More Quotes You’re Probably Getting Wrong

It’s time for another edition of Historical Misquotes, where we take a look at some of the most famous utterances of all time and see if they were really said by the people generally thought to have said them. The first two volumes focused on military leaders and heads of state. This time, I want to examine quotes that are often wrongly attributed to writers and artists. Some were said by other people, some were taken out of context and some have origins that are lost to history. And all are flying around social media being wrongly attributed.

“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis

This quote is usually mentioned in connection with his 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here, but there’s no evidence Lewis ever said or wrote it, and it’s not in any of his published works. It’s also been attributed to former Louisiana governor Huey Long, but there’s no evidence he said it, either. Numerous variations on quotes equating religion and fascism popped up in the 30’s and 40’s, including two from Lewis books, and another from an anonymous New York Times story. But who actually put those words together in that sentence remains a mystery.

No.

No.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell

This is a tidy summary of the themes underlying much of Orwell’s work, but it doesn’t actually appear in any of it. Instead, it seems to have originated long after Orwell’s death, in a 1993 Washington Times article by film critic Richard Grenier. There are variations on the quote in several different works by Orwell, but it was Grenier who first put these words together – and even then, he wasn’t quoting Orwell, only attempting to generalize his philosophy. The quotation marks were added later, making a quote about Orwell into a quote by Orwell.

“How I wish I had not expressed my theory of evolution as I have done.”– Charles Darwin

Creationists often use Charles Darwin’s deathbed conversion and recantation as proof that evolution is simply a meaningless theory. The problem is that Darwin made no such recantation, and all of the quotes that surround it, including this one, were probably made up by evangelist Lady Hope. Her tale of visiting Darwin before his death and coaxing him to renounce evolution was published in a Baptist newsletter in 1915, and became part of the Darwin legend. But Darwin’s children strongly refuted the conversion and the story surrounding it – casting doubt on whether Hope even visited Darwin.

Another false Darwin quote, about the primitive nature of African natives, and used to paint him as a racist, has nothing to do with him either. It’s from the 1905 book The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan – published two decades after Darwin’s death.

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” – William Shakespeare

Often falsely attributed to the Bard, this is from the 1697 play The Mourning Bride, written by William Congreve. And the quote is almost always written incorrectly. It’s actually “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

These are two lovely quotes from the celebrated children’s author that are both inspirational, direct and simple. They’re also both incorrectly attributed to him, usually in self-help tomes or books on raising children.

No.

No.

The first quote never appears in any of Seuss’ books or published writings. It was affixed to him sometime in the 90’s, without a source or date, and became part of his canon. It’s also sometimes attributed to American economist Bernard Baruch, but even that’s only secondhand, from a New York gossip columnist quoting him in an article. Quote Investigator tracked it down to an article in the distinctly un-Seussian British periodical The Journal of the Institution of Municipal & County Engineers, Volume 64, Number 16, from 1938. And it’s probably a lot older than that.

The second quote also doesn’t appear in anything Dr. Seuss ever wrote or published, and again, is always quoted without a source. I found other places that attribute it to Woody Allen, French actress Sarah Bernhardt and someone named Luke Dawson. In reality, it’s simply an anonymous proverb.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange apples, we both still only have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange ideas, we each now have two ideas.” – George Bernard Shaw

Quote Investigator ran this one down and found numerous different sources for its component parts, from an 1813 letter from Thomas Jefferson to a 1917 Chicago Tribune advertisement to a 1949 interview with the US Secretary of Agriculture. Who said it first in the exact configuration attributed to Shaw is still unknown – but it almost certainly wasn’t Shaw. It got attached to him sometime in the 70’s and has stuck there ever since, never with any attribution or date.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

No.

No.

This is another quote where the most common attribution makes sense, but is incorrect. It’s nowhere to be found in Nietzsche’s work. Once again, Quote Investigator rides to the rescue, finding variations on the line going all the way back to the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi, and as far forward as George Carlin, who is no stranger to incorrectly attributed quotes. It’s not at all clear who first said it, but it wasn’t Nietzsche.

“We’re bigger than Jesus!” – John Lennon

Lennon’s March, 1966 quote touched off a firestorm of protests, bannings, record burnings and religious controversy when it was published in an American teen magazine five months later – one that would dog the Beatle for the rest of his life, and might have even played a role in his death. But it’s worth looking at the entirely of what Lennon said, to get the context behind the actual misquote:

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.”

Putting aside Lennon’s odd word choices (how does something shrink after it’s vanished?), he wasn’t completely wrong. Lennon’s remarks had already been published in England, and nobody batted an eye. It was only when the quote hit the evangelical parts of the US that the public turned on Lennon. But church attendance in England had been falling for years, and Christianity Catholicism had less and less relevance to the generation of hippies and teens who were buying Beatles albums. So when Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, he might have been making an arrogant boast, but he was also making incisive social commentary.

“Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.” – Garrison Keillor

Though this quote about religious hypocrisy is often attributed without citation or date to the Prairie Home
Companion
author, it probably originated with evangelist and Prohibition advocate Billy Sunday.

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” – Leonardo da Vinci.

Absolutely not.

Absolutely not.

The idea that the genius who painted the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, mastered human anatomy and developed the first flying machine would use a phrase as colloquial and crude as “do some stuff” is laughable. Needless to say, Leonardo has absolutely nothing to do with this quote. Instead, it was written by Chicago Tribune business writer Tom Peters in a 1994 article about innovation. I found a link to Leonardo in 2004’s The Book of Italian Wisdom, but nothing further back than that that would explain how the attribution got so wildly wrong.

So when you see one of these quotes on someone’s Facebook page or office cubicle, telling the person that they’re wrong might not do any good, but at least you’ll know the truth.

About Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild is a writer and editor based in Pasadena. He writes about scams, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and pop culture fads. He's also a playwright and screenwriter. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rothschildmd.
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21 Responses to More Quotes You’re Probably Getting Wrong

  1. sgerbic says:

    Wonderful. I must remember to not quote people. I’m sure I’ll get it wrong. Thanks for doing the research on these.

  2. Walter Clark says:

    Excellent Mr. Rothschild.
    Love your work. One of my hobbies is collecting aphorisms. Such concentrated ideas are shortcuts to wisdom. An important observation about Mike’s list of misquotes and evolving quotes is the fact that they almost always are improved upon. The reason the changer wants to remain anonymous is that he thinks the thought is more important than his association with it. This theory is based on the fact that it is SO tempting for me to improve the aphorisms I record. The reason for wanting to improve on them is because of tiny mistakes or missing context. I think there’s little doubt that most of the time, the original writer was unaware that it would become famous. In my recording of what I think should be famous quotes I use the ellipsis and [some text] to clear things up. If they are really bad, but the thought is profound, I’ll spend hours improving them and dropping completely some of the original words so that no one would ever know who I stole the idea from. Some people will strongly disagree with me about anonymous improvements or even stealing of ideas, and if you do, think about where your allegiance lies: is it for the idea or for a meaningless precision about attribution. I should think that which side you are on, is also an indication of where your obedience lies; with ideas or with authorities; with improvement in the human condition or order as specified by institutions such as the state.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Could you at least provide the other ‘false Darwin quote, about the primitive nature of African natives, and used to paint him as a racist,’ so we know what you’re talking about? Strange you left it out.

    • “Since the dawn of history the negro has owned the continent of Africa – rich beyond the dream of poet’s fancy, crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare black feet. Yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed to him its glittering light. His land swarmed with powerful and docile animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled. A hunter by necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrowhead worth preserving beyond the moment of its use. He lived as an ox, content to graze for an hour. In a land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or built a house save of broken sticks and mud. With league on league of ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail!

      It’s pretty long, hence why I didn’t include it. But just Google “Darwin negro quote” and you find a whole bunch of people falsely attributing to him – mainly on creationist and white supremacist sites.

      • Reg. says:

        Darwin’s first hand comments about the natives of Terra del Fuego and Chile were very sympathetic on his first voyage. He comes across as a gentle man imbued with the idea that to shoot birds and animals was the done thing of the time. I’m sure that if he was alive today he would have frowned on his past attitude to shooting such creatures.

        I have no doubt that, even then, he recognised that the values of the white man were not necessarily superior to those of the natives of the places he visited.

        • Michael says:

          Darwin didn’t just shoot them-apparently he ate exotic animals from all over the place. No doubt he was a racist-everyone in those days were by modern standards. Even if he’d said the supposed quote, it has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of his theory.

          • Reg. says:

            You mean he “lived off the land,” a practice which finds favour even today. I said nothing about the correctitude or otherwise of his writings, I simply read between the line of his those writings in order to access his general disposition.

            One who breaks new ground is going to find criticism on all sides, especially in retrospect as his promptings are developed in later years.

            An attempt to undermine his moral position is a belated attempt by creationists to regain some lost ground. Ground they never held with any real legitimacy in the first place.

            The eating of tortoises far preceded the arrival of Darwin or Fitzroy in the Galapagos, they were a source
            of fresh ship-board meat of the highest order.

            You should be taking into account the fact that the period of Darwin’s travels was also an awakening to the broader principals of the Enlightenment where the dastardly slave-trading English were beginning to beat their breasts at their inhumanity to man. Recidivism was rife and the US had found another reason to resent the dastardly British.

