Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.
- Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shall not covet," and "Thou shall not steal," are not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.
- John Adams, Ch. 1 Marchamont Nedham: The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth Examined, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government (1787).
- Russian Communism is the illegitimate child of Karl Marx and Catherine the Great.
- Clement Attlee, as quoted in The Observer (1956).
- When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist.
- Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop, as quoted in Peace Behind Bars : A Peacemaking Priest's Journal from Jail (1995) by John Dear, p. 65; this is a translation of "Quando dou comida aos pobres chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres chamam-me de comunista."
- Variant translations:
- When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why are they poor, they call me a Communist.
- When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.
- Across the world academics still clung to the words and ideas of Marx and Engels and even Lenin. Fools. There were even those who said that Communism had been tried in the wrong country; that Russia had been too far backward to make those wonderful ideas work.
- Communism is essentially 'people's capitalism'—and, as an economic system, it is not inherently more 'ecological' or less damaging to natural systems than capitalism is.
- Jim DeKorne, The Survival Greenhouse: An Eco-System Approach to Home Food Production (1975)
- Bolshevism was the perfect ideology for Stalin: it provided him with a historical justification for the accumulation of unlimited personal power. The Bolsheviks believed that they were an elite chosen by history to implement the will of the masses. Only the politically conscious avant-garde could divine the true interests of the people as determined by Karl Marx: the people themselves were unable to see clearly because their minds were muddled by 'false consciousness', including religion and nationalism. Since the revolution was historically necessary, any action that contributed to its success was not only permitted, but required. Stalin believed the ends always justified the means.
- Michael Dobbs, Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman - From World War to Cold War (2012) p. 40
- What is a communist?
One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings.
- Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849), Epigram, in Poetical Works, vol. 2, p. 202
- I can no more tolerate the yoke of Bolshevism (as described by Mr. Roy) than of capitalism.
- Mohandas Gandhi, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume XXV-531, Publications Division of the Government of India.
- There is not so much difference between the ideologies of capitalism and communism, you know. The difference is simple. Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, and communism is the reverse.
- John Gardner, The Man from Barbarossa
- Communism was a very defective answer to some very good questions. In throwing out the bad answer, we have forgotten the good questions. I want to put the good questions back on the table.
- Tony Judt, quoted in Evan R. Goldstein, "The Trials of Tony Judt", The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 06, 2010)
- The Communists are determined to destroy us, and regardless of what hand of friendship we may hold out or what arguments we may put up, the only thing that will make that decisive difference is the strength of the United States.
- John F. Kennedy, Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy, Democratic Rally, George Washington High School Stadium, Alexandria, VA, August 24, 1960. - The American Presidency Project.
- There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
- Communism has sometimes succeeded as a scavenger, but never as a leader. It has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.
- John F. Kennedy, Speech at NATO Headquarters, Naples Italy (2 July 1963)
- Go out to the dead once again, in order there to take an aim at life. Out here is attained what is futilely sought in life: equal distribution. Each family has its own little piece of ground, approximately the same size. The view is just about the same for all of them; the sun shines equally over all of them; no building rises so high that it takes away the sun’s rays or the refreshing rain or the fresh air of the wind or the reverberations of bird songs from the neighbor or the neighbor across the way. No, here there is equal distribution.
- Søren Kierkegaard 1847 Works of Love, Hong 1995 p. 345-356
- Communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept.
- In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka.
- In Russia, all you have to do to get a house is to be born in the Soviet Union. You are entitled to housing. In America, if you don't have a dollar you have a right to choose between sleeping in a house or on the pavement. Yet you say we are the slave to communism.
- As a result of this failure of communist ideology to comprehend the nature of man, Stalin decided to alter the Russian constitution. No longer would economic rewards be distributed on the basis of ‘need’; rather, the new concept was to be ‘to each according to his work.’
- Quote from The Fundamentals of Liberty by Robert LeFevre, Santa Ana: CA, Rampart Institute, 1988, p. 402.
- The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation. Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: 'Don't scuttle the Pacific!'
- Crude and thoughtless communism ... negates the personality of man in every sphere. ... General envy constituting itself as a power is the disguise in which greed re-establishes itself and satisfies itself, only in another way. ... Crude communism is only the culmination of this envy and of this levelling-down.
- Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
- The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!
- But to make the comparison applicable, we must compare Communism at its best, with the regime of individual property, not as it is, but as it might be made... The laws of property have never yet conformed to the principles on which the justification of private property rests.
- J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy p. 14
- If the roused and insurgent consumers secure the means of production of the salt industry, in all probability they will confiscate this industry for their own profit, and their first thought will be, not to relegate it to free competition, but rather to exploit it, in common, for their own account. They will then name a director or a directive committee to operate the saltworks, to whom they will allocate the funds necessary to defray the costs of salt production. Then, since the experience of the past will have made them suspicious and distrustful, since they will be afraid that the director named by them will seize production for his own benefit, and simply reconstitute by open or hidden means the old monopoly for his own profit, they will elect delegates, representatives entrusted with appropriating the funds necessary for production, with watching over their use, and with making sure that the salt produced is equally distributed to those entitled to it. The production of salt will be organized in this manner.
