You cannot make a revolution in white gloves.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
”Revolution” today is taken for granted, and in consequence becomes rather dull.
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!
It is easier to run a revolution than a government.
Ferdinand E. Marcos
Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose, but their chains. Workers of the world unite!
If you want to be fucked, again and again, trust your unable bureaucrats, pray with your trivial priests, read your stupid journalists and vote for your greedy politicians!!!! If, on the contrary, you want more social justice, human, economic and scientific progress, just kill them!!!
Carl William Brown
Italian politicians are too stupid to deserve my vote, but they can get over it with my critical, denunciatory, satirical, vitriolic and vituperative invectives.
Carl William Brown
In Italy, above all in view of the next general election, political parties, movements and new politicians continue to proliferate, naturally all inspired by the logic of the most severe, rigorous and atavistic stupidity.
Carl William Brown
No one can contemplate the present condition of the masses of the people without desiring something like a revolution for the better.
Sir Robert Giffen
A revolutionist is one who desires to discard the existing social order and try another.
G. B. Shaw
No doubt it is easy to demostrate that property will destroy society unless society destroys it.
G. B. Shaw
What is really important in Man is the part of him that we do not understand. Of much of it we are not even conscious, just as we are not normally conscious of keeping up our circulation by our heart-pump, though if we neglect it we die.
G. B. Shaw
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.
Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.
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.
Revolutions are not made, they come.
Revolutions never go backward.
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.
One revolution is like one cocktail, it just gets you organized for the next.
All revolutions devour their own children.
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.
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.
Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
George Bernard Shaw
Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.
In a revolution, as in a novel. the most difficult part to invent is the end.
Alexis De Tocqueville
Revolutions are always verbose.
Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.
On the first day of a revolution he is a treasure; on the second he ought to be shot.
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.
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.”
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.
Women’s Liberation calls it enslavement but the real truth about the sexual revolution is that it has made of sex an almost chaotically limitless and therefore unmanageable realm in the life of women.
The backseat produced the sexual revolution.
The slanders poured down like Niagara. If you take into consideration the setting — the war and the revolution — and the character of the accused — revolutionary leaders of millions who were conducting their party to the sovereign power — you can say without exaggeration that July 1917 was the month of the most gigantic slander in world history.
This socialism will develop in all its phases until it reaches its own extremes and absurdities. Then once again a cry of denial will break from the titanic chest of the revolutionary minority and again a mortal struggle will begin, in which socialism will play the role of contemporary conservatism and will be overwhelmed in the subsequent revolution, as yet unknown to us.
We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy.
America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.
Warren Gamaliel Harding
If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
Henry David Thoreau
Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute.
What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.
Henri Frederic Amiel
The great battleground for the defense and expansion of freedom today is the whole southern half of the globe… the lands of the rising peoples. Their revolution is the greatest in human history. They seek an end to injustice, tyranny and exploitation. More than an end, they seek a beginning.
John F. Kennedy
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth more than ruin more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
Thoughts is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit.
The only successful revolution of this century is totalitarianism.
Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions. Trade loves moderation, delights in compromise, and is most careful to avoid anger. It is patient, supple, and insinuating, only resorting to extreme measures in cases of absolute necessity. Trade makes men independent of one another and gives them a high idea of their personal importance: it leads them to want to manage their own affairs and teaches them to succeed therein. Hence it makes them inclined to liberty but disinclined to revolution.
Alexis De Tocqueville
The more dubious and uncertain an instrument violence has become in international relations, the more it has gained in reputation and appeal in domestic affairs, specifically in the matter of revolution.
War has been the most convenient pseudo-solution for the problems of twentieth-century capitalism. It provides the incentives to modernization and technological revolution which the market and the pursuit of profit do only fitfully and by accident, it makes the unthinkable (such as votes for women and the abolition of unemployment) not merely thinkable but practicable. What is equally important, it can re-create communities of men and give a temporary sense to their lives by uniting them against foreigners and outsiders. This is an achievement beyond the power of the private enterprise economy when left to itself.
E. J. Hobsbawm
One non-revolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of permanent revolution.
No woman is really an insider in the institutions fathered by masculine consciousness. When we allow ourselves to believe we are, we lose touch with parts of ourselves defined as unacceptable by that consciousness; with the vital toughness and visionary strength of the angry grandmothers, the fierce market women of the Ibo’s Women’s War, the marriage-resisting women silk workers of pre-Revolutionary China, the millions of widows, midwives, and the women healers tortured and burned as witches for three centuries in Europe.
