Soviet Union

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An unbreakable union of free republics, Great Russia has welded forever to stand! ~ National Anthem of the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union failed; socialism doesn't work. ~ Rand Paul
Fifteen years ago, there was this country called the Soviet Union... They're not there anymore. That's a good thing. ~ Tom Clancy
The demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe... ~ Vladimir Putin
Any kind of civil rights movement in the Soviet Union would have been ruthlessly smashed. Obviously. There would have been nothing left of it in no time at all. Most people would never even hear about it. ~ Michael J. Totten
The Evil Empire is no more. ~ Ann Coulter
In Russia, all you have to do to get a house is to be born in the Soviet Union. You are entitled to housing. ~ Nikita Khrushchev

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, abbreviated to USSR and SU or shortened to the Soviet Union, was a Marxist–Leninist state on the Eurasian continent that existed between 1922 and 1991. It was governed as a single-party state by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital. A union of multiple subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. It collapsed after nationalist and economic pressure under Mikhail Gorbachev and was dissolved in 1991, being succeeded by the Russian Federation.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZSee alsoExternal links

Quotes[edit]

A[edit]

B[edit]

  • You know, I never planned to leave. I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. You know, I played their game, pretending, of course. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB... Horrifying.
  • We bow our heads in respect for those Soviet women who displayed exceptional courage in the severe time of war. Never before but during the days of the war the grandeur of spirit and the invincible will of our Soviet women, their selfless dedication, loyalty and affection to their Homeland, their boundless persistence in work and their heroism on the front manifested themselves with such strength.
    • Leonid Brezhnev, reported in IE IU Kastelli, V karǐni zdiǐsnenoǐ mriǐ (1979) p. 54

C[edit]

  • 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.
  • The Soviet Union is dead and gone and replaced by the Russian Federation, which is a country we can be friends with now, thank God — and we want the Russians to prosper, and should help the Russians prosper in every way we can within reason... Fifteen years ago, there was this country called the Soviet Union that had over 10,000 nuclear warheads pointed at us... they're not there anymore. That's a good thing.
  • In the Soviet Union it was illegal to take a photograph of a train station. Look what happened to them. They tried to classify everything. The more information available to the average person, the greater the synergy that develops from it.
    • Tom Clancy, as quoted in Vonnegut and Clancy on Technology, by David H. Freedman and Sarah Schafer.
  • It was this idea (Be nice!) that fueled liberals' rage at Reagan when he vanquished the Soviet Union with his macho "cowboy diplomacy" that was going to get us all blown up. As the Times editorial page hysterically described Reagan's first year in office: "Mr. Reagan looked at the world through gun sights." Yes, he did! And now the Evil Empire is no more.

G[edit]

  • I could have gone on flying through space forever.
  • If the Russian word "perestroika" has easily entered the international lexicon, this is due to more than just interest in what is going on in the Soviet Union. Now the whole world needs restructuring, i.e. progressive development, a fundamental change.
  • If I had to choose between life in the Soviet Union and life in the USA, I would certainly choose the Soviet Union.
    • Attributed to Graham Greene, Parade magazine (October 29, 1967), p. 2. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).

H[edit]

  • The Soviet Union is gone, and history has moved on. But the Stalin-apologist dynamic endures as the heritage of a post-Communist Left, which remains wedded to fantasies of an impossibly beautiful future that collides with the flawed American present.
  • The Albanian people will throw themselves in to the flames for their true friends, and the Soviet Union is such a friend of the Albanian people. And these are not empty words. I am expressing here the sentiments of our people and of our Party, and let no one ever think that we love the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for the sake of some one's beautiful eyes or to please some individual, but because without the Soviet Union there would be no free life in the world today, fascism and capitalist terror would reign supreme. This is why we love and will always be loyal to the Soviet Union and to the Party of the great Lenin.