This form of the organization of production has been named communism.
When this organization is applied to a single commodity, the communism is said to be partial.
When it is applied to all commodities, the communism is said to be complete.
- When ecclesiastic love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slums, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed the love of God, had degenerated into a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans. It was then only natural that a banner of rebellion would be raised, arguing that a merciless God who would allow such suffering could not exist. Hence, modern materialism was born. Western society became a hotbed of materialism; it was the fertile soil in which communism flourished.
- Nonetheless, one final and inescapable conflict remains before us, the war between democracy and communism. Although each side has equipped itself with fearsome weapons and is pitted against the other in readiness for battle, the core of their conflict is internal and ideological. Which side will triumph in this final ideological conflict? Anyone who believes in the reality of God will surely answer that democracy will win.
- After 7,000 biblical years — 6,000 years of restoration history plus the millennium, the time of completion — communism will fall in its 70th year. Here is the meaning of the year 1978. Communism, begun in 1917, could maintain itself approximately 60 years and reach its peak. So 1978 is the border line and afterward communism will decline; in the 70th year it will be altogether ruined. This is true. Therefore, now is the time for people who are studying communism to abandon it.
- Governments and Parties which have relied on the normal instruments of government ... have fallen easy and ignoble victims to the forces of anarchy. If, therefore, such a situation arises in Britain, we shall prepare to meet the anarchy of Communism with the organised force of Fascism.
- Oswald Mosley, The Greater Britain, 1932. Quoted in John Stevenson and Chris Cook, The Slump : Britain in the Great Depression New York : Pearson Longman, 2010.
- What is Communism? It is that when you have eaten enough food for your hunger and still food is left — it belongs to another man.
- It was therefore not sufficient to create—as some have said superficially—an anti-altar to the altar of socialism. It was necessary to imagine a wholly new political conception,adequate to the living reality of the twentieth century, overcoming at the same time the ideological worship of liberalism, the limited horizons of various spent and exhausted democracies, and finally the violently Utopian spirit of Bolshevism.
- The Fascist State has never tried to create its own God, as at one moment Robespierre and the wildest extremists of the Convention tried to do; nor does it vainly seek to obliterate religion from the hearts of men as does Bolshevism: Fascism respects the God of the ascetics, of the saints, of the heroes, and also God as seen and prayed to by the simple and primitive heart of the people.
- Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism, June 1932. Quoted in Charles Floyd Delzell, Mediterranean Fascism, 1919-45 Springer, 1971
- America continues to aid us; then we continue to fight the communists.
- Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, as quoted in Vietnam, the Ten Thousand Day War (1984), by Michael MacLear.
- Original Vietnamese quote: Mỹ còn viện trợ, thì chúng tôi còn chống cộng!
- Don't listen to what communists say, instead look closely at what the communists do!
- Văn Thiệu Nguyễn, as quoted in "ĐÚNG! Đừng Nghe Những Gì CS Nói, Mà Hãy Nhìn Những Gì CS Làm!" (26 July 2013), by Tuổi Trẻ Yêu Nước, Viet Bao (2013). Also quoted in "Cứu trợ nạn nhân là nghĩa vụ pháp lý và đạo đức", by Hà Minh Thảo, TTX Công Giáo Việt Nam.
- Original Vietnamese quote: Đừng nghe những gì Cộng sản nói, mà hãy nhìn kỷ những gì Cộng sản làm!
- The West never came close to proletarian revolution. The Left likes to believe that it did. They like to argue that 'Franklin Roosevelt saved capitalism from itself'. This is another way of saying that John Maynard Keynes saved capitalism from itself. Both arguments are incorrect. Roosevelt and Keynes met only once. Roosevelt correctly assessed Keynes as a mathematician, not an economist. This was true. Keynes got his degree in mathematics, not economics. Roosevelt was the source of what we call Keynesianism, 1933-36, not Keynes, whose General Theory appeared in 1936. But scholars like to believe that academic arguments shape the world. They don't. They conform what has already begun to take root in the thinking and practices of the general public. When men decided that "thou shalt not steal" means "thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote," the Keynesian worldview was born. This view is dominant today. Marxism is dead. So is cultural Marxism. To win this battle, we must persuade men that "thou shalt not steal" means this: it is immoral to steal, with or without majority vote. This has nothing to do with the mode of production.
- In my opinion, nothing has contributed so much to the corruption of the original idea of socialism as the belief that Russia is a socialist country and that every act of its rulers must be excused, if not imitated. And so for the last ten years, I have been convinced that the destruction of the Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of the socialist movement.
