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Various publications e.g. "The Parent Care Conversation" (which seems to be a religiously inspired book in some parts at least) attribute the saying "destroy the family, you destroy the country" to Lenin.

The book "The Marxist Goliath Among Us" (2010) attributes a sinister context to the quote:

Vladimir Lenin described the importance of the traditional family's annihilation in Marxist revolutions. "Destroy the family, you destroy the country", he insisted.

Did Lenin actually say or write that, and if so in what context?

(Wikiquote doesn't contain that quote, or anything else similar about family; well there's something about "the world family of the proletariat" in there, but that's clearly a different meaning of the term "family".)

  • Perhaps also add a gBooks search limited to 20th century and add another context for notability? Perhaps, this one or this pamphlet – LangLаngС Nov 8 '19 at 4:09
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    Also, seems prudent to require more than this – LangLаngС Nov 8 '19 at 4:12
  • @LаngLаngС: I'm not seeing any close votes for now, so I'll refrain from adding more quotes to the question unless notability is actually challenged. – SX welcomes ageist gossip Nov 8 '19 at 4:25
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    @RayButterworth: if you have some other quote from Lenin (but not from someone else) that is in effect saying what you have paraphrased, you could answer with that. – SX welcomes ageist gossip Nov 8 '19 at 16:40
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    you destroy the country - did Lenin want to destroy his own country? Unlikely... So, the whole quote looks erroneous – HEKTO Nov 9 '19 at 2:51
9

The one thing somewhat like the quote that he wrote, in 1914, was:

A new form of family, new conditions in the status of women and in the upbringing of the younger generation are prepared by the highest forms of present-day capitalism: the labor of women and children and the break-up of the patriarchal family by capitalism inevitably assume the most terrible, disastrous, and repulsive forms in modern society.

He goes on to quote Marx:

...absurd to hold the Teutonic-Christian form of the family...

There are various published English translation of what Lenin wrote. A more-common translation of the Lenin's quote of Marx is:

...stupid to regard the Christo-Teutonic form of the family as absolute...

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    It's important to highlight (above "patriarchal" bourgeois family) that unlike anarchists for Lenin 'the state' as such isn't that bad in the mid-term.The analysis and predictions by Marx/Engels are already different from VIL, but marxists.org/archive/zetkin/1920/lenin/zetkin1.htm should explain well what the stance 'on family' is. We see neither no more families, nor no more state – but what we do see is that ie 'American (family) values' are seen as oppressive etc. Remains: when was the claim put in Lenin's mouth and how does it relate to his visions & reality of modern enemies? – LangLаngС Nov 10 '19 at 10:45
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It is almost an exact quote from Lenin's time, but not by Lenin.

Instead, in 1918, Sir John Robertson, the Medical Officer of Health for Birmingham, UK said:

To destroy the family is to destroy the nation

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I found it in a 1901 issue of Messenger of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic periodical.

I was actually looking for another Lenin quote and somehow I found that source right before I found this site asking about it.

I guess actually it's "state" instead of "country".

The “divorce mills " are grinding our country to powder; for if you destroy the family you destroy the State.

https://books.google.com/books?id=sT45AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA201&lpg=PA201&dq=Destroy+the+Family,+You+Destroy+the+Country&source=bl&ots=FPGZJRa3Q4&sig=ACfU3U0tc9dvTPSnDZRah6KcwZRTL5-EgQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiLvcLBnO_mAhUnnq0KHTP9AI84ChDoATAIegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=Destroy%20the%20Family%2C%20You%20Destroy%20the%20Country&f=false

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    Interesting, but you should be more clear that Lenin is not mentioned by the source. – DavePhD Jan 6 at 15:51
  • Can you please quote/snapshot the page so we can see it in context. I cannot, and I am wondering if they are claiming to be the origin of the quote or if they are quoting Lenin (and if so, if they provide a source.) – Oddthinking Jan 7 at 3:29
  • @Oddthinking I added the quote. There is no mention of Lenin. No author of the article is named. It is just a sentence in the article, not a quote of someone else. – DavePhD Jan 7 at 14:30
  • This seems to predate the 1914 Lenin quote and the 1918 Robertson quotes provided in existing answers, but it still leave it open that Lenin said something in earlier writings. – Oddthinking Jan 7 at 15:18
0

There is a site (in Russian), devoted to Lenin works etc. I've entered the phrase "уничтожить семью" - in double quotes, meaning "to destroy the family", into the search field (upper right corner) - and got nothing. Also I tried some variations of this phrase - also nothing.

My conclusion, not 100%-reliable of course - Lenin didn't say that.

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  • Here marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/ch05.htm Lenin mentions “disintegration of the family”, “disintegration of family ties” and "destruction of family ties" (not that he is advocating these). – DavePhD Nov 10 '19 at 3:01
  • Do you mean that quality of search at this site might be not that good? I've tried one of phrases, suggested by you and translated back to Russian - "распад семьи" - and got the chapter 5 of: leninism.su/works/63-tom-25/2188-o-prave-naczij-na- – HEKTO Nov 10 '19 at 4:30
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    No, just that there are synonym-phrases. In English, Marx's phrase in The Communist Manifesto is "abolition of the family". Unfortunately I don't know any Russian and only a little German. – DavePhD Nov 10 '19 at 14:20

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