K[edit]

  • My arms are up to my elbows in blood. That is the most terrible thing that lies in my soul.
    • Nikita Khrushchev, reported in Melvyn P. Leffler (2007). For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. Macmillan, p. 496. ISBN 0809097176.
  • My letter to Castro concluded an episode of world history in which, bringing the world to the brink of atomic war, we won a Socialist Cuba. It's very consoling for me personally to know that our side acted correctly and that we did a great revolutionary deed by not letting American imperialism intimidate us. The Caribbean crisis was a triumph of Soviet foreign policy and a personal triumph in my own career as a statesman and as a member of the collective leadership. We achieved, I would say, a spectacular success without having to fire a single shot!

L[edit]

  • One should not forget that back in the late 1930s, when more than 1 million political prisoners were held in Stalin's concentration camps, progressive Western intellectuals denied that such institutions could possibly exist under the benign rule of the Communist Party. In the late 1950s, when the number of political prisoners dropped 1,000 times, not a figure of speech, that is the number, over, the repressive nature of the Soviet Union suddenly became a common sense fact.
  • Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations—such is the national program that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.
    • Vladimir Lenin, "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination", reported in Vladimir Lenin; Doug Lorimer (2002). Marxism & Nationalism. Resistance Books, p. 125. ISBN 1876646136.

N[edit]

O[edit]

  • 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.

P[edit]

  • The fundamental reason why Medicare is failing is why the Soviet Union failed; socialism doesn't work.
    • Rand Paul, as quoted in Kentucky Tonight (16 June 1998), KET.
  • In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is in duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify human life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost, so that his art might consciously extol human life and lead man to a radiant future. Such is the immutable code of art as I see it.
    • Sergei Prokofiev, reported in S. Shlifstein; Rose Prokofieva (2000). Sergei Prokofiev: Autobiography, Articles, Reminiscences. The Minerva Group, Inc., p. 136. ISBN 0898751497.
  • Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy. Fourteen years ago, independently, without any pressure from outside, it made that decision in the interests of itself and interests of its people -- of its citizens. This is our final choice, and we have no way back. There can be no return to what we used to have before. And the guarantee for this is the choice of the Russian people, themselves. No, guarantees from outside cannot be provided. This is impossible. It would be impossible for Russia today. Any kind of turn towards totalitarianism for Russia would be impossible, due to the condition of the Russian society.
  • First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.

R[edit]

  • Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolizes an epochal change in the way people live. More important, it liberates the way people think. We see with new clarity that centralized government bureaucracies created in this century are not the wave of the future. Never again will people trust planners and paper shufflers more than they trust themselves. We all watched as the statue of Soviet hangman Feliks Dzherzhinsky was toppled in front of Moscow's KGB headquarters by the very people his evil empire sought to enslave. Its sightless eyes symbolized the moral blindness of totalitarians around the world. They could never see the indomitable spirit of people determined to be free from government control—free to build a better future with their own heads, hands, and hearts.
  • It is a shame that Locke was not so prescient and enlightened as to use his principles to condemn slavery altogether, rather than just to ahistorically misconstrue it; but then no one in his day did. Anyone belaboring Locke now for tolerating the institution often seems to have the notion that somehow Communism ended slavery, rather than the British and American liberalism that grew out of Locke's ideas. The slave labor of the Soviet Union draws far less vitriol than Locke.
  • Moscow has changed. I was here in 1982, during the Brezhnev twilight, and things are better now. For instance, they've got litter. In 1982 there was nothing to litter with.

S[edit]

  • I live in the USSR, work actively and count naturally on the worker and peasant spectator. If I am not comprehensible to them I should be deported.
  • In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One.
    • Yakov Smirnoff, reported in Bob Fenster (2005). Laugh Off: The Comedy Showdown Between Real Life And The Pros. Andrews McMeel Publishing, p. 101. ISBN 0740754688.
  • What the immigrant cannot help noticing is that America is a country where the poor live comparatively well. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s, when CBS television broadcast an anti-Reagan documentary, "People Like Us", which was intended to show the miseries of the poor during an American recession. The Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with a view to embarrassing the Reagan administration. But by the testimony of former Soviet leaders, it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans have television sets and microwave ovens and cars. They arrived at the same perception of America that I witnessed in a friend of mine from Bombay who has been unsuccessfully trying to move to the United States for nearly a decade. Finally I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America"? He replied, "Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."
    • Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About America (2003), Ch. 3: Becoming American.
  • We do not want a single foot of foreign territory; but of our territory we shall not surrender a single inch to anyone.
    • Joseph Stalin, reported in Sándor Forbát ; Alex Forbath (1938). Europe Into the Abyss: Behind the Scenes of Secret Politics. Pallas Publishing Co., Ltd., p. 462.

