Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The slavery of our time
 What is religion?
 To the working people
 Religion and morality
 A few words concerning the book...
 Lev N. Tolstoy: An analysis of...
 Chronological table of events in...
 Index to life and works of...
 On the pronunciation of Russian...
 Index to thoughts and names in...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: The Complete Works of Count Tolstoy
Title: The complete works of Count Tolstoy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094187/00021
 Material Information
Title: The complete works of Count Tolstoy
Uniform Title: Works ( 1904 )
Physical Description: 24 v. : fronts., plates, ports., facsims. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Tolstoy, Leo, 1828-1910
Wiener, Leo, 1862-1939 ( ed. and tr )
Publisher: D. Estes & Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1904-05
Edition: Limited ed. Translated from the original Russian and edited by Leo Wiener.
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
festschrift   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also issued online.
General Note: Half-title.
General Note: "Édition de luxe, limited to one thousand copies." This set not numbered.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094187
Volume ID: VID00021
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 02116920
lccn - 04024594


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
        Front Matter 3
        Front Matter 4
    Half Title
        Half Title 1
        Half Title 2
        Half Title 3
        Frontispiece 1
        Frontispiece 2
        Frontispiece 3
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations 1
        List of Illustrations 2
    The slavery of our time
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    What is religion?
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 76a
        Page 76b
        Page 76c
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
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        Page 128
    To the working people
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 132a
        Page 132b
        Page 132c
        Page 133
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        Page 164
        Page 165
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        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Religion and morality
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
    A few words concerning the book "War and Peace"
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
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    Lev N. Tolstoy: An analysis of his life and works
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 204a
        Page 204b
        Page 204c
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        Page 260a
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        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 298a
        Page 298b
        Page 298c
        Page 299
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        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
    Chronological table of events in the life of Tolstoy
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
    Index to life and works of Tolstoy
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
    On the pronunciation of Russian words
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
    Index to thoughts and names in Tolstoy’s works
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
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        Page 437
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    Back Matter
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
    Back Cover
        Page 443
        Page 444
Full Text

Chin.eiur Hill

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Unters;tt of Florida







Tranlaled Iron the Oriilinal Rui.ian and Edal-d tb,
3 ,i.r rI P,.:,icL .Oc ,:. 1 f ltll. L ,j' uiIr k l rl ard Li ir, .lir



Limited to Ont I'hu-l,.iil c'upic ,

of which tliill i,

No. 411

Copyr,'",, /.;,- .
By DANA E rF- :. Cr .i-ir,-

Entered at S.' i.,. 7 H:',

Colonial Press : Ele:tr...r c.d a. nd. I'rnri d tb.
C. H. Simonds & Co., h.,:.r,:l, Mr..., U. ,. A


PEACE" 179


TOLST6Y AND His WIFE Frontispiece




ALMOST fifteen years ago the census taken in Moscow
evoked in me a series of thoughts and sentiments which
I, as well as I could, expressed in a book, entitled What
Shall We Do Then ? Toward the end of last year,
the year 1899, I had occasion once more to reflect upon the
same questions, and the answers at which I arrived were
the same as in the book, Whiat Shall We Do Then ? but
as it seems to me that in these fifteen years I have been
able more calmly and at greater length, in connection
with the now existing and popular doctrines, once more
to reflect upon the subject which was discussed in the
book. What Shall JVe Do Then ? I now offer my readers
rnew proofs, which bring us to the same answers as before.
I think that these arguments may be useful to people
vh.li me sincerely striving after an elucidation of their
p1.:.iti:,an in society and to a clear determination of the
ni,::l obligations which arise from this position, and so I
print them.
Th.: fundamental idea, both of that book and of the
pre'';,it article, is the rejection of violence. This rejec-
ti.or I learned and came to understand from the Gospel,
whe-re it is most clearly expressed in the words, "An eye
for nu eye . that is, you have been taught to use vio-


lence against violence, but I teach you to offer the other
cheek, when you are smitten, that is, to endure violence,
but not to offer it." I know that these great words,
thanks to the frivolously perverse and mutually concord-
ant interpretations of the liberals and of the church, will
for the majority of so-called cultured people be the cause
why they will not read the article, or why they will read
it with a bias; none the less I place these words at the
head of the present article.
I cannot keep people who call themselves enlightened
from regarding the Gospel teaching as an obsolete guid-
ance of life which was long ago outlived by humanity.
It is my business to point out the source from which I
drew the knowledge of the truth which is still far from
being cognized by all men, and which alone can free peo-
ple from their calamities. And this I am doing.
June 28, 1900.

A WEIGHER serving on the Moscow-Kazan Railway, with
whom I am acquainted, told me, in a conversation which
I had with him, that peasants who load freight on his
scales work for thirty-six hours in succession.
In spite of my full confidence in the truthfulness of my
interlocutor, I could not believe him. I thought that he
was either mistaken, or was exaggerating, or that I had
not understood him correctly.
But the weigher went on to give me such details about
the conditions under which this work takes place, that no
room for doubt was left. According to his story there
are 250 such freight-hands on the Moscow-Kazin Road.
They are divided into parties of five, and work by con-
tract, receiving from one rouble to one rouble and fifteen
kopeks per thousand puds of freight loaded or unloaded.
They come in the morning, work a day and a night
unloading, and immediately after the end of the night, in
the morning, start to load up, and thus work for another
day. Thus they sleep but one night in forty-eight hours.
Their work consists in throwing out and taking away
bales weighing seven, eight, and even ten puds. Two
men hoist the bales on the shoulders of the other three,
and these carry the load. By such labour they earn one
rouble per day, out of which they have to feed them-
selves. They work continuously, without holidays.
The weigher's story was so circumstantial that it was
impossible to doubt it, but I none the less decided to
verify it, and so went to the freight station.
Upon finding my acquaintance at the freight station,


I told him that I had come to look at what he had told
"Nobody to whom I tell it is willing to beliertv it,"
I said.
Nikita," the weigher, without answering me, turried
to some one in the shed, "come here !"
Out of the door stepped a tall, slim labourer, in a torn
"When did you begin working?"
When ? Yesterday morning."
Where were you during the night ?"
"Where else, but at the unloading ?"
Did you work at night ?" I asked this time.
"Of course, I worked."
"And when did you come here to-day ?"
"In the morning, what a question !"
"And when will you get through with your work ?"
"When they discharge me, then shall I get through."
Four more labourers, out of a party of five, came up to
They were all without fur coats, in torn undercoats,
although it was twenty degrees R4aumur below zero.
I asked them about the details of their work, evidently
puzzling them with my interest in what to them was so
simple and natural a thing as thirty-six hours' work.
They were all villagers, for the most part my country-
men, from the Government of Tuila; there were also
some from Or6l and others from Vordnezh. They live in
Moscow in hired rooms, some with their families, but for
the most part alone. Those who live alone send their
earnings home.
They board singly with their landlords. Their board
comes to ten roubles per month, and they eat meat at all
times without keeping the fasts.
They are at work, not thirty-six hours in succession,
but always more, because they lose more than half an


hour in going from their quarters and coming back, and,
besides, are frequently kept at work for more than the set
time. With such thirty-seven hours' work in succession
they earn twenty-five roubles per month, out of which
they have to pay for their board.
In reply to my question as to why they do such con-
vict labour, they answered:
"What else shall we do?"
But why work thirty-six hours in succession ? Can't
you arrange it in such a way as to work by relays?"
"That's what we are told to do."
But why do you consent ?"
We consent, because we have to make a living. If
you do not want to, go If you are an hour late, you
get your discharge, and march! There are ten other
men who are ready to take your place."
The labourers were all young people; only one of them
was older, somewhere above forty. They all had emaci-
ated, careworn faces and weary eyes, as though they had
be.u drinking. The slim labourer with whom I had first
l-,iun to speak struck me more especially by this strange
wea riness of his look. I asked him whether he had not
bad something to drink that day.
I do not drink," he answered, as without thinking
always answer people who really do not drink.
-- And I do not smoke, either," he added.
And do the others drink?" I asked.
Yes, they do. They bring it here."
It is no light work. It will give you strength, all the
same," said a middle-aged labourer.
This labourer had had some liquor on that day, but he
. id not show it at all.
After some further talk with the labourers, I went to
tale a look at the unloading.
After passing between long rows of all kinds of mer-
chandise, I came to some labourers who were slowly


moving a loaded car. The shifting of the cars and the
clearing of the platforms from snow, as I later learned,
the labourers are obliged to do without any remuneration.
It even says so in the contract. These labourers were as
ragged and as emaciated as those with whom I talked.
When they had rolled the car up to the place wanted, and
stopped, I went up to them and asked them when they
had begun working, and when they had had their dinner.
I was told that they had begun to work at seven o'clock
and had just had their dinner.
"We had to have dinner after work was through,-
they did not let us go."
"And when will they let you go?"
Any time. It may be as late as ten o'clock," replied
the labourers, as though priding themselves on their
endurance in work.
Seeing my interest in their condition, the labourers
surrounded me, and, speaking several at a time, apparently
taking me for a chief, informed me, what evidently formed
their chief grievance, that the quarters where at times
they could warm themselves or fall asleep for an hour,
between the day and the night work, were narrow. They
all expressed great dissatisfaction with the crowded quarters.
Some hundred men gather there, and there is no place
to lie down in; it is crowded even under the benches,"
several voices said, with dissatisfaction. Look at it
yourself, -it is not far from here."
The quarters were crowded indeed. In the room, which
was about twenty feet square, about forty men could find
places on the benches.
Several labourers followed me into the room, and all of
them, interrupting one another, angrily complained of the
crowded condition of the quarters. "There is even no
place to lie down under the benches," they said.
At first it seemed strange to me that all these men,
who in a cold of twenty below zero, without fur coats, for


the p-ri..l :.1f thirty-seven hours carried ten-pud weights
:n tliL-i hI..aks, who were not allowed to go to dinner and
lJl.p":-r \wL.. it was time to, but when it so pleased the
.itllo:,riti,-. and who, in general, were in an infinitely
w.:.- suitee than the dray-horses, should complain of
n.:thitnu lbut the crowded condition of their warming-
p1 :-. At tirst this seemed strange to me, but, when I
reflected on their condition, I understood what an agoniz-
ing experience it must be for these men, who do not get
enough sleep and are frozen, when, instead of resting and
warming themselves, they crawl over a dirty floor under
the benches, and there feel only weaker and more tired
in the close, infected atmosphere.
No doubt, they only in this agonizing hour of a vain
attempt at sleeping feel painfully the whole terror of their
thirty-seven hours' work, which ruins their lives, and so
are more especially provoked by this seemingly unimpor-
tant circumstance,- the crowded condition of the quarters.
After watching several of their parties at work and speak-
ing with some of the labourers, and hearing one and the
same thing from all of them, I went home, fully convinced
that what my acquaintance told me was the truth.
It was true that for money, which gives nothing but
their sustenance to men who consider themselves free,
these men find it necessary to hire themselves out for
work to which in the times of serf law not one serf-
owner, even the most cruel, would have sent out his
slaves. Why, not even a hack-owner would send out
his horse, because his horse cost money, and it is not
profitable to shorten the life of a costly animal by
means of thirty-seven hours of the hardest kind of work.

It is not merely cruel, but even unprofitable, to make
men work for thirty-seven hours in succession, without


any sleep. And yet such unprofitable exploitation of
human lives is taking place all about us without inter-
Opposite the house in which I live there is a factory of
silk articles, which has all the latest technical improve-
ments. In it live and work about three thousand women
and seven hundred men. Just as I am sitting here, in
my house, I hear the continuous rumble of machinery,
and I know, for I have been there, what this rumble
means. Three thousand women stand for twelve hours
at the looms, amidst a deafening noise, winding, unwind-
ing, spinning silk threads for the production of silk stuffs.
All the women, with the exception of those who have
just come from the villages, have an unhealthy appear-
ance. The majority of them lead a very incontinent and
immoral life; nearly all the married and unmarried
women immediately after childbirth send their children
either into the country or into a foundling house, where
eighty per cent. of these children perish; and the mothers,
not to lose their places, go back to work one or two days
after childbirth.
Thus, in the period of twenty years that I have known
this, tens of thousands of young, healthy women have
been ruining their lives and those of their children, in
order to produce velvet and silk stuffs.
Yesterday I met a young beggar of a powerful build,
whose spine was curved and who was walking with
crutches. He had been working with a wheelbarrow,
when he lost his balance and injured himself internally.
He spent what he had with doctors and curing-women,
and has been these eight years without a home, has been
begging, 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 in a Tiila iron foundry labourers at the fur-
na: s. \i-,., t... have every second Sunday free, work
tWLeWi -t,:-'ur hour- In succession. I have seen these
latbourr<~. Th,-y all drink liquor, to brace themselves,
aul, ji.ct lil-k th.-:,- treight-handlers at the railroad, obvi-
ously 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 labour, the compositors, who poison them-
selves with lead dust, the workmen in mirror factories, in
card, match, sugar, tobacco, glass factories, the miners,
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 work-
men 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 labour that costs
so many human lives, if we are no 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 labour, try to become richer and richer,
that is, to use more and more of such labour, and remain
completely at peace.
Having, for example, learned of the thirty-seven-hour
work of the freight-handlers and of their bad quarters, we
will immediately send there a well-paid inspector, will
not allow any work above twelve hours, leaving the third
of the labourers who are deprived of their income to live
as they please, will even compel the railroad to build
commodious and ample quarters for the labourers, and
then we shall with absolutely calm consciences receive
and transport goods by this road and receive a salary,
dividends, rentals from houses, from land, and so forth.
And, upon learning that women and girls, who live in


the silk factory, far ,aw- y fr .L im thl-ii -nir:L: roI d -Tnidlt.
temptations, are rlunmm tlilr.:,zl'.I.s ,iu' thIn :bi.hdt.ien
that the greater iput :t thi,: Iunudle..-, '\wh:.: Il.u ':11
starched shirts, and .:.[ ti,: c.:.ill-.sit: r- .. :',i.. ,t-.t ul enuter-
taining books for us, -o'w ,:i.iu'! lti't I. wi.e clA.Ail r(,ly
shrug our shoulde-rs and.l s. thit v.e ar:- \i-ry zo:rr.y tlat
this is so, but that wc. a-re ut'I l.:.le t.:. i'.: ainythinu t:. pr-
vent this, and we shall continue with an *:acy c:,Unc,,-,.: c
to purchase silk stuffs, to wear starched -lhit. rin:l t.:.
read the newspapers in the morning. We ar- v\'ry uiu:ch
concerned about the resting spells of colninm'l.ll cl:-rl.;,
still more about the overexertion of our children in the
gymnasia, strictly forbid the draymen to overload their
horses, and even so arrange the slaughtering of the
animals in the slaughter-houses that the animals shall
suffer as little as possible. What remarkable eclipse
shrouds us the moment we touch on those millions of
labourers who on all sides slowly and often painfully kill
themselves with that work which we use for our conve-
niences and pleasures!
This remarkable eclipse that the people of our circle
suffer from may be explained only by this, that when
people act badly, they always invent such a world-con-
ception for themselves that their evil deeds may not
appear as evil, but as the consequences of invariable laws
which are beyond their power. In antiquity such a
world-conception consisted in this, that there exists God's
inexplicable and invariable will, which for some deter-
mined a low position and work, and for others a high
position and the enjoyment of the goods of life.
Upon the theme of this world-conception a vast number
of books were written and an endless number of sermons
delivered. This theme was worked out from the most
various sides. It was proved that God created different


