Nothing will make me change my principles. Even with the knife at my neck I shall still declare, up to this day, the poor have done everything; it is time for the rich to take their turn... The selfish people, the young idlers, must be made useful, whether they like it or not, and some respite be procured for the useful and respectable worker.— Jean-Paul Marat
Attractive French Revolution quotations
My principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.
It is the height of stupidity to claim that men who for a thousand years have had the power to berate us, to fleece us and to oppress us with impunity, will now agree, with good grace, to be our equals.
The rich are only defeated when running for their lives.
In a few days, I will have them all guillotined in Paris.
One must never compromise with tyrants.
One can only strike at kings through the head. Nothing can be expected from European kings except by force of arms. I vote for the death of the tyrant.
The revolution is the war of liberty against its enemies.
The constitution is the rule of liberty against its enemies. The constitution is the rule of liberty when victorious and peaceable.
The ministers and the Jacobins are making the king declare war tomorrow on Austria. The ministers are hoping that this move will frighten the Austrians and that within three weeks we will be negotiating (God forbid that this should happen). May we at last be avenged for all the outrages we have suffered from this country!
[We need] someone bold, to put himself at the head of the disaffected and rally them against the oppressor. Some great character who could captivate the people... someone wise who could direct the actions of an unbridled and floating multitude.
I shall die in the belief that to make France free, republican and prosperous, a little ink would have sufficed - and only one guillotine.
The British are supposed to be particularly averse to intellectuals, a prejudice closely bound up with their dislike of foreigners. Indeed, one important source of this Anglo-Saxon distaste for highbrows and eggheads was the French revolution, which was seen as an attempt to reconstruct society on the basis of abstract rational principles.
How could liberty ever establish itself amongst us? Apart from a few tragic scenes, the revolution has been nothing but a web of farcical scenes.
I trust we shall never be reduced to the painful extremity of seeking the aid of Mirabeau.
What is this much repeated phrase 'active citizen' supposed to mean? The active citizens are the ones who took the Bastille.
The King did not summon the Estates because he needed them, but out of his own pleasure.
I have left my balls to Robespierre and my legs to Couthon.
That should help the Committee of Public Safety for a while.
When one meddles with the direction of a revolution, the problem is not how to make it go but how to keep it under control.
The disorganisers are those who want to level everything: property, comforts, the price of commodities, the various services rendered to the State... who want the workmen in the camp to receive the salary of the legislator... who want to level even talents, knowledge, the virtues, because they themselves have none of these things.
You [Robespierre] will follow us soon.
Your house will be beaten down and salt sown in the place where it stood.
In all their wars against the French they [the Americans] never showed such conduct, attention and perseverance as they do now.
For the average person, all problems date to World War II;
for the more informed, to World War I; for the genuine historian, to the French Revolution.
The French revolution taught us the rights of man.
The envious are not satisfied with equality;
they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge. In the French Revolution of 1848, a woman coal-heaver is said to have remarked to a richly dressed lady: 'Yes, madam, everything's going to be equal now; I shall go in silks and you'll carry coal.'
I shall make it my chief business to see that the [royal] executive power has its place in the constitution.
The French Revolution is the ultimate modernist statement.
Destroy everything. Don't build on the past. There is no past.
We need the real, nation-wide terror which reinvigorates the country and through which the Great French Revolution achieved glory.
The consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them. Thus the American Revolution, from which little was expected, produced much; but the French Revolution, from which much was expected, produced little.
No secular state ever existed and none would exist until the end of the French Revolution, and so we understand that America was built on the Judeo-Christian ethic and we believe that this nominee is going to see to it that those truths are upheld.
In fact, after having abolished the monarchy, the best of all governments, [the French Revolution] had transferred all the public power to the people - the people... ever easy to deceive and to lead into every excess
Terror is only justice: prompt, severe and inflexible. It is then an emanation of virtue.
...the French Revolution gave rise to ideas which led beyond the ideas of the entire old world order. The revolutionary movement which began in 1789... gave rise to the communist idea which Babeuf's friend Buonarroti re-introduced in France after the Revolution of 1830. This idea, consistently developed, is the idea of the new world order.
History is a Rorschach test, people. What you see when you look at it tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past.
The international proletariat first appeared on the scene in the early Thirties of the nineteenth century, and its first great action was the French Revolution of 1848.
This kind of painting with its large frames is a bourgeois drawing-room art.
It is an art dealer's art-and that came in after the civil wars following the French Revolution.
Monarchy is an outrage which even the blind of an entire people cannot justify.
.. all men hold from nature the secret mission to destroy wherever it my be found. No man can reign innocently. The folly is too evident. Every king is a rebel and a usurper. Do kings themselves treat otherwise those who seek to usurp their authority?