Quotes about Vladimir Lenin
109 Sourced Quotes
For historians of the left even to raise the question of affinities between Soviet Communism and 'Fascism' is tantamount to conceding the possibility of a causal relationship. Since 'Fascism' for them is by definition the antithesis of socialism and Communism, no such affinities can be admitted and the sources of 'Fascism' must be sought exclusively in conservative ideas and capitalist practices. In the Soviet Union this trend went so far the under Lenin, Stalin and their immediate successor, it was forbidden to use the term National Socialist.
It is amazing how many of the horrors of the 20th century were a result of charismatic quacks misleading millions of people to their own doom. What is even more amazing is that, after a century that saw the likes of Hitler, Lenin and Mao, we still see no need to distrust charisma as a basis for choosing leaders, either in politics or in numerous organizations and movements.
The three totalitarian regimes differed in several respects… What joined them, however, was much more important than what separated them. First and foremost it was the common enemy: liberal democracy with its multiparty system, its respect for law and property, its ideal of peace and stability. Lenin's, Mussolini's and Hitler's fulminations against 'bourgeois democracy' and the Social Democrats are entirely interchangeable.
I think if I had met him [Lenin] without knowing who he was, I should not have guessed that he was a great man; he struck me as too opinionated and narrowly orthodox. His strength comes, I imagine, from his honesty, courage, and unwavering faith—religious faith in the Marxian gospel, which takes the place of the Christian martyr's hopes of Paradise, except that it is less egotistical... I went to Russia a Communist; but contact with those who have no doubts has intensified a thousandfold my own doubts, not as to Communism in itself, but as to the wisdom of holding a creed so firmly that for its sake men are willing to inflict widespread misery.
Sunday was the normal day for the political awareness session at sea. Ordinarily Putin would have officiated, reading some Pravada editorials, followed by selected quotations from the works of Lenin and a discussion of the lessons to be learned from the readings. It is very much like a church service.
The economic policies of Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany resembled the 'state socialism' which Lenin wanted to institute in Soviet Union upon coming to power, under which private enterprise would work for the government—an idea Lenin was force to abandon under the pressure of the 'Left Communists'.
At that moment Marx puts himself in a position where he becomes the necessary target of all who have a special interest in maintaining the old-similar to Democritus before him, whose work was burned by Plato and his disciples, the ideologues of Athenian slave aristocracy. Beginning with the revolutionary Marx, a political group with concrete ideas establishes itself. Basing itself on the giants, Marx and Engels, and developing through successive steps with personalities like Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung and the new Soviet and Chinese rulers, it establishes a body of doctrine and, let us say, examples to follow.
No prominent European socialist before World War I resembled Lenin more closely than Benito Mussolini. Like Lenin, he headed the antirevisionist wing of the country's Socialist Party; like him, he believed that the worker was not by nature a revolutionary and had to be prodded to radical action by an intellectual elite.
The Nazi appealed to the socialist traditions of German labor, declaring the worker 'a pillar of the community,' and the 'bourgeois'—along with the traditional aristocracy—a doomed class. Hitler, who told associates that he was a 'socialist,' had the party adopt the red flag and, on coming to power, declared May 1 a national holiday; Nazi Party members were ordered to address one another as 'comrades (Genossen). His conception of the part was, like Lenin's, that of a militant organization a Kampfbund, or 'Combat League.'
The Soviet Union began by banishing God. The United States began as a community of people who wanted to worship God as they chose... Man does not live by bread alone. Those in the United States whose desire to create a strictly secular society is as strong as Lenin's was should study this Cold War lesson closely. Communism was defeated by an alliance spearheaded by 'one nation under God.'
Because he did not care about his country, Lenin was prepared to promise everybody whatever they wanted without giving much thought to the future. The peasants wanted private land for their communes? Let them take it: eventually all the land will be confiscated and collectivized anyway. Until then, 'looting the loot' will win over, or at least neutralize, the peasantry. The workers demand to run the factories? Even though 'workers' control is a detestable syndico-anarchist slogan, there is no harm in granting their desires—for the time being. Once industries have been nationalized and subjected to general economic plan of production, 'workers' control' will vanish of itself.
All sense of dialectics is lost when someone believes that today's economy is identical to the economy 50 or 100 or 150 years ago, or that it is identical to the one in Lenin's day or to the time when Karl Marx lived. Revisionism is a thousand miles away from my mind and I truly revere Marx, Engels and Lenin.
Last but not least, the factor which prevented Trotsky from succeeding Lenin was his Jewishness. Trotsky hated to be reminded that he was a Jew. Whenever anybody come to him asking him to help other Jews, he would explode in anger and insist that he was not a Jew but an 'internationalist.' On one occasion he said that the fate of the Jews concerned him as little as the fate of the Bulgarians.
Lenin's methods [of "hard" centralism and mistrust of the working class] lead to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a "dictator" substitutes himself for the central committee. … The party must seek the guarantee of its stability in its own base, in an active and self-reliant proletariat, and not in its top caucus … which the revolution may suddenly sweep away with its wing.