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Consider another testimonial work. The career of its author, George
is even more interesting.
was a Bolshevik Party cadre,
named in July 1919 assistant to the People's Commissar for
Commerce and Industry. He was an intimate friend of
Bolshevik, who was simultaneously Commissar of Railroads and
Communications and Commissar of Commerce and Industry. In short, we
have two members of the `old guard of the heroic times' so dear to Henri
of the Belgian Military Academy.
In December 1919,
returned from Stockholm to Petrograd, where he
hurried to see his friend
and ask him about the political
situation. According to
the response was:
`You want a résumé of the situation? ... it is ... the immediate
installation of socialism ... an imposed utopia, including the most
extreme of stupidities. They have all become crazy,
... forgotten the laws of natural evolution, forgotten our warnings
about the danger of trying the socialist experience under the actual
conditions .... As for
... he suffers from permanent
delirium .... in fact we are living under a completely autocratic
Parmi les maîtres rouges,
Série Anticommuniste du Centre International de Lutte
Active Contre le Communisme (Paris: Éditions Spes, 1930), p. 19.
This analysis in no way differs from that of the Mensheviks: Russia is
not ready for socialism, and those who want to introduce it will have to
use autocratic methods.
In the beginning of 1918,
were together in Stockholm.
The Germans had started up the offensive and had occupied Ukraine.
Anti-Bolshevik insurrections were more and more frequent. It was not at
all clear who was going to rule Russia, the Bolsheviks or the Mensheviks
and their industrialist friends.
`We had understood that the new régime had introduced a series of absurd
measures, by destroying the technical forces, by demoralizing the
technical experts and by substituting worker committees for them ....
we understood that the line of annihilating the bourgeoisie was no
less absurd .... This bourgeoisie was destined to still bring us
many positive elements .... this class ... needed to fill its
historic and civilizing rôle.'
, p 36.
appeared to hesitate as to whether they should join
the Mensheviks, with whom they shared concern for
the bourgeoisie, which was to bring progress. What could be done
without it? Surely not develop the country with `factories
run by committees of ignorant workers'?
, p. 19.
But Bolshevik power stabilized:
`(A) gradual change ... took place in our assessment of the situation.
We asked ourselves if we had the right to remain aloof .... Should
we not, in the interests of the people that we wanted to serve, give the
Soviets our support and our experience, in order to bring to this task
some sane elements? Would we not have a better chance to fight against
this policy of general destruction that marked the Bolsheviks'
activity We could also oppose the total destruction of the
bourgeoisie .... We thought that the restoration of normal
diplomatic relations with the West ... would necessarily force our
leaders to fall in line with other nations and ... that the tendency
towards immediate and direct communism would start to shrink and
ultimately disappear forever ....
`Given these new thoughts, we decided,
and myself, to join the
, pp. 36--37.
So, according to
formulated a secret program that
they followed by reaching the post of Minister and vice-Minister under
they opposed all measures of the dictatorship of the
proletariat, they protected as much as they could the bourgeoisie and
they intended to create links with the imperialist world, all to
`progressively and completely erase' the Communist line of the Party!
Good Bolshevik, Comrade
On August 1, 1923, during a visit to Belgium, he joined the other side.
His testimony appeared in 1930, published by the Belgo-French
`International Centre for the Active Struggle Against Communism'
the old Bolshevik now had set ideas:
`(T)he Moscow government (is) formed of a small group of men who, with the
help of the G.P.U., inflicts slavery and terror on our great and
admirable country ....'
, p. 348.
`Already the Soviet despots see themselves as surrounded everywhere by
anger, the great collective anger. Seized by crazed terror ....
They become more and more vicious, shedding rivers of human blood.'
, p. 351.
These are the same terms used by the Mensheviks a few years earlier.
They would soon be taken up by
and, fifty years later, the
Belgian Army's chief ideologue would say things no better. It is
important to note that the terms `crazed terror', `slavery' and `rivers
of blood' were used by the `old Bolshevik'
to describe the
situation in the Soviet Union under
and during the liberal period
of 1924--1929, before collectivization. All the slanders of `terrorist
and bloodthirsty régime', hurled by the bourgeoisie against the Soviet
régime under Stalin, were hurled, word for word, against
presented an interesting case of an `old Bolshevik' who was
fundamentally opposed to
project, but who chose to disrupt and
`distort' it from the inside. Already in 1918, some Bolsheviks had, in
of being a bourgeois, a speculator and a
denied everything in a self-righteous
manner. But it is interesting to note that as soon as he left the
Soviet Union, he publicly declared himself to be an avowed
Up: How did the
Previous: Boris Bazhanov
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995