A revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. And you, sitting around here like a knot on the wall, saying, "I'm going to love these folks no matter how much they hate me." No, you need a revolution. Whoever heard of a revolution where they lock arms, as Reverend Cleage was pointing out beautifully, singing "We Shall Overcome"? Just tell me. You don't do that in a revolution. You don't do any singing; you're too busy swinging.
A revolution is bloody, but America is in a unique position. She's the only country in history in a position actually to become involved in a bloodless revolution. The Russian revolution was bloody, Chinese revolution was bloody, French revolution was bloody, Cuban revolution was bloody, and there was nothing more bloody then the American Revolution. But today this country can become involved in a revolution that won't take bloodshed. All she's got to do is give the black man in this country everything that's due him, everything.
The white man knows what a revolution is. He knows that the Black Revolution is worldwide in scope and in nature. The Black Revolution is sweeping Asia, is sweeping Africa, is rearing its head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution - that's a revolution. They overturned the system. Revolution is in Asia, revolution is in Africa, and the white man is screaming because he sees revolution in Latin America. How do you think he'll react to you when you learn what a real revolution is?
First, what is a revolution? Sometimes I'm inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word "revolution" loosely, without taking careful consideration [of] what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are. When you study the historic nature of revolutions, the motive of a revolution, the objective of a revolution, and the result of a revolution, and the methods used in a revolution, you may change words. You may devise another program. You may change your goal and you may change your mind.
As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.
The revolution goes on; a man does not make the revolution, not a thousand men, not an army and not a party; the revolution comes from the people as they reach toward God, and a little of God is in each person and each will not forget it. This it is the revolution when slaves shake their chains and the revolution when a strong man bends toward a weaker and says, "Here, comrade, is my arm." The revolution goes on and nothing stops it; but because the people are seeking what is good, not what is wicked or powerful or cruel or rich or venal, but simply what is good-because of that the people flounder and feel along one dark road after another. The people no more all-seeing than their rulers once were; it is in intention that they differ.
A government must rule by the Grace of God or by the will of the people, it must believe in authority or in the Revolution; on these issues compromise is possible only in semblance, and only for a time. The Revolution, like the disbelief which has always accompanied it, cannot be stopped halfway; it is a force that, once awakened, will not rest until it ends in a totalitarian Kingdom of this world. The history of the last two centuries has proved nothing if not this. To appease the Revolution and offer it concessions, as Liberals have always done, thereby showing that they have no truth with which to oppose it, is perhaps to postpone, but not to prevent, the attainment of its end. And to oppose the radical Revolution with a Revolution of one's own, whether it be "conservative, " " non-violent, " or "spiritual, " is not merely to reveal ignorance of the full scope and nature of the Revolution of our time, but to concede as well the first principle of that Revolution: that the old truth is no longer true, and a new truth must take its place.
A political revolution must proceed simultaneously with the nationalist revolution. When we overthrow the Manchu regime, we will achieve not only a nationalist revolution against the Manchus but also a political revolution against monarchy. They are not to be carried out at two different times.
Revolution is only truly 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.
We Marxists believe that a revolution will also take place in other countries. But it will take place only when the revolutionaries in those countries think it possible, or necessary. The export of revolution is nonsense. Every country will make its own revolution if it wants to, and if it does not want to, there will be no revolution.
In comparison to the French Revolution, the American Revolution has come to seem a parochial and rather dull event. This, despitethe fact that the American Revolution was successful--realizing the purposes of the revolutionaries and establishing a durable political regime--while the French Revolution was a resounding failure, devouring its own children and leading to an imperial despotism, followed by an eventual restoration of the monarchy.
We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society founded upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation: our hope of evolution. The Revolution is in the individual spirit, or it is nowhere. It is for all, or it is nothing. If it is seen as having any end, it will never truly begin.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Even revolution, which transforms a concrete situation of oppression by establishing the process of liberation, must confront this phenomenon. Many of the oppressed who directly or indirectly participate in revolution intend - conditioned by the myths of the old order - to make it their private revolution. The shadow of their former oppressor is still cast over them.
The Salafists are trying to abort the revolution and make it religious, though the revolution started secular. There was not a single Islamic slogan. It was secular men and women, and in fact, they were unified. Now they want to divide the revolution, and religion is a very strong weapon.
Nawal El Saadawi
A revolution is not a dinner party, nor a literary composition, nor painting nor embroidering. It cannot be done so delicately, so leisurely, so gentlemanly and gently, kindly, politely and modestly. Revolution is insurrection, the violent action of one class overthrowing the power of another. An agrarian revolution is a revolution by the peasantry to overthrow the power of the feudal landlord class. If the peasants do not apply great force, the power of the landlords, built up over thousands of years, can never be uprooted.
I am fascinated by revolution. I am completely absorbed by it. I am crazed, am obsessed by the romanticism... . Revolution surges, flashes, thunders in almost every corner of the earth... . Brothers and sisters, keep fanning the flames of the leaping fire. ... Let us become logs to feed the flames of revolution.
I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real.
We think of 1789 as the date of the French Revolution, and the storming of the Bastille as its defining event. Yet as late as halfway through 1792, most of the familiar images of the revolution had yet to occur. Louis XVI was still king, and the Assembly was negotiating a new constitutional arrangement for the monarchy, not so different from Britain's Glorious Revolution of 1688.
We've seen the transformation of America, when at the pinnacle of its Christianity was probably in the 1950s. Ever since then it has been declining, why? Because of the sexual revolution. Where did the sexual revolution come from? The sexual revolution came from the activists of the American gay movement.
The degeneration of the revolution in Russia does not pass from the revolution for communism to the revolution for a developed kind of capitalism, but to a pure capitalist revo lution. It runs in parallel with world-wide capitalist domination which, by successive steps, eliminates old feudal and Asiatic forms in various zones. While the historical situation in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries caused the capitalist revolution to take liberal forms, in the twentieth century it must have totalitarian and bureaucratic ones.
