What Shall We Do? : Preface

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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.)
• "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....)
• "If, in former times, Governments were necessary to defend their people from other people's attacks, now, on the contrary, Governments artificially disturb the peace that exists between the nations, and provoke enmity among them." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)
• "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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The Free Age Press is an earnest effort to spread those deep convictions in which the noblest spirits of every age and race have believed—that man's true aim and happiness is “unity in reason and love”; the realization of the brotherhood of all men: that we must all strive to eradicate, each from himself, those false ideas, false feelings, and false desires—personal, social, religious, economic—which alienate us one from another and produce nine-tenths of all human suffering.

Of these truly Christian and universally religious aspirations the writings of Leo Tolstoy are to-day perhaps the most definite expression, and it is to the production of very cheap editions of his extant religious, social and ethical works, together with much unpublished matter and his new writings, to which we have special access (being in close touch with Tolstoy), that we are at present confining ourselves. We earnestly trust that all who sympathize will continue to assist us by every means in their power, and help to make the publications yet more widely known. It is Tolstoy's desire that his books shall not be copyrighted, and as we share this view, all Free Age Press translations and editions (with one, as yet unavoidable exception), are and will be issued free of copyright and may be reprinted by anyone. We have already commenced to collect all Tolstoy's essays into more permanent cloth-bound volumes.

Suggestions, inquiries, offers of help and cooperation will be gratefully welcomed. For the hundreds of sympathetic letters and the practical help in making known and circulating the books which we have received already, we are very grateful, and tender our hearty thanks.

Orders and commercial communications should be addressed to “The Free Age PressEnglish Branch, 13, Paternoster Row, London, E.C. All other communications to the “Editor of the Free Age Press,” Christchurch, Hants.



Revised and Corrected



Edited by A.C.F.
and I.F.M.



Uniform with this Volume.—

What is Religion?” An entirely New Book just completed. By Leo Tolstoy. With several new and recent Letters, Articles, and Appeals. Paper, 6d. net.; post free, 7½d. Flexible cloth, gilt, gilt top, 1s. net.; post free, 1s. 2d. Leather, gilt, gilt top, 2s. net.; post free, 2s. 2d.

What I Believe (“My Religion”) By Leo Tolstoy. Revised Translation. 224 pages. Same prices as What is Religion?

On Life.” By Leo Tolstoy. A New Translation of this little-known book—“a book which is of especial value as a key to Tolstoy's method and belief” (Mr. H. W. Massingham). Same prices.

The Kingdom of God is Within You.

We hope eventually to issue the whole of Tolstoy's writings since 1878 in volumes uniform with this book.


“And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

“He answereth and said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” (Luke iii. 10, 11.)

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

“The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is your darkness?

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matt. vi. 19–25.)

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

“(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek): for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. vi. 31–33.)

“For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Luke xviii. 25.)

From : Gutenberg.org


November 30, 1903 :
Preface -- Publication.

February 18, 2017 19:43:47 :
Preface -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

January 28, 2020 15:02:06 :
Preface -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.


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