I'm not surprised that I'm not the only one who immediately thought of the following quotation with regard to all the protests in North Africa:
"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
-- attributed to Victor Hugo
Take a look at this:
“Victor Hugo once wrote: ‘No one can resist an idea whose time has come’...The times when Arab rulers could treat their people like naughty children are over.”
-- Ismail Serageldin, director of The Library of Alexandria in Egypt and one of the country’s leading intellectuals
This one, too:
“In Egypt we are witnessing the 24/7 validation of Victor Hugo's observation in the 1800s that ‘more powerful than the March of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.’ More importantly, we are witnessing the universal power of the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. – their commitment to non-violent civil disobedience as an instrument to successfully effect fundamental political change to peacefully achieve participatory democracy.”
-- Clarence B. Jones, scholar-in-residence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University
I found them right here.