Superstition of the State

By Leo Tolstoy (1910)

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Revolt Library Anarchism Superstition of the State

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(1828 - 1910)

Father of Christian Anarchism

: In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From: Anarchy Archives.)
• "...the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence." (From: "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "It is necessary that men should understand things as they are, should call them by their right names, and should know that an army is an instrument for killing, and that the enrollment and management of an army -- the very things which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents occupy themselves with so self-confidently -- is a preparation for murder." (From: "'Thou Shalt Not Kill'," by Leo Tolstoy, August 8,....)
• "You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach, there is nothing like such a permission..." (From: "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)

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Superstition of the State

I. The essence of the lie and the deception of the doctrine of state


The deceitful doctrine of state is regarding yourself as connected with the people of one nationality, or one state, separated from the people of other nations and the other states. People torture, kill, rob each other and themselves because of this terribly false dogma. People can free themselves from this dogma only after they identify themselves with the spiritual beginning of the life, which is the same in all people. Once people recognize this beginning in themselves, they can no longer believe in human institutions which only separate that what is connected by God.


It’s reasonable to love virtues, respect courageous acts, recognize kindness regardless of where it is coming from, and even deprive yourself of conveniences for the sake of someone you love and who deserves it: thus, if residents of a country found such a person, who showed them great wisdom to guide them, great courage to defend them, and great care to manage them, and if, as a consequence, they are accustomed to obey him, to give him some benefits, I do not think that would be unreasonable.

But, my God! What to call what we see when a large number of people not only obey, but cringe before one person or before few people, and cringe so much that they do not have anything left of their own: neither property, nor children, nor even life itself that they would call theirs, and tolerate robbery, cruelty not from troops, not from the barbarians, but from one person, and not from Hercules or Samson, but from the people weak, who, for the most part, are very wrong morally. What do we call it? Would we say that these people are cowards? If two, three, four people wouldn’t defend themselves from one, that would be strange yet possible, and it could be explained by the lack of courage, but when a hundred thousand people, one hundred thousand villages, a million people do not to attack those few from whom they all suffer, staying their slaves, what is this incredible phenomenon called?

Meanwhile, what takes place in all countries with all people, is that few people dominate over hundred thousands of villages and deprive them of freedom. Who would have believed this, if only heard and not seen it? And if it could be observed only in foreign and distant lands, who wouldn’t have thought that this must have been made up rather than being true! In regards to those few people who oppress the rest, you do not need to win them over, do not need to protect yourselves from them - they are always defeated, if only people would not agree to be slaves. No need to take anything away from them, need only to give them nothing, and the people will be free. So when the peoples submit themselves to the power of their oppressors, they are cutting their own throats. The people, who can be free, give away their own freedom, put the yoke on their own neck, not only agree with their own oppression, but search for it. If regaining of the freedom would cost anything to a person and he wouldn’t be looking for that, which is dearest natural right for a man distinguishing himself from an animal, then I think he might have preferred the security and convenience of his life to the struggles for the freedom. But, if in order to gain freedom, people need only to wish for it, can really anybody be found in the whole world who would consider it too costly, once it can be attained by just the desire for freedom?

Poor, unhappy, mindless people, the persistent in their evil, blind to their goodness, you allow to be rid of the most part of your income, robbed of your fields, your home; you live as if all of this did not belong to you, allow to take your conscience away from you, agree to be killers. And all these disasters, desolations, corruption occur not from the enemies, but from one enemy, which you create yourself. Where this enemy would had any power over you if you weren't abet the thief who robs you, if you wouldn’t be accomplices to that murderer who kills you, if you did not betray yourselves? You sow for your crops to be destroyed by this enemy, you fill and clean your home for its robberies. You raise your children, so that it would lead them to its wars, massacres, so that it would make them executors of its lusts and vengeances. And from these horrors, which even animals wouldn’t stand, you can free yourself if you wish, not even do, but just wish.

Decide not to serve this enemy anymore, and you become free by the desire of liberation alone. I don't want you to attack this enemy, but stop supporting it, and you'll see that it, as a humongous statue, from under which the base was taken, will fall by its weight and break into pieces.

- La Boëtie.


When you look closely at what people are busy with, you cannot but be amazed at how many lives are wasted for the continuation of the kingdom of evil on Earth, and that this evil gets most of its support by what is called the individual states and governments.

