PROMISES AND REALITY
Time moves ceaselessly on. Years follow in close succession and become a remote past. Blind and wanton time erases the differences of the days gone by, reducing them to a uniform mass. Yet in the life of nations as in the life of individuals, there are days which defy time-days which refuse to pass into oblivion,--which refuse to become commonplace. Such are the days of the October Revolution!
This glamorous period, its beauty and significance, and that particular quickening of emotion which it recalls to the mind will fade only with the death of the great mass of the Russian people who have lived through it. Many years have passed since then. Yet the memories are so vivid, so alive,--that it is almost inconceivable that time has so far removed from us these sacred and triumphant days,-- days of the greatest crisis in the life of a tremendous nation, and in the life of the international proletariat. The glamour, brilliance, dramatic effect, and the significant precept of these kaleidoscopic pictures fill the heart with a fervor and spirit with inexplicable emotions.
As we approach the present, a sadness is born. Bitterness and anguish fill the soul the soul trembles like the taut strings of a lute in the breeze. This feeling is quite natural when in imagination we walk again the path leading from the year 1917 to the present day. What a great beginning! What a tremendous purpose and deeds; We stormed Heaven and earth. But what a dreadful end,--what lamentable results!
In February (March by the new calendar) of 1917, the workers and peasants of Russia in soldier uniforms revolted against the autocracy of the tsar, and against the aristocracy. They deposed them in the name of bread, peace, and liberty. However, they soon realized that the bourgeoisie which replaced the aristocracy was also incompatible with the spirit of the slogan Bread, Peace, and Liberty. The workers were soon convinced that the "Bourgeoisie" is synonymous with war and exploitation, with poverty and hunger----liberty in word and slavery in fact. No sooner did the workers realize this, than they began to act. In spite of this most difficult and entangled situation, in spite of the warnings of the "wise" that the basic social change was premature, the workers and peasants urged by the inevitable logic of the country's historical development, accomplished a new revolution against the Bourgeoisie and bourgeois social