Today in 1828, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, or Leo Tolstoy, as most have come to know the Russian writer, was born in Yasnaya Polyana, a few hundred miles south of Moscow.
While Tolstoy is best know for works such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, it is important to note that Tolstoy’s later works on Christian Anarchist thought and non-violence (specifically, what is refered to as “peaceful non-resistance”) had a profound impact on Martin Luther King, Jr. and had a direct impact on Mahatma Ghandi.
For anyone who is interested in truly achieving peace, his work The Kingdom of God is Within You is a must read.
Tolstoy’s influences included Victor Hugo, George Fox, William Penn.
In honor of Leo Tolstoy, we present links to our own works which have been inspired by Leo Tolstoy, whom Ghandi referred to as:
The greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced
What kind of book is this? It is largely up to the reader to decide. For us, it is the fruit of two years of wrestling with some of life’s deeper questions with regards to Economics, Politics, and Philosophy. It has answered many of them and, in turn, has raised other issues, for in our exploration, as you will see, the current state of affairs is laid bare for all to examine, and our recommended courses of action may be unpalatable for many.
Nevertheless, there it is, altogether thick and challenging, yet refreshingly simple, the key to reversing the effects of climate change.
In a sense, it culminates the first phase of what we set out to do here at The Mint. There will be more to come, but for the time being, we leave you to ponder the following brief excerpt:
“The natural world strives daily to achieve a perfect state of balance. Events and occurrences that, taken by themselves, appear chaotic and devoid of meaning are together part of a constant rebalancing of the earth’s delicate state. Each event is a splash of color across an oppressive gray sky that hints at a rainbow that will soon appear. “
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who survived a vicious attack by Taliban gunmen as she and her friends attempted to exercise their right to go to school, was given the opportunity of a lifetime yesterday as she addressed a youth delegation at the United Nations’ general assembly room on her 16th birthday. Her address to the UN, which can be seen below in its entirety, will go down as one of the greatest in recent memory.
Many in the West will no doubt be stricken by the fact that there are places in the world where girls are not allowed to attend school even when the facilities exist. We were stricken for a different reason: Malala is not only one who has stood up for educational rights, she is a 16 year old peacemaker.
In the speech she cites Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and others as her inspiration to pursue peaceful methods of protest. In doing so, she has become a living example of two truths:
That violence is a symptom of cowardice, and that the peacemakers shall be called the children of God.
The following is an excerpt from our upcoming ebook release, “What is Truth? On the Nature of Empire” which is volume IV in our series “Why what we use as Money Matters.”
As we researched the book, we were joined unexpectedly by James Tissot by way of his astonishing artwork. His depiction of Joseph and His Brothers approaching Pharaoh adorns the cover, and his great works, such as this one entitled: “Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix” or “What Our Lord Saw from the Cross” in English have moved and inspired us as we have toiled on this volume. We pray that they will move and inspire you as well.
“Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix” (What Our Lord Saw from the Cross) – by James Tissot
What is Truth? On the Nature of Empire
As men and women go about their daily occupations, it is relatively common to stop and form an opinion on the benefits or detriments to society of a particular action taken by the government. While it is easy to form an opinion and then take sides of an issue, perhaps the most important question that can be asked is not, “What should the government do?” but rather, “Why is the government doing anything?”
The reason that the second question is rarely, if ever asked is that the concept of Empire, or a large scale government which is seen as the ultimately authority, has been part of the human experience for so long that it’s existence or utility are rarely, if ever, questioned. We pray that this volume has caused you to give it some thought.
The ignoble goal of all Imperial activities has been to establish and maintain primacy in the affairs of men and women throughout the entire known world. This demand for primacy and allegiance takes the form of the Empire claiming a monopoly on the use of force, which is invariably followed by demands for tribute. Ultimately, the head of Empire will make an appeal to divine right and declare him or herself a deity. As the Empire begins to fade out of existence, it tends to become more violent and intolerant, not conscious of the fact that its subjects are devoting a great deal of time and energy to escaping its grasp.
Those who remain are left to either perish at the hands of the Empire or at the hands of those who see no alternative save the use of the force of arms to overthrow the Imperial leadership, which has been necessarily populated by the members of society who are best able to suppress their conscience in blind pursuit of the Imperial imperative.