And even more surprising and upsetting to think that all of this is not necessary, that all of evil people do to themselves so complacently, and that it happens only because of their stupidity, only because they allow few wicked and defiled people rule over them.

- Patrice Laroche.


We use the benefits of culture and civilization, but do not use the benefits of morality. In the present social order, it’s safe to say that the happiness of the states grows proportionally with the misfortunes of the people. So you inadvertently ask yourself, would we not have been happier staying in the primitive state, when we had no culture and civilization, rather than in our present state?

You can't make people happy without making them ethical.

- Kant.


"I regret that I am obliged to order to confiscate the products of labor, to imprison, to exile, order penal servitude, punishment, war, i.e. mass murder. But I am obliged to do so, because people who gave me the power require it," - the rulers say. - "If I take people’s property away, capture their families, lock, send away, execute, if I'm killing the people of the foreign nation, desolate them, shoot women and children in the cities, then I am doing this not because I want to do this, but only because I am fulfilling the will of the authorities, who I have promised to obey for the sake of the common benefits," - the subordinates say.

This is the deception of false doctrine of the state. Only this ingrained deceitful doctrine gives the mad, not justifiable by anything, power to the hundreds of people over the millions of people, and deprives these millions of genuine freedom. A person living in Canada or in Kansas, in Bohemia, in Russia, Normandy, cannot be free while he considers himself (and often proud of it) being British, North American, Austrian, Russian, French citizen. The same is with the government, which vocation is to maintain such a separate entity of impossible and senseless union of people as Russia, Britain, Germany, France – cannot give their citizens a real freedom, and not a counterfeit of it, as is the case with any nifty constitutions, monarchical, republican or democratic. Chief and practically the only reason for the lack of freedom – is the deceitful doctrine of the necessity of the state. People may be deprived of their liberty even in the absence of the state, but people belonging to the state cannot have freedom.


The master gave the task to the employee. And suddenly, a stranger comes and tells him to drop the master's case and to do something exactly opposite of what was ordered by the master, even to spoil the initiated master’s case. Wouldn't you think the employee would be completely crazy if he, knowing that he is completely at the mercy of the master and that the master can take him back at any moment, if the employee, knowing all this, would agree to do anything contrary to the will of the master, which this stranger tells him to do.

And yet, this is what every Christian does when he, based on the orders of the sergeant, governor, minister, king, commits the acts which are contrary to his conscience and to the law of God: robs the poor of their properties, judges, executes, fights people.

Why is he doing all this? Because he believes in the deceitful doctrine of the state.


You can understand why the kings, ministers, the rich assure themselves and others that people cannot live without the state. But why the poor stand behind the state which gives them nothing, but only hurts? Only because they believe in the deceitful doctrine of the state.


The deceitful doctrine of the state is evil even because of one factor alone, which is presenting lie as the truth, but most of its damaging effect is that it teaches people to do deeds which are contrary to their conscience and the law of God: to rob the poor, to judge, to execute, to fight and to think that all these deeds are not wrong.


"Despotism, death penalty, militarizing of the whole Europe, oppressed conditions of workers, and wars - all these are great calamity, and those who condemn the actions of governments are right. But how to live without Government?” - People say - "What right do we, people with limited knowledge and mind and only because it seems to be the best to us, have to destroy the existing order of things, by which our ancestors have reached this high degree of civilization and all of its benefits? By destroying the state, we have to put something in its place. If we don’t have a replacement, then how can we risk to cause the terrible troubles that must inevitably arise if the state was destroyed."

Answer to this deceitful doctrine is in Christian teaching, in its true meaning. Christian teaching responds to this deceitful doctrine by shifting the issue completely in another, more significant and more important for the life of each individual area. Christian teaching doesn’t propose anything to destroy nor any devices to replace the old order. Christian teaching differs from all social teachings in that it is not talking about that or other order of life, but about what is the essence of the evil and what is the true blessing of life for every one, and therefore for all people. And the way by which this blessing is obtained, is clear, convincing, and doubtless to such a degree, that once a person understood it and therefore figured out what the evil and what the blessing of his life is, he won’t consciously do what he sees the evil of his life and not to do what he sees the true blessing of it, just like the water cannot not flow from top to bottom or plant not strive toward the light.

