Quotes from Communists
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1843)
Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it – when it exists for us as capital, or when it is directly possessed, eaten, drunk, worn, inhabited, etc., – in short, when it is used by us. Although private property itself again conceives all these direct realisations of possession only as means of life, and the life which they serve as means is the life of private property – labour and conversion into capital.
Karl Marx, Private Property and Communism (1844)
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.
Karl Marx, Theses On Feuerbach (1845)
As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production.
Karl Marx, The German Ideology (1845)
Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is, necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.
Karl Marx, The German Ideology (1845)
The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general.
Frederick Engels, The Principles of Communism (1847)
What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)
We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)
The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.
Karl Marx, Preface of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)
The capitalist mode of production and accumulation, and therefore capitalist private property, have for their fundamental condition the annihilation of self-earned private property; in other words, the expropriation of the laborer.
Karl Marx, Capital: Volume 1, Chapter 33: The Modern Theory of Colonisation (1867)
The political freedoms, the right of assembly and association, and the freedom of the press – those are our weapons. Are we to sit back and abstain while somebody tries to rob us of them? It is said that a political act on our part implies that we accept the exiting state of affairs. On the contrary, so long as this state of affairs offers us the means of protesting against it, our use of these means does not signify that we recognise the prevailing order.
Frederick Engels, Apropos Of Working-Class Political Action (1871)
Every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes.
Karl Marx, Letter to Bracke (In Brunswick) (1875)
Labour is the source of all wealth, the political economists assert. And it really is the source – next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself.
Frederick Engels, The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man (1876)
We...reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and forever immutable ethical law on the pretext that the moral world, too, has its permanent principles which stand above history and the differences between nations. We maintain on the contrary that all moral theories have been hitherto the product, in the last analysis, of the economic conditions of society obtaining at the time. And as society has hitherto moved in class antagonisms, morality has always been class morality; it has either justified the domination and the interests of the ruling class, or ever since the oppressed class became powerful enough, it has represented its indignation against this domination and the future interests of the oppressed. That in this process there has on the whole been progress in morality, as in all other branches of human knowledge, no one will doubt. But we have not yet passed beyond class morality.
Frederick Engels, Anti-Dühring (1877)
The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master – free.
To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and this the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific Socialism.
Frederick Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880)
The revolutionary power which will socialise the instruments of labour taken from the capitalist class, will have to mount guard over the general interests of society served by the socialised industries, and in particular over the interests of those directly engaged in them.
Paul Lafargue, Socialism and Nationalisation (1882)
All science would be superfluous if the outward appearance and the essence of things directly coincided.
Karl Marx, Capital Vol. III Chapter 48 (1883)
We must not be like some Christians who sin for six days and go to church on the seventh, but we must speak for the cause daily, and make the men, and especially the women that we meet, come into the ranks to help us.
Eleanor Marx, Speech on the First May Day (1890)
The division of society into a small, excessively rich class and a large, propertyless class of wage-workers results in a society suffocating from its own superfluity, while the great majority of its members is scarcely, or even not at all, protected from extreme want. This state of affairs becomes daily more absurd and – more unnecessary. It must be abolished, it can be abolished.
Frederick Engels, Introduction to Marx’s Wage Labor and Capital (1891)
Only when the great mass of workers take the keen and dependable weapons of scientific socialism in their own hands, will all the petty-bourgeois inclinations, all the opportunistic currents, come to naught. The movement will then find itself on sure and firm ground. “Quantity will do it.”
Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution (1900)
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 neighbouring 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!
VI Lenin, What Is To Be Done? (1901)
If, contrary to all the efforts of our enemies, the modern labor movement marches triumphantly forward, its head raised high, then it owes this first and foremost to its calm understanding of the lawfulness of objective historical development, its understanding that “capitalist society with the inevitability of a natural process creates its own negation, namely, the expropriation of the expropriators, the socialist overturn.” In this, its understanding, the labor movement sees a reliable guarantee of its final victory. And from this same source it draws not only its ability to surge forward but also its patience ; not only strength for action, but also the courage to stand firm and to endure.
