The refusal to participate in the state becomes, in Tolstoi's thought, a species of nonresistance
to evil by force: a "public" and pragmatic expression of a private, spiritual virtue.
Addams spoke admiringly of Tolstoy, but criticized his public defense of a young disciple who had been imprisoned for upholding Tolstoy's philosophy; she described the defense--the subject came up during conversation at the dinner table --as "disappointing." Addams felt it did not measure up to her own nonresistance
philosophy exemplified by Hull-House practice, which she explained, "found antagonism a foolish and unwarrantable expenditure of energy" (272-3).
Sections of the Mennonite community were already making a transition from nonresistance
to active nonviolence at a time when Vatican II was giving only cautiously worded praise to nonviolence.
Tolstoy believed that a growing movement of civil disobedience, based on the concept of nonresistance
to evil, would undermine the structure of government and force the kind of changes that would allow each citizen to live in accord with his conscience.
Thus, it is precisely this initial condemnation of war that later crystallized into his belief in the nonresistance
We might learn something, nevertheless, from their modernist and postmodern heirs: those Anabaptists living among us who have exchanged the quietism of Old Order nonresistance
for a pacifism ground in nonviolent resistance.
He lived twice in South Africa, where he first encountered racial prejudice and worked out the conventions of peaceful nonresistance
. Back in India, he took a vow of self-purification, developed a passion for Ahimsa, a life of nonviolence, as "a comprehensive principle," and realized the power of civil disobedience.
Later, such groups as the Anabaptists, Quakers, Moravians, Dukhobors and Mennonites made nonresistance
a doctrinal position.
The church must reclaim the proclamation that scandalized the ancient world, that the "people who bear the cross," not the sword, are "working with the grain of the universe." (The phrase is borrowed from the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder.) Hauerwas wants to free the American church from its bondage to idolatrous self-constructions--otherwise known as civil religion--and restore to its mission the countercultural practices of forgiveness and reconciliation, hospitality to strangers, and nonviolence, as well as nonresistance
to death and suffering brought on by forces of evil.
This intelligentsia now suffers from its own version of the Vichy syndrome, the amnesia from which French society (including the left-wing intelligentsia) suffered for many years, whose purpose was to disguise from itself the extent of its own complicity with, or nonresistance
to, the Nazi occupation.
Another seminal work that looks into Garrison's anarchism and nonresistance
is Lewis Perry's Radical Abolitionism: Anarchy and the Government of God in Antislavery Thought (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973).
On the matter of coercion he held to a strict nonresistance
that separated true Christians from the use of force and the holding of magisterial office.