iLnds ,f men, :lves and masters, and that both ought to
satfii-.Il with tlhir situation; then it was proved that
tlh. sla,'.ws w:viild I.- better off in the world to come; then
it v.as nmad.e clear that, although the slaves were slaves
and iust remain such, their situation would not be bad,
if their masters were merciful to them; then, after the
liberation of the slaves, the last explanation was, that
wealth was entrusted to some people that they might use
part of it for good acts, and that in this case the wealth
of some and the poverty of the others did not represent
anything bad.
These explanations for a long time satisfied both the
poor and the rich, especially the latter. But the time
came when these explanations became insufficient, espe-
cially for those who began to understand their condition
of poverty. Then new explanations were needed, and
just at that time these new explanations made their
appearance. These appeared in the form of science,-
political economy, which asserts that it has found the
laws according to which labour and the use of its produc-
tions are distributed among men. These laws, according
to the doctrine of this science, consist in this, that the
distribution of labour and the use of it depends on supply
and demand, on capital, interest, wages, prices, profit, etc.,
in general on invariable laws which condition men's
economical activity.
On this theme there were in a short time written not
fewer books and pamphlets and delivered not fewer lec-
tures than there had been written treatises and delivered
theological sermons on the previous theme, and even now
they incessantly write mountains of books and pamphlets
and deliver lectures on the same subject; and all these
books and lectures are just as misty and incomprehen-
sible as the theological treatises and sermons, and, like
the theological treatises, they attain their end, which is,
to give an explanation of the existing order of things,


such as would make it possible for one set of men to be
at rest, and not to work, and to enjoy the labours of
other men.
The fact that for the investigations of this putative
science they did not take the condition of the men of the
whole world during all its historical existence as a model
of the general order, but only the condition of men in
small England, which has existed under exceptional con-
ditions, at the end of the last and the beginning of the
present century, did not in the least interfere with the
recognition of the truth of the propositions arrived at by
the investigators, even as the endless disputes and differ-
ences of the leaders of this science, who cannot come to
any agreement as to how to understand rentals, increased
valuation, profit, etc., do not interfere with it at the pres-
ent time. There is but one fundamental proposition of
this science which is recognized by all, and that is, that
human relations are not conditioned by what men con-
sider good or bad, but by what is advantageous to the
people who are already in an advantageous position.
What has been accepted as an indubitable truth is
this, that, if in society there are bred a large number
of robbers and thieves, who take from the labouring
people the productions of their labour, this is not due
to the fact that the robbers and thieves act badly, but
because such are the unchangeable economic laws, which
may be changed only by a slow evolution, is determined
by science, and so, according to the doctrine of this
science, the men who belong to the class of the robbers,
thieves, or abettors, who enjoy the fruits of their rob-
bery and stealing, may calmly continue to enjoy what
they have stolen and taken by violence.
Though the majority of the men of our world do not
know these soothing explanations of science, just as many
former men did not know the details of the theological
explanations which justified their position, -they none


the less krno\ that this explanation exists, that the learned
an'd wise men lha\e ina.-.Utrovertibly proved that the ex-
istiing order of things iq just what it ought to be, and
that, therefore. we uay calmly live in this order of
thiius, without trying, to i.hauge it.
It is o:,ly in thi. w .y that I am able to explain that
remarkal- l ,lndne' in whi.h find themselves the good
people o:f ,-,.ir so::iety who: sincerely wish the animals
wi.Il, tut with an easy conscience feast on the lives of
their Ir,:thers.
The theory th:it Goid's will consists in this, that one
set :ft" mLen should rFlle another, for a long time eased
imen'I ,:',...ieuce:. But thi3 theory, in justifying the
crujelties '-f renu. *.:rrie'l these cruelties to the utmost
Lrnit., .-and this prIv o:ked 'opposition and doubts as to
its truthlful ei-:.
Everin s: un:,.v the theory that the economic evolution
ta:k'; [laice ace .-.rdiug to: ine-vitable laws, in consequence
Oif w-hi:.h o:nue set o':f en ,lust hoard capital, while others
Lust v.w:rk all their lives, to: increase this capital, while
pr-eparing themr lv\e1 for tbhe, promised socialization of the
tool f pro':"li:tioi:n.- by provoking an even greater
i.ruelty of ione set of men against all others,-is begin-
nibn! now, e:pe-.ially .amidnist simple men who are not
,tultifitd l-y ,.:i-n:e, to prl..voke certain doubts.
VYou' -e. ifr ex'amtple, the freight-handlers, who are
ruLulUg their live's Iy their work of thirty-seven hours'
.luratioin. or the v.o:m en i the factory, or the laundresses,
,-r the :oIIlpositr., or all those millions of people who
live under crievu.s, unnatural conditions of monotonous,
s:tiltiyiin g live lal.:'ur, and you naturally ask: "What
haI lir:ough.Lt the-e people to:' such a state, and how can
they be liber:at-ld itr.-m it And science answers you
that these men are in suih a state, because the railroad


belongs to such and such a company, the silk factory to
such and such a master, and all the plants, factories,
printing offices, laundries, to capitalists, in general, and
that this situation will improve if the working people,
by uniting into unions and cooperative societies and bY
means of strikes and of participation in the g.ovl' uei ut
exerting an ever greater influence upon their ua:, -ti.- -.nd
the government, will attain, at first a shortening of the
work-day and an increase of the wages, and finally this,
that all the implements of production will pass into
their hands, and then all will be well; but now every-
thing is going the way it ought to, and there is no need of
changing anything.
This answer cannot help but appear very strange to
unlearned men, particularly to unlearned Russians. In
the first place, neither in relation to the freight-handlers,
nor to the women, nor to the many millions of other
workers, who suffer from the hard, unhealthy, stultifying
labour, does the belonging of the implements of produc-
tion to the capitalist offer any explanation. The imple-
ments of production in agriculture which belong to the
labourers who are living now at the railroad have not
been seized by the capitalists at all; these labourers have
land, and horses, and ploughs, and harrows, and every-
thing needed for the cultivation of the soil; even so the
women who work in the factory are not driven to this
work because the implements of production have been
taken from them; on the contrary, they generally go
away from home against the will of the elder members
of the family, though their work is very much needed
there, and though there are there all the implements
of production. In the same condition are millions of
labourers, both in Russia and in other countries. Thus
the cause of the wretched condition of the working
people can by no means be found in the seizure by the
capitalists of the implements of production. The cause


must be fouLdl in what drives them out of the village.
So inui.h in the atst i'lie In the second place, neither
the sho:rt:ninig of the w\i k-day, nor the increase in wages,
na:r thie 1iromis.d s,.::iiliti:'n of the implements of pro-
.li,:ti:n, :,ran in any w:L iy ire': the working people from this
st.it., eveu in that ..liistaut future, when science promises
th-e that ilb- rati',n.
All that cannot ilurro:ve their condition, because the
wre-thdrie s i:t the p:,ositilUn of the working people, upon
thL railio:,a, :or in the silk factory, or in any other factory
or plant. I.i:es unt :tii.i st iu a greater or lesser number of
wvi:rl.ing h'u.irs Itlth agrii.,lturists work, while quite satis-
tidl with their lot. as imuch as eighteen hours a day and
thirty-six hburs in 'i,::.. lln ), and not in the small pay,
iind I un in this. that th:- railroad or factory does not
blonI: n t e.. t Lhim, b.ut i this, that the working people are
o.Jligi.l to. wiv k unller injurious, unnatural, and frequently
dangerous and Iri:i:-riiuii conditionsn s of life, in city bar-
ra.cks., full of tiemli:tatioun and immorality, and to do slave
work fu.t other Ie':'.Ile.
Of late the huur- :.f wrl: have been reduced and the
pay hIs been icr:eal.,], Ibut this reduction of the hours of
lablcour and: th.c increased o:f pay have not improved the
co:uniti,:u .of the wo:rkir.g p--ople, if we do not consider
their more lixuri:uu halbits,-a watch and chain, silk
ker,-hiktfs, tlobac,., wine, iirat, beer, and so forth,-but
their real welfa:ir, that is, their health and morality, and,
al.uve all. theii freedom.
In thle ':tory of silk articles with which I am ac-
:qrairnt.'". twenty ye-;ilrs :to there worked mainly men who
worked foiurteent h:,ou a da'\ and earned fifteen roubles
:lear a ni:uth, whi-ch th,_:y generally sent home to their
families in the countryr. Now it is mostly women who
work there: they work eleven hours a day and earn
sou':jlti'es as much as twenty-five roubles per month,
or more than fifteen roi.t:les clear; they generally do not


send the earnings home, but spend them here, chiefly ou
dresses, drunkenness, and debauchery; and the reduction
of hours of labour only increases the time passed by
them at the inns.
The same, in a greater or lesser measure, takes place in
all the factories and plants. Everywhere, in spite of the
reduction of the hours of labour and the increase of pay,
the health, as compared with that in agricultural work,
is injured, the average length of life is diminished, and
morality is lost, as, indeed, it cannot be otherwise, when
we consider how they are removed from the conditions,
most conducive to morality, of family life and free,
healthy, varied, sensible agricultural labour.
It may be, as some economists assert, that with the
reduction of hours of labour, the increase of wages, and
the improvement of sanitary conditions in the factories,
the health of the working people and their morality is
improved as compared with the condition in which the
factory hands used to be formerly. It may be even that
of late and in certain localities the condition of the work-
ing people in the factories has in external conditions been
better than the condition of the rural population. But
this is true for only some localities and is due to this,
that the government and society are doing, under the
influence of the propositions of science, everything that
can be done for the deterioration of the rural population
and for the improvement of the condition of the factory
If the condition of the factory hands is in certain local-
ities- and that, too, only in external conditions- better
than the condition of rural labourers, this only proves
that with all kinds of oppressions it is possible to reduce
to wretchedness a life which from external conditions is
best, and that there does not exist so unnatural and bad
a condition but that a man can adapt himself to it and
remain in it for several generations.


The wretched Dne. of the condition of the factory hand
ind of the city workman in general does not consist in
his workuig Ihan. and getting little for it, but in this, that
he is depriv,-ed of the natural conditions of life in the
ijidlt O, nature, is deprived of liberty, and is obliged to
d:, mii:on t,:'tj:us slave work for another.
And .(:, the auswcr to the questions as to why factory
*an..l city lal..:ur-er ire in a wretched state, and how to
help th lu, : in noise consist in this, that it is due to the
fat that the- ca.pitalists have seized the implements of
producti-'n. and that the reduction of the hours of labour,
the iucreaiSe o:f w.ies, and the socialization of the imple-
Lueuets of prI:du,:tio:n will improve the position of the
working t-,iple.
The aLUSwie-r t.j these questions must consist in the
ind:.rati:'n ': the causes which have deprived the la-
b.:.urer-s c the natural conditions of life amidst nature
au'.l have i.i v'-u the-m into the slavery of the factories, and
in the iudik:tiun of the means for liberating the working
Fe-':'i[le fr:'mi th.: nDece:ssity of passing from the free life
in the country to thr slave life in the factories.
Thus the qie.--tivu is to why the working people in the
citieSl are in a \wr-t hbed state includes first of all the ques-
tion as to:. what are the causes which drove these people
away from the i:.:untry, where they or their ancestors
lived and could live and with us in Russia still live, and
what it is that ag.ilust their will has been driving them
int:- the fa-.t':ories and plants.
It the-re are :u,:h working people, as in England, Bel-
gium. G.ermauy, who for several generations have been
living in i-,torir~, even these do not do so of their own
tree n ill. lut lci:aun:e their parents, grandparents, or great-
graljdpF'ireut.s were f.:.r some reason obliged to change their
a-ri:ultural life. which they liked, for a life in the city
and in the facLtories, which presented itself to them as
hard. The- rur.-l population was at first forcibly dispos-


sessed of its land, says K. Marx, and driven out 'tnd
reduced to the state of vagrancy, and then, by force :ft
cruel laws, they were tortured with tongs, hot iron,
scourges, for the purpose of making them submit to the
demands of private labour. And so the question as to
how to liberate the working people from their wretched
condition would seem naturally to reduce itself to the
question as to how to remove those causes which have
driven several and now drive away the rest from that
condition which these people have regarded as good and
have driven them into a condition which they have
regarded as bad.
But the economic science, though it in passing points
out the causes which have driven the labourers away
from the land, does not busy itself with the removal of
these causes, but turns all its attention only to the ame-
lioration of the condition of the working people in the
existing factories and plants, as though assuming that
the condition of the working people in these plants and
factories is something unchangeable, something which
must by all means remain for those who are already in
the factories, and must become the condition of those
who have not yet left the villages and agricultural
Not only has the economic science become convinced
that all the rural labourers must inevitably pass through
the condition of the city workers in the factories, but also,
despite the fact that all the sages and poets of the world
have always looked only in the conditions of agricultural
labour for the realization of the ideal of human happi-
ness; despite the fact that all working people with uncor-
rupted habits have always preferred agricultural labour to
any other; despite the fact that work in the factories
is always unhealthy and monotonous, while agricultural
work is most healthy and varied; despite the fact that
agricultural labour is always free, that is, that the labourer


at hLi will alte-rnat-e between work and rest, while work
in the ia t.: .iy. even though it all should belong to the
u i.rkig p ':'lle, is always slavish, in dependence on the ma-
.:hini ; d:-l.utc the fact that factory work is secondary,
while atiiiult.utal i- basic, so that without it no factories
c:.uldl exist. -- despite all that, the economic science as-
'.:it that thie :,:unutry people not only do not suffer from
.:ha'InglL.g the ':':untry for the city, but even wish for it
therelve' :'and 'strive for it.

