Leo Tolstoy : Father of Christian Anarchism

September 9, 1828 — November 20, 1910

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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.

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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 Cause and Cure," by Leo Tolstoy, With an Introduction by M. K. Gandhi, December 14th, 1908


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About Leo Tolstoy

 Leo Tolstoy 1

Leo Tolstoy 1

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy[note 1] (/ˈtoʊlstɔɪ, ˈtɒl-/; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой,[note 2] tr. Lev Nikoláyevich Tolstóy, IPA: [lʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] (About this soundlisten); 9 September, [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November, [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909. That he never won is a major controversy.

Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, Tolstoy is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hajji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.

In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his nonfiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).

Source: Wikipedia.org

Leo Tolstoy was born September 9, 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana in Tula, Russia. Fourth child of Countess Mariya Tolstaya, Tolstoy was born of old Russian nobility. As such, social pressures forced him to attend university and proceed on trek to becoming an upstanding member of upper-class Russian society.

In 1844, Tolstoy ceased his studies at Kazan University. He then spent a period of about seven years bouncing between his hometown and St. Petersburg accruing an impressive gambling debt.

In 1851, Tolstoy and his brother joined the army. Sometime around then, Tolstoy began writing.

In 1857, attempting to leave Russian high-society behind, Tolstoy took the first of his two tours through Europe. This act was an attempt to escape Russian political oppression, and was also caried out by such anarchists as Kropotkin and Bakunin.

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.

In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Bers. The early years of the marriage marked a period of great joy during Tolstoy's life and facilitated the composition of both War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Sadly, the marriage deteriorated into one of great unhappiness in later years, as Tolstoy's ideas grew more radical and his attempts to distance himself from his wealth (both earned and inherited) became more radical.

In 1910, Tolstoy died of pneumonia at Astapovo station after abandoning his family and wealth in the middle of winter to take up the path of wandering ascetic.

From : Anarchy Archives

Works

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This person has authored 2,016 documents, with 4,113,167 words or 23,892,838 characters.

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Quotes by Leo Tolstoy

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"...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 Cause and Cure," by Leo Tolstoy, With an Introduction by M. K. Gandhi, December 14th, 1908

"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 Tolstoy, 1898

"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 Tolstoy, 1898

"There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it."

From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, August 31, O.S., 1896

"People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to."

From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, August 31, O.S., 1896

"It usually happens that when an idea which has been useful and even necessary in the past becomes superfluous, that idea, after a more or less prolonged struggle, yields its place to a new idea which was till then an ideal, but which thus becomes a present idea."

From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 10, o.s., 1900, part 2

"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 10, o.s., 1900, part 5

"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, o.s., 1900

"...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, March 15, o.s., 1901

"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 Polyana, 1902

Chronology

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September 9, 1828
Birth Day.

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November 20, 1910
Death Day.

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November 16, 2016; 4:52:14 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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January 9, 2022; 6:00:39 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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