AN APPEAL TO RUSSIANS.
acknowledging the land to be common property; not going as
soldiers, and not paying taxes (except such as you voluntarily give
for public works) and peacefully settling your disagreements
through your village Communes—and other nations, seeing your
good life, will not come and conquer you ; or, if they come, on
getting to know your good life they will adopt it and, instead of
fighting you, will unite with you. For all the nations, like you yourselves, have suffered and now suffer from Governments ; from the
strife (in war, trade, and industry) of different Governments against
one another, and from the strife of classes, and of different parties.
Among all Christian nations an inner labour is going on, the chief
aim of which is emancipation from Governments ; but this emancipation is particularly difficult for nations in which the majority
have abandoned agricultural life, and live an industrial town life
employing the labour of other races. Among such nations
emancipation is being prepared by socialism. But for you
Russian labourers, living mainly an agricultural life, and supplying
your own needs, this emancipation is particularly easy. Govern -
ment for you has long ceased to be a necessity or even a
convenience, and has become a great and uncompensated burden
The Government, only the Government, by its power deprives
you of land. Only the Government collects from you in taxes and
customs-dues a great part of what you obtain by your labour. It
alone, deprives you of the labour of your sons, taking them for
soldiers and sending them to be killed.
But Government is not some essential condition of human life,
which will exist as long as mankind lasts, like the cultivation of the
soil, marriage, the family, or human intercourse — Government
is a human institution, and like all human institutions, is set up
when it is needed and abolished when it becomes unnecessary.
Of old, human sacrifices, the worship ol idols, divinations
tortures, slavery, and many other things, were instituted. But they
were all abolished when people were so far enlightened that these
institutions became superfluous burdens and evils. So also with