Revolution

A revolution requires of its leaders a record of unbroken infallibility; if they do not possess it, they are expected to invent it.

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

We live in a hemisphere whose own revolution has given birth to the most powerful force of the modern age - the search for the freedom and self-fulfillment of man.

When the Copernican Revolution superseded the ancient Polemic world view, the earth took its rightful place as one planet among many. Man was no longer the center of the universe and though his self-image was deflated, he grew in maturity. In the same way, we must take our rightful place in nature - not as its self-centered and profligate "master" with the divine right of kings to exploit and despoil, but as one species living in harmony with the whole.

The great revolution is stillness.

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.

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.

Salvation and justice are not to be found in revolution, but in evolution through concord. Violence has ever achieved only destruction, not construction; the kindling of passions, not their pacification; the accumulation of hate and destruction, not the reconciliation of the contending parties; and it has reduced men and parties to the difficult task of building slowly after sad experience on the ruins of discord.

The uprisings of 1789 cost Louis XVI some prerogatives, but four years later a valueless currency cost him his head. German's inflation of the 1920's laid the foundation upon which Hitler built. Indeed, a runaway inflation is the goal of revolutionists. The maxim of that apostle of revolution, Lenin, was "Debauch the currency!"

Nothing has ever remained of any revolution but what was ripe in the conscience of the masses.

Revolution is a transfer of property from class to class.

When the American poor turn to religion, as most of them do, they turn not to faith in revolution, but to a more radical revolt against faith in their fellow man.

Eager and apprehensive men of small property constitute the class that is constantly increased by the equality of conditions. Hence in democratic communities the majority of the people do not clearly see what they have to gain by a revolution, but they continually and in a thousand ways feel that they might lose by one.

In times of revolution, people boast almost as much about the imaginary crimes they propose to commit as, in normal times, they do of the good intentions they pretend to entertain.

Any revolution which denies the right to criticize is bound to wallow in stagnation and backwardness.

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

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.