Josef StalinJosef Stalin, (1879-1953) Communist leader of the USSR

Josef Stalin Quote

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”

Josef StalinJosef Stalin
~ Josef Stalin


Ratings and Comments

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SK, NJ    5/9/05


Polese, Woodbridge TWP

It has still not be proven that Stalin has actually said this.

Bufcat, New York
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Bufcat, New York Polese, Woodbridge TWP 11/19/18

The source is Boris Bazhanov's Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary, published in 1992 and only available, so far as I know, in Russian. The pertinent passage, which appears near the end of chapter five, reads as follows (loosely translated with the help of Google):

"You know, comrades," says Stalin, "that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how."

Logan, Memphis, TN

Regardless, it's true.

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RobertSRQ    9/12/07

Amen...As with history - you see, we are closer to communism than you think...

Bruce, 'Bama

Only true philosophically if we think that all men are ignoble. Nietzsche said some men don't lie because it hurts people, some men don't lie because they get caught at it, but the noble minded don't lie simply BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT LIARS. Oh ! to live in a world of the noble minded. Stalin did not have to count in a one candidate, one party system. I have been a Judge of Election. Votes get counted pretty carefully in this country. Florida and Ohio obviously do their own thing.

Jim, Murphysboro, IL

This quote is apocryphal. Please source your quotes.

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    RobertSRQ    9/12/07

    Bruce, perhaps you could come to Florida for the next election...

    E Archer, NYC

    It doesn't matter to me who said it -- it is still true. Beware any attempt to keep ballot counting electronic without paper trail -- there is no reason in the world why there should not be hard copy ballots as backup. Do you think your bank would merely keep track of its money without a paper trail? Anyone who inhibits the use of paper ballots is NOT to be trusted -- period.

    Mike, Norwalk

    The editor here said 'Attributed' to. It sounds just like the killer of men and liberty.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    I do not know what bank the gentleman deals with? I transfer money and get electronic deposits all of the time. Pay my bills that way also. Again those who count the votes have no authority but to count, they decide nothing. The only way they can decide anything is my miscounting. Their miscount can be a inadvertent error or an intentional fabrication. The quote therefore should say "THOSE WHO LIE ABOUT THE VOTE DECIDE EVERYTHING". I had a friend who said that he did know how anyone could play a game like golf where you keep your own score. I guess who could not resist the temptation to lie. Maybe we should get pro golfers to be Judges of Election. Most honorable gentlemen in the world.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    I don't see the word attributed Mike. Easy enough to believe it is Stalin but would he be that stupid to say it for recordation. Sounds like it could be folklore. He was a killer and dictator but was he a buffoon.

    nanin, austin, tx

    Ineptitud with insufficient cover equal a lie. lz nanin

    E Archer, NYC

    Bruce, if you have been a Judge of Elections, I bet you weren't using electronic ballots without paper trail. Unless you are a programmer, you would have no way to verify the count. My mother used to work in the Capitol -- there were stories then about entire boxes of votes being thrown away. Why in the world should we expect the government to be so trustworthy? The rules for governance (i.e. the federal and state constitutions) are based on the very premise that people in power cannot be trusted and therefore a system of checks and balances must be observed. The only way to check electronic voting is via paper backup, counted in full view of the public. Electronic voting was implemented as a convenience to communicate the results more quickly to the press -- but at what risk? It is not worth it. There is a very real chance that Bush did indeed 'fix' the election both times. And if there were a proper accounting of the ballots, we would know for sure -- but conveniently, there wasn't -- nor is there expected to be the next go 'round either. Talk about a Brave New World.

    bonbon, Andrews

    Machines aren't biased...people are . There was so much cheating before machines that we never knew if we got the people for which we voted.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    Archer first of all to my knowledge "governments" never run the elections. They may warehouse the equipment between elections and then distribute it out to the precincts but the workforce on election day are volunteer (lightly paid volunteers) citizens usually divided between the parties. I was a judge in Pennsylvania. The voter upon identifying himself is checked off in a book and he signs something, so that is the paper trail I guess. He then would enter a machine that was actually mechanical and would push down a series of levers for his candidates. When he opens the curtain to leave the vote was added to the totalizator I guess you would call it. And the end of the night I had the priviledge of opening the back of the machine and calling out the totals. While I did this a person of the opposite party would look over my shoulder and would be veryfying what I said. As I called out the numbers no less than 6 or 7 other folks of opposing parties are writing all the results on large spreadsheets. In the end there are half a dozen spreadsheets of this data if anyone wrote down wrong numbers on their sheet it would be caught as an anomaly with the others. The paper trail in this system would just be a total number of persons signing at the registration table and the total number who entered and left the machines. They may have done away with those machines, they were very bulky to haul around the county. I think todays system of mark sensing is better and yes it does create somewhat of a paper trail.