Rosa Luxemburg, Marxist Theory and the Proletariat (1903)
War unleashes – at the same time as the reactionary forces of the capitalist world – the generating forces of social revolution which ferment in its depths.
Rosa Luxemburg, In the Storm (1904)
From the moment when the priests use the pulpit as a means of political struggle against the working classes, the workers must fight against the enemies of their rights and their liberation. For he who defends the exploiters and who helps to prolong this present regime of misery, he is the mortal enemy of the proletariat...
Rosa Luxemburg, Socialism and the Churches (1905)
Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.
VI Lenin, Socialsm and Religion (1905)
And it is not our object to destroy civilization. We do not desire to “divide up,” as people are in the habit of saying; we do not wish to throw humanity back into barbarism; on the contrary, we desire to lift the whole of humanity to the highest thinkable plane of civilization. We wish every individual without exception to have a share in the means of culture and education according to his capacities and his needs. This is the loftiest ideal that the human race can set before itself; and this ideal is possible today because it is only now that, in consequence of the thousands of years of progress towards civilization and of the tremendous acquisitions which man has gained in this age of culture; because only now are all the means and possibilities given through which we may realize this ideal condition in the way that the majority of men desire to realize it.
August Bebel, Socialism and the Student (1905)
Whatever is done we must do ourselves, and if we stand up like men from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Gulf, we will strike terror to their cowardly hearts and they will be but too eager to relax their grip upon our throats and beat a swift retreat.
Eugene V. Debs, Arouse, ye slaves! (1906)
They have done their best and their worst to crush and enslave us. Their politicians have betrayed us, their courts have thrown us into jail without trial and their soldiers have shot our comrades dead in their tracks.
The worm turns at last, and so does the worker.
Eugene V. Debs, Arouse, ye slaves! (1906)
When, in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of man, when they serve merely to enslave, rob, and oppress mankind, the people have the eternal right to rebel against, and overthrow, these institutions.
Emma Goldman, A New Declaration of Independence (1909)
Capitalism has triumphed all over the world, but this triumph is only the prelude to the triumph of labour over capital.
V.I. Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism (1913)
Unity must be won, and only the workers, the class-conscious workers themselves can win it – by stubborn and persistent effort.
V.I. Lenin, Unity (1914)
Marx’s economic doctrine is the most profound, comprehensive and detailed confirmation and application of his theory.
V.I. Lenin, The Marxist Doctrine in Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch with an Exposition of Marxism (1914)
There are individuals – a mere handful in the history of mankind – who, while themselves being the product of an imminent catastrophic change, leave their mark upon an entire epoch. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is one such giant mind, one such giant will...
Alexandra Kollantai, A Giant Mind, A Giant Will (1914-1916)
The revolution will move forward until its consolidation is total. The time is still far off when there can be a period of relative calm. And life is always revolution.
Antonio Gramsci, The Russian Maximalists (1916)
And so in capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority. Communism alone is capable of providing really complete democracy, and the more complete it is, the sooner it will become unnecessary and wither away of its own accord.
V.I Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)
The Communist Manifesto gives a general summary of history, which compels us to regard the state as the organ of class rule and leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the proletariat cannot overthrow the bourgeoisie without first winning political power, without attaining political supremacy, without transforming the state into the “proletariat organized as the ruling class”; and that this proletarian state will begin to wither away immediately after its victory because the state is unnecessary and cannot exist in a society in which there are no class antagonisms.
VI Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)
To work, everybody to work, the cause of the world socialist revolution must and will triumph.
VI Lenin, Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power? (1917)
Everybody talks about imperialism. But imperialism is merely monopoly capitalism.
