Francois Pierre Guizot Quote

“The spirit of revolution, the spirit of insurrection, is a spirit radically opposed to liberty.”

~ Francois Pierre Guizot

Speech, 29 December 1930

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

He must have been talking about a "Communist" revolution.

cal, lewisville, tx

I'd say he was speaking of the French Revolution. They rid themselves of a king, but gained a self crowned emperor.

Mike, Norwalk

The spirit of revolution and insurrection can be radically opposed to liberty or, just the end result of liberty oppressed.

Justin, Elkland

The temerity of our rulers has yet to be bounded.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Revolution ≠ Liberty. Or, rather, this is to say that not all revolutions lead to liberty. On the same note we can also say that Absolute Freedom ≠ Anarchy. Liberty is an inherent right, unalienable at birth. Governments (society and its conventions) have universally trampled on these rights, yet this does not alter or diminish the right to/of liberty. It has been said that "liberty does not rob order, and order does not mock liberty", and reason argues that this must be so. Revolution, however, is becoming any citizen not protected in his/her inherent and unalienable rights.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    2/15/11
Ron, Salem

1Corin 7:21 Art thou called being a sevant ? Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. The Rock.

  • Reply
    Publius    2/17/11

    Keep going Ron. "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men." 1Corin 7:23

    Jack, Brussels (but I'm British)

    He would have said this in 1830, not 1930. If so, he was referring to that year's July Revolution where the old Bourbon monarchy restored in 1815 was replaced with the Orleanist monarchy (a cadet branch of the Bourbons but more liberal - e.g. they accepted the tricolour). The revolution itself was driven by the Parisian mob and was guided by extreme radical proto-socialist republicans. The Orleanists managed to seize the leadership and introduce a liberal (in the 19th century use of the term) regime which lasted until the Revolution of 1848. Guizot went on to become prime minister for several years. A great historian of his time, Guizot became known when he responded to those who claimed that the property qualification for voting rights was too high by saying "Enrich yourselves by work, saving and probity" ("Enrichissez-vous par le travail, par l'pargne et par la probit"). His opponents cut this down to "Enrich yourselves" and argued that Guizot and his Orleanist colleagues were only interested in shallow money-grubbing. Guizot's reputation has never quite recovered.

    Legalize Freedom, Sarasota

    I'm assuming there was a typo in the purported year of the speech including this quote, otherwise the former Premier of France would have given it more than 50 years after he died. The power of the spirit is energy that, like any other tool, can be used to either beneficial or destructive ends. The spirit of revolution is, without further qualification, nothing more than the spirit of destruction, since it justifies itself by its hatred. Those that tout revolution for its own sake seek to whip up blind public emotion so that they can direct it to their own ends, which history has shown to be personal power in a totalitarian state. If there is a rational cause that unites the people in a just pursuit of redress, then the spirit of revolution is fuel for the cause, and therefore not destructive. However, it's not surprising that Guizot, like any member of the ruling class seeking to retain his position of power, would rail against an energy that could be used to deprive him of it.


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