Revolution Quotes

Most popular revolution quotes

Revolutions are born of hope.
Revolutions never go backward.
Revolutions are never peaceful.
Revolution accelerates evolution.
Death is the price of revolution.
The seed of revolution is repression.
Revolutions are built on empty bellies.
Revolutions are the locomotives of history.
Revolution is the festival of the oppressed.
You cannot make a revolution in white gloves.
Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.


A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.
The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.


When reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes imperative.
All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.
No one is more surprised than a revolutionary rebelled against.


The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end.
A successful revolution begins to develop a stake in the status quo.
A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
The passions of a revolution are apt to hurry even good men into excesses.
When people do not feel they have a place at the table, they turn it over.
An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.


A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.
Revolution, n.  In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.


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


Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

civil rights movement peace

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

conservatives rebels

All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.


All oppressed people are authorized, whenever they can, to rise and break their fetters.
It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.
Revolutions have never succeeded unless the establishment does three-quarters of the work.
If there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire.
Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
Freedom never yet was given to nations as a gift, but only as a reward, bravely earned by one's own exertions.


Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.


Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
Martyrs are needed to create incidents. Incidents are needed to create revolutions. Revolutions are needed to create progress.


A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.

African-Americans change the world civil rights movement

Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind; and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.
You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.
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.


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.
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.


Thinking about profound social change, conservatives always expect disaster, while revolutionaries confidently anticipate utopia. Both are wrong.

conservatives utopia

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.

America rebels

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.


He who throws a bomb and kills a pedestrian, declares that as a victim of society he has rebelled against society. But could not the poor victim object: "Am I society?"

rebels society violence

We must not, however, be like the leaders of the great romantic revolt who, in their eagerness to get rid of the husk of convention, disregarded also the humane aspiration.


I am proud of the revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought . . . the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but the hands of God.


People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.


For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.
The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world.
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.
Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

African-Americans civil rights movement power