97 quotes about Revolutions and Revolutionaries
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The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
  View quote | Adams, John quotes

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
  View quote | Adams, John quotes

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
  View quote | Arendt, Hannah quotes

In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake.
  View quote | Aristotle quotes

Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions.
  View quote | Aristotle quotes

Thinkers prepare the revolution and bandits carry it out.
  View quote | Azuela, Mariano quotes

Revolution begins with the self, in the self.
  View quote | Bambara, Toni Cade quotes

Revolution is an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
  View quote | Bierce, Ambrose quotes

So they united, and the Communist revolution took the chain from their legs and wound it around their necks.
  View quote | Bonom, Samuel quotes

I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with Blood.
  View quote | Brown, John Mason quotes

Men are made uneasy; they flinch; they cannot bear the sudden light; a general restlessness supervenes; the face of society is disturbed, or perhaps convulsed; old interests and old beliefs have been destroyed before new ones have been created. These symptoms are the precursors of revolution; they have preceded all the great changes through which the world has passed.
  View quote | Buckle, Henry Thomas quotes

I had such a wonderful feeling last night, walking beneath the dark sky while cannon boomed on my right and guns on my left the feeling that I could change the world only by being there.
  View quote | Butnariu, Viorica quotes

The dead have been awakened -- shall I sleep? The world's at war with tyrants -- shall I crouch? the harvest's ripe -- and shall I pause to reap? I slumber not; the thorn is in my couch; Each day a trumpet soundeth in mine ear, its echo in my heart.
  View quote | Byron, Lord quotes

Revolution, in order to be creative, cannot do without either a moral or metaphysical rule to balance the insanity of history.
  View quote | Camus, Albert quotes

Every revolutionary ends up by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic.
  View quote | Camus, Albert quotes

More and more, revolution has found itself delivered into the hands of its bureaucrats and doctrinaires on the one hand, and to the enfeebled and bewildered masses on the other.
  View quote | Camus, Albert quotes

A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.
  View quote | Castro, Fidel quotes

I feel my belief in sacrifice and struggle getting stronger. I despise the kind of existence that clings to the miserly trifles of comfort and self-interest. I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.
  View quote | Castro, Fidel quotes

I began revolution with 82 men. If I had [To] do it again, I do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.
  View quote | Castro, Fidel quotes

You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
  View quote | Chesterton, Gilbert K. quotes

The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement -- but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.
  View quote | Conrad, Joseph quotes

The revolutionary spirit is mighty convenient in this, that it frees one from all scruples as regards ideas. Its hard absolute optimism is repulsive to my mind by the menace of fanaticism and intolerance it contains. No doubt one should smile at these things; but, imperfect Esthete, I am no better Philosopher. All claim to special righteousness awakens in me that scorn and anger from which a philosophical mind should be free.
  View quote | Conrad, Joseph quotes

Clemency is also a revolutionary measure.
  View quote | Desmoulins, Camille quotes

Our cause is just. Our union is perfect.
  View quote | Dickinson, John quotes

Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs.
  View quote | Diderot, Denis quotes

I have been ever of opinion that revolutions are not to be evaded.
  View quote | Disraeli, Benjamin quotes

Normal life cannot sustain revolutionary attitudes for long.
  View quote | Djilas, Milovan quotes

Plots, true or false, are necessary things, to raise up commonwealths, and ruin kings.
  View quote | Dryden, John quotes

Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side, and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era?
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

To be a revolutionary you have to be human being. You have to care about people who have no power.
  View quote | Fonda, Jane quotes

The worst of revolutions is a restoration.
  View quote | Fox, Charles James quotes

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
  View quote | Fromm, Erich quotes

All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door. The violence of revolutions is the violence of men who charge into a vacuum.
  View quote | Galbraith, John Kenneth quotes

A revolution does not last more than fifteen years, the period which coincides with the flourishing of a generation.
  View quote | Gasset, Jose Ortega Y quotes

The main object of a revolution is the liberation of man... not the interpretation and application of some transcendental ideology.
  View quote | Genet, Jean quotes

A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.
  View quote | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von quotes

The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle. Revolution is the festival of the oppressed.
  View quote | Greer, Germaine quotes

The children of the revolution are always ungrateful, and the revolution must be grateful that it is so.
  View quote | Guin, Ursula K. Le quotes

The spirit of revolution, the spirit of insurrection, is a spirit radically opposed to liberty.
  View quote | Guizot, Francois (Pierre Guillaume) quotes

When people contend for their liberty they seldom get anything for their victory, but new masters.
  View quote | Halifax, Edward F. quotes

True revolutionaries are like God -- they create the world in their own image. Our awesome responsibility to ourselves, to our children, and to the future is to create ourselves in the image of goodness, because the future depends on the nobility of our imaginings.
  View quote | Harrison, Barbara Grizzuti quotes

Whether a revolutions succeeds or fails people of great hearts will always be sacrificed to it.
  View quote | Heine, Heinrich quotes

We have wasted our spirit in the regions of the abstract and general just as the monks let it wither in the world of prayer and contemplation.
  View quote | Herzen, Alexander quotes

The main effect of a real revolution is perhaps that it sweeps away those who do not know how to wish, and brings to the front men with insatiable appetites for action, power and all that the world has to offer.
  View quote | Hoffer, Eric quotes

We used to think that revolutions are the cause of change. Actually it is the other way around: change prepares the ground for revolution.
  View quote | Hoffer, Eric quotes

I was probably the only revolutionary referred to as cute.
  View quote | Hoffman, Abbie quotes

Revolutions are not made by men in spectacles.
  View quote | Holmes, Oliver Wendell quotes

He that goeth about to persuade a multitude that they are not so well governed as they ought to be shall never want attentive and favorable hearers.
  View quote | Hooker, Richard quotes

