Here are a collection of quotes which defend the Socialist mode of production.

Part 5 of This Series:

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing” - Karl Marx

“What we have to deal with here is a Communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society - after the deductions have been made - exactly what he gives to it… But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of Communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby” - Karl Marx

“The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialised means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this set the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialised character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialised production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible” - Friedrich Engels

“Every change in the social order, every revolution in property relations, is the necessary consequence of the creation of new forces of production which no longer fit into the old property relations… no more than existing forces of production can at one stroke be multiplied to the extent necessary for the creation of a communal society. In all probability, the proletarian revolution will transform existing society gradually and will be able to abolish private property only when the means of production are available in sufficient quantity” - Friedrich Engels

“Sometimes, history needs a push; There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen” - V.I. Lenin

“They tell you that socialism would destroy your individuality. That would be miraculous - that would be a miracle! Because you have none. No man has any individuality who has got to beg for permission to live” - Eugene Debs

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born” - Antonio Gramsci; (In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear Žižek uses it a lot, although he modifies it a bit: >The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters)

“Reconversion to the production of consumer goods would be at best a painful process, and could be disastrous, for no one knew whether the American economy could maintain full employment in peacetime. The Soviet Union needed heavy industrial equipment, partly to rebuild its war-devastated economy and partly to satisfy its people’s long denied desire for more consumer goods. Moscow could solve its reconstruction problems, it appeared, by placing massive orders for industrial equipment with American firms. Filling these orders would help the United States deal with its own post war reconversion problems and, in the process would begin to integrate the Soviet Union into the multilateral system of world trade to which Washington attached such great importance. Both countries, it seemed, had a strong interest in promoting this most promising of economic partnerships” - (John Gaddis Smith, The United States and the origins of the Cold War)

“If I were asked about my predilection towards socialism I would answer: with regard to this issue what I aspire to is not to increase the wealth of factories but that of life. My concern is not that people should be equal in distribution of food but that every individual should be allowed to exploit his talents and potential. The labourer crushed by his misery may not find in socialism anything except a promise that he may take what he is deprived of, but I view it as continuous and generous giving, as giving to life many times what it has offered us” - Michel Aflaq

“It is the peasants who made the idols, and when the time comes they will cast the idols aside with their own hands; there is no need for anyone else to do it for them prematurely. The Communist Party’s propaganda policy in such matters should be, ‘Draw the bow without shooting, just indicate the motions.’ It is for the peasants themselves to cast aside the idols, pull down the temples to the martyred virgins and the arches to the chaste and faithful widows; it is wrong for anybody else to do it for them” - Mao Zedong

“Civilise the mind and make savage the body; This is an apt saying. In order to civilise the mind one must first make savage the body. If the body is made savage, then the civilised mind will follow. Knowledge consists in knowing the things in the world, and in discerning their laws” - Mao Zedong

“Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn’t. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger; We have to destroy it piecemeal; If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end” - Mao Zedong

“I like rightists. People say you are rightists, that the Republican Party is to the right, that Prime Minister Heath is also to the right; I am comparatively happy when these people on the right come into power” - (Mao Zedong, speaking to Richard Nixon)

“At present some people, especially young people, are sceptical about the socialist system, alleging that socialism is not as good as capitalism. Such ideas must be firmly corrected. The socialist system is one thing, and the specific way of building socialism is another. Counting from the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union has been engaging in building socialism for 63 years, but it is still in no position to boast about how we do it. It is true that we don’t have enough experience either, and perhaps it is only now that we have begun in earnest to search for a better road. Nevertheless, the superiority of the socialist system has already been proved, even though it still needs to be displayed in more convincing ways, but first and foremost it must be revealed in the rate of economic growth and in economic efficiency. Otherwise, there will be no point in our trying to blow our own horn. And to achieve a high rate of economic growth and high efficiency, it is essential to carry out our political line consistently and unfalteringly” - Deng Xiaoping

“If China will one day change its color, become a superpower, and dominate the world, bullying, invading, and exploiting people everywhere, then the people of the world should give China the hat of social imperialism to wear, you should expose it, oppose it, and work with the Chinese people to defeat it” - Deng Xiaoping

“We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, because a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory, just as any country’s defeat is a defeat for all of us” - Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

“A socialist economy is a planned economy, managed by its masters, the popular masses. It is an instrinsic requirement of a socialist economy that it be developed rapidly in a planned and balanced way in the common interests of the masses by increasing the creative enthusiasm of the working people and that equitable distribution be made according to the quantity and quality of work done” - Kim Il-sung

“Xi Jinping is one of the strongest and most capable revolutionary leaders I have met in my life” - Fidel Castro

“It’s hard to believe. That such a peaceful country wants war. And Brezhnev. I never thought he was such a quiet and calm person. It is difficult to imagine that he can be the person who would start a war. I have not seen a hitchhiker on the road. And I have not seen a single beggar on the streets of Soviet Russia. I had never felt so safe. No risk of being robbed. I was told that there is no freedom of religion in the Soviet Union. But Muslims, Christians and Jews worship freely here. I think the relationship between our people is bad just because of false propaganda” - Muhammad Ali

“If the people are awakened only for voting but enter a dormant period soon after, if they are given a song and dance during campaigning but have no say after the election, or if they are favored during canvassing but are left out in the cold after the election, such a democracy is not a true democracy” - Xi Jinping

