40 Quotes on communism, Socialism, and World change
By Carl Teichrib
Collective revolution – socialism and communism – is both a vehicle for world change and an end to itself. Consider these quotes.
Note: Most the following quotes are from Marxist-Communist leaders and socialist thinkers. However, a handful come from non-Marxist political researchers. You will notice the difference.
1. “…the French Revolution gave rise to ideas which led beyond the ideas of the entire old world order. The revolutionary movement which began in 1789… gave rise to the communist idea which Babeuf’s friend Buonarroti re-introduced in France after the Revolution of 1830. This idea, consistently developed, is the idea of the new world order.”
– Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Holy Family (Progress Publishers, 1975), chapter 6, section 3, italics in original. This volume can be found at Marxists.org, and it was first published in 1845. Note that the Foreign Language Publishing House version, released in 1956, translates the “new world order” as the “new world system” on page 161.
2. “…the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things… They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”
– Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Penguin Books, 1985, originally published in 1848), p.120.
3. “…the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.”
– Karl Marx, “The Victory of the Counter-Revolution in Vienna,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, No. 136, November 1848 (as posted on Marxists.org).
4. “…the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle for democracy.”
– Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Penguin Books, 1985, originally published in 1848), p.104.
5. “People have learned by bitter experience that the “European fraternal union of peoples” cannot be achieved by mere phrases and pious wishes, but only by profound revolutions and bloody struggles; they have learned that the question is not that of a fraternal union of all European peoples under a single republican flag, but of an alliance of the revolutionary peoples against the counter-revolutionary peoples, an alliance which comes into being not on paper, but only on the battlefield.”
– Frederick Engels, “Democratic Pan-Slavism,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, No.222, February 1849 (as posted on Marxists.org).
6. “All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm… The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.”
– Frederick Engels, “The Magyar Struggle,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, No. 194, January 13, 1849 (as posted on Marxists.org).
7. “You will have to go through 15, 20, 50 years of civil wars and national struggles not only to bring about a change in society but also to change yourselves, and prepare yourselves for the exercise of political power.”
– Karl Marx, speaking at the last session of the London Central Authority, September 15, 1850. See,Revelations Concerning the Communist Trial in Cologne, 1853 (as posted on Marxists.org).
8. “A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon – authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire…”
– Friedrich Engels, “On Authority,” The Marx-Engels Reader (W.W. Norton & Company, 1972, paperback edition), p.665 – first written in 1872.
9. “…it was always our view that in order to attain this [proletarian revolution] and the other far more important aims of the future social revolution, the working class must first take possession of the organised political power of the state and by its aid crush the resistance of the capitalist class and organise society anew.”
– Frederick Engels, correspondence, April 18, 1883 (as posted on Marxists.org).
10. “Let those who labor to live understand, that this monster cannot be tamed, nor be made harmless or useful to man; let them learn to know, that there is but one means of safety: unrelenting, pitiless, thorough, war of extermination!”
– Jonathan Most (German-American Marxist), “The Beast of Property,” speech given in 1884 (as posted on Marxists.org).
11. “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.”
– V.I. Lenin,” Lessons of the Moscow Uprising,” Proletary, No.2, August 1906 (as posted on Marxists.org).
12. “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.”
– V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution (International Publishers, 1917/1969), p.82.
13. “For the complete extinction of the state, complete Communism is necessary.”
– V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution (International Publishers, 1917/1969), p.78.
14. “We shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we will smash them with our clenched fist.”
– Dimitri Manuilsky, Lenin School of Political Warfare, 1930, as quoted in Soviet Analyst, Volume 22, Numbers 7&8, p.7.
15. “I sympathize the first, the direct and single-minded attack [Red Revolution]. I believe it to have been necessary and inevitable in Russia. It may someday be inevitable in this country [United States of America]. I am not seriously alarmed by the sufferings of the creditor class, the troubles which the church is bound to encounter, the restrictions on certain kinds of freedom which must result, nor even by the bloodshed of the transition period. A better economic order is worth a little bloodshed.”
– Stuart Chase (American technocrat, economist, and engineer who is considered an intellectual father to the New Deal), A New Deal (The Macmillan Company, 1932), pp.155-156.