T[edit]

  • I knew that many things were wrong... I witnessed a great many injustices... But it was my revolutionary duty at the time not to criticize and not to help alien propaganda against [the Soviet Union], for at that time it was the only country where a revolution had been carried out and where Socialism had been built. I considered that propaganda should not be made against that country; that my duty was to make propaganda in my own country for Socialism.
    • Tito, as quoted in Jasper Ridley's Tito: A Biography (Constable and Company Ltd., 1994), p. 142.
  • Both British and American Muslims are more likely to join ISIS than al-Qaeda. Which isn't the least bit surprising. Al-Qaeda does nothing but kill people. Its record is naught but destruction. But ISIS has actually built something. It’s appalling, of course. The Islamic state is a blood-soaked totalitarian prison. But so was the Soviet Union, and it, too, inspired huge numbers of people all over the world to take up arms and violently create knock-offs, from Cuba and Vietnam to South Yemen and even Somalia and Ethiopia. We should never underestimate the appeal of a utopian fantasy in the human psyche even if it is drenched in blood. Some people who find these utopias stirring deny that they’re drenched in blood. Others make excuses. 'You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs'. Still others are attracted to these ideas and places because they’re drenched in blood. Jihadi John, the Kuwait-British man who beheaded a string of jumpsuit-clad journalists and aid workers on camera, is clearly some kind of psychopath. So are the ISIS fighters who serially rape their captured “war brides.” So is Lisa Borch, the 15-year old Danish girl who fell in love with an Islamist extremist and stabbed her mother to death with a kitchen knife. There’s an upside to the exodus, I suppose. Britain and the United States are better off without these people. If they didn’t run off to Syria, they’d be living down the street. We’d have fewer Jihadi Johns and more Lisa Borchs. Syria sure as hell isn’t better off with these people as “immigrants,” but they’ll eventually die there when the Islamic State, like every other monstrous utopian entity, either destroys itself from within or is destroyed from without by fed-up outsiders. When it finally happens, whether it’s next year or two decades from now, the British and American Muslim communities will be, on average, a little more politically moderate and sane than they are now.
  • Any kind of civil rights movement in the Soviet Union would have been ruthlessly smashed. Obviously. There would have been nothing left of it in no time at all. Most people would never even hear about it.
  • Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain — at least in a poor country like Russia — and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.
    • Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution (1930). See edition: Leon Trotsky; Max Eastman (1957). The History of the Russian Revolution. University of Michigan Press, p. 213.
  • I got very well acquainted with Joe Stalin, and I like old Joe! He is a decent fellow. But Joe is a prisoner of the Politburo.
    • Harry S. Truman, informal remarks, Eugene, Oregon (June 11, 1948); Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1948, p. 329. Truman refers to his meeting with Stalin at the Potsdam conference in July 1945.

O[edit]

  • Since 1930 I had seen little evidence that the USSR was progressing towards anything that one could truly call Socialism. On the contrary, I was struck by clear signs of its transformation into a hierarchical society, in which the rulers have no more reason to give up their power than any other ruling class. Moreover, the workers and intelligentsia in a country like England cannot understand that the USSR of today is altogether different from what it was in 1917. It is partly that they do not want to understand (i.e. they want to believe that, somewhere, a really Socialist country does actually exist), and partly that, being accustomed to comparative freedom and moderation in public life, totalitarianism is completely incomprehensible to them.
    • George Orwell, in the original preface to Animal Farm; as published in George Orwell : Some Materials for a Bibliography (1953) by Ian R. Willison

Y[edit]

  • We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. Freedom is like that. It's like air. When you have it, you don't notice it.

Z[edit]

  • Generalissimo Stalin directed every move … made every decision … He is the greatest and wisest military genius who ever lived...

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