Vladimir Ilyich LeninVladimir Ilyich Lenin, [Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov] (1870-1924) First Leader of the Soviet Union

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Quote

“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Vladimir Ilyich LeninVladimir Ilyich Lenin
~ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Ratings and Comments

thomas, Ringwood

Pure Communist

David L Rosenthal

Lenin was too busy hanging peasants to be able to get around to hanging any capitalists.

Robert, Sarasota

Mmmmm, that sounds very familiar David are you sure he hanged peasants I thought that was Stalin

David L Rosenthal

From what I have been reading, Lenin got the ball rolling, with the inspired creation of the Article 58 conditions that allowed the Soviets to imprison, exile, or execute practically anyone for practically anything. Of course, Stalin made the snowball grow bigger as the Soviet Union rolled downhill. If Lenin had not died so soon, he would have done as well as Stalin did after him. It was not just peasants; they did screw many peasants, but they got around to all kinds of people, including socialists. They were equal opportunity psychopaths.

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EGL, LA    12/14/06

And one of the problems with totalitarian regiemes is that they can't even make their own rope.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Cars, TVs, food, clothing, etc. ... brought to you by ??? CAPITALISTS -- Everyone is out to make a buck. That's capitalism!

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Heck... the capitalists have sold King George the rope with which he is hanging us all... give me a Commie any day over a traitor fool like King George... better the devil you know than the "friend" who stabs you in your back while kissing your baby.

E Archer, NYC

Well, if communist nations like China end up holding a significant share of US bonds and currency then America has truly sold the USA out. Explain to me why America should be the biggest debtor nation instead of the the most propserous free nation on Earth? This quote is too true.

JC, Queens, NY

In answer to E Archer: Just because the country is going broke does not mean those controlling it are. Would they aid in the destruction of the U.S. for their own personal fortune? You betchya! This is one of the few quotes by a communist that rings true.

Pablo Navarro, Bellingham, Wa.

The present day Chinese, with their hybrid of a Quasi-Capitalist Economy and a Centralized Communist Regime are a perfect modern embodiment of Lenin's famous quote. "The Capitalist will sell us the Rope that we will hang them with." In essence, American corporations thirst for cheap labor and American consumers with their insatiable demand for Chinese imports, are in fact funding the growth of the Chinese Military. When their first Chinese Super Carrier sails into San Diego Bay, it will be the first War Ship funded by Wal-Mart. The Chinese have patience and very long views of their goals and destiny. Americans live in the moment. One of those philosophies is going to prevail.

Matt, Des Moines

I believe that totalitarian regime called Nazi Germany had ( with the exception of ABomb) the most advanced technology. Ballistic Missiles, First Jet Fighters, Best Tanks, etc. etc. The problem was the political philosophy that dictated how and when to use them. Oh yes, I seem to recall that the other totalitarian regime, The Soviet Union, was the first to Orbit satellites and a Man, but as above the flaw was in how to utilize those advances without always having to fit into a Doctrine.

Flat Eric, Utopia
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Flat Eric, Utopia Matt, Des Moines 4/1/21

Always nice to see people praising the authors of millions upon millions of deaths.

Bob, Columbus, OH

The American consumer does not have insatiable demand for cheap chinese goods, US Corporations have insatiable demands for higher and higher profits. That is why shoes manufactureed for $14 in China sell for $135.00 US Retail. That is not cheap. US corporations want near zero labor costs and through Chinese slave labor, they get it.

Bob, Seaford, DE

Socialism sucks. Always.

Shawn M, Columbus, OH

We all know where Lenin and the Soviet Union ended up now don't we? Ron Reagan broke the back of communism and won the cold war with CAPITALISM! We out spent the Soviets in nukes and pushed them into bankruptcy. HOWEVER, rarely have democracies survived beyond 200 years. Why do democracies fail? Two of the major reasons are: 1) democracies generally progress through an initial period from bondage to spiritual faith escalating to the point where the citizens become totally dependent on the government to where they eventually revert back to bondage, and 2) once the democracy shows signs of prosperity, citizens vote themselves generous bounties from the public treasury. Does this not sound familiar?

Anonymous, Prague

Lenin was simply terrorist who get the power over Russian by killing people aroung those days parlement and temporarily government. What kind of statemens you can expect from brutal killer? Petr

anonymous, San Francisco

Take from the rich distribute to the poor. Robin Hood economy. Sounds good to me. Screw Stalin for perverting communism into a poor, totalitarian dictatorship with horrible human rights. At least he took hitler down.