N.:- matter bhow unjust is the assertion of the men of
s:i-ene that the g,.:.:.d of humanity must consist in that
which is piofounA.lly repulsive to human sentiment, in
m,:r.:t'.n"i,!., slavish labour in the factories, the men of
si.i:n.:.: bhavet inevit.aly been led to the necessity of this
:l:vi:,ii :sly ubL]ju~t assertion, just as the theologians were
inievital..ly li'ed t.. just as obviously unjust an assertion
th:t the slaves and the masters are different beings, and
that theL inlequalty .:.f their conditions in this world will
Ib. r-:euit<.ed in the world to come.
The cLaue ,:*1 thLi obviously unjust assertion is this,
that tlih mtien wll:, have been establishing the propositions
of cii:n:e, hav\ bell.:.nged to the well-to-do classes, and
have l:.-.:-u s':O a:C: usto:med to those advantageous conditions
amidst whib:h they live that they do not even admit the
idei. that ii-.,ietv could exist outside these conditions.
PBut the- ':con.iiti,:on of life to which the men of the well-
t,:-d:i ]a-'es h.'ve comeoe accustomed are that abundant
pi.'-"lu.tioin vai \iu- objects necessary for their comforts
anid 'le.aures which are obtained only, thanks to the now
existing fac:t.:.r[i and plants, as they are arranged at the
pLes~.nt time. And so, in discussing the amelioration of
thli \orlring I"':['l.'' condition, the men of science, who
bel..ng to their we.ll-ti.-do classes, always assume only an


amelioration such that the production of the factories will
remain the same, and so the comforts of life which they
will enjoy will also remain the same.
Even the most advanced men of science, the socialists,
in demanding a complete transference of the implements
of production to the working people, assume that the
production of the same or nearly the same articles as at
present will be continued in the same or similar factories
with the present division of labour.
According to their conception, there will be only this
difference, that then it will not be they alone, but also
everybody else, who will enjoy those comforts which
they are now enjoying all by themselves. They have a
dim idea that with the socialization of the implements of
labour they themselves, the men of science and, in gen-
eral, the men of the ruling classes, will have a share in
work, but for the most part in the shape of managers,-
as draughtsmen, scholars, artists. But they preserve silence
as to who will make white lead with muzzles on their
faces, who will"be the stokers, the miners, and the privy-
cleaners, or they assume that all these things will be so
perfected that even the work in the sewers and under-
ground will form a pleasant occupation. Thus they pre-
sent to themselves the economic life both in the utopias,
like the utopia of Bellamy, and in learned treatises.
According to their theory, the working people, having
all united into unions and societies, and having educated
solidarity in themselves, will finally, by means of unions,
strikes, and participation in parliaments, arrive at this,
that they will get possession of all the implements of
production, including the land; and then they will feed
so well, will dress so well, will enjoy such amusements
on Sunday, that they will prefer life in the city, amidst
stones and chimneys, to the life in the country, in the
broad expanse, amidst plants and domestic animals, and
will prefer the monotonous machine work, according to


the whistle. to the varied, healthful, and free agricultural
Thl.ugh this assumption is as little probable as the
nasiniptuln of the theologians concerning that heaven
which th, working people will enjoy in the world to
c.uLmue for having worked so painfully in this world, intel-
ligent .aini cultured men of our circle none the less be-
heie in this strange doctrine, just as former learned and
iltAllh._,'t people used to believe in a heaven for the
wor:-king I:"ople in the world to come.
The leajired and their disciples--people of the well-
ti.-do cl-.tt-S -believe in this, because they cannot help
b eli vin'r in it. They are confronted with a dilemma:
either they must see that everything which they enjoy
iu their life. from the railroad to matches and cigarettes, is
their I:l.ot:hets' labour, which has cost many human lives,
and th.it they, by not participating in this labour, but
inuji:ying it, are very dishonest people, or that everything
which take-" place is done according to invariable laws of
e.::u.Ltuic science for the general welfare. In this is con-
t.aine,' that tuner psychological cause, which compels the
men :f t' :ience, wise and cultured, but not enlightened
m,?, with insurance and insistence to assert such an ob-
viOus9 unItruth as that it is better for the good of the
I.,lo:,urtr- t. abandon their happy and healthy life amidst
nAiture an.l to go to ruin their bodies and souls in facto-
ries .and plants.
:But even if we admit the obviously unjust assertion,
which,. is contrary to all the properties of human nature,
that it is better for people to live and work in factories
.ind citie-., doing mechanical slave work, than to live in
the coi:iutty and do free manual labour,-even if we
..lnit ail that, the very ideal, toward which, according
t:. tle ti,-hing of the men of science, the economic evo-


lution lead:, :.ontanu. such .an t internal contradliI:tio:,n as
can in n. wy bL d'tl :Iutaugld ThiiS i.l.eal I:.:usiits in
this, that the wo:rkirn people, having be':ome the lua:teis
of all the iiuplcale nti 4f pr odJution, will ujLyv all tlioe
comforts and pleau-Lure v.lhih are na w I:L..Y vJd I.'nly l.y
well-to-do p'e:t.olr. All will I. wv.ell .lressed anild h.:.uied
and fed, will walk r:ovr an a-sphtlt, pavrurment tinier
electric lighlt-. will att,:u.:l :o':nt-rt anJd 1the:tr,.s, read
newspaper and l.,:.I-ks, will g: o.ut driving in mo m.trs, and
so forth. Dut fl:'r .all fl mm t: u' U ce.rtaiu arti:ltes, it i"
necessary ton riedi'tributi- the ul:iiut'ai:t'ture of d:eir:l.,le
articles, t,.: deterujin,- h_..w inu,:h time en:':h w.:,rkLug man
is to work: how is thi- t.:. e ,Iet,-ieine.l /
Statistical danti maiy dletetriine (v ery imniperft'tly at
that) men's neuds a u i s-,.irty whii.h iv f,:tteied iby ,:ipi-
talism, co:iuletition, anil wrnt Iut no qtllati tA'.:al data
will show hiw many and what arti:les are ner..A-:[Lv for
the gratifi.:rntila o :f the need- of a r:,:iet. in which the
implements I-. pr.i .dui:tion: will I el.:,ug ti, ':'-ciety it-teIf,
that is, wheit nit-u ill 1I.. free.
It will 1. a:,bs,:lutely ilupossil.Ilc todleteriine the une,.:l"
in such a s :'iet-y. l-eause tle i-le Ui- will in ws-':h a s.::lttv
always be inuinitely grealter thnu thlie pl:i:il.ility o:f 'rati-
fying then. Everyl.r.dy will deire to have everythiig
which the- ri:L ub.,w have, ,-.aI s,: thelr i- nc. p-:-lsility
of determnigrji tlhe quantity of Irtli,: cle' no-:iled by such a
Besides, ho,:w :.nu people I.e niia.lr to agree t-, produce
articles wlhi,:h ,otne of them will onsid:r tne':cssar v,
while others will ,::.nsid:-r them urjnec:Et-:ary or even quite
If it shall Lie found that f:or the grattii,:ntion o tihe
needs of o. :ety it wid] l.. nec'i:. ssar for every pers:'. to:
work, say. six liours a delay, w\ho will i:..lpel a man in a
free society to work thew: -ix ho ur- when he kuow that
some of the hour:- .ae used for the 1prlo.-djii ion of


artic.-le' which he considers unnecessary and even harm-
ful u
There is no doubt that with the present structure of
ci:'llc.ty tLhey produce with a great economy of forces,
thanks to: machines and, above all, to the division of
labour. extremely complicated, most varied articles, which
are carri-e to the highest degree of perfection, the produc-
tion of whi'h is advantageous to their masters, and the
u,-- i:f whi.:-h we find very convenient and agreeable; but
the ta.:t that these articles are in themselves well done
an.l with a -mall waste of energy, and that we find them
inli:p.:ur.al..le for ourselves, does not prove that free people
wonu:l..I -ith .:iut constraint produce the same articles. There
is n: .. :idllt but that Krupp with the present division of
lal..,ur wakes beautiful cannon in a short time and in
an artiti.: manner, and that N- similarly produces
i:l.: .iir.l silk stuffs, and S- perfumes, smooth cards,
f',it -l":''.l: r, which saves the complexion, and Pop6v
d[l:i',iu:s whiskey, and so forth,-that this is very advan-
t.geou's, 'both for the proprietors of the establishments
wh,.rc thi.y are produced and for the consumers of them.
But I:annrun. perfume, and whiskey are desirable for those
who want to: conquer the Chinese markets, or like drunk-
ennes. or are interested in the preservation of the com-
tplkx-:in, and there will always be some people who will
lindl th,. production of these articles injurious. And, to
cay a 'N:thiug of such articles, there will always be some
lpeple \wh: will find that exhibitions, academies, beer,
Ifi.at, art. unnecessary and even harmful. How are these
Ilen t': be compelled to take part in the pr..dJuiti.on of
s-a:b article ?
But cven if people shall find a means for having all
m.ue agpee to: manufacture certain articles,- though there
ican Ibe no such means except compulsion,- who will in
a free ,:.ci:i.ty, without capitalistic production, without
::lpetitition or supply and demand, determine upon what.


articles the forces are chiefly to be directed ? what is to
be produced first, what later ? Are they first to build a
Siberian road and fortify Port Arthur, and then lay out
a highway through the counties, or vice versa ? Which
is to be provided for first, electric lights or the irriga-
tion of the fields ? And then again the insoluble question
in connection with the freedom of the working people as
to who shall do this or that work. Obviously, it will be
most pleasant for all people to busy themselves with the
sciences or with drawing, rather than to be a stoker or a
privy-cleaner. How can people be made happy in this
distribution ?
No statistical data will answer these questions. There
can be but a theoretical solution to these questions, that
is, such a solution as that there will be men to whom the
power will be given to manage all that. One set of men
will decide these questions, and other men will obey
But, in addition to the question of the division and
direction of production and the choice of work in the
socialization of the implements of production, there appears
also the chief question, as to the degree of the division
of labour which may be established in a society which is
organized on socialistic principles. The present division
of labour is conditioned by the wants of the working
people. A workman agrees to live all his life under
ground, dr 'all his life to produce one-hundredth part of
a certain article, or all his life monotonously to swing his
arms amidst a rumble of machines, only because without
that he will not have any means of support. But a work-
man who shall be in possession of the implements of
production, and who, therefore, will not be suffering want,
will only through compulsion agree to enter into condi-
tions of the division of labour which dull and kill all the
mental capacities and under which people work now.
The division of labour is unquestionably very advan-


t.aie:u.s an.ri proper for people, but, if men are free, the
.livis:in ft' labour is possible only to a certain narrow
limit, which has long ago been crossed in our society.
If :ni: peasant from preference plies the shoemaker's
tra..le, v hill- his wife attends to the loom, and another
pe1a:i. ut ploi',:ghs, and a third peasant works in the smithy,
,iu.1 ;ill :ft' them, having acquired exceptional agility in
their \:rl;, later exchange their products, such a division
is a..Iv,-nta .l us for all of them, and free people will
Dnatit:ll y thus divide their labour among themselves.
LBut ia .hvisi:'on of labour under which a mechanic all his
lit. pii.li*..s one-hundredth part of an article, or a stoker
in .1 fi:un,.ily works in a temperature of fifty degrees
R.:i.:,.linir -*r in noxious gases which choke him, is disad-
variitag:i.:i:,l for men, because, while producing the most
tritli.' u ar'tl.:les, it ruins the most precious article, man's
lite-' C':on-equently the division of labour which now
exists t:ai exist only under compulsion. Rodbertus says
lthft the division of labour unites humanity communisti-
ca.il'. Tlha l is true, but it is only the free division of
I.al.u:.ur, th.Ft is, such that people of their own free will
i.i\vile the labour, that unites humanity. If people decide
to I:bud.l road, and one man digs, another hauls rock, a
third break. rock, and so forth, such a division of labour
uni-it i~ Imen. But if a strategic railway, or an Eiffel tower,
rr all thi-e- foolish things with which the Paris Exposi-
tio:u i fu'll, :are built independently of the desire and fre-
quently even contrary to the desire of the working people,
- .an.l o:r~n labourer is compelled to mine the ore, another
to baul co:.l, a third to smelt this ore, a fourth to cut
,.l:,wn trrr .nd square them, none of them having the
sli'liht.-'t i.lea of the purpose of the articles prepared by
tlih.n. -.:-ih a division of labour not only does not unite
tLhin. but, .:.u the contrary, disunites them.
An.l '... if people will be free in the socialization of
th. impl-emenits of labour, they will accept only such a


i.liviskion ..f lal..:.ur" that the goal of this division v ill I:.e
greater than the evil whi:hb it will :aiuse the labouurer.
Ai.l C-in:e everyv ma.i nriturailly -ees his g:'l-d in the
expausiao l tliversity ,f his activity. the now existing
.li ,si,.i' I la,:iuir v.ill naturally be imp:iossiblI: in a free
An ..l1 :s soon as the piresen' t dli\-il:n of laboul. r halll Ie
clinged.l. thb.re will also bie i.lilminiishe-i it... a very great.
extent the vetvy pl.lluct..in i.ft t[lhoe articles wbhl:l we
nr:v.c uise, andl whi;:b, it i- ascu ere., all coLiiety \will u-i'e
the:" s:i.ia-is-ti i state.
The assumuiptil:nr that with thle sIocializat .on r.f thI,
imiplnr:-ents oi pi-...luitiu:ll tLhere \IH U:e the sa9:e -iburn-
d:m nc: e i:f arti:li-es as is pro.lue ,lt uni.ler thlie :,:mijpulsI.,ry
l.ion .4 If :l:.,:u. is like, the assu uptiun that with the
]hb:-ib, ti.n iof the sel-ts there would rtnruin the smnie
d:l:te-tic ,h rLin testrai3. .ar'.l us, la,:e, theitites, %%hith
us:ed.l to .-' pro' duLce.I Iy tlie serfs. Thus tIe a nmpti:
that with the Oeilizatir :f the -:ciali-tic. idea:-l all u.eti
i dll Ibe f'ee an.l. at the s ine timce,. will euloy everything .
*:,r -il ist ever. thiLg, whim.h the v eU-tIL-di lasse.ri now
enujov. coutalu-z an ol.\ ious inner :onltradietiun.

