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

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.

No support for the Provisional Government; the utter falsity of all its promises should be made clear, particularly of those relating to the renunciation of annexations. Exposure in place of the impermissible, illusion-breeding demand that this government, a government of capitalists, should cease to be an imperialist government.

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! ... The class struggle did not accidentally assume its latest form, the form in which the exploited class takes all the means of power in its own hands in order to completely destroy its class enemy, the bourgeoisie...

Nothing will raise the revolutionary energy of the world proletariat so much, nothing will shorten the path leading to its complete victory to such an extent, as this decisive victory of the revolution that has now started in Russia.

Notwithstanding all the differences in the aims and tasks of the Russian revolution, compared with the French revolution of 1871, the Russian proletariat had to resort to the same method of struggle as that first used by the Paris Commune — civil war. Mindful of the lessons of the Commune, it knew that the proletariat should not ignore peaceful methods of struggle — they serve its ordinary, day-to-day interests, they are necessary in periods of preparation for revolution — but it must never forget that in certain conditions the class struggle assumes the form of armed conflict and civil war; there are times when the interests of the proletariat call for ruthless extermination of its enemies in open armed clashes.

Once we accept the point of view that human knowledge develops from ignorance, we shall find millions of examples of it just as simple as the discovery of alizarin in coal tar, millions of observations not only in the history of science and technology but in the everyday life of each and every one of us that illustrate the transformation of “things-in-themselves” into “things-for-us.”

One cannot live in society and be free from society.

Modern militarism is the result of capitalism. In both its forms it is the vital expression of capitalism—as a military force used by the capitalist states in their external conflicts and as a weapon in the hands of the ruling classes for suppressing every kind of movement, economic and political, of the proletariat.

Modern monopolist capitalism on a world-wide scale — imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system, as long as private property in the means of production exists.

Modern natural scientists (if they know how to seek, and if we learn to help them) will find in the Hegelian dialectics, materialistically interpreted, a series of answers to the philosophical problems which are being raised by the revolution in natural science.

Monopolies, oligarchy, the striving for domination and not for freedom, the exploitation of an increasing number of small or weak nations by a handful of the richest or most powerful nations — all these have given birth to those distinctive characteristics of imperialism which compel us to define it as parasitic or decaying capitalism.

It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.

It would be the greatest mistake, certainly, to think that concessions mean peace. Nothing of the kind. Concessions are nothing but a new form of war.

Just as the Economists would, by repeating the truism that politics are subordinated to economics, cover up their incapacity to understand urgent political tasks, so the newIskra-ists, by repeating the general truism that struggles will take place in a politically emancipated society, cover up their failure to understand the urgent revolutionary tasks of the political emancipation of this society.

Let the “socialist” snivelers croak, let the bourgeoisie rage and fume, but only people who shut their eyes so as not to see, and stuff their ears so as not to hear, can fail to notice that all over the world the birth pangs of the old, capitalist society, which is pregnant with socialism, have begun.

Let us...take the most concrete example of state capitalism...It is Germany. Here we have the 'last word' in modern, large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organization, subordinated to Junker-bourgeois imperialism. Cross out the words in italics and [substitute] a Soviet state, that is, a proletarian state, and you will have the sum total of the conditions necessary for socialism.

Literature must become party literature. Down with unpartisan litterateurs! Down with the superman of literature! Literature must become a part of the general cause of the proletariat.

Man’s consciousness not only reflects the objective world, but creates it.

Marx said that the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat lies between capitalism and communism. The more the proletariat presses the bourgeoisie, the more furiously they will resist. We know what vengeance was wreaked on the workers in France in 1848. And when people charge us with harshness we wonder how they can forget the rudiments of Marxism.

Marxists are absolutely convinced of the bourgeois character of the Russian revolution. What does this mean? It means that the democratic reforms in the political system and the social and economic reforms, which have become a necessity for Russia, do not in themselves imply the undermining of capitalism, the undermining of bourgeois rule; on the contrary, they will, for the first time, really clear the ground for a wide and rapid, European, and not Asiatic, development of capitalism; they will, for the first time, make it possible for the bourgeoisie to rule as a class.

Materialism is the recognition of "objects in themselves", or outside the mind; ideas and sensations are copies of images of those objects.

1) Things exist independently of our consciousness, independently of our perceptions, outside of us, for it is beyond doubt that alizarin existed in coal tar yesterday and it is equally beyond doubt that yesterday we knew nothing of the existence of this alizarin and received no sensations from it. 2) There is definitely no difference in principle between the phenomenon and the thing-in-itself, and there can be no such difference. The only difference is between what is known and what is not yet known. And philosophical inventions of specific boundaries between the one and the other, inventions to the effect that the thing-in-itself is “beyond” phenomena (Kant), or that we can and must fence ourselves off by some philosophical partition from the problem of a world which in one part or another is still unknown but which exists outside us (Hume)—all this is the sheerest nonsense, Schrulle, crotchet, invention. 3) In the theory of knowledge, as in every other branch of science, we must think dialectically, that is, we must not regard our knowledge as ready-made and unalterable, but must determine how knowledge emerges from ignorance, how incomplete, inexact knowledge becomes more complete and more exact.

All official and liberal science defends wage-slavery, whereas Marxism has declared relentless war on that slavery.

Attention, must be devoted principally to raising the workers to the level of revolutionaries; it is not at all our task to descend to the level of the “working masses.”

Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations—such is the national program that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.

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