Best 39 of Lenin quotes - MyQuotes
If it’s not one god it’s another. Allah or oil. Jesus or Jewels. Lenin or lust.
I think you are wise. You haven't got what it takes for this job. You are like Rosemary's father. He couldn't understand Lenin's dictum: 'Away with softness.'" I thought of Hercule Poirot's words. "I'm content," I said, "to be human...." We sat there in silence, each of use convinced that the other's point of view was wrong.
I know him by another name. His real one is Slem, not uncommon for men of his generation. It stands for Stalin Lenin Engels Marx. He's always making up new names for himself--wouldn't you?
The transitional nature of the 1920's can also be discerned in what may be labeled a new kind of 'dvoeverie' (or dual faith), a syncretistic belief that combined peasant ways and new Communist practices in tentative and uneasy assimilation. For example, there were reports of portraits of Lenin or Kalinin turning up in icon corners and of habit-ridden old peasants crossing themselves in front of these holy images.
Armand’s role in Lenin’s life should not be reduced to her alleged stint as ‘Lenin’s mistress’.
You have to understand the nature of Communism. The very ideology of Communism, all of Lenin's teachings, are that anyone who doesn't take what's lying in front of him is a fool If you can take it, do so. If you can attack, strike. But if there's a wall, retreat. The Communist leaders respect only firmness and have contempt for persons who continually give in to them.
C. P. Snow
One day at Fenner's (the university cricket ground at Cambridge), just before the last war, G. H. Hardy and I were talking about Einstein. Hardy had met him several times, and I had recently returned from visiting him. Hardy was saying that in his lifetime there had only been two men in the world, in all the fields of human achievement, science, literature, politics, anything you like, who qualified for the Bradman class. For those not familiar with cricket, or with Hardy's personal idiom, I ought to mention that “the Bradman class” denoted the highest kind of excellence: it would include Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Newton, Archimedes, and maybe a dozen others. Well, said Hardy, there had only been two additions in his lifetime. One was Lenin and the other Einstein.
Far from addressing the Soviet nationalities question, the Afghan adventure had, as was by now all too clear, exacerbated it. If the USSR faced an intractable set of national minorities, this was in part a problem of its own making: it was Lenin and his successors, after all, who invented the various subject ‘nations’ to whom they duly assigned regions and republics. In an echo of imperial practices elsewhere, Moscow had encouraged the emergence—in places where nationality and nationhood were unheard of fifty years earlier—of institutions and intelligentsias grouped around a national urban center or ‘capital.
As is well-known among those who still remember Marxism, the ambiguous central point of its theoretical edifice concerns its premise that capitalism itself creates the conditions for its self-overcoming through proletarian revolution - how are we to read this? Is it to be read in a linear evolutionary way: revolution should take place when capitalism fully develops all its potentials and exhausts all its possibilities, the mythic point at which it confronts its central antagonism ("contradiction") at its purest, in its naked form? And is it enough to add the "subjective" aspect and to emphasize that the working class should not just sit and wait for the "ripe moment," but to "educate" itself through long struggle? As is also well-known, Lenin's theory of the "weakest link of the chain" is a kind of compromise-solution: although it accepts that the first revolution can take place not in the most developed country, but in a country in which antagonisms of the capitalist development are most aggravated, even if it is less developed (Russia, which combined concentrated modern capitalist-industrial islands with agrarian backwardness and pre-democratic authoritarian government), it still perceived October Revolution as a risky break-through which can only succeed if it will be soon accompanied by a large-scale Western European revolution (all eyes were focused on Germany in this respect). The radical abandonment of this model occurred only with Mao, for whom the proletarian revolution should take place in the less developed part of the world, among the large crowds of the Third World impoverished peasants, workers and even "patriotic bourgeoisie," who are exposed to the aftershocks of the capitalist globalization, organizing their rage and despair. In a total reversal (perversion even) of the Marx's model, the class struggle is thus reformulated as the struggle between the First World "bourgeois nations" and the Third World "proletarian nations.
He was Lenin in a Lamborghini. He was Gandhi with a gun
Marx made theory... Lenin applied it with his sense of large-scale social organization... And Henry Ford made the work of the socialist state possible.
The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.
In Lenin's view, such changes were positive: nations, as products of capitalist economic relations, fitted into classic Marxist stage theory of development. Even Stalin, who differed on the implications for Soviet policy, agreed that nations were an inescapable phase through which all humans communities must pass. Ultimately, they (like, capitalism) would be superseded, but for precapitalist societies national development and nationalist movements were treated as progressive. Lenin drew a further distinction between great-power nationalism, which oppressed others, and small-power nationalism, which formed in response o it. In places - such as Russia - that had been responsible for national and colonial oppression of others, nationalism was to be combated without mercy and torn out by the roots. Among groups that had been victims of national or colonial oppression, by contrast-such as in the tsarist imperial periphery, where Russian power had created deep economic, political, and social resentment-the Leninist approach was to build socialism while encouraging indigenous development and national differentiation.