The cainme is here repeated that excited in the times of
the serf Lw. As then t: he majority of the serf-owners
.1 .,f the veil-ti:o-.I:. ,l--sses in general, thiu.. h re<':..:niZ-
iug the .:unlition of the seits a:- not eI-ltirly go l. pro.-
pu:eI for its improvement only su:h i :'jingeS as -.uulId
not iinpair the chief a,.l.,anta.e .:,t thlie Ianudid proprietor,
even .'i thie irien ._f the well-to,-d., clm -e:,is. though recig-
ni.ingj the i.:ndliti:n.ri i.f thie \vurlkin pe.:ple .1s n .,t iuit'.
.ji-.J, lno prop:l -' toi it 1 Ini rl .:.r ii:'ni t .-nly sui Lih re s-
ures aIS l'.- uvt impair the ;ii\"ut:ii-g':us lpcitiun of the
tmeri of the well-tv.-dJ ,ln:s,:.. As theu a welIl-ilspo:sed


propritor talked of paternal power and, like G6gol, advised
the proprietor; to be good and to care for their serfs, but
diil n:t c'cu admit the idea of the emancipation which
pre.sent.i itself to him as harmful and dangerous, so also
no, the miaj:irity of the well-to-do people of our time
advie the masters to care more for the good of their
\o:,rkumen, 1,,t equally do not even admit the idea of such
a .hantjue of the economic structure of life as would make
t h: wr:, kin. people entirely free.
And j'i.t t. then the advanced liberals, recognizing the
*:':,u:lition of the serfs to be unchangeable, demanded of
tile ttte the limitation of the masters' power and sym-
pathiz,-d with the agitation of the serfs, so now the
liberal f orf our time, recognizing the existing order as
inva.riable, demand of the government the limitation of
the *:.;aitalts and manufacturers, and sympathize with
t hl union the strikes, and in general the agitation of the
worktu.n pe:.ople. And just.as then the most advanced
pe"-,:'pl de-iuanded the emancipation of the serfs, but in the
pro:je't left them in dependence on the landowners, or on
I: :[r v,~ a d tl xes, so now the most advanced men demand
the librratiu of the working people from the capital-
ist-, the s:wi:alization of the implements of production,
but with all that leave the working people in dependence
on the present distribution and division of labour, which,
in their opinion, must remain invariable. The teaching of
economic science, which is followed without a comprehen-
sion of its details by all the well-to-do people who con-
sider themselves enlightened and advanced, at a superficial
glance appears liberal, even radical, in that it contains
attacks upon the rich classes of society, but in its essence
this teaching is in the highest degree conservative, coarse,
and cruel. In one way or another the men of science,
and with them all the well-to-do classes, want by all
means to retain the now existing distribution and division
of labour, which make it possible to produce the large


quantity of articl-s used ily thlmi. The existing :,o-
nomic structure the Tie n -,f si.-ici:ec, land. with tha[l ill.
the men of the well-to-i. clin: .-s, '.11l .:iilijztioLi, ijli
they see in this ciuli:ati,:on- the ra ilways, tele.r'qjh,
telephones, photo2ahlh. iRontgen rIyIa', clinics, exhiil.i-
tions, and, above ev.-iNthing el.-, all the appliianii, of
comfort--somethiul so S:i.red that they di- n-,t <.:en
admit the idea of iihanges v.hi.:-h ri:a ny i:l-etro .all thIit :.r
even a small part :of th,:-e ac.qllsiti:ins. Eveiythino, luay,
according to the teachLi.tg of that ,:iten:c, i1. ic :ing..l,
except what they call iivili::itio:in. Ml.anv.hile it li.:cmnes
more and more e :ide:nt tht this 'ivlihzti :,n c:in -exist
only by compelling the ..orkini Ulen to \woLikl. I:Bt lthl
men of science ar-e :i ciivin.ce- th'-t til; civiliZA.-ltt:i 13
the highest good th.t, tlhiy i..-ldly say the v:liy LIpp:o.-te
of what the jurists used *l:nie to say: in.t- d.l I: ** FI..t j',,-
titia, pereat mundi, .s," they now saY', E- Fort n.//' l pi ,'it
justitia." They not only si.y ':, IU even t ..t E.ve y-
thing may be chang,.d in pm lctie and:l in thLE:ir, e:-;Ctpt
civilization,-except ill that \hii,:h t:iakes pl.iii, in f:,un-
dries and factories .ii.l, l.i:ove .ill thiin-. is sc-Id in -horp-
But I think that. i:nlihhte.ueL mel \hoI: pro:eti: the
Christian law of bi :therbo.i:. and love ,.f their neihIl-i:u.i9,
ought to say the very .',':,"ite:
"It is all very nice to, have el:ectrlic luniinat:ion, tele-
phones, expositions, an.l ill the Ar: .li iALI Glie:l s v.ith
their concerts and li:ivs. an'd :ll the :icari. nn.l w:it':h-
boxes, and suspen.leis.;, and motors; -but mayi they ; g, to:
perdition, and not ,:,nly they, b.ut ailso: the ira lw;,ys and ill
the calico and cloth f-i:t,-ri:. in the w.irld, if for th-ir
production it is ne:.,s:-..y that -uiety-nine huni:dreaths of:
men should be in -liv\ ey ad.1 Ih:iuld [l.eri-li by the thoul-
sand in factories which are nrjece.sary fi-,r tlhe pro:.lu:'tin of
these articles. If, to Iliht London :0 St. Peitrslurg itl
electricity, or to e-:et. the S-tilint.res of :ln :hii.lltion,
to produce beautiful ,:l-.9, or t:o get l.":.atifil stulfs \ ioven


qaic.kly .rid in gr';at quantity, it is necessary that the
s:, allet njiimbler i:t lives\ should perish or be contracted or
Iuiueld I.lul ,taliits[i:s sl:.w us how many of them perish),
then let Lo:nd,:rnj and St Petersburg be lighted by gas or
.ail, leit ther:re Ie n,:' exhibitions, let there be no dyes, no
ctAun c-I I,:ng a there shall be no slavery and the ruin
-:t hiulan lives i,- ulti'n from it."
Truly e lighttn-i-l -I t:ple will always prefer to return to
tR\'-lliL I:. n lj,:rsr-b i: iud on bales and even to digging
tlj1- -rourid with sti 'k- and hands, rather than travel on
rnl.,.. \=. lwhi.- ri-tuliuly kill so many people each
y -ar. :only l..'e'rLaus the. *.-wners of the roads find it more
pl.litable t t:o pa.y .i.ers to the families of the killed
than to: I.uild the-ru .d.l in such a way that they will not
kill -,:, many [-:ople, a, is the case in Chicago. The
u,:,tt: of- truly ,:nlihght -ued men is not "Fiat cultural,
'',,"'; .'. :i t(,'' ." it ** F.at justitia, pereat cultural "
But civiljiatil..n, the useful civilization, will not be
dftrioye. Pr':pl will never have any occasion to return
to: di'Aing th,." r,:iund \vith sticks and lighting up their
L:.lci-r with i:hij. N:ot in vain has humanity with its
s.rvile stwIucturr mladl -u,:h great progress in the technical
t rt
It me:n sh.ill im:.ie to: understand that it is not right for
tlhi:.r ple;a-I.ire t: exploit the lives of their brothers, they
will find -,,it how t':' apply all the discoveries of mechanics
in -u,:h a way .-, n :,t t.:- ruin the lives of their brothers,
n ill 1;Ql:nw lh.:w t.:. arraL,-g life in such a way as to use all
tbh: perfe, :ted initrumuents for the subjugation of nature
thi-y i:an use, witlihut retaining their brothers in slavery.

Let us inmai-ine a rinin, from an entirely foreign country
whi: h:- n':' ila ab. i:ut *:.ur history and our laws, and let
u. ;ho:w him our ihfi in all its manifestations and ask


him what chief difference he observes in the maJuij L :4f
life of the men of our world.
The chief difference in the manner of life of the men
to which he will point will be this, that some a small
number of men -with clean white hands are well fed,
clothed, and housed, work very little and at something
easy, or not at all, and only amuse themselves, wasting
on these amusements millions of hard working days of
other men; while others, always dirty and poorly clad,
poorly housed, and poorly fed, with dirty, callus-covered
hands, work without cessation from morning until eve-
ning, at times through the nights, for those who do not
work, but amuse themselves all the time.
If it is hard between the slaves and the slave-owners
of the present time to draw as sharp a line as the one
which separated the former slaves from the slave-owners,
and if among the slaves of our time there are such as are
only temporarily slaves and later become slave-owners, or
such as at the same time are slaves and slave-owners,
this mingling of the two at their points of contact does
not weaken the truth of the proposition that all the men
of our time are divided into slaves and masters, just as
definitely as, in spite of the twilight, the twenty-four
hours are divided into day and night.
If a slave-owner of our time has not an Iv6n whom he
can send into a privy to clean out his excrements, he has
three roubles which are so much wanted by hundreds of
Iv6ns, that he can choose any one out of a hundred Ivans
and appear as a benefactor to him, because he has chosen
him out of the whole number and has permitted him to
climb into the cesspool.
The slaves of our time are not merely all those factory
and foundry hands who, to exist, are obliged to sell them-
selves into the full possession of the masters of factories
and foundries; such slaves are also nearly all those
agriculturists who, without rest, work in other people's


fiel's. taking other people's corn to other people's gran-
atLie.l, .:.r who work their own fields, only to be able to pay
irit-rest ,..n unextinguishable debts to the bankers; and
juit Au.h slaves are all those numerous lackeys, cooks,
I(: ,i n :u r aids, janitors, coachmen, bath servants, waiters,
.anud : f'rrth, who all their lives perform duties which are
wli..t improper to a human being and contrary to their
ov.'u u tu res.
Sla' wry exists in full force, but we do not recognize it,
just as at the end of the eighteenth century people did
not recognize the slavery of serfdom.
The men of that time believed that the state of the
people who were obliged to work the land of their masters
and to obey them, was a natural, inevitable condition of
life, and did not call that state slavery.
The same is true among us: the men of our time
regard the state of the working men as a natural, inevi-
table economic condition, and do not call this state
And, as at the end of the eighteenth century the men
of Europe began slowly to see that the condition of the
peasants who were in the full power of their masters,
though formerly it had seemed to be a natural and inevi-
table form of economic life, was bad, unjust, and immoral,
and demanded a change, so now the people of our time
begin to understand that the state of hired men and of
working people in general, which formerly used to be
regarded as absolutely legal and normal, is not such as it
ought to be, and demands a change.
The slavery of our time is now precisely in the same
phase in which the serf law was in Europe at the end
of the eighteenth century, and serfdom in Russia and
slavery in America were in the second quarter of the
nineteenth century.
The slavery of the working people of our time is just
beginning to be recognized by the advanced men of our


society, but the majority of people a;iu- till tully c,:,viLce,.
that there is no slavery among u-
The men of our time are su-'....:ltc. in tlhis i,:rou iL le
of their condition by the circun,-t:i.i.- tliltt v. hIale jiu't
abolished slavery in Russia and At.:rri.:,. In I :.,l';t ti,.:
abolition of serfdom and slavery was :.uli [Lie :-il..:ilitio
of an obsolete, useless form of slaiv.y- -al li,- il..-tcrL-
tion for it of a more substantiii f...ri ,.'.( l-Ji,:y vlhi-,h
embraced a greater number of slaves than formerly. The
abolition of serfage and slavery was very much like what
the Crimean Tartars did with their captives, when they
decided to cut open the soles of their feet and fill the
rents with chopped bristles. After performing this opera-
tion upon them, they took off their fetters and chains.
Though the abolition of serfage in Russia and slavery in
America did away with the older form of servitude, it
was, indeed, accomplished only when the bristles in the
soles had created ulcers, and there was an absolute cer-
tainty that the captives would not run away even with-
out fetters and chains, and would go on working. (The
Northerners in America boldly demanded the abolition of
the old slavery, because a new, the financial slavery, had
already obviously taken possession of the people, while
the Southerners did not yet see the obvious signs of the
new slavery and so did not care to abolish the old
With us, in Russia, serfage was abolished only when
all the land was already taken up. If land was given to
the peasants, taxes were imposed upon them, to take the
place of the land slavery. In Europe the taxes which
kept the people in slavery were abolished only when the
people were deprived of the land, made unaccustomed to
agricultural labour, and by means of an infection from
city needs placed in complete dependence on the capi-
talists. It was only then that the corn taxes were abol-
ished in England. Now they are beginning to abolish


thi t.ixe-s iu: the labourers in Germany and in other
:...unit,. tt.i.nsferring them to the rich, only because the
uin i..riLty '..t the people are in the power of the capitalists.
[I.1c I i.-anI ...' enslavement is abolished only when another
has taken its place. There are several such means. If
not one, another, a third means, or several together, keep
the people in servitude, that is, put them in such a condi-
tion that a few men have full power over the labours and
lives of a greater number of men. In this enslavement
of the greater part of the people by a smaller part does
the chief cause of the wretched condition of the people
consist. For this reason the means for ameliorating the
condition of working people must consist, in the first
place, in recognizing the fact that slavery exists among
us, not in any transferred, metaphorical sense, but in the
simple and direct sense of the word,-a slavery which
keeps one part of men, the majority, in the power of the
other, the minority, and, in the second place, having rec-
ognized this condition, in finding the causes of the enslave-
ment of one set of men by others, and, in the third place,
having found these causes, in destroying them.

In what, then, does the slavery of our time consist?
What forces enslave one class of men to another ? If we
ask all the working people, in Russia, in Europe, and in
America, both in the factories and in all kinds of hired
occupations in the cities and the villages, what it is that
has compelled them to choose the condition in which they
are, they will all say that they were brought to it by
this: either that they had no land on which they could
and would wish to live and work (all Russian working
men and many European ones will say so); or that taxes,
both direct and indirect, are demanded of them, and they
are not able to pay them unless they work for others; or,


again, that they are kept in the factories by the temrnta-
tions of more luxurious habits which they have acquired
and which they cannot gratify except by selling their
labour and their freedom.
The first two conditions, the lack of land and the taxes,
drive the men, as it were, into conditions of servitude, and
the third, the unsatisfied increased needs, entices them into
these conditions and retains them there.
It is possible to imagine, according to Henry George's
project, the emancipation of the land from the right of
personal ownership, and thus the destruction of the first
cause which drives people into slavery, the lack of
land. We can equally imagine the abolition of the taxes,
their transference to the rich, as is actually done in some
countries; but with the present economic structure it is
impossible to imagine such a state that amidst the rich
people there would not establish themselves more and
more luxurious, frequently harmful habits of life, and that
these habits would not by degrees, as inevitably and as
irrepressibly as the water is taken up by the dry earth,
pass over to the working classes that are contiguous to
the rich, and would not become so necessary to the work-
ing classes that the working people would be prepared to
sell their freedom, in order to gratify them.
Thus this third condition, in spite of its arbitrariness,
that is, in spite of the apparent ability of a man not to
submit to the temptations, and in spite of the fact that
science does not at all recognize it as a cause of the
wretched condition of the working men, forms the most
permanent and most ineffaceable cause of slavery.
Living near the rich, the working people are always
infected by new needs and gain the possibility of always
gratifying these needs, but only in proportion as they give
the tensest labour for this gratification. Thus the work-
ing people of England and America, though occasionally
receiving ten times as much as is needed for their sup-


port, continue to be the same slaves that they were
These three causes, according to the explanation of the
working people themselves, produce the slavery in which
they are; and the history of the enslavement of the work-
ing people and the reality of their condition confirm the
justice of this explanation.
All the working people are brought to their present
state and are retained in it by these three causes. These
causes, acting upon people from various sides, are such
that not one man can get away from their enslavement.
An agriculturist, who has at his command no land what-
soever or only an insufficient amount of it, will always be
compelled, if he wants to be able to gain his sustenance
from the land, to give himself into permanent or tempo-
rary slavery to him who owns the land.
If he in one way or another acquires as much land as
he needs to be able to support himself upon it with his
labour, taxes will be demanded of him in a direct and an
indirect way, such that, to be able to pay them, he will
be obliged again to sell himself into slavery.
But if, to free himself from the slavery of the land, he
shall stop working the land and, living on somebody
else's land, shall begin to ply some trade, exchanging his
productions for commodities needed by him, on the one
hand the taxes, and on the other the competition of the
capitalists who produce the same articles as he does, but
with improved implements, will compel him to sell him-
self into permanent or temporary slavery to the capital-
ists. But if, working for a capitalist, he should be able
to establish free relations with him, such as would not
necessitate his giving up his freedom, the habits of the
new needs inevitably acquired by him will compel him
to do so.
Thus the working man will in one way or another
always be in the slavery of those men who possess the


