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rulers direct the destinies of their people from office desks, behind high walls of brick and bayonets.

I say this not in criticism or regret, but merely as a record of historical fact. The high fervor of revolution cannot be maintained indefinitely. New tasks require new types of leaders.

The assassination, like all acts of futile violence, is to be profoundly regretted. It is particularly harmful in the larger perspective of Soviet affairs because of its possible effects on the official terror.


In the last six months there seems to have been a definite tendency to clip the claws of the secret service organization. The change of name of the G. P. U., now the Commissariat of Interior, was one of several indications that the vast powers of the super-government of spies and vigilantes were being curbed.

There is danger that the killing of Kirov may halt that process. the Bolshevik temper being what it is, the Biblical eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth is likely to become a thousand-eyes-for-an-eye and a thousand-teeth-for-a-tooth. A tremor of fear and evil foreboding is unquestionably running through the millions of declassed and outlawed in the Soviet land, the “formers,” the old intelligentsia, the children of non-proletarian parents, as the news of Kirov’s assassination is published in Russia.

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