V I Lenin, The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It (1917)
The leaders of the petty bourgeoisie ‘must” teach the people to trust the bourgeoisie. The proletarians must teach the people to distrust the bourgeoisie.
V I Lenin, The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution (1917)
It is only in revolutionary struggle against the capitalists of every country, and only in union with the working women and men of the whole world, that we will achieve a new and brighter future-the socialist brotherhood of the workers.
Alexandra Kollontai, Our Tasks (1917)
The question now arises, for what reason does the capitalist class hire workers? Everyone knows that the reason is by no means because the factory owners wish to feed the hungry workers, but because they wish to extract profit from them. For the sake of profit, the factory owner builds his factory; for the sake of profit, he engages workers; for the sake of profit, he is always nosing out where higher prices are paid. Profit is the motive of all his calculations. Herein, moreover, we discern a very interesting characteristic of capitalist society. For society does not itself produce the things which are necessary and useful to it; instead of this, the capitalist class compels the workers to produce those things for which more will be paid, those things from which the capitalists derive the largest profit. Whisky, for example, is a very harmful substance, and alcoholic liquors in general ought to be produced; only for technical purposes and for their use in medicine. But throughout the world the capitalists produce alcohol with all their might. Why? Because to ply the people with drink is extremely profitable.
N.I. Bukharin and E. Preobrazhensky, The ABC of Communism (1920)
Criticism – the most keen, ruthless and uncompromising criticism – should be directed, not against parliamentarianism or parliamentary activities, but against those leaders who are unable – and still more against those who are unwilling – to utilise parliamentary elections and the parliamentary rostrum in a revolutionary and communist manner.
Only such criticism – combined, of course, with the dismissal of incapable leaders and their replacement by capable ones – will constitute useful and fruitful revolutionary work that will simultaneously train the “leaders” to be worthy of the working class and of all working people, and train the masses to be able properly to understand the political situation and the often very complicated and intricate tasks that spring from that situation.
V I Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder (1920)
Comrades, just as the earth, after a long drought, pants for rain, so the workers of the world pant for the end of the accursed war, for unification. This striving of the workers for unification is the greatest factor in world history.
Gregory Zinoviev, Closing Address at 2nd Congress of Comintern (1920)
Anyone who doubts the inevitability of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as a necessary stage of its victory over the bourgeoisie, facilitates the conditions for the victory of the latter; anyone who doubts or renounces the political party of the proletariat, is helping to weaken and disorganize the working class.
Lev Kamenev, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (1920)
It is folly, not revolutionism, to deprive ourselves in advance of any freedom of action, openly to inform an enemy who is at present better armed than we are whether we shall fight him, and when. To accept battle at a time when it is obviously advantageous to the enemy, but not to us, is criminal; political leaders of the revolutionary class are absolutely useless if they are incapable of “changing tack, or offering conciliation and compromise” in order to take evasive action in a patently disadvantageous battle.
V.I. Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder (1920)
The popular masses who want peace, freedom and bread must, in this period of dark onrush of events, always hold themselves ready to spring up as one man against every danger of new carnage and suffering threatened by the so heroic exploits of fascism.
Antonio Gramsci, The development of fascism (1921)
When wages have disappeared, when all are upon a basis of economic equality, when the position of manager, director, organiser, etc., brings no material advantage, the desire for it will be less widespread and less keen, and the danger of oppressive action by the management will be largely nullified. Nevertheless, management imposed on unwilling subordinates will not be tolerated; where the organiser has chosen the assistants, the assistants will be free to leave, or change him; where the assistants choose the organiser, they will be free to change him. Co-operation for the common good is necessary, but freedom, not domination, is the goal.
E. Sylvia Pankhurst, Communism and its Tactics (1921)
The practical task of a reconstruction of society may be correctly solved by the application of a scientific policy of the working class, i.e., a policy based on scientific theory; this scientific theory, in the case of the proletarian, is the theory founded by Karl Marx.
