But for Russia there is no other course than either to become what she is destined to be----a great power uniting the West with the East, or ingloriously and imperceptibly to tread the downward path, because Europe of itself would crush us with its external superiority, while the races of Asia, awakened from their slumber by other hands than ours, would be in time even more dangerous to Russia than the nations of the West. Naturally we cannot, even in thought, admit of our ruin or future humiliation!
The unavoidable growth of our historical heritage, our triumph over inimical principles, the coming supremacy of Russia in the greatest and most populous of continents, is perfectly evident to our spiritual eyes. In days of old, when communication with distant borderlands was far more difficult than in our days, vast empires, nevertheless, easily came into being, grew powerful, and extended their boundaries on the borders of semi-barbarous Europe and the East, fluctuating in form, but immutable in its essence. At the present time, when railways, the telegraph, the telephone, to say nothing of other inventions and improvements of importance, have simplified communication between all lands and nations to the last degree, there is scarcely any reason to fear either distance or the estrangement of the several parts of a single whole. Practically distance is almost nonexistent. What to our ancestors appeared simply near at hand now seems to lie immediately before our eyes.
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