            If I recall correctly, the first communist principles were published in 1849 and I bet the beneficiaries of the slave -trade were pointing their fingers at Darwin as a just another white-anter of their prosperity.

            “How dare ordinary people aspire to something better,” they’d be muttering behind their champagne glasses.

          • Reg. says:

            Hey …. pause for attention, all animals and birds that are NOT native to where we happen to be, are called exotic. That’s why West Australians shoot kookaburras, the bastards. Come to think of it, all white people are exotics in Australia and the US.

            It also makes all migratory birds exotic. Is it any wonder that officialdom insists on naturalization. It’s the symbolic removal of the curse of precocity.

            Does that sound racist?

          • Michael says:

            He didn’t live off the land-it was just sampling all the new animals he encountered, apparently. I didn’t say any of that to discredit Darwin. It’s irrevelant to whether his theory is true, along with any other personal habits or beliefs he had.

  4. Reg. says:

    “How I wish I had not expressed my theory of evolution as I have done.”– Charles Darwin

    The desire to be more succinct or more relative to the particular audience leaves the author forever dissatisfied. Made the more difficult by the temptation to be diplomatic.

  5. I think attribution is important for context, and not meaningless at all. The author of the quote might be a philosopher, deeply immersed in questioning the nature of man and the human condition, or they might be a greetings-card writer with a good ear for a catchy line. I would be likely to give an aphorism by the former a good deal more credence than one from the latter.

    If a quote is thought to be by Darwin – for instance – and has bearing on later generation’s opinion of him, is it not fundamentally important that the true author be discerned? Lest we remember Darwin as a racial bigot or a cowardly Pascalian hypocrite, it behoves us to establish the truth.

    Philosophies are ideas with latent potentiality. They can be, as history all to often shows us, misappropriated and used to support an agenda that is manifestly different from the intended actuality. If Darwin, or whoever, can be shown through their purported ‘own words’ to be a post-mortem supporter of a given point of view, it seems likely that their ‘endorsement’ will influence an individual’s opinion to some extent, as in the well documented ‘Oprah Effect’, for example.

  6. Walter Clark says:

    Mr. Shuck says that he “would be likely to give an aphorism by the former [a philosopher] a good deal more credence than one from the latter [greeting-card writer].” And that is the assumption made by those who would change an aphorism and attribute it to the more famous person. They love the idea more than their own notoriety. There’s something “very bottom up” about that I admire. Again I observe this as a test of what is important in the commenter’s life. I would hazard a guess that Mr. Shuck identifies with good grade getters, with authority figures and most importantly feels the state is more the basis of society rather than its most harmful parasite.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Clark presents an interesting argument, although his assertions lack supporting sources, and are therefore to be treated merely as opinions – and generalised ones at that – not facts.

      Those who would change an aphorism and attribute it to a more famous person for the sake of promoting an idea are at the very same time diluting the power and effect of the words. That is the sad irony: Whenever misquotes and misappropriations are finally identified as such, history is effectively rewritten. What we thought we knew becomes no longer true. Qualities we admired or despised in a historical figure are undermined by doubt. Our faith in our carefully constructed world-view is shaken. We can no longer claim to be wiser or better informed by past events if those events have been misrepresented.

      This commandeering of another’s words, their forcible reassignment to a more potent mouthpiece, and the rending of ideas from their context would appear to present us with a choice. Do we refuse to question the veracity of anything, for fear we will be uncomfortable with the challenging answers we find? Hiding in a foxhole of dogmatic reactionism?

      Do we perhaps, like a revisionist Young Turk, assume the opposite – that everything we know is meaningless and truth is an illusion, that words and ideas serve as slaves to the moment and that the pages of history are written in the victor’s hand for the victor’s self-congratulation? Should they therefore be wiped clean and re-written by the next generation when the victor’s day has passed? Should we wish that every society suffer the same to be done to THEIR history as was done BY them before, like some endlessly cycling Cultural Revolution?

      Our third choice, and surely the only valid, or at least sensible, one, is to question received wisdom and the assumptions we draw from it. To continually seek the truth in all things, correcting errors and establishing facts.

      This is not clinging blindly to a historical, religious or political edifice for mental security and peace of mind, nor is it wantonly destroying and rebuilding those institutions in a futile attempt to free oneself from obligation to the apparatus of power.

      Finally, Mr. Clark draws some conclusions according to his theory that people who “strongly disagree with… anonymous improvements or even stealing of ideas, [have an] allegiance… for a meaningless precision about attribution.”

