EssaysKevin Alfred Strom

Voltaire Didn’t Say It

Voltaire didn’t say this, or anything similar.

By popular demand: bringing together in one post the facts about my quote, which many falsely attribute to Voltaire

by Kevin Alfred Strom

ABOUT A QUARTER CENTURY ago, in 1993, I said, in my American Dissident Voices broadcast titled “All America Must Know the Terror That is Upon Us,” the following:

“To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?”

I’ve said the same thing in slightly different words from time to time too, such as “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” And it’s been widely paraphrased.

Since that time, my statement has become the stuff of Internet memes, quote collections, graphics, and motivational posters. There are over 926,000 entries for one variation of it alone on Google search. Trouble is, the quote is almost always attributed to the 18th-century French writer Voltaire, and not to me.

Voltaire never said this.
Voltaire never said this.

(The best paraphrase, I think, is this, which doesn’t at all claim to be a real quote: To learn who rules over you, buy Mel Gibson a drink.)

Looking at online archives, not only of Web pages but of digitized books going back centuries, we find that — except for my use of the statement starting with my 1993 American Dissident Voices broadcast — it does not appear in large numbers until 2012 and not at all before 2007. Even a Jewish scholar, Barry Popik, thoroughly debunked the Voltaire connection in 2012, just as the quote was “going viral.” Here’s what he said:

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.—Voltaire” suddenly became the subject of “Quote of the Day” on several websites in 2012, even though Voltaire lived from 1694-1778. The quotation does not appear at all in the Google News Archive. There is no evidence for the quotation in any of Voltaire’s writings. The author is probably Kevin Strom, who wrote in National Vanguard on August 14, 1993:

“To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?”

Several website forums have contributors, posting from 2010 and slightly earlier, who have added the “Voltaire” quotation to their posts. However, the early 2000s dates might not be accurate and the quotation might have been recently added to the signature of these old posts. The blog Ex Cathedra has the quote in a left-hand column and calls it “Voltaire’s Razor” (after “Occam’s razor”). . . .

This is from the Voltaire wiki quotes page
( )
Section on misattributed “Voltaire quotes”:
Few versions of the quote appear online before 2012. Appears to be a gloss of a statement by Kevin Strom, an American Neo-Nazi activist. Self-attributed here in a passage doubting the veracity of the Holocaust: ‘By the way, may I remind you that in some nations of the West, it is actually illegal to doubt Jewish lies like these and one can be fined and imprisoned for doing so. That brings to mind the maxim that I stated several years ago: If you want to know the identity of the real rulers of your society, merely ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?’ – National Vanguard, “Jewish Truth (and Jewish Jokes)”, 1/6/2011

So it’s pretty clear, even to my critics, that I came up with the quote — and Voltaire never did.

Now, it’s kind of flattering for my thoughts to be put over the name of the man who said such witty things as “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.”


Additionally, Voltaire once wrote to the King of Prussia urging him to abolish Christianity in his domains, saying that it “is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and the most bloody religion which has ever infected the world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by eliminating this infamous superstition… My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can inspire.”

Voltaire is also known for rightly regarding the human races as vastly different. And he once said that Jews “spread an irreconcilable hatred against all nations.”

Well put, and not much to disagree with! So, though I’d like to receive credit for my own work, and though I certainly don’t ever compare myself to him, it does lessen the sting of the misattribution when I am inadvertently equated with Monsieur Voltaire.

By the way, I do not think that I am the first or only person to come up with the central idea of the quote: Any thoughtful person, looking at history, would come to the same conclusion. I believe I’ve read other writers (including George Lincoln Rockwell) expressing words to the same general effect, and at substantially greater length. But I do deserve credit for whatever pithiness or quotability or gestalt effect my quote has on the reader, and that’s about all I can hope for.

There is a lesson here.

