Revolutions are not made by men in spectacles.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1871

The only justification of rebellion is success.

—Thomas B. Reed, 1878

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

—Benjamin Franklin, 1776

All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the state.

—Albert Camus, 1951

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

—John F. Kennedy, 1962

Revolutions are not about trifles, but they are produced by trifles. 

—Aristotle, c. 350 BC

The main object of a revolution is the liberation of man, not the interpretation and application of some transcendental ideology.

—Jean Genet, 1983

Those who give the first shock to a state are the first overwhelmed in its ruin; the fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by him who was the first mover; he only beats the water for another’s net.


—Michel de Montaigne, 1580

Revolutionaries are greater sticklers for formality than conservatives.

—Italo Calvino, 1957

And then, sir, there is this consideration: that if the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up and, claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.

—Samuel Johnson, 1791

Revolutions never go backward.

—Thomas Skidmore, 1829

In revolutions men fall and rise. Long before this war is over, much as you hear me praised now, you may hear me cursed and insulted.

—William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864

Rebellion is no less a sin than divination.

—Book of Samuel, c. 550 BC