55 Famous Dictators & Their Infamous Quotes

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We’ve all heard many inspiring quotes by famous leaders, politicians, and celebrities.

But how many of us have heard infamous leadership quotes from dictators or autocrats?

This list of 55 infamous, despotic quotes is both shocking and sobering…a cautionary tale from history.

It’s frightening when you realize how passionately each of these dictators believed in their delusion and led many others to commit horrible crimes, all in the name of leadership…if you can call it that!

Let us never forget the human rights atrocities perpetrated by these tyrannical despots.

My book series Why Leadership Sucks, now with two volumes, shares the challenges of aiming to lead as Christ did (the polar opposite of these dictators), as a servant of others first and foremost.​


1. Make the lie big. Make it simple. Keep saying it, and eventually people will believe it.

​-Adolf Hitler


2. Death is the solution to all problems. No man, no problem.

​-Joseph Stalin


3. You cannot run faster than a bullet.

-Ide Amin


4. There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet.

-Muammar Gaddafi


​5. Politics is when you say you are going to do one thing while intending to do another. Then you do neither what you said, nor what you intended.

​-Saddam Hussein


6. Do not compare yourself to others. If you do so, you’re insulting yourself.

-Adolf Hitler


7. North Americans don’t understand that our country is not just Cuba; our country is also humanity.

-Fidel Castro


8. The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.

​-Robert Mugabe


9. Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?

-Joseph Stalin


10. He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.

-Adolf Hitler


11. I don’t care if they respect me, so long as they fear me.



12. Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hands, and an infinite scorn in our hearts.

​-Benito Mussolini

​13. ​I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.

-Adolf Hitler


14. The oppressed peoples can liberate themselves only through struggle. This is a simple and clear truth confirmed by history.

​-Kim il Sung


​15. I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country.

​-Pol Pot


16. Sorry, I’m still a dialectical materialist.

-Fidel Castro


​17. Generals think war should be waged like the tourneys of the Middle Ages. I have no use for knights; I need revolutionaries.

-Adolf Hitler


​18. It’s not for me. I’ve tried human flesh, and it’s too salty for my taste.

​-Idi Amin


19. What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.

​-Adolf Hitler


20. We have a theoretical concept of the revolution which is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.

-Fidel Castro


21. I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating…because it causes war, hypocrisy, and competition.

-Fidel Castro


22. I’m the object of criticism around the world, but I think that since I am being discussed, I am on the right track.

-Kim Jong Il


23. I am not a dictator, and I do not think I will become one. I will not maintain power with a machine gun.

-Fidel Castro


24. I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature.

-Adolf Hitler


25. Ideas do not need weapons, to the extent that they can convince the masses.

-Fidel Castro


26. The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword; we shall destroy the latter through starvation.

-Ismail Enver Pasha



27. A revolution is not a trail of roses. A revolution is a fight to the death between the future and the past.

-Fidel Castro


​28. They do not depend upon mere legends and myths. They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine and that the Japanese people are superior to other races.

-Emperor Hirohito

29. I did not join the resistance movement to kill people, to kill the nation. Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.

-Pol Pot


​30. The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no ears or eyes.

-Adolf Hitler


31. Condemn me; it does not matter. History will absolve me.

-Fidel Castro


​32. It is not truth that matters but victory.

-Adolf Hitler

​33. Conquering the world on horseback is easy. It’s dismounting and governing that’s hard.

-Genghis Khan


​34. I am a Marxist-Leninist, and I will be one until the last days of my life.

-Fidel Castro


35. Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel.

-Che Guevara


36. One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

-Joseph Stalin


37. They talk about the failure of socialism, but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America?

-Fidel Castro


​38. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

-Napoleon Bonaparte


​39. We love death; the US loves life. That is the difference between us two.

-Osama bin Laden


40. Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.

​-Adolf Hitler

Dictator Saddam Hussein of Iraq


41. Homeland or death! Socialism or death! We shall overcome.

-Fidel Castro


​42. If you win, you need not have to explain. If you lose, you should not be there to explain!

-Adolf Hitler


​43. Politics is war without bloodshed; while war is politics with bloodshed.

​-Mao Zedong


​43. Politics is war without bloodshed; while war is politics with bloodshed.

​-Mao Zedong


​44. Americans are the great Satan, the wounded snake.

– Ayatollah Khomeini


​45. Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.

​-Adolf Hitler


46. I will leap into my grave laughing because the feeling that I have 5 million human beings on my conscience is an extraordinary source of satisfaction.

-Adolf Eichmann


47. The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

​-Adolf Hitler


48. ​To read too many books is harmful.

​-Mao Zedong


49. A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

​-Vladimir Lenin


​50. By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.

-Adolf Hitler


Idi Amin the Tyrant

51. Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.

​-Josef Stalin


​52. If we knew the meaning to everything that is happening to us, then there would be no meaning.

-Idi Amin


​53. Struggle is the father of all things. It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world but solely by means of the most brutal struggle.

​-Adolf Hitler


54. I’m not a dictator; it’s just that I have a grumpy face.

​-Augusto Pinochet


​55. Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, and assassination. This is the future of war.

-Adolf Hitler


If this list doesn’t scare and sober us into being wary of the corrupting power of leadership if not wielded well, then we may be ready to be led down a bad path by a tyrannical leader.

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Hi, I’m Miles Anthony Smith, founder of Why Stuff Sucks™, a lead generation/nurturing focused digital marketing agency.

I live for the business results we get for our clients, and love coaching others to level up their digital marketing and leadership skills. Cheers!