taxes, the land, and the commodities needed for the grati-
fication of his needs.
The German socialists have called the aggregate of con-
ditions which subject the labourers to the capitalists, the
iron law of labour wages, meaning by the word "iron"
that this law is something invariable. But in these con-
ditions there is nothing invariable. These conditions are
only the consequences of human enactments concerning
taxes, concerning land, and, above all things, concerning
commodities for the gratification of needs, that is, concern-
ing property. But enactments are established and abol-
ished by men. Thus it is not any iron, sociological laws,
but enactments, that establish men's slavery. In the
given case the slavery of our time is very clearly and very
definitely produced, not by any elementary iron law, but
by human enactments concerning land, taxes, and prop-
erty. There exists an enactment about this, that any
amount of land may be the subject of possession by pri-
vate individuals, may pass from person to person by in-
heritance, bequest, or sale; there exists another enactment
about this, that every man must without murmuring pay
the taxes that are demanded of him; and there exists a
third enactment about this, that any quantity of articles,
no matter in what way acquired, forms the inalienable
property of those men who own them; in consequence of
these enactments slavery exists.
These enactments are so habitual to us that they pre-
sent themselves to us as just such natural conditions of
human life, of the necessity and justice of which there
can be no doubt whatever, as in antiquity appeared to
be the laws about serfage and slavery, and we do not
see anything irregular in them. But, as there came the
time when men, seeing the pernicious consequences of
serfage, began to doubt the justice and necessity of the


enactments which asserted it, so now, when the pernicious
consequences of the present economic structure are obvi-
ous, one comes involuntarily to doubt the justice and
necessity of the enactments concerning land, taxes, and
property, which produce these results.
As formerly they used to ask whether it is right that
men should belong to others and that these men should
not have anything of their own, but should give all the
productions of their labour to their owners, so we should
ask ourselves at present whether it is right that people
should not be able to use the land which is considered to
be the property of other men; whether it is right that
men should give to others in the shape of taxes those
portions of their labour which are demanded of them;
whether it is right that people should not be permitted
to use articles which are considered to be the property
of others.
Is it right that men should not use the land, when it is
considered to be the property of men who do not work it ?
It is said that this law established itself, because own-
ership of the land is an indispensable condition for the
success of agriculture, because, if there did not exist
private property, which passes down by inheritance,
people would be driving one another away from the
land seized, and no one would work or improve the plot
of land on which he sits. Is this true ? The answer to
this question is given by history and by the present state
of affairs. History says that the ownership of land has
by no means originated in the desire to secure the posses-
sion of the land, but in the appropriation of the common
land by the conquerors and its distribution among those
who served the conquerors. Thus the establishment of
the ownership of land did not have for its aim the
encouragement of agriculture. Now the present state of
affairs shows us the groundlessness of the assertion that
the ownership of land secures to the agriculturists the


conviction that they will not be deprived of the land
which they work. In reality the very opposite takes
place everywhere. The right of the ownership of the
land, which the large owners have enjoyed more than
any one else, has had this effect, that all, or nearly all,
that is, the vast majority of the agriculturists, are now
in the condition of men who work somebody else's land,
from which they may be arbitrarily driven by those who
do not work it. Thus the existing right of the owner-
ship of the land is by no means a protection of the agri-
culturist's right to the use of that labour which he puts
on the land, but, on the contrary, a means for taking from
the agriculturists the land which they work and for trans-
ferring it to those who do not work it, and so it is in no
way a means for the encouragement of agriculture, but
it is, on the contrary, a means for deteriorating it.
Concerning the taxes it is asserted that men must pay
them, because they are established by common, though
tacit, consent, and are used for public needs, and for the
good of all.
Is that true ?
The answer to this question is given by history and by
the present state of affairs. History says that taxes have
never been established by common consent, but, on the
contrary, always in consequence of this, that certain
men, having by conquest or other means gained the
power over other men, have imposed tribute upon them,
not for public needs, but for themselves. The same
thing is done even at the present time. The taxes are
collected by those who have the power to do so. If now
a part of this tribute, called taxes and imposts, is used
for public works, these public works are for the most part
harmful, rather than useful, to the majority of men.
Thus, for example, one-third of the people's income is
taken away from the people in Russia, but for the chief
need, for the people's education, only one-fiftieth of the


wh,:le inc::r'aw- i used, and this, too, for such education
a; iLtbelr ?t.ilt~ies and harms the people than does them
U .y g.:.IJ. T-h remaining forty-nine fiftieths are used
tor things tliht are useless or injurious for the people,
suih tht: .-arming of soldiers, strategic roads, fortresses,
1.1 ,onL, the maintenance of the clergy and the courts,
.al:iri.s kfr mLlhtary and civil officials, that is, for the
s~uiti'pil:t i:.f thdl-o men who aid in the seizure of the money
tr:',in tih' pt.p'l
The same thing takes place, not only in Persia, Turkey,
and India, but also in all the Christian, constitutional
governments and democratic republics: the money is
taken from the masses of the people,-not as much
as is wanted, but as much as can be taken from them, -
and quite independently of the consent of the taxed
(everybody knows how the parliaments are made up and
how little they represent the will of the people), and is
not used for the common good, but for what the ruling
classes deem best: for the war in Cuba and the Philip-
pines, for the seizure and retention of the wealth of the
Transvaal, and so forth. Thus the explanation given
that people must pay taxes, because they are established
by common consent and are used for the common good,
is as untrue as the other assertion that the ownership of
land was established for the purpose of encouraging
Is it right that people should not use articles which
they want for the gratification of their needs, if these
articles form the property of other men ?
It is asserted that the right of the ownership of articles
acquired was established for the purpose of securing the
working man against the seizure of the productions of
his labour by any one else.
Is that true ?
IWe need only look at what is going on in our world,
where such ownership is protected with especial care, to


convince ourselves to what extent the actuality of our
life does not confirm this explanation.
In consequence of the right of ownership of acquired
articles, there is in our society taking place precisely
what this right intends to avoid, namely, all the articles
which have been produced by the working people are, in
proportion as they are produced, constantly taken away
from those who produce them.
Thus the assertion that the right of ownership secures
to the working people the possibility of enjoying the pro-
ductions of their labour is obviously still more unjust
than the justification of the ownership of land, and is
based on the same sophism. At first the working peo-
ple are unjustly and violently deprived of the productions
of their labour, and then the laws are enacted, according
to which these productions, which were unjustly and vio-
lently seized from the working people, are recognized as
an inalienable possession of the usurpers.
The ownership of a factory, for example, which is ac-
quired by a series of deceits and rascalities committed
against the working people, is considered to be a product of
labour and is called a sacred ownership; but the lives
of those working people, who perish in working in this
factory, and their labour are not considered to be their
property, but are, as it were, considered to be the prop-
erty of the manufacturer, if he, exploiting the want of
the working people, has bound them in a manner which
is regarded as legal.
Hundreds of thousands of puds of corn collected by
means of usury and a series of exactions from the peas-
ants, are considered to be the property of the merchant;
but the corn raised by the peasants on the land is con-
sidered to be the property of another man, if this man
has received the land as an inheritance from his grand-
father and great-grandfather, who took it away from the
people. It is said that the law protects equally the prop-


erty of the owner oi a factory, the capitalist, the land-
owner, hand the fat'to:ry hand and agricultural labourer.
The eqiaality :of' the capitalist and the labourer is the
s.amA .,IS the equlility .:'t' two fighters, when the hands of
one ire I,:,un1l, while a gun is put into the hands of the
other, rn.l equ.! l cjlitions are strictly observed for both
in the fight. Tihu i all the explanations of the justice and
inj hllerin: l.leuIer ts f those three enactments which pro-
du.e slavt.ry are as incorrect as were the explanations of
the justih.:e a nd inhli pesableness of the former serfage.
.ll three en.LA:tilmeitS are nothing but the establishment
of that new iorm of slavery which has taken the place of
the older slavery. As formerly the establishment of enact-
ments as to this, that men might buy and sell people and
own them, and might compel them to work, was slavery;
so now the establishment of the enactments as to this,
that men cannot use the land which is considered to
be the property of another, must pay the taxes demanded
of them, and cannot use the articles which are considered
to be somebody else's property, is the slavery of our
The slavery of our time is due to three enactments, -
concerning land, concerning taxes, and concerning prop-
erty. And so all the attempts of men who wish to im-
prove the condition of the working people are of necessity,
though unconsciously, directed to these three enactments.
Some abolish the taxes which weigh upon the working
people, by transferring them to the rich; others propose
to do away with the right of the ownership of land, and
there have been made attempts at realizing this, in New
Zealand and in one of the States of America (an approach
to it is also the limitation of the right to dispose of the
land in Ireland); others again, the socialists, assuming
the socialization of the implements of labour, propose the


taxing of incomes, and inheritu;i:e::. an.1 the l;iLit.itl.:.a .:f
the rights of the capitalists.- tlir -p..ul-ltr.. It woi.l
seem that those very enactme-nt.s whliii ir,:l.cei ?:.verv :iar-
being abolished, and that we n v M n thf pathl e..:p.-:t the
abolition of slavery itself. But w- n-i.l only I.,k mi.:re
closely at the conditions uni.let wlii:Lh tl- aol.,:litiou :,i
these enactments is accomililhl-.i :irld 1ll,:.O:seil. iu or.li-r
to become convinced that all, not only practical, but even
theoretical projects for the improvement of the working
men's condition, are only the substitution for one set of
enactments, which produce slavery, of other enactments,
which establish the new forms of slavery. Thus, for ex-
ample, those who do away with the taxes and imposts
levied on the poor, by first abolishing the enactments
about the direct imposts, and later transferring these im-
posts from the poor to the rich, must necessarily retain
and do retain the enactments about the ownership of
land, implements of production, and other commodities,
to which the whole burden of taxation is transferred.
But the retention of the enactments about land and prop-
erty, by freeing the working people from the taxes, turns
them over into slavery to the landowners and capitalists.
And those who, like Henry George and his followers, do
away with the enactments about ownership, propose new
enactments about a compulsory land rent. But the com-
pulsory land rent will inevitably establish a new form of
slavery, because a man, obliged to pay the rent, or single
tax, will be compelled at every failure of crops and at
every misfortune to borrow money from him who has it,
and will again fall into slavery. And those who, like
the socialists, in their project do away with the enact-
ments about the ownership of land and the implements
of production, retain the enactments about the taxes and,
besides, are obliged to introduce enactments about com-
pelling men to work, that is, again establish slavery in its
primitive form.


Thus, iu cue way or another, all the practical and theo-
leti,:cil .I.-4liti.,.n f uone set of enactments which produce
islavervy ,:,f one kindI have so far always been followed by new
etla:itmiutn, \'.hi:h produce slavery of another, a new kind.
What is taking; place is very much like what a jailer
doluei, wheu he i.i:nges the chains from the neck to the
arnin. :,r irmin the arms to the legs, or when he takes
the-m i but t.i.ten- the bolts and bars.
All tih .amn:li.:.rations for the working people so far
lpirp"'-.ed Lhav.e .::ou-ited in nothing else.
The e -ua.tmj-ut- .about the masters' right to force the
slaves to do work have given way to enactments about the
ownership of the whole land by the masters. The enact-
ments about the ownership of the whole land by the
masters has given way to enactments about taxes, the es-
tablishment of which is in the power of the masters. The
enactments about taxes has given way to the strengthen-
ing of the right to own articles of use and implements of
labour. The enactments about the right to own land,
articles of use, and implements of production are now to
be abandoned for the enactments about compulsory labour.
The primitive form of slavery was the direct compul-
sion to work. Having made the whole circle of the
different latent forms, ownership of land, taxes, owner-
ship of articles of use and implements of production, -
slavery now returns to its primitive form, though in a
changed aspect,- to the direct compulsion to work.
Therefore it is obvious that the abolition of one of the
enactments which produces the slavery of our day -
either of the taxes, or of the ownership of land, or of the
ownership of articles of use and implements of produc-
tion will not destroy slavery, but will only abolish one
of its forms, which will immediately give way to another,
as was the case with the abolition of personal slavery -
serfage for taxes. The abolition of even all three en-
actments together will not destroy slavery, but will only


provoke a new, still unknown form of slavery, which even
now is slowly manifesting itself in the enactment which
reduces the freedom of the working people, in the limita-
tion of the hours of work, age, condition of health, in the
demands for an obligatory school attendance, in the reser-
vation of a certain percentage to provide for the old and
the maimed, in all the measures of factory inspections, in
the rules of cooperative societies, and so forth. All these
are nothing but advance enactments which are preparing
a new, still unexperienced form of slavery.
Thus it becomes obvious that the essence of slavery
does not lie in those three enactments on which it is now
based, and not even in any kind of enactments, but in
the fact that there are enactments, that there are men
who are able to establish enactments which are advan-
tageous for them, and that, so long as men shall have this
power, there will be slavery.
Formerly it was advantageous for people to have direct
slaves, and so they established the enactment about the
personal slavery. Then it became advantageous to have
land as property, to collect taxes, to retain acquired prop-
erty, and corresponding enactments were made. Now it
is advantageous for people to retain the existing distribu-
tion and division of labour, and enactments are intro-
duced, such as would compel people to work with the
existing distribution and division of labour. And so the
fundamental cause of slavery is enactments,-the fact
that there are men who are able to introduce them.

