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Professional men are permitted to charge fees, which was forbidden during the first three years of the revolution. The servant class, abolished by the revolution, is slowly being reëstablished.
Even now one can see beginning to emerge from the economic disorder a new bourgeois class; for in a socialist state, as well as in a democracy where freedom of trade is permitted, wages and profits must be encouraged. However much we may decree the equality of men, we can offer them only equality of opportunity. The wise, the prudent, and the thrifty will rise just as certainly as the negligent and the shiftless will fall.
This new bourgeois class in the city and among the eighty millions of peasants will never permit any return to communism, but will hasten the retreat until capitalism is firmly established. The recovery will be slow. I do not believe that it will take as long as was required after the French Revolution; but when the peasant again raises the enormous food surpluses which he formerly produced, and when back of the peasant the industrial life of Russia and its manufacturing interests shall have been established, the Russian people, who are at heart sound and industrious, will bring about the rehabilitation of the country and the restoration of its prosperity almost as rapidly as the Americans recovered after the Civil War.
The revolution affected various classes of the Russian people in different ways. It gave to the peasant the land which he had dreamed of owning even during the days of his serfdom. While it is true that the government policy of requisitioning the surplus
discouraged planting and contributed much toward bringing the peasant to his present situation, yet with the restoration of freedom of trade the peasant will go forward speedily; in fact, his condition even now is fundamentally better than it was before.
The Russian worker in the city lived under terrible conditions. His wages were low, barely sufficient to maintain the miserable living conditions which were forced upon him prior to the revolution. His condition could not have been made worse; unquestionably, it is better. He is better housed, better fed, even under present conditions, than he was before, and his children, in common with the children of the peasants, receive an opportunity to secure an education, which largely was denied them under the old order.
The Russian nobility, with the exception of a comparatively small number like Tchitcherin and Lenine, have either been executed or driven out of Russia. They had forfeited their right to exist, betrayed the trust of the Russian people, and as an institution deserved to be extinguished.
The changes experienced by the bourgeois class and by those who had lived in luxury are fundamental. I can illustrate them best by two or three instances.
One day soon after reaching Moscow, before entering the American Relief Administration headquarters, I noticed outside a Russian girl working in the wood-yard, sawing wood. I took the saw from her hand and sawed off the log for her. She thanked me in excellent English. Upon inquiry, I learned that she was the daughter of a distinguished surgeon of Moscow. She spoke English, French, and Ger
man fluently, and up to the time of the revolution never knew what it was to work. Her whole life had been spent acquiring an education in Russia, Germany, and England. With her With her mother and father she had occupied a beautiful home, with many servants to wait upon them. But the revolution abolished the servant class. Upon his request, four rooms were given to the doctor in the hospital, where he and his wife and only daughter lived. The proletariat in Moscow were quartered in his home, which had been nationalized.
Under the rule that none could eat who did not work, the daughter, being of age, was compelled to labor in order to get the food ration. She went to work in the public wood-yard. Her mother worked on the street, and the doctor in the hospital. When I shook hands with the mother, I found her skin rough and hard from the labor she had been doing. For this the family have received their three daily rations of food. For the last three years they have been wearing garments which they owned before the revolution, and have not been able to purchase or receive any new clothing.
But daylight is breaking for them; the doctor is again permitted to charge fees, and the family hope soon to be able to move into their old home. The daughter is working in the offices of the American Relief Administration, and the mother is looking after the house. The mental attitude of the various members of this family was interesting. The doctor was bitter against the Government and did not hesitate to express himself in the severest terms and to condemn its policies without reservation. But the daughter said to me:
"After all, it may have been for the best. I never knew what it was to work; I never had a care before the revolution came. My every wish was gratified. Since I have worked among these Russian women, I think I understand their problems and their point of view better than ever before. While it has seemed at times very hard, yet now that we have passed through the experience, it may be the best thing for Russia that we have had to endure all this."
One of the homes in which the American Relief Administration is quartered was formerly the residence of a wealthy Russian who had been a great art collector. He had searched the whole world for rare treasures of art, and in this house, a veritable palace, he had assembled rare paintings, ivories, porcelains, and bric-abrac upon which he had expended millions of dollars.
But with the revolution came the nationalization of his home. His entire fortune was confiscated, and he was assigned to a room on the upper floor of the house. Through the influence of Mrs. Trotzky, the home was converted into a museum, and the old man was made its custodian. But the proletariat took more interest in the opera, ballet, and movies than in works of art. Accordingly, it was not a success as a museum. This house was assigned to the American Relief Administration for its headquarters, and many of us lived there. The room in which I lived contained a Rubens, a Vandyke, a Bonheur.
