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Excerpt from Tolstoy and His Message
If Tolstoy left the university because of a dramatic picture of the labour question as a whole, he found himself at Yasnaia Poliana confronted with the same problem in its simplest and most comprehensive form, namely the land question. Why, indeed, should he, a lad of eighteen, own thousands of acres of the surface of the earth which God has given to the children of men, while his serfs, who cultivated it and made it fruitful, did not possess a foot P There is no reasonable answer to this question, and while Tolstoy may not have put it to himself in that form at that time, still he soon learned the futility of benevolence based upon land lordism.
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