How to be a diplomat (a Stalin tip)

In the midst of his discussion of the elections in St. Petersburg of 1912, Stalin has this little gem on bourgeois diplomats:

When bourgeois diplomats prepare for war they begin to shout very loudly about “peace” and “friendly relations.” When a Minister of Foreign Affairs begins to wax eloquent in favour of a “peace conference,” you can take it for granted that “his government” has already issued contracts for the construction of new dreadnoughts and monoplanes. A diplomat’s words must contradict his deeds—otherwise, what sort of a diplomat is he? Words are one thing—deeds something entirely different. Fine words are a mask to cover shady deeds. A sincere diplomat is like dry water, or wooden iron.

‘The Elections in St. Petersburg’, in Works, vol. 2, p. 285.

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