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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 12
    one day or even for one hour The municipal governments of all those cities in which our sailors were ordered to stay set aside vast sums averaging more than one hundred thousand rubles for the arrangement of all kinds of festivities and amusements and expressed their willingness to expend even greater sums as much as should be needed provided the welcome and the celebrations should be as magnificent as possible In Paris itself a private committee collected an immense sum by private subscription for the arrangement of amusements in addition to the sum set aside by the city government for this purpose The French government assigned more than one hundred thousand rubles for expenses incurred by the ministers and other authorities in welcoming the guests In many cities where our sailors will not set foot at all they nonetheless decided to celebrate the first of October with all kinds of festivities in honor of Russia A vast number of cities and provinces decided to send special deputations to Toulon and Paris in order to welcome the Russian guests and to offer them presents to remember France by or to send to them letters and telegrams of welcome It was decided everywhere to consider the first of October a national holiday and to dismiss the pupils of all the educational institutions for that day and in Paris for two days Officials of lower rank had their penalties remitted that they might gratefully remember the first of October as a joyful day for France To make it easier for those who wished to visit Toulon and take part in the welcome to the Russian squadron the railways lowered the rates to one half and sent out special trains By means of a whole series of universal simultaneous measures which the government can always take by the power it wields a certain part of the nation preeminently the scum of the people is brought to a condition of abnormal excitement and they say Behold this is the free expression of the will of the whole nation Manifestations like those which just took place in Toulon and in Paris take place in Germany at the meeting of the emperor or of Bismarck and are constantly repeated in Russia at every meeting circumstanced with solemnity They prove only that the means of an artificial excitation of the people which are now in the hands of the governments and the ruling classes are so powerful that they are always able to provoke any kind of spectacle they may wish by rousing the patriotic sentiments of the masses Nothing on the contrary proves the absence of patriotism in the masses with such obviousness as those tense efforts which are now made by the governments and the ruling classes for the artificial excitation of patriotism and the insignificant results that are obtained in spite of all the efforts If patriotic sentiments are so proper to the nations they should be permitted to manifest themselves freely and should not

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 13
    the expense of other states and nations This is a tendency that is directly opposed to the fundamental moral law recognized by all men not to do to another what we do not wish to have done to ourselves Patriotism may have been a virtue in the ancient world when it demanded of man that he serve the highest ideal accessible to him at the time the ideal of his country But how can patriotism be a virtue in our time when it demands of men what is directly opposed to what forms the ideal of our religion and morality It demands not the recognition of the equality and brotherhood of all men but the recognition of one state and nationality as predominating over all the others This sentiment is not only not a virtue in our time but unquestionably a vice No such sentiment of patriotism in its true sense does or can exist in our time because the material and moral foundations for it are lacking Patriotism could have had some sense in the ancient world when every nation more or less homogeneous in its structure professing one and the same state religion and submitting to the same unlimited power of its supreme deified ruler appeared to itself as an island in the ocean of the barbarians which ever threatened to inundate it We can see how patriotism was a natural feeling with such a state of affairs It was the desire to ward off the attacks of the barbarians who were not only prepared to destroy the social order but who also threatened wholesale plundering and murder with the enslavement of men and the rape of women We can see why a man could have preferred his nation to all the others to free himself and his compatriots from such calamities and why he could experience a hostile feeling toward the barbarians around him and could kill them in order to protect his nation But what significance can this sentiment have in our Christian time On what ground and for what purpose can a man of our time a Russian go and kill Frenchmen or Germans He must know full well no matter how little educated he may be that the men of the other state and nation against whom they are rousing his patriotic hostility are not barbarians but just such Christians as he They are frequently of the same faith and profession with him desiring like him nothing but peace and a peaceful exchange of labor They are for the most part united with him either by the interests of common labor or by commercial or spiritual interests or by all these factors together Thus the men of another country are frequently nearer and more indispensable to a man than his own countrymen as is the case with laborers who are connected with employers of other nationalities and as is the case with commercial people and especially with scholars and artists Besides the conditions of

