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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2012

6 - On revolution

Summary

From the word revolution we have formed the word revolutionary; and this word denotes, in general terms, everything to do with a revolution.

But the word has been made specifically for our revolution; for a revolution which, having occurred in one of those countries which has suffered longer than others under despotic rule, has created within a few years the only republic where freedom has ever been based on the complete equality of rights. Thus, the word revolutionary applies only to those revolutions whose purpose is freedom.

You can say that a man is a revolutionary, that is to say, that he is committed to the principles of the revolution, that he acts for it, that he is prepared to sacrii ce his life to support it.

A revolutionary spirit is a spirit capable of initiating and directing a revolution declared in the name of freedom.

A revolutionary law is a law intended to sustain the revolution and accelerate or manage its progress.

A revolutionary measure is a measure which can ensure the success of the revolution.

So what this all means is that these laws, these measures, are not among those suited to a peaceful society; their characteristic feature is that they are only appropriate in times of revolution, but useless and unjust in other times.

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Condorcet: Political Writings
  • Online ISBN: 9781139108119
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139108119
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