Leo Tolstoy's critique of socialism in the context of his religious ideas

Source document: Sacra. 2021, vol. 19, iss. 2, pp. 25-40
Extent
25-40
  • ISSN
    1214-5351 (print)
    2336-4483 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
Despite the religiosity of late Tolstoy, the studies of his socio-political thought tend to neglect its religious basis and instead draw parallels with socialism. This paper aims to challenge the image of Tolstoy as a socialist by analyzing the latter's attitudes on socialism in the context of his religious ideas. Using Eric Voegelin's approach, the paper shows that Tolstoy's thought cannot be called political but rather moral. Tolstoy saw politics themselves as problematic and promoted the idea of moral self-transformation. The analysis of Tolstoy's two works, What Then Must We Do? (1885–1886) and The Kingdom of God is within You (1891), shows his hostility towards socialism. He claimed that it could not solve social problems and stressed that the only true means of resistance lay in personal moral growth and individual acts of disobedience.
Document
References:
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