V.I. Lenin

Do not deny the Terror.
Don't minimize the evils of a Revolution.

V.I. Lenin, to Lincoln Steffens
"Lincoln Steffens, a Biography"

"Propaganda or agitation in an organization or co-operation with organizations having the effect... of helping in the slightest way that part of the international bourgeoisie which does not recognize the equal rights of the Communist system coming to take the place of capitalism, and which is endeavoring to overthrow it by force, whether by intervention or blockade or by espionage or by financing of the press or by any other means - is punishable by death or imprisonment."
V.I. Lenin
"Collected Works"

"Freedom is a bourgeois prejudice. We repudiate all morality which proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas which are outside the class conception. In our opinion, morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of the class war. Everything is moral which is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting order and for uniting the proletariat. Our morality consists solely in close discipline and conscious warfare against the exploiters."
V.I. Lenin

Joseph Stalin

"To put it briefly: the dictatorship of the proletariat
is the domination by the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, untrammeled by the law and based on violence and enjoying the sympathy and support of the toiling and exploited masses."

Joseph Stalin
speech of April 24, 1924

"Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies in scores of hundreds, let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood... let there be floods of blood of the bourgeois."
Red Army Newspaper proclamation
September of 1918
George Leggett
"The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police"

"Proletariat coercion, in all its forms, from executions to forced labor, is, paradoxical as it may sound, the method of molding humanity out of the human material of the capitalist period."
Nikolai Bukharin

V.I. Lenin addresses a crowd

"This is the essence of the Red Terror..."

The Extraordinary Commission is neither an investigating commission nor a tribunal. It is an organ of struggle, acting on the home front of a civil war. It does not judge the enemy: it strikes him... We are not carrying out war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is - to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of the Red Terror.

M.Y. Latsis
senior official in the "All-Russian Extraordinary Commission"
better know as the "CHEKA", or Soviet political police
quoted in Harrison Salisbury's
Black Night, White Snow: Russia's Revolutions, 1905-1917

"...one thought, one aim - merciless destruction."

Hard towards himself, he must be hard towards others also. All the tender and effeminate emotions of kinship, friendship, love, gratitude, and even honor must be stifled in him by a cold and single-minded passion for the revolutionary cause. There exists for him only one delight, one consolation, one reward and one gratification - the success of the revolution. Night and day he must have but one thought, one aim - merciless destruction. In cold-blooded and tireless pursuit of this aim, he must be prepared both to die himself and to destroy with his own hands everything that stands in the way of its achievement.

Sergei Nechayev
Catechism of a Revolutionary

"Comrades! ... Hang (hang without fail, so that people will see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers ... Do it in such a way that ... for hundreds of versts around, the people will see, tremble, know, shout: 'They are strangling and will strangle to death the sucker kulaks'... Yours, Lenin."

"Vladimir Ilyich Lenin"
by David Remnick

As Edmund Wilson put it:

"As for the aims and ideals of Marxism, there is one feature of them that is not rightly suspect. The taking over by the state of the means of production and the dictatorship of the proletariat can by themselves never guarantee the happiness of anybody but the dictators themselves. Marx and Engels, coming out of authoritarian Germany, tended to imagine socialism in authoritarian terms; and Lenin and Trotsky after them, forced as they were to make a beginning among a people who had known nothing but autocracy, also emphasized this side of socialism and founded a dictatorship which perpetuated itself as an autocracy."

from "Modern Times" by Paul Johnson:

"The stages by which Lenin created [the] autocracy are worth describing in a little detail because they became the grim model, in essentials, for so many other regimes in the six decades which have followed. His aims were fourfold. First, to destroy all opposition outside the party; second, to place all power, including government, in party hands; third, to destroy all opposition within the party; fourth; to concentrate all power in the party in himself and those he chose to associate with him....

"Once Lenin had abolished the idea of personal guilt, and had started to 'exterminate' (a word he frequently employed) whole classes, merely on account of occupation or parentage, there was no limit to which this deadly principle might be carried. Might not entire categories of people be classified as 'enemies' and condemned to imprisonment or slaughter merely on account of the colour of their skin, or their racial origins or, indeed, their nationality? There is no essential moral difference between class-warfare and race-warfare, between destroying a class and destroying a race. Thus the modern practise of genocide was born."

Sir Isaiah Berlin also put it poignantly:

"The divisions of mankind into two groups - men proper, and some other, lower, order of beings, inferior races, inferior cultures, subhuman creatures, nations or classes condemned by history - is something new in human history. It is a denial of common humanity - a premise upon which all previous humanism, religious and secular, had stood. This new attitude permits men to look on many millions of their fellow men as not quite human, to slaughter them without a qualm of conscience, without the need to try to save them or warn them. Such conduct is usually ascribed to barbarians or savages - men in a pre-rational frame of mind, characteristic of peoples in the infancy of civilisation. This explanation will no longer do. It is evidently possible to attain to a high degree of scientific knowledge and skill, and indeed, of general culture, and yet destroy others without pity, in the name of a nation, a class, or history itself. If this is childhood, it is the dotage of a second childhood in its most repulsive form. How have men reached such a pass?"

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