“First, we will take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, then we will encircle the United States, which will be the last bastion of capitalism. We will not have to attack. It will fall like an overripe fruit into our hands” - Xi Jinping

“To study and research Marxism, one should not adopt a simple and superficial attitude. Some people have not read classics of Marxism, and they express their opinions when they know little about them. This is an irresponsible attitude and goes against the spirit of science” - Xi Jinping

“Both history and reality tell us that only socialism can save China. Only socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. This is a conclusion of the history and the choice of the people” - Xi Jinping

Part 6:


Quotes -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6

“It is the business of the International Working Men’s Association to combine and generalise the spontaneous movements of the working classes, but not to dictate or impose any doctrinary system whatever. The Congress should, therefore, proclaim no special system of co-operation, but limit itself to the enunciation of a few general principles. (a.) We acknowledge the co-operative movement as one of the transforming forces of the present society based upon class antagonism. Its great merit is to practically show, that the present pauperising, and despotic system of the subordination of labour to capital can be superseded by the republican and beneficent system of the association of free and equal producers. (b.) Restricted, however, to the dwarfish forms into which individual wages slaves can elaborate it by their private efforts, the co-operative system will never transform capitalist society. to convert social production into one large and harmonious system of free and co-operative labour, general social changes are wanted, changes of the general conditions of society, never to be realised save by the transfer of the organised forces of society, viz., the state power, from capitalists and landlords to the producers themselves. (c.) We recommend to the working men to embark in co-operative production rather than in co-operative stores. The latter touch but the surface of the present economical system, the former attacks its groundwork. (d.) We recommend to all co-operative societies to convert one part of their joint income into a fund for propagating their principles by example as well as by precept, in other words, by promoting the establishment by teaching and preaching. (e.) In order to prevent co-operative societies from degenerating into ordinary middle-class joint stock companies (societes par actions), all workmen employed, whether shareholders or not, ought to share alike. As a mere temporary expedient, we are willing to allow shareholders a low rate of interest” - Karl Marx

“The soil (and this, economically speaking, includes water) in the virgin state in which it supplies man with necessaries or the means of subsistence ready to hand, exists independently of him, and is the universal subject of human labour. All those things which labour merely separates from immediate connexion with their environment, are subjects of labour spontaneously provided by Nature. Such are fish which we catch and take from their element, water, timber which we fell in the virgin forest, and ores which we extract from their veins. If, on the other hand, the subject of labour has, so to say, been filtered through previous labour, we call it raw material; such is ore already extracted and ready for washing. All raw material is the subject of labour, but not every subject of labour is raw material: it can only become so, after it has undergone some alteration by means of labour” - Karl Marx

“The Communist peasant community no less than the feudal corvée farm and similar institutions maintain their economic organisation by subjecting the labour power, and the most important means of production, the land, to the rule of law and custom” - Rosa Luxemburg

“Capitalism would not be capitalism if the ‘pure’ proletariat were not surrounded by a large number of exceedingly motley types intermediate between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns his livelihood in part by the sale of his labour power), between the semi-proletarian and the small peasant (and petty-artisan, handicraft worker and small master in general), between the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less developed strata, if it were not divided according to territorial origin, trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on. And from all this follow the necessity, the absolute necessity, for the vanguard of the proletariat, for its class-conscious section, for the Communist Party, to resort to manoeuvres, agreements and compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and small masters” - V.I. Lenin

“Particular attention should be paid to Marx’s extremely profound remark that the destruction of the bureaucratic-military state machine is ‘the precondition for every real people’s revolution’. This idea of a people’s revolution seems strange coming from Marx, so that the Russian Plekhanovites and Mensheviks, those followers of Struve who wish to be regarded as Marxists, might possibly declare such an expression to be a ‘slip of the pen’ on Marx’s part. They have reduced Marxism to such a state of wretchedly liberal distortion that nothing exists for them beyond the antithesis between bourgeois revolution and proletarian revolution, and even this antithesis they interpret in an utterly lifeless way. If we take the revolutions of the 20th century as examples we shall, of course, have to admit that the Portuguese and the Turkish revolutions are both bourgeois revolutions. Neither of them, however, is a ‘people’s’ revolution, since in neither does the mass of the people, their vast majority, come out actively, independently, with their own economic and political demands to any noticeable degree. By contrast, although the Russian bourgeois revolution of 1905-07 displayed no such ‘brilliant’ successes as at time fell to the Portuguese and Turkish revolutions, it was undoubtedly a ‘real people’s’ revolution, since the mass of the people, their majority, the very lowest social groups, crushed by oppression and exploitation, rose independently and stamped on the entire course of the revolution the imprint of their own demands, their attempt to build in their own way a new society in place of the old society that was being destroyed. In Europe, in 1871, the proletariat did not constitute the majority of the people in any country on the Continent. A ‘people’s’ revolution, one actually sweeping the majority into its stream, could be such only if it embraced both the proletariat and the peasants. These two classes then constituted the ‘people’. These two classes are united by the fact that the ‘bureaucratic-military state machine’ oppresses, crushes, exploits them. To smash this machine, to break it up, is truly in the interest of the ‘people’, of their majority, of the workers and most of the peasants, is ‘the precondition’ for a free alliance of the poor peasant and the proletarians, whereas without such an alliance democracy is unstable and socialist transformation is impossible. As is well known, the Paris Commune was actually working its way toward such an alliance, although it did not reach its goal owing to a number of circumstances, internal and external. Consequently, in speaking of a ‘real people’s revolution’, Marx, without in the least discounting the special features of the petty-bourgeois (he spoke a great deal about them and often), took strict account of the actual balance of class forces in most of the continental countries of Europe in 1871. On the other hand, he stated that the ‘smashing’ of the state machine was required by the interests of both the workers and the peasants, that it united them, that it placed before them the common task of removing the ‘parasite’ and of replacing it by something new” - V.I. Lenin

