From Suvorov to Stalin and… back again. The “great change” of Russian Bolshevism
Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30


First edition: „Ilustrowany Kurier Codzienny”, 1935, nr 97.


We have to let the specialists in the so-called diamat, or the theory of dialectical materialism, which in today's Russia serves as a “religion”, explain how and why the Bolshevik political system in recent years has transformed from the most revolutionary and fantastically “progressive” system into its polar opposite: the most conservative and completely reactionary system. An old type of journalist, in other words, a free man who freely expresses his opinions, may in this case limit himself to the very statement and description of this very important phenomenon in many respects.

Well, there is no doubt that the ideological and political system of Bolshevism has gone through a great, real and mysterious transformation in recent years. From a majestic utopia, Bolshevism has theoretically transformed into a series of contradictory purely casuistic formulas that are to answer the infinity of the questions posed by the so-called transitional epoch, which is the period that always shares the moment of gaining power in the name of a certain idea until its final realization. As we know, the transition epochs are the only ones that... last forever. Therefore, it is also in the Bolshevism where the birth of a true “classless state”, in which all jumps “from the state of necessity into the state of liberty” will be made without exposing any members of the jumper to danger, has been moved far beyond reach, and the present has been taken over by a monstrous state machine ineptly built from the thinnest human material, becoming the expression and symbol of not only what is, but also what will have to be in every future.



It is already the origin of Bolshevik doctrine from Marxist historical economism that had to significantly reduce the pathos of the Bolshevik revolution. The practice of this revolution strangely quickly used all this small original reserve of this pathos, making it necessary to replace it with such a hopeless substitute as the cult of human bunch, organized like a machine that is more rational than an individual.

When Bolshevism finally renounced its universalism, which must be an inseparable part of every great revolutionary ideology in its conquest period, when Stalin[1] proclaimed “the construction of socialism in an isolated state” as the basic dogma and starting point for all further thought and action, the international pathos of the original Bolshevism needed to be transformed into nationalist pathos.

In this way, Stalin was at least three years quicker than Hitler[2] in pursuing... the same goals and the same historical types. Apart from the differences in the level of material civilization and in the collective psychics, it can be said that Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany represent the most similar and most related political and psychological creations in terms of their spirit. If brown Germany is a national-socialist state, then... Stalinist Russia is a “socialist-national” state. Surely this difference in the order of their political attributes assimilated to both systems and their accentuation is of great significance, but it is almost completely eliminated when it comes to explaining the phenomenon of the great metamorphosis that took place in the essence of Russian Bolshevism, transforming it from the messianic global-revolutionary doctrine into a strictly geographically situated administrative-nationalist doctrine.

The metamorphosis found its most profound expression in the radical transformation of both the assumptions and the methods of Bolshevik foreign policy. It is enough to compare the content and the tone of diplomatic notes, which in the first years of victorious Bolshevism were sent into the world by Chicherin[3], with this diplomatic ramble which was mastered by his successor, Litvinov[4], to assess the enormity of the path taken by Bolshevik politics in the direction from the clouds... to the manure. If a fresh anecdote says that Chicherin, “tanked up” as usual, with melancholy compares his idealism with the realism of his successor, it contains a lot of truth and a very important one at that.

Having abandoned its goals of destroying the world, Soviet Russia returned to the European orchestra as a great and important member (playing the bassoon or the drum) who is now trying to compensate for the long absence with the force with which they blow their feather or bang their drum.

Bolshevism, which for the first ten years bet everything on a great world turmoil, today would most gladly build a huge wall and a ramp to protect the world from this turmoil. Bolshevism, which has not missed any chance to bad-mouth the League of Nations and the rotten European pacifism, is now on its way to remain the last fervent follower of both the League and its pacifism.

The diplomatic technique of Moscow radically changed its style from being romantically bold and fantastic, due to being calculated for fantasy and feelings, not for cold reason. It became a small, cautious, sly, and groundlessly realistic technique that avoids all fantasies like deadly sin.

What is strange about the fact that a young and, despite the talent, a quite inexperienced lord of the Eden’s secret seal[5] felt so pleasantly disappointed in Moscow, when seeing exactly the same manners, subterfuge and diplomatic tricks, hearing the same clichés that are used in all today’s politics worldwide, as well as stereotypically, as is used by different football teams all over the world.

Still remaining under the fresh impression of the gloomy romanticism of Hitler that was quite incomprehensible for the true Scot, Lord Eden had to feel like in a nice warm bathtub when he found himself in Moscow with the current political attitude and with all that phraseology adapted to him. Even the dreadful Stalin seemed to him at least very tamed and only insufficiently courtly (at most), when, pointing to the hung map, he asked a difficult question why “such a small England holds such a big key to the peace of all the earth.” The English guest did not understand that fast that in Stalin's intention, it was supposed be a great compliment to little England.



Today's Soviet policy is dominated by the desire to become what Germany calls salonfähig (“acceptable for polite society”) as quickly and as fully as possible. And since the modern society has lowered its standards in an unusual way and adapted its climate to that of a marketplace, therefore, these efforts certainly have a good chance of success. Meanwhile, since the great politics have never been fastidious and always headed for the successes of their partners, believing that success will wash away all the stains and smooth out all inequalities, Soviet Russia has all the conditions for success in its aspirations, if it can convince others that it has changed from a destructive force to the so-called “structural” force... in its external use, except for the Russian one.