The whole Christian teachings is only in knowing that the blessing of a human is in the execution of the will by which he came into this world, but the evil is in violating of this will. The requirements of this will themselves are so simple and clear, that they are just impossible to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. The requirements are not to do to another person what you don't want to be done to yourself. If you don’t want to be forced to work in a factory or mine for 10 hours straight, don’t want to be raped and killed, don't do it to others, don't participate in such acts. It's all so simple, clear, and undoubted that a small child cannot misunderstand it, and a sophist cannot debunk.

The question which form of life will materialize as a consequence of such way of living, does not exist for a Christian.


Everybody sees that the state with its tax withdraws, courts, executions bring people a lot of evil. Everyone sees, and in order to rid themselves of this scourge, we must only not to support the state in its evil deeds. But why don’t people free themselves from the evil state, from the deceitful doctrine of the state? There is the only remedy from any deceitful doctrine - the truth.

II. Superstition of inequality, allowing to separate the government people, as if they were special, from the masses of the rest people


Nowadays people are so accustomed to the fact that of all their actions are regulated – some are prohibited from doing, and others are commanded to do, no matter how difficult they are for them to do, and that if they do what is prohibited, and if they don’t do what was commanded, then someone will punish them for that, and that will be bad for them. People are so used to this, that they are no longer asking who are those persons who forbids, and who is going to punish them for the disobedience, and s they dutifully perform all that is required from them.

It seems to the people that the entity which requires all of this from them is not people, but some special creature, which they call the management, the government, or the state. But it’s enough to ask yourself: who is this management, the state, the government, to understand that it's just people, the same as everyone else, and that all their instructions will be executed by the same class of people over whom this violence is enforced, and by no one else.


“If there is no state authority,” - say the ruling people, - “then people who are more evil will dominate over the less evil ones.” But the fact is what they’re scaring with, has already been accomplished: now already the more evil ones dominate over the less evil people, and that is precisely because of the state power. And we cannot judge about what will happen without the state power. What’ll happen most likely will be that the people who produce the violence will stop doing it, and the lives of all people will become not worse, but better.


It’s enough to think about the essence of what the government uses its power for, to understand that people who control the masses must be cruel, immoral, and certainly are below the average level of morality among all people of their time and society. Not only moral, but not completely immoral person cannot be on the throne, or be a minister, legislator, decider, and determiner of the fate of the entire nations. Moral virtuous government worker is the same inner contradiction as a chaste hooker, or an abstinent drunkard, or a meek robber.


Here's how Machiavelli teaches the rulers on the performance of their duties: "Kings do not need to have good qualities... but each of them must make an appearance that he has these qualities. I’ll say more - in fact, for the rulers, these qualities can only be harmful, while the pretense of having possessed those good qualities, which they don’t have, on the contrary, is the very useful. So, for the rulers, it is very important to demonstrate themselves being merciful, faithful to their word, loving people, religious, and sincere; yet, to have these qualities in reality is harmful except the only case – if the ruler with such qualities is able to suppress them in the case of a need, and to act on the opposite.

Everyone can see that for the rulers, particularly who recently received their power or who manage over the newly emerging monarchies, is sometimes impossible to reconcile their course of actions with the requirements of their consciousness: very often, to maintain the order of the state, they should act against the laws of conscience, compassion, humanity, and even against religion. Rulers must be able to be flexible and to change their beliefs according to the circumstances, and as I said above, if possible, don’t need to avoid the honest path; but, when necessary, resort to dishonest means.

It’s especially important for the rulers to pretend being pious; because people are easily deceived, because, for the most part, they are judging only by the appearance and only few of them possess the ability of deep judgment. Disguise is required for the rulers, because most of them are judged by what they look, and only very few people are able to distinguish the seeming from the actual. Even if those few will understand the true quality of the rulers, they won’t be dare to express their opinion, which is contrary to the opinion of the majority, and will be afraid to offend the dignity of the upper power, represented by the rulers. In addition, as the actions of the rulers are not subjected to the jurisdiction, only the consequences of their actions are liable to scrutiny, not the actions themselves. If the ruler will only be able to keep his life and his power, then regardless of the means he used, his actions will be regarded as honest and praiseworthy."


