The Phaserl


We’re All Anarchists Now

by Joel Bowman, Daily

Long has man understood the definition of slavery. And long has he continued to practice it, ignoring and even mocking decent folks’ cries for its abolition.

It’s time for something new.

Were he still alive, Leo Tolstoy, a self-described “spiritualist anarchist,” would be 184 years old today. The world of 2012 could learn a lot from this towering, 19th century intellectual. For one thing, Tolstoy understood well the anarchist attitude of “live and let live,” and he spent a good many words railing against The State and its brutal, oppressive nature.

Tolstoy’s ideas on civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

He saw government for what it really is, “an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.”

At heart, Tolstoy was a lover, not a hater. In his most famous work, War and Peace, he wrote:

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1 comment to We’re All Anarchists Now

  • Scott Sando

    My favourite anarchist is William Godwin, Tolstoy comes second.

    There must be room for the imagination to exercise its powers; we must conceive and apprehend a thousand things which we do not actually witness.
    William Godwin

    Make men wise, and by that very operation you make them free. Civil liberty follows as a consequence of this; no usurped power can stand against the artillery of opinion.
    William Godwin

    God himself has no right to be a tyrant.
    William Godwin

    In cases where every thing is understood, and measured, and reduced to rule, love is out of the question.
    William Godwin

    The proper method for hastening the decay of error is by teaching every man to think for himself.
    William Godwin

    Study with desire is real activity; without desire it is but the semblance and mockery of activity.
    William Godwin

    Government will not fail to employ education, to strengthen its hands, and perpetuate its institutions.
    William Godwin

    Everything understood by the term co-operation is in some sense an evil.
    William Godwin

    Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny.
    William Godwin

    Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.
    William Godwin

    There can be no passion, and by consequence no love, where there is not imagination.
    William Godwin

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