Q. But if that is the true meaning of the rule of non-resistance, can it always be put into practice?
A. It can be put into practice like every virtue enjoined by the law of God. A virtue cannot be practiced in all circumstances without self-sacrifice, privation, suffering, and in extreme cases loss of life itself. But he who esteems life more than fulfilling the will of God is already dead to the only true life. Trying to save his life he loses it. Besides, generally speaking, where non-resistance costs the sacrifice of a single life of some material welfare, resistance costs a thousand such sacrifices.
Non-resistance is salvation; Resistance is ruin."
Q. But so long as only a few act thus, what will happen to them?
A. If only one man acted thus, and all the rest agreed to crucify him, would it not be nobler for him to die in the glory of non-resisting love, praying for his enemies, than to live to wear the crown of Caesar stained with the blood of the slain?
(Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, Translated by Constance Garnett [Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1984], 14-15).