Nikolai Bukharin, Introduction to Historical Materialism: A System of Sociology (1921)
The words Socialism and Communism have the same meaning. They indicate a condition of society in which the wealth of the community: the land and the means of production, distribution and transport are held in common, production being for use and not for profit.
Sylvia Pankhurst, Future Society (1923)
Our object is the economic freedom of the producing classes; this ultimate goal will be attained after a long and bitter struggle; therefore, our primary task is to organize the masses and lead them in the struggle for economic freedom.
M N Roy, On Non-Violence and the Masses (1923)
All the martyrs of the working class...are victims of the same murderer: international capitalism. And it is always in belief in the liberation of their oppressed brothers, without discrimination as to race or country, that the souls of these martyrs will find supreme consolation.
After experiencing these painful lessons, the oppressed people of all countries ought to know on which side their true brothers are, and on which side their enemy.
Ho Chi Minh, Oppression Hits All Races (1923)
Revolution! The air is filled with flames and fumes. The shapes of men, seen through the smoke, become distorted and unreal. Promethean supermen, they seem, giants in sin or virtue, Satans or saviours. But, in truth, behind the screen of smoke and flame they are like other men: no larger and no smaller, no better and no worse: all creatures of the same incessant passions, hungers, vanities and fears.
Louise Bryant the, Mirrors Of Moscow (1923)
Yes, we must fight, struggle, be ready for defeats and disappointments, but once we have consciously set our feet on the right road, with a clear vision of the task ahead, nothing can daunt us and all causes for pessimism disappear.
M.N. Roy, On Non-Violence and the Masses (1923)
We all know, and if we don’t, then experience will teach us, that the great purpose for which we fight will be achieved if our Unions take in their organised lines the great mass of the disbanded and the victims. The more united and more concrete we are, the more our power will be greater and more terrible to the exploiters and militarists, the more our imposition upon the State will be more powerful. Our today’s Unions must organise to awaken and move the indifferent and sleeping masses, to analyse our program to them, to give them consciousness of their interests and the dangers that threaten their lives.
Pantelis Pouliopoulos, What the Veterans and Army Victims Demand (1924)
...We should try to link our personal lives with the cause for which we struggle, with the cause of building communism.
Nadezhda K. Krupskaya, On Communist Ethics (1924)
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
Mao Zedong, Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan (1927)
For us, anti-imperialism does not and cannot constitute, by itself a political program for a mass movement capable of conquering state power. Anti-imperialism, even if it could mobilize the nationalist bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie on the side of the worker and peasant masses (and we have already definitively denied this possibility), does not annul class antagonisms nor suppress different class interests.
Jose Carlos Mariategui, Anti-Imperialist Viewpoint (1929)
It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear...
Bhagat Singh, The Red Pamphlet (1929)
...To build socialism means not only building gigantic factories and flour mills. This is essential but not enough for building socialism. People must grow in mind and heart. And on the basis of this individual growth of each in our conditions a new type of mighty socialist collective will in the long run be formed, where “I” and “we” will merge into one inseparable whole. Such a collective can only develop on the basis of profound ideological solidarity and an equally profound emotional rapprochement, mutual understanding.
Nadezhda K. Krupskaya a, Letter to A. M. Gorky (1932)
Workers in the bourgeois countries must fight for equal rights for men and women.
Nadezhda K. Krupskaya, Preface to The Emancipation of Women in Writings of V.I. Lenin (1933)
We Communists...stand for the organizational unity of the labor movement; we stand for a great single mass Party of the proletariat.
Bela Kun, The Most Burning Question: Unity of Action (1934)
Discover the truth through practice, and again through practice verify and develop the truth. Start from perceptual knowledge and actively develop it into rational knowledge; then start from rational knowledge and actively guide revolutionary practice to change both the subjective and the objective world. Practice, knowledge, again practice, and again knowledge. This form repeats itself in endless cycles, and with each cycle the content of practice and knowledge rises to a higher level. Such is the whole of the dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge, and such is the dialectical-materialist theory of the unity of knowing and doing.
