Soviet Imperialism, Guardian editorial (Sept 12, 1924)

SPARSE and untrustworthy details are all the news that has come through to Western Europe of the rising now going on in Georgia. But what precisely has happened during the last few days in that remote but lovely region of the Caucasus does not, from a military point of view, matter. If the heirs of the Tsarist power in Russia intend to continue in the old Imperialist path of the aristocrats they have supplanted there is little chance that a small people, however loyal to itself and however fierce in its hatred of its oppressors, can withstand them. The Bolsheviks will no doubt, if they choose, crush this latest expression of Georgian feeling as harshly as they have crushed other such expressions since the war, and it is unlikely in the extreme that any other Power will interfere. Georgia has, it is true, been recognised as independent by the Great Powers, including Soviet Russia. But since her people, of whom Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD wrote three years ago “the Georgian is a democrat who believes in liberty, and dictatorships of all kinds are alien to its nature.” gained their freedom they have had a bitter lesson in the value of capitalist—and communist—protestations. They have found that in foreign policy the new dictatorship in Moscow is the old write large. Their Government, which Mrs. SNOWDEN after a visit made in described as “the most perfect Socialism in Europe,” has been destroyed, and for it has been substituted the rule of the Bolshevik bayonet. Those of us who are in favour of resuming normal intercourse with that is now the established Government of Russia cannot forget with what ruthless Imperialism she has acted towards her small neighbour.

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