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44

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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The more I consider the position in Russia at
the outset of the revolution, the more I become
convinced that the establishment of a moderate,
constitutional administration was psychologically
impossible.

From extreme reactionary Tsarism before 1917
on the right hand, physical necessity made the
pendulum swing across to the extreme left—to
Communism and the “Dictatorship of the
Proletariat.”

When the Press of Western Europe, in its
righteous zeal to maintain the only saving doctrine,
is so morally shocked at Bolshevism in Russia,
which it regards as a poisonous and disintegrating
social pest, engendered in malice and nourished
by criminal rapacity and class hatred, it is only
right to point out, on the one hand, that we are
not justified in calling any organisation of the
community the only good and perfect one, any
more than we can call the others a total failure.
None are entirely without good features; the
question is, therefore, which possesses most.

On the other hand, it is a fact that Bolshevism
has passed through so many phases in its evolution
that it is indeed no easy task to say what
Bolshevism really is now. I must admit that I, at
least, cannot undertake this, although I have spent
considerable time in trying to penetrate the mystery.

From the point of view of history it is interesting
to study the Communist theorists who between
1917 and 1921 laid down the principles which
ought to guide the Soviet Republic. But I do not

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