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AristotleInferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

NapoleonVariety made the Revolution. Liberty was just a pretext.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

George Bernard ShawThe reformer for whom the world is not good enough finds himself shoulder to shoulder with him that is not good enough for the world.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

NapoleonA revolution is an idea, taken up by bayonets.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Karl MarxThe proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.

—  Karl Marx, 1818-1883, German philosopher

Ambrose BierceRevolution: In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

—  Ambrose Bierce, 1842–1914, American writer

Vladimir LeninIt is in prison … that one becomes a real revolutionary.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

George OrwellIn a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

George OrwellOne does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

Eugene IonescoI am convinced that the riots and student disorders must be linked to a biological need.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright

TalleyrandWhoever did not live in the years neighboring 1789 does not know what the pleasure of living means.

—  Talleyrand, 1754-1838, French statesman & diplomat

Eric HofferIt is not actual suffering but a taste of better things which excites people to revolt.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

H.L. MenckenEvery normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Eric HofferA heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

John KennedyThose who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

JuvenalGive them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.

—  Juvenal, 1st-2nd cent. AD, Roman satiric poet

Albert CamusI rebel — therefore we exist.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

Thomas PaineWhen all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect.

—  Thomas Paine, 1737-1809, English-American writer

Martin Luther KingFreedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther KingA riot is the language of the unheard.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Jean CocteauThe purity of a revolution can last a fortnight.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Victor HugoThe French Revolution was the most important step for mankind since the advent of Jesus Christ.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

Thomas JeffersonI hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

—  Thomas Jefferson, 1749-1826, American President [1801-1809]

Vladimir LeninYou cannot make a revolution in white gloves.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Vladimir LeninWithout Revolutionary theory, there can be no Revolutionary Movement.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Fernando PessoaEvery gesture is a revolutionary act.

—  Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935, Portuguese poet & writer

Will DurantThe only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionaries are philosophers and saints.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Stupid Quotes

Luis XVIAnother day without something worth mentioning.

—  Luis XVI, 1754-1793, King of France [1774-1792]

     (an entry in his diary on the first day of the French Revolution, 1789)


Special Quotes

¡Ya Basta!

Enough is enough!

—  Motto of various Latin American insurgent groups, incl. Zapatistas in Mexico

Movie Quotes

The Wild One (1953)- “Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?<”
- “Whaddya got?”

—  from the film The Wild One (1953)

Bananas (1971)- When is the revolution?
- Six months.
- Six months? I have a rented car!

—  from the film Bananas (1971)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou