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Like the immortal Topsy, this book may be said to have "just growed.” In it I have simply assembled in something like an orderly arrangement a vast amount of carefully investigated evidence concerning the Bolshevist system and its workings—evidence which, in my judgment, must compel every honest believer in freedom and democracy to condemn Bolshevism as a vicious and dangerous form of reaction, subversive of every form of progress and every agency of civilization and enlightenment.
I do not discuss theories in this book, except in a very incidental way. In two earlier volumes my views upon the theories of Bolshevism have been set forth, clearly and with emphasis. On its theoretical side, despite the labored pretentiousness of Lenin and his interminable “Theses,” so suggestive of medieval theology, Bolshevism is the sorriest medley of antiquated philosophical rubbish and fantastic speculation to command attention among civilized peoples since Millerism stirred so many of the American people to a mental process they mistook for and miscalled thinking.
No one who is capable of honest and straightforward thinking upon political and economic
questions can read the books of such Bolshevist writers as Lenin, Trotsky, and Bucharin, and the numerous proclamations, manifestoes, and decrees issued by the Soviet Government and the Communist Party, and retain any respect for the Bolsheviki as thinkers. Neither can any one who is capable of understanding the essential difference between freedom and despotism read even those official decrees, programs, and legal codes which they themselves have caused to be published and doubt that the régime of the Bolsheviki in Russia is despotic in the extreme. The cretinous-minded admirers and defenders of Bolshevism, whether they call themselves Liberals, Radicals, or Socialistsdishonoring thereby words of great and honorable antecedents—“bawl for freedom in their senseless mood” and, at the same time, give their hearts' homage to a monstrous and arrogant tyranny.
In these pages will be found, I venture to assert, ample and conclusive evidence to justify to any healthy and rational mind the description of Bolshevism as “a monstrous and arrogant tyranny." That is the purpose of the volume. It is an indictment and arraignment of Bolshevism and the Bolsheviki at the bar of enlightened public opinion. The evidence upon which the indictment rests is so largely drawn from official publications of the Soviet Government and of the Communist Party, and from the authorized writings of the foremost spokesmen of Russian Bolshevism, that the book might almost be termed a self-revelation of Bolshevism and the Bolsheviki. Such evidence as I have cited from non-Bolshevist sources is of minor
importance, slight in quantity and merely corroborative of, or supplementary to, the evidence drawn from the Bolshevist sources already indicated. Much of the evidence has been published from time to time in numerous articles, state reports, and pamphlets, both here and in England, but this is the first volume, I believe, to bring the material together in a systematic arrangement.
Following the publication of my Bolshevism I found myself called upon to deliver many
addresses upon the subject. Some of these were given before college and university audiences--at Dartmouth, Princeton, Columbia, Barnard, and elsewherewhile others were given before a wide variety of public audiences. The circulation of my book and many magazine and newspaper articles on the subject, together with the lectures and addresses, had the result of bringing me a veritable multitude of questions from all parts of the country. The questions came from men and women of high estate and of low, ranging from United States Senators to a group of imprisoned Communists awaiting deportation. Some of the questions were asked in good faith, to elicit information; others were obviously asked for quite another purpose. For a long time it seemed that every statement made in the press about Bolshevism or the Bolsheviki reached me with questions or challenges concerning it.
To every question which was asked in apparent good faith I did my best to reply. When-as often happened-the information was not in my possession, I invoked the assistance of those of my Russian friends in Europe and this country who
have made it their special task to keep well informed concerning developments in Russia. These friends not only replied to my specific questions, but sent me from time to time practically every item of interest concerning developments in Russia. As a result, I found myself in the possession of an immense mass of testimony and evidence of varying value. Fully aware of the unreliability of much of the material thus placed in my hands, for my own satisfaction I weeded out all stories based upon hearsay, all stories told by unknown persons, all rumors and indefinite statements, and, finally, al! stories, no matter by whom told, which were not confirmed by dependable witnesses. This winnowing process left the following classes of evidence and testimony: (1) Statements by leading Bolsheviki, contained in their official press or in publications authorized by them; (2) reports of activities by the Soviet Government or its officials, published in the official organs of the government; (3) formal documents-decrees, proclamations, and the like-issued by the Soviet Government and its responsible officials; (4) statements made by well-known Russian Socialists and trades-unionists of high standing upon facts within their own knowledge, where there was confirmatory evidence; (5) the testimony of well-known Socialists from other countries, upon matters of which they had personal knowledge and concerning which there was confirmatory evidence.
Every scrap of evidence adduced in the following pages belongs to one or other of the five classes above described. Moreover, the reader can rest assured that every possible care has been taken to
guard against misquotation and against quotation which, while literally accurate, nevertheless misrepresents the truth. This is often done by unfairly separating text from context, for example, and in other ways. I believe that I can assure the reader of the freedom of this book from that evil; certainly nothing of the sort has been intentionally included. While I have accepted as correct and authentic certain translations, such as the translations of Lenin's Soviets at Work and his State and Revolution, both of which are largely circulated by pro-Bolshevist propagandists, and such collections of documents as have been published in this country by the Nation—the Soviet Constitution and certain Decrees—and by Soviet Russia, the official organ of the Soviet Government in this country, I have had almost every other line of translated quotation examined and verified by some competent and trustworthy Russian scholar.
The book does not contain all or nearly all the evidence which has come into my possession in the manner described. I have purposely omitted much that was merely harrowing and brutal, as well as sensational incidents which have no direct bearing upon the struggle in Russia, but properly belong to the category of crimes arising out of the elemental passions, which are to be found in every country. Crimes and atrocities by irresponsible individuals I have passed over in silence, confining myself to those things which reflect the actual purposes, methods, and results of the régime itself.
I have not tried to make a sensational book, yet now that it is finished I feel that it is even worse