Words to Remember for Life
Tolstoy’s spiritual message on August 24th, 2012


I Wanted to Enhance People’s Well Being Through Peace and a Sense of Equality

── Mr. Tolstoy tried to express through literature how new religions swallowed up Christianity, or were ahead of it, but I felt that Tolstoy’s works actually provided the footing for such thinking.

I also thought that Tolstoy’s writings appeared to criticize the existing churches, but how did you intend to convey those new religions and ideologies? I would be very grateful if you could tell me about the foundations for that content and what you thought at that time.

Tolstoy: Well, your era is a bit different from mine. In my time, the monarchy continued to exist, and parts of the landed aristocracy thrived. It was also a period where many people struggled in life as peasants.
Although I was born into a reputable family of counts, my parents died when I was young, and my life was not such smooth sailing. However, I often reflected on the fact that many people struggled, and only certain parts of the aristocracy were able to lead a good life, which included people from my background.

Then I felt that there had to be some sort of salvation in that difference in status and economic power that became the difference in the greatness of people. What’s more despite the suffering which resulted from the gap between the rich and poor, the periods during the outbreaks of the Napoleonic and the Crimean wars were long, and they caused the weak to become even more impoverished and suffer further still.

For that reason, I wanted to create peace, as well as a sense of equality, and have people share a feeling of happiness. In a way, part of that thinking may have been reflected in the communist regimes of places like the Soviet Union. Well, I didn’t understand politics enough to express it back then, and I only had the ability to articulate my insight through literature.

Solzhenitsyn later wrote “The Gulag Archipelago”, and he shed light on the situation in the Soviet Union. Thought to be an ideal communist society and a place of peace and equality in Japan’s view, the Soviet Union actually appeared to be a country with a regime that sent a steady stream of people with differing opinions to gulags.


Differences in the interpretation of “equality” became a fork in the road for people’s views of the state

Tolstoy: Once people actually attempted idealism, no, maybe I should say once it “was attempted”, the reality of situation created a completely different result, even when individuals attempted it that in reality advocate idealism.

In other words, everyone was enthusiastic to pull down their authority figures and the ultra-rich. It would have been good if the state really did become affluent. However, a handful of nomenclature (the privileged senior members of a communist party government) ruled, and people who simply opposed to the regime were sent to gulags. The ruling elite inculcated the people with ideas of equality and utopia, but their convinced subjects were still destitute.

This was an ideology that had repercussions in China and even at present in North Korea. Many problems existed due to how people interpreted it.

With that idea of “equality” some areas have become like the Soviet Union and the Communist Chinese, while other regions such as Japan and America have become home to egalitarian ideas where, democratically and regardless of class, everyone has had a chance to succeed and build up wealth. These differences in the interpretation of “equality”, subsequently became a fork in the road for people’s views of the state.


The Contradictions That Occurred in the Russian Revolution and in the Suffering of Soviet Union

── You talked about Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” earlier. Did you, by any chance, guide him from Heaven when he wrote that book?

Tolstoy: No (Laugh), that…I wouldn’t say something so rude, but it’s a fact that the post-revolution Soviet Union was not the utopian society that I thought and, more frightening, the politics became heavy-handed, governed by terror.

In the imperial period or when there was a tsar (the Emperor of All Russia), the emperor certainly had great power, and the ordinary citizens actually thought of themselves as poor. However, those people, whose status was decided at birth, were, of course, generous and tolerant by nature.

Yet, when they made a world without the emperor, and the people created a ruling class in the spirit of equality, those citizens who became the new rulers basically began to clamp down on their subjects, because they were afraid of being deceived.

In other words, in order to avoid potential threats from rivals, those ordinary people who started the revolution created an oppressive regime to prevent another revolution from occurring. This is the scenario I couldn’t have predicted at that time.

For this reason, the Soviet Union suffered for a long time, and I feel sorry about this. I wish I had studied a bit more, and I had said something political.


Pondering Modern International Relations
The Solidarity Between the Materialistic States and the Islamic Nations Will Trigger the Next World War

── I think that problems with pacifism are having a major impact on modern Japan. What’s your view on this at the moment?

Tolstoy: Hmm… Well, in the eyes of Japan, Russia is also currently creating territorial conflicts. Is it the issue of the four disputed islands? Medvedev says Russia will not return the islands, and it is building some facilities to secure a foothold. China and South Korea are following suit, and the three nations are showing signs that they will unite.

If a tripartite alliance is formed on territorial issues with Japan, American relations will also become strained. I am a little worried about whether or not the alliance between Japan and America will be able to counter China, South Korea, and Russia if they form an alliance over this issue.

Then, because there is also the North Korea issue. These three countries including South Korea, are armed with nuclear weapons so if Japan insists that it is demilitarized, a pacifist nation, and will not fight, then will America alone cross the Pacific Ocean to protect Japan? In terms of the American budget, opposing to the tripartite alliance will probably be impossible to maintain due to a lack of sufficient military funding.

Now, that territorial issue is linked to the new… It reminds me of the Second World War… What is it called? “The Axis Powers” vs. the…?

── The Allied Powers.

Tolstoy: The Axis Powers vs. The Allied Powers. Maybe it will be the fascist states vs. the democratic states, but I have a feeling that that kind of point of contention will come into being.

If Russia, China, South Korea, and North Korea join forces, then Pakistan, Iran, and Syria will follow their lead, and they link up with the Islamic world. If states with basically atheist and materialist leanings link up, and band together in solidarity in the same way as the impoverished Islamic countries, then what, for example, can America do?

Given the above scenario, if America, a country that acts like a “rabid dog” and engineers a war over anything or anyone, for instance, Gaddafi who was killed recently, and it might be said to distort history, if Japan advocated an isolated, anarchist pacifism posture, then the world’s axis would greatly change.

In the worst-case scenario, if all of the states with a materialist and atheist way of thinking, if they all band together, and the egalitarian states likely operate together with them, basically all of the states that are poor and dissatisfied, then it could trigger another world war. Those countries could stir up hatred towards the states that use their liberal ideology to make money and prosper like Israel with its Jewish capital and America. That’s where the point of contention could arise. I am concerned a bit about that predicament.


A message for Russia
I Want Russia to Develop a Deeper Friendship With Japan and Become a Country That Is Accepted by the World.

── If you have a message for the people of Russia, then we would, by all means, like to hear it.

Tolstoy: It would be good if a politician emerged in line with Yeltsin’s thinking, then he could westernize and liberalize the country to a certain extent. Thus, Russia could develop an affluent economy. Russia could transform into a country that is accepted by the world and it could have a deeper friendship with Japan.

Russia is currently colluding with China, and that country opposes everyone, but it’s about time Russia changed its way of thinking.

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Words to Remember for Life
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