Help identify this quote about revolutions!
March 22, 2011 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone ID this quote I vaguely remember? It's something along the lines of - The mysterious thing about revolutions isn't why they happen, but why they don't happen more often. I almost definitely have the wording wrong. My google-fu is weak. Hobsbawm? Zinn? Someone help!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model to Writing & Language (3 answers total)
I think the quote's actually about tragedies, and why we "allow them to happen."

The above article is not the source of the original meme, but I'm pretty sure I remember hearing some dude with a british accent saying it about tragic occurrences reported in the news.
posted by Jon_Evil at 3:24 PM on March 22, 2011

Best answer: It's a Woody Allen joke, famously in "Hannah And Her Sisters" (though I could swear I once knew of an earlier invocation):
Frederick: You missed a very dull TV show on Auschwitz. More gruesome film clips, and more puzzled intellectuals declaring their mystification over the systematic murder of millions. The reason they can never answer the question "How could it possibly happen?" is that it's the wrong question. Given what people are, the question is "Why doesn't it happen more often?"
posted by rhizome at 4:27 PM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Are you thinking of Thomas Kuhn, "Structure of Scientific Revolutions?"
posted by effluvia at 4:48 PM on March 22, 2011

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