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Tolstoy: Anarchism or Perennial Philosophy?
In this paper, we criticize a well-known remark in the anarchist literature, i.e., ‘Tolstoy, the Anarchist’, and we claim that this naming is, in fact, an oxymoron. As a theory having related itself to many movements throughout its historical development, anarchism presents considerable uncertainties in its theoretical structure that formed within the process. And as far as Tolstoy is concerned, even some of its proponents reject the claim that he was an anarchist. Departing from Albert Melzer’s view on Tolstoy, this paper tries to show that Meltzer was right in claiming that Tolstoy ‘had never been an anarchist’. In addition to these criticisms coming from the anarchist movement itself, this rejection is mainly grounded in the traditional roots of the concept of an ‘ideal’ religion, a religion of love that would encompass all humanity. When taken into consideration, these traditional roots to which Tolstoy devoted all his life intellectually and spiritually must bring him closer to the Perennial Philosophy; as a result, we claim that Tolstoy must be viewed as a ‘perennialist’ rather than an ‘anarchist’

Tolstoy, anarchism, religion, perennial philosophy, God.

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