Leo Tolstoy

Father of Christian Anarchism

September 9, 1828 — November 20, 1910

Description : 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)

Tags : anarchist, christian, christian anarchist, russian, novelist, writer, realist, philosopher, activist.

Quotes :

"...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.)

Biography :

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 :

Author of War and Peace (November 30, 1868)

Author of The End of the Age (November 30, 1905)

Author of On Anarchy (November 30, 1899)

Author of Church and State (November 30, 1890)

Author of A Letter to Russian Liberals (August 31, 1896)

Author of Letter to A Non-Comissioned Officer (November 30, 1897)

Author of Patriotism and Government (May 10, 1900)

Author of Thou Shalt Not Kill (August 08, 1900)

Author of To the Tsar and His Assistants (March 15, 1901)

Author of Letter to a Hindu (December 14, 1908)

Author of Gandhi Letters (November 30, 1909)

Author of To The Working People (November 30, 1901)

Author of A Confession (November 30, 1881)

Author of The Kingdom of God is Within You (November 30, 1893)

Author of The Awakening (November 30, 1898)

Author of Anna Karenina (November 30, 1876)

Author of The Kreutzer Sonata, And Other Stories (November 30, 1888)

Author of Master and Man (November 30, 1894)

Author of The Forged Coupon, And Other Stories (November 30, 1911)

Author of Father Sergius (November 30, 1897)

Author of Boyhood (November 30, 1853)

Author of Childhood (November 30, 1851)

Author of What to Do? Thoughts Evoked by the Census of Moscow (November 30, 1886)

Author of Youth (November 30, 1856)

Author of Tolstoy on Shakespeare (November 30, 1905)

Author of What Men Live By (November 30, 1884)

Author of The Cossacks (November 30, 1862)

Author of Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists (November 30, 1903)

Author of Sevastopol (November 30, 1887)

Author of A Russian Proprietor, and Other Stories (December 05, 1887)

Author of My Religion (November 30, 1883)

Author of What Shall We Do? (November 30, 1903)

Author of The Journal of Leo Tolstoi, Volume 1 (November 30, 1916)

Author of Bethink Yourselves! (November 30, 1903)

Author of Fruits of Culture (November 30, 1888)

Author of Three Days in the Village (November 30, 1908)

Author of I Cannot be Silent! (July 15, 1908)

Author of The Slavery Of Our Times (November 30, 1899)

Author of The State (November 30, 1904)

Author of On the Significance of Science and Art (November 30, 1886)

Author of Family Happiness (November 30, 1858)

Author of Resurrection (November 30, 1898)

Author of Where Love is There God is Also (November 30, 1886)

Author of The Inevitable Revolution (July 05, 1909)

Author of The Death of Ivan Ilyich (November 30, 1885)

Author of Hadji Murad (November 30, 1903)

Author of What is Art? (November 30, 1896)

Author of The Power of Darkness (November 30, 1885)

Author of Tolstoy for the Young (November 30, 1915)

Author of The Invaders, and Other Stories (November 30, 1886)

Author of The Cause of it All (November 30, 1909)

Author of The First Distiller (November 30, 1885)

Author of Albert (November 30, 1857)

Author of The Decembrists (November 30, 1867)

Author of The Devil (November 30, 1888)

Author of Diary of a Lunatic (November 30, 1902)

Author of Early Days (December 31, 1969)

Author of First Recollections (June 09, 1878)

Author of A History of Yesterday (November 30, 1948)

Author of Last Will and Testament (November 30, 1921)

Author of The Light Shines in Darkness (November 30, 1889)

Author of A Morning of a Landed Proprietor (November 30, 1851)

Author of The Overthrow of Hell and Its Restoration (November 07, 1902)

Author of Polikushka (November 30, 1861)

Author of Redemption (November 30, 1899)

Author of Two Hussars (November 30, 1855)

Author of The Cutting of the Forest (November 30, 1854)

Author of Recollections of a Billiard-marker (November 30, 1854)

Author of Lucerne (July 20, 1857)

Author of Three Deaths [Dole Translation] (November 30, 1858)

