V. Vilenski

The Sovietization of the Far East

Source: The Communist, December 2, 1922.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

THE occupation of Vladivostok by the Red troops brings to a close the first stage in the struggle of Soviet Russia against Japanese intervention. The struggle lasted for nearly five years and cost the Russian workers and peasants great sacrifices.

Taking advantage of the exhaustion of Russia during the period of the imperialist war, Japan decided to drive her from the coasts of the Pacific and the Japanese imperialists stubbornly and undeviatingly strove to fortify their domination in the Russian Far East on the pretext of safeguarding the Japanese islands from Bolshevik contagion.

Japanese intervention gave rise in the Far East to a buffer state organised in the principles of democracy in the form of the Far Eastern Democratic Republic, and which in its constitution recognised private property, and based its entire government apparatus upon all democratic principles embodied in the so-called democratic bourgeois countries.

This democracy existed in the Far East for two and a half years, and it seemed that here indeed was an ideal spot for a “democratic paradise,” but soon it became apparent that these principles were of no use to anybody. The Japanese imperialists manifested little inclination to respect the democratic Far Eastern Republic, and during the entire period of their occupation they not only refused to recognise it, but conducted open warfare against it by organising the Russian counter revolutionaries who were centred at Vladivostok, and at the behest of the Japanese militarists, directed from there their piratical raids against the Far Eastern Republic.

Still less did the democratic principles satisfy the workers and peasants of the Far East. Having drunk the cup of bitterness of Japanese intervention to the full, they with clenched teeth tolerated the democratic makeshift until Japan finally withdrew her troops from Russian territory, and now emphatically declare that they will no longer endure their unnatural separation from Soviet Russia and its form of government.

This demand of the workers and the peasants of the Far East is quite comprehensible, considering the social-economic condition prevailing there. Owing to its enormous natural wealth, it is an attractive morsel for foreign capital. On the other hand, the population is too small—numbering only two million people, scattered over an immense territory—to maintain an independent economic life. Without the aid of Soviet Russia the people could not defend the Pacific chest from encroachments by foreign capitalism which will never abandon its attempts to make itself dominant in the Far East.

The destiny of the Far East is closely and indissolubly bound up with the destiny of Soviet Russia, and the Far Eastern workers and peasants refuse to allow foreign capitalism to fasten its yoke upon them. This, they can achieve only in fraternal union with the Russian workers and peasants. Hence arises the necessity to Sovietise the Far East and to include it in the All-Russian Soviet Federation.

In its turn Soviet Russia cannot remain indifferent to the future destiny of the Far East and its people. The Far East is the corridor to the Pacific wherein enormous masses of oppressed are commencing their struggle for liberation from the yoke of imperialism. Soviet Russia is the first country to raise the banner of the world revolution: she stands as the shining example for all the oppressed peoples of the Eastern Hemisphere. Hence the emergence of Soviet Russia on the coast of the Pacific is the lighting of a Socialist beacon to the oppressed people of the Far Fast.

The workers and peasants of Far Eastern Russia will plant the Red banner of the Russian Soviet Republic which will serve as the symbol of world revolution and which will emancipate the oppressed peoples of the Eastern Republic.