Krasnow Scrapbooks -- May 18, 1914On Methods of Organizing American Russia.
Ivan Gorsky, in developing his conception of how the Russian colonies in American should be organized (and who should organize them) shows much clear, practical thinking.
This question of organizing American Russia was the topic of the day at that time (May, 1914) in the Russkoye Slovo, and Gorsky, begins his letter by objecting to the question "whether organization is at all necessary, and if so should it be of an ecclesiastical or in any way of a religious nature". He feels that it was poor strategy to pose the question thusly. He asserts that the Russian immigration is chiefly a peasant immigration. No industrial workers, no bourgeoisic- entirely raw material, without any political credo; illiterate.
Gorsky therefore contends that it would be foolish "to entertain notions that the peasants, in their present state of mind on realities would flock to any type of organization". He further shows, and with much insight, that a considerable amount of petty organizational detail 2work would be necessary as foundation,- "and only organizations with material aid in them would insure everybody's sympathy".
Gorsky boldly states his view on the absurdity of inviting everyone who is desirous of organizing American Russia, irrespective of convictions held by these people. "In my opinion the progressive elements of the Russian Colonies must join their efforts to create a type of a progressive peasant-Industrial organization with Cultural-Educational objectives on the one hand, and material mutual aid on the other hand, not without its Bureau of Information and broad propaganda chiefly on farm labor". Further,-- "Inasmuch as the fates have transformed the peasantry here into Industrial workers their interests are, as a result, bound-up with the interests of the American proletariat, and it is imperative that they go hand-in-hand with the American Trade-Unions." He demands that the leaders of thought in the colony do not hobnob with reactionary Russian forces here: "Inasmuch as the organizations will be progressive they must fight the enemies of progress, tsarist agents and satellites, the well-groomed black-hundreds, whose chief slogan is 'slug the Jew, the alien, and the intellectual'". The job of organizing must be done by 3progressives only, whatever their particular leaning as a progressive may be. He further suggests that while the organization is primarily for industrialized peasants and, as such, is chiefly a 'Russian and National organization' yet this should not mean "Nationalistic" - other nationalities should not be barred from membership if they desire to make themselves useful to the Russian Colony.
In conclusion, Gorsky summarizes the situation thus:-
a. "Before developing the viewpoints of Krapotkin or Marx to the Russian Muzhik it is necessary to teach him reading, writing, and at least a little of thinking."Afterwards one may go ahead and "treat the peasant to the luxuries of collectivism and communistic anarchism".
b. That progressive non-partisan organizations will have greater success because they are more popular, more lasting, better attended.He also urges autonomy for each organization.
(Note; This article shows the difficulties facing Russian organizations.)
I C, I E, II D 1
Your search criteria returned no results.