FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Lenin Ever Say This Quote About Stopping ‘A Bad Guy With A State’?
A meme shared on the Facebook page Agitprop claimed that communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin said “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a state is a good guy with a state.” It cited his 1917 work, “The State and Revolution.”
The Daily Caller could not find evidence of Lenin saying this, in the source material cited or elsewhere. It appears to be a play on the sentiment that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The Facebook page Agitprop frequently shares pro-communist content, including this meme of Lenin, who served as the leader of the Soviet Union in the early 20th century. Lenin led the Bolshevik Party through the Russian Revolution in 1917, which ended imperial rule and established a communist state.
“The monstrous oppression of the working people by the state, which is merging more and more with the all-powerful capitalist associations, is becoming increasingly monstrous,” Lenin wrote in the preface to the first edition of “The State and Revolution.”
While Lenin’s 1917 book does describe the role of the state in society and discuss a proletariat revolution, it does not include the quote above. Neither the phrase nor any variation appears in the complete text.
The meme seems to be playing with the popular phrase often used by 2nd Amendment advocates who say the “only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” That reasoning is used to promote concealed carry permits, armed teachers, et cetera.