What Shall We Do? : Chapter 35

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1904

People

(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.)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From : "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
• "Only by recognizing the land as just such an article of common possession as the sun and air will you be able, without bias and justly, to establish the ownership of land among all men, according to any of the existing projects or according to some new project composed or chosen by you in common." (From : "To the Working People," by Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya P....)

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Chapter 35

CHAPTER XXXV

To say that the activities of the arts and sciences have co-operated in forwarding the progress of mankind, and by these activities to mean that which is now called by this name, is as to say that an awkward moving of the oars, hindering the progress of a boat going down the stream, is forwarding the progress of the boat; while it only hinders it. The so-called division of labor—that is, the violation of other men's labor which has become in our time a condition of the activity of men of art and science—has been, and still remains, the chief cause of the slowness of the progress of mankind.

The proof of it we have in the acknowledgment that the acquisitions of art and science are not accessible to the working-classes because of a wrong distribution of wealth. And the incorrectness of this distribution does not diminish in proportion to the progress of art and science, but rather increases. Nor is it astonishing that such is the case; because the incorrect distribution of wealth proceeds solely from the theory of the division of labor, preached by men of art and science for selfish purposes.

Science, defending the division of labor as an unchangeable law, sees that the distribution of wealth based upon this division is incorrect and pernicious, and asserts that its activity, which recognizes the division of labor, will set all right again, and lead men to happiness.

It appears, then, that some men utilize the labor of others; but if they will only continue to do this for a long time, and on a still larger scale, then this incorrect distribution of wealth, that is, utilizing of other men's labor, will vanish.

Men are standing by an ever-increasing spring of water, and are busy turning it aside from thirsty men, and then they assert that it is they who produce this water, and that soon there will be so much of it that everybody will have enough and to spare. And this water, which has been running unceasingly, and nourishing all mankind, is not only not the result of the activity of those who, standing at its source, turn it aside, but it runs and spreads itself in spite of the endeavors to stop it from doing so.

There has always existed a true church,—in other words, men united by the highest truth accessible to them at a certain epoch,—but it has never been that church which gave herself out for such; and there have always been real art and science, but they were not those which call themselves now by these names.

Men who consider themselves to be the representatives of art and science in a given period of time, always imagine that they have been doing, are doing, and the important fact is that they are on the point of making wonderful things, and that beyond them there has never been any art or science. Thus it seemed to the sophists, to the scholiasts, alchemists, cabalists, Talmudists, and to our own scientific science and to our artistic art.

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1903 :
Chapter 35 -- Publication.

February 19, 2017 16:24:58 :
Chapter 35 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:35:53 :
Chapter 35 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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