“As to the next, Is there anybody who has not thought himself that the present war, in which all parties in Russia have risen unanimously against the common enemy, will render a return to the autocracy of old materially impossible? And then, those who have seriously followed the revolutionary movement of Russia in 1905 surely know what were the ideas which dominated in the First and Second, approximately freely elected Dumas. They surely know that complete Home Rule for all the component parts of the Empire was a fundamental point of all the Liberal and Radical parties. More than that: Finland then actually accomplished her revolution in the form of a democratic autonomy, and the Duma approved it.
“And finally, those who know Russia and her last movement certainly feel that autocracy will never more be re-established in the forms it had before 1905, and that a Russian Constitution could never take the Imperialist forms and spirit which Parliamentary rule has taken in Germany. As to us, who know Russia from the inside, we are sure that the Russians never will be capable of becoming the aggressive, warlike nation Germany is. Not only the whole history of the Russians shows it, but with the Federation which Russia is bound to become in the very near future, such a warlike spirit would be absolutely incompatible.”—Quoted in “Freedom,” also in the “Manchester Guardian,” October, 1914.
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THE FUTURE OF EUROPE.
Portion of a letter written by P. Kropotkin to Mr. R.J. Kelly, K.C., of Dublin, December 15, 1915.
“The same for the South Slavs and for all nationalities oppressed in Europe. When the last Balkan War had shown the inner power of the South Slavs, I greeted in it the disintegration of the Turkish Empire, which would be followed by the disintegration of the three other Empires—Austria, Russia, and Germany—so as to open the way for two, three, or more federations. A South Slavonic federation—the Balkan United State was the dream of Bakunin—would be followed by a free Poland, free Finland, Free Caucasia, free Siberia, federated for peace purposes. Yes, dear Mr. Kelly, you are right, we are on the eve of great events in Europe. Warmest wishes that this should become a reality, or receive a sound beginning of realization, during the coming new year, and my very best wishes to you of health and vigour.—Sincerely yours,
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“We are therefore justified in declining to accept such evidence. We are witnessing the birththroes of a new nation, the triumph of the idea of national unity among the disunited Southern Slavs, and it is the duty of Britain and France, whose Fleets are now operating on the Adriatic, to insist upon a just and permanent solution, based upon the principle of nationality and the wishes of the Southern Slav race. Only by treating the problem as an organic whole and avoiding patchwork we can hope to remove one of the chief danger centres in Europe.”—Lecture at Essex Hall, November 13, 1914, by R.W. Seton Watson.