Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/158

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grant who had been living a long time in AmericaWilliam Frey, a follower of Auguste Comte, and an exponent of Comte's "Religion of Humanity." Notwithstanding some eccentricity in his teaching, his charming personality made a deep and sympathetic impression on Tolstoy. Frey tried to induce Tolstoy to promulgate Comte's doctrine and, although he did not succeed, he gained Tolstoy's personal sympathy and deep love.

Just at this period Tolstoy studied Henry George's theory of land nationalisation and single tax. He adopted it whole-heartedly. As is known, this theory consists in the abolition of all taxes except one, namely a tax on the land, and that in proportion to its rent. By this means, it was argued, the nationalisation of the land would be accomplished, and large properties in land would be abolished without any violence or expropriation. Henry George developed his ideas in many works, the majority of which are translated into Russian.

In 1887 George Kennan, the well-known traveller in Siberia, went to see Tolstoy, but they could not agree in their views. Kennan found nonresistance to violence, especially in self-defence, absurd, and notwithstanding Tolstoy's great esteem