In addition, gaining this opinion is today’s main goal of Bolshevik policy, which, in pursuit of it, will stop at nothing and pay any price, as befits any purely utilitarian, realistic policy, basically with no rules. Recently, the Soviet government sold the North-Manchurian railway to Japan (the value of which – without buildings – is now nearly one billion roubles in gold) for... 45 million roubles, one third of which is to be paid in three annual instalments in cash, and two thirds – in Japanese goods. And all this sale for four percent of the value was presented to the native audience as a great victory for Soviet policy and the result of the immeasurable intensification of its... prestige in the East.

The next day after this transaction, Japanese Minister Hirota[6], at the meeting of the Japanese parliament, demanded that Russia “leased” the northern part of Sakhalin to Japan as well as, as Japan needs it because of the oil, coal, wood and large fish stocks. There was no mention about Hirota's suggestion in the Soviet press. The Moscow’s policy, above all, wants to maintain a good tone whose first condition is – as is known – composure and self-control.

Apparently, Eden learnt in Moscow that Russia had taken to England so much and gained such unwavering trust in its political aims and methods that it would be ready to assure the inviolability of Asian English dominions, of course on a reciprocal basis. The fact that such a proposition means putting on hold all of Indian dreams and fights and bickering for primacy in Afghanistan or Persia – all this goes without saying in this system. More importantly, the proposal also has some positive elements for the simple reason that Soviet Russia, retreating far before the Japanese expansion in China, Manchuria and Mongolia, did not forget to put Chinese Turkestan in its pocket – Turkestan separated from the rest of the world by the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau from the south, and the Gobi desert from the east – a country that does not excite the European imagination, but nevertheless its one and a half million square kilometres of land are attractive in many respects.

This combination of suavity, helpfulness and peacefulness (when needed) with ruthless possessiveness (when possible) is a further proof that Bolshevik policy has completely changed its essence: from the naively fantastic, romantic and innovative, to the old Moscow policy of “collecting” the Russian soil, and in the absence of Russian, also non-Russian soil.

Karl Radek[7] once said that whoever sat in the Kremlin had to think and act... in a Kremlin way. Well, it must be admitted that the Bolshevik government mastered the art of this “Kremlin” way in all its arcana perfectly and fully, and showing the astonished world the mirage of old Russia in its most extreme form, when Suvorov[8], after crossing the Alps on a small shaggy Cossack horse, without a shirt, but wearing a huge papakha on his head and holding a cruel leather whip, made triumphal entry to Milan, when Cossacks of Alexander I[9] were preparing their “djigitovka” under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, when after the Napoleonic wars, Russia became the main advocate and guarantee of the European balance regained with such difficulty.

And this whole transformation appears to be so big and has such historical significance, because it proves that in fact only people and their platitudes change, but the nature of both the people and the things surrounding them remain eternally unchanged.


[1] See note 43 in Elita Bolszewicka.

[2] Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) – German politician, co-founder and leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, Chancellor of Germany, from 1934 – Chancellor and Führer of the Third Reich. A war criminal responsible for the outbreak of World War II. Author of Mein Kampf (1925).

[3] See note 76 in Elita bolszewicka.

[4] Maxim Litvinov (1876-1951) – Soviet politician. From 1898, he was active in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). He was repeatedly imprisoned and sent to Siberia for his revolutionary activity. From there, he fled to Western Europe, staying in France and the United Kingdom. In 1902, he supported the Bolsheviks. He took part in the revolution of 1905. In the years 1930-1939, he led the Soviet foreign policy.

[5] Anthony Eden (1897-1977) – British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party. He served as the head of government three times in the years 1936-1938, 1940-1945 and 1951-1955.

[6] Kōki Hirota (1878-1948) – Japanese politician, diplomat, head of government. In the years 1928-1931, he was ambassador of Japan in Moscow, from 1933 to 1936 he headed the Japanese diplomacy as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and from March 1936 to February 1937, he headed the government. In 1948, he was found guilty by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for his war crimes and sentenced to death.

[7] Karl Radek (1885-1948) – communist activist, publicist, in 1903-1904, an activist of the PPSD (Polish Social Democratic Party), then SDKPiL (Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania), in the years 1905-1906, a member of the Central Commission of Social Democratic Trade Unions in Warsaw. Considered as one of the leaders of the Trotskyist opposition. He wrote Pamphlets and Portraits (Vol.102, 1933-1934).

[8] Alexander Suvorov (1729-1800) – Russian military, field marshal. He took part in the Seven Years’ War. He participated in the suppression of the Bar Confederation. He was successful in the wars against Turkey (1773-1774 and 1787-1792) and France (1799, leading the allied Russian-Austrian troops). In 1794, as the commander of the Russian army in Poland, he put down the Kosciuszko Uprising.

[9] Alexander I of Russia (1777-1825) – Russian emperor from 1801. At the beginning of his reign he carried out liberal – for the Russian conditions – reforms. In the years 1805-1807, he took part in the anti-Napoleonic coalition, after signing the Treaties of Tilsit in 1807, he joined the continental blockade against England. After the unsuccessful expedition of the French against Russia in 1812, the “Battle of the Nations” in Leipzig in 1813 and the abdication of Napoleon I, he consolidated the imperialistic position of Russia. At the Congress of Vienna, he led to the creation of the Kingdom of Poland in 1815, taking the title of the Polish king and giving the Kingdom a liberal constitution, which he disrespected more and more over time, causing growing dissatisfaction in Polish society.

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