Revolution Quotes

Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,can change the outer aspects of their lives.

William James 1842

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

George Orwell

To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.

Edward Abbey

The peer review system is satisfactory during quiescent times, but not during a revolution in a discipline such as astrophysics, when the establishment seeks to preserve the status quo.

Hannes Olof Gsta Alfvn

At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France. Some of them even said that the Europeans were better Muslims than they themselves, because their modern society had enabled them to create a fairer and more just distribution of wealth, than was possible in their pre-modern climates, and that accorded more perfectly with the vision of the Quran. Then there was the experience of colonialism under Britain and France, experiences like Suez, the Iranian revolution, Israel, and some people, not all by any means have allowed this ... these series of disasters to corrode into hatred. Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the west at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death. crucified, and that turned into victory. Mohammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength. But against the West, it's been able to make no headway, and this is as disturbing for Muslims as the discoveries of Darwin have been to some Christians. The Quran says that if you live according to the Quranic ideal, implementing justice in your society, then your society will prosper, because this is the way human beings are supposed to live. But whatever they do, they cannot seem to get Muslim history back on track, and this has led some, and only a minority, it must be said, to desperate conclusions.

Karen Armstrong

The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Whatever plans we may make, we shall find quite useless when the time for action comes. Revolutions are always full of surprises, and whoever thinks he can play chess with a revolution will soon find how terrible is the grasp of God and how insignificant the human reason before the whirlwind of His breath. That man only is likely to dominate the chances of a Revolution, who makes no plans but preserves his heart pure for the will of God to declare itself. The great rule of life is to have no schemes but one unalterable purpose. If the will is fixed on the purpose it sets itself to accomplish, then circumstances will suggest the right course; but the schemer finds himself always tripped up by the unexpected.

Sri Aurobindo

In a world of hate, love is the revolution.

Bryant McGill

Germany could not win this war because it was in league with the devil. This war would not have ended without revolution.

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

I am a person always full of contradictions... It was hard to choose whether to devote myself to revolution as a soldier or as a writer.

Li Yaotang

Of escape there are but three methods two chimerical and a third real. The first two are the dram-shop and the church, debauchery of the body or debauchery of the mind; the third is social revolution.

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin

The peoples' revolution .... will arrange its revolutionary organisation from the bottom up and from the periphery to the centre, in keeping with the principle of liberty.

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin

In no obvious sense was the American Revolution undertaken as a social revolution.

Bernard Bailyn

The classics of the ancient world are everywhere in the literature of the Revolution, but thet are everywhere illustrative, not determinative, of thought.

Bernard Bailyn

Whatever deficiencies the leaders of the American Revolution may have had, reticence, fortunately, was not one of them.

Bernard Bailyn

The Revolution had been made by voluptuaries.

Charles Baudelaire

In art there are only fast or slow developments. Essentially it is a matter of evolution, not revolution.

Bla Bartk

The next revolution in scientific discovery will depend on scientific interdependence.

Robert Joseph Birgeneau

And I realized that the only purpose to revolution is to be able to love who you want, how you want, when you want and where you want...

Dan Bern

Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible.

Sir Isaiah Berlin

If your object is to secure liberty, you must learn to do without authority and compulsion. If you intend to live in peace and harmony with your fellow-men, you and they should cultivate brotherhood and respect for each other. If you want to work together with them for your mutual benefit, you must practice cooperation. The social revolution means much more than the reorganization of conditions only: it means the establishment of new human values and social relationships, a changed attitude of man to man, as of one free and independent to his equal; it means a different spirit in individual and collective life, and that spirit cannot be born overnight. It is a spirit to be cultivated, to be nurtured and reared, as the most delicate flower it is, for indeed it is the flower of a new and beautiful existence.

Alexander Berkman

People in debt become hopeless and hopeless people dont vote. They always say that that everyone should vote but I think that if the poor in Britain or the United States turned out and voted for people that represented their interests there would be a real democratic revolution.

Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn

Had a long talk to the Chinese First Secretary at the embassy a very charming man called Liao Dong and said how much I admired Mao Tse tung or Zedong, the greatest man of the twentieth century. He said that I couldn't admire Mao more than he did. I asked him how Mao was viewed now. He said Mao was 70 per cent right and 30 per cent wrong; the Cultural Revolution didn't work. He said he had been named after Mao it was amusing.

Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn
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