I am aware always that the powers that be are so strong, we can not go headlong to pit our forces, it would be suicidal, so we had that position. Which Lenin himself said that 'it is not only foolish to launch an armed revolution but it is a leftist criminal adventurism when the people are not ready to support it.' The people are not ready, they don't even understand what we are talking about. . . . Yes, even socialism is not yet understood by people, much less communism. And the rich are very afraid of communism because it means confiscation of their wealth and liquidation of their lives.
I think that after five years of the Russian “revolution the most important thing for all of us, Russian and foreign comrades alike, is to sit down and study. We have only now obtained the opportunity to do so. I do not know how long this opportunity will last. I do not know for how long the capitalist powers will give us the opportunity to study in peace. But we must take advantage of every moment of respite from fighting, from war, to study, and to study from scratch.” “Lenin’s last speech to the Communist International (Fourth Congress; 13 November 1922)
There are two famous quips of Stalin which are both grounded in this logic. When Stalin answered the question "Which deviation is worse, the Rightist or the Leftist one?" by "They are both worse!", the underlying premise is that the Leftist deviation is REALLY ("objectively," as Stalinists liked to put it) not leftist at all, but a concealed Rightist one! When Stalin wrote, in a report on a party congress, that the delegates, with the majority of votes, unanimously approved the CC resolution, the underlying premise is, again, that there was really no minority within the party: those who voted against thereby excluded themselves from the party... In all these cases, the genus repeatedly overlaps (fully coincides) with one of its species. This is also what allows Stalin to read history retroactively, so that things "become clear" retroactively: it was not that Trotsky was first fighting for the revolution with Lenin and Stalin and then, at a certain stage, opted for a different strategy than the one advocated by Stalin; this last opposition (Trotsky/Stalin) "makes it clear" how, "objectively," Trotsky was against revolution all the time back. We find the same procedure in the classificatory impasse the Stalinist ideologists and political activists faced in their struggle for collectivization in the years 1928-1933. In their attempt to account for their effort to crush the peasants' resistance in "scientific" Marxist terms, they divided peasants into three categories (classes): the poor peasants (no land or minimal land, working for others), natural allies of the workers; the autonomous middle peasants, oscillating between the exploited and exploiters; the rich peasants, "kulaks" (employing other workers, lending them money or seeds, etc.), the exploiting "class enemy" which, as such, has to be "liquidated." However, in practice, this classification became more and more blurred and inoperative: in the generalized poverty, clear criteria no longer applied, and other two categories often joined kulaks in their resistance to forced collectivization. An additional category was thus introduced, that of a subkulak, a peasant who, although, with regard to his economic situation, was to poor to be considered a kulak proper, nonetheless shared the kulak "counter-revolutionary" attitude.
The Socialist Party had a slight, sympathetic contact with the Bolsheviks. In March, 1915, the Socialist Standard had on its front page a statement headed A RUSSIAN CHALLENGE. The Russian party, finding itself uninvited to a London conference of social-democrtic parties of the Allied nations,sent a declaration which every left-wing paper refused to publish before it was recieved by the SPGB...the statement condemned the war and the 'monstrous crime against socialism' of the labour leaders who had entered war governments.
Convinced that their own ideas were the key to the future of the world, that the fate of humanity rested on the outcome of their own doctrinal struggles, the Russian intelligentsia divided up the world into the forces of 'progress' and 'reaction', friends and enemies of the people's cause, leaving no room for doubters in between. Here were the origins of the totalitarian world-view. Although neither would have liked to admit it, there was much in common between Lenin and Tolstoy.
It was not Marxism that made Lenin a revolutionary but Lenin who made Marxism revolutionary.
Ancak kendine güveni olmayanlar, güvenilmez insanlarla bile olsa geçici ittifaklara girmekten korkar ve hiçbir politik parti bu tür ittifaklar olmadan var olamaz.
He who does not cry out the truth when he knows the truth becomes the accomplice of the liars and falsifiers.
A. E. Samaan
The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private liberty.
No artist has painted A true portrait of Lenin Ages to come will complete Lenin's unfinished portrait. Did Poletaev understand the tragic implication of his lines about Lenin? (pg179)
The only way to survive such shitty times, if you ask me, is to write and read big, fat books, you know? And I’m writing now another book on Hegelian dialectics, subjectivity, ontology, quantum physics and so on. That’s the only way to survive. Like Lenin. I will use his example. You know what Lenin did, in 1915, when World War I exploded? He went to Switzerland and started to read Hegel.