The robbers typically attack the rich, but the governments rob mostly the poor yet support the rich, helping them in their crimes. The robbers, carrying out their business, are risking their lives; the governments risk almost nothing. The robbers do not force anyone into their gangs, the governments draft their soldiers mostly by force. The robbers divide their booty mostly equally; the governments allocate the loot unequally: who participates more in the organized fraud, gets more reward. The robbers do not intentionally corrupt people; the governments, to achieve their goals, corrupt the generations of children and adults with false religious patriotic doctrines. Most importantly, even the most brutal robber such as Stenka Razin, or Cartridge, cannot be compared with the cruelty, ruthlessness, and sophistication in tortures, with the famous for their brutality villains-rulers: Ivan the terrible, Louis XI , Elizabeths, etc., and even with current constitutional and liberal governments, with their executions, solitary prisons, disciplinary battalions, sending people away, suppressing of the riots, war atrocities.


It’s amazing how easily the kings believe that they are everything, and how strongly people believe that they are nothing.

- Montaigne


The powerful of this world look great only to those people who kneel before them. As soon as people stand up from their knees onto feet, they will see that those who seemed to them such great people - are the same as they are.


The main evil of the government is not in the destruction of lives, but in the destruction of love and in inspiring of the separation between people.

III. The state is based on violence


The essential feature of every government is that it requires its citizens to be that force that serves as a foundation to it. Thus, within the state, all citizens are the oppressors of themselves. The government requires from its citizens violence and support for violence.


Each government is supported by the armed men, ready to execute its will by force, - the class of people, raised to kill everybody who their superiors order to kill. They are the police and, primarily, the army. The army is nothing more than a collection of disciplined killers. Its training is the training of its murderers; its victories are murders. The army always stood and now stands at the heart of the power. The power was always in the hands of those who commanded the army; and always all rulers, from the Roman Cesar to Russian and German Emperors, are preoccupied chiefly with the army. First and foremost, the army supports the outer power of the government. It does not allow the power to be taken from it by another government. War is nothing more than a dispute between several governments about the authority over the subordinates. In the sight of such meaning of the armies, each state is brought to the need to increase its troops; and increasing the troops is contagious, as already one hundred and fifty years ago noticed Montesquieu. But when people think that the government keeps the army only for the protection against external attacks, they forget that the troops governments need primarily for self-defense against their own suppressed and enslaved citizens.


The inhabitants of planet Earth are still in such a state the absurdity, irrationalization, dullness, that every day we read in the newspapers some rationalizations of the rulers of people about with whom and how need to connect in order to fight with other nations, and people themselves allow their superiors to manage them, as cattle led to slaughter, as if every human life is not his personal property.

The inhabitants of our planet are still being brought up in the belief that there are peoples, borders, banners, and that all this is much more important than the consciousness of humanity. The truth is that if thinking people found a way to agree, - the situation would change, because no one personally wants war. But the problem is that in every state there are still millions of parasites who need war, who without war would not remain parasites. And these same parasites prevent thinking people from coming to an agreement to stop participating in the mutual murder.

- Flammarion


The states of Europe have accumulated a debt of 130 billion. Of these 130, about 110 was made in the last hundred years. This whole enormous debt was made only to pay the costs of war. In peacetime, European states keep in the army more than 4 million people and ready to bring this number up to 19 million in wartime. Two thirds of the income of all states are going to pay the interests on the debt and to maintain the armies, both on land and sea. All this is done by the states. If it wasn’t for states, nothing like this would take place.

- Molinari


What can be more absurd than the right of a man to kill me because he lives on the other side of the river, or because his ruler is at loggerheads with mine, even though I did not plan to quarrel with him?

- Pascal


How often do you meet people condemning wars, prisons, violence of any kind and yet directly getting involved in the same deeds, which they condemn?

Man of our times, if he doesn't want to act immorally, must very carefully consider those seemingly innocent acts to participation in which he is called upon. Like eating a meat patty, a person must know that the patty is the body of the slain sheep; the same way, when receiving a salary from the factory producing weaponry or gun powder, or for the service of collecting taxes, he should know that he gets paid for participation in preparations for murder or for taking away the products of labor of the poor people.

Nowadays the largest and the most harmful crimes are not those which committed at times, but those that occur continually and are not regarded as crimes.

IV. The state was just a temporary form of shelter for the people


It’s possible that people, in their previous stages of development, needed governmental states; maybe some people still need it now, but people cannot not to foresee the time when this forcefulness can only disturb their peaceful life. And seeing and anticipating this, people cannot help but try to enter such an arrangement, in which the forcefulness would become redundant and impossible. And the way of implementing this order is self-improvement, not allowing any involvement in violence.


