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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 4
    Palace of the Elysées the Russian ambassador said We will respond to this toast from the depths of our hearts and the hearts of those who are nearby and far away in all the corners of great fair France as also in all of Russia are beating in unison with ours But before we do permit me to offer to you the expression of our most profound gratitude for the words of welcome that were addressed by you to our admiral whom our Czar has charged with the mission of paying back your visit at Kronstadt Considering the high importance that you enjoy your words characterize the true significance of the magnificent peaceful festivities which are celebrated with such wonderful unanimity loyalty and sincerity The same unjustifiable mention of peace is found in the speech of the French president The ties of love which unite Russia and France he said and which two years ago were strengthened by touching manifestations of which our fleet was the object at Kronstadt become tighter and tighter with every day and the honorable exchange of our amicable sentiments must inspire all those who take to heart the benefactions of peace confidence and security and so forth Both speeches quite unexpectedly and without any cause refer to the benefactions of peace and to peaceful celebrations The same occurs in the telegrams that were exchanged between the Emperor of Russia and the President of France The Emperor of Russia telegraphed As the Russian fleet is leaving France it is my sincere wish to express how touched and gratified I am by the chivalrous and splendid reception that my sailors have experienced everywhere in France The warm expressions of sympathy that have been manifested once again with so much eloquence will add a fresh bond to those that unite the two countries I trust that they will strengthen the general peace that is the object of our most constant efforts and desires The President of France telegraphed his reply as follows I thank your majesty for your telegram which reached me when I was leaving Toulon to return to Paris I had great satisfaction in saluting the flag of the magnificent Russian fleet in French waters and the friendly and spontaneous reception that your brave sailors have received everywhere in France gloriously proves once again the sincere sympathies that unite our two countries At the same time they show a deep faith in the beneficent influence that may weld together our two great nations which are devoted to the cause of peace Again there is in both telegrams a gratuitous mention of peace which has nothing in common with the celebrations of the sailors There is not one speech not one article in which mention is not made that the aim of all these past orgies is the peace of Europe At a dinner which is given by the representatives of the Russian press everybody speaks of peace Mr Zola who lately wrote about the necessity and

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 5
    twenty first edition 1889 in which the following passage is found Since the insurrection of the Commune was put down France has had no further troubles The day following the war she again resumed work She paid Germany the enormous war debt of five milliards without difficulty But France lost her military renown during the war of 1870 She lost part of her territory More than fifteen thousand inhabitants of the Upper Rhone Lower Rhine and Moselle who were good Frenchmen have been compelled to become Germans But they are not resigned to their fate They detest Germany and they continue to hope that they may once more be Frenchmen But Germany appreciates its victory and it is a great country All of the inhabitants sincerely love their fatherland and its soldiers are well disciplined In order to recover from Germany what she took from us we must be good citizens and soldiers It is to make you good soldiers that your teachers instruct you in the history of France The history of France proves that the sons have always avenged the disasters of their fathers in our country Frenchmen in the time of Charles VII avenged the defeat of their fathers at Crécy Poitiers and Agincourt It is for you boys being educated in our schools to avenge the defeat of your fathers at Sedan and Metz It is your duty the great duty of your life You must ever bear that in mind There is a whole series of questions at the foot of the page to correspond to the articles The questions are as follows What did France lose when she lost part of her territory How many Frenchmen became German with the loss of this territory Do the French love Germany What must we do in order to regain what was taken away from us by Germany In addition to these there is also Reflections on Book VII in which it says that the children of France must remember our defeats of 1870 that they must feel the burden of this memory on their hearts but that this memory must not discourage them it should on the contrary incite them to bravery Thus if peace is mentioned with great persistence in official speeches the masses the younger generations and all the Russians and Frenchmen in general are unshakably impressed with the necessity legality profitableness and even virtue of war We are not thinking of war we are concerned only about peace One feels like asking Qui diable trompe t on ici 4 if it were necessary to ask this and if it were not quite clear who the unfortunate cheated are The cheated are the same eternally deceived stupid laboring masses With their calloused hands they have built all these ships fortresses arsenals barracks guns steamboats wharfs harbors palaces halls platforms and triumphal arches They have set and printed all these newspapers and books They have secured and brought all those pheasants quail oysters and wines