Industrial man –a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement.
It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is the rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution which destroys the machinery but the friction. Fear secretes acids; but love and trust are sweet juices
Henry Ward Beecher
And yet a little tumult, now and then, is an agreeable quickener of sensation; such as a revolution, a battle, or an adventure of any lively description.
We are the men of intrinsic value, who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government: we have heads to get money, and hearts to spend it.
I am thirty-three — the age of the good Sans-culotte Jesus; an age fatal to revolutionists.
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. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.
Alexis De Tocqueville
The consistent anarchist should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat. Some sort of council communism is the natural form of revolutionary socialism in an industrial society. It reflects the intuitive understanding that democracy is largely a sham when the industrial system is controlled by any form of autocratic elite, whether of owners, managers, and technocrats, a ”vanguard” party, or a State bureaucracy.
Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrations and revolutionists.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant.
There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause.
If sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities, it’s because they lead to the knowledge that you own your own body (and with it your own voice), and that’s the most revolutionary insight of all.
The death of a dear friend, wife, brother, lover, which seemed nothing but privation, somewhat later assumes the aspect of a guide or genius; for it commonly operates revolutions in our way of life, terminates an epoch of infancy or of youth which was waiting to be closed, breaks up a wonted occupation, or a household, or style of living, and allows the formation of new ones more friendly to the growth of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are books which take rank in your life with parents and lovers and passionate experiences, so medicinal, so stringent, so revolutionary, so authoritative.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Boredom is always counter-revolutionary. Always.
Every genuine boy is a rebel and an anarch. If he were allowed to develop according to his own instincts, his own inclinations, society would undergo such a radical transformation as to make the adult revolutionary cower and cringe.
Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. The crypto-businessman is the true revolutionary in a Communist country.
There is such a thing as a general revolution which changes the taste of men as it changes the fortunes of the world.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld
During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.
Bernard M. Baruch
The cities of the world are concentric, isomorphic, synchronic. Only one exists and you are always in the same one. It’s the effect of their permanent revolution, their intense circulation, their instantaneous magnetism.
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.
Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc.
If you cry ”Forward” you must be sure to make clear the direction in which to go. Don’t you see that if you fail to do that and simply call out the word to a monk and a revolutionary, they will go in precisely opposite directions?
Communication across the revolutionary divide is inevitably partial.
Thomas S. Kuhn
I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all for fear of being carried off their feet. The prospect really does frighten me that they may finally become so engrossed in a cowardly love of immediate pleasures that their interest in their own future and in that of their descendants may vanish, and that they will prefer tamely to follow the course of their destiny rather than make a sudden energetic effort necessary to set things right.
Alexis De Tocqueville
One of the best things to come out of the home computer revolution could be the general and widespread understanding of how severely limited logic really is.
If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — ”My Heart Laid Bare.” But — this little book must be true to its title.
Edgar Allan Poe
To sum up: 1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10, 000 revolutions a minute. 2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.
H. L. Mencken
What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.
The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.
A striking feature of moral and political argument in the modern world is the extent to which it is innovators, radicals, and revolutionaries who revive old doctrines, while their conservative and reactionary opponents are the inventors of new ones.
Alasdair Chalmers Macintyre
No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.
Facts are counterrevolutionary.
He felt with the force of a revelation that to throw up the clods of earth manfully is as beneficent as to revolutionize the world. It was not the matter of the work, but the mind that went into it, that counted — and the man who was not content to do small things well would leave great things undone.
Fascism was a counter-revolution against a revolution that never took place.
The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
As a result of the feminist revolution, ”feminine” becomes an abusive epithet.
There must be a world revolution which puts an end to all materialistic conditions hindering woman from performing her natural role in life and driving her to carry out man’s duties in order to be equal in rights.
Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi
When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward — or go back. He who now talks about the ”freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Wars and revolutions and battles are due simply and solely to the body and its desires. All wars are undertaken for the acquisition of wealth; and the reason why we have to acquire wealth is the body, because we are slaves in its service.
It’s not the work which kills people, it’s the worry. It’s not the revolution that destroys machinery it’s the friction.
Henry Ward Beecher
The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought.
Children demand that their heroes should be freckleless, and easily believe them so: perhaps a first discovery to the contrary is less revolutionary shock to a passionate child than the threatened downfall of habitual beliefs which makes the world seem to totter for us in maturer life.
To survive there, you need the ambition of a Latin-American revolutionary, the ego of a grand opera tenor, and the physical stamina of a cow pony.
