Lenin’s 20 Most Chilling Quotes

The leader of the Russian Revolution and adorner of many a student dorm wall, Lenin is one of the most recognisable faces in modern history. But how many know just how callous, brutal and cruel this hero of the Left was? Here’s twenty quotes that will give you pause for thought.

“There are times when the interests of the proletariat call for ruthless extermination of its enemies.”

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

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

“The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide so we will not do this.”

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

“Hang, and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people.”

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use because he is a scoundrel.”

“Russians are too kind, they lack the ability to apply determined methods of revolutionary terror.”

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organiser of the masses.”

“To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities; that is not to be taken seriously in politics.”

“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”

“He who now talks about the “freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards socialism.”

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

“Surely you do not imagine that we shall be victorious without applying the most cruel revolutionary terror?”

“Everybody is free to write and say whatever he likes, without any restrictions… but the party would inevitably break up, first ideologically and then physically, if it not cleanse itself of people advocating anti-party views.”

“Treat the Jews and urban inhabitants in the Ukraine with an iron rod, transferring them to the front, not letting them into government agencies (except in an insignificant percentages, in particularly exceptional circumstances).”

“We shall not bind ourselves by treaties. We shall not allow ourselves to be entangled by treaties.”

“It is necessary –  secretly and urgently to prepare the terror.”


  1. Lenin never said the taxation/inflation quote:


    Anyway Lenin was a bit of a dick, but then so was the regime he was up against… Most importantly he’s not really idolised by anyone on the left, AnComms despise him. This seems a bit bizarre, kind of like writing a “20 Really Awful Things You’ll NEVER Believe Hitler Said” article.

    love you though Lee! xx

    • I would have to disagree with you over lenin not being idolised by anyone on the left, ancomms whilst not irrelevant are generally not representative of leftism. Lenin is constantly paraded as a paragon of virtue amongst some elements of the hard left and it without doubt always begins in a sentence like this “Communism itself was not evil, when lenin was in charge it all worked it was only stalin who wrecked it.”. This argument (while it may be a fringe one) is rather common place among marxists and is offered as if evidence communism can work, this article refutes the idea of Saint lenin of bolshevik by showing he was every bit as ruthless as the monsters that followed. Whether or not the above will serve to change any leftists mind on the subject of lenin i doubt it..

  2. Um, “But how many know just how callous, brutal and cruel this hero of the Left was?” that would be something of a sweeping statement! Not a student of Russian history then…

    The period after the 1917 revolution was a particularly brutal time because of the Civil war initiated by disparate groups opposed to the Bolsheviks and encouraged/supported by the Western powers. It pushed Lenin into the sort of harshness that all regimes under siege fall back upon. Compare it with the American Civil War for instance e.g., Sherman’s march to the sea?

    That doesn’t mean Lenin was a democrat but to present him as some sort of Stalinist monster is simply inaccurate.

  3. Very interesting. However, it would be interesting to see these in context. For example, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” – is he not referring to bourgeois propaganda rather than his own? Genuine question…


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