Started by selkie, Jul 22, 2006, 11:06 PM
Hmm.. I thought libertarianism is about small government, not no government at all? That would be anarchism, no?
The Kingdom of God Is Within YouFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(Redirected from The Kingdom of God is Within You)Jump to: navigation, search The 1st English edition of The Kingdom of God Is Within You, 1894. The Kingdom of God is Within You is a non-fiction work written by Leo Tolstoy and was first published in Germany in 1894, after being banned in his home country of Russia. The title of the book is taken from Luke 17:21. In the book Tolstoy speaks of the principle of nonresistance when confronted by violence, as taught by Jesus:"But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39). Tolstoy presented excerpts from magazines and newspapers relating various personal experiences, and gave keen insight into the history of nonresistance as being professed by a prominent minority of believers from the very foundation of Christianity.Tolstoy recounted challenges by various people of all classes that his views on nonresistance were wrong, but argued that no matter how the challengers tried to attack the doctrine, its essence could not be overcome, as illustrated by the biblical illustration of perhaps the first occurrence of nonresistance:"And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out [his] hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26:50-52). Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth (available at wikisource) that this book "overwhelmed me" and "left an abiding impression".Many consider The Kingdom of God is Within You to be a key text for Tolstoyan, Christian anarchist, and nonviolent resistance movements worldwide.
Do you know what this summer has meant for me? Constant raptures over Schopenhauer and a whole series of spiritual delights which I've never experienced before. ... no student has ever studied so much on his course, and learned so much, as I have this summer.-- Tolstoy's Letter to A.A. Fet, August 30, 1869In Chapter VI of A Confession, Tolstoy quoted the final paragraph of Schopenhauer's work. In this paragraph, the German philosopher explained how the nothingness that results from complete denial of self is only a relative nothingness and not to be feared. Tolstoy was struck by the description of Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu ascetic renunciation as being the path to holiness. After reading passages such as the following, which abound in Schopenhauer's ethical chapters, Tolstoy, the Russian nobleman, chose poverty and denial of the will.But this very necessity of involuntary suffering (by poor people) for eternal salvation is also expressed by that utterance of the Savior (Matthew 19:24): "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Therefore those who were greatly in earnest about their eternal salvation, chose voluntary poverty when fate had denied this to them and they had been born in wealth. Thus Buddha Sakyamuni was born a prince, but voluntarily took to the mendicant's staff; and Francis of Assisi, the founder of the mendicant orders who, as a youngster at a ball, where the daughters of all the notabilities were sitting together, was asked: "Now Francis, will you not soon make your choice from these beauties?" and who replied: "I have made a far more beautiful choice!" "Whom?" "La poverta (poverty)": whereupon he abandoned every thing shortly afterwards and wandered through the land as a mendicant.-- Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. II, §170Tolstoy's Christian beliefs were based on the Sermon on the Mount, and particularly on the phrase about turn the other cheek, which he saw as a justification for pacifism, nonviolence and nonresistance. Tolstoy believed being a Christian made him a pacifist and, due to the military force used by his government, being a pacifist made him an anarchist. He felt very isolated in these beliefs, suffering on occasion with depression so severe that whenever he saw a rope he thought of hanging himself, and he hid his guns and stopped hunting to stop himself from committing suicide. He talks about his struggle with suicide Chapters 4-7 of his book A Confession.Tolstoy believed that a true Christian could find lasting happiness by striving for inner self-perfection through following the Great Commandment of loving one's neighbor and God rather than looking outward to the Church or state for guidance and meaning. His belief in nonresistance (nonviolence) when faced by conflict is another distinct attribute of his philosophy based on Christ's teachings. By directly influencing Mahatma Gandhi with this idea through his work The Kingdom of God is Within You (full text of English translation available on Wikisource), Tolstoy has had a huge influence on the nonviolent resistance movement to this day. He believed that the aristocracy were a burden on the poor, and that the only solution to how we live together is through anarchism. He also opposed private property and the institution of marriage and valued the ideals of chastity and sexual abstinence (discussed in Father Sergius and his preface to The Kreutzer Sonata), ideals also held by the young Gandhi. Tolstoy's later work is often criticised as being overly didactic and patchily written, but derives a passion and verve from the depth of his austere moral views. The sequence of the temptation of Sergius in Father Sergius, for example, is among his later triumphs. Gorky relates how Tolstoy once read this passage before himself and Chekhov and that Tolstoy was moved to tears by the end of the reading. Other later passages of rare power include the crises of self faced by the protagonists of The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man, where the main character (in Ilyich) or the reader (in Master and Man) is made aware of the foolishness of the protagonists' lives.