Owning your own home is America’s unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home ”owners” deduct mortgage interest payments.
If men lived like men indeed, their houses would be temples — temples which we should hardly dare to injure, and in which it would make us holy to be permitted to live; and there must be a strange dissolution of natural affection, a strange unthankfulness for all that homes have given and parents taught, a strange consciousness that we have been unfaithful to our fathers honor, or that our own lives are not such as would make our dwellings sacred to our children, when each man would fain build to himself, and build for the little revolution of his own life only.
The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result.
Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon. Candide can do little more than generate irony.
Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It’s completely impossible. (2) It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along.
Arthur C. Clarke
Ideas are the factors that lift civilization. They create revolutions. There is more dynamite in an idea than in many bombs.
John H. Vincent
Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.
The Chinese pianist Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned for seven years during the Cultural Revolution, during which time he had no access to a piano. When he returned to giving concerts again after he was released, his playing was better than ever. Asked how this was possible since he had not practice for seven years, he replied: ”I did practice, every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind.”
If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.
We might hypothetically possess ourselves of every technological resource on the North American continent, but as long as our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be ”revolutionary” but not transformative.
To love without role, without power plays, is revolution.
Rita Mae Brown
We are now in the third stage of the industrial revolution. The first involved machines which extended human muscle; the second used machines to extend the human nervous system (radio, television, telephones); the third is now utilizing machines which extend the human mind-computers. About half of all service workers (43 percent of the labor force by 2000) will be involved in collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, structuring, storing, or retrieving information… By 1995, 80 percent of all management will be ”knowledge workers.”
If the sexual revolution has been a medical disaster, socially it has been a catastrophe. Why do the media not report and explore the tragic results of the sexual revolution? Because many are collaborators.
What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.
Postmodernism is among other things a sick joke at the expense of revolutionary avant-gardism.
To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary. When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual. Immigration officials did this to refugees; husbands routinely do it to wives.
Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism.
All orthodox opinion — that is, today, ”revolutionary” opinion either of the pure or the impure variety — is anti-man.
Who so desireth to know what will be hereafter, let him think of what is past, for the world hath ever been in a circular revolution; whatsoever is now, was heretofore; and things past or present, are no other than such as shall be again: Redit orbis in orbem.
Sir Walter Raleigh
Perfect works are rare, because they must be produced at the happy moment when taste and genius unite; and this rare conjuncture, like that of certain planets, appears to occur only after the revolution of several cycles, and only lasts for an instant.
Vicomte De Chateaubriand
Roughly speaking, any man with energy and enthusiasm ought to be able to bring at least a dozen others round to his opinion in the course of a year no matter how absurd that opinion might be. We see every day in politics, in business, in social life, large masses of people brought to embrace the most revolutionary ideas, sometimes within a few days. It is all a question of getting hold of them in the right way and working on their weak points.
The era of the political was one of anomie: crisis, violence, madness and revolution. The era of the trans-political is that of anomaly: an aberration of no consequence, contemporaneous with the event of no consequence.
Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.
Orison Swett Marden
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
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.
Constant revolutionizing of production distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
Like other revolutionaries I can thank God for the reactionaries. They clarify the issue.
Robin G. Collingwood
It was not reason that besieged Troy; it was not reason that sent forth the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world; that inspired the crusades; that instituted the monastic orders; it was not reason that produced the Jesuits; above all, it was not reason that created the French Revolution. Man is only great when he acts from the passions; never irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination.
Insurrection. An unsuccessful revolution; disaffection’s failure to substitute misrule for bad government.
The consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them. Thus the American Revolution, from which little was expected, produced much; but the French Revolution, from which much was expected, produced little.
Charles Caleb Colton
We had no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the fireside, and all our migrations from the blue bed to the brown.
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.
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
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.
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake.
Thinkers prepare the revolution and bandits carry it out.
Revolution begins with the self, in the self.
Toni Cade Bambara
Revolution is an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
So they united, and the Communist revolution took the chain from their legs and wound it around their necks.
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.
Henry Thomas Buckle
Every revolutionary ends up by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic.
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.
Revolution, in order to be creative, cannot do without either a moral or metaphysical rule to balance the insanity of history.
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.
A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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.
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.
Clemency is also a revolutionary measure.
I have been ever of opinion that revolutions are not to be evaded.
Normal life cannot sustain revolutionary attitudes for long.
Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be a revolutionary you have to be human being. You have to care about people who have no power.
The worst of revolutions is a restoration.
Charles James Fox