The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution...Anarchy will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.
"On Anarchy", in Pamphlets : Translated from the Russian (1900) as translated by Aylmer Maude, p. 22
There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.
How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.
"Three Methods Of Reform" in Pamphlets : Translated from the Russian (1900) as translated by Aylmer Maude, p. 29
Every one who has a heart and eyes sees that you, working men, are obliged to pass your lives in want and in hard labor, which is useless to you, while other men, who do not work, enjoy the fruits of your labor—that you are the slaves of these men, and that this ought not to exist.
"To the Working People," Complete Works, trans. Leo Wiener, Vol 24, p. 129 (1905)
Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. Nor can this be otherwise, since always and everywhere a Government, by its very nature, must put in the place of the highest, eternal, religious law (not written in books but in the hearts of men, and binding on every one) its own unjust, man-made laws, the object of which is neither justice nor the common good of all but various considerations of home and foreign expediency.
The Meaning of the Russian Revolution (1906), a work about the 1905 Russian Revolution.
One might think that it must be quite clear to people not deprived of reason, that violence breeds violence; that the only means of deliverance from violence lies in not taking part in it. This method, one would think, is quite obvious. It is evident that a great majority of men can be enslaved by a small minority only if the enslaved themselves take part in their own enslavement. If people are enslaved, it is only because they either fight violence with violence or participate in violence for their own personal profit. Those who neither struggle against violence nor take part in it can no more be enslaved than water can be cut. They can be robbed, prevented from moving about, wounded or killed, but they cannot be enslaved: that is, made to act against their own reasonable will.
The Meaning of the Russian Revolution (1906)
All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
The Law of Love and the Law of Violence (1908)Leo Tolstoy - Wikiquote