“Can the majority of the peasants in Russia demand and carry out the nationalisation of the land? Certainly it can. Would this be a socialist revolution? It would not. It would still be a bourgeois revolution, for the nationalisation of the land is a measure that is not incompatible with the existence of capitalism. It is, however, a blow to private ownership of the most important means of production. Such a blow would strengthen the proletarians and semi-proletarians far more than was the case during the revolutions of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries” - V.I. Lenin

“Indeed, is it not clear that as far as the proletariat is concerned the struggle for the republic is inconceivable without an alliance with the petty-bourgeois masses? Is it not clear that without the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry there is not a shadow of hope for the success of this struggle?; Whatever the form, whatever the origin, whatever the conditions, one thing at any rate is clear - that the provisional revolutionary government must have the support of definite classes. One has only to remember this simple truth to realise that the provisional revolutionary government can be nothing else but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” - V.I. lenin


“[Petty-bourgeois socialism] This school of socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty-bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities. In its positive aims, however, this form of socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, and the old society, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange within the framework of the old property relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded by those means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian. Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture; patriarchal relations in agriculture. Ultimately, when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception, this form of socialism ended in a miserable fit of the blues” - Karl Marx

“[How do Communists differ from socialists?] The so-called socialists are divided into three categories. [Reactionary Socialists:] The first category consists of adherents of a feudal and patriarchal society which has already been destroyed, and is still daily being destroyed, by big industry and world trade and their creation, bourgeois society. This category concludes, from the evils of existing society, that feudal and patriarchal society must be restored because it was free of such evils. In one way or another, all their proposals are directed to this end. This category of reactionary socialists, for all their seeming partisanship and their scalding tears for the misery of the proletariat, is nevertheless energetically opposed by the Communists for the following reasons: (i) It strives for something which is entirely impossible. (ii) It seeks to establish the rule of the aristocracy, the guildmasters, the small producers, and their retinue of absolute or feudal monarchs, officials, soldiers, and priests - a society which was, to be sure, free of the evils of present-day society but which brought it at least as many evils without even offering to the oppressed workers the prospect of liberation through a Communist revolution. (iii) As soon as the proletariat becomes revolutionary and Communist, these reactionary socialists show their true colors by immediately making common cause with the bourgeoisie against the proletarians. [Bourgeois Socialists:] The second category consists of adherents of present-day society who have been frightened for its future by the evils to which it necessarily gives rise. What they want, therefore, is to maintain this society while getting rid of the evils which are an inherent part of it. To this end, some propose mere welfare measures - while others come forward with grandiose systems of reform which, under the pretense of re-organising society, are in fact intended to preserve the foundations, and hence the life, of existing society. Communists must unremittingly struggle against these bourgeois socialists because they work for the enemies of Communists and protect the society which Communists aim to overthrow. [Democratic Socialists:] Finally, the third category consists of democratic socialists who favor some of the same measures the Communists advocate, as described in Question 18, not as part of the transition to Communism, however, but as measures which they believe will be sufficient to abolish the misery and evils of present-day society. These democratic socialists are either proletarians who are not yet sufficiently clear about the conditions of the liberation of their class, or they are representatives of the petty-bourgeoisie, a class which, prior to the achievement of democracy and the socialist measures to which it gives rise, has many interests in common with the proletariat. It follows that, in moments of action, the Communists will have to come to an understanding with these democratic socialists, and in general to follow as far as possible a common policy with them - provided that these socialists do not enter into the service of the ruling bourgeoisie and attack the Communists. It is clear that this form of co-operation in action does not exclude the discussion of differences” - Friedrich Engels

“If, by the way, either of the two parties into which the educated section of the English people is split deserves any preference, it is the Tories. In the social circumstances of England the Whig is himself too much of an interested party to be able to judge; industry, that focal point of English society, is in his hands and makes him rich; he can find no fault in it and considers its expansion the only purpose of all legislation, for it has given him his wealth and his power. The Tory on the other hand, whose power and unchallenged dominance have been broken by industry and whose principles have been shaken by it, hates it and sees in it at best a necessary evil. This is the reason for the formation of that group of philanthropic Tories whose chief leaders are Lord Ashley, Ferrand, Walter, Oastler, etc., and who have made it their duty to take the part of the factory workers against the manufacturers. Thomas Carlyle too was originally a Tory and still stands closer to that party than to the Whigs. This much is certain: a Whig would never have been able to write a book that was half so humane as Past and Present” - Friedrich Engels

