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The lifting of the Allied blockade on Russia marks the first step in a constructive policy of removing the "Red Terror" both from that country itself and from the rest of the world. While there are some who denounce this move of the Supreme Council as "peace by surrender" and as a "feather in the cap of Lenine and Trotsky," the probable results of the policy must be studied before it is thus condemned.
In the first place, while the removal of the blockade will undoubtedly give relief to the Russian people, and temporarily help the cause of Lenine, this very relief will, in the long run, bring about that back-swing of the pendulum which came in the French revolution with the fall of the Jacobins, and which has come in all revolutions when the first period of disorder has calmed down. Furthermore, the main cause of Bolshevism is economic distress, and the lifting of the blockade will remove that cause. A people which does not lack the essentials of life tends toward conservation. In the second place, the new policy will remove the most effective tool which the Red leaders have used to prevent a general uprising against their regime. From now on the advocates of the economic system at present existing in Russia will not be able to explain the lack of prosperity by the blockade. The people will see that the distress is not due to an outside influence, but to the political and economic regime under which they live. Such a system cannot long endure if the people discover that their wants are caused by its existence.
Thirdly, the chief argument by which Red agitators gain recruits in the allied countries disappears with the end of the blockade. There is no other means which these men employ so often and so effectively to stir up a crowd of ignorant people as a denunciation of the allied policy of "starving the Russians."
A fourth result will be more produce on the allied markets with a consequent decline in prices. Although this result may not appear immediately, the surplus wheat and flax, as well as other articles of export from Russia, will make it possible for working people to live at less expense and will thus remove a great source of the present unrest which has threatened revolution in nearly all the allied countries.
Although allied policy in Russia to date has been weak and deplorable, this is most emphatically a case of "better late than never." Removing the blockade will eliminate much of the mysticism and conjecture which now exists regarding the Russian situation. It should enable us to study facts and adopt, in the future, a policy based upon knowledge rather than on hearsay.
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