Vladimir Lenin (1870 – 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
Quotations from Vladimir Lenin
Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This idea cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand in hand with an infatuation for the narrowest forms of practical activity.
Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.
We must fight against the old habit of regarding the measure of labor and the means of production from the point of view of the slave whose sole aim is to lighten the burden of labor or to obtain at least some little bit from the bourgeoisie.
To accept anything on trust, to preclude critical application and development, is a grievous sin; and in order to apply and develop, “simple interpretation” is obviously not enough.
The history of all countries shows that the working class exclusively by its own effort is able to develop only trade-union consciousness
Attention, must be devoted principally to raising the workers to the level of revolutionaries; it is not our task to descend to the level of the ‘working masses’.
The intellectual forces of the workers and peasants are growing and getting stronger in their fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their accomplices, the educated classes, the lackeys of capital, who consider themselves the brains of the nation. In fact they are not its brains but its shit..
Whenever the cause of the people is entrusted to professors, it is lost.
The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.
Politics begin where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin.
The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
Sometimes – history needs a push.
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labor. Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society. The teachings about this society are called socialism.
Everyone is free to write and say whatever he likes, without any restrictions. But every voluntary association (including the party) is also free to expel members who use the name of the party to advocate anti-party views. Freedom of speech and the press must be complete. But then freedom of association must be complete too. I am bound to accord you, in the name of free speech, the full right to shout, lie and write to your heart’s content. But you are bound to grant me, in the name of freedom of association, the right to enter into, or withdraw from, association with people advocating this or that view. The party is a voluntary association, which would inevitably break up, first ideologically and then physically, if it did not cleanse itself of people advocating anti-party views.
Human reason has discovered many amazing things in nature and will discover still more, and will thereby increase its power over nature.
Human thought by its nature is capable of giving, and does give, absolute truth, which is compounded of a sum-total of relative truths.
Man’s consciousness not only reflects the objective world, but creates it.
It is not national interests we are upholding — we claim that the interests of socialism, the interests of world socialism, rank higher than national interests, higher than the interests of the state.
You cannot do anything without rousing the masses to action. A plenary meeting of the Soviet must be called to decide on mass searches in Petrograd and the goods stations. To carry out these searches, each factory and company must form contingents, not on a voluntary basis: it must be the duty of everyone to take part in these searches under the threat of being deprived of his bread card. We can’t expect to get anywhere unless we resort to terrorism: speculators must be shot on the spot. Moreover, bandits must be dealt with just as resolutely: they must be shot on the spot.
Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.
Recovery proceeding excellently. Am sure that the crushing of the Kazan Czechs and whiteguards, as well as of the kulak extortioners supporting them, will be exemplarily ruthless.
Of all the arts, for us the cinema is the most important.
One cannot live in society and be free from society.
We set ourselves the ultimate aim of abolishing the state, i.e., all organized and systematic violence, all use of violence against people in general.
I come to the indisputable conclusion that we must precisely now smash the Black Hundreds clergy most decisively and ruthlessly and put down all resistance with such brutality that they will not forget it for several decades. … The greater the number of representatives of the reactionary clergy and the reactionary bourgeoisie that we succeed in shooting on this occasion, the better because this “audience” must precisely now be taught a lesson in such a way that they will not dare to think about any resistance whatsoever for several decades.
Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle.
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.
Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.
Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism.
It is more pleasant and useful to go through the ‘experience of the revolution’ than to write about it.
One man with a gun can control 100 without one. … Make mass searches and hold executions for found arms.
There are no morals in politics; the is only experience. A scoundrel may be of use because he is a scoundrel.
During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.
Imperialism: The final stage of Capitalism.
But suppose, for the sake of argument, free competition, without any sort of monopoly, would develop capitalism trade more rapidly. Is it not a fact that the more rapidly trade and capitalism develop, the greater is the concentration of production and capital which gives rise to monopoly?
We are not utopians, we do not “dream” of dispensing at once with all administration, with all subordination. These anarchist dreams, based upon incomprehension of the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship, are totally alien to Marxism, and, as a matter of fact, serve only to postpone the socialist revolution until people are different. No, we want the socialist revolution with people as they are now, with people who cannot dispense with subordination, control, and “foremen and accountants”.
Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete, straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmire, into clerical obscurantism (where it is anchored by the class interests of the ruling classes).
Exchange, fair or unfair, always presupposes and includes the rule of the bourgeoisie.
Revolution can never be forecast; it cannot be foretold; it comes of itself. Revolution is brewing and is bound to flare up.
The goal of Socialism is Communism.
The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.
Destroy the family, you destroy the country.
A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution.
There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.
It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws.
COMMENTS on the Quotations from Vladimir Lenin
A lie told often enough becomes the truth. This statement is bandied about to the point of meaninglessness, and the world is awash in lies. The sensible person can see the obvious lies, but it is difficult to do much to expose them to others, and the subtle lies no one can see. Perhaps the biggest lie is that the media brings useful information to the public; of course it does, but useful information is buried a thousand times over in useless self-serving garble.
Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. It is upon an idea that appeals to millions of people that a revolutionary movement must be formed. The idea must be one which is supported by an organization with a visible structure, that can be organized to coherent functioning, that people can rally to; there must be a core idea that will ring through all the ages, like “All men are created equal; they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” or “Liberty, Equality Fraternity” or … A list of successful political slogans.
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. This may be in process at this moment here in America, as the rich get exponentially richer, and the middle class picks up the tax for supporting the underemployed, and the slack is covered with inflation, which also hits those in the middle classes.
The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. Who knows what money is nowadays? It isn’t gold coins, it isn’t silver coins, it doesn’t seem to be paper representing those metals stored someplace, it isn’t our credit card because that is just a measure of money and it itself isn’t money, it isn’t the bits of online data that flit around the internet. Money appears to be some vaporous stuff that the banks, the ones that are too big to fail, generate out of illusions. It’s hard to debauch gold or silver, but to debauch an illusion only requires the public opening their eyes, or a sudden puff of wind blowing the vapor away from the banks’ ruses.
. . .