“There is no place yet in America for a third party, I believe. The divergence of interests even in the same class group is so great in that tremendous area that wholly different groups and interests are represented in each of the two big parties, depending on the locality, and almost each particular section of the possessing class has its representatives in each of the two parties to a very large degree, though today big industry forms the core of the Republicans on the whole, just as the big landowners of the South form that of the Democrats. The apparent haphazardness of this jumbling together is what provides the splendid soil for the corruption and the plundering of the government that flourish there so beautifully. Only when the land - the public lands - is completely in the hands of the speculators, and settlement on the land thus becomes more and more difficult or falls prey to gouging - only then, I think, will the time come, with peaceful development, for a third party. Land is the basis of speculation, and the American speculative mania and speculative opportunity are the chief levers that hold the native-born worker in bondage to the bourgeoisie. Only when there is a generation of native-born workers that cannot expect anything from speculation any more will we have a solid foothold in America. But, of course, who can count on peaceful development in America! There are economic jumps over there, like the political ones in France - to be sure, they produce the same momentary retrogressions. The small farmer and the petty-bourgeois will hardly ever succeed in forming a strong party; they consist of elements that change too rapidly - the farmer is often a migratory farmer, farming two, three, and four farms in succession in different states and territories, immigration and bankruptcy promote the change in personnel, and economic dependence upon the creditor also hampers independence - but to make up for it they are a splendid element for politicians, who speculate on their discontent in order to sell them out to one of the big parties afterward. The tenacity of the Yankees, who are even rehashing the Greenback humbug, is a result of their theoretical backwardness and their Anglo-Saxon contempt for all theory. They are punished for this by a superstitious belief in every philosophical and economic absurdity, by religious sectarianism, and by idiotic economic experiments, out of which, however, certain bourgeois cliques profit” - Friedrich Engels

“‘If you take food, fuel and housing out of the equation, inflation has been quite moderate’ To be sure, and if you remove a few other major items, it disappears altogether. A key reason why the United States is becoming increasingly like the Third World is because corporate America is going Third World, literally, not only downgrading jobs and downsizing, but moving whole industries to Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The aim of modern imperialism is not to accumulate colonies nor even just to provide outlets for capitalist investment and access to natural resources. The economist Paul Sweezy noted that the overall purpose is to turn Third World nations into economic appendages the industrialised countries, encouraging the growth of those kinds of economic activities, that complement the advanced capitalist economies and thwarting those kinds that might compete with them; Perhaps Sweezy relies too much on the nation-state as the unit of analysis. The truth is, the investor class also tries to reduce its own population to a client-state status. The aim of imperialism is not a national one but an international class goal, to exploit and concentrate power not only over Guatamalans, Indonesians, and Saudis, but Americans, Canadians, and everyone else” - Michael Parenti


“This conception of history depends on our ability to expound the real process of production, starting out from the material production of life itself, and to comprehend the form of intercourse connected with this and created by this mode of production (i.e. civil society in its various stages), as the basis of all history; and to show it in its action as State, to explain all the different theoretical products and forms of consciousness, religion, philosophy, ethics, etc. etc. and trace their origins and growth from that basis; by which means, of course, the whole thing can be depicted in its totality (and therefore, too, the reciprocal action of these various sides on one another). It has not, like the idealistic view of history, in every period to look for a category, but remains constantly on the real ground of history; it does not explain practice from the idea but explains the formation of ideas from material practice; and accordingly it comes to the conclusion that all forms and products of consciousness cannot be dissolved by mental criticism, by resolution into ‘self-consciousness’ or transformation into ‘apparitions,’ ‘spectres,’ ‘fancies,’ etc. but only by the practical overthrow of the actual social relations which gave rise to this idealistic humbug; that not criticism but revolution is the driving force of history, also of religion, of philosophy and all other types of theory. It shows that history does not end by being resolved into ‘self-consciousness as spirit of the spirit,’ but that in it at each stage there is found a material result: a sum of productive forces, an historically created relation of individuals to nature and to one another, which is handed down to each generation from its predecessor; a mass of productive forces, capital funds and conditions, which, on the one hand, is indeed modified by the new generation, but also on the other prescribes for it its conditions of life and gives it a definite development, a special character. It shows that circumstances make men just as much as men make circumstances” - Karl Marx

“The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. When people speak of the ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence. When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge. ‘Undoubtedly,’ it will be said, ‘religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.’ ‘There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.’ What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs” - Karl Marx

“Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This idea cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand in hand with an infatuation for the narrowest forms of practical activity” - V.I. Lenin

“Needless to say, of course, all boundaries in nature and in society are conventional and changeable, and it would be absurd to argue, for example, about the particular year or decade in which imperialism ‘definitely’ became established” - V.I. Lenin

“Unless the economic roots of this phenomenon are understood and its political and social significance is appreciated, not a step can be taken toward the solution of the practical problem of the Communist movement and of the impending social revolution” - V.I. Lenin

“Contrary to metaphysics, dialectics does not regard nature as an accidental agglomeration of things, of phenomena, unconnected with, isolated from, and independent of, each other, but as a connected and integral whole, in which things, phenomena are organically connected with, dependent on, and determined by, each other. The dialectical method therefore holds that no phenomenon in nature can be understood if taken by itself, isolated from surrounding phenomena, inasmuch as any phenomenon in any realm of nature may become meaningless to us if it is not considered in connection with the surrounding conditions, but divorced from them; and that, vice versa, any phenomenon can be understood and explained if considered in its inseparable connection with surrounding phenomena, as one conditioned by surrounding phenomena” - J.V. Stalin