    E Archer, NYC

    All I can say is, lottery drawings are held with more integrity than electronic voting machines. If we cannot get our election officials to treat voting with the same transparency and redundancy as lottery drawings, then something is amiss. I have been developing banking and transaction systems for government and Fortune 100's for 25 years -- they do not leave anything to chance -- there is paper backup and system redundancy everywhere -- why the hell then isn't the same attention paid to casting and counting votes, hmm? Because the battle for public office does not stop at the voting booth. It is high time we started having a bit of skepticism of politicians and their 'systems' -- we are being duped daily, why would it stop on election day? Perhaps it is because the people actually think their vote counts instead of the Electoral College where legally the electors can vote their conscience contrary to what the tallies are in their districts. There is so much hypocrisy in today's America, so much bastardization of our institutions, and so much doublespeak from our politicians that so few know how things really work in Washington.

    warren, olathe

    There is no difference in Florida or Ohio than any other state. People like Gore are perfectly capable of exploiting quirks in election laws to make a big mess out of things. Stalin had no respect for any type of free society. That is how he comes by this type of statement. He couldn't imagine other leaders allowing a free election unless they were just stupid. From his frame of mind that was logical. Apparently Al agrees with him. Stalin was the ultimate result of Darwin's theory. Survival of the fittest. Eliminate the weak and you will be strong. Just because a duck does it that way does not mean we have to. Great quote.

    E Archer, NYC
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    E Archer, NYC warren, olathe 10/18/20

    Hanging chads will be nothing compared to the 2020 mail-in ballot fiasco already unfolding.  What a hot mess.

    doug, captiva

    josef stalin was the sickist semtic on the planet

    Samurai, Kyoto

    The quote can be true because the people who count the votes can lie about the votes, but nowadays, there are usually more than one person who counts the votes, so it would be unusual for them to lie.

    Saad, Lahore

    well said

    Dannyboy53, Scotland, Ar.

    Fine example of this in AmeriKa

    Mr. Obvious, white tower

    A historical source has been found for one variant of this quote. The source is Boris Bazhanov's Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary, published in 1992 and only available, so far as I know, in Russian. The pertinent passage, which appears near the end of chapter five, reads as follows (loosely translated):

    "You know, comrades," says Stalin, "that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how."

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Electronic Voting...corrupt corrupt corrupt...

    Mike, Norwalk

    Bruce, the word 'attributed' is next to 'source', just below 'by:' and say hmmm - during the Republican nominating process, how many early states lost boxes of votes, lost vans carrying boxes of votes, didn't count votes from certain precincts and societal segments (military for one), etc., etc., where Ron Paul clearly carried the State ? In the general election (just counting those States that were referenced as 'swing'), who can doubt that the 108% voter turn out was anything but accurate or, that entire counties had a 100% + turn out from the electorate and had only 1 party (in a 2 party system) excluded 100% from the vote (not 1 vote for the party rep) or, segments of society (military for one) not counted or, votes being counted in a foreign country by an avowed hater of the losing party, or tens of thousands of cars videoed crossing State boarders to vote (with same day registration permitted - even Mickey Mouse was counted), etc., etc., etc. To the "Those who count the votes decide everything" should be added: those who decide everything get to choose the prosecutor (then you can even sell guns to foreign criminals that kill your officers, or do nothing when your ambassadors are getting murdered - then lie about it, while nothing ever comes of it) Welcome to Amerika !

    jim k, Austin, Tx

    Bruce, are you nuts. Who else but governments run elections.
    Ask people from Venezuela if you doubt this.

    Cal, lewisville, TX

    Say what you Want about him. We had an American president at that time who so admired him and won four elections. Maybe it was the way the votes were counted.

    E Archer, NYC

    Mike, as for party primaries, the party leaders can really do whatever they want, it is their club and they can nominate whomever and however they want. It is in fact all a show as we have witnessed so clearly with the GOP and with the help of the MSM to block Ron Paul. He clearly had the most support of the voters, his principals were 100% Constitutional, and he challenged the Establishment of both parties -- but he had the support of the people even though his supporters had to learn of Ron Paul on their own. The game is rigged from start to finish. The purpose of all this is to condition the people to accept the choices given to them -- and the truth be told, the real purpose is to keep the populace divided and stirring up hatreds and thus proving that we need to be ruled rather than to rule ourselves. I do not see how ANY candidate who vows to reduce the size and scope of the State will ever get a political party to back him -- and yet that is exactly what America needs.

    Mike, Norwalk
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    Mike, Norwalk E Archer, NYC 10/14/20

    By personal experience, you are absolutely correct. Once, a long time ago, in a far off land ;-) I was a City and County Delegate. In a State Convention, Candidates presented "A LOT" of incriminating evidence against the popular (?) incumbent a long with a voting record that was contrary to local and State political persuasions. The official vote of the Delegates showed an overwhelming majority for that one candidate (as was heartily booed upon announcement).

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Exactly Right Archer. It is utter foolishness to buy into the left / right paradigm. It is designed to have to tie your own noose and smile while you're doing it.
    We need a return to Constitutional ways before the land of entitlements goes away forever...

    Anonymous, Memphis

    Oh how true!

    Mike, Norwalk

    Archer thanks, I am aware of that and for the rest, I absolutely agree. You, Carlton, and others here have a knack for expressing themselves better than me. I was just sorta demonstrating how a candidate is elected in Amerika before 'We The People' even vote.

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    simon    3/14/16

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