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The Crisis In Russia
by Arthur Ransome
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On December 17, 1919, the moment it became clear that there was a real possibility that the civil war was drawing to an end, Trotsky allowed the Pravda to print a memorandum of his, consisting of "theses" or reasoned notes about industrial conscription and the militia system. He points out that a Socialist State demands a general plan for the utilization of all the resources of a country.
THE characteristic of a revolutionary country is that change is a quicker process there than elsewhere. As the revolution recedes into the past the process of change slackens speed. Russia is no longer the dizzying kaleidoscope that it was in 1917. No longer does it change visibly from week to week as it changed in 19l8. Already, to get a clear vision of the direction in which it is changing, it is necessary to visit it at intervals of six months, and quite useless to tap the political barometer several times a day as once upon a time one used to do. . . . But it is still changing very fast. My jourrnal of "Russia in 1919,"while giving as I believe a fairly accurate pictureof the state of affairs in February and March of 1919, pictures a very different stage in the development of the revolution from that which would be found by observers today. The prolonged state of crisis in which the country has been kept by external war, while strengthening the ruling party by rallying even their enemies to their support, has had the other effects that a national crisis always has on the internal politics of a country. Methods of government which in normal times would no doubt be softened or disguised by ceremonial usage are used nakedly and justified by necessity.
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