David, Las Vegas, NV

It is important to examine global capitalism as a historic system instead of the pseudo science status it is given in the Western world. When, in the 600 year history has capitalism provided full employment? An end to homelessness? Poverty? An equitable relationship between the material and the manufactured good? It never has and it never will. That is the view point from which a true Leninst or Trotskyist critiques capitalism. No war between nations. No peace between classes.

Shawn M, Columbus, OH

Full employment and homelessness is a pipe dream thought up by liberals. A) In any given population there will always be losers and drug addicts B) Not everyone can be the chief, we need some indians too. There has to be someone willing to push a broom at the local High School and there always will be.

Scott F, mpls MN

Fannie, Freddie, Sterns, Aig = Rope . Progressives, liberals, socialists, facists, commies and nazis all start with the same fundamental utopian view of how to make up the world and that road always leads to tyranny. They con the public into believing in their idiotic beliefs in how they can make government fix all problems only to make those problems worse and you give up a piece of your freedom for every solution they come up with.

Rick Stacy, Architect, El Dorado Hills

The U.S.Government has embarked on two pieces of social engineering in the last few years. One was to make oil expensive-- as expensive as possible-- to drive people to greater use of alternative energy sources, supposedly, to protect the environment. The other was to enshrine home ownership (i.e., easy-to-obtain mortgages) as a new American right -- because anything less would be unequal and racist. None of us voted on these decisions. Nevertheless, both became national policy. Both have sparked national, now international, crises, not to mention other related catastrophies for the "little" people, like higher food prices via ethanol (notably corn tortillas, a staple for the poor in Mexico, thus adding to the pressure on our border). Then, once they became crises, both were blamed on ‘greedy capitalism’, instead of what they really were: legislative interference into market forces. With government run health care coming up, we are about to buy full-table-in to a Soviet-style command economy. In the meantime, the Russians are aggressively doing the opposite. Pitiful irony. It didn't even take a generation for the Boomers to thus squander the sacrifices of their parents, The Greatest Generation, both Democrats and Republicans, in their heroic winning of the Cold War. Indeed, "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin 1870 - 1924, First Leader of the Soviet Union) I think we should halt that hangman by voting conservative across the ticket.

Comrade Freedom, Paterson, NJ 1st city of America

This is actually a quote from the communist manifesto by Marx and Engles

joesef fitzgerald, manchester

Hey egl, la where did you learn to spell? Have the capatilists not sold the rope to the Chinese for the sake of short term profit. Lenin said the surest way to destroy a nation is to debach its currency. Have you looked at the value of our dollar lately? The US dollar was once the the standard the world invested with. Most large multinational investments are now done in EUROS. The USA is bankrupt and heading for its well deserved third world status. We cannot compete in the world market but maybe we can find use for our military by invading some other weak nation. The kids coming from our inner city schools can barely read but at least they can be tought to oppress others.

David V., Normal,Il.

I'm a little confused. Because of our dependancy on China for the goods we are buying off them to keep our economy going, it is like we are buying the rope from the communists that we will use to hang ourselves. I love the quote I just need simpler terms please. Help

Unemployed Factory Worker, OSHAWA

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Quote: "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." This quote is very apt today. Free trade with Communist China? - SUICIDAL AND FOOLISH. We are already seeing high unemployment in our manufacturing industries that have been given to the Communist Chinese by our treacherous governments kow-towing to BIG BUSINESS, Multi-National Corporations seeking cheap labour world wide. These countries also have poor human rights records and poor environmental records. No wonder their products are cheap! They are not forced to operate under the same strict rules that our governments impose on us in the West.

Tim Berg, Landskrona, Sweden

Never was fond of commies anyhow.

MK, Santa Ana, CA

I'm sure old Vladdie is spinning in his grave given the recent rise of China as an industrial power and supplier of manufactured goods to the world. In his wildest dreams, Lenin could never imagine that we would first set up the rope factory in a communist country!

Ingeborg Hecker, Aalborg, Denmark.

I completely agree.

Steve, Albuquerque

WAY too optimistic. If the capitalist knows you're planning to hang him, he not only won't sell you the rope, he'll attack you with everything he's got.

