Among the pseudo-legitimations of the ruling class Tolstoy first discovered the scientific justification for using violence as a ‘law of history’ in Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest transferred from the world of animals to the social sphere (Social Darwinism):
The only difference in this justification by pseudo-science consists in the fact that, to the question why such and such people and not others have the right to decide against whom violence may and must be used, pseudo-science now gives a different reply to that given by religion — which declared that the right to decide was valid because it was pronounced by persons possessed of divine power. ‘Science’ says that these decisions represent the will of the people, which under a constitutional form of government is supposed to find expression in all the decisions and actions of those who are at the helm at the moment. (3)
This scientific superstition criticised by Tolstoy would however conquer even Japan and India and would make the oppressed commit the same mistakes as their oppressors so that Tolstoy doubts the truth of Free Hindustan’s thesis: “Resistance against aggression is not only justified but demanded: Renunciation of resistance harms altruism as much as egotism”. And Tolstoy replies:
You say that the English have enslaved your people and hold them in subjection because the latter have not resisted resolutely enough and have not met force by force. But the case is just the opposite. If the English have enslaved the people of India it is just because the latter recognised, and still recognise, force as the fundamental principle of the social order . . . .
A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable and freedom-loving people? Do not the figures make it clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians, but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?