Just as life of an individual moves from one age to another, the same way the life of the mankind evolves. And as in the life of an individual, there are times when a child becomes a youth and can no longer continue to live the previous way, and then the youth becomes the adult, and the adult becomes the old man, - the same way the whole mankind passes through different ages. Everything shows us that in our time we experience the transition of the mankind from one age to another. Childish and youthful age are passed. Now we should live the way that corresponds with the adulthood.


That change, which mankind is going through, is the change from an animal to human. This transition is only possible with the disappearance of the state.

- Bakunin


The state is a temporary establishment and should disappear. Sword and rifle, the weapons of our time, will eventually be shown in museums like rarity, just as instruments of torture are now shown.

- By Crosby


Nowadays, people are beginning to understand that the time of a government has passed, and that it holds on only by established false doctrine; but people cannot free themselves from it because they are all somehow entangled in it.


Even if the states were once needed for something, this time has long passed, and states, particularly current, are only harmful. Current states, with their armies, resemble the guard who, as the story goes, long continued to be put in place where once was a bench, on which the Empress had the habit of sitting down during celebrations; yet the Empress has died long ago.

V. Laws neither fix nor improve, but worsen and spoil people.


The state creates criminals faster than punishes them. Our prisons bulge with criminals, whom the state have corrupted with its unjust laws, monopolies, and all its institutions. At first, we publish multiple laws, which give rise to crime, and then we publish yet more laws to punish for committing these crimes.

- Tucker


The state produces as many laws as there are relationships between people, which must be determined. As the number of these relations are endless, legislation must operate incessantly. Laws, decrees, edicts, decrees, regulations must pour in hail upon the unfortunate people. And that’s exactly what happens. In France, the convention in three years, one month, and four days issued 11,600 laws and decrees; constituent and legislative assembly have produced as much. The empire and later governments worked with similar productivity. Currently, the collection of laws contains, as they say, more than 50,000 laws; if our legislators performed their duty faithfully, this huge figure would double. Do you really think that the people and the government itself can preserve some sanity in this awful mess?

- Proudhon


People diligently tangle themselves so that one person or few ones could manipulate them all; then they give the rope from this entangled crowd to whomever, and wonder why they are in trouble.


It’s enough to renounce deceitful doctrine, which was accepted based on faith alone, and to look at the situation of a person living in the state, - whether he’d belong to the most despotic or democratic state, - to be appalled at the extent of the slavery in which people live now, at the same time imagining that they are free.

Over every man, wherever he was born, there is a gathering of people, completely unknown to him, who set the laws of his life: what he should and should not do; and the more sophisticated the state structure is, the tighter is the network of these laws. It’s defined to whom and how he should swear, i.e. promise to carry out all the laws that will be drawn up and proclaimed. It’s determined how and when he can marry (he should marry only one woman, but may use the brothels). It’s defined how can he divorce his wife, how to support their children, which of the children to consider legitimate and which - unlawful, and to whom, who, and how is to inherit and to pass on his property. It’s defined for which violation of the laws, how, and by whom he is to sue and to be punished. It’s determined when he must appear in court as a juror or a witness. It’s defined the age at which he is to use the labor of assistants, employes, and even the number of hours a day that his assistants are to work, the food that he is to give them. It’s defined when and how he is to vaccinate his children; identified the measures that he is to take and what he is to undergo in case of such and such illness striking him or his family pets. It’s identified to which schools he is to send his children. It’s defined what size and the strength of a house he is to build. It’s defined what the conditions for his animals should be: horses, dogs; how he is to use water and where he is to walk without road. Penalties are defined for the failures to comply with all of these laws and many others. It is impossible to enumerate all the laws above the laws, and regulations above the regulations, which he must obey, and ignorance of which (although you can't know them all) can't excuse him, the man of the most liberal state.

At the same time, a man is put in a position that, when he is buying consumer products: salt, beer, cloth, iron, kerosene, tea, sugar, and many other things, he has to give away the biggest part of his work, for some unknown purposes as well as for payments of interest for debts that someone made long ago, at times of his grandfathers and great-grandfathers. He is also obliged to give part of his earnings each time he moves from place to place, or receives any inheritance, or commits any transaction with the closed ones. In addition, even higher proportion of his labor, is required on the portion of the land he occupies by his housing or field processing. As a result, most of his work, if he lives by his own labor rather than by someone else's, instead of being used to facilitate or improve his status and the status of his family, goes to these taxes, duties, monopolies.

