Talk:The Kingdom of God Is Within You

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I'm considering adding this to Category:Anarchism, as it is often considered an inspiration for Christian anarchism. I'll add it for now; if there are objections it can be removed if there's a good reason given. -- LGagnon 03:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Read the following extracts of "A comparison of America and Europe: "I am an individualist and as such believe in free play for the psychological nature of man. For this reason I am claimed by the anarchists...In my preachments of love and truth I am not a partisan. I condemn both revolutionist and reactionaries...My opposition to administrative power has been interpreted into opposition to all government. This, however, is not true. I oppose only violence and the view that might makes right." It seems pretty clear to me that Tolstoï is not an anarchist, even though some may claim him. The category "anarchist" only presents one side of the matter; yes indeed he opposes governement, armies, war, etc, but is this sufficient to use that aspect of his thought to place him among others that are "against" this of that ? I do not think so. For instance, in the work entitled "patriotism and christianism," Tolstoi expresses the same ideas than N. Chomsky in "Media, propagande and démocratie," - you probably understand which book I mean - but this does not make Tolstoï an anarchist, because Chomsky call himself like that. Civil disobedience of Thoreau was "civilized" disobedience, and it is important to keep that belief in an order, may it be love, or nature, when reading these authors. Tolstoï is a Christian. So tell me, are Adin Ballou, M. K. Gandhi, M. Luther King, Oscar Romero anarchists ? Absolutely not. As soon as we begin to study the French XVIIth century, we realize that J.-J Rousseau was not alike any other atheists of his time, such as Diderot and Voltaire. When we put them all together it is only when we choose a title like "XVIIth century," which does not mean much. So, if you want to place Tolsoi in any category at all, pu him under "non-resistance" with A. Ballou, or under "non-violence" with Ballou, Gandhi, Romero, Luther King etc. Although very much interesting, the book of N. Chomsky, are philosophically rather thin compared to most authors I have mentionned to you. Anarchists are strickly speaking "reactionaries," which Tolstoi condemned, etc. Andre, Quebec

Further thoughts: There is a definition of anarchy which is "disorder resulting from the absence of an authority." And the oppposite of this meaning is "order." Tolstoy explained in the kingdom of God is within you, when discussing the transition from the pagan (or social) life-conception to the divine life-conception, that one should submit his own personnality to the others (and we understand that he meant the family, nay, even the state, in the social life-conception, because he had just discussed it before), but one should also submit any involvement with others (family, state...) to God. Thus Tolstoy is talking like Thoreau: he did not aim at the simple disappearance of all governements, what he wanted was an immediate improvement of governements. He clearly neither promoted disorder, nor rejected all authorities. (The relationship of TOlstoy with Ballou and Gandhi may be considered under this aspect of the question.) There is a second definition of anarchy, which sounds as something good: it consist in saying that "all authority must be rejected because all that is needed is the cooperation of everybody, etc." This is the better definition of anarchy, -in terms of good compared with evil,- but it may not be the most common. However, when Tolstoy criticized the dream of communists ans socialists, he also explained (still in the kingdom...)that to love humanity amounts to nothing at all, for one cannot love an abstraction, an idea, and there is no such thing as "humanity." So even when considering anarchy as something with a beneficial purpose, it seems that the philosophy of Tolstoy can not be considered such. I hope I made it clear that an anarchist like Chomsky is very far from the philosophy of Tolstoy, althought the first one, when he wrote his book on propaganda and democraty, has repeated many of the main ideas of the second in patriotism and christianism (1894). And I only mention Chomsky as a self-declared anarchist. If you study further the philosophy of Tolstoy, you will discover that Tolstoy is only, yes only a Christian thinker. Ivan Bounine, a russian man who already met the author himself, lived in exil in France, and wrote "La délivrance de Tolstoï" (In english, something like The freeing, or liberation, of Tolstoy, in 1939) said that all he wanted was to reveal the true image of Christ, that image now covered with so many false ideas etc. And Tolstoy was also a mystic, which is clear from his own words in the last two weeks of his life, which the book told. I have two strong arguments against the idea to classify Tolstoy as anarchist, but I have also one in favor of it. All people looking for something, searching the truth, longing for an ideal may benefit from reading the books of Tolstoy. In the end, do as you please, but ask yourself, will it really help people to know well, undestand the philosophy of Tolstoy. Will it be beneficial for people. A compromise with any reluctance to do so could be to classify him also where one expect to find Ballou, Gandhi, O Romero, Malcom X, H. Camara etc, undert opics such as "non-resistance," and philosophy of believers, because that is all they were. André, Québec (I apologize for all mistakes: I am striving for English as a second language) unsigned comment by 207.96.237.92 (talk) 07:34, 23 February 2008.