Such is the nature of Empire, and it is lethal to human progress. The existance of Empire on the earth ensures that all who inhabit it will take the side of Cain, who in the Biblical account related in Genesis chapter 4 lead his younger brother Abel to a field where he murdered him, or Abel, the innocent. Cain’s murderous act is born out of the mistaken belief that the removal of others from the earth will secure one’s place before God and man. It is an idea that is the driving force behind Imperial action, and it is death.
Fortunately, there is a better way. The better way lies neither in violently or peacefully resisting the Empire, it lies in the doctrine of non-resistance, which paradoxically is the best way to ensure one’s safety and security regardless of the state of Imperial degeneration that one finds themselves surrounded by.
However, the path of non-resistance is not without risk. Many of history’s most noted adherents are noted because they perished while clinging to this principle. It is not for the faint of heart, yet it is attainable.
The power to do this is found in the person of Jesus Christ, who replied to the Imperial lament, voiced by Pontius Pilate, an instrument of the Roman Empire, “What is truth?”
Jesus’ response, which is not recorded in the Biblical account but made clear by His subsequent actions, echoes through 2000 years of Imperial rule to guide our actions today:
In His reply, we find the power to embrace the doctrine of non-resistance, which is the only hope that mankind has to live in peace both here and now, regardless of the proximity of Imperial rule to his or her daily activities, and in eternity. For to forgive is to live in eternal peace with God himself.
Stay tuned in to The Mint for the upcoming ebook release!
We are taking a brief break from Old Jules and our “To Build up the Land” series to present the introduction to our soon to be released e-book, the latest volume in the Why what we use as Money Matters series. Enjoy!
b: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority
c: a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government
2.a: absence or denial of any authority or established order
b: absence of order
Anarchy. The word strikes fear in the hearts general public, who have been trained to conjure images from fraternity house shenanigans to rioting and looting on the streets of important cities at its mention. For most civilized persons, with these mental images close at hand, anarchy is something to be avoided at all costs. How can civilized society carry on with the threat of bombs and looting effectively slamming the brakes on human progress?
In this volume, we seek to free the concept of anarchy from these negative connotations. For anarchy, far from being the greater evil in the choice amongst evils when it comes to man’s state in this world, is really not a choice at all. Rather, anarchy is something that every human being and animal on the planet is born into. It is the basic state of man in this world. It is an ultimate given.
As an ultimate given, it is futile, nay, self-destructive for men and women to live their lives fretting about falling from a state of order into one of anarchy. The line of thinking is debilitating and counterproductive to what must be mankind’s highest and most urgent calling in the physical realm: How best to respond to the state of anarchy in which they live.
For it is not anarchy itself that causes disorder and the other maladies which the mere mention of the word bring to mind, but mankind’s failed responses to this ultimate given under which they labor and cause others to labor on their behalf. The only thing more dangerous than confusing anarchy for the disorder which arises from the collapse of a failed response to it, is to spend ones life’s toils aiding another person’s failed response to his or her inherently anarchic surroundings.
Further, this volume seeks to give the reader a sufficient level of awareness to step back, if even for a moment, to evaluate the response to anarchy under which they are currently laboring and make a sober evaluation as to whether they are truly laboring in alignment with their own best interests.
Too many lives have been wasted laboring under a mistaken fear and avoidance of anarchy, and we hope this volume will steer the reader away from this fate. It may not change the way you think or what you do at all, and that is good. For to personally validate ones own course in life with a firmer grasp of the facts has caused harm to no one. In fact, it should cause one to carry on with a renewed sense of pride and purpose. We only encourage you, then, to offer others the chance to give their own lives a sober evaluation, and respect their decision to change once they truly understand the wonderful anarchy into which we are all born.
The book is now available on Kindle and will be available on Smashwords in early May.
Today, the United States of America will live through a day which is charged with irony. On one hand, its citizens will hear a discourse given with the aid of teleprompters from the Commander-in-Chief of the most lethal killing machine on the planet. On the other, the same nation will celebrate one of the greatest community organizers and peacemakers of modern times, Martin Luther King, Jr.