“Whether or not one’s consciousness or ideas (including theories, policies, plans or measures) do correctly reflect the laws of the objective external world is not yet proved at this stage, in which it is not yet possible to ascertain whether they are correct or not; For it is this leap alone that can prove the correctness or incorrectness of the first leap in cognition, i.e., of the ideas, theories, policies, plans or measures formulated in the course of reflecting the objective external world; Such is the Marxist theory of knowledge, the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge. Among our comrades there are many who do not yet understand this theory of knowledge. When asked the sources of their ideas, opinions, policies, methods, plans and conclusions, eloquent speeches and long articles they consider the questions strange and cannot answer it. Nor do they comprehend that matter, can be transformed into consciousness and consciousness into matter, although such leaps are phenomena of everyday life” - Mao Zedong

“The old logic, coming up against the logical contradiction that it itself brought to light just because it rigorously followed its own principles, always baulked at it, retreated to analysis of the preceding movement of thought, and always strove to find an error or mistake in it leading to the contradiction. For formal logical thinking contradictions thus became an insurmountable barrier to the forward movement of thought, an obstacle in the way of concrete analysis of the essence of the matter. It therefore also came about that ‘thought, despairing of managing by itself to resolve the contradiction into which it had got itself, turns back to the solutions and reliefs that were the spirit’s lot in its other modes and forms’. It could not be otherwise, since the contradiction did not develop through a mistake. No mistake, it ultimately proved, had been made in the preceding thinking. It was necessary to go even further back, to uncomprehended contemplation, sense perception, aesthetic intuition, i.e. to the realm of lower forms of consciousness (lower, that is, in relation to conceptual thinking), where there was really no contradiction for the simple reason that it had still not been disclosed and clearly expressed. (It never hurts, of course, to go back and analyse the preceding course of argument and check whether there has not been a formal mistake, for that also happens not infrequently; and here the recommendations of formal logic have a quite rational sense and value. It may turn out, as a result of checking, that a given logical contradiction is really nothing but the result of committing an error or mistake somewhere. Hegel, of course, never dreamed of denying such a case. He, like Kant, had in mind only those antinomies that developed in thought as a result of the most formally ‘correct’ and faultless argumentation)” - E.V. Ilyenkov

“Lenin had been writing his book not only during these months, but throughout his entire preceding life. Prior to the day when he actually set pen to paper, he had already endured and suffered over this book. Throughout long winter months in Shushenskoe, where, according to the memoirs of N.K. Krupskaya, he studied the classics of world philosophy, including Hegel and his Phenomenology of Spirit; over long conversations with Plekhanov; throughout the correspondence with Lengnik and Bogdanov, in the course of which Lenin’s letters (which, alas, have been lost) grew into ‘whole long treatises on philosophy’ measuring ‘three notebooks’… And, finally, the last meeting with Bogdanov and his friends on Capri in April 1908, which once again convinced him of the urgent and inescapable necessity of giving open, final and decisive battle to Machism” - E.V. Ilyenkov


“Thus, the products now produced socially were not appropriated by those who had actually set in motion the means of production and actually produced the commodities, but by the capitalists. The means of production, and production itself had become in essence socialised. But they were subjected to a form of appropriation which presupposes the private production of individuals, under which, therefore, everyone owns his own product and brings it to market. The mode of production is subjected to this form of appropriation, although it abolishes the conditions upon which the latter rests. This contradiction, which gives to the new mode of production its capitalistic character, contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today. The greater the mastery obtained by the new mode of production over all decisive fields of production and in all economically decisive countries, the more it reduced individual production to an insignificant residium, the more clearly was brought out the incompatibility of socialised production with capitalistic appropriation; The first capitalists found, as we have said, wage-labour ready-made for them. But it was exceptional, complementary, accessory, transitory wage-labour. The agricultural labourer, though, upon occasion, he hired himself out by the day, had a few acres of his own land on which he could at all events live at a pinch. The guilds were so organised that the journeyman of today became the master of tomorrow. But all this changed, as soon as the means of production became socialised and concentrated in the hands of capitalists. The means of production, as well as the product, of the individual producer became more and more worthless; there was nothing left for him but to turn wage-worker under the capitalist. Wage-labour, aforetime the exception and accessory, now became the rule and basis of all production; aforetime complementary, it now became the sole remaining function of the worker. The wage-worker for a time became a wage-worker for life. The number of these permanent wageworkers was further enormously increased by the breaking-up of the feudal system that occurred at the same time, by the disbanding of the retainers of the feudal lords, the eviction of the peasants from their homesteads, etc. The separation was made complete between the means of production concentrated in the hands of the capitalists, on the one side, and the producers, possessing nothing but their labour-power, on the other. The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation manifested itself as the antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie; With this recognition, at last, of the real nature of the productive forces of today, the social anarchy of production gives place to a social regulation of production upon a definite plan, according to the needs of the community and of each individual. Then the capitalist mode of appropriation, in which the product enslaves first the producer and then the appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the products that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production: upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production - on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment” - Friedrich Engels

“With the seizing of the means of production by society production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organisation. The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then for the first time man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and control of man who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of nature because he has now become master of his own social organisation. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing face to face with man as laws of nature foreign to, and dominating him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man’s own social organisation, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history - only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the humanity’s leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom” - Friedrich Engels

“Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organisation and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organisations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency. Liberalism stems from petty-bourgeois selfishness, it places personal interests first and the interests of the revolution second, and this gives rise to ideological, political and organisational liberalism. People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma. They approve of Marxism, but are not prepared to practice it or to practice it in full; they are not prepared to replace their liberalism by Marxism. These people have their Marxism, but they have their liberalism as well - they talk Marxism but practice liberalism; they apply Marxism to others but liberalism to themselves. They keep both kinds of goods in stock and find a use for each. This is how the minds of certain people work. Liberalism is a manifestation of opportunism and conflicts fundamentally with Marxism. It is negative and objectively has the effect of helping the enemy; that is why the enemy welcomes its preservation in our midst. Such being its nature, there should be no place for it in the ranks of the revolution” - Mao Zedong

“‘Materialism’ as a term and as a concept is booby-trapped by its functional association with the eighteenth-century bourgeois Enlightenment and with nineteenth-century positivism. Whatever precautions are taken, it always fatally ends up projecting a determinism by matter (that is to say, the individual body or organism in isolation) rather than - as in historical materialism - a determination by the mode of production. It would be better to grasp Marxism and the dialectic as an attempt to overcome not idealism by itself, but that every ideological opposition between idealism and materialism in the first place. The work of both Sartre and Gramsci is there to argue for some position ‘beyond idealism and materialism,’ and if one does not like the projected new solution - called ‘praxis’ - then at least it would be desirable to search for something more adequate” - F. Jameson


“I am a man and what I have to recapture is the whole past of the world, I am not responsible only for the slavery involved in Santo Domingo, every time man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act. In no way does my basic vocation have to be drawn from the past of peoples of colour. In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving some black civilisation unjustly ignored. I will not make myself the man of any past. My black skin is not a repository for specific values. Haven’t I got better things to do on this earth than avenge the blacks of the 17th century? I as a man of colour do not have the right to hope that in the white man there will be a crystallisation of guilt towards the past of my race. I as a man of colour do not have the right of stamping down the pride of my former master. I have neither the right nor the duty to demand reparations for my subjugated ancestors. There is no black mission. There is no white burden. I do not want to be victim of the rules of a black world. Am I going to ask this white man to answer for the slave traders of the 17th century? Am I going to try by every means available to cause guilt to burgeon in their souls? I am not a slave to slavery that dehumanised my ancestors. It would be of enormous interest to discover a black literature or architecture from the 3rd century B.C, we would be overjoyed to learn of the existence of a correspondence between some black philosopher and Plato, but we can absolutely not see how this fact would change the lives of 8 year old kids working the cane fields of Martinique or Guadaloupe. I find myself in the world and I recognise I have one right alone: of demanding human behaviour from the other” - Frantz Fanon

“It is not only the Blacks, but also the Whites who dare to defend them, such as Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe - author of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ - who are ill treated. Elijah Lovejoy was killed, John Brown hanged. Thomas Beach and Stephen Foster were presecuted, attacked, and imprisoned. Here is what Foster wrote from prison, ‘When I look at my damaged limbs, I think that, to hold me, prison will not be necessary for much longer… These last 15 months, their cells have been opened to me four times, 24 times my compatriots have dragged me out of their churches, twice they have thrown me from the second floor of their houses; they have damaged my kidneys once; another time they tried to put me in irons; twice they have made me pay fines; once 10,000 people tried to lynch me, and dealt me 20 blows on my head, arms and neck…’ In 30 years, 708 Whites, including 11 women, have been lynched. Some for having organised strikes, others for having espoused the cause of the Blacks. Among the collection of the crimes of American ‘civilisation,’ lynching has a place of honour” - Hồ Chí Minh

“There are no socially significant inherited characteristics among different ethnic groups or nations. Blacks are in no way inherently more lazy, less creative, more musical or cooperative, Jews or Chinese are in no way inherently more crafty, sly, or intelligent; whites are in no way inherently antagonistic to people of dark skin; and no members of any socially defined ‘race’ or ethnic group have any inherent predisposition to identify or feel solidarity with other members of the same group and hostility to, or lack of solidarity with, members of other groups. All manifest differences between different people’s, ethnic groups, nations, etc., are a product of the logic of the mode of production that generates ‘races’; The relationship between capital and especially exploited menial workers (such as Blacks and Hispanics) in the U.S. is the essence of racism. This antagonist relationship is a source of considerable profit for capital. Such exploitative relationships can only be dissolved through revolutionary activity which destroys such antagonistic relationships. Capitalism generates a racist ideology which is not only used to legitimate the special exploitation of ethnic minorities and nations in the eyes of the exploiters, but also to convince the members of the majority ethnic group workers that it has ‘white skin privilege,’ i.e., that it has more in common with ‘white capitalists’ than it does with Black or Hispanic workers. This ideology is implanted both by control of the education and mass media which perpetuates racist ideologies, and by the ability of the capitalist class to structure the labour force in such a way as majority group workers have slightly better jobs, slightly better pay than minority group workers, and further receive somewhat better treatment by the police, in the courts, by welfare agencies etc. The illusion that all whites benefit from racist structures is thus created in both the majority group workers. But in reality, the ability of the capitalists to turn the different segments of the working class against each other seriously hurts the condition of all the working class, both its majority and minority members (although of course it hurts the minority group workers relatively more). The only beneficiaries of racist structures are those that employ minorities and thus make extra profits from: the special exploitation of minorities and, the weak class consciousness, lack of strong unions, absence of a militant socialist movement, etc., which racial divisiveness brings to the majority group. It should be remembered that white workers in the U.S. are the best off in states such as Michigan where their relative advantage over Black workers is the least in the country (and which have a strong militant interracial union tradition) and worse off in Mississippi where whites are at the same time the best off vis-a-vis Blacks. Where racist Ideology is strongest, working class solidarity is the weakest and all workers, white and Black are in much worse shape than where racist ideology has been overcome enough to allow multi-ethnic/national forms of class organisation to emerge and improve the conditions of the working class as a whole; It is the obligation of leftists to educate white workers about how they are being ‘suckered’ by the ‘white skin privilege’ argument of the capitalist class and how their own interests coincide with their fellow minority group workers” - Albert Szymanski