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 6
    and Russia expressing their mutual sympathies for the guarantee of peace What is bad is that it is a lie A lie is never spoken with impunity and does not pass unpunished The devil is a slayer of men and the father of lies And the lies always lead to the slaying of men in this case more obviously than ever In just the same manner as now the Turkish war was preceded by a sudden outburst of love of our Russians for their brothers the Slavs whom no one had known for hundreds of years while the Germans the French and the English have always been incomparably nearer and more closely related to us than the Montenegrins Serbians or Bulgarians And there began receptions and festivities which were fanned by such men as Aksákov and Katkóv who are mentioned now in Paris as models of patriotism Then as now they spoke of nothing but the mutual sudden outburst of love between the Russians and the Slavs In the beginning they ate and drank in Moscow even as now in Paris and talked nonsense to one another becoming affected by their own exalted sentiments speaking of union and peace and not saying anything about the chief thing the intentions against Turkey The newspapers fanned the excitement and the government by degrees entered into the game Serbia revolted There began an exchange of diplomatic notes and the publication of semiofficial articles The newspapers lied more and more they invented and waxed wroth and the end of it all was that Alexander II who really did not want any war could not help but agree to it We all know what happened the destruction of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and the bestialization and dulling of millions What was done in Toulon and in Paris and now continues to be done in the newspapers obviously leads to the same or to a still more terrible calamity In just the same way all kinds of generals and ministers will at first to the sounds of God Save the Czar and the Marseillaise drink the health of France Russia and the various regiments of the army and the navy The newspapers will print their lies The idle crowd of the rich who do not know what to do with their powers and with their time will babble patriotic speeches fanning hatred against Germany No matter how peaceful Alexander III may be the conditions will be such that he will be unable to decline a war that will be demanded by all those who surround him by all the newspapers and as always seems by the public opinion of the whole nation And before we shall have had time to look around there will appear in the columns of the newspapers the usual ominous stupid proclamation By God s grace we the most autocratic great Emperor of all Russia the King of Poland the Grand Duke of Finland inform all our faithful subjects that

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 7
    ministers that his whole company the Russian children the learned and the authors share his sentiments The commander of the Russian squadron assures the French that the whole of Russia will be grateful to them for their reception The chief priests speak for their flocks and assure the French that their prayers for the life of the Czar have reechoed joyfully in the hearts of the Russian nation The Russian ambassador in Paris who is considered to be the representative of the Russian nation says after a dinner of ortolans à la soubise and lagopèdes glacés with a glass of champagne Grand Moët in his hand that all Russian hearts are beating in unison with his heart which is filled with a sudden outburst of exclusive love for la belle France When such things as these happen we the people who are free from the stultification should consider it our sacred duty to protest against it in the most emphatic manner not only for our own sakes but also for the sake of tens of millions of Russians It is our duty to declare that our hearts do not beat in unison with the hearts of the journalists ministers of

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 8
    intentions of Germany were of no avail to him in our circle In reply to his arguments that France could not be at peace so long as the provinces taken from it were not returned to it we said that Prussia could similarly not be at rest so long as it had not paid back for Jena and that if the French revenge should now be successful the Germans would have to pay them back and so on without end In reply to his arguments that the French were obliged to save their brothers who had been torn away from them we said that the condition of the majority of the inhabitants of Alsace Lorraine was hardly any worse under German rule than it had been under France We also said that even though some Alsatians preferred to belong to France rather than to Germany and he our guest found it desirable to reestablish the glory of French arms it was not worth while either to begin those terrible calamities which result from war or even to sacrifice one single human life In reply to his arguments that it was all very well for us to speak thus since we had not experienced the same and that we should be speaking differently if we had the Baltic provinces and Poland taken away from us we said that even from the political standpoint the loss of Poland and of the Baltic provinces could not be a calamity for us In fact it might rather be considered an advantage since it would diminish the necessity for a military force and the expenses of state We said that we never could permit a war from the Christian point of view since a war demanded the killing of men whereas Christianity not only forbade