Mao Zedong, On Practice (1937)
The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution.
Mao Zedong, Problems of War and Strategy (1938)
We should therefore see ourselves as in need of change and capable of being changed. We should not look upon ourselves as immutable, perfect and sacrosanct, as persons who need not and cannot be changed. When we pose the task of remoulding ourselves in social struggle, we are not demeaning ourselves; the objective laws of social development demand it. Unless we do so, we cannot make progress, or fulfill the task of changing society.
Liu Shaoqi, How to be a Good Communist (1939)
Never become alienated from the masses; learn from them and help them. Lead a collective life, inquire into the concerns of the people around you, study their problems their problems and abide by the rules of discipline
Zhou Enlai, Guidelines for Myself (1943)
The masses must have their own staunch vanguard which, for its part, must maintain close ties with the widest possible section of the masses. Only thus will the emancipation of the people be possible.
Liu Shaoqi, On the Party (1945)
All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality, they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are powerful.
Mao Zedong, Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong (1946)
Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years. To interpret history from this viewpoint is historical materialism; standing
in opposition to this viewpoint is historical idealism.
Mao Zedong, Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle (1949)
It is common knowledge that the class interests of the bourgeoisie are built on the foundation of capitalist exploitation. It seeks profits and still more profits.
The bourgeois class itself is divided into several strata, and each of those into several groups. In their pursuit of profits, the capitalists not only unscrupulously exploit the proletariat; even within their own class the capitalists do not scruple to swallow up their rivals in competition – the big fish swallows the little fish, the big bourgeoisie swallows the petty and middle bourgeoisie, one group squeezes out and swallows another group.
The bourgeoisie strives to possess the means of production and the market of its own country. And since its greed for profits knows no limits, the bourgeoisie strives to expand beyond its own country, to seize foreign markets, sources of raw materials and areas for capital investment, thus subjugating other nations and exploiting them. At the same time it squeezes out the bourgeoisie or rival capitalists of other countries.
The exploitation of wage labour, competition, the squeezing out, suppressing and swallowing of rivals among the capitalists themselves, the resorting to war and even world war, the utilization of all means to secure a monopoly position in its own country and throughout the world – such is the inherent character of the profit-seeking bourgeoisie. This is the class basis of bourgeois nationalism and of all bourgeois ideologies.
Liu Shaoqi, Internationalism and Nationalism (1952)
We stand firmly for peace and against war. However, if the imperialists insist on unleashing another war, we should not be afraid of it. Our attitude on this question is the same as our attitude towards any disturbance: first, we are against it; second, we are not afraid of it.
Mao Zedong, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (1957)
No matter how hard the reactionaries try to prevent the advance of the wheel of history, revolution will take place sooner or later and will surely triumph.
Mao Zedong, Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution (1957)
The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands its dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.
Che Guevara, Notes for the Study of the Ideology of the Cuban Revolution (1960 )
It’s not communism that expropriates the peasant’s field, or the merchant’s store, that ruins the small and medium industrialists, helpless to put up with the competition of the trusts. It’s not communism that set alight class struggle. But it’s capitalism that destroys the property of the little people in order to take it over; that buys at a low price the labor of the worker and makes weigh upon him the full weight of oppression and coercion. War, economic crisis, unemployment, the expropriation and ruin of the middle classes are not our doing. They are the result of the private property of the great means of production, which has become – after having been a stimulant – a hindrance to economic life and progress. The property of the great means of production is the only one that should be socialized, if we want to lay down the base for a rational economy.
Maurice Thorez, The Popular Front (1960)
If it is now, more than ever before, the duty of every State and its leaders not to permit actions which are capable of jeopardizing universal peace. That applies with all the more force to the leaders of the Great Powers.