What, then, are enactments, and what gives men the
power to establish them ?
There exists a whole science, which is more ancient
and more deceptive and hazy than political economy, and
the servants of which have in the course of the centuries


v. written millio:n- .:4i books (which for the most part contra-
dki.t jou' :uiiitheli in order to answer these questions.
But siu.e Lth aim, of this science, as of political economy,
.J:.:-.3 nt :Au-iit in explaining what is and what ought to
I1e, 1-ut in pl:,vin:g that that which is ought to be as it is,
w.e ade all in tbhi science to find very many discussions
about right, about object and subject, about the idea of
the state, and so forth, -about subjects which are ob-
scure, not only to the students, but also to the teachers
of this science; but there is no lucid answer to the ques-
tion as to what an enactment is.
According to the science, an enactment is an expres-
sion of the will of the whole people; but since there are
always more men who violate the enactments, or who
wish to violate them but do not do so from fear of the
punishments imposed for the non-fulfilment of the enact-
ments, than those who wish to fulfil them, it is evident
that the enactments can in no sense be understood as the
expression of the will of the whole people.
There exist, for example, enactments about not destroy-
ing telegraph-posts, about showing respect to certain per-
sons, about the obligation for every man to do military
service or be a juror, or about not carrying certain objects
beyond a certain line, or about not using the land which
is considered to be the property of another, or about not
making any monetary tokens, or about not using articles
which are considered to be the property of some one else.
All these enactments and many others are extremely
varied and may have the most varied motives, but not
one of them expresses the will of the whole people. There
is but one common feature to all these enactments, namely,
this, that if a man will not fulfil them, those who estab-
lished them will send armed men, and the armed men
will beat, deprive of liberty, and even kill him who does
not fulfil them.
If a man does not wish to give in the form of taxes


the portion of his labour demanded of him, armed men
will come and take from him what is demanded, and, if
he offers resistance, will beat him, deprive him of liberty,
or even kill him. The same thing will be done with a
man who will use the land which is regarded as some-
body else's property. The same thing will happen to
a man who will make use of articles considered to be the
property of some one else, which he needs for the gratifi-
cation of his needs or for work: armed men will come,
will take from him what he has taken, and, if.he offers
resistance, will beat him, deprive him of liberty, or even
kill him. The same thing will happen with a man who
will not show respect to what it is enacted that respect
shall be shown to, and with him who will not comply
with the demand to become a soldier, or who will make
monetary tokens. For every non-fulfilment of established
enactments those who do not fulfil them will be pun-
ished: they will be subjected to personal injury, to
the loss of liberty, and even to being killed at the
hands of those men who have established these enactments.
Very many constitutions have been invented, beginning
with the English and the American and ending with the
Japanese and the Turkish, by which people are to believe
that all the enactments established in their state are
established by their own will. But all men know that
not only in despotic, but also in assumedly free countries,
in England, America, France, and elsewhere, the enact-
ments are established, not by the will of all men, but
only by the will of those who have the power, and so
they always are such as are advantageous for those who
have the power, be they many, a few, or even one man.
And the enactments are always and everywhere executed
by the same means by which men have always and every-
where been compelled to do the will of others, that is,
by means of personal injury, loss of liberty, murder, as,
indeed, it cannot be otherwise.


It i :inl':ot be otherwise, because the enactments are the
demand for the fulfilment of certain rules; but people
cannot be compelled to fulfil certain rules, that is, what
is wanted of them, except by subjecting them to personal
injuries, loss of liberty, and capital punishment. If there
are enactments, there has to be the power which can
make men fulfil them. There is but one power which
can compel men to fulfil these rules, that is, the will of
other men, and that is- violence, not simple violence,
which is used by men against one another in moments
of passion, but organized violence, which is consciously
employed by men who have power, in order to compel
other men to fulfil rules which are always established by
them, that is, what they want.
Therefore the essence of the enactments is not at all
the subject or object of right, not the idea of the state,
nor the aggregate will of the people, and similar indefinite
and confused conditions, but is this, that there are men
who, in control of organized violence, are able to compel
people to do their will.
Thus a definite, comprehensible, and indisputable defi-
nition of enactments will be like this:
Enactments are rules established by men who are in
control of organized violence, for the non-fulfilment of
which those who do not fulfil them are subjected to personal
injuries, the loss of liberty, and even capital punishment.
In this definition is contained the answer to the ques-
tion as to what gives men the power to establish en-
actments. What gives them the power to establish
enactments is the same which secures the execution of
the enactments, organized violence.

The cause of the wretched condition of the working
people lies in slavery. The cause of slavery lies in the


enactments. But the enactments are based on organized
Consequently the amelioration of men's condition is
possible only with the destruction of organized violence.
But organized violence is the government, and is it
possible to live without any government? Without gov-
ernment there will be chaos and anarchy, all the progress
of civilization will perish, and men will return to their
pristine savagery. "Just touch the existing order of
things," we are generally told, not only by those for
whom this order of things is advantageous, but also by
those for whom it is obviously disadvantageous, but who
are so used to it that they cannot imagine life without
any governmental violence, "and the destruction of gov-
ernment will produce the greatest calamities, riots, pillage,
murder, and in the end all the bad will rule, and the good
will be enslaved by them." But, to say nothing of the
fact that all that, namely, the riots, pillage, and murder,
at the end of which will come the kingdom of the evil
and the enslavement of the good, has existed so far and
exists now, the supposition that the violation of the exist-
ing order will produce troubles and disorder does not
prove that this order is good.
"Just put your hand on the existing order, and the
greatest calamities will result."
Just touch one brick out of a thousand bricks placed
in a slender column of a number of yards in height, and
all the bricks will fall down and break. But the fact
that the displacement of one brick or any push will
destroy such a column and all the bricks does not at all
prove that it is sensible to retain the bricks in an un-
natural and unsuitable position. On the contrary, it
proves that the bricks should not be kept in such a col-
umn, but should be placed in such a way as to remain
firm and admit of being used without destroying the
whole structure. The same is true with the present


p.liti'",l -truc.ture. The political structure is very arti-
ti"ial ;,u.l very frail, and the fact that the slightest push
ilectr.y- it .o:'es not prove that it is indispensable, but, on
the i:.:,atrIar shows that, if it ever was necessary, it is
n:.w entirely unnecessary, and therefore harmful and
It is harmful and dangerous, because with this struc-
ture all the evil which exists in society is not only not
diminished and mended, but also strengthened and con-
firmed. It is strengthened and confirmed, because it is
either justified and clothed in attractive forms, or con-
All the well-being of the people as presented to us
in the so-called well-managed states, which are governed
through force, is nothing but seeming,-a fiction. Every-
thing which can impair the external decency, all the hun-
gry, sick, monstrously corrupt are hidden away in places
where they cannot be seen, but their not being seen does
not prove that they do not exist; on the contrary, there
are the more of them, the more they are concealed and
the more cruel to them those are who produce them. It
is true, every violation, much more every cessation of the
governmental activity, that is, of organized violence, will
impair such external decency of life, but this violation
will not produce a disorganization of life, but will only
reveal the one that has been concealed, and will make it
possible to mend it.
Men have thought and believed until recently, until
the end of the present century, that they cannot live
without any government. But life goes on, and the con-
ditions of life and people's views change. And, in spite
of the efforts of the governments, which are directed
toward retaining people in this childish condition, in
which it seems easier for an injured man when he has
somebody to complain to, people, especially workmen, not
only in Europe, but also in Russia, more and more come


out of their childhood and begin to understand the tru:-
conditions of their life.
You tell us that without you we shall be vanquished
by the neighboring nations, by the Japanese, the Chi-
nese," now say the people from the masses, but we read
the newspapers and know that no one is threatening us with
war and that only you, the rulers, for some reasons which
are unknown to us, enrage one another, and then, under
the pretext of defending your nations, ruin us with taxes
for the support of fleets, armaments, strategic railways,
which are needed only for your ambition and vanity, and
start wars with one another, as you have just now done
with the peace-loving Chinese. You say that you protect
the landed property for our good, but your protection
has resulted in this, that all the land is passing over into
the hands of non-working companies, bankers, rich men,
while we, the vast majority of the people, are landless
and in the power of those who do not work. You with
your laws about landed property do not protect landed
property, but take it away from those who work. You
say that you ensure to each man the productions of his
labour, whereas you do the very opposite: all people who
produce costly articles are, thanks to your supposed pro-
tection, put in such a condition that they never can get
the value of their labour, and that their whole life is
in dependence on the non-working people and in their
Thus the people of the end of our century are begin-
ning to understand matters and to talk. This awakening
from the lethargy in which they were held by the govern-
ments is taking place in a rapidly increasing progression.
Within the last five or six years the public opinion of the
masses, not only in the cities, but also in the villages,
not only in Europe, but also in Russia, has strikingly
We are told that without the governments we shall


not hav: thob' cultural, educational, social establishments
whi-h all n'.-Ld.
But why a-sume this? Why think that non-govern-
mental pei':'pl wl u.lt be able to arrange their lives for
themsIl-es as .ell as they are arranged, not for them-
sel.vI-;. lt for '.tlh.r,. by the governmental people?
We see, on the contrary, that in the most varied cir-
cumstances of life, people in our time arrange their lives
for themselves incomparably better than they are arranged
for them by the men who govern them. People without
any interference from the government, and frequently in
spite of the government's interference, establish all kinds
of public enterprises,--labour unions, cooperative socie-
ties, railway companies, art6ls, syndicates. If levies are
needed for public works, why need we think that free
people will not be able voluntarily and without violence
to collect the necessary means and to establish every-
thing which is established with the taxes, if only these
institutions are useful for them? Why must we think
that there cannot be any courts without violence ? The
judgment of men in whom the litigants have confidence
has always existed and always will exist, and does not
need violence. We have been so corrupted by a long
slavery that we cannot imagine a government without
violence. But that is not true. The Russian Communes,
when settling in distant regions, where our government
does not interfere with their life, arrange their own
levies, their management, their court, their police, and
always prosper, so long as governmental violence does not
interfere with their management. Even so there is no
reason for the assumption that people are unable by com-
mon agreement to distribute the use of the land among
I have known of people, the Ural Cossacks, who
have lived without recognizing the ownership of land,
and the prosperity and order in the whole society have


been such as do not exist in the society in whi.:hL the
ownership of land is protected by violence. I k.u.w of
Communes at the present time, which exist without r:e-
ognizing the right of separate individuals to own liandl.
The whole Russian people within my memory did not
recognize the ownership of land. The protection given
to the ownership of land by means of governmental vio-
lence not only fails to remove the struggle for the owner-
ship of land, but, on the contrary, for the most part
strengthens it and brings it about.
If landed property were not protected, and so made to
rise in value, people would not crowd in one place, but
would settle on free land, of which there is still so much
on the globe. But now there is taking place an incessant
struggle for the ownership of land, and this struggle is
waged with those instruments which the government
offers with its enactments about the ownership of land.
In this struggle the victory is always obtained, not by
those who work the land, but by those who take part
in the governmental violence.
The same is true in relation to articles produced by
labour. Articles which are actually produced by man's
labour and which are necessary for life are always pro-
tected by custom, public opinion, and the sense of justice
and reciprocity, and are in no need of protection by means
of violence.
Tens of thousands of desyatinas of forest land belong-
ing to one owner, while thousands of people near by have
no fuel, must be protected by violence. The same pro-
tection is needed for plants and factories where several
generations of workmen have been plundered. Still more
must such protection be given to hundreds of thousands
of puds of corn belonging to one owner who has been
waiting for a famine, in order to sell it at a trebled price
to the starving population. But not a man, even the
most corrupt, unless he be a rich man or a government


:.tti,: il. will take fi,:om an agriculturist who supports him-
ei lt with [li ll.a,:tir the crops which he has raised, or the
.*.:.:w wv.,i.- i h Ihl- li raised and which supplies the milk for
Lis Ii:Ild-o:n. or thel plough, the scythe, the spade, which
lie h ias ],nIl and iied. Even if there should be found a
LmanU v .1., \ ':il.l u:aone the less take from another the arti-
.]- pr,:,.i:-ed by him and needed by him, that man
would pr:;.-.:l:' I .-'.ich indignation against himself in all
men who live under the same conditions that he would
hardly find such an act advantageous for himself. But
if that man is so immoral that he will none the less do
so, he will do the same under the most stringent protec-
tion of property by means of violence. We are generally
told: "Try to destroy the right to own land and articles
of labour, and not one man, since he is not assured that
they will not take from him what he has produced, will
care to work." The very opposite ought to be said: the
protection offered by means of violence to the right to
hold illegal property, such as is offered at the present
time, has, if not completely destroyed, at least consider-
ably weakened in men the natural consciousness of justice
in relation to the use of articles, that is, in relation to
the natural and inborn right of property, without which
humanity could not live, and which has always existed
in society.
And so there is no foundation for the supposition that
without organized violence men will not be able to
arrange their lives.
Of course, it can be said that horses and oxen cannot
live without the exercise of violence by rational beings -
men over them; but why cannot men live without
violence being exerted over them, not by some higher
beings, but by men themselves? Why must men sub-
mit to the violence of those men who at a given time are
in power? What proves that these men are wiser than
those men against whom the violence is exerted ?


Their allowing themselves to exert violeo.:e ngiiunst
people proves that they are not only not wi-,-i. but e-.on
less wise than those who submit to them. Th ('hin
examinations for the posts of mandarins, as vwe k:nu:, do
not secure the wisest and best men for the power. Just
as little is this secured by heredity, or by all the systems
of rank promotions or of elections in the European
states. On the contrary, those who get into power are
generally less conscientious and less moral men than
We are asked: "How can men live without govern-
ments, that is, without violence ?" We ought, on the
contrary, to ask: "How can men, rational beings, live,
recognizing violence, and not rational agreement, as the
inner force of their lives ?"
One or the other is true: either men are rational
beings, or they are not. If they are irrational beings,
they are all irrational beings, and there is no reason why
some should enjoy the right to exert violence, while
others do not enjoy this right, and then the violence
exerted by the government has no justification. But if
men are rational beings, their relations must be based
on reason, and not on the violence of men who have
accidentally seized the power, and therefore the violence
of the government has again no justification.

The slavery of men is due to enactments, and enact-
ments are established by the governments, and so the
liberation of men from slavery is possible only through
the abolition of the governments.
But how are the governments to be destroyed ?
All the attempts at destroying the governments by
means of violence have so far everywhere and always
led to this, that in the place of the governments over-


thrown thert, have -1.en established new, frequently more
ciI g',\:[ti. tl iit5 than those which they superseded.
TI:. -a:y nothing .:,' the attempts already made at des-
tro:yilj tlj,: gu:.oeiliiicnts by means of violence, the now
luiniumet dt'-strucl:tli of the violence of the capitalists,
that i;. the si:ialli.: tion of the implements of production
"tid tihe nDw tl:.jo J:i, ic structure, must, according to the
thel:ty :f the .,i.einlists, be produced through a new
,or.hanileli fot': oft violence, and this must be retained.
TIJu the atteLupt. it. destroying violence with violence,
which -'. far i.nave no:t in the past led, and obviously will
not in the future lead, men to their emancipation from
violence, and consequently from slavery.
Nor can it be otherwise.
Violence is exerted by one class of men against an-
other (outside of outbursts of vengeance and anger) for
no other purpose than to compel people against their
wish to do the will of other men. But the necessity of
doing against one's wish the will of other men is slavery.
And so, as long as there shall be any violence, intended for
the purpose of compelling people to do the will of other
men, there will be slavery.
All the attempts at abolishing slavery by means of
violence are like the extinguishing of fire with fire, or the
damming of water with water, or the filling of one ditch
with dirt taken out from another ditch.
And so the means for the emancipation from slavery, if
it exists at all, must consist, not in the establishment of a
new form of violence, but in the destruction of what pro-
duces the possibility of governmental violence. But the
possibility of governmental violence, as of any violence
exerted by a small number of men against a large num-
ber, has always had this effect, that the small number is
armed, while the majority is unarmed, or that the small
number is better armed than the majority.
Thus have things been done in the case of every con-


