Even if for every hundred correct things we did we committed ten thousand mistakes, our revolution would still be - and it will be in the judgment of history - great and invincible; for this is the first time that not a minority, not the rich alone, not the educated alone, but the real masses, the overwhelming majority of the working people are themselves building a new life and are by their own experience solving the most difficult problems of socialist organization.
If there remains an eternity to us after the short revolution of time we so swiftly run over here, ‘tis clear that all the happiness that can be imagined in this fleeting state is not valuable in respect of the future.
We deplore the outrages which accompany revolutions. But the more violent the outrages, the more assured we feel that a revolution was necessary.
When reform becomes impossible, revolution becomes imperative.
Nothing has ever remained of any revolution but what was ripe in the conscience of the masses.
Any revolution which denies the right to criticize is bound to wallow in stagnation and backwardness.
A grand meta-narrative is a story of the development and purpose of human history in which we as individual can find a place and play a role. Four basic meta-narratives: (1) Platonic Christian is the idea of life as a journey to another unchanging realm. (2) Hegel’s view that history is the unfolding of the consciousness of God. (3) Marx’s notion of another revolution ushering in a new era. (4) Nietzsche’s idea that there is no “beyond” and that the only meaning comes through creative activities through which we shape a life for ourselves.
A nonviolent revolution is not a program of “seizure of power.” It is a program of transformation of relationships ending in a peaceful transfer of power.
Revolution is always based on land. Revolution is never based on begging somebody for an integrated cup of coffee.
It takes a revolution to make a solution.
The revolution begins at home.
A violent revolution has always brought forth a dictatorship of some kind or another… After revolution, a new privileged class of rulers and exploiters grows up in the course of time to which the people at large is once again subject.
If virtue be the spring of popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is the only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.
Revolution is a universal rule of evolution. Revolution is a universal principle of the world. Revolution is the essence of the struggle for survival or destruction in a time of transition… Revolution turns slaves into masters.
Revolution is only true revolution if it is a continuous struggle – not just an external struggle against an enemy, but an inner struggle, fighting and subduing all negative aspects which hinder or do damage to the course of the revolution. In this light, revolution is… a mighty symphony of victory over the enemy and over oneself.
If a man has lived in a tradition which tells him that nothing can be done about his human condition, to believe that progress is possible may be the greatest revolution of all.
Revolution is a bitter thing, mixed with filth and blood, not as lovely or perfect as the poets think. It is eminently down to earth, involving many humble, tiresome tasks, not so romantic as the poets think… So it is easy for all who have romantic dreams about revolution to become disillusioned on closer acquaintance, when a revolution is actually carried out.
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.
We believe that the most basic of all changes in human social organization have been the result of three processes. Starting 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, agriculture was invented in the Middle East – probably by a woman. That’s the First Wave. Roughly 250 years ago, the Industrial Revolution triggered a Second Wave of change. Brute-force technologies amplified human and animal muscle power and gave rise to an urban, factory-centered way of life. Sometime after World War II, a gigantic Third Wave began transforming the planet, based on tools that amplify mind rather than muscle. The Third Wave is bigger, deeper and faster than the other two. This is the civilization of the computer, the satellite and Internet.
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.