- Project Runeberg -  Russia & Peace /
7

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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PREFACE 7
that, too, whether the Russian realm is contem
plated as permanently Bolshevik, or as potentially
Tsarist.
On the other hand, the nations farther to the
west of Europe maintain a more hostile attitude
towards Russia. In spite of the great services
which the people of Russia rendered, at fearful
cost to themselves, to the Western Powers during
the most critical days of the war, the Governments
of the West now seem disposed to let the Russian
nation perish because it is subject to a Govern
ment to whose methods and terrorism they cannot
reconcile themselves.
All this is essentially a matter of politics. But
what is needed now is to try to get on, without
paying heed to these changeable political moods,
to an objective grasp of the facts as they really
exist and must develop.
It is clear that Russia, conceived as a factor in
the development of world civilisation, with its great
intellectual and material importance in the world’s
domestic economy, cannot in the long run remain
in bondage to shifting political systems, especially
when these are largely imported from without.
A people’s development strikes deeper roots ; a
people is a living organism, with its own inner
life, and in the long run it will refuse to be held
in check or directed by fortuitous rulers, even
though these should succeed in putting forward or
retarding the clock of evolution for a time.
All Governments are transitory. The people and
the soul of the people endure.

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