Jehanne, orlean

errrr...... don't you have any brains at all ? This has nothing to do with ropes but the theory that states that as investment in constant capital increases productivity (i.e. the margin of surplus labor relative to regular labor, and thus of surplus value relative to variable capital), it reduces the rate of profit (i.e. the ratio of surplus value relative to total capital). The capitalist then responds by investing more in raising productivity or expanding the scale of production, which in turn reduces profits per unit further after a while, and so on and so forth, in a vicious cycle of diminishing returns.

Janet C, Kingston

I find it interesting that most people do not look beyond the results to the real causes. Marxism and Milton Freidman's Moneterist polices are the same in this regard. They are both Utopias and Utopias do not translate into the human community. They do not take into account the foibles of human nature especially the lust for power and control, and the lust to accrue bucket loads of money. The revolution in Russia was inevitable because of the huge suffering inflicted on the people by the "ruling classes" especially after the the repeal of serfdom in 1864, after which the landed classes made rent for land to former serfs for farming was so high the people could simply not afford to be self employed. This approach spread to all manufacturing enterprises and only exacerbated the unrest at such poor treatment , which had, in fact, started with the Decembrists revolt of December 5 (I believe) 1805. But the communists did not learn either, and while communism did provide gender equality, health care, pensions etc. paranoia, betrayal and greed also proliferated. Many politicians, Generals etc. had Swiss bank accounts, Dachas, big houses.apartments and so on. Milton Freidman's moneterism believes in privaterization, de-regulation and goverment so small you can't see it. He believed that the only thing government should be involved is is the military. This is what he sold to Ronnie Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. They embraced it with glee. Remember RR's statement "The problem is not the market, it's the government." or words to that effect. They both put these policies into effect with great vigour, no responsibility and no accountability. The corporate boys were given a free reign and off they went, ending up where we are now. And still these boys are not held accountable. That is the tragedy of Obama. He promised such hope and has not delivered at all. Nor will he. China owns America lock, stock and barrel. China too, is heading for disaster. In fact we all are. Sarah Palin and the Tea Perty offer nothing. They peddle hate of all institutions with no suggested remedies. And if we really wish to be brutally honest, 10% of the people want things to change, 10% do not want things to change and 80% do not care enough to get involved. That is the perplexing tragedy of being human. But, when everything collapses we all will go on a senseless, meaningless, brutal rampage. There is a really good analysis of all these things in Chris Hedges' book "Death of the Liberal Class." So many people uses the terms socialism, liberalism and the like without knowing the first thing about any of them. I think we the people need to take responsibilty and read alot more about history, economics, socialism, liberalism etc. To me, being a decent human being means we don't have people living on the street, everyone earns a reasonable living wage, we tolerate others just we want to be tolerated, we have real justice not a manipulation of the law to meet the requests of the priviledged, that we simply care about others because we are all human beings. We are all born naked and we all die.

Jim Kress, Northville

"Lenin got the ball rolling, with the inspired creation of the Article 58 conditions that allowed the Soviets to imprison, exile, or execute practically anyone for practically anything. ." Sounds like the original incarnation of "The Patriot Act"

Andrew, Atlanta

"And in 200 years the Chinese will then sell ropes to someone else who is anxious to hang those at the top." What's my point? My point is: don't worry too much about China's rise and/or future dominance. If it ever happens they'll rest on their laurels at some point and become fat, lazy, internet-porn addicted slobs just like we are.

John, Tampa

@ Shawn M, Columbus, OH Employment comes and goes, but zero homelessness and the end of poverty are not pipe dreams. There were no homeless in the Soviet Union, infact it was against the law to NOT have a permanent place of residence. Less than 2% of the Cuban population lives below the poverty line. Compared to 14% of Americans who live in poverty and the 80+% of (capitalist/US influenced) Haiti or Dominican Republic. "There must always be someone to push a broom" Right, but how does pushing a broom make one homeless or unemployed?

Horia, Cleveland, OH

It is easy to make a"rope" what is impossible is a fair division of the profit which makes to few buyers(in CHINA), which force the manufacturer to export the unafordable needed goods to other country like USA Which is printing dollars and treasury notes and pay to China.Everyting is working fine till one day! They have work we have goods again till one day!

Sam, New York

The Wall Street financiers who give money to Obama should probably read this quote and think about it.

peter K., FWB, FL

Defeating America was an inside job. Our great economic engine is fouled and dying. We gifted the left imported Chinese rope. Thx Vladimir for reminding me.

Richard, New York

I'd originally heard this quotation as "When we come to hang the capitalists, they'll sell us the rope." Which to my mind is much better worded than this version. If only Lenin had had a few wordsmiths on staff to secure his literary legacy. Maybe he did and they were hanged, too.