quest: thus have uatiouns 1'eetl va.iiiquihbld ly the Gre.eks,
the R..naus, the knglhts, .ia C.rte and thus .re .p':'ple
now v-mnuished in Africa an1d Asin, atid tbus di., -Ill the
governmentsu in till-e t [ecte bold their sul.,jets in
subject io.
As in antilquity, e \rn ',:1i nui, one set .-f muei rules
another, *:.nlty lcaoiu.:S;e st:uie ar; armuiL, v hil.e tLhe ..ther3
are not.
In .anient times tlhe warriors X ith their lea-ders fll
upon defen-Ieles iiha.itants a-i, .ia .'uinusbed and plun-
dered them., ';i all ,t1 them, ai:.iiirig t to the part they
took, thtir l.rav'ry., their ciluelty, divided up the bo,:'ty.
and it was -.I..vijuus ti. e\:ryv warrl r thait h the vi:il tLce
practisL:d Iy hinii wrs ad ultogeious for him. Put Liutj
the aimried :l wb..i at t..ti the ui ..ct p-.rt taken tr,,ti
among the w..orki, ig iern, gu, against detItenLieless poit-pit,:
striker, n.:iti rs, :r inhabbitLnt of foreign countrieS., and
vanquish anui pluLnder them that is. i::.nipel thtem t. gi\e
up th-eir ll.l.iu,. ni:t tfor thiremselke lbut for thot:'e who i:d
not ex,.n take part in the sulju.zaticin.
The only dihcrire..e l:et\.ieeLi .:oiiU.pieii..irs and g:overu-
ments is this, that the :u.ij4Uei,.,rr ~ith their warrricnrs
attacked defen:eleS: inhajilt.ints ';an, in :as ..if their
insubmis i:,i. .:arriet out their threats :ft tortures and
murders,. \hile the- -'.~erneuts, in :A ise of injul.himissi'u,
do not themii \e lve practise to:rtuies a rid murder on the
defen:,-less iuhabitaiuts, but catsci: this to l.i, do:ioe bY
deceixeid and .pe'.:ially i.,'eti:li;ed men, who are taken
from anij.2 the \ery inassi'es wlhi,:h they oppre.s. Thus
the fcrune vi'..lenc; e wv.i pria tised thrio:uglih er '.i.,al eletiltS.
-tihrouugh the ira'\ry. cruelty, aid jgility ,f the .-Liu-
querors themsi-lv\-I while tht: pre'ent \jiln:e ni [. ra:ctied
through de:e|pt io'u.
Theief..re, it. tl 1ie freed fromI tile \i.'l,:-u.:' L f aried
men, it \.is Fi:rm] er]\ i,,e:esi-'ar to .rro oniriesell adiid to
offer arnied \i,-leuce ngninqt armed \inlIiuc"e, now, when


the ma s,-. are uo:t vanquished through direct violence,
but through rdeeption, all that is needed for the destruc-
tion of the violeii'-e i9 the arraignment of the deception
whi.:h i n keq- it p',-.:zible for a small number of men to
exert vi.:lenc:e a. diut a larger number.
The de,'epti.:ul tiln:ugh which this is accomplished con-
iist- in thi., that thl small number of ruling men, who
h:ve received their power from their predecessors, as
e-t ibli-hed 1.Y the conquerors, say to the majority:
" There :tre Umany ,f you, you are stupid and uneducated,
aud yo:iu are uo:t n~le to govern yourselves, nor to arrange
your o'wn piri.,h,: :illhirs, and so we take this care upon
oiurISelve-: we will defend you against foreign enemies,
will estI.bli-h and maintain domestic order among your-
selv'e, will judge aoing you, will establish and guard the
publi': iDti tituti:j for you,-the schools, roads of com-
muui.'atLin, pt.,:t.,-and will in general care for your
werll: for all that y..u shall fulfil the few demands which
we will lm:ike up:on you, among them also this, that you
turn over into .:,ur _:ntrol a small portion of your incomes
and thl't you y:ii, selves enter the army, which is necessary
ifr your Iafety oan. to:r your government."
And the men of the majority agree to this, not because
lth, h.;i\'t \iweighe:l the advantages or the disadvantages
o:f thee ,:nditioj (they never have a chance to do this),
but ble,':aui e they tiud themselves under these conditions
fio:t the tine of their birth. If doubts arise in these
lmen na t.:, the nec:-s s:ity of all that, every man, thinking
of hlunielf al,.ie, 1i afraid to suffer in case of a refusal to
full these *:uluditions, and hopes to make use of these
condiitonjs for hiq own advantage, and all men agree to
tlin, :,-urning that the transference of a small portion
of:, theii po-mseio':us to the government, and their agree-
tnltt to do military se-rvice, cannot injure their lives very
tmauh. But the muoiment the money and the soldiers are
in the power of the governments, these, instead of fulfilling


the obligation taken upon themselves of defending their
subjects against foreign enemies and establishing their
prosperity, do everything they can to irritate the neigh-
bouring nations and provoke wars, and not only fail to
contribute to the domestic prosperity of their nations, but
also ruin and corrupt them.
In The Thousand and One Nights there is a story about
a traveller who, having been brought to an uninhabited
island, finds an old man, with dried up legs, sitting on
the ground, on the bank of a brook. The old man asks the
traveller to take him on his shoulders and carry him
across the brook. This the traveller agrees to do. But
the moment the old man seats himself on his shoulders,
he winds his legs tightly around the traveller's neck and
does not let go of him. Having taken possession of the
traveller, the old man orders him about as he pleases,
plucks fruits from the trees, which he eats without giving
anything to the one who carries him, and in every other
way scorns the traveller.
The same is done to the nations which have given
money and soldiers to the governments. With the money
the governments buy guns and hire, or prepare through
education, irresponsible, bestialized military chiefs. But
the chiefs, by means of artful methods of stultification,
worked out through the ages, which are called discipline,
prepare a disciplined army out of the men who are taken
into the army. This discipline consists in this, that the
men who undergo the instruction and have followed it
for a certain time are completely deprived of everything
which is precious to a man,- of the chief human property
-rational freedom,--and become submissive, machine-
like implements of murder in the hands of their organized
hieratic authorities.
There is good reason why the kings, emperors, and
presidents esteem discipline so highly, fear so much the
violation of it, and consider their most important business


t 1.. injbel:-:Oti:onu u; ni:,.iivres, parades, ceremonial marches,
anlt. sintlud f,:ilish things. They know that all that
maint.riin .i.licipiine, .-d.l on discipline alone is based, not
:,uly their p..- tr, li at also their existence. The disciplined
a-rim in th.2 m,-ns \vith which they can through other
ppl:,-ol'i hnliiud: :.:,ujnjit the greatest malefactions, and the
il.'iht t o -ri. -, ul.:,iates the peoples to them.
In this d.licpllnn..i army lies the essence of the decep-
tiAn, in .:'nti'i2'lu.t i'-: o' which the governments of modern
ti m:*. do:min.:tt.- th, nations. When this unwilled im-
pleuj' nt o:f vi:il:.enc' and murder is in the power of
the government, the whole nation is in its power, and the
government no longer lets go of it, and not only ruins it,
but also scorns it, impressing it, by means of a pseudo-
religious and patriotic education, with loyalty and even
veneration for the government, that is, for those very men
who keep the nation in slavery and torment it.
Consequently the only means for the destruction of the
governments is not violence, but the arraignment of this
deception; it is necessary for the people to understand
that, in the first place, amidst the Christian world there is
no need to defend the nations against one another, that
all the hostilities between the nations are provoked only
by the governments themselves, and the armies are needed
only for a small number of ruling men, but are not needed
by the nations, to which they are even extremely harmful,
in that they serve as an implement for the enslavement
of men; in the second place, it is necessary for men to
understand that that discipline which is so highly esteemed
by the governments is the greatest crime a man can
commit, -an obvious proof of the criminality of the aims
of the governments. Discipline is the destruction of
reason and of liberty in man, and cannot have any other
purpose than merely the preparation for the commission
of such malefactions as not one man will commit in his
normal condition. For a defensive national war it is


unnecessary, as has lately been proved by the Boer War.
All that it is needed for, and for this chiefly, is, as deter-
mined by William II., to commit the greatest crimes,-
fratricide and patricide.
In precisely the same manner acted the terrible old
man who was sitting on the traveller's shoulders: he
laughed at him, knowing that so long as he was sitting
on his shoulders, the traveller was in his power.
It is this terrible deception, by means of which a small
number of evil men, in the form of the governments,
dominate the nations, and not only ruin them, but even
commit the most injurious of all deeds, corrupting them
for generations from their very childhood, which must be
laid open, in order that the destruction of the govern-
ments and of the slavery resulting from them may be
made possible.
The German writer, Eugen Schmitt, who edited in
Budapest the newspaper Ohne Staat, printed in it an
article, true and bold not only in expression, but also in
thought, in which he said that the governments, in justi-
fying their existence by saying that they provide for their
subjects a certain amount of security, do not differ in this
from a Calabrese bandit who imposes a tax upon all those
who want to travel safely over the highways. Schmitt
was tried for this, but the jury found him innocent.
We are so hypnotized by the governments that such a
comparison seems to be an exaggeration, a paradox, a jest,
whereas it is no paradox and no jest,-in fact, the com-
parison is incorrect, because the activity of all the govern-
ments is much more inhuman and, above all things, much
more harmful than the activity of the Calabrese bandit.
The bandit for the most part robs the rich, while the gov-
ernments for the most part rob the poor, while they pro-
tect the rich, who help them in their crimes. The bandit,
in doing what he does, risks his life, while the govern-
ments risk nothing and build all their deeds on lying and


.:l-.:'it. The bandit does not forcibly take anybody into
1ii i,:ln.i, while the governments draft their soldiers
S_'enr;lly Iy force. With the bandit all those who pay
thl: trinhiit receive equal security, while in the state a
m:in r.::civcs the more security, and even reward, the
moj:r hLe takes part in the organized deception. Most
.i,. ji i, the emperor, king, or president (he is always
-uril,:iii,.lje by a guard of protection), and he spends the
~r;-' t-i :1 iount of money, which is collected from the sub-
j.:,t wht:, ;ire burdened with taxes; then, in proportion
v.ith thll greater or lesser participation in the govern-
mental crimes, come the commanders-in-chief, ministers,
chiefs of police, governors, and so on, down to the police-
men, who are least protected and who receive the least
salary. But he who does not at all take part in the
governmental crimes, refusing to serve, to pay taxes, to
have anything to do with the court, is subjected to vio-
lence, as one is subjected to it by the robbers. The
bandit does not intentionally corrupt people, while the
governments for the attainment of their purposes cor-
rupt whole generations of children and adults by false
religious and patriotic doctrines. Above all things, not
one, the most cruel bandit, no St4nka Rizin, no Cartouche,
can in cruelty, heartlessness, and refinement of tortures
compare, not only with the sovereigns famous for their
cruelty, John the Terrible, Louis XI., the Elizabeths,
and so forth, but even with the present constitutional and
liberal governments, with their solitary cells, disciplinary
battalions, pacifications of riots, and slaughters in wars.
We must bear ourselves toward the governments as
toward the churches,--either with awe, or with disgust.
So long as a man has not come to understand what the
government is, just as he does not understand what
the church is, he cannot help but look with awe upon
these institutions. So long as he is guided by them, he
must, for the sake of his egoism, imagine that what he is


guided by is something original, great, and sacred; but
the moment he has come to understand that what he is
guided by is nothing original or sacred, and that it is only
the deception of evil men who have used it, under the
guise of guidance, for their personal purposes, he cannot
help but immediately experience disgust for these men,
which is the greater, the more important the side of life
is in which he was guided.
It is this that men must feel in relation to the govern-
ments, if they have come to understand their mean-
People must understand that their participation in the
criminal activity of the governments, whether by giving
up part of their labours, in the form of money, or by
a direct participation in military service, is not an indif-
ferent act, such as people generally take it to be, but,
besides the harm done to him and to his brothers by this
act, also a participation in the crimes which are inces-
santly committed by all the governments, and a prepara-
tion for new crimes, for which the governments are always
ready, when they maintain a disciplined army.
The time for a relation of awe to the governments, in
spite of the whole hypnotization which the governments
employ for the maintenance of their position, is passing
more and more. And it is time for men to understand
that the governments are not only useless, but also inju-
rious and in the highest degree immoral institutions, in
which an honest and self-respecting man cannot and must
not take part, and the advantages of which he cannot and
must not enjoy.
As soon as men shall come to understand this, they
will naturally stop taking part in those acts, that is, giv-
ing the governments soldiers and money. As soon as the
majority of men shall stop doing that, the deception which
enslaves men will destroy itself.
Only in this way can men be freed from slavery.


SBut thet-; are all general reflections; whether they
be ju-t o:r unjust, they are inapplicable to life," I hear
th, ,.l. .-ti..' .:.f people who are accustomed to their posi-
til':n ,.Il who do not consider it possible or desirable to
it n !i, e it.
"T Tell mei, hat is actually to be done ? How is society
t .:, bu- ilt uip '" generally say the men of the well-to-do

Thel meu ':'f the well-to-do classes are so much used to
their r."'le :'f -lave-owners that, when the amelioration
of the working men's condition is under discussion, they,
feeling themselves in the position of the landed proprie-
tors, immediately begin to discuss all kinds of projects for
the management of their slaves, but it does not even occur
to them that they have no right whatever to dispose of
other men, and that, if they really mean to do good to men,
the one thing they can and must do is to stop doing the
evil which they are doing now. The evil which they are
doing is very definite and clear. The evil which they
are doing is not only this, that they are using the com-
pulsory labour of slaves and do not wish to renounce this
exploitation, but also this, that they are themselves taking
part in the establishment and maintenance of this com-
pulsory labour. It is this that they must stop doing.
But the working people are so corrupted by the com-
pulsory slavery that to the majority of them it appears
that, if their condition is bad, the fault is with their
masters, who pay them too little and own the implements
of production; it does not even occur to them that their
bad condition is due to themselves alone, and that, if
they actually desire the amelioration of their condition
and of that of their brothers, and not each his own advan-
tage, the chief thing they should do is to stop doing evil.
But the evil which they do consists in this, that, wishing


to improve their material condition by thi..sc vuiry i rn-,uas
by which they are brought into slavery, thl wh,:.i km; me-n.
to be able to gratify those habits which tly h:i\e U;:i.uii-.l.
sacrifice their human dignity and liberty :i.i :,i cI t ..l'-
grading, immoral positions, or work at producing useless
and injurious articles; but chiefly in this, that they sup-
port the governments, take part in them with their taxes
and direct service, and thus enslave themselves.
For men's condition to improve, both the men of the
well-do-men classes and the labourers must understand
that it is impossible to improve men's condition by pre-
serving their own advantage, that the ministration to men
is not without sacrifices, and that therefore, if people
really want to improve the condition of their brothers,
and not their own, they must be prepared, not only for
the change of the whole structure of life to which they
are used, and to the loss of those advantages which
they have been enjoying, but also for a tense struggle,
not with the governments, but with themselves and their
families, they must be prepared for persecutions for
not fulfilling the demands of the government.
Consequently the answer to the question as to what
should be done is very simple, and not only definite, but
also in the highest degree and always and for every man
practicable and easy of execution, though it is not such as
is expected by those who, like the men of the well-to-do
classes, are fully convinced that they are called, not to
mend themselves (they are good as it is), but to teach
others and provide for them, or who, like the working
people, are convinced that it is not they who are to blame
for their bad condition, but only the capitalists, and that
this condition can be changed only by taking away from
the capitalists what they enjoy, and by making it possible
for all men to enjoy those pleasures of life which the
capitalists alone enjoy at present. This answer is quite
definite, practicable, and easy of execution, because it.


