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100 years ago in Spokane: Editorial sounds note of alarm on Bolshevik revolution

Fri., Nov. 10, 2017

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page was following developments in Russia with alarm.

An SR editorial said “there can be no hope for Russia in the elements now in control of the capital and seemingly in command of the army.” Those elements were the “Bolsheviki elements” under the control of “the fanatical Nikolai Lenine (Lenin).”

The paper quoted Lenin’s “theatrical declaration,” that “now we have a revolution; the peasants and workmen control the government; this is only a preliminary step toward a revolution everywhere.”

This Bolshevik revolution was threatening to weaken the anti-German alliance, and destroy “what little is left of discipline and fighting efficiency in the (Russian) armies.” The editorial said that the Bolsheviks were “playing the game exactly as the (German) kaiser would have them play it.”

The editors worried that the Bolshevik slogans “may run over Russia like wildfire.” However, the editorial ended on a more hopeful note, saying that “eventually order will come out of chaos.”

“Eventually the Russian people will turn against their false leaders,” said the SR. “Eventually a strong, sane government will rise upon the ruins.”

This was not, as it turned out, a particularly perceptive prediction.