LENINE AND SIXPENCE

In a recent speech made at Moscow, Nikolai Lenine gave out some of the details of his theory of Russia against the world, and more clearly defined his reasons for seeking trade with the western nations. Communism, he explained, has not failed, nor is it attempting to compromise with other countries when it enters the markets of the world. Russia never hoped to convert whole continents to Bolshevism, but is content to wait until the "workers of the world" of their own accord rise in rebellion against their present masters. In the meantime, what wiser course could be followed than that of trading with capitalistic nations, there by draining them of their resources and strengthening Russia at the same time?

The Premier is either delightfully optimistic or else a very clever talker. If Russia is content to wait, why the armies launched against the unoffending Poles? Why that New Year's message last year, which so confidently stated that by the time the world should be writing another January First on its calendars, Bolshevism would be supreme? And now comes this new decision to undermine the reserve power of Western Europe and of America, ostensibly in preparation for the day of the great upheaval. Anyone but Nikolai Lenine would be awed by the enormity of the proposal thus given with such calm assurance--at least would keep secret a policy so easy to defeat; not so the Premier. He spreads the news abroad and invites the nations to come and deliver themselves into his hands.

There may be an ulterior motive behind this Moscow speech. Indeed, one half suspects that Lenine's self-asserted sang-froid and voluble explanations are intended more for home consumption than for that foreign trade for which he angles. The speech has all the ear-marks of the bludgeoning stump oration. The Russians have listened to that style of address for so long that it is safe to assume that they still give it credence. But to those outside the spell of Lenine's mastery of words, it is apparent that Russia, having wasted her own resources, would now borrow those of other countries. It is not a question of strength, but of life itself. Unless help is forthcoming from some direction, the Russians will soon be forced to exist entirely upon Lenine's delightful speeches and, like Hamlet, to "eat the air, promise-crammed."