30+ Joseph Stalin Quotes on War, Death, and the Government

Joseph Stalin–real name Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili–was the infamous dictator of the Soviet Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union and the general secretary of Russia’s Communist Party. He changed his name to Stalin later in life–Stalin meaning “man of steel” in Russian. History states that with the millions of deaths under his ruling, he is known as one of the most ruthless mass murderers. 

Stalin was born into poverty in a Georgian peasant village and suffered from physicalities–a scarred face from smallpox and a “deformed” arm from a carriage accident–which made him stand out and get treated cruelly by kids. He felt inferior and with that, begun striving for greatness, respect, and revenge on those who crossed him. As a young man, he got into a lot of trouble. Although his mother wanted him to become a priest, he joined a secret organization that supported Georgian independence from Russia as well as the writings and sayings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. 

In 1901, Stalin joined the Social Democratic Labor Party and put effort into the Russian Revolution, getting arrested and exiled, calling meetings, and organizing operations and strikes. When he was marked by the secret police as an outlaw, he went into hiding and continued his work. His idea of work was robbing, kidnapping, and extorting in order to raise money. In 1922, Stalin was appointed to the position as General Secretary of the Communist Party and his followers began addressing him as Comrade Stalin.

When Lenin died in 1924, Stalin got power over everyone, even those who were supposed to have control over him. There are accusations that rivals were aligning with capitalist countries and with this came the Great Purge, a political campaign that eliminated members of the Communist Party. At least 750,000 people were executed during this time and more than a million people were sent to forced labor camps. During the late 1920s, Stalin took away land from millions of peasants who then died from forced labor and starvation. He set in motion the industrialization and anyone who resisted orders were exiled to labor camps or immediately executed. 

Stalin’s Soviet Army was unprepared when Hitler and his Nazi Party struck Russia in 1939, even after they had signed a pact. The Soviet Union entered the War, negotiating with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with hopes to defeat the German army. Unfortunately, Churchhill and Roosevelt were replaced and both America and Britain were suspicious of Stalin and his desire to develop communism and the power of Soviet Russia throughout Europe. Western powers then interfered and formed NATO at the time of the Cold War

Stalin’s health plummeted in the early ’50s and he quickly died, leaving a legacy of death, horror, and tragedy. As the infamous dictator of Russia leading in genocide, he is considered history’s most ruthless mass murderers. 

Joseph Stalin Quotes
Public domain – Wikipedia

Quotes by Joseph Stalin About War and Death

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”

“The only real power comes out of a long rifle.”

“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

History has shown there are no invincible armies.”

Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.”

“In the Soviet Union, it takes more courage to retreat than advance.”

“The Red Army and Navy and the whole Soviet people must fight for every inch of Soviet soil, fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages…onward, to victory!”

“Print is the sharpest and the strongest weapon of our party.”

“To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plan minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed … There is nothing sweeter in the world.”

“When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use.”

“World War II was fought for the abolition of racial exclusiveness, equality of nations and the integrity of their territories, liberation of enslaved nations and restoration of their sovereign rights, the right of every nation to arrange its affairs as it wishes, economic aid to nations that have suffered and assistance to them in attaining their material welfare, restoration of democratic liberties, and destruction of the Hitlerite regime.”

“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”

“The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks…. “

“Nobody respects a country with a poor army, but everybody respects a country with a good army.”

Quotes by Joseph Stalin About Government and Politics 

“People who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

“Advance towards socialism cannot but cause the exploiting elements to resist the advance, and the resistance of the exploiters cannot but lead to the inevitable sharpening of the class struggle.”

America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”

“Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union.”

“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed person, who goes about hungry and cannot find employment. Real liberty can exist only where exploitation has been abolished, where there is no oppression of some by others, where there is no unemployment and poverty, where a man is not haunted by the fear of being tomorrow deprived of work, of home, and of bread. Only in such a society is real, and not paper, personal and every other liberty possible.”

“Great Britain provided time; the United States provided money and Soviet Russia provided blood.”

“As we know, the goal of every struggle is victory. But if the proletariat is to achieve victory, all the workers, irrespective of nationality, must be united. Clearly, the demolition of national barriers and close unity between the Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, Jewish, and other proletarians is a necessary condition for the victory of the proletariat of all Russia.”

“If any foreign minister begins to defend to the death a ‘peace conference’, you can be sure his government has already placed its orders for new battleships and airplanes.”

“Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division, and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.”

“We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make a good distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us.”

“World dictatorship can be established only when the victory of socialism has been achieved in certain countries or groups of countries … [and] when these federations of republics have finally grown into a world union of Soviet Socialist Republics uniting the whole of mankind under the hegemony of the international proletariat organized as a state.”

Other Quotes by Joseph Stalin

“It is not heroes that make history, but history that makes heroes.”

“When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

“I believe in only one thing, the power of human will.”

“You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves.”

A sincere diplomat is like dry water or wooden iron.”

“A man’s eyes should be torn out if he can only see the past.”

The writer is the engineer of the human soul.”

“I know that after my death a pile of rubbish will be heaped on my grave, but the wind of History will sooner or later sweep it away without mercy.”

In a Stalin digital archive, you can find and read Stalin documents from his personal library like biographical materials and correspondences. Some of Stalin’s speeches can be found online, like this Moscow meeting in 1950. Unfortunately, though, any quotation by Stalin can be found online and can be an influence to anyone who reads them. In fact, according to Pennsylvania’s School District Spokeswoman Angela Yingling, a Stalin quote was used and published in a school-sponsored publication (the yearbook). They say it was a “regrettable mistake. 

Local 21 News reported this and quoted Senior Dominique Cagliuso,

“It’s one thing to have a silly quote from your favorite TV show, but to have a quote from dictators is disrespectful.”

More Quotes:

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January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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