The old man often kindly interpreted to me his various treasures, the particular school of art, the age, the deficiencies, or the excellencies of each work. He never hoped to get posses
I was surprised at the lack of criticism of the Soviet Government, expecting the people would be sullen, despondent, and bitter in their condemnation of its acts. It may be that the free expression of opinion has been suppressed; yet often I was with men and women who had suffered much, with no one but Americans present, and I rarely detected any bitterness in their speech. Rather, they seemed to accept the hardships they had endured as a necessary accompaniment of a political upheaval such as Russia had passed through, evidently believing that in no other way could the old order be destroyed. While its cost was dear and their suffering great, they seemed to accept all this as necessary, and were turning toward the future with hope and confidence in the ability of the Russian people to work out through orderly processes, through evolution of the Government, the final solution of their problems.
This was the situation when I left Russia. Since then all reliable reports have been to the effect that the swing
toward individualism and capitalism is increasing. A great deal has been accomplished for the good of Russia during the last few months.
Relief has been sent from America for the distressed and the starving. Great ships, flying the American flag and filled with American grain, are plowing their way through the seas, carrying the hope of life to dark places where a short time ago there was no hope.
I am about to return to Russia to aid in the proper and effective distribution of this relief. I am expecting to see an ever-increasing friendliness to America-a friendliness which I am sure will stand us in good stead in the days to come. I am expecting to find a quickening in productive industry, an accelerated movement toward the establishment of sound and economical government.
I believe the time is not far distant when Russia will again take her important place in the family of nations, and I am convinced that her return to reason will be accomplished without further bloodshed. The generous relief which America is affording her starving millions will facilitate this economic recovery. The good not only to Russia, but to America and the whole world, will be worth a hundred times what it is costing us.
ZATION. IN LABRADOR ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE EASTERN ICE, A DYING REMNANT OF HUMANITY; IN ALASKA THE PEOPLE OF THE WESTERN ICE, SCORNED FOR THEIR DEGRADATION, TO WHICH THE WHITE MAN DROVE THEM; IN SOUTH GREENLAND THE PEOPLE OF THE SOUTHERN ICE, CHATTELS OF OUR WHALERS TILL THE DANES TOOK CHARGE AND SIN GAVE WAY TO TUBERCULOSIS. THERE REMAIN THE PEOPLE of the elDER ICE, THAT TINY TRIBE OF THE NORTHERN DESERT, PROTECTED SO FAR FROM CIVILIZATION BY THEIR ISOLATION AND THE TERRIBLENESS OF THE NATURAL CONDITIONS WHICH SURROUND THEM.
ANUARY: the northwest corner of Greenland, a thousand miles north of the tree-line, the pole itself only a few leagues beyond; the sun, the dear, warm, life-giving sun, gone, vanished, a hundred-odd days before; bitter, biting cold, cold so intense that the flaming aurora in the black sky overhead mocks the dead white land beneath.
Eighteen-year-old Evalooq is sitting cross-legged on the igloo's skin-covered bed-platform. Except for a six-inch breech-clout of seal-hide, she is stark and sleekly naked. Except for the sleeping baby, she is alone. She is listening. For five sleeps she has been alone and listening.
Suddenly she springs to her feet, leans forward to the narrow seal-gut window, glues her eye to the tiny peephole. With a sharp intake of breath she exclaims:
"Ai-O!" And again, this time dwelling on the lingering sorrow of the word, "Ai-0-0-0!"
Spread before her is the level, blueblack surface of the fiord. In its center is visible a small black mass, and the mass is crawling toward the igloo, its lack of speed significant of exhaustion.
"Ai-O!" sobs the girl.
The mass has resolved itself into a sledge, three straining dogs, and the furred figure of a human being.
"And he had five when he left. Ai-O!" moans Evalooq.
The hooded figure comes to a stop outside. He fumbles with an invisible knife, cutting a ring in the ice to secure the dogs, which have dropped as if lifeless to the white snow-crust underfoot.
"What news?" calls the girl. "What luck this time, my man?"
"Ai-O!" sadly, is all the answer that she gets.
"Ai-O!" sobs the girl. "Not even one?"
"No, not even a bear cub."
At this moment the child awakes and gives a plaintive wail. Evalooq snatches the little body up and places its thin lips to her breasts. They are shrunken and empty, but the touch of them quiets the child.
"The ice was all wrong, and the wind in the hands of the devil," continues the voice outside. "Two dogs we ate. Then my killing-iron was broken in the descent from the glacier. I am back for the other. Elingwah is awaiting for me now below Sulkwaddi-mi."
Presently the man appears through