Richard, New York

To follow up, according to the Lenin page on Wikiquote Lenin experts contend that Lenin never made this remark. They consider it spurious.

Jack, Los Angeles

Check out this link, it's very interesting. http://www.uhuh.com/nwo/communism/comgoals.htm

Kotane Andrew Sibongile, Elim-Shirley RSA

Human development is progressively moving towards a classless society. European economic crisis with Greece as the epicentre of the capitalist leads to no other direction, but one where the rope is hanging its own. If you do not believe on government socialising means of production, just check on the bailout program of many banks across US and Europe. You will realize that the rope is applying

Kotane Andrew, MALAMULELE


J Carlton, Calgary

Capitalism, like the term "assault weapon" has been bastardized to suit an agenda. What people are trying to say is "Cronyism" - government in bed with business. THAT is what has to stop! Government has NO place in business. And who are these capitalists that everyone has (hysterically) come to despise? The Butcher? The Baker? The Candlestick Maker?
The average everyday person who set up a business and provided jobs by risking their own money and talent? Are these the people you would tear down? And of course there are the truly uninformed who think that somehow socialism will replace free enterprise as an economy builder...nope.
Socialism is a parasite that can not support itself.

Ron, Colorado

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J Carlton, Calgary

That's awesome Ron, thanks for the post.

Andy, Clearwater, FL

In general I like the discussion taking place here. I think the incessant borrowing of money by America should also be addressed since the borrower is servant to the lender. I don't think the ideal of capitalism is to borrow yourself into oblivion. China cannot destroy us without destroying itself, (at least for now) but, someday that will change. I do think that China, given the chance, would not hesitate to take us over and control us both within as well as without. One more thing that history teaches us - any nation long engaged in war spends itself into total destruction. Are those responsible for the peace and well being of a nation seeking to destroy it to serve their own greedy goals? Absolutely. Globalism is the future of the world and whatever needs to happen to further that cause will eventually happen. Those who are in power now view people as expendable carbon containers.

Pete, Switzerland

Lenin just got the timing wrong, change a couple of words: Capitalists to USA, us (communist) to China.

Marcus, Somerville, MA

Not a real quote. The real quote is:

They will furnish credits which will serve us for the support of the Communist Party in their countries and, by supplying us materials and technical equipment which we lack, will restore our military industry necessary for our future attacks against our suppliers. To put it in other words, they will work on the preparation of their own suicide.

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jj    7/22/13
Anonymous, Florida

Lenin never used this phrase, ever. Not in his writings, not in his speeches. It is British-American saying
"Give him enough rope and hell hang himself" that somehow got attributed to Lenin. Shame on you for using unconfirmed quote.

America Stewart, Philadelphia

The only good capitalist is a good and dead capitalist.

Jon Eblok, Boca Raton

CLASSIC! One word: CHINA. Vlad was right??

Kotane Andrew, Elim-Shirley

BRICS is borrowing to hang IMF, World Bank and Germany Financial Terrorism

BGD, San Diego

1. This comment about capitalists and rope cannot be found in anything Lenin ever wrote, or any report of anything he ever said. It is ignorant or dishonest to pretend he said it.
2. There is a lot of similarly untrue material in this thread. For example, one person claims the statement is in the Communist Manifesto. It is not. It takes less than 2 minutes to find the Communist Manifesto online and do a word search. Are people on this thread lazy, or just dishonest?

alex sinclair, Lutz Fl

Sounds like something isis would say re the cell phones they use

rdf, freedom, maine

Not a real quote. The real quote is:

"They will furnish credits which will serve us for the support of the Communist Party in their countries and, by supplying us materials and technical equipment which we lack, will restore our military industry necessary for our future attacks against our suppliers. To put it in other words, they will work on the preparation of their own suicide."

Stew, NJ
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Stew, NJ    4/4/16

In a perverse way Lenin was right, after all, we did sell rope to China and now look at the $hit we are in

Marc Keller, Sydney

@ Janet C, Kingston,
...the only "People's" voice among all comments, indeed!
I really wish to communicate with you on what you'd translated to us.

Communist Agitator, Athens

@David L Rosenthal

Are you referring to Article 58 of the penal code, which prescribed execution for traitors, and was instated in 1927, 3 years after Lenin's death? Yeah, he definitely was responsible for that one.


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