And this is not enough: this man, in most states, is ordered, as soon as he enters certain age, to join military, the most brutal slavery, for several years and to go fight; in other states: such as in England and America, he is to hire people for the same ventures.

And here you are, people put in this situation not only do not see their slavery, but proud of it, consider themselves as free citizens of the great states of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, proud of that, just as doormen are proud of the importance of the masters they serve.


I think we should be first of all people, and only after - subordinates. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law in the same way as it is for the goodness. The law never makes people more just, but, on the contrary, due to their respect for the law, good people are made perpetrators of injustice.

- Thoreau


It is understandable that cows, horses, sheep are guarded by people. People know what the cattle needs and how best to pasture the cattle. As horses, cows, sheep cannot pasture themselves, because they are all the same in their nature. And people are also the same among each other. Why is it that some people may rule over others and force them to live the way they think is better? All people are equally reasonable creatures, and only that one can manage them who is above them. And above them only one thing: the spirit that lives in all of them, which we call conscience. And therefore people need to obey only their conscience, and not the people who would call themselves kings, chambers, congresses, senates, courts...


American Indians lived in a way that they didn't have any power, no laws, no government. They obeyed only the established customs and conscience. Those who acted opposite to their customs and conscience, those were expelled from the society, or, when something critical, like murder, happened, those who suffered from it punished for the murder. And there, among Native Americans, was much less crimes than among our states with authorities, prisons, and judges. Where will more evil happen: where there are no laws, as with wild American Indians, or where there are too many? I think it’s fair to say, it’ll be where there are too many laws. Sheep are likely to be happier if they will take care of themselves, and won’t be given in the care of wolves.

- By Jefferson


It’s much more natural to imagine a human society managed by reasonable, beneficial rules recognized by everybody, rather than those societies in which people live now, obeying the statutory laws, no one knows by whom established.

VI. Excuse for the necessity of the state


Do not assuage yourself with the idea that if you don't see those whom you torment and kill, and if you have a lot of friends doing the same, then you're not the menace, not the murderer: you may not have been that before you knew where the money which you get in your hands are coming from; but once you know, there's no excuse to you, not before people (you can always find an excuse for everything before people), but before your conscience.


They say that governmental organization is fair, because it was installed by the majority of votes. But firstly, it’s wrong that the government was established by the majority of votes, is was set by force. And even if it was supported by the majority of votes, it wouldn’t make it fair.

Not only one person has no right to rule over many, but many do not have the right to rule over one.


"When among 100 people one dominates the 99, this is unfair, this is despotism; when 10 dominate the 90 – this is also unfair, this is an oligarchy; when 51 dominates the 49 (even this is only a highly unlike scenario - in reality, again it’s the 10 or 11 are dominating) - then it is fair, this is freedom.“ - Can there be anything funnier than such reasoning, and yet this same reasoning serves the basis for the activity of all improvers of the governmental state.


The purpose of the state is to establish that kind of order which would occur among the people if all of them were guided by the fairness. But even if the states have reached their goal, there still would be not only the difference, but the complete contradiction between the external justice achieved by the state, and the natural condition, in which people would be guided by the desire for fairness. In the society led by the desire for fairness, no one would create injustices; yet even within the best governmental state the situation would be that no one would want to tolerate injustice, so that the same objective would be achieved by two opposing means. The ravenous beast can be harmless, like herbivorous, only when muzzled. Beyond this limit, the state cannot go: the state can’t have the slightest idea as to what people’s life would become like in the case of the mutual affection between people.

- By Schopenhauer


They say that the government has always existed, and that's why we can't live without the state. Firstly, the state has not always existed, and even if it was and if it is now, this doesn't prove that it always should exist.

VII. A Christian should not participate in the state affairs


One cannot relate to the governments, just like the churches, other than either with an affection or with disgust. Until a person realizes what the government is, just as what the church is, he can’t relate to these institutions other than with blessing. While he is ruled by this institution, he has to think, for his own self-esteem, that it is something original, great, and holy. But as soon as he realized that this, what he is ruled by, is not is something original or sacred, and that it is only a deception created by the evil people, who, under the guise of managing, used this facility for their personal purposes, - then he can no longer experience anything but disgust toward these people.


