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Wikipedia Summary for Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia, and later the Soviet Union, became a one-party socialist state governed by the Soviet Communist Party. A Marxist, he developed a variant of this communist ideology known as Leninism.

Born to a moderately prosperous middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's 1887 execution. Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 and became a senior Marxist activist. In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In 1903, he took a key role in the RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Following Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would cause the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime.

Lenin's Bolshevik government initially shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, elected soviets, and a multi-party Constituent Assembly, although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party. Lenin's administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry. It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty conceding territory to the Central Powers, and promoted world revolution through the Communist International. Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services; tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps. His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-oriented New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations had secured independence from the Russian Empire after 1917, but three were re-united into the new Soviet Union in 1922. His health failing, Lenin died in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government.

Widely considered one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin was the posthumous subject of a pervasive personality cult within the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. He became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism–Leninism and a prominent influence over the international communist movement. A controversial and highly divisive historical figure, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class while critics have emphasised his role as founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings.

Grain is the currency of currencies.

--Vladimir Lenin

One man with a gun can control a hundred without one.

--Vladimir Lenin

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?

--Vladimir Lenin

The roots of modern religion are deeply embedded in the social oppression of the working masses.

--Vladimir Lenin

There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.

--Vladimir Lenin

Sometimes - history needs a push.

--Vladimir Lenin

We Would Be Deceiving Both Ourselves And The People If We Concealed From The Masses The Necessity Of A Desperate, Bloody War Of Extermination, As The Immediate Task Of The Coming Revolutionary Action.

--Vladimir Lenin

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

--Vladimir Lenin

Free speech is a bourgeois prejudice.

--Vladimir Lenin

When it comes to hang the capitalists they will compete with each other to sell us the rope at a lower price.

--Vladimir Lenin

Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich -- that is the democracy of capitalist society.

--Vladimir Lenin

One would like to stroke and caress human beings, but one dares not do so, because they bite.

--Vladimir Lenin

The government is tottering. We must deal it the death blow an any cost. To delay action is the same as death.

--Vladimir Lenin

Where the bourgeois economists saw a relation between things (the exchange of one commodity for another) Marx revealed a relation between people.

--Vladimir Lenin

But every little difference may become a big one if it is insisted on.

--Vladimir Lenin

America has become one of the foremost countries in regard to the depth of the abyss which lies between the handful of arrogant multimillionaires who wallow in filth and luxury, and the millions of working people who constantly live on the verge of pauperism.

--Vladimir Lenin

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

--Vladimir Lenin

Imperialism: The final stage of Capitalism.

--Vladimir Lenin

Everyone is free to write and say whatever he likes, without any restrictions.

--Vladimir Lenin

The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.

--Vladimir Lenin

Act with the greatest determination and on the offensive. The defensive is the death of every armed rising.

--Vladimir Lenin

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

--Vladimir Lenin

As an ultimate objective, peace simply means communist world control.

--Vladimir Lenin

One must always try to be as radical as reality itself.

--Vladimir Lenin

Capitalism has triumphed all over the world, but this triumph is only the prelude to the triumph of labour over capital.

--Vladimir Lenin

The war is relentless: it puts the alternative in a ruthless relief.

--Vladimir Lenin

Longer Version:

The war is relentless: it puts the alternative in a ruthless relief: either to perish, or to catch up with the advanced countries and outdistance them, too, in economic matters.


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

--Vladimir Lenin

Capital, created by the labour of the worker, crushes the worker, ruining small proprietors and creating an army of unemployed.

--Vladimir Lenin

The aim of socialism is not only to abolish the present division of mankind into smaller states and all-national isolation, not only to bring the nations closer to each other, but also to merge them.

--Vladimir Lenin

The entire trend of development is towards abolition of coercive domination of one part of society over another.

--Vladimir Lenin

Ideological talk and phrase mongering about political liberties should be disposed with; all that is just mere chatter and phrase mongering. We should get away from those phrases.

--Vladimir Lenin

The leaders of the petty bourgeoisie must teach the people to trust the bourgeoisie. The proletarians must teach the people to distrust the bourgeoisie.

--Vladimir Lenin

The bourgeoisie incites the workers of one nation against those of another in the endeavour to keep them disunited.

--Vladimir Lenin

We would be deceiving both ourselves and the people if we concealed from the masses the necessity of a desperate, bloody war of extermination, as the immediate task of the coming revolutionary action.

--Vladimir Lenin

For any truth, if overdone (as Dietzgen Senior put it), if exaggerated, or if carried beyond the limits of its actual applicability, can be reduced to an absurdity, and is even bound to become an absurdity under these conditions.

--Vladimir Lenin

But democracy is by no means a limit one may not overstep; it is only one of the stages in the course of development from feudalism to capitalism, and from capitalism to Communism.

--Vladimir Lenin

Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.

--Vladimir Lenin

The Bolshevik slogans and ideas on the whole have been confirmed by history; but concretely things have worked out differently; they are more original, more peculiar, more varied than anyone could have expected.

--Vladimir Lenin

No Bolshevik, no Communist, no intelligent socialist has ever entertained the idea of violence against the middle peasants. All socialists have always spoken of agreement with them and of
their gradual and voluntary transition to socialism.