Author of Three Deaths [Bain Translation] (November 30, 1858)

Author of The Captive in the Caucasus (November 30, 1871)

Author of Astonishing Creatures (November 30, 1879)

Author of An Old Acquaintance (November 30, 1886)

Author of The Coffee-House of Surat (November 30, 1886)

Author of Too Expensive! (November 30, 1898)

Author of After the Dance (November 30, 1902)

Author of Posthumous Notes of the Hermit Fedor Kuzmích (November 30, 1904)

Author of Alyosha the Pot (November 30, 1904)

Author of The Porcelain Doll (November 30, 1862)

Author of A Dialogue Among Clever People (November 30, 1891)

Author of Work, Death and Sickness (November 30, 1902)

Author of Three Questions (November 30, 1902)

Author of Walk in the Light While There is Light (November 30, 1892)

Author of The Bear Hunt (November 30, 1871)

Author of The Two Brothers and the Gold (November 30, 1884)

Author of The Two Brothers and the Gold (November 30, 1884)

Author of Elias (November 30, 1884)

Author of Elias (November 30, 1884)

Author of Evil Allures, But Good Endures (November 30, 1884)

Author of Evil Allures, But Good Endures [Bain Translation] (November 30, 1884)

Author of Little Girls Wiser Than Men (November 30, 1884)

Author of A Spark Neglected Burns the House (November 30, 1884)

Author of Two Old Men (November 30, 1884)

Author of The Candle (November 30, 1884)

Author of The Story of Ivan the Fool (November 30, 1885)

Author of The Story of Iván the Fool (Translated by the Maudes) (November 30, 1885)

Author of The Three Hermits (November 30, 1885)

Author of Where Love Is, God Is (November 30, 1884)

Author of The Imp and the Crust (November 30, 1885)

Author of How the Little Devil Earned the Crust of Bread (November 30, 1899)

Author of The Repentant Sinner (November 30, 1885)

Author of A Grain as Big as a Hen's Egg (November 30, 1885)

Author of How Much Land Does a Man Need? (November 30, 1885)

Author of The Godson (November 30, 1885)

Author of The Godfather (November 30, 1893)

Author of The Empty Drum (November 30, 1890)

Author of Three Parables (November 30, 1894)

Author of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (November 30, 1902)

Author of Exiled to Siberia (November 30, 1886)

Author of Fables Paraphrased from the Indian and Imitations (November 30, 1898)

Author of The Great Bear (November 30, 1915)

Author of Stories from the New Speller (November 30, 1901)

Author of Stories of My Dogs (November 30, 1887)

Author of Scenes from Common Life (November 30, 1887)

Author of Tales from Zoology (December 31, 1969)

Author of Yermak, the Conqueror of Siberia (November 30, 1898)

Author of Twenty Three Tales (November 30, 1905)

Author of The Kreutzer Sonata (November 30, 1890)

Author of Who Should Learn Writing of Whom; Peasant Children of Us, or We of Peasant Children? (November 30, 1861)

Author of The Gospel in Brief (November 30, 1886)

Author of The Feast of Enlightenment of January Twenty-Four (November 30, 1888)

Author of Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves? (November 30, 1889)

Author of Why Do People Stupefy Themselves? (N.H. Dole Translation) (November 30, 1889)

Author of A Terrible Question (November 30, 1895)

Author of Means of Helping the Population Suffering from Bad Harvests (November 30, 1895)

Author of The First Step (November 30, 1890)

Author of Françoise (November 30, 1890)

Author of In the Midst of the Starving (November 30, 1891)

Author of Famine or Not Famine (November 30, 1897)

Author of Religion and Morality (November 30, 1899)

Author of Non-Activity (November 30, 1892)

Author of Patriotism and Christianity (November 30, 1893)

Author of The Christian Teaching (November 30, 1894)

Author of Shame! (November 30, 1894)

Author of How to Read the Gospels (November 30, 1895)

Author of To God or Mammon (November 30, 1895)

Author of The Beginning of the End (November 30, 1895)

Author of Two Wars (November 30, 1897)