16. “…revolution can give what no other road promises to give so directly and forcibly – a new religion. It will be based not on rewards in the Hereafter, but on peace, goodwill and plenty on earth today. It will be materialistic, if you please, harsh on sinners with an acquisitive bent…
We need a new religion… Great religious movements have usually been grounded in collectivism, in the brotherhood of man, leaving laissez-faire, in the last analysis, a cold and ferocious anti-Christ. Capitalism, though officially blessed by Christian priests, has all but killed Christianity. Western mankind is thirsty for something in which to believe again. Red revolution is a creed, dramatic, idealistic and, in the long run, constructive.”
– Stuart Chase (American technocrat, economist, and engineer who is considered an intellectual father to the New Deal), A New Deal (The Macmillan Company, 1932), pp.164-165.
17. “All the parties of capitalist society, all its moralists and all its sycophants will perish beneath the debris of the impending catastrophe. The only party that will survive is the party of the world socialist revolution…”
– Leon Trotsky, “Moralists and Sycophants Against Marxism,” New International, August 1939 (as posted on Marxists.org).
18. “Today the whole world depends on communism for its salvation, and China is no exception.”
– Mao Tse-tung, On New Democracy (Foreign Language Press, 1960, originally penned in 1940), p.41.
19. “…the transition from capitalism to Socialism and the liberation of the working class from the yoke of capitalism cannot be effected by slow changes, by reforms, but only by a qualitative change of the capitalist system, by revolution. Hence, in order not to err in policy, one must be a revolutionary, not a reformist.”
– J. Stalin, Dialectical and Historical Materialism (Lawrence & Wishard, 1941), p.11.
20. “…a great army of the proletarian party [must be] prepared to smash the reactionary forces and to clear the way for the advanced forces of society.”
– J. Stalin, Dialectical and Historical Materialism (Lawrence & Wishard, 1941), p.17.
21. “We are indebted to Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin for giving us a weapon. The weapon is not a machine-gun, but Marxism-Leninism.”
– Mao Tse-tung, On People’s Democratic Dictatorship (Foreign Language Press, 1959, orig. penned in 1949), p.2.
22. “It was the Russians that introduced the Chinese to Marxism. Before the October Revolution, the Chinese were not only ignorant of Lenin and Stalin but did not even know of Marx or Engels. The salvos of the October Revolution awoke us to Marxism-Leninism.”
– Mao Tse-tung, On People’s Democratic Dictatorship (Foreign Language Press, 1959, orig. penned in 1949), pp.4-5.
23. “…it is impossible for a genuine people’s revolution in any country to win victory without various forms of help from the international revolutionary forces.”
– Mao Tse-tung, On People’s Democratic Dictatorship (Foreign Language Press, 1959, orig. penned in 1949), p.9.
24. “The state machine, including the army, the police and the courts, is the instrument with which one class oppresses another. It is an instrument of oppression against all hostile classes; it means violence and is certainly not anything ‘benevolent.’ ‘You are merciless.’ Quite so. We definitely do not adopt a benevolent policy towards the reactionary activities of the reactionaries and the reactionary classes.”
– Mao Tse-tung, On People’s Democratic Dictatorship (Foreign Language Press, 1959, orig. penned in 1949), p.2.
25. “The dictatorship of the proletariat and the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party are indispensable conditions for the triumph of the Socialist revolution and the building of Socialism.”
– Nikita S. Khrushchev, “The Historical Necessity of the Transition from Capitalism to Socialism,” Khrushchev’s Mein Kampf (Belmont, 1961), p.33.
26. “Soviet foreign policy and foreign propaganda efforts continue to be linked to the objectives of fostering and accelerating world-wide social revolution.”
– Frederick C. Barghoorn (analyst on Soviet policy), Soviet Foreign Propaganda (Princeton University Press, 1964), pp.43-44.
27. “In October 17 we departed the old world and irreversibly rejected it. We are travelling to a new world, the world of communism. We shall never deviate from this path.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, television broadcast, November 2, 1987, as quoted by Maurice Tugwell, Peace with Freedom (Key Porter Books, 1988), p.214.
