Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The Revolution must take place in men before it can be manifest in things." - French Student Revolt Graffiti NULL

"For most Americans the sexual revolution was not a vast national orgy of swingers. There was never widespread approval of adultery or promiscuity. The revolution - evolution is a better word - appeared rather as a massive questioning of the double standard and the sexual constraints we grew up with." - Ellen Goodman

"Whether a revolution succeeds or miscarries, men of great hearts will always be its victims." - Heinrich Heine

"Revolution is the larva of civilization." - Victor Hugo

"The great revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." - William James

"The great revolution is stillness." -

"It was left for the Germans to bring about a revolution of a kind never seen before: [the Nazi] revolution, devoid of ideas... and opposed to everything that is higher, better and decent; opposed to liberty, truth, and justice." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis in a time of revolution is virtue and terror - virtue, without which terror would be barbaric; and terror, without which virtue would be impotent." -

"The time which passes over our heads so imperceptibly makes the same gradual change in habits, manners and character as in personal appearance. At the revolution of every five years we find ourselves another and yet the same - there is a change of views and no less of the light in which we regard them; a change of motives as well as of action." -

"There is something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it. This seems, indeed, to be contradictory, that loftiness should debase and lowliness exalt. But pious humility enables us to submit to what is above us; and nothing is more exalted above us than God; and therefore humility, by making us subject to God, exalts us. But pride, being a defect of nature, by the very act of refusing subjection and revolution from Him who is supreme, falls to a low condition." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Thinkers prepare the revolution; bandits carry it out." - Mariano Azuela, fully Mariano Azuela González

"I've always thought that the power of any country is the sum of the total of its individuals. Each individual rich with ideas, with concepts, rich with his own revolution." -

"A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"There can be revolution only where there is a conscience." - French Student Revolt Graffiti NULL

"A non-violent revolution is not a program of seizure of power. It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power." -

"Life and death are but phases of the same thing, the reverse and obverse of the same coin... I want you all to treasure death and suffering more than life and to appreciate their cleansing and purifying character. Death which is an Eternal verity is revolution, as birth and after is slow and steady evolution. Death is as necessary for man's growth as life itself... All fear is a sign of want of faith... Hate the sin and love the sinner." -

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution." -

"Too long denial of guaranteed right is sure to lead to revolution - bloody revolution, where suffering must fall upon the innocent as well as the guilty." - Ulysses S. Grant, fully Ulysses Simpson Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant

"We are the standard-bearers in the only really authentic revolution, the democratic revolution against tyrannies. Our strength is not to be measured by our military capacity alone, by our industry, or by our technology. We will be remembered, not for the power of our weapons, but for the power of our compassion, our dedication to human welfare." - Hubert Humphrey, fully Hubert Horatio Humphrey

"Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad... freedom of religion, freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus; and trials by juries impartially selected, these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation." - Thomas Jefferson

"A revolution requires of its leaders a record of unbroken infallibility; if they do not possess it, they are expected to invent it." - Murray Kempton, fully James Murray Kempton

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"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." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"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." - R. D. Laing, fully Ronald David Laing

"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." - Nikolai Lenin, aka Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, born Vladimir llyich Ulyanov

"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." - John Locke

"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." - Kelly Miller

"Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"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." - Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti NULL

"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!"" - Edgar Monsanto Queeny

"Nothing has ever remained of any revolution but what was ripe in the conscience of the masses." - Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, fully Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin

"Revolution is a transfer of property from class to class." - Leon Samson

"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." - Herbert Wallace Schneider

"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." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"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." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"Any revolution which denies the right to criticize is bound to wallow in stagnation and backwardness." - Pablo Antonio Cuadra

"All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution." - Havelock Ellis, fully Henry Havelock Ellis

"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." - Stephen A. Erickson

"Could it be that liberation, not knowledge, is the true end purpose of human life and even its meaning? And might this liberation be achieved through non-rational means: power, sexuality, revolution, resignation, creativity, compassion, or solidarity? If this predicament is not so much ignorance (of something) as bondage (to something), what must we be liberated from, and what are we therefore liberated for?" - Stephen A. Erickson

"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." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Revolution is the festival of the oppressed." - Germaine Greer

"It’s the occasion that makes the revolution." - Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

"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." - Bob Marley

"The revolution begins at home." - Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua

"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." - Jayaprakash Narayan, known as JP Narayan, Jayaprakash or Loknayak

"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." - Maximilien Robespierre, fully Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre

"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." - Zou Rong