FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Lenin Say, ‘There Must Be Continued Propaganda Abroad To Undermine The Loyalty Of Citizens’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin once said, “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country.”

Posted by Renee Hensley on Sunday, June 23, 2019

Verdict: False

The Daily Caller News Foundation found no evidence that Lenin ever said or wrote this quote.

Fact Check:

“There must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of citizens in general, and teenagers in particular,” the statement continues. “By making drugs of various kinds readily available, by creating the necessary attitude of chaos, idleness and worthlessness, and by preparing him psychologically and politically, we can succeed.”

An internet search revealed that the quote has been attributed to several Soviet-era figures, including Lenin, dictator Joseph Stalin and Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria. However, a search of the Marxist Internet Archive, an online database of the writings of various influential Marxists, turned up no instances where this statement appears(RELATED: Did Vladimir Lenin Say ‘Socialized Medicine Is The Keystone To The Arch Of A Socialist State’?)

The 1989 book “They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions” discusses this and a second, unrelated quote, both attributed to Beria. “The Beria statement about teen-agers was popular among ultra-rightists in the 1960s but just as phony,” reads the book. “There is no record of any speech made by Beria in which either statement appears.”

Multiple Lenin experts also dismissed the notion that he ever said the quote. “The content of the quote goes completely against Lenin’s ideas,” Christopher Read, a professor at the University of Warwick and author of “Lenin: A Revolutionary Life,” told TheDCNF.

In an email to TheDCNF, Andy Blunden, an administrator for the Marxist Internet Archive, described the statement as “a blindingly obvious right-wing invention.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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