AN APPEAL TO RUSSIANS.
obey or serve Government, and, with the abolition of its power, the
slavish conditions in which you live will vanish of themselves, for
they are maintained only by governmental violence. And the
violence the Government employs is supplied by yourselves. It is
that power alone which places customs-duties on goods imported or
exported ; it alone collects taxes on articles made in the country .
it (the power of the Government) makes the laws which maintain
the monopolies owned by private people, and the right of private
property in land ; only that power, controlling the army which you
yourselves supply, holds you in continual subjection or submission
to itself, and to its abettors—the rich.
When you, town-workers as well as villagers, cease to obey the
Government, it will no longer be necessary for you (town-workmen)
to accept whatever conditions the owners of the mills and factories
dictate to you, but you yourselves will give them your conditions,
or will start your own co-operative (artel) manufacture of things
needed by the people ; or, having free land, you will resume a
natural agricultural life.
" But if we Russian folk begin at once to live like that, not
obeying the Government—there will be no Russia," say those to
whom it seems that the existence of Russia—that is to say, the
union of many different nations under one Government—is
something important, great, and useful.
In reality, this combination of many different nations, called
Russia, is not only not important for you, Russian working men,
but just this combination is a chief cause of your miseries.
If they oppress you with taxes and duties, as they oppressed
your forefathers, accumulationg vast debts which you have to pay;
if they take you as soldiers and send you to different ends of the
earth to fight people with whom you have nothing to do, and who
have nothing to do with you, all this is only done to maintain
Russia, i.e. to maintain a forcible combination of Poland, the
Caucasus, Finland, Central Asia, Manchuria, and other lands and
peoples, under one rule. But besides the fact that all your ills
come from this union called Russia, this union involves a great sin