible, as a nation with an An ably staffed and very active departincreasing concern in the general ment of the Government of Formosa politics of the Orient, and as a people exists for the sole purpose of keeping whose industrial future depends in Tokyo informed of every event of part upon an adequate foreign supply political significance in southern China of mineral oil, we cannot safely remain and Malaysia. A glance at the map of indifferent to events in Insulinde. the Eastern Pacific with especial For under the Dutch flag live more reference to the long fringe of islands Malays than exist in all the rest of the which flanks Asia from Siberia almost VOL. 134 — NO.3