Ross’s surprising support of the Bolsheviks in Ukraine
Because the Bolsheviks are supportive of German industry, Ross argues that Germany should work to solidify Bolshevik control of Ukraine.
Given Colin Ross’s overarching right-wing political profile, we would expect him to oppose the Bolshevik government in Ukraine. But Ross is looking for ways in which Germany can expand its influence abroad, and, here, that influence is expressed in financial, not governmental terms. In other words, instead of the German government, individual German businessmen are, in Ross’s eyes, best positioned to exert influence abroad in the post-Versailles era. “One can be a declared enemy of the Bolshevik system and still support the development of the closest possible relationship with Russia and Ukraine in the national interest”.
Additionally, the Bolsheviks are interested in Germany’s help to rebuild Ukraine and, therefore, have no interest in spreading Bolshevism to Germany: “As far as Ukraine is concerned, they are so dependent upon German technology and industry that even the most extreme communist elements have no interest in a social revolution that would render German industry unable to deliver their products”. Because they are dependent upon German industry, the Bolsheviks thus have a more positive relationship to Germany than would any of the alternative governments, should they somehow manage to get back into power.
This non-dogmatic pragmatism reflects Ross’s general de-emphasis of governmental structures in his geopolitical thought prior to the rise of Hitler: not the German government, but German science, technology, and business will be at the forefront of the continental struggle for power.
Colin Ross. Die U.S.S.R. In: Der Weg nach Osten: Reise durch Rußland, Ukraine, Transkaukasien, Persien, Buchara und Turkestan.1. Aufl. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus; 1923; 43-46.