Potsdam against Rome and its vicars, Prussia against the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, the State against the Empire, the East against the West: that is the signification of the turning point that obliges us to take decisions. Potsdam is a spiritual and political principle that, by its relation to Eastern Europe, exercises on it the same influences that the Roman creative force did on Central Europe. It is only in the cadre of the movement towards the East that this principle can engender new forms of life.
Paradoxically, the spirit of Potsdam still remains fertile, when, on the German soil it has already died. That is what inspired the Bolshevik Revolution. In the extreme fear of death, Russia seized the idea of Potsdam, intensified it until the final limit, nearly until excess, and created this absolute military state, that hears the discipline of the barracks in its life everyday, whose citizens know how to endure famine, when it must battle, and in all the manifestations of life show bellicose ardor. That which Walter Flex said in his “Oath on the Prussian Flag” seems like an anticipation of Bolshevism in the imagination: “He who takes the oath to the Prussian flag renounces all that is his.”
We have become more French than the French themselves. Russia became more Prussian than us. Even the idea of nationalism of Herder has stimulated more the Slavic peoples, the idea of Potsdam marks Russia more profoundly than Germany.
In the measure where Russian Bolshevism was “Marxist,” it was a Prussified Marxism. It could be more easily than Marxism, a denatured Hegelianism, containing a multitude of elements foreign to the Prussian spirit. Wanting to be a measure of war, it changed in the course of the first years, into a “war communism.”
Russia submitted itself to Prussian thought. That showed that power that Prussia exercised on the East, power that in Germany, submitted to Latinity, it never affirmed itself with all the necessary assurance. Those who want to direct must not be allowed to direct. He must listen to the voice of his conscience. When the German obeys the West, he does not listen to the mission to which the East calls him and he remains deprived of his liberty to control himself.