Professor Ustryalov’s Leniniana

“I only wish Russia would be powerful, great and frightful for its enemies. The rest will be added,” – professor N.Ustryalov, great ideologist of white emigration, wrote in his Harbin dairy in 1920. Activist of Constitutional Democrats party and member of general Kolchak’s movement, professor Ustryalov migrated to China after the White Army’s destruction and became professor of Harbin university. While comprehending changes which took place in Russia, he many times touched “the Lenin subject.” The article “The Kremlin’s Dreamer” was published in the emigrant newspaper Novosti Zhizni January 21, 1925. The Harbin professor’s great erudition, his daring historical parallels and exact estimations of the past are combined in the article with true predictions. I wish to hope that the final forecast (about “huge historical possibilities” of Russia) has not exhausted itself. So, let us see, what was written more than 80 years ago by white emigrant N.Ustryalov about his opponent V.Lenin: “There are epochs when life is ruled by financiers, while “people of real life,” thrown back and confused, settle down in the kingdom of phantoms. Dreamers and fantast-mongers became the real instrument of the fate, the horn of the century, the hammer of the history. Usually, these epochs are called “great epochs.” Alexander the Great was a dreamer, so the century was similar to a poem, at least in the descendants’ opinion. Pope Gregory VII looks like a great dreamer… Napoleon was a poet, the last one of holding supreme power geniuses of Italian Renaissance. As if the history suddenly rushes from “real politics,” from “small deeds” to monotonously measured and reasonably rhythmical movement forward and starts itself to dream, to pray, to “create a legend.” And the legend becomes flesh and blood, and living people’s masses, with enthusiasm and fervour, pay a horrible tribute to Historical Mind’s archness with their passions and sufferings. It is hardly doubtful, that to these fatal chosen ones of the history, through whom it terribly “rests from everyday monotony,” our descendants will add Lenin… “The Kremlin’s dreamer” would have certainly “dreamed” for all his life in Geneva, if his dreams had not become attractive to cunning Historical Mind. So, the word became flash. The Kremlin became the “Geneva.” Passions of many-million masses of human beings began to play, human blood began to boil, the madness was turned into a system. While in “chaos,” according to Nietzsche, a “dancing star” started to obstinately loom up. The most abstract dreamer became the most real practical man, the most sober realist through the will of life logic. This is why, he has such a striking combination of breadth of daring “historical” claims and keenness as for the most actual questions of today… The way of Lenin was predetermined by an underground voice, by the rolling trench appeal, which echoed in villages and in fabrics of agitated Russia. By the mercy of the rebellion, by the cruel will of Russian people’s masses, the Geneva fantast-monger was lifted up higher than Alexandr’s Column, higher than Bell Tower of St. John. And he started to live from saps of revolt, from air of historical storm of awaked people’s elements. Though, like his historical prototypes, he, of course, does not become exhausted only with Russian scopes, as well as the Russian revolution does not. Already now, it is clear that Lenin is the banner not only of the Russian revolution, but of the world’s bigger movements which could be far from Leninism’s canons, though still deep, huge, remarkable. The notorious “Leninism” could historically get to such a connection with Lenin, as Russian “Tolstoyism” with Lev Tolstoy, and French “Buanaparteism” with Buanaparte, a sectarian dogma with a living idea, a scheme with a personality… And a great epoch is before. The “feast of gods” has not finished yet, while coloured exotics wakes up, nations are moving, and not in vain pathetic Russian poet (Alexandr Block) already before the revolution forecasted to the mankind “unprecedented changes, awful revolts…” And if in Russia the fire is burning down, and everyday life has started, while the same underground, earth voice which entered the channel of elements with the name of Lenin calls now his followers to peace, labour, order, the name of Lenin sounds abroad as an agitating bell, which draws some people and frightens others, while makes the third think… and reminds the world about new Russia… about Great Russia of the Kremlin’s dreamer, awaked nation and huge historical possibilities…” In contrast to today’s Russian intellectuals shooting films about Lenin and writing books about him, professor Ustryalov had his personal scores with the October Revolution, with Bolsheviks, and personally with Lenin. Though, he possessed sober reason, honour and loved his motherland.

Andrei Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Photograph: N.Ustryalov

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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