_ Henry Norman Spalding. Preface to his book «Russia in resurrection. A summary of the views and of the aims of a new Party in Russia» using the pseudonym «by an English Eurasianist». London, 1928. Published for the first time in digital form. Digitzed by Yuri Kofner. Moscow, May 14th 2016.
What is to be the future of Russia?
Is the Bolshevik Dictatorship to continue? Or is some reactionary party to be restored? Or can that unhappy country go forward to a new and better future?
It is the aim of this little book to give some account of the thoughts that are now moving the Russian people, and of the new leaders which these thoughts have called into activity. During the ten years of Bolshevik rule a movement has been steadily growing, both in Russia itself and among the Russian emigrants, which will perhaps supply the answer to the riddle. Born in the prisons of the Bolsheviks, this movement appeared first as a system of ideas, next as a political force; it may be that at no distant date it will furnish Russia with a new Government and give her a now life.
What are these ideas? That Russia is «Eurasian» —not only a European but an Asiatic Power — in particular, that she is primarily, not so much a secular State as a religious community; that her troubles during the last two centuries, and particularly during the last ten years, are due to the attempt of her so-called educated classes to subject a spiritually minded people to the material institutions and theories of the West; that her redemption lies in an escape from materialism and atheism to the larger life of the spirit.
What is the political strength of the Eurasian movement? Its ideas are entirely congenial to the deep-seated convictions of the great mass of the Russian people — the peasants. Further, from the earliest days of the Revolution ideas of this kind have had a place in the minds of many educated Russians, both inside and outside Russia ; since 1924, when the movement first became politically active, it has been joined by men holding executive positions of high importance in every walk of life in Russia — in the armed forces, in the civil administration, in industry, in the workmen’s organizations — the seconds-in-command to the Bolshevik Dictators; in 1927 the masses of the Russian people are following them in ever-increasing numbers. The present year is the opening of a period that may prove to be of the profoundest interest.
It would be rash to calculate too closely upon what may happen in an incalculable country; but the evidence goes to show both that the Bolsheviks are likely to fall, and that the Eurasianists are likely to succeed them.
The writer is an Englishman who has enjoyed a unique opportunity of close association with the movement since it first became a political force in 1924. The account here given is founded upon frequent, often daily, conversations with some of its leaders, and reflects therefore in a rather special way the view of their country and its future that is in their minds. Extracts are also given from some of the more important of the Eurasianist publications. Only rarely (though perhaps not rarely enough) does the voice of the Englishman, in tones that are easily distinguishable, break in and have a little say. Unwesternized Russia is first sketched — it is shown that her land, her races, her history and culture up to Peter the Great are alike Eurasian— partly European and partly Asiatic. Then a summary is attempted of Westernized Russia — the defects of the Imperial regime are set out, the chaos of Bolshevik rule is shown to be the consistent and logical result of the theories of Marx and Lenin, and the facts are arrayed which seem to point to its imminent downfall. In these two sections frequent use has been made (with his kind permission) of Lancelot Lawton’s «The Russian Revolution, 1917–1926»  (a book the more valuable for its scrupulous effort to be fair to the Bolshevics), because its testimony may be less open suspicion than that of Russian witnesses. Finally, under the heading “Eurasian Russia’’, an outline on of the growth of the Europasian movement, of its economic and political programme, of its conception of the predominant part which the religion of the Gospel must play in the future life of Russia, and of the Eurasianist ideal of the mission of Russia to the world.
A good deal that is thus recorded will probably be new to most British and American readers. The Eurasianist’s analysis of the facts of Russian history, both before and after Peter the Great; the interpretation of the Bolshevik regime, and the marshalling of the evidence pointing to its downfall; above all, the account of the Eurasian movement, programme and ideals — none of these has so far appeared in English, or only in a mutilated form.  Continental readers have been somewhat better served.
Yet the views of the Eurasianists on the past, present and future of Russia are the more interesting to men of English speech because they have a bearing on their own problems — upon their industrial and other troubles as well as upon the lassitude and disillusion of spirit that has fallen upon Europe. They throw light again on the origin and character of what is going on in other parts of the world in which the West is specially interested, and on the right solution of the troubles there. In India and in China, for example, a Westernized intelligentsia has arisen, men who are trying to divorce their country from its native culture in favour of that of Europe or America; should they and those who wish them well not rather try to foster what is best in Indian and Chinese culture, while adding what is best from outside? The Eurasianist ideal of an «oecumenical civilization» throws light too on the present attempts of mankind to give the world greater unity, both in politics and in religion – to set international relations on a surer footing, and to find some deep and simple principle of Truth round which the minds and hearts all peoples may rally. These aspects of Eurasianism are touched upon in the Epilogue.
25th October — 7th November, 1927.
- Lancelot Lawton. The Russian Revolution, 1917–1926. Macmillan & Co., Ltd. London, 1927.
- Since these words were written, the good news has come that other writers are about to take the field. In these circumstances it might be logical to suppress a book that was written only because an imperfect book seemed better than no book at all. But it is in being, and its author cannot, for all its blemishes, now bring himself to smother it.