Justice December 1911

The Russification of Persia.

Source: Anon, Justice, (editorial) 16 December 1911, p.4;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

Anything more cynically contemptuous popular rights or of international morality has surely never been done, even by Russia herself, than the enterprise upon which she is present engaged in Persia. The excuses forward for this unwarrantable suppression a people who have just won a certain amount of constitutional liberty are the merest a flimsiest subterfuge. What concerns us more nearly, however, is the humiliating part we, as a nation, are being compelled to play in whole discreditable business. We have abased ourselves before Russia, and the Muscovite is making us eat the full measure dirt. The Anglo-Russian agreement over Persia was supposed to guarantee the independence of Persia as a Sovereign State, and indeed, the maintenance of that independence was supposed to be one of the chief objects of that convention. It is a common device with our critics, whenever we venture to treat of foreign politics, to declare that the governing class in all countries have identical interests, and that, therefore, their quarrels and diplomatic arrangements are no concern of ours. For good or ill, however, the relations between the various capitalist Powers cannot defined in terms of the class war, nor all conflicting interests expressed in a single economic formula. It happens in the present connection, for instance, that the interests the British governing class, and the interests of British imperialism, lie in maintaining Persia as an independent State. The interests of Russia, on the other hand, lie in quite the opposite direction. By the pusillanimous truckling to Russia, however, of which our present Government has been guilty, we have been helping to do the dirty work of Russia, even at the expense of the imperial British interests which are supposed to be the determining factor in British foreign policy.