Joseph Stalin would have to have been drunk to call the U.S. “healthy,” and to have complimented America’s patriotism, morality and spiritual life. Even then, it would be unlikely. Why does this quote keep circulating?
This has been floating around Tea Party and other shallow venues for a while, but I’ll wager Stalin did not say it:
“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: Its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”
I can’t find any source for it; it’s mostly quoted on right-wing sites where people marvel over what a prophet Stalin was. All requests for a citation in five or six different forums I’ve checked, are unanswered. Nothing like it appears at the often-checked Wikiquote. The Stalin Archive holds nothing close to the claimed quote.
Perhaps more telling: Is it likely that Joe Stalin ever would have called the U.S. “a healthy body?” Stalin was of a school that claimed capitalism was diseased, and America was infested with a soon-to-be terminal case. If he called America “diseased” by patriotism and religion, it would be consistent with other statements, but his calling America healthy for patriotism and spiritual life, it’s inconsistent with other claims he made, about America and about capitalism (see Stalin’s 1929 remonstrance to the U.S. Communist Party, for example).
So, Dear Readers, my request to you: Can you offer the source of this quote, Joseph Stalin or not?
Why would a false claim from Stalin get such a life on the internet?
Update, March 15, 2012: I’m calling this one: It’s a bogus quote. Joseph Stalin didn’t say it. Not as many comments here as e-mails and comments on other discussion boards and Facebook — no one has come even close to anything like the line above from Stalin. No source quoting the line even bothers to give a decade, let alone a year, a location, and a citation that would pass muster in a sophomore high school English class. Tea Partiers, you’ve tried to twist history again — stop it.
Update March 1, 2013: If you’re checking in here studying for a DBQ for an AP class, please tell us in comments, which AP class, and what city you’re in. Thanks.