Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Vladimir
Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
1870
1924

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

Author Quotes

Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity

War cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and Socialism is created.

We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision, for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighboring marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don't clutch at us and don't besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are free to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!

We are opposed to national enmity and discord, to national exclusiveness. We are internationalists.

We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.

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.

The revolution war, and this war is the only legitimate war in the world

The war of 1914-18 was imperialist (that is, an annexationist, predatory, war of plunder) on the part of both sides; it was a war for the division of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies and spheres of influence of finance capital.

To be successful, insurrection must rely not upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the advanced class. That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a revolutionary upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing revolution when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the revolution are strongest. That is the third point. And these three conditions for raising the question of insurrection distinguish Marxism from Blanquism.

The revolutionary way is the way of quick amputation, which is the least painful to the proletariat, the way of the direct removal of the decomposing parts, the way of fewest concessions to and least consideration for the monarchy and the disgusting, vile, rotten and contaminating institutions which go with it.

The worker is becoming impoverished absolutely, i.e., he is actually becoming poorer than before; he is compelled to live worse, to eat worse, to suffer hunger more, and to live in basements and attics.

To become a power the class-conscious workers must win the majority to their side.As long as no violence is used against the people there is no other road to power. We are not Blancists, we do not stand for the seizure of power by a minority.

The Russian is a bad worker compared with people in advanced countries. It could not be otherwise under the tsarist regime and in view of the persistence of the hangover from serfdom. The task that the Soviet government must set the people in all its scope is - learn to work. The Taylor system, the last word of capitalism in this respect, like all capitalist progress, is a combination of the refined brutality of bourgeois exploitation and a number of the greatest scientific achievements in the field.

The workers and peasants are still timid, they have not yet become accustomed to the idea that they are now the ruling class; they are not yet resolute enough. The revolution could not at one stroke instill these qualities into millions and millions of people who all their lives had been compelled by want and hunger to work under the threat of the stick.

To belittle the socialist ideology in any way, to turn aside from it in the slightest degree means to strengthen bourgeois ideology. There is much talk of spontaneity. But the spontaneousdevelopment of the working-class movement leads to its subordination to bourgeois ideology; for the spontaneous working-class movement is trade-unionism, and trade unionism means the ideological enslavement of the workers by the bourgeoisie. Hence, our task, the task of Social-Democracy, is to combat spontaneity, to divert the working-class movement from this spontaneous, trade-unionist striving to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie, and to bring it under the wing of revolutionary Social Democracy.

The so-called Great Powers have long been exploiting and enslaving a whole number of small and weak nations. And the imperialist war is a war for the division and redivision of this kind of booty.

The working class cannot play its world-revolutionary role unless it wages a ruthless struggle against this renegacy, spinelessness, subservience to opportunism and unexampled vulgarization of the theories of Marxism.

To call a fight for the Zionist idea of a Jewish nation, for the federal principle of Party organization, a “fight for the equality of the Jews in the world family of the proletariat” is to degrade the struggle from the plane of ideas and principles to that of suspicion, incitement and fanning of historically-evolved prejudices. It glaringly reveals a lack of real ideas and principles as weapons of struggle.

The Social-Democratic movement is in its very essence an international movement. This means, not only that we must combat national chauvinism, but that an incipient movement in a young country can be successful only if it makes use of the experiences of other countries.

The working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery,” and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it.

To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complex than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to renounce in advance any change of tack, or any utilization of a conflict of interests (even if temporary) among one’s enemies, or any conciliation or compromise with possible allies (even if they are temporary, unstable, vacillating, or conditional allies)—is that not ridiculous in the extreme?”

The Socialists of oppressed nations must, in their turn, unfailingly fight for the complete (including organizational) unity of the workers of the oppressed and oppressing nationalities.

There are at present 300,000 bourgeois in the Crimea. These are a source of future profiteering, espionage and every kind of aid to the capitalists. However, we are not afraid of them. We say that we shall take and distribute them, make them submit, and assimilate them.

To decide once every few years which members of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament–this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary- constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics.

The sole "property" of matter with whose recognition philosophical materialism is bound up is the property of being an objective reality, of existing outside the mind.

Author Picture
First Name
Vladimir
Last Name
Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Birth Date
1870
Death Date
1924
Bio

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