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idea that gave it fire, but because for generations the peasants of Russia not only had had their own great coöperative organizations in smooth working order, but because they had already tasted the flavor of local self-government and had trained themselves for it. Mexico's fifteen million peons are exactly in the same condition as the French peasants of a century and a quarter ago, still dependent on their leaders, many of whom are selfish and ambitious men. As yet they have won few of the things they dreamed of, but these years of struggle and revolution have brought them an abiding sense of freedom and a conviction of their inalienable right to enjoy freedom.

That is a great deal, but, after all, it is still primarily a question of leadership. Their revolutionary evolution, or their evolutionary revolution, just as you choose, can be tragically retarded or brilliantly advanced by the wrong or the right leaders at this moment.

form a triangle, one might almost say the eternal political triangle. On one side are certain conservative, reactionary forces more or less represented in the present cabinet by such figures as Alberto Pani, the secretary for foreign affairs, and Zubáran Campmany, secretary for commerce. Behind this group are alined the great land and money interests of Mexico, the halffeudal Mexico of the past.

A second side of the triangle is painted a vivid socialistic red, and is composed of radicals and liberals, such as General Plutarco Elias Calles, present head of the cabinet; Adolfo de la Huerta, with the important portfolio of finance tucked under his arm; José Vasconcelos, head of the department of education; Antonio Villareal, secretary of agriculture; with radical figures like Luis N. Morones, head of Mexican labor, Felipe Carrillo, firebrand leader from Yucatan, Samuel O. Yudico, and a hundred more real revolutionists behind them. They are the

Mexican political leaders to-day fighting left wing of the Government.

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In between, forming the third angle of our triangle, is President Obregon, shrewd, capable, hard-working, with a good set of brains and a strong and willing left hand. He has already given his right arm for country and revolution.

It is a difficult task that President Obregon had wished upon himself, this harmonizing white Mexico with red Mexico. It is carrying water on both shoulders. But if there is any single figure in Mexico to-day who can do this difficult task successfully, it is this man from Sonora. That is generally recognized by every fair-minded observer below the Rio Grande. He apparently holds for the moment the confidence of both ends.


He is a fighter and a politician, which is another way of saying that he is both a brave man and a willing compromiser. He stands in the middle of a bridge, with capable forces on both bridge-heads that are quite willing to blow him up if he makes a false step.

He is what we Americans love to call "a strong man." He does n't hesitate to order some revolting general parked up against a handy stone wall and bumped off in approved style. And, by the same token, he does n't hesitate to protect Mexican labor against oldfashioned methods of discipline.

But his troubles are legion. Not only does he face continual friction within his own cabinet, but he must attempt to win over and placate American big business,-ranch- and mine-owners, railroad bondsmen, and, most of all, oil investors, and at the same time give positive assurance to his own people that he is n't doing this. Whatever conscious public opinion there is in Mexico to-day, and it is decidedly a growing factor, it is against

the trading of any Mexican rights for recognition. Over Mexico there is a determined spirit of nationalism that refuses to be bought or bullied by the big "brother" to the north.

If Obregon pleases Washington and Wall Street, he faces what might easily prove a brand-new upheaval and the fate of Carranza. If he continues to make dramatic Mexican gestures with his one remaining good arm, there will be no recognition, no financial arrangement, no rebuilding of physical Mexico. Why anybody wants to be President of Mexico is more than I know.

But there are thousands or hundreds of thousands who do. It is my opinion that General Calles is one. Apparently, he is absolutely loyal to Obregon, but he is far more loyal to his revolution and what it stood for. To me Calles is the most interesting figure in Mexico City. In the old

days he had been a school-teacher in the hills of Sonora. the hills of Sonora. His eyes now have an odd squint about them, like

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those of a man of the great West looking across hills or deserts, and like those of a dreamer looking across years into the future.

His face is hard, with deep seams that sun and wind and exposure have left: his voice is rough and heavy; his manner is brusque and almost brutal. And yet you would know him for a school-teacher and a dreamer. I do not believe he would hesitate to kill a man with his own hands, and yet I am sure he would willingly sacrifice his life to help the peons of his Sonora hills.

It was Calles who, as minister of war under President de la Huerta, did most of the dreaming of the schemes of disbanding parts of the army and putting the men of the land in "bandit colonies." I asked him how he happened to figure it out.

"Nothing could have been simpler," he answered me with a trace of impatience. "These common men had been fighting for ten years for land; there

fore it was the natural thing to give it to them. They 're happy now."

Calles is almost as direct about everything else. He knows what he wants Mexico to want. I do not know how much patience he will have. He understands things, anyway, and by "things" I mean the power of the United States over Mexico for both good and evil. He appreciates what the displeasure of Washington means and how far Mexican labor, for instance, may expect to go before American capital in Mexico screams for help. He is a wise man in a country where wisdom is at a great premium.