invitc- t:. activity the only person over whom each has a
Irl1, ,I' -nl, and undoubted power, oneself,- and con-
sist 3 iu this, that, if a man -be he slave or slaveholder
- really wishes to improve, not his condition alone, but
the ..:o.iltion of all men, he must himself stop doing the
c-ul which produces his slavery and the slavery of his
brothers. And, in order not to do the evil which pro-
duces his wretchedness and the wretchedness of his
brothers, he must, in the first place, neither voluntarily
nor by compulsion take part in governmental activities,
and so not take upon himself the calling of a soldier, or
field-marshal, or minister, or collector of taxes, or deputy,
or elder, or juror, or governor, or member of parliament, or
in general any office which is connected with violence.
So much for one thing. In the second place, such a man
must not voluntarily pay any direct or indirect taxes to
the government, and must equally not make use of any
money which is collected as taxes, either in the form of
a salary or in the form of pensions, or rewards, and so
forth, nor make use of any governmental institutions
which are supported from the taxes that are forcibly
collected from the people. So much for the second thing.
In the third place, a man who wishes to contribute, not
to his own welfare alone, but to the amelioration of men's
condition, must not turn to the governmental violence,
either for the protection of the ownership of land or other
objects, or for his own security or the security of his
friends, but must own the land, as well as all other prod-
ucts of other people's or his own labour, only to the
extent to which no demands of other people are brought
forward in regard to these articles.
"But such an activity is impossible: to refuse every
participation in governmental affairs means to renounce
life," I shall be told. A man who will refuse to do mili-
tary service will be imprisoned; a man who will not pay
his taxes will be subjected to penalties, and the taxes


will be levied on his property; a man who will refuse to
enter the service of the government, without having any
other means of existence, will perish with his family
from hunger; the same thing will happen to a man who
will refuse the governmental protection of his property
and person; and it is quite impossible not to use articles
that are burdened with taxes and not to use the governmen-
tal institutions, since often it is articles of prime necessity
that are taxed, and it is similarly impossible to get along
without the governmental institutions, such as the post-
office, roads, and so forth.
It is quite true that it is hard for a man of our time to
renounce every participation in governmental violence;
but the fact that not every man is able so to arrange his
life as not to be in some measure a participant in govern-
mental violence does not by any means show that there
is no possibility of freeing oneself more and more from it.
Not every man will have the strength to refuse to do
military service (but there are and will be such), but it is
in the power of every man not of his own free will
to enter military, police, judicial, or fiscal service, and it
is possible for him to prefer a less paying private activ-
ity to the more profitable governmental service.
Not every man will have the strength to renounce his
ownership of land (though there are some men who do
so), but it is possible for every man, if he understands
the criminality of such property, to contract its limits.
Not every man will be able to renounce the possession of
capital (there are men who do) and the use of articles
protected by violence, but it is possible for every man,
diminishing his needs, to make less and less use of
articles which provoke the envy of other people. Not
every person is able to give up a governmental salary
(there are also those who prefer starving to a dishonest
governmental position), but it is possible for every man to
prefer a small salary to a larger one, if only the duties


to: beL performed are less connected with violence. Not
eveiy person can renounce the use of the governmental
schools (there are also those who do), but it is possible for
every man to prefer a private school to one by the govern-
ment. And so it is possible for every man less and less
to use articles that are burdened with duties, and the
institutions of the government.
Between the existing order of things, which is based
on coarse violence, and the ideal of life, which consists in
a communion of men that is based on rational consent
as established by custom, there is an endless number of
steps over which humanity has walked incessantly, and
the approach to this ideal is accomplished only in propor-
tion as men are freed from participation in violence, from
using it, and from the habit of it. We do not know and
we cannot foresee, much less prescribe, as the so-called
learned men do, in what way is to come about this
gradual weakening of the governments and the emancipa-
tion of men from them; we do not even know what forms
human life will assume as it is gradually emancipated
from governmental violence; but we know indubitably
that the life of men, who, having come to understand the
criminality and harmfulness of the government's activity,
will try not to make use of it and not to take part in it,
will be a very different one and more in agreement with
legitimate life and with our conscience than is the present
one, when the men themselves, taking part in the violence
of the governments and making use of it, pretend to be
struggling against it and try to destroy the old violence
by a new form of it.
Above all else, the present structure of life is bad; all
men agree to that. The cause of the bad condition and
of the slavery lies in the violence of the governments. To
destroy the governmental violence there exists but one
means: people's refusal to take part in violence. Conse-
quently, whether it is hard for people to refrain from par-


ticipation in g:v\ernmenta vil:leuce, tor not, and whether
the beneficent results of such a refusal will appear soon,
or not,-such iluetio:jns are supierfl:inls becalu~e there is
but this one means, and no other, for freeing men from
But to what extent and when the substitution of
rational and free consent, sanctioned by custom, fo:r vio-
lence will be realized in every society and in the w.hle
world, that will depend on the strength of the lucidity of
people's consciences and on the number of separate indi-
viduals who have attained to such a state of conscience.
Every one of us is an individual, and every one of us may
be a participant in the common movement of humanity
by a more or less clear consciousness or beneficent pur-
pose, and he may be an opponent to this movement.
Every man has the choice, either to go against God's will,
by building on the sand the frail house of his perishable
deceptive life, or to join the eternal, undying movement
of the true life according to God's will.
But, maybe, I am mistaken, and it is necessary to make
quite different deductions from the history of humanity,
and humanity does not march from violence to emancipa-
tion, and, maybe, it is possible to prove that violence is
a necessary factor of progress, that the state with its vio-
lence is an indispensable form of life, and that men will
be worse off, if governments, property, and the protection
of security are done away with.
Let us admit that that is so and that all the preceding
arguments are wrong; but, besides the general considera-
tions about the life of humanity, every man has also the
question of his personal life, and, in spite of all reflections
concerning the general laws of life, a man cannot do what
he recognizes not only as injurious, but also as bad.
It is very likely that the reflection that the state is a
necessary form of the development of personality and that
governmental violence is indispensable for the good of


.,,:ic:ty may be deduced from history, and that these
reflections are right," every sincere and honest man of our
time will answer. "But murder is evil,- that I know
more certainly than all reflections; but, by demanding of
me military service or money for the hire and arming
of soldiers, or for the purchase of cannon and the arma-
ment of ironclads, you wish to make me a participant in
murder, and I not only do not want that, but am not even
able to do that. Even so I will not and cannot use the
money which you have collected from the hungry under
threat of murder, and I will not make use of the land and
of the capital which you protect, because I know that you
protect only by means of murder.
I was able to do all that so long as I did not under-
stand the whole criminality of these matters; but the
moment I came to see it I was unable to stop seeing it,
and I am no longer able to take part in these things.
I know that we are all so bound up by violence that
it is hard fully to vanquish it, but I will none the less
do what I can in order not to take part in it, I will not
be its accomplice, and I will try not to use what is ac-
quired and protected by murder.
I have one life, and why should I in this my brief
life act contrary to the voice of my conscience and become
a participant in your abominable deeds? I will not
do so.
"What will come of all that? I do not know; but I
think that nothing bad can happen from my acting as my
conscience commands me to act."
Thus must every honest and sincere man of our time
retort to all the arguments about the indispensableness
of governments and violence, and to every demand or
invitation to take part in it.
Thus the highest judge, from whom there is no ap-
peal,- the voice of conscience, confirms for every man
what he is led to by general considerations.

W YV that is again the old sermon: on the one hand,
about the destruction of the existing order without the
substitution of another for it, and on the other, about
non-acting," many will say, upon reading the above.
"The governmental activity is not good, and likewise
the activity of the landowner or enterprising man is not
good; similarly bad is the activity of the socialists and
anarchistic revolutionaries, that is, every practical activ-
ity, and what is good is some kind of a moral, spiritual,
indefinite activity, which reduces itself to absolute chaos
and non-acting." Thus, I know, many serious and sin-
cere men will think and say.
What to men appears most confounding, in the ab-
sence of violence, is the unprotected condition of prop-
erty, and so the chance offered for every man to take with
impunity from another what he needs or wants. People
who are accustomed to the protection of property and the
person by means of violence imagine that without this
protection there will be a constant disorder, a constant
struggle of all against all.
I will not repeat what I have said in another place
about this, that the protection of property by means of
violence does not diminish, but increases disorder. But
even if we admit that with the absence of protection there
may arise disorders, what arc people to do who have come
to understand the cause of those calamities from which
they suffer ?
If we understand that we are sick from intoxication, we


c.annD.t i:..'tiu,.i drinking and hope to improve our con-
ilila..tj l1.v ,iriulki:n moderately, or continue drinking and
tal:d.i Inliin: -which is prescribed to us by short-sighted

The same is true of the disease of society. If we have
come to understand that one set of people does violence
to other people, it is impossible to improve the condition
of society by continuing to maintain the governmental
violence which exists, or by introducing a new, the revo-
lutionary, socialistic violence. That was possible so long
as the fundamental cause of men's calamities was not
clearly discernible. But as soon as it becomes indubi-
tably clear that men suffer from violence which is ex-
erted by one class of men over another, it is no longer
possible to improve the condition of men by continuing
the old and introducing the new kind of violence. Just
as for an alcoholic patient there is but one means for his
liberation, abstinence from liquor, the cause of the
disease, so there is but one means for the liberation of
men from'the bad structure of society, and that is, absti-
nence from violence, the cause of calamities,- from
personal violence, from the propaganda of violence, from
every justification of violence.
Not only is this the only means for freeing men from
their wretchedness, but its application is also necessary,
because it coincides with the moral law of every separate
individual of our time. If a man of our time has come
to understand that every protection of property and per-
sonality by means of violence is attained only by the
threat of killing and by killing itself, he can no longer
calmly use what is acquired through murder or the threat
of killing, much less can he take part in murder or the
threat of killing. Thus, what is demanded for the libera-
tion of men from their calamities is also necessary for the
gratification of the moral feeling of every individual.
And so there can no longer be any doubt for every sepa-


rate individual that both for the common good and for the
fulfilment of the law of his life he must not take part in
violence, must not justify it, must not make use
of it.


And in What Does Its Essence Consist?



r'r t rai I of Tol st6y dLurinQ. H is IlIlIness. 190~2


IN all uInion so.-i:ieties there always, at certain periods
of their life. arrives a tiliim when religion at first deflects
frt:im it' fun'lam:ental nrianing, then, deflecting more and
Lmo:re. loeS it fRiun.o.mental meaning and finally congeals
inm one for all f-stallislihed ':ortIs, aln then its action upon
the hves o-if men o wsv ':onstantly less and less.
During pnih lieril::- the- cltir'.l1 minority, not believ-
ing in the existing reliioi.i tea,:hing, only pretends to be
believingu it it. a it. ini. this necessary in order to retain
the [-,[i'ula.r ma.-ise- in thbe establ:ihed structure of life;
but the pop::ilalr Lum,.E, thu..gh through inertia abiding
in the oiu e efStal:.L'hed formuL o':f r.-ligion, in their lives are
no longer gi'ideil :by the ilema,.ni.s i:f religion, but only by
the [.-'.pilar :uiitoimi and t;ite lraw.
This it has be:L maLLin times in various human socie-
ties, but there has neifer bP'for: happened what now is
going ':i in n r Christianu ,oiety. It never happened
beIfore that the lii:h, ruling. aiu. mdolst cultured minority,
w lji..h h the grueteit intluen, e upon the masses, should
iot believe in the existing religion, but should be con-
vmined that in -:,ur tiue no relgi:n is needed, and should
impress upon the pe:tp:'le whi' do:ulbt in the truth of the
pl.ofei:se'l religion not :Ire tin re rational and clearer
religious dcli.trine thau th, existin- one, but the fact that


religion has in general outlived its time and is now not
only a useless, but also a harmful organ of the life of
societies, something like the blind gut in man's organism.
Religion is studied by these men, not as something
known to us through our inner experience, but as an ex-
ternal phenomenon, like a disease, to which some people
are subject and which can be investigated only from its
external symptoms.
Religion, according to the opinion of some of these
men, originated in the spiritualization of all the phe-
nomena of Nature (animism); according to others, in
the conception of the possibility of establishing a relation
with the deceased ancestors; according to others again,
in the fear of the forces of Nature. And since, the
learned men of our time continue to reason, science has
proved that trees and stones cannot be vitalized, and the
deceased ancestors no longer feel what the living are do-
ing, and the phenomena of Nature are explained accord-
ing to natural causes, there has also been destroyed the
necessity of religion and of all those restrictions which,
in consequence of religious beliefs, people have imposed
upon themselves. According to the opinion of the
learned there was a period of ignorance,- of religion.
This period was long ago outlived by humanity, and only
rare, atavistic signs of it are left. Then followed the
metaphysical period, and that too has been outlived. But
now we, the enlightened men, are living in the scientific
period, in the period of positive science, which takes the
place of religion and leads humanity to a high stage of
development, such as it could never have reached by
submitting to superstitious religious doctrines.
In the beginning of 1901 the famous French scholar,
Berthelot, delivered a speech (Revue de Paris, Janvier,
1901) in which he informed his hearers that the time of
religion was past, and that religion must now give way
to science. I quote this speech, because it is the first


which fell into my hands and because it was delivered in
the capital of the cultured world by a well-recognized
scholar; but the same idea is constantly expressed every-
where, beginning with philosophic treatises and ending
with newspaper feuilletons. M. Berthelot says in this
speech that formerly there were two principles which
moved humanity: force and religion. Now these movers
have become superfluous, because science has taken their
place. By science M. Berthelot, like all men who believe
in science, apparently understands such science as em-
braces the whole field of human knowledge, harmoniously
connected and distributed according to the degree of its
importance, and is in possession of such methods that all
the data acquired by it form an unquestionable truth.
But since such a science does not exist in reality, while
what is called science forms a conglomerate of accidental,
disconnected bits of knowledge, which frequently are use-
less and not only do not represent an undoubted truth,
but are filled through and through with the grossest delu-
sions, which to-day are put forth as truths and to-morrow
are overthrown, it is evident that there does not exist the
very subject which, according to M. Berthelot's opinion,
is to take the place of religion. Consequently the asser-
tion of M. Berthelot and of the people who agree with
him, that science will take the place of religion, is quite
arbitrary, and is based on an ungrounded faith in the in-
fallible science, which completely resembles the faith
in the infallible church. Meanwhile, the people who call
themselves and are called learned are absolutely convinced
that such a science already exists, and that it must and
can take the place of religion, and has even now over-
thrown it.
Religion has outlived its usefulness, and it is a sign of
ignorance to believe in anything but science. Science
will arrange everything needed, and we should be guided
in life by nothing but science," think and say both the

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