--Vladimir Lenin

The establishment of a central bank is 90% of communizing a nation.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

Face the truth squarely. In politics that is always the best and the only correct attitude.

--Vladimir Lenin

All over the world, wherever there are capitalists, freedom of the press means freedom to buy up newspapers, to buy writers, to bribe, buy and fake public opinion for the benefit of the bourgeoisie.

--Vladimir Lenin

The Bolsheviks could not have retained power for two and a half months, let alone two and a half years, without the most rigorous and truly iron discipline in our Party.

--Vladimir Lenin

You must have your heart on fire and your brain on ice.

--Vladimir Lenin

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.

--Vladimir Lenin

Pacifism, the preaching of peace in the abstract, is one of the means of duping the working class.

--Vladimir Lenin

An end to wars, peace among the nations, the cessation of pillaging and violence -- such is our ideal, but only bourgeois sophists can seduce the masses with this ideal, if the latter is divorced from a direct and immediate call for revolutionary action.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

Human thought by its nature is capable of giving, and does give, absolute truth, which is compounded of a sum-total of relative truths.

--Vladimir Lenin

The revolution does not need historians.

--Vladimir Lenin

The feminine section of the proletarian army is of particularly great significance... the success of a revolution depends on the extent to which women take part in it.

--Vladimir Lenin

You must act with all energy. Mass searches. Execution for concealing arms.

--Vladimir Lenin

The constitution of Soviet Russia must insure equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, creed, race, or nationality.

--Vladimir Lenin

The bourgeoisie are today evading taxation by bribery and through their connections; we must close all loopholes.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

Democracy is a form of the state, it represents, on the one hand, the organized, systematic use of force against persons; but, on the other hand, it signifies the formal recognition of equality of citizens, the equal right of all to determine the structure of, and to administer, the state.

--Vladimir Lenin

The majority of the so-called great powers have long been exploiting and enslaving a whole series of small and weak peoples. And the imperialist war is nothing other than a war for the division and redivision of this kind of booty.

--Vladimir Lenin

It is essential to grasp the incontestable truth that a Marxist must take cognisance of real life, of the true facts of reality, and not cling to a theory of yesterday, which, like all theories, at best only outlines the main and the general, only comes near to embracing life in all its complexity.

--Vladimir Lenin

Human reason has discovered many amazing things in nature and will discover still more, and will thereby increase its power over nature.

--Vladimir Lenin

Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism. Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.

--Vladimir Lenin

The Poor Peasants' Committees are necessary to fight the kulaks, the rich, the exploiters, who shackle the working peasants.

--Vladimir Lenin

Behind the epistemological scholasticism of empirio-criticism one must not fail to see the struggle of parties in philosophy, a struggle which in the last analysis reflects the tendencies and ideology of the antagonistic classes in modern society.

--Vladimir Lenin

When a war is waged by two opposing groups of robbers for the sake of deciding who shall have a freer hand to oppress more people, then the question of the origin of the war is of no real economic or political significance.

--Vladimir Lenin

The progressive historical role of capitalism may be summed up in two brief propositions: increase in the productive forces of social labour, and the socialisation of that labour. But both these facts manifest themselves in extremely diverse processes in different branches of the national economy.

--Vladimir Lenin

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament.

--Vladimir Lenin

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

--Vladimir Lenin

The political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic.

--Vladimir Lenin

A political leader who desires to be useful to the revolutionary proletariat must be able to distinguish concrete cases of compromises that are inexcusable and are an expression of opportunism and treachery.

--Vladimir Lenin

When we say the state, the state is We, it is we, it is the proletariat, it is the advanced guard of the working class.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

One must not count in thousands, like the propagandist belonging to a small group that has not yet given leadership to the masses; in these circumstances one must count in millions and tens of millions.

--Vladimir Lenin

Only by abolishing private property in land and building cheap and hygienic dwellings can the housing problem be solved.

--Vladimir Lenin

Political institutions are a superstructure resting on an economic foundation.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in his ability to find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting a definite truth, in such a way as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.

--Vladimir Lenin

People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.

--Vladimir Lenin

People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be, until they have learned to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.

--Vladimir Lenin

No Marxist can deny that the interests of socialism are higher than the interests of the right of nations to self-determination.

--Vladimir Lenin

One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers Communist and the disarming of the bourgeoisie the middle class.

--Vladimir Lenin


Where and when have riots and anarchy been provoked by wise measures? If the government had acted wisely, and if their measures had met the needs of the poor peasants, would there have been unrest among the peasant masses?

--Vladimir Lenin

A party is the vanguard of a class, and its duty is to lead the masses and not merely to reflect the average political level of the masses.

--Vladimir Lenin

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.

--Vladimir Lenin

We are not shooting enough professors.

--Vladimir Lenin

Any army which does not train to use all the weapons, all the means and methods of warfare that the enemy possesses, or may possess, is behaving in an unwise or even criminal manner. This applies to politics even more than it does to the art of war.

--Vladimir Lenin

Behind the October Revolution there are more influential personalities than the thinkers and executors of Marxism.

--Vladimir Lenin

It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws.

--Vladimir Lenin

The soundest strategy in war is to postpone operations until the moral disintegration of the enemy renders the delivery of the mortal blow both possible and easy.

--Vladimir Lenin

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