Where this will end? In the Abyss, one may prophecy; whither all Delusions are, at all moments, traveling; where this Delusion has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven’s Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.

Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
The French Revolution: A History, Part 1, Book 6, ch. 3 (1.6.3) (1837)

Carlyle is speaking of the delusion that the wealthy and land-owners of pre-Revolutionary France could forever oppress their tenants with taxes and rent without finally driving them to bloody revolution.

A core phrase here was latched onto by Martin Luther King, Jr., who incorporated it as standard fare in his speeches in the mid- and late 1960s.

We shall overcome, because Carlyle is right, "No lie can live forever."
[Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4]

Added on 4-Apr-24 | Last updated 4-Apr-24
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