“The giant industrial monopolies, the big banks and insurance companies, the financiers and landowners, all spawn racism and use it as one of their chief class weapons to maintain and defend their regime of exploitation and oppression, of enmity among peoples, of imperialist wars of aggression. It follows that all democratic and antimonopoly forces, with the working class and Black liberation movement in the van, can effectively defend the interests of the vast majority of people only when they actively further the struggle against racism. This is an essential precondition for the development of a fighting alliance which will unite all democratic and antimonopoly [anticapitalist] forces in the country. Marx wrote long ago that ‘labour in a white skin can never be free so long as labour in the black skin is branded.’ This profound observation points up the fact that racism is the consciously employed weapon of the white imperialist oppressors, who use it to create division in the ranks of the working class. And Marx correctly suggests that white workers must take the lead in the struggle against racism. This is the path which can lead to unity of Black and white workers in struggle, which can achieve Black equality and a real improvement in the conditions of all workers” - Henry M. Winston

“The race question is subsidiary to the class question in politics, and to think of imperialism in terms of race is disastrous. But to neglect the racial factor as merely incidental [is] an error only less grave than to make it fundamental” - C.L.R. James

“If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem… Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude” - Kwame Ture

“Referring to SDS’s agreement to support the petition in the ‘colonies’ (black and brown communities) but not in the ‘oppressor country’ (white America), Hilliard wrote in the Black Panther: ‘How abstract and divorced from the reality of the world around them they must be to think that the Black Panther party would allow them to leave their communities and begin to organise the colony; to control the fascists in the oppressor country is a very definite step towards white people’s power, because James Rector was not shotgunned to death in the black community. It seems they prefer to allow the already legitimate reactionary forces to take roost or sanctuary in the white communities.’ Stating that the ‘Black Panther party will not be dictated to by people who are obviously bourgeois procrastinators,’ Hilliard went on to imply that SDS, among other groups, was ‘at best national socialist’ (i.e., fascist)” - Jack A. Smith


“He who does not work shall not eat” - V.I. Lenin

“Here I stand on the frontier between the old, capitalist world and the new, socialist world. Here on this frontier I unite the efforts of the proletarians of the West and of the peasantry of the East in order to shatter the old world. May the god of history be my aid” - J.V. Stalin

“It is good if we are attacked by the enemy… It demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but also achieved a great deal in our work” - Mao Zedong

“The Chinese Communist Party is the only party in China, and in it’s victory it will speak for the whole nation it cannot speak for the Russian people, or rule for the Third International, but only in the interests of the Chinese masses” - Mao Zedong

“When we say Marxism is correct, it is certainly not because Marx was a ‘prophet’ but because his theory has been proved correct in our practice and in our struggle. We need Marxism in our struggle. In our acceptance of his theory no such formalisation of mystical notions as that of ‘prophecy’ ever enters our minds. Many who have read Marxist books have become renegades from the revolution, whereas illiterate workers often grasp Marxism very well” - Mao Zedong

“As revolutionaries we don’t have the right to say that we are tired of explaining. We must never stop explaining. We know that when the people understand, they cannot help but follow us” - Thomas Sankara

“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future” - Thomas Sankara

“Social-chauvinism and opportunism are the same in their political essence; class collaborationism, repudiation of the proletarian dictatorship, rejection of revolutionary action, obeisance to bourgeois legality, non-confidence in the proletariat, and confidence in the bourgeoisie. The political ideas are identical, and so is the political content of their tactics. Social-chauvinism is the direct continuation and consummation of Millerandism, Bernsteinism, and British liberal-labour policies, their sum, their total, their highest achievement” - Thomas Sankara

