„The proletarian state must effect the transition to collective farming with extreme caution and only very gradually, by the force of example, without any coercion of the middle peasant.“

Collected Works, Vol. 31, pp. 152–64.
Collected Works

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update July 22, 2021. History
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Vladimir Lenin335
Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

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„No Bolshevik, no Communist, no intelligent socialist has ever entertained the idea of violence against the middle peasants. All socialists have always spoken of agreement with them and of their gradual and voluntary transition to socialism.“

—  Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

"Reply to a Peasant’s Question" (15 February 1919) http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/feb/14b.htm; Collected Works, Vol. 36, p. 501.
1910s

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„It is only through extremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue.“

—  Wilhelm Von Humboldt German (Prussian) philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin 1767 - 1835

Source: The Limits of State Action (1792), Ch. 8
Context: Setting aside the fact that coercion and guidance can never succeed in producing virtue, they manifestly tend to weaken power; and what are tranquil order and outward morality without true moral strength and virtue? Moreover, however great an evil immorality may be, we must not forget that it is not without its beneficial consequences. It is only through extremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue.

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„Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion.“

—  Voltaire French writer, historian, and philosopher 1694 - 1778

"Canon Law: Ecclesiastical Ministry" (1771)
Questions sur l'Encyclopédie (1770–1774)
Context: Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion. Make a slave of me, and I shall be no better for it. Even the sovereign has no right to use coercion to lead men to religion, which by its nature supposes choice and liberty. My thought is no more subject to authority than is sickness or health.

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„From the very nature of progress, all ages must be transitional.“

—  Gertrude Stein American art collector and experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays 1874 - 1946

"Form and Intelligibility," from The Radcliffe Manuscripts (1949); written in 1894 as an undergraduate at Radcliffe College
Context: From the very nature of progress, all ages must be transitional. If they were not, the world would be at a stand-still and death would speedily ensue. It is one of the tamest of platitudes but it is always introduced by a flourish of trumpets.

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„Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.“

—  Murray N. Rothbard American economist of the Austrian School, libertarian political theorist, and historian 1926 - 1995

Murray Rothbard, The Anatomy of the State, Auburn, Alabama, Mises Institute (2009) p.11, first published in 1974 https://mises.org/library/anatomy-state

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„The forces of moderation and democracy must, and will, prevail against extremism and dictatorship.“

—  Benazir Bhutto 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan 1953 - 2007

"Journeying to democracy" in The Boston Globe (18 October 2007) http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/10/18/journeying_to_democracy/
Context: I fully understand the men behind Al Qaeda. They have tried to assassinate me twice before. The Pakistan Peoples Party and I represent everything they fear the most — moderation, democracy, equality for women, information, and technology. We represent the future of a modern Pakistan, a future that has no place in it for ignorance, intolerance, and terrorism.
The forces of moderation and democracy must, and will, prevail against extremism and dictatorship. I will not be intimidated. I will step out on the tarmac in Karachi not to complete a journey, but to begin one. Despite threats of death, I will not acquiesce to tyranny, but rather lead the fight against it.

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„The modern proletarian class doesn't carry out its struggle according to a plan set out in some book or theory; the modern workers' struggle is a part of history, a part of social progress, and in the middle of history, in the middle of progress, in the middle of the fight, we learn how we must fight…“

—  Rosa Luxemburg Polish Marxist theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary 1871 - 1919

"The Politics of Mass Strikes and Unions"; Collected Works 2 <!-- p. 465 -->
Context: The modern proletarian class doesn't carry out its struggle according to a plan set out in some book or theory; the modern workers' struggle is a part of history, a part of social progress, and in the middle of history, in the middle of progress, in the middle of the fight, we learn how we must fight... That's exactly what is laudable about it, that's exactly why this colossal piece of culture, within the modern workers' movement, is epoch-defining: that the great masses of the working people first forge from their own consciousness, from their own belief, and even from their own understanding the weapons of their own liberation.

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