Nikita Khrushchev, Of What Freedom Are You Speaking? (1961)
And the imperialists? Will they sit with their arms crossed? No!
The system they practice is the cause of the evils from which we are suffering, but they will try to obscure the facts with spurious allegations, of which they are masters. They will try to compromise the conference and sow disunity in the camp of the exploited countries by offering them pittances.
Che Guevara, On Development (1964)
There is no small enemy nor insignificant force, because no longer are there isolated peoples.
Che Guevara, Speech to the United Nations (1964)
People of the world, be courageous, and dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people. Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed.
Mao Zedong, American Imperialism Is Closely Surrounded By The Peoples Of The World (1964)
At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. Perhaps it is one of the great dramas of the leader that he or she must combine a passionate spirit with a cold intelligence and make painful decisions without flinching. Our vanguard revolutionaries must idealize this love of the people, of the most sacred causes, and make it one and indivisible. They cannot descend, with small doses of daily affection, to the level where ordinary people put their love into practice.
Che Guevara, Socialism and Man in Cuba (1965)
Socialism is not spontaneous. It does not arise of itself. It has abiding principles according to which the major means of production and distribution ought to be socialised if exploitation of the many by the few is to be prevented; if, that is to say, egalitarianism in the economy is to be protected.
Kwame Nkrumah, African Socialism Revisited (1967)
The urban guerrilla is engaged in revolutionary action for the people, and with them seeks the participation of the people in the struggle against the dictatorship and the liberation of the country.
Carlos Marighella, Minimanual of the Urban Guerilla (1969)
Historical experience merits attention. A line or a viewpoint must be explained constantly and repeatedly. It won’t do to explain them only to a few people; they must be made known to the broad revolutionary masses.
attributed in, Lin Biao’s Report to the Ninth National Congress (1969)
Ours is the age that can meet the challenge of the times when we work out so new a relationship of theory to practice that the proof of the unity is in the Subject’s own self-development. Philosophy and revolution will first then liberate the innate talents of men and women who will become whole. Whether or not we recognise that this is the task history has “assigned,” to our epoch, it is a task that remains to be done.
Raya Dunayevskaya, New Passions and New Forces in Philosophy & Revolution (1973)
We must persist in the mass line: From the masses, to the masses; we must have unshakable faith in the vast majority of the masses and firmly rely on them. Both in revolution and in construction, we should boldly arouse the people and unfold vigorous mass movements.
Zhou Enlai, Report on the Work of the Government (1975)
We are for the defence of bourgeois democracy – more precisely the defence of democratic rights – against attacks from the right.
We are, in principle, in favour of electoral activity but only as a subordinate form of activity, only as an auxiliary to direct working class action, never as an end in itself
We are for workers’ power on the basis of the direct rule of working class organisations, whatever specific form this may take. This involves far, far more elections but on a new basis.
’the abolition of state power is the goal of all socialists, including and above all Marx’... ‘Unless this goal is reached, true democracy, that is equality and freedom is not attainable.’ And the road to the abolition of state power is the road of revolution and the commune-state, not the road of reformist electoralism.
Duncan Hallas, Marx, Engels and the vote (1983)
To remain at home and not vote is behind the political situation. It is insufficient.
Mansoor Hekmat, ‘Election Day’: A Day of Protest (2001)
Ending terrorism is our task. It is the task of us who fight for people’s equality, for their rights and dignity. State terrorism will end by overthrowing terrorist states. Non-state terrorism must be eradicated by putting an end to the hardships, discrimination, exploitation and suppression that lead people to desperation and make them fall prey to reactionary and inhuman organisations. It can be eradicated by exposing religion, ethnicism, racism and any reactionary ideology, which has no respect for people. Our response is to fight for the creation of an open, free and equal society in which people, their lives, dignity and well being are valued.
Mansoor Hekmat, Ending Terrorism is Our Task (2001)