28. “In principle as a philosophy, a model of organising society, Communism has to be respected. As regards the use of certain methods to advance social justice and greater regulation by the state, there are certain methods that are useful. What we need is a new society, a new civilization and convergence of all that is best in both [Communism and Capitalism]”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, speaking on Larry King Live, November 6, 1993, quoted in the Soviet Analyst, Volume 22, Numbers 9&10, p.13.
29. “The Cold War may be ‘over’ for the West. For the Soviets it has entered a new, active and promising phase.”
– Anatoliy Golitsyn, The Perestroika Deception (Edward Harle, 1995), p.127.
30. “…the West’s main weakness remains unchanged: it cannot grasp the fact that it is facing an acceleration in the unfolding of Soviet convergence strategy which is intended to procure the subservience of the West to Moscow under an ultimate Communist World Government.”
– Anatoliy Golitsyn, The Perestroika Deception (Edward Harle, 1995), p.143.
31. “The time has come to develop integrated global policies.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, In Search for a New Beginning (HarperCollins, 1995), p.26.
32. “The time has come to choose a new direction of global development, to opt for a new civilization.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, In Search for a New Beginning (HarperCollins, 1995), p.69.
33. “Over the next 20 to 30 years, we are going to end up with world government. It’s inevitable… There’s going to be conflict, coercion and consensus. That’s part of what will be required as we give birth to the first global civilization.”
– Jim Garrison, President of the Gorbachev Foundation USA, “One World Under Gorby,” San Francisco Weekly, May 31, 1995.
34. “On the world scene, it is our position that there is a resurgence of socialism taking place. The world’s socialist and Communist forces are now on the move to restore socialism in the former socialist countries and to strengthen the existing socialist countries… there is a new socialist world on the horizon, a resurgence of the world revolutionary process.”
– Gus Hall, American Communist leader, as quoted in the Soviet Analyst, Volume 23, Number 4, p.14, from the 1995 Communist Party USA journal.
35. “New approaches are needed, new orientations in both thought and action. We must make the transition to a new civilization…We are talking of a transition toward a new civilization. No one knows what it will be like. What is important is to orient in that direction… I am convinced that a new civilization will inevitably take on certain features that are characteristic of, or inherent in, the socialist ideal.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World (Columbia University Press, 2000), pp.73-74.
36. “Socialist and Marxist ideas will gain a mass audience as the left recaptures the workers’ organisations. The Marxist tendency must base itself upon the capacity of the working class to struggle. On their shoulders rests the fate of society and the future of humankind. The working class will be propelled on the road of socialist revolution in one country after another. Armed with correct tactics and strategy, the coming to power of the proletariat in one important country will transform the entire world situation. It would set the world alight, resulting in the establishment of the Socialist United States of Europe as a stepping stone to the World Federation of Socialist States.”
– Ted Grand and Rob Sewell (contemporary Marxists thinkers), “Marxism, Socialism and the New Millennium,” published in a variety of places, including Marxist.com, January 2000.
37. “Obviously the goals of global management cannot be achieved all at once, in a great leap… Thus it is necessary to approach this goal step by step, to try to enhance the role of existing institutions and encourage coordination of the efforts of various governments. Above all, we are thinking about the United Nations.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World (Columbia Univ. Press, 2000), p.227.
38. “We retain unshakable confidence in the correctness of Marxism, in the revolutionary potential of the working class and in the final victory of socialism. The present crisis exposes the reactionary role of capitalism, and places on the order of the day the revival of international socialism.”
– “For the Fifth International,” as published on Marxist.com, March 17, 2010.
39. “…the capitalist system is indeed dying. If it is not replaced by socialism, it threatens to take the whole of society back into an age darker than humanity has seen in a thousand years. We would also add that it will not breathe its last gasp of its own accord; it will require the conscious and organized efforts of the united working class to give it a final push over the cliff of history. Although many on the left are pessimistic about the future, we Marxists are optimistic. By keeping the big picture in mind, we understand that the perspective for humanity is bright, despite the capitalist horrors that take place every day… Only socialism can give humanity a new lease on life.”
– “Is Capitalism Dying,” Marxist.com, February 5, 2013.
40. “Only collective action at the global level can establish the fundamentally new society that we call socialism.”
– “Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and 21st Century Socialism,” World Socialist Party USA website, March 14, 2013.
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