There are a few other wise men there. One of them is Secretary de la Huerta. During the six months between the death of Carranza in May, 1920, and the inauguration of Obregon in November, he was provisional president. Later, when Obregon selected his cabinet, he was made secretary of finance. This means that such delicate and all important questions as the

changing of the constitution to suit the Tampico oil magnates, the handling of the international financial situation, and the whole Mexican currency proposition must be directed by him.

Now, Secretary de la Huerta has a strange combination of Yaqui Indian, Spanish, and Polish Jewish blood racing through his veins. He is not a soldier, but he is everything else. He is a socialist, an internationalist, a laborite, a radical of fairly crimson tint, and an extremely brilliant and shrewd financier.

He stands four-square with Calles, at least at present. They are the heavy-weights of the left wing-they and Luis Morones, the labor leader.

Morones wears checked suits, silk shirts, and a heavy caliber revolver, and has one bad eye. He is Mexican union labor; he 's the parent and the child rolled in one. And Mexican union labor is a power that is the unknown quantity in the political and revolutionary life of the country.

When the Carranza revolution, which is hopefully referred to as "the last revolution," came along, it was the power of action and the power of sabotage of the union labor in Mexico City that finished Carranza's slender chances. Mexican labor has neither the organization nor the discipline that Petrograd and Moscow radical labor had in those terrific days of 1917, when armed workmen swung the revolution the way they wished, but it is growing in the consciousness of its power. It has its friends at court to-day. It is

a conscious part of the Government.

No longer are striking workers shot down by machine-guns, as they were in the old days of Porfirio Diaz, and they know it. They tell a story around Mexico City about Celestino Gasca, at one time a shoemaker and now governor of the federal district. During a railroad strike Gasca was told to order out his troops to put down the strike.

"I resign my office," he replied. "I am a workman first and a governor afterward."

With such men in strongly intrenched official positions, Morones advances with his great In every industry

labor movement. and craft the movement is being pushed. Even the plantation workers are being effectively organized, and in certain quarters they have secured increased wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions.

Morones is admittedly a radical, and so is Felipe Carrillo of Yucatan. Felipe is a tall, dashing, fighting leader. He plunges ahead by instinct. I mean he has no background of radical training or education, but takes the side of the oppressed. Now it is of the Indian peons in his own beloved State of Yucatan.

I have just stopped my writing and gone over the last two or three pages, and found the word "socialists" used four times. That is too many these days, unless I wish to leave the impression that Mexico is about to blossom out into a brilliant socialist Utopia, and I decidedly do not wish to leave any such idea.


But there is a considerable portion of the city working population that has been thrilled by the promises of radical agitators. After all, to thousands of these peons socialism is a magic word, and common people over the whole world must live and die by magic words. In Siberia I found ignorant Russian peasants speaking of the soviet as the great magic healer of their trampled lives. It was a word to conjure with; a word that opened up a vision of some heaven on earth to them. And so it is down below the Rio Grande. They have had their own magic words there. For ten years there were "tierra y libertad,"-"land and freedom,"-just as for half a century Russian peasants found hope in the two words "Zemla e svoboda""land and freedom."

Now many of these peons are taking fresh hope from the magic word "socialism." Down in the steaming henequen-fields of Yucatan seventy-five per cent. of the Indian peons joined an

actual Socialist party, and in their hat-bands wore a bit of red pasteboard, a magic charm that would bring them happiness and land and plenty of food.

Mexico has only fairly started on the long climb upward, but she does have these magic shibboleths that make the trail seem shorter and the burdens lighter. burdens lighter. After all, there are

many short cuts, but there are some bad bits of road that must be traversed. There is the road of education, for example.

Mexico is making frantic efforts to pave this now. A young man with a great vision is going about the job. His name is José Vasconcelos and he dreams of a school in every Indian pueblo in every State in Mexico.

"As a start, we are sending traveling teachers to the Indian villages who take three or four of the brightest Indian girls and train them," he explained to me. "These girls in turn open little village schools and teach the rudiments of reading and writing in Spanish.

"In thirty different cities," he went on, "we are opening up manual training schools for the poor children-free schools that will help to give Mexico young men and women with a trade mastered."

Then he dreamed for me a scheme of placing a library of one hundred standard books in every village. Young Mexican artists would travel about the country, teaching the natives basket weaving and pottery decorations and other native arts. Small traveling orchestras, with their expenses partly paid by the Government and with free transportation, would bring ideas of good music into the villages of these music-loving peoples. In Mexico City, Guadalajara, Yucatan, and Monterey

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