Georgi M. Derluguian's Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus tells the extraordinary story of Musa Shanib from Abkhazia, the leading intellectual of this turbulent region whose incredible career passed from Soviet dissident intellectual through democratic political reformer and Muslim fundamentalist war leader up to respected professor of philosophy, his entire career marked by the strange admiration for Pierre Bourdieu's thought. There are two ways to approach such a figure. The first reaction is to dismiss it as local eccentricity, to treat it with benevolent irony - "what a strange choice, Bourdieu - who knows what this folkloric guy sees in Bourdieu...". The second reaction is to directly assert the universal scope of theory - "see how universal theory is: every intellectual from Paris to Chechenia and Abkhazia can debate his theories..." The true task, of course, is to avoid both these options and to assert the universality of a theory as the result of a hard theoretical work and struggle, a struggle that is not external to theory: the point is not (only) that Shanib had to do a lot of work to break the constraints of his local context and penetrate Bourdieu - this appropriation of Bourdieu by an Abkhazian intellectual also affects the substance of the theory itself, transposing it into a different universe. Did - mutatis mutandis - Lenin not do something similar with Marx? The shift of Mao with regard to Lenin AND Stalin concerns the relationship between the working class and peasants: both Lenin and Stalin were deeply distrustful towards the peasants, they saw as one of the main tasks of the Soviet power to break the inertia of the peasants, their substantial attachment to land, to "proletarize" them and thus fully expose them to the dynamics of modernization - in clear contrast to Mao who, in his critical notes on Stalin's Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR (from 1958) remarked that "Stalin's point of view /.../ is almost altogether wrong. The basic error is mistrust of the peasants." The theoretical and political consequences of this shift are properly shattering: they imply no less than a thorough reworking of Marx's Hegelian notion of proletarian position as the position of "substanceless subjectivity," of those who are reduced to the abyss of their subjectivity.
If Lenin would have had facebook, there would never have been any Russian Revolution. He would have had five followers, a handful of friends, and he'd type frantically into his own bubble. If Hitler would have had facebook, we'd still be plagued by a constant stream of conspiracy sites. Damn, how lucky are we exactly that none of these geezers had facebook and meddled about with the world instead.
Ya burjuva ideolojisi ya da sosyalist ideoloji. Bunun ortası yok (çünkü insanlık "üçüncü" bir ideoloji yaratmış değildir; ayrıca genel olarak sınıfsal çelişkilerle parçalanmış bir toplumda, hiçbir zaman sınıflar dışı veya sınıflar üstü bir ideoloji olamaz). Bu nedenle, sosyalist ideolojinin her türlü küçümsenmesi, ondan her türlü uzaklaşma, burjuva ideolojisinin güçlendirilmesi anlamına gelir.
There was more than a little truth in Trotsky's angry accusation of April 1912, after he had suffered the theft of the title of his journal [Pravda], that Lenin nourished himself on discord and chaos. But so did all revolutionary politicians, for revolutionary changes issue from profound crises. The bloody trenches of World War I created an enormous new revolutionary constituency, and only those leaders who knew how to exploit it would be prepared for the struggles that lay ahead.
Bakunin's warnings about the "Red bureaucracy" that would institute "the worst of all despotic governments" were long before Lenin, and were directed against the followers of Mr. Marx. There were, in fact, followers of many different kinds; Pannekoek, Luxemburg, Mattick and others are very far from Lenin, and their views often converge with elements of anarcho-syndicaIism. Korsch and others wrote sympathetically of the anarchist revolution in Spain, in fact. There are continuities from Marx to Lenin, but there are also continuities to Marxists who were harshly critical of Lenin and Bolshevism. Teodor Shanin's work in the past years on Marx's later attitudes towards peasant revolution is also relevant here. I'm far from being a Marx scholar, and wouldn't venture any serious judgement on which of these continuities reflects the "real Marx," if there even can be an answer to that question.
Now there is a modern-day anthropology* for the criminal type: a great number of so-called 'born criminals' have pale faces, large cheekbones, a coarse lower jaw, and deeply shining eyes. How can one not recall this when one thinks of Lenin and thousands like him? How many pale faces, high cheekbones and strikingly asymmetric features mark the soldiers of the Red Army and, generally speaking, also of the common Russian people - how many of them, these savage types, have Mongolian atavism directly in their blood! They are all from Murom, the white-eyed Chud. And it is precisely these individuals, these very Russichi, who gave us so many 'daring pirates', so many vagabonds, escapees, scoundrels and tramps - it is precisely these people whom we have recruited for the glory, pride and hope of the Russian social revolution. So why should we feign surprise at the results?
