The Wisdom of Leo Tolstoy (II)

Also from “The Law of Love and the Law of Violence” in A Confession and Other Religious Writings:

Today the States of the Christian world have not only reached but have surpassed the limit which the States of the ancient world attained before their downfall. This can bee seen particularly clearly because in our times every step forward in technical progress not only fails to advance the common weal but, on the contrary, shows with increasing clarity that all this progress can only increase people’s misery and can in no way diminish it. Yet other new contrivances might be invented for transporting people from one place to another, submarine, subterranean, aerial and spatial, as well as new methods of disseminating speech and thought; but, since the people travelling from one place to another are neither willing nor able to commit anything but evil, the thoughts and words being spread will incite men to nothing but evil.

Old men have been yelling at that cloud forever and have been predicting the downfall of the state forever (although, in Tolstoy’s case, it would actually come about a decade later). But you can read this and completely equate it with things you might read on the Internet today about the United States.

I agree with the last bit, though: Human nature being what it is, people will do evil if they want.