Author of The Young Tsar (November 30, 1893)

Author of Carthago Delenda Est (November 30, 1898)

Author of What the Orthodox Religion Really Is (November 30, 1903)

Author of Forward to Article On Revolution (July 22, 1904)

Author of A Great Iniquity (November 30, 1904)

Author of Tolstoy On Pascal (November 30, 1905)

Author of An Appeal to Russians (November 30, 1905)

Author of The Meaning of the Russian Revolution (November 30, 1905)

Author of Why the Christians are in such Distress Now (May 17, 1907)

Author of The Law of Violence and the Law of Love (November 30, 1907)

Author of The Teaching of Christ Narrated for Children (November 30, 1907)

Author of A Comparison of America and Europe (November 30, 1908)

Author of There Are No Guilty People (November 30, 1908)

Author of Singing in the Village (November 30, 1908)

Author of Last Message to Mankind (November 30, 1908)

Author of Flow of Water (November 30, 1885)

Author of The Blessing of Love (August 21, 1908)

Author of Superstition of the State (November 30, 1909)

Author of Appeal to Social Reformers (November 30, 1918)

Author of Trust Yourself (December 31, 1969)

Author of Nikolai Palkin (November 30, 1898)

Author of Persecution of Christians in Russia (November 30, 1894)

Author of Help! (November 30, 1895)

Author of The Emigration of the Doukhobors (April 01, 1898)

Author of Tolstoy on Lincoln (February 07, 1909)

Author of Yasnaya Polyana School (September 30, 1862)

Author of Letters to Friends on the Personal Christian Life (November 30, 1899)

Author of Some Social Remedies (November 30, 1899)

Author of Thoughts on God (November 30, 1899)

Author of The Works of Guy De Maupassant (November 30, 1893)

Author of For a Single Word (November 30, 1907)

Author of Letter on the Question of William Lloyd Garrison (November 30, 1923)

Author of Letters to His Son (November 30, 1879)

Author of Letter to Great-Aunt Alexandra on Tolstoy's Children (November 30, 1871)

Author of Reason and Religion (November 30, 1893)

Author of Letter to Ernest Crosby on Non-Resistance (January 12, 1896)

Author of Letter Requesting a Nobel Prize for the Doukhobors (October 31, 1897)

Author of Tolstoy Letter on Suicide (November 30, 1897)

Author of Letter to a Chinese Gentleman (November 30, 1898)

Author of Causes of the Transvaal War (November 30, 1899)

Author of A Reply to Critics and Criticisms (November 30, 1894)

Author of Letter to Dr. Eugen Heinrich Schmitt (December 31, 1969)

Author of Letters on Henry George (December 31, 1969)

Author of Patriotism, or Peace? (November 30, 1895)

Author of Letter to the Peace Conference (December 31, 1969)

Author of Manual Labour and Intellectual Activity (November 30, 1888)

Author of Letter to N. N. (November 30, 1882)

Author of A Talk With a Wayfarer (November 30, 1908)

Author of Excommunication of Leo Tolstoy (November 30, 1900)

Author of Khodynka (November 30, 1909)

Author of Croesus and Solon (November 30, 1909)

Author of The Poor People (November 30, 1907)

Author of Meeting a Moscow Acquaintance in the Detachment (November 30, 1855)

Author of Kholstomer (November 30, 1862)

Author of A Just Judge (December 31, 1969)

Author of Must It Be So? (November 30, 1910)

Author of Love One Another (November 30, 1906)

Author of Right and Wrong (November 30, 1897)

Author of Traveler and Peasant (November 30, 1908)

Author of A Lost Opportunity (November 30, 1888)

Chronology :

September 09, 1828 : Leo Tolstoy's Birth Day.
November 20, 1910 : Leo Tolstoy's Death Day.
November 16, 2016 : Leo Tolstoy's Added.
February 21, 2022 : Leo Tolstoy's Updated.

Links :

Anarchy Archives: Leo Tolstoy Archive
Anarchist Library: Leo Tolstoy
Wikipedia: Leo Tolstoy

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