Despots Say the Darndest Things

While most of us learn from the words of those who we admire, it is also possible to learn from those we detest. Here is a collection of quotes from some of the vilest despots in human history. From these quotes, perhaps we can gain some insights from their thought processes. You may also find the words of some of these despots eerily similar to those of some who are running for president or seeking other high office. Others seem to expose the motives behind those who seek to regulate the media, guns, education, and etc. I encourage anyone who reads this post to respond with a quote from an American politician whose quote has a similar meaning of those here (or exposes their motives).


“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
Vladimir Lenin

“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
Joseph Stalin

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
Adolf Hitler

“The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs.”
Fidel Castro


“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?”
Joseph Stalin

“When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward – or go back. He who now talks about the “freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.”
Vladimir Lenin


“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
Adolf Hitler

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
Vladimir Lenin

Political Strategy

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”
Vladimir Lenin

“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.”
Adolf Hitler

“Democracy is the road to socialism.”
Karl Marx

“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”
Vladimir Lenin

Individualism vs. Collectivism

“The day of individual happiness has passed.”
Adolf Hitler

“All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all. I am just like everybody else.”
Vladimir Lenin


“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
Mao Tse-Tung

“We don’t let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?”
Joseph Stalin

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”
Vladimir Lenin

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

Life, Liberty, and Property

“I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.”
Fidel Castro

“It is true that liberty is precious – so precious that it must be rationed.”
Vladimir Lenin

“We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world.”
Hugo Chavez

  • trumpetbob15

    “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”
    – Hillary Clinton

    (By the way, I like the Castro quote about not letting a man live “when he begins to deteriorate.” Too bad we are still waiting for them to pull the plug on him.)

  • tarran

    John D. Rockefeller’s General Education Board

    In our dreams…people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple… we will organize children… and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

    The students of the guys who wrote that founded the U.S. Dept of Education.

  • Stephen Littau


    That line by Hillary Clinton along with the rest of her speech is actually what inspired me to write this. I wanted to see if any of the readers would pick up on that and you did not disappoint. I also had the same thought as you on the Castro quote. I’m sure that wasn’t a very recent quote. I wonder if he has since changed his mind?


    I’m glad you brought the founding of the U.S. Dept. of Education as well. Boortz brought that up on his show the other day and it’s also in his latest book. It’s frightening how the spirit of the founders of the Dept. of Education almost exactly matches that of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. The Lenin quote is especially chilling considering Hillary Clinton wants government funded preschool to get into the children’s heads at an even earlier age.

  • N. Isenhardt

    “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
    Vladimir Lenin

    This one makes me think of all the people who still believe there was any meaningful connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

    ““How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.”
    Adolf Hitler

    Ummm… THAT is the best quote I’ve heard in a while. It explains pretty much all of our country’s problems.

    Good reading! Thanks!

  • T F Stern

    One line wisdom can indeed show the agenda of some folks.

  • UCrawford

    “We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great nation.” -George W. Bush, Bush At War (Bob Woodward)

  • UCrawford

    Actually, I’ll retract that one…someone pointed out to me that was an inaccurate attribution from Woodward’s book. Apparently, a widespread one. Sorry.

    So I’ll add this one from Brainy Quote instead

    “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.” -George W. Bush

  • js290

    Another one from Stalin:

    Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”