Whoever hijacked my quote and put it over Voltaire’s signature liked what I was saying. He understood my point. He understood that our secret rulers brook no criticism of themselves or their agenda — without exacting punishment. He wanted to use the quote. But he didn’t dare attribute it correctly. He didn’t dare make his point with a quote from a known “racist” or “anti-Semite,” no matter how good the quote was. He didn’t dare follow my thoughts with my name. If he did, he’d be attacked as being “racist” himself. There might be personal or professional consequences.

So he took my idea and put in the mouth of Voltaire. Funny thing is, Voltaire, free-thinker and honest observer as he was, is as much of a “racist” and “anti-Semite” as I am. But Voltaire has been safely dead for well over 200 years and his contribution to the artistic and intellectual development of our civilization is so great that it will take quite some time for his legacy to be erased, denounced, or censored (as I am sure the Enemies of Life are aching to do). So it was relatively “safe” to quote Voltaire, but unsafe to quote Kevin Alfred Strom.

So this misattribution actually proves my point. Here’s the full quote from my radio program:

Kevin Alfred Strom
Not Voltaire.

“To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize? We all know who it is that we are not permitted to criticize. We all know who it is that it is a sin to criticize. Sodomy is no longer a sin in America. Treason, and burning and spitting and urinating on the American flag is no longer a sin in America. Gross desecration of Catholic or Protestant religious symbols is no longer a sin in America. Cop-killing is no longer a sin in America — it is celebrated in rap ‘music.’ The degradation of beautiful young girls in disgusting pornography is no longer a sin in America. The killing by the multiple millions of the next generation in the womb is no longer a sin in America. But ‘anti-Semitism’ is the ultimate sin in America. But as things get worse and worse, we are losing our fear of this silly word. We all know who it is that controls the wealth of our nation through their exchanges and counting-houses in New York. We all know who it is that has deformed the minds of two generations of Americans with their television programs.”

Today, even more than in 1993, it is evident that we in occupied America no longer have freedom of speech. It is a “sin” according to the Powers That Be to criticize Jewish power — or even to point out the fact that it exists. It is also a “sin” to oppose or criticize the Jewish agenda, a sin that sometimes has serious personal and professional consequences.

But you know what? — the Powers That Be are losing control of the narrative. Hundreds of thousands of us, even in the face of increasing tyranny, have awakened in just the last few years alone. The Jewish power structure now has no choice but to surrender, or to ratchet up their restrictions on free speech and their persecution of free thinkers. They will surely choose the latter. And that will accelerate the awakening. Racially conscious Whites are now more numerous and more vocal than at any time in the last quarter century. I’m proud to be a part of that. It’s a great time to be alive.

The Jewish System tried to destroy me and erase my life’s work — and they failed. Maybe they should work on erasing Voltaire’s works too. After all, he’s the man who said that the Jews “spread an irreconcilable hatred against all nations.” And that really is a quote from Monsieur Voltaire. Take that, Semites!

* * *

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James Clayton
James Clayton
20 January, 2017 5:27 am

Thank you

Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins
20 January, 2017 7:20 am

For finding out what Voltaire really said about the Jews, Henri Labroue’s Voltaire antijuif might be a useful point of departure for those who can read French. This work, which has been reprinted by Éditions Dualpha, has around 250 pages and appears to be a compilation of Voltaire’s anti-Jewish remarks combined with Labroue’s own anti-Jewish commentary. Labroue, who held a chair in Jewish history at the Sorbonne from 1942 to 1944, was punished for his truth-telling with several years’ imprisonment following the “Libération.” The text of the English translation of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary can be found here: The entry “Jews” contains the oft-cited lines: “In short, we find in them only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition… Read more »

22 January, 2017 9:00 pm

Brilliant ! Thank you.
You (and the many other authors here) make National Vanguard an invaluable source of verbal ammunition against the enemies of our race.