- George Orwell, Preface to Animal Farm
- In examining any dictatorship, there are two good tests. Firstly, what is the relation between the rulers and the proletariat or common people? Are the rulers members of the proletariat, as they would have you believe? Do they even identify their interests with those of ordinary citizens? The truth seems to be that, no matter where you find them, the so-called proletarian dictatorships are actually controlled by a small elite who ordinarily lose little sleep in worrying about the rights of the common man. Secondly, have the proletariat any effective say in what the rulers do? In the proletarian dictatorships I am familiar with, ordinary people enjoy little or no control over their Government or over their own lives and futures.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (1961) Mission for my Country, London, page 162
- I am a member of the People's Liberation Army. I promise that I will follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
- Oath of allegiance of the People's Liberation Army of China (February 2009).
- Vietnam was never all that ideologically Communist. It was always more socialist and nationalist. I told them they should stop calling themselves the Communist Party, but I didn't get anywhere with it. Everybody pays for everything over there, including health care. The government hardly provides anything. Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.
- I think that communism was a major force for violence for more than 100 years, because it was built into its ideology—that progress comes through class struggle, often violent. It led to the widespread belief that the only way to achieve justice was to hurry this dialectical process along, and allow the oppressed working classes to carry out their struggle against their bourgeois oppressors.
- I have one question for those rulers: If communism is the wave of the future, why do you still need walls to keep people in and armies of secret police to keep them quiet?
- Ronald Reagan speech (1983)
- [Cold war demonology] is a color word, and I probably should not have used it. It means just sort of interpreting everything in terms of a great communist conspiracy and in terms of communists being supermen who somehow can overcome the great problems of differences between national units, and so on. They are not supermen at all. They are men with feet of clay which extend almost all the way up to their brains.
- Edwin O. Reischauer, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, testimony at hearing, January 31, 1967. Asia, the Pacific, and the United States, hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 90th Congress, 1st session, p. 19 (1967).
- The hopes which inspire communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically and are as likely to do as much harm.
- Bertrand Russell, The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (1920), Part I, The Present Condition of Russia, Ch. 1: What Is Hoped From Bolshevism.
- The way to combat Communism is not war. What is needed in addition to such armaments as will deter Communists from attacking the West, is a diminution of the grounds for discontent in the less prosperous parts of the non-communist world. ...Communism is a doctrine bred of poverty, hatred and strife. Its spread can only be arrested by diminishing the area of poverty and hatred.
- Bertrand Russell, Portraits From Memory And Other Essays (1956), p. 232
- I think all the great religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism – both untrue and harmful.
- Bertrand Russell, My Religious Reminiscences (1957) reprinted in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
- I dislike Communism because it is undemocratic, and capitalism because it favors exploitation.
- Bertrand Russell, Unarmed Victory (1963), p. 14
- Better red than dead.
- [G]overnment, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776), Chapter I, Part II, p. 775.
- I can't recall enjoying a single quality meal in Europe's former Communist bloc. Marxism bulldozed restaurants along with everything else, and chefs in post-Communist Europe haven't had much time to master their craft.
- Of course sanctions have a negative effect on the economy, but the main cause of Cuban poverty is communist economics. Every communist country in the history of the world has been impoverished. It's a bankrupt system that has never worked and never can work. Here's just one reason why. The United States has a minimum wage while Cuba has a maximum wage. And that maximum wage is a paltry 20 dollars a month. No one can get ahead. It's impossible. It's illegal. When prosperity is a crime, there can be no prosperity, and that's entirely the fault of Cuba's communist party.
- The [Soviet Union] bureaucracy not only has not disappeared, yielding its place to the masses, but has turned into an uncontrolled force dominating the masses.
- Quote in The Revolution Betrayed: What Is the Soviet Union and Where Is It Going? by Leon Trotsky, Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. 1937, p. 40.
- The fall of the present bureaucratic dictatorship [in the Soviet Union], if it were not replaced by a new socialist power, would thus mean a return to capitalist relations with a catastrophic decline of industry and culture.
- It was in prison that we found the hope of salvation for the Communists. It was there that we developed a sense of responsibility toward them. It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them.
- Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured For Christ, p. 58 (1967).
- Some tell me "Preach the pure gospel!" This reminds me that the Communist secret police also told me to preach Christ, but not to mention communism. Is it really so, that those who are for what is called "a pure gospel" are inspired by the same spirit as those of the Communist secret police?
- Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured For Christ, p. 75 (1967).
- We communists are like seeds and the people are the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them.
- Mao Zedong, Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong (The Little Red Book) (1964).
- [T]he perversion of Stalinist Communism consists in the fact that the view by means of which the Party looks at history coincides immediately with history's gaze upon itself. To use good old Stalinist jargon, today already half-forgotten, Communists act immediately in the name of "objective laws of historical progress"; it is history itself, its necessity, that speaks through their mouths.