A revolution is coming - a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough - but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability. [Report to the United States Senate on his trip to Latin America and the Alliance for Progress, May 9-10 1966]
Robert F. Kennedy
You don't wanna know the sinner. You don't wanna know the killer. Because it's you. Television is stalling evolution. Medication is stalling evolution. Evolution is stalling revolution. Evolution, revolution. Collaboration, the start of revolution. My decision, the start of revolution. Revolution, the start of evolution. Revolution, evolution.
We have come a long way in America because of Martin Luther King, Jr. He led a disciplined, nonviolent revolution under the rule of law, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. We've come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself.
But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? 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.
Taken as a whole, the Chinese revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party embraces the two stages, i.e., the democratic and the socialist revolutions, which are two essentially different revolutionary processes, and the second process can be carried through only after the first has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. The ultimate aim for which all communists strive is to bring about a socialist and communist society.
There is not a revolution that succeeded in a few months. It takes years, even decades, to fulfill its goals. I am very hopeful because I trust the revolution and feel nobody can really conquer a nation that has decided to be united and to fight, and we decided to fight. The revolution is there, inside the Egyptians by the millions.
Nawal El Saadawi
Human rights did not begin with the French Revolution...[they] really stem from a mixture of Judaism and Christianity...[we English] had 1688, our quiet revolution, where Parliament exerted its will over the King...it was not the sort of Revolution that France's was...'Liberty, equality, fraternity' - they forgot obligations and duties I think. And then of course the fraternity went missing for a long time.
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.
Revolution was the great nightmare of eighteenth-century British society, and when first the American Revolution of 1776, then the French Revolution of 1789 overturned the accepted order, the United Kingdom exercised all its power so that revolution would not damage its own hardwon security and growing prosperity. Eighteenth-century writing is full of pride in England as the land of liberty (far ahead of France, the great rival, in political maturity), and saw a corresponding growth in national self-confidence accompanying the expansion of empire.
We have become the new american slaves: but there is a revolution coming. It is a revolution of individual liberty. It will free us without violence. It will begin with the self. It will spread to the workplace. It will turn our corporate masters into our servants. It will free us of government's tyranny. The revolution will spread to all corners of the nation, and at last, we shall be free.
Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature. In a society accustomed to dominating or 'improving' nature, this respectful imitation is a radically new approach, a revolution really. Unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Biomimicry Revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her.
There are those, on the one hand, who hope to achieve the social revolution through the State by preserving and even extending most of its powers to be used for the revolution. And there are those like ourselves who see the State, both in its present form, in its very essence, and in whatever guise it might appear, an obstacle to the social revolution, the greatest hindrance to the birth of a society based on equality and liberty, as well as the historic means designed to prevent this blossoming.
Revolution is everywhere, in everything. It is infinite. There is no final revolution, no final number. The social revolution is only one of an infinite number of numbers: the law of revolution is not a social law, but an immeasurably greater one. It is a cosmic, universal law - like the laws of the conservation of energy and of the dissipation of energy (entropy).
Except for the small revolutionary groups which exist in all countries, the whole world was determined upon preventing revolution in Spain. In particular the Communist Party, with Soviet Russia behind it, had thrown its whole weight against the revolution. It was the Communist thesis that revolution at this stage would be fatal and that what was to be aimed at in Spain was not workers' control, but bourgeois democracy. It hardly needs pointing out why 'liberal' capitalist opinion took the same line.
The enormous social change involved in a sexual revolution is basically a matter of altered consciousness, the exposure and elimination of social and psychological realities underlying political and cultural structures. We are speaking, then, of a cultural revolution, which, while it must necessarily involve the political and economic reorganization traditionally implied by the term revolution, must go far beyond this as well.
For the information of these 'friends' who consider themselves called to defend against us the role of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution, we give warning that our book teaches not how to love a victorious revolution after the event, in the person of the bureaucracy it has brought forward, but only how a revolution is prepared, how it develops, and how it conquers. A party is not for us a machine whose sinlessness is to be defended by state measures of repression, but a complicated organism that like all living things develops in contradictions.
The hide was being flayed off the still living body of the Revolution so that a new age could slip in to it; as for the red bloody meat, the steaming innards - they were being thrown onto the scrapheap. The new age needed only the hide of the Revolution - and this was being flayed off people who were still alive. Those who slipped into it spoke the language of the Revolution and mimicked it's gestures, but their brains, lungs, livers and eyes were utterly different.
But above all, what this Congress can be remembered for is opening the way to a new American revolutiona peaceful revolution in which power was turned back to the peoplein which government at all levels was refreshed and renewed and made truly responsive. This can be a revolution as profound, as far-reaching, as exciting as that first revolution almost 200 years agoand it can mean that just 5 years from now America will enter its third century as a young nation new in spirit, with all the vigor and the freshness with which it began its first century.
Richard M. Nixon
It's a revolution. But it's the sort of revolution that no one will notice. It might get a little shadier. Buildings might function better. You might have less money to earn because your food is all around you and you don't have any energy costs. Giant amounts of money might be freed up in society so that we can provide for ourselves better... So it's a revolution. But permaculture is anti-political. There is no room for politicians or administrators or priests. And there are no laws either. The only ethics we obey are: care of the earth, care of people, and reinvestment in those ends.
Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.
The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Ok I'm not so smart I'm working class. But it's the working class that keeps the world running and it's the working class that get exploited. What kind revolution is it that just throws out big words that working class people can't understand. Revolution or not the working class will just keep on scraping a living in the same old shitholes I'm not going to believe in any damned revolution. Love is all I'm going to believe in. - Midori