In my experience, Tolstoy's position on government was not unlike that of w:Mennonite and even w:Amish populations that emigrated to Canada. He didn't preach the overthrow of the government, but a w:Shunning of it - that it was not superior to the teachings of Christ. I think a fair amount of his disillusionment was solidified in his writings about the w:Doukhobors - who were not unlike the Mennonite/Amish populations in "ignoring" the supremacy of secular government.
However, I think it does a disservice to not classify some of Tolstoy's writings as a form of anarchist writings - the same as it would be a mistake to say that Tolstoy was not "Christian" based on the fact the Church w:excommunicated him. He presented an alternate approach to Anarchy, the same as he presented an alternate concept of Christianity...but both Anarchists and Christians would be well-served to read Tolstoy :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Honoré de Balzac 21:58, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

When you say, Sherurcij, that "it does a disservice to not classify some of Tolstoy's writings as a form of anarchist writings," do you include the Kingdom of God in such a category ? André unsigned comment by 207.253.242.242 (talk) 20:55, 25 February 2008.

While I don't think it opposes his "other" writings, I think works like Patriotism and Government are much more clear on Tolstoy's "anarchist" mindset. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Honoré de Balzac 00:34, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Still Chomsky could have written most of the first 15 or 16 chapter, but not the two last ones... unsigned comment by 207.96.237.83 (talk) 07:24, 27 February 2008.

Sorry, I was thinking about "patriotism and christianity"; it is either one or the other... That's all for me, good luck ! unsigned comment by 207.96.237.97 (talk) 05:26, 7 March 2008.

I would like to attract your attention to the fact that there are important differences in the ENGLISH VERSIONS of "The kingdom of god is within you" by C. GARNETT and that of DELANO. These differences are very obvious in the Declaration of Sentiments of Garrison (chap. I.). In order to have further information on that Declaration, I finally obtain Garisson's biography in four volumes (archive.org) published by two of his sons. Constance Garnett's version is much shorter, because he has excluded (almost) all terms taken from the Bible, or quotations from the Bible; Delano's version was exactly like the version in Garrison's biography (except for two words: where Delano gave "Principle" of Peace, the biography - and others websites - gives "Prince" of Peace; and somewhere, the word "ennemy", - if I remember well - is also absent from Delano's version, in contrast to the biography). The result of this, my overall impression of these differences, is that the Declaration of Sentiment sounds more Christian in Delano's version, - because of St-Paul's terminology - whereas, in some sense, it is like if Garnett had presented the Declaration like an anarchy manifesto. Delano's version was originally the version approved by Tolstoy, who may later have approved all versions of his works. Still, Delano's version seems better that of Garnett (which is however the only one of the two translators to add a preface to the work) - I am sorry for my English mistakes - André B, Québec

I must add that I have noticed recently that Garnett gave a more litteral translation of Maupassant and Edouard Rod than Delano, when compared to the original texts in French (Sur l'eau and Le sens de la vie).

Thus, you have decided to associated to Tolstoy to "anarchism". I do believe I had "major" arguments against doing so; and am I left without any reply to these arguments. If you were a scientist, receiving "major" criticism, you would have to fundamentally review all your experiments, before they would be worth publishing; as to "minor" comments, it would be sufficient to reply, or change a few details, before it would prove acceptable for publication. So, here is my simple question: is the editorial commity of Wikisource able to reconciliate divergent opinions ? Are they in such a hurry that they may, as I still believe, build Wikisource on such misleading links ? For NOBODY AS EVER REPLIED TO ME ABOUT WHAT I HAVE SUBMIT ABOUT THE SUBJECT, supposedly under discussion. AB, Quebec.