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 9
    jestingly to what he thought was a joke he will have no place to go to We must give him room I translated this to my guest Dites lui que nous aimons les Russes 6 he said These words obviously startled Prokófi even more than the proposition of squeezing the German and provoked a certain sentiment of suspicion Who is he Prokófi asked me with mistrust indicating my guest with his head I told him that he was a Frenchman a rich man What is his business Prokófi asked me When I explained to him that he had come to invite the Russians to form an alliance with France in case of a war with Germany Prokófi apparently became quite dissatisfied Turning to the women who were sitting near a haycock he shouted at them in a strong voice which involuntarily betrayed the feelings that this conversation had provoked in him that they should go and rake up the unraked hay Come now you crows Have you fallen asleep Come We don t have much time to squeeze the German We have not finished the mowing yet and it looks likely that we shall be mowing on Wednesday he said And then as though fearing to offend the stranger by such a remark he added displaying his half worn off teeth in a good natured smile You had better come and work with us and send the German too When we get through working we shall have a good time We ll take the German along They are just such folk as we And having said this Prokófi took his muscular arm out of the crotch of the fork on which he had been leaning threw the fork over his shoulders and went away to the women Oh le brave

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 10
    contempt for all kinds of manifestations of patriotism I have observed the same thing among the laboring classes of other nations and I have often been assured of the same by cultured Frenchmen Germans and Englishmen concerning their own working people The working people are too busy with the all absorbing business of supporting themselves and their families to be interested in those political questions which present themselves as the chief motive of patriotism The questions of Russia s influence in the East the unity of Germany the restitution of the lost provinces to France or the acts of this or that part of one state toward another do not interest them not only because they hardly ever know the conditions under which these questions have arisen but also because the interests of their lives are quite independent of such political interests Where certain borders will be marked down to whom Constantinople will belong whether Saxony or Brunswick will be a member of the German union whether Australia or Matabeleland will belong to England and even to what government he will have to pay taxes and to what army he will have to send his sons are always very much a matter of indifference to a man from the masses But it is always very important for him to know how much he will have to pay in taxes how long he has to serve and how much he will receive for his labor These are questions that are quite independent of the common political interests It is for this reason that socialism penetrates more and more into the masses in spite of all the intensified means used by the governments for the inoculation of the masses with a patriotism that is alien to them Such patriotism which is so

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 11
    these relations between Russia and France Submitting to the tone of the papers my friend said that if there should be any war he was an old soldier he would serve and fight against France At that time revenge against the French seemed necessary to the Russians on account of Sevastopol But why should we wage war asked the elder How can we permit France to manage our affairs But you say yourself that things are better arranged with them than with us the elder said quite seriously Let them arrange matters in our country too My friend told me that this reflection so startled him that he was absolutely at a loss what to say and only laughed as those laugh who awaken from a deceptive dream One may hear such reflections from any sober Russian laborer if only he is not under any hypnotic influence of the government They talk of the love of the Russian masses for their faith their Czar and their government and yet there will not be found one commune of peasants in the whole of Russia that would hesitate for a moment in deciding which of the following two places to choose for its colonization The first is Russia with the Czar and with the holy Orthodox faith in its adored country but with less and worse land The second is somewhere outside of Russia in Prussia China Turkey or Austria without the Czar and without the Orthodox faith but with some greater and better advantages as indeed we have seen before and see at present For every Russian peasant the question as to what government he will be under has incomparably less meaning than the questions whether the clay is soft and whether there will be a good crop of cabbage He

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