“I just want to say something else do the do the one percent that top plutocracy which you know it’s really not 1 percent you know that don’t you, 1 percent would be 3 million people it’s really more like a fraction about one-quarter of a tenth of 1% about 120,000 people who really compose the super-rich and have the wealth of America, and when people say whoa you know that the top 1% has as much wealth as the bottom 30 or 40% that’s not true at all as the bottom 30-40 percent has nothing. I heard him [Robert Reich] say that the 140 richest billionaires have as much wealth as the poorest, oh what was it 75 million people. The poorest 75 million in America don’t have a pot to spit in that most of them are in debt most of them are maxing out on their credit cards most of them are just barely getting by, how are you comparing these two. What what kind of a dazzling statistic is that supposed to be, but does that 1% believe their own mythologies? Yes of course people believe in their own virtue yes of course they believe in their own value to society of course. You think Mitt Romney doesn’t think he’s God’s gift, well he’s got a special problem with the Mormon stuff and all that but he thinks he’s God’s gift to to society for the most part. The class propaganda they put out elevates them, justifies their worth so why would they not believe it they find it very persuasive. We all find things very persuasive that are flattering to us rather things that are that are critical of us. You don’t know what you’re talking about what do you mean, that’s what you say but when someone says something that’s positive. You say oh you really think so hey, hmm they believed they believed you know it elevates them it justifies their wealth. So why would they not believe it, it’s very persuasive because it serves their interests. They believe that the poor are the authors of their own poverty they believe their own wealth is earned and socially useful. It creates jobs it provides growth they believe the free market system is the most productive and beneficial in history they believe competing systems and reforms and government regulations are harmful and distract from the performance of the good things. They believe that government should not be a nanny state tending to the needs of the needy, let them learn self-reliance. Those people down there with their hands out at the same time they overlook the fact that their own class is not at all self-reliant no one is more reliant on government handouts than corporate America. They get tax breaks more than you and I get, they get about a hundred billion dollars a year out of every budget. Indirect subsidies, everything that they produce, almost everything, is, is subsidised by the government. They get loan guarantees they get export subsidies they get equity grants and land giveaways, they get almost free leases on a lot of government land to do what, harvest the timber or mine the copper or drill for the oil. They get oil they get oil giveaways practically or leases or the land. I mean it’ll be estimated that there’s, that there’s a fifteen billion dollars worth of oil on a certain reserve on government land and they’ll issue the government release it to them for, for like half a million or a million peanuts or something so they can go ahead and take that. That’s stealing from the public treasury, the airwaves, they get to lease the airwaves for a song for a song. Fox News gets to get these Airways the airwaves ladies and gentlemen brothers and sisters the airwaves are the property of the people of the United States, you’d never know it though. They’re sent out and they’re used to great profit by the media corporations and their advertisers and the like and they get bailouts they get billion-dollar bailouts, mom-and-pop doesn’t get a bailout if things go down you go out of business you lose your grocery store you lose your little cafe whatever it is. Federal government does not give you a bailout and say hey you’re too small to fail let’s give you some more money to boost you up here a little bit. That doesn’t happen in big corporate capitalism besides being hypocritical self-deluding and deluding us in an irrational system. Marx said it was a ruthlessly rational system that demystified and shattered the dark ages. You know there’s that incredible paragraph in the Communist Manifesto where Marx and Engels talk about the dynamic productive energy of capitalism and how it broke loose from the shackles of a thousand years of the dark ages and if you read you know, and if you read the Enlightenment writers I had a book of an anthology of the enlightenment I started reading and I was so struck I mean I was just so struck by how naively enthusiastic they are” - Michael Parenti

“There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do that point fingers at us… First, China doesn’t export Revolution; second, China doesn’t export hunger and poverty; third, China doesn’t come and cause you headaches, what more is there to be said?” - Xi Jinping

“China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and is ready to enhance friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China is the first country to make partnership-building a principle guiding its relations with other countries. It has formed partnerships of various forms with over 90 countries and regional organisations, and will expand its circle of friends around the world” - Xi Jinping

“Socialism is the primary stage of Communism and Communism is our highest ideal. What we are doing now belongs to the primary stage of socialism, but we must stay true to why we started out and stay true to our loftiest goal. We cannot be evasive and vague with our words on this issue” - Xi Jinping

“Developed Western countries have long-term economic, technological and military advantages over China, and the Communist Party of China (CPC) must understand that some of the leaders and the Western countries behind them will use their own strengths to criticise socialism. [China should] Fully appreciate the objective reality of the long-term advantage that Western developed countries have in the economic, scientific and military fields, and conscientiously prepare for all aspects of long-term cooperation and (at the same time) the struggle between the two social systems. [The CPC also had to] face the reality that some people compare the good qualities of the developed countries of the West with the shortcomings of the socialist development of our country and criticise it. [Although the CPC at one time made] big mistakes, [such as the cultural revolution], [the history of the party is] on the whole, great. Those who criticise the revolution that brought the Communist Party to power in 1949 are simply trying to provoke its overthrow. [China, needs to adhere to the important economic reforms begun in 1978, without which the ruling party] could have perished. [The CPC] may even have faced a serious crisis, such as the threat of the death of the party and the death of the country that the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe have already suffered. But China, has proven that skeptics are wrong” - Xi Jinping


"Deng Xiaoping Tried to save the G.D.R.:

'Comrade Egon Krenz

Today I held extensive talks with comrade Lin Hanxiong, minister of urban planning (who first visited the G.D.R. in 1982 to revitalise relations). Comrade Lin Hanxiong stated that the fate of socialism in the G.D.R. is of utmost strategic importance for world socialism and for the victory of socialism in the P.R.C. The CPC leadership is ready to do whatever is necessary to support the survival of socialism in the G.D.R. In light of complicated labour shortages in the G.D.R., the P.R.C. is willing to offer any required amount of skilled labour in any necessary qualification. The P.R.C. does not expect any payment in foreign exchange, because they consider it political assistance. Balance settlement could be done by goods. Comrade Lin Hanxiong announced his willingness to travel to Berlin on short notice to engage in direct talks with the responsible state organs. The P.R.C. is ready for very short term decisions. Comrade Lin Hanxiong stressed that ideally a reply by the G.D.R. should arrive before the 5th congress of the CC CPC at the beginning of November. Request answer.

​- Berthold 27.10. 14.00’



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