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 14
    the great nations war breaks out on the slightest pretence and the Germans find it necessary to recognize these inhabitants once more as Germans Ill will flames up in all the French and the Germans toward one another Or Germans and Russians are living peacefully near the border exchanging their labor and the products of labor Suddenly the same institutions that exist only in the name of the pacification of the nations begin to quarrel do one foolish thing after another and are not able to invent anything better than the coarsest childish method of self inflicted punishment if only they can thus have their will and do something nasty to their adversary which in this case is especially advantageous since not those who start a customs war but others suffer from it Thus the Customs War between Russia and Germany was lately started Then with the aid of the newspapers there flames up a malevolent feeling which is fanned still further by the Franco Russian celebrations and which may lead to a sanguinary war before we know it I have cited the last two examples of the manner in which the governments affect the people by rousing in them a hostile feeling toward other nations because they are contemporary But there is not one war in all history that was not provoked by the governments and by the governments alone independently of the advantages to their respective nations to which war even if it is successful is always harmful The governments assure the nations that they are in danger of an incursion from other nations and from internal enemies and that the only salvation from this danger consists in the slavish obedience of the nations to their governments This is most obvious in the time of revolutions and dictatorships and this takes place at all times and in all places wherever there is power Every government explains its existence and justifies all its violence by insisting that if it did not exist things would be worse By assuring the people that they are in danger the governments subjugate them When the nations submit to the governments these governments compel their nations to attack the other nations Thus the assurances of their governments in regard to the danger from being attacked by other nations are confirmed in this manner Divide et impera 9 Patriotism in its simplest dearest and most unquestionable significance is for the rulers nothing but a tool for attaining their ambitious and selfish ends and for the ruled a renunciation of human dignity reason conscience and a slavish submission to those who are in power Thus is patriotism actually preached wherever it is preached Patriotism is slavery The advocates of peace through arbitration say that two animals cannot divide their prey otherwise than by fighting as do children barbarians and barbarous nations But sensible people settle their differences by discussion conviction and submitting solution of the question to disinterested sensible men Even thus must the sensible nations

    Original URL path: http://www.nonresistance.org/docs_htm/Tolstoy/~On_Patriotism/OP_chapter14.html (2016-04-28)
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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 15
    a mere demand to carry out the commands of the government no longer suffices It becomes necessary to obscure the true conceptions that the masses have concerning life and to impress them with improper ideas concerning the conditions of their life and the relation of other nations toward them And so thanks to the diffusion of the press and the means of communication the governments inculcate on the masses the wildest and most perverse conceptions about their advantages properties intentions and the relation of the peoples among themselves The governments have their agents everywhere and accomplish this by means of decrees church sermons the schools and the newspapers The masses which are so crushed by labor that they have no time and no chance to understand the significance and verify the correctness of those conceptions which are inculcated upon them and of those demands which are made on them in the name of their good submit to them without a murmur But the men from the masses who free themselves from constant labor who educate themselves and who it would seem should be able to understand the deception that is practiced upon them are subjected to intensified menaces bribery and hypnotization by the governments They almost without an exception pass over to the side of the governments and accepting advantageous and well paid positions as teachers priests officers and officials become participants in the dissemination of the deception that ruins their fellow men It is as though a snare stood at the door of education into which inevitably fall those who in one way or another leave the masses that are absorbed in labor At first as one comes to understand the cruelty of the deception there involuntarily rises an indignation against those who produce this cruel deception for their personal selfish advantage They destroy not only men s bodies but also their souls and one feels like exposing these cruel deceivers But the point is that the deceivers do not deceive because they want to deceive but because they almost cannot do otherwise And they do not deceive in any Machiavellian way with a consciousness of the deception that they practice For the most part they do it with the naive assurance that they are doing something good and elevated in which opinion they are constantly maintained by the sympathy and approval of all the men who surround them It is true that dimly feeling that their power and their advantageous position is based on this deception they are involuntarily drawn toward it They do not act because they wish to deceive the masses but because they think that the work they are doing is useful for the masses Thus emperors kings and their ministers performing their coronations maneuvers inspections and mutual visits dressing themselves up in all kinds of uniforms travelling from one place to another and consulting with one another with serious faces about how to pacify presumably hostile nations who will never think of fighting with

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 16
    republic in its place That only seems so when we view the external manifestations of that public opinion which is artificially produced by the governments We need only take public opinion in its relation to the whole lives of men and we shall see that public opinion just like the time of the day or year never stands in one place but is always in motion It is always marching unrestrictedly ahead along the path on which humanity proceeds just as in spite of retardations and waverings day or spring moves on unrestrictedly along the path over which the sun travels Thus though the condition of the nations of Europe in our time is nearly the same that it was fifty years ago by the external signs the relation of the nations toward it is now entirely different Though there exist even as fifty years ago the same rulers armies wars taxes luxury and misery and the same Catholicism Orthodoxy and Lutheranism these existed before because the public opinion of the nations demanded them But now they all exist because the governments artificially maintain that which formerly was a living public opinion If we frequently do not notice this motion of public opinion as we do not notice the motion of water in a river relative to the current in which we are swimming this is due to the fact that those imperceptible changes of public opinion which form its motion are taking place in ourselves The nature of public opinion is that of constant and unrestricted motion If it seems to us that it is standing in one place this is due to the fact that everywhere there are people who have established an advantageous position for themselves at a certain moment of public opinion With all their strength they try to maintain it and try not to admit the manifestation of a new present public opinion which though not yet fully expressed is living in the consciousness of men Such people who retain the obsolete public opinion and conceal the new are all those who form the governments and the ruling classes at the present time and who profess patriotism as an indispensable condition of human life The means that are at the command of these people are enormous but since public opinion is something eternally flowing and changing all their efforts cannot help but be vain The old decays and the youthful flourishes The longer the expression of a new public opinion shall be restrained the more it will grow and the greater will be the force with which it will express itself The government and the ruling classes try with all their strength to retain that old public opinion of patriotism on which their power is based and to retard the manifestation of the new which will destroy it But it is possible to retain the old and retard the new only within certain limits just as running water can be held back by a dam

