FACT CHECK: Did Stalin Give This Prescription For Undermining America?

Aryssa Damron | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claimed that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin once said, “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.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Stalin ever saying or writing this.

Fact Check:

This quote has floated around the internet for years. Former presidential candidate Ben Carson even attributed a similar expression to Stalin in 2016 and was quickly fact-checked for it.

The meme suggests that so long as Americans remain patriotic and upstanding, the country will persevere. There is, however, no evidence of Stalin ever saying the statement attributed to him.

“It doesn’t sound very Stalinist,” Robert Gellately, a history professor at Florida State University who has written about Stalin, told The Daily Caller in an email. A search of his collected works returned no such quotation.

The meme may have gained new currency in the last couple years, with reports that Russian actors used social media to sow division among Americans ahead of, and after, the 2016 presidential election.

“The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum – touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook, told The Guardian in 2017.

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Aryssa Damron

Fact Check Reporter