Every true Christian, when he is presented with the demands of the state, which are contrary to his conscience, can and must say: "I can't prove neither the necessity nor the harm of the state; I only know one thing, that, firstly, I don't need the state, and, secondly, that I cannot commit all those deeds that are required to support the existence of the state".


I live, I still live now; and very likely tomorrow I won’t as I will forever go back to where I came from. For as long as I live, I know that if I'm in love with people, I feel well, peaceful, joyful, and therefore for as long as I live, I want to love and be loved. And suddenly people come and say: "Come with us, to rob, execute, kill, fight, and all of these will make it better for you, and if not for you, then for the state". - "What’s that? What kind of state? What are you talking about?" - Any reasonable, not out of his mind person will answer. - "Leave me alone. Don't talk such nonsense and gross things."


When a man has to choose between what God commands, and what authorities tell him, and if he chooses to do what the authorities tell, he acts like a man who listens not the host on whose property he lives, but the first person he met on the street.


I’m told: "Give that much money to someone called the government.” This someone also tells me to go into soldiers and to promise to kill someone he tells. I ask: "Who is this someone?" I’m told, "The government". - "Who is the government?" - "The people". "Who are these people, are they somehow special?" - "No, same as everybody". - "Then why would I do what they tell me. If at least they told me to do good deeds, but they straight up tell me to do evil. I do not want this. Leave me alone ". That's what should all people say, if they weren't so brainwashed by the false doctrine of the state.


The teachings of Christ has always been contrary to the teaching of the world. According to the teachings of the world, the rulers govern people, and to manage them, they force some people to kill, execute, punish other people, make them swear that they will fulfill the will of their superiors, force them to fight with other nations. But according to the teaching of Christ, no man can not only kill, rape another, but even to resist him with the power, cannot do evil not only to his neighbors, but also to his enemies. The teaching of the world and the teaching of Christ were and always will be contrary to each other. And Christ knew this and predicted that his disciples, for following of his teaching, will be persecuted, tormented, and killed, and that the world will hate them, as it hated him, because they will not be the servants of the world, but the servants of the Father.

And everything have come true and is coming true, as Jesus predicted, when Christ's disciples follow his doctrine.


"If my soldiers began to think, no one would have stayed with the army," - said king Frederick II.


Anarchists are right in the following: in the denial of the existing order, and in affirming that, out of all current conditions, nothing can be worse than the aggression of the government; but they are crudely mistaken thinking that the anarchy can be installed by a revolution. The anarchy can only be installed by having more and more people who do not need the protection of the governmental power and more and more people who would be ashamed to use this power.


Anarchy does not mean the lack of institutions, but only the absence of those institutions which make people obey them by force. It seemed that there could not and should not be any other arrangement of the society of creatures gifted with the reason.


A man, a true Christian, cannot be a member of a society which has army and military institutions.

How could he agree with the fact that the head of the government, recognized by him, would also command the army and the fleet, and lead his brothers to kill his own brothers-foreigners?

A Christian cannot recognize such an official and participate in his election, cannot, by swearing in the name of God, be bound to commit the deeds of murder and violence. The objection in favor of participation in the affairs of this world becomes ugly and illogical; and what, at first sight, seemed to be the last word of common sense, turns out meaningless in reality.

Congress authorizes to declare a war. My representatives authorize to commit this atrocity on my behalf and by their arbitrariness. They have the power to turn the entire nation into godless murderers and robbers, they have the power to declare all these horrors as fair and right, they have the right to authorize the execution of all these crimes, all based on my consent.

Under these conditions, a Christian will not accept any position, will never want to be neither elector nor elected, will never join neither the church nor the state while they maintain such dogmas, and while both the church and the state do not stop to crucify Christ.

- Adin Ballou


The judgment is that the light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For whoever does evil, hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his works become known, because they are evil. But he who does truth, comes to the light, so that his deeds may be made manifest, because they are worked in God.

- The Gospel of John, III, 19-21.

(Source: Translated from Russian by EarthlyFireFlies and Wikisource.)

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Superstition of the State — Publication.

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July 23, 2021; 5:41:41 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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February 21, 2022; 7:55:23 AM (America/Los_Angeles)
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