    Original URL path: http://www.nonresistance.org/docs_htm/Tolstoy/~On_Patriotism/OP_chapter16.html (2016-04-28)
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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 17
    force but in thought and in its clear enunciation and so they are more afraid of the expression of independent thought than of armies and establish censorships bribe newspapers and take possession of the management of religion and schools But the spiritual force that moves the world slips away from them It is not even in a book or a newspaper It is intangible and always free It is in the depth of men s consciousness The most powerful intangible and freest force is the one that is manifested in man s soul when he by himself reflects on the phenomena of the world and then involuntarily expresses his thoughts to his wife brother or friend even to all those men with whom he comes together and from whom he considers it a sin to conceal what he regards as the truth No millions of rubles no millions of soldiers and no institutions wars or revolutions will produce what will be produced by the simple expression of a free man as to what he considers just independently of what exists and what is inculcated upon him One free man will truthfully say what he thinks and feels amidst thousands of men who by their acts and words affirm the very opposite It would seem that the man who frankly expressed his thought would remain alone while in reality it happens that all those men or the majority of them have long been thinking and feeling the same but have not expressed their thought What yesterday was the new opinion of one man today becomes the common opinion of all men And as soon as this opinion has established itself men s acts begin to change imperceptibly slowly but irresistibly As it is every free man says to himself What can I do against all this sea of evil and deceit which inundates me Why should I give expression to my thought Why even give form to it It is better not to think of these obscure and intricate questions Maybe these contradictions form an inevitable condition of all the phenomena of life And why should I alone struggle against all this evil of the world Would it not be better if I abandoned myself to the current that sweeps me along If anything can be done it can be done only in conjunction with other men Abandoning that powerful instrument of thought and its expression which moves the world this man takes up the instrument of public activity without noticing that all public activity is based on the very principles against which he has to struggle In entering upon any public activity that exists amidst our world he must at least partially depart from the truth and make such concessions as will destroy the whole force of that powerful instrument of the struggle which is given to him It is as though a man into whose hands an unusually sharp dagger is given one that cuts everything should drive in

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  • On Patriotism - Chapter 18
    submission to them for which there are no foundations outside of patriotism would disappear Let all this be done and all that vast mass of weak men who are always guided from without will immediately sweep over to the side of the new public opinion And the new public opinion will become the ruling one in the place of the old public opinion Let the governments have possession of the schools the church the press millions of rubles and millions of disciplined men turned into machines All that apparently terrible organization of brute force is nothing in comparison with the recognition of the truth which arises in the heart of one man who knows the force of the truth and is communicated by this man to another and to a third man just as an endless number of candles are lighted from one This light need only burn and like wax before the face of a fire all this seemingly powerful organization will waste away If only men understood that terrible power which is given them in the word that expresses the truth If only men did not sell their birthright for a mess of pottage If only men made use of this power of theirs the rulers would not only not dare to threaten men with universal slaughter as they do now and to which they will drive men or not as they may see fit but would not even dare to bring the disciplined murderers out on parade or in maneuvers in the sight of peaceable citizens The governments would not dare to make and unmake customs treaties for their own profit and the advantage of their accomplices They would not dare to collect from the people those millions of rubles that they distribute to their accomplices and

    Original URL path: http://www.nonresistance.org/docs_htm/Tolstoy/~On_Patriotism/OP_chapter18.html (2016-04-28)
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  • THE SLAVERY OF OUR TIME - Chapter 2
    had been working with a wheelbarrow when he lost his balance and injured himself internally He spent what he had on doctors and curing women and has been these eight years begging and without a home and murmurs against God for not sending death to him How many such ruined lives there are which we either know nothing of or if we know do not notice thinking that it is right as it is I know laborers at the furnaces in a Tula iron foundry who to have every second Sunday free work twenty four hours in succession I have seen these laborers They all drink liquor to brace themselves and just like those freight handlers at the railroad are rapidly losing not only the interest but even the capital of their lives And what about the wasting of the lives of those men who are employed in admittedly injurious labor the compositors who poison themselves with lead dust the workmen in mirror factories in card match sugar tobacco and glass factories the miners and the privy cleaners The statistical data of England say that the average length of the lives of the men of the higher classes is fifty five years but that the duration of the lives of workmen in unhealthy professions is twenty nine years It would seem that knowing this it is impossible not to know this we the men who use the labor that costs so many human lives if we are not beasts could not for a moment remain at peace And yet we well to do liberal humane people who are very sensitive not only to the sufferings of men but of animals as well continue to employ this labor try to become richer and richer use more and more of such labor

    Original URL path: http://www.nonresistance.org/docs_htm/Tolstoy/~Slavery_of_Our_Time/SOT_chapter02.html (2016-04-28)
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