Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Russian Marxist Revolutionary and Communist Politician who led the October Revolution of 1917

Author Quotes

We must follow the rule: Better fewer, but better. We must follow the rule: Better get good human material in two or even three years than work in haste without hope of getting any at all.

What we prize most is peace and an opportunity to devote all our efforts to restoring our economy.

Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.

We must not depict socialism as if socialists will bring it to us on a plate all nicely dressed. That will never happen. Not a single problem of the class struggle has ever been solved in history except by violence. When violence is exercised by the working people, by the mass of exploited against the exploiters — then we are for it!

When a revolutionary party has not the support of a majority either among the vanguard of the revolutionary class or among the rural population, there can be no question of a rising. A rising must have not only the majority, but must have the incoming revolutionary tide over the whole country, the complete moral and political bankruptcy of the old regime--and a deep-seated sense of insecurity among all these irresolute elements.

Without an alliance with non-Communists in the most diverse spheres of activity there can be no question of any successful communist construction.

We must pursue the removal of church property by any means necessary in order to secure for ourselves a fund of several hundred million gold rubles (do not forget the immense wealth of some monasteries and lauras). Without this fund any government work in general, any economic build-up in particular, and any upholding of soviet principles in Genoa especially is completely unthinkable. In order to get our hands on this fund of several hundred million gold rubles (and perhaps even several hundred billion), we must do whatever is necessary. But to do this successfully is possible only now. All considerations indicate that later on we will fail to do this, for no other time, besides that of desperate famine, will give us such a mood among the general mass of peasants that would ensure us the sympathy of this group, or, at least, would ensure us the neutralization of this group in the sense that victory in the struggle for the removal of church property unquestionably and completely will be on our side. One clever writer on statecraft correctly said that if it is necessary for the realization of a well-known political goal to perform a series of brutal actions then it is necessary to do them in the most energetic manner and in the shortest time, because masses of people will not tolerate the protracted use of brutality. … Now victory over the reactionary clergy is assured us completely. In addition, it will be more difficult for the major part of our foreign adversaries among the Russian emigres abroad, i.e., the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Milyukovites, to fight against us if we, precisely at this time, precisely in connection with the famine, suppress the reactionary clergy with utmost haste and ruthlessness. Therefore, 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.

When feudalism was overthrown and “free” capitalist society appeared in the world, it at once became apparent that this freedom meant a new system of oppression and exploitation of the working people.

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.

We need the real, nation-wide terror which reinvigorates the country and through which the Great French Revolution achieved glory.

When nine-tenths of Africa had been seized (by 1900), when the whole world had been divided up, there was inevitably ushered in the era of monopoly possession of colonies and, consequently, of particularly intense struggle for the division and the re-division of the world.

Without such thorough, circumspect and long preparations [since 1903], we could not have achieved victory in October 1917, or have consolidated that victory.

We say: our aim is to achieve a socialist system of society, which, by eliminating the division of mankind into classes, by eliminating all exploitation of man by man and nation by nation, will inevitably eliminate the very possibility of war.

When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward - or go back. He who now talks about the 'freedom of the press' goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.

Workers and peasants, working and exploited people! The land, the banks and the factories have now become the property of the entire people! You yourselves must set to work to take account of and control the production and distribution of products—this, and this alone is the road to the victory of socialism, the only guarantee of its victory, the guarantee of victory over all exploitation, over all poverty and want!

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. We do not expect the advent of a system of society in which the principle of subordination of the minority to the majority will not be observed. In striving for socialism, however, we are convinced that it will develop into communism and, therefore, that the need for violence against people in general, for the subordination of one man to another, and of one section of the population to another, will vanish altogether since people will become accustomed to observing the elementary conditions of social life without violence and without subordination.

When the masses are digesting a new and exceptionally rich experience of direct revolutionary struggle, the theoretical struggle for a revolutionary outlook, i.e., for revolutionary Marxism, becomes the watchword of the day.

Worst of all, it is women who usually have to do, usually alone, all the dirty work of the kitchen and household, work that is unimportant, hard, tiresome, and soul-destroying.

We cannot jump out of the bourgeois-democratic boundaries of the Russian revolution, but we can vastly extend these boundaries, and within these boundaries we can and must fight for the interests of the proletariat, for its immediate needs and for the conditions that will make it possible to prepare its forces for the future complete victory.

We do not have time to play at “oppositions” at “conferences.” We will keep our political opponents… whether open or disguised as “nonparty,” in prison.

We fully regard civil wars, i.e., wars waged by the oppressed class against the oppressing class, slaves against slave-owners, serfs against land-owners, and wage-workers against the bourgeoisie, as legitimate, progressive and necessary.

We have invited and continue to invite the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries to share power with us.

We have the following of the majority of a class, the vanguard of the revolution, the vanguard of the people, which is capable of carrying the masses with it.

We know that an unskilled laborer or a cook cannot immediately get on with the job of state administration.

We love our language and our country, and we are doing our very utmost to raise her toiling masses (i.e., nine-tenths of her population) to the level of a democratic and socialist consciousness.

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Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
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Russian Marxist Revolutionary and Communist Politician who led the October Revolution of 1917