If I had been an Italian I am sure that I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism." (Speech in Rome on 20 January, 1927, praising Mussolini)
Bir öğreti olarak sosyalizm, elbette, tıpkı proletaryanın sınıf mücadelesi gibi, günümüz ekonomik koşullarından doğduğu gibi, yine tıpkı onun gibi, kapitalizmin kitleler içinde yarattığı yoksulluğa ve sefalete karşı mücadeleden doğar; ama bunlar, birbirinden değil, yan yana ve farklı koşullar altında doğarlar. Modern sosyalist bilinç, ancak derin bir bilimsel kavrayış temelinde ortaya çıkabilir. Gerçekten de günümüz ekonomi bilimi, örneğin günümüz teknolojisi gibi, sosyalist üretimin bir ön koşulunu oluşturur; ne var ki proletarya ne denli isterse istesin, ne birini ne de ötekini yaratabilir; her ikisi de günümüz toplumsal süreçten doğar. Bilimin taşıyıcısı ise proletarya değil, burjuva aydın tabakasıdır. Modern sosyalizm de bu tabakanın tek tek üyeleri arasında doğmuş ve bu üyeler aracılığıyla fikri bakımdan son derece gelişkin proleterlere aktarılmıştır ve onlar da koşulların izin verdiği yerde onu proletaryanın sınıf mücadelesine taşımışlardır. Yani sosyalist bilinç, proletaryanın sınıf mücadelesine dışarıdan taşınan bir şeydir (von außen Hineingetragenes), sınıf mücadelesinden kendi kendine çıkan (urwuchsig) bir şey değildir.
Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin), your concrete actions are completely unworthy of the ideas you pretend to hold. Is it possible that you do not know what a hostage really is — a man imprisoned not because of a crime he has committed, but only because it suits his enemies to exert blackmail on his companions? ... If you admit such methods, one can foresee that one day you will use torture, as was done in the Middle Ages. I hope you will not answer me that Power is for political men a professional duty, and that any attack against that power must be considered as a threat against which one must guard oneself at any price. This opinion is no longer held even by kings... Are you so blinded, so much a prisoner of your own authoritarian ideas, that you do not realise that being at the head of European Communism, you have no right to soil the ideas which you defend by shameful methods ... What future lies in store for Communism when one of its most important defenders tramples in this way every honest feeling?
Logic is the science not of external forms of thought, but of the laws of development "of all material, natural and spiritual things", i.e., of the development of the entire concrete content of the world and of its cognition, i.e., the sum-total, the conclusion of the History of knowledge of the world.
In insisting that peasant activity contrary to Communist policies could be defined as kulak while at the same time maintaining that his approach to the peasantry was based on scientific Marxist class analysis, Lenin provided his successors with conceptualizations that would be used in collectivization when Stalin launched a war against all peasants.
If there was ever a capitalist finger up Lenin's waxy ass, it was the opening of the ultra-luxurious GUM store on the eastern border of the square, just a stone's throw from the mausoleum.
. The rather boring debate about the origins of Maoism (or Stalinism) oscillates around three main options: (1) the "hard" anti-Communists and the "hard" partisans of Stalinism claim that there is a direct immanent logic which leads from Marx to Lenin and from Lenin to Stalin (and then from Stalin to Mao); (2) the "soft" critics claim that the Stalinist (or, prior to it, Leninist) turn is one of the historical possibilities present in Marx's theoretical edifice - it could have turned otherwise, yet the Stalinist catastrophe is nonetheless inscribed as an option into the original theory itself; (3) finally, the defenders of the purity of the "original teaching of Marx" dismiss Stalinism (or already Leninism) as a simple distortion, betrayal, insisting on the radical break between the two: Lenin and Stalin simply "kidnapped" Marx's theory and used it for purposes totally at odds with Marx. One should reject all three versions as based on the same underlying linear-historicist notion of time, and opt for the fourth version, beyond the false question "to what extent was Marx responsible for the Stalinist catastrophe": Marx is fully responsible, but retroactively, i.e., the same holds for Stalin as for Kafka in Borges's famous formulation: they both created their own predecessors.
A. E. Samaan
Democracy is not a form of government. It is a tool of government. Case in point, Stalinist USSR was a "democracy".
We too aspire to communism as the most perfect achievement of human solidarity, but it must be anarchist communism, that is, freely desired and accepted, and the means by which the freedom of everyone is guaranteed and can expand; for these reasons we maintain that State communism, which is authoritarian and imposed, is the most hateful tyranny that has ever afflicted, tormented and handicapped mankind.