Excellent quote, George! Of course a lot of our self-concept is derived from what we do in the world, but changing the world is a burden we need not take on. We cannot control what others will think or do, we only have our voice and our actions. If we always thought of changing the world, our happiness would hinge on the caprice of history.
"You say you want a revolution? Well, you oughta free your mind instead!"
- John Lennon, who did not deserve to be murdered, contra the opinion of someone who wished he had perhaps died earlier than he did.
"Hey Jude...The movement you need is on your shoulder..."
-Paul McCartney, to John Lennon, about John's son.
BTW, Tolstoy wrote a book called the Kingdom of the Lord which asserts that Jesus was not seeking mystical salvation, but was advocating individual peace through pacifism. I started it but put it aside, not having fully formed an opinion, but knowing where I expected the book would end up. It was interesting so far as I got until I was distracted, and was the only thing I have read by Tolstoy even in part.
I did actually pick up a copy of War and Peace from the local library in my parent's town last summer which seemed to be a good translation. Once I realized that my stomach surgery would be done and healed long before I got into the book, I reshelved it. I have not been able to obtain a copy by that translator, but hope to some day. The biggest problem in reading the French & Russian novels of the 19th century is finding the right translation. (I like Hugo & Dostoyevski.)
As for '93 by Victor Hugo, the edeition for which Rand provides the intro is very good. I had the original paperback, but it started falling apart in my hands. I got another version with a different translator, which proved unreadable. I did find a copy of the Rand edition on abebooks.com but have not yet gotten around to finishing it.
Also, the Russian movie version of War and Peace done under the soviets is wonderful, but very hard to obtain, and is quite long. (12 hours I think?) But if you like foreign movies, it is well worth watching.
"Ye" is the old nominal plural form of "you" as in we:ye::us:you. If you wish to address me so, feel free, but since I am not a stranger or a noble, addressing me with "thou" and "thee" would be more appropriate.
I did try for some time to speak to people using "thou and thee" and the universal response was "cut it out, you're freaking me out!"