The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human race has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
  View quote | Hugo, Victor quotes

If we glance at the most important revolutions in history, we see at once that the greatest number of these originated in the periodical revolutions of the human mind.
  View quote | Humboldt, Karl Wilhelm Von quotes

History teaches us that the great revolutions aren't started by people who are utterly down and out, without hope and vision. They take place when people begin to live a little better -- and when they see how much yet remains to be achieved.
  View quote | Humphrey, Hubert H. quotes

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts -- it's what you do with what you have left.
  View quote | Humphrey, Hubert H. quotes

Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.
  View quote | Ibsen, Henrik quotes

A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he can't sit on it.
  View quote | Inge, Dean William R. quotes

Revolutions are notorious for allowing even non-participants -- even women! -- new scope for telling the truth since they are themselves such massive moments of truth, moments of such massive participation.
  View quote | James, Selma quotes

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
  View quote | Jefferson, Thomas quotes

And then, Sir, there is this consideration, that if the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
  View quote | Kafka, Franz quotes

Although a system may cease to exist in the legal sense or as a structure of power, its values (or anti-values), its philosophy, its teachings remain in us. They rule our thinking, our conduct, our attitude to others. The situation is a demonic paradox: we have toppled the system but we still carry its genes.
  View quote | Kapuscinski, Ryszard quotes

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
  View quote | Kennedy, John F. quotes

Revolutions are not made for export.
  View quote | Khrushchev, Nikita quotes

The more there are riots, the more repressive actin will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.
  View quote | King Jr. Martin Luther quotes

Riots are the voices of the unheard.
  View quote | King Jr. Martin Luther quotes

In this Revolution no plans have been written for retreat.
  View quote | King Jr. Martin Luther quotes

You cannot make a revolution in white gloves.
  View quote | Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich quotes

Revolutionary politics, revolutionary art, and oh, the revolutionary mind, is the dullest thing on earth. When we open a revolutionary review, or read a revolutionary speech, we yawn our heads off. It is true, there is nothing else. Everything is correctly, monotonously, dishearteningly revolutionary. What a stupid word! What a stale fuss!
  View quote | Lewis, Wyndham quotes

Revolution today is taken for granted, and in consequence becomes rather dull.
  View quote | Lewis, Wyndham quotes

At the crash of economic collapse of which the rumblings can already be heard, the sleeping soldiers of the proletariat will awake as at the fanfare of the Last Judgment and the corpses of the victims of the struggle will arise and demand an accounting from those who are loaded down with curses.
  View quote | Liebknecht, Karl quotes

It is easier to run a revolution than a government.
  View quote | Marcos, Ferdinand E. quotes

Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose, but their chains. .Workers of the world unite!
  View quote | Marx, Karl quotes

In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of a different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to past revolutions, without insight into the present movement, but preserving popular influence by their known honesty and courage, or by the sheer force of tradition; others mere brawlers, who, by dint of repeating year after year the same set of stereotyped declamations against the government of the day, have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists of the first water They are an unavoidable evil: with time they are shaken off.
  View quote | Marx, Karl quotes

Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.
  View quote | Nkrumah, Kwame quotes

Most revolutionaries are potential Tories, because they imagine that everything can be put right by altering the shape of society; once that change is effected, as it sometimes is, they see no need for any other.
  View quote | Orwell, George quotes

Revolutions are not made, they come.
  View quote | Phillips, Wendell quotes

Revolutions never go backward.
  View quote | Phillips, Wendell quotes

The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.
  View quote | Plato quotes

The word revolution itself has become not only a dead relic of Leftism, but a key to the deadendedness of male politics: the revolution of a wheel which returns in the end to the same place; the revolving door of a politics which has liberated women only to use them, and only within the limits of male tolerance.
  View quote | Rich, Adrienne quotes

One revolution is like one cocktail, it just gets you organized for the next.
  View quote | Rogers, Will quotes

All revolutions devour their own children.
  View quote | Rohm, Ernst quotes

The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous. Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed. Art kills only the dead.
  View quote | Rosenberg, Harold quotes

No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.
  View quote | Sand, George quotes

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
  View quote | Shaw, George Bernard quotes

A nation grown free in a single day is a child born with the limbs and the vigor of a man, who would take a drawn sword for his rattle, and set the house in a blaze that he might chuckle over the splendor.
  View quote | Smith, Sydney quotes

Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.
  View quote | Stoppard, Tom quotes

If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag, wash it.
  View quote | Thomas, Norman quotes

In a revolution, as in a novel. the most difficult part to invent is the end.
  View quote | Tocqueville, Alexis De quotes

It is almost never when a state of things is the most detestable that it is smashed, but when, beginning to improve, it permits men to breathe, to reflect, to communicate their thoughts with each other, and to gauge by what they already have the extent of their rights and their grievances. The weight, although less heavy, seems then all the more unbearable.
  View quote | Tocqueville, Alexis De quotes

Revolutions are always verbose.
  View quote | Trotsky, Leon quotes

Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.
  View quote | Tuchman, Barbara quotes

On the first day of a revolution he is a treasure; on the second he ought to be shot.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

If not us, who? If not now, when?
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth.
  View quote | Vaneigem, Raoul quotes

Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice.
  View quote | Voltaire quotes

All partisan movements add to the fullness of our understanding of society as a whole. They never detract; or, in any case, one must not allow them to do so. Experience adds to experience.
  View quote | Walker, Alice quotes

You said, They're harmless dreamers and they're loved by the people. -- What, I asked you, is harmless about a dreamer, and what, I asked you, is harmless about the love of the people? Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams.
  View quote | Williams, Tennessee quotes

A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
  View quote | Zedong, Mao quotes