Mateo Del Castillo
Mateo Del Castillo
20 March, 2018 1:59 am

The Talmudic Zionist Jews that you don’t agree with are Ashkenazi. They are not not Semitic people. So you’re not a anti-Semite because the majority Of them are converted Eastern European peoples 40 Something or more grandfathers ago a few of the Ashkenazi Jews can claim grandfather or grandmothers that came from Yemen or turkey etc, so a very small amount have a small amount of that dna maybe Both The Sephardic (Spanish, French, Italian) and Mizrahi(Egypt,Palestine,Jordan,Libya are middle eastern/ peoples with some northern African blood mixed sometimes as well Most of these people I just mentioned are non Talmudic and are More the ancient style belief system VS rabbinical Falasha, and Limba and other original Hebrew tribes in Africa have for the most part with exceptions 100% real Semitic… Read more »

Reply to  Mateo Del Castillo
29 October, 2018 9:37 pm

The Ashkenazi (after having already mixed their seed with Mongol blood) mated with the Edomite Jews (about 800 AD) which does give them a minor injection of semite DNA. The jews are not full semites either as they are one of the most race mixed people on earth, second only to the mexicans. Jews are descendants of the canaanites. They are not Israelites who were pure semites, white men who descended from Shem, Noah’s son. Jews are not the chosen, it is the white men of pure DNA left on earth. Hence the reason why they want whites genocided through integration. Wake up. The jews are Big Brother (Esau), Jacob’s brother (the Israelites), who race mixed with the canaanites who had race mixed with the downline of Cain (the Kenites).… Read more »

Reply to  Winston
21 May, 2019 11:04 pm
Reply to  Mateo Del Castillo
21 May, 2019 10:21 pm

“The Talmudic Zionist Jews that you don’t agree with are Ashkenazi. They are not not Semitic people. So you’re not a anti-Semite because the majority Of them are converted Eastern European peoples ”

I hate to break it to you, but Judaism was always supremacist in the Old Testament too; the notion that only the White-looking jews are bad is something that pardons all of other jews around the world.

Christianity and Islam are a bastardization of European and Middle Eastern pagan religions, combined with Judaism which advocates the destruction of all religious beliefs other than Judaism. Talmudic judaism began with the Pharisees before there were ever ashkenazi jews.

Reply to  Mateo Del Castillo
21 May, 2019 10:25 pm

Is this the Historical Moses?:

Joseph is an allegory for the Hyksos and their Sheppard kings.

The Real Story of Joseph in Egypt:

Hyksos Invasion of Egypt:

Mari J Bickmore
Mari J Bickmore
20 November, 2019 11:08 am

I’d say the people we cannot criticize most are the Democrats, the Muslims and LGBTQ…not the Jews.

Reply to  Mari J Bickmore
5 December, 2019 1:27 am

Greetings Mari. Please don’t attempt to test your hypothesis until you have completed thorough research.

4 December, 2019 8:56 pm

Hitler once said 2+2 = 4. So I guess 2+2 doesn’t equal 4 anymore because he was a horrible person right?

Ulysses Freire da Paz Junior
Ulysses Freire da Paz Junior
Reply to  Mamamob
5 December, 2019 9:10 am

“The slums, “said Hitler,” are responsible for nine-tenths, alcohol for one-tenth of all human depravity. No healthy man is a Marxian. Healthy men recognize the value of the personality. We fight against the forces of disaster and degeneration.” A.H. “It is not the aim of Bolshevism, however, to free the peoples from the morbid, but on the contrary to eradicate the healthy, indeed the healthiest, and to put the most deceitful in its place. I can not pact with a world view that everywhere as the first act in their takeover not the liberation of the working people, but the liberation of concentrated in the prisons antisocial scum of people performs and then let go of these animals on the frightened and stunned contemporary world. Than “Because that is… Read more »

Arch Stanton
Arch Stanton
9 July, 2021 12:40 pm

Not again! From today’s email, 7/9/2021

“Voltaire summed it up in one phrase : To determine the true rulers of any society, just look at those who you are forbidden to criticize.”

Who the hell was this Voltaire guy anyway? Probably some dead, white, male.

“If you want to know whom you cannot quote, just ask Kevin Alfred Strom”

– Arch Stanton