In honor of the Dr. King, we wish to share perhaps some little known facts about the man who immortalized the words, “I have a dream.”
The first is that Martin Luther King was seeking a relatively low-key role in the desegregation movement that he is now recognized as the leader of. According to the documentary of the Civil Rights Movement, “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Dr. King was thrust into the leadership role of the movement in Alabama largely so that the local leaders could save face should it fail.
The second, and most enduring, are the tactics which Dr. King employed in mobilizing forces against segregation, those of non-violent resistance. These tactics made the American Civil Rights Movement both unique and undeniably effective.
In Dr. King’s time, non-violent resistance had been most recently employed on a large-scale by Gandhi in India. Non-violent resistance is the idea that acts of non-resistance in the face of aggression are more powerful than the all of the weapons and anger on earth, for it is clear that fighting violence with violence tends to lead to further violence. In order to break the cycle of violence, it must be confronted with peace.
Some of the most eloquent defenses of Dr. King’s moral guiding light have been written by relative unknowns such as Adin Ballou, who wrote the Catechism of Non-Resistance, and William Lloyd Garrison, who penned the Declaration of non-resistance.
In practice, Dr. King employed the tactics championed by Wyatt Tee Walker, who advocated direct but peaceful confrontation in the form of protests and marches. The premise being that unjust laws, such as those employed to maintain the policy of segregation, would not stand in the face of public scrutiny if peacefully resisted on a large-scale.
Today, in honor of one of the greatest leaders of the modern age, let us embrace non-aggression and turning the other cheek as the ultimate solution to our problems, if even for a day.
Famous quotes attributed to Dr. King:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Today, the rockets around grounded in the Holy Land. For how long, is anybody’s guess. It appears, as most negotiations are, to be a mixed outcome, as both Egypt and the US are involved in the role of policing the agreement.
The current cease fire, which has, for the moment, halted aggressions between Hamas and Israel, appears to call for the Egyptian government to guarantee the conditions are being met with big brother, the United States, monitoring the situation.
If indeed the rockets, in particular the longer range Fajr-5s, remain neutralized, Israel will have gained a key objective. However, according to Stratfor, it appears that, for the moment, only Hamas and Israel have assented to the cease fire. The Palestinian Jihad remains a variable, and how long the cease fire will last likely hinges upon their willingness to observe it, as any projectile launched into Israel from Gaza will likely trigger the imminent Israeli ground invasion.
It is difficult to tell if Israel is strategically better off assenting to what is being reported as a tentative cease fire. While humankind benefits, this will slow progress towards what we perceive to be the Israeli’s ultimate goal with this operation, the disabling of Iran’s nuclear program.
On the other hand, Israel now has the US firmly engaged, raising the odds that US assets will be called into the region. In a sense, they have been hovering there for the past 11 years.
The United States has a gigantic problem of its own, namely, a Fiscal train wreck which is nearing impact with an ETA of January 1. The train wreck has already done a great deal of damage, as assumptions across the board are being reset in anticipation of Washington punting or worse, bungling the situation.
Unfortunately, it is the type of problem that the Keynesians who dominate economic thought at the highest levels have openly advocated war, the ultimate economic stimulus in a self destructive, insane, “debt is money” system, as a remedy.
As the winds of war continue to swirl about the Middle East, let us be thankful for the gesture made by Hamas and Israel, and pray that it will bear the fruit of an everlasting peace in the region. For in the deepest despair lies the potential for the greatest hope, and consequently the greatest good.
At this hour there have been few specifics as to what the terms of the cease fire are, but the mere fact that the hostilities have ceased comes as a great relief and gives those of us celebrating Thanksgiving, the wonderful, unique, and perhaps purest holiday celebration that we know of, an extra reason to celebrate tomorrow.
We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and beyond, for peace is merely a matter of erasing borders and choosing to forgive.
For a lasting peace to prevail, the deadly “Might Makes Right” mentality must be renounced in favor of IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS, and it is up to each one of us to choose to forgive and be forgiven. Only then, when there is peace in our hearts, will the world know peace.
Happy Thanksgiving, may you and yours dine on forgiveness and drink in grace this Holiday Season.