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  • All revolutions are treason until they are accomplished.

  • When you talk of revolution ... you never talk of the day after.

  • It is curious — but you cannot make a revolution without honest men. ... Every revolution has had its honest men. They are soon disposed of afterwards.

  • No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions, especially in the arts, which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.

  • Rhetoric never won a revolution yet.

  • We must not forget that all great revolutions and reformations would look mean and meagre if examined in detail as they occurred at the time.

  • ... revolution is man's normal activity, and if he is wise he will grade it slowly so that it may be almost imperceptible — otherwise it will jerk in fits and starts and cause discomfort ...

  • ... the main necessity on both sides of a revolution is kindness, which makes possible the most surprising things. To treat one's neighbor as oneself is the fundamental maxim for revolution.

  • Presumably a movement is more polite than a revolution, and a lot slower.

  • ... the reason for revolution is so the good things in life circulate.

  • Anyway, in America the word revolutionary is used to sell pantyhose.

  • Revolution is not a one-time event.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • "Learning From the '60s," speech (1982), Sister Outsider ()
  • His [Marx's] most explosive and indeed most original contribution to the cause of revolution was that he interpreted the compelling needs of mass poverty in political terms as an uprising, not for the sake of bread or wealth, but for the sake of freedom as well.

  • It is well known that the most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution.

    • Hannah Arendt,
    • "Civil Disobedience," Crises of the Republic ()
  • Revolutionaries do not make revolutions! The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and when they can pick it up.

    • Hannah Arendt,
    • "Thoughts on Politics and Revolution," Crises of the Republic ()
  • The word 'revolution' is a word for which you kill, for which you die, for which you send the labouring masses to their death, but which does not possess any content.

  • All revolutions are alike in many features.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • letter (1801), in John P. Kaminski, The Quotable Abigail Adams ()
  • No real social change has ever come about without a revolution.

  • ... revolution is but thought carried into action.

  • At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance ... My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business, I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful idea, for anarchism, for release and freedom from conventions and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy ... If it meant that, I did not want it.

  • In the last analysis, all revolutions must be social revolutions, based upon fundamental changes in society; otherwise it is not a revolution, but merely a change of government.

  • Revolution devours its own parents as well as its own children.

  • Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.

  • ... people never move towards revolution; they are pushed towards it by intolerable injustices in the economic and social order under which they live.

    • Suzanne La Follette,
    • "Institutional Marriage and Its Economic Aspects," Concerning Women ()
  • Revolution should never be ashamed of itself.

  • A rebellion against a tyrant is only immoral when it hasn't got a chance.

  • No nation has the right to bring about a revolution, even though such a change may be most urgently needed, if the price is the blood of one single innocent individual ...

  • No revolution creates a wholly new universe. Rather, it reflects the history and culture that spawned it.

  • If misery spelled revolt, we should have had nothing but revolt from the beginning of time. On the contrary, it is quite rare.

  • Revolution is obstructed evolution.

  • let uh revolution come. / couldn't be no action like what / i dun already seen.

  • Naw Little Willie, Joe said / I looks at it this way, my man ... / the Revolution aint dead / its tired, / and jest resting.

  • It is impossible to rise to freedom, from the midst of corruptions, without strong convulsions. They are the salutary crises of a serious disease. We are in want of a terrible political fever, to carry off our foul humors.

    • Marie-Jeanne Roland,
    • 1791, in Lydia Maria Child, Memoirs of Madame de Staël and of Madame Roland ()
  • ... was revolution much more than one fast kick forward in the long process called evolution? We condemened the 'cost' of revolution; but was it higher than the cost over centuries in backward, underdeveloped communities, which still covered two-thirds of the earth and which still could not guarantee their populations daily bread?

  • The optimism of politics before a revolution is exceeded only by the pessimism of politics after one.

    • Catharine Stimpson,
    • "Thy Neighbor's Wife, Thy Neighbor's Servants: Women's Liberation and Black Civil Rights," in Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran, eds., Woman in Sexist Society ()
  • The revolt against any oppression usually goes to an opposite extreme for a time; and that is right and necessary.

  • ... thought without expression is dynamic and gathers volume by repression. Evolution when blocked and suppressed becomes revolution.

  • Revolutions existed in history, books were written about them, and lectures given: they were complicated phenomena, scientific, remote. While here, the riot of a week ago had turned out to be a real revolution and the shadow of death actually threatened all of us who were of the ruling cast.

  • It takes six simpletons and one zealot to start a movement.

  • Revolution is the festival of the oppressed.

  • By definition, revolutions are not linear, one step at a time, event A leading to event B, and so on. Many causes operate on each other at once. Revolutions shift into place suddenly, like the pattern in a kaleidoscope. They do not so much proceed as crystallize.

  • Every revolution has its counter-revolution.

  • It is not religion but revolution which is the opium of the people.

  • All bona fide revolutions are of necessity revolutions of the spirit.

  • Every revolution eventually needs a new revolution.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Crisis in the American Universities," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • I am one of those that always get accidentally guillotined when the Great Day of Liberation comes, because ... I guess ... I am full of parentheses. Revolutions can't abide parentheses.

    • Alice B. Sheldon,
    • 1973, in Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon ()
  • Revolution begins with the self, in the self.

    • Toni Cade Bambara,
    • "On the Issue of Roles," in Toni Cade Bambara, ed., The Black Woman: An Anthology ()
  • No committee ever has, or ever will, run a revolution.

  • [On the French Revolution:] We laughed and danced our way to the precipice.

  • [On the French Revolution:] In that time of horrible memory every French person was either an accomplice or a victim.

    • Comtesse de Bohm,
    • in Andrea Stuart, The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine ()