The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Peace Requires Anarchy

From a letter to Christopher Tolkien [from his father J.R.R. Tolkien] 29 November 1943

[In the summer of 1943, Christopher, then aged eighteen, was called up into the Royal Air Force. When this letter was written, he was at a training camp in Manchester.]

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973)

My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could get back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing…

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