      It’s a very black/white theory, and of course people don’t fit into neat little categories like that in the real world, More importantly, Mr. Clark presents us with a false dichotomy by opposing “ideas” with “authorities”, and “improvement in the human condition” versus “order as specified by institutions”. These are not mutually exclusive poles on a linear scale. It is quite possible, maybe even conducive, to have “ideas” generated or acted upon by “authorities” and to have “institutions” (by which I’m guessing is actually meant “the Establishment”, or “The Man”) that promote “improvement in the human condition”. I don’t feel inclined to fall to one side or the other of this fence, so I’d like to know where Mr. Clark concludes my “obedience” lies.

      In order to help revise this fledgling theory I will correct the assumptions Mr. Clark makes regarding my social psychology: I would say I identify with achievers, not “good grade getters” per se. I identify with social status, not “authority”, and I feel that organisation is an essential prerequisite for a successful society. Almost inevitably a hierarchical system of power distribution will emerge in any group, and where two or more groups are in conflict a top-down structure is the most efficient means of organisation.

      I understand that ‘state’, and of course ‘socialism’, have negative connotations for many U.S. Americans. However the idea that the structures of government and society are parasitic cannot be supported by available evidence. Democratic representation might not be the fairest system ever created, but I would ask Mr. Clark to give a few moments thought to the idea of a territory with no functioning state apparatus. How would fair employment be guaranteed? Who would protect the country? Who would provide for the incapable or incapacitated? How would domestic and foreign trade be organised? How would crime be tackled? Would there be any standards for education? Would there be any standards for anything at all?

    • Mr. Clark presents an interesting argument, although his assertions lack

      supporting sources, and are therefore to be treated merely as opinions – and

      generalised ones at that – not facts.

      Those who would change an aphorism and attribute it to a more famous

      person for the sake of promoting an idea are at the very same time diluting

      the power and effect of the words. That is the sad irony: Whenever

      misquotes and misappropriations are finally identified as such, history is

      effectively rewritten. What we thought we knew becomes no longer true.

      Qualities we admired or despised in a historical figure are undermined by

      doubts of their fundamental truth. Our faith in our carefully constructed

      world-view is shaken. We can no longer claim to be wiser or better informed

      by past events if those events have been misrepresented.

      This commandeering of another’s words, their forcible reassignment to a

      more potent mouthpiece, and the rending of ideas from their context would

      appear to present us with a choice. Do we refuse to question the veracity of

      anything, for fear we will be uncomfortable with the challenging answers we

      find? Hiding in a foxhole of dogmatic reactionism?

      Do we perhaps, like a revisionist Young Turk, assume the opposite – that

      everything we know is meaningless and truth is an illusion, that words and

      ideas serve as slaves to the moment and that the pages of history are

      written in the victor’s hand for the victor’s self-congratulation? Should they

      therefore be wiped clean and re-written by the next generation when the

      victor’s day has passed? Should we wish that every society suffer the same

      to be done to THEIR history as was done BY them before, like some

      endlessly cycling Cultural Revolution?

      Our third choice, and surely the only valid, or at least sensible, one, is to

      question received wisdom and the assumptions we draw from it. To

      continually seek the truth in all things, correcting errors and establishing

      facts.

      This is not clinging blindly to a historical, religious or political edifice for

      mental security and peace of mind, nor is it wantonly destroying and

      rebuilding those institutions in a futile attempt to free oneself from obligation

      to the apparatus of power.

      Finally, Mr. Clark draws some conclusions according to his theory that

      people who “strongly disagree with… anonymous improvements or even

      stealing of ideas, [have an] allegiance… for a meaningless precision about

      attribution.”

      It’s a very black/white theory, and of course people don’t fit into neat little

      categories like that in the real world. More importantly, Mr. Clark presents us

      with a false dichotomy by opposing “ideas” with “authorities”, and

      “improvement in the human condition” versus “order as specified by

      institutions”. These are not mutually exclusive poles on a linear scale. It is

      quite possible, maybe even conducive, to have “ideas” generated or acted

      upon by “authorities” and to have “institutions” (by which I’m guessing is

      actually meant “the Establishment”, or “The Man”) that promote

      “improvement in the human condition”. I don’t feel inclined to fall to one side

      or the other of this fence, so I’d like to know where Mr. Clark concludes my

      “obedience” lies.

      In order to help revise this fledgling theory I will correct the assumptions Mr.

      Clark makes regarding my social psychology: I would say I identify with

      achievers, not “good grade getters” per se – those I admire succeeded

      despite unremarkable educational performance. I identify with social status,

      not “authority” – a sublime thinker, creator or doer deserves as much respect

      and kudos as any leader or establishment panjandrum. Lastly, I feel that

      organisation is an essential prerequisite for a stable, successful society.

      Almost inevitably a system of responsibilities and power distribution will

      emerge in any group, and where two or more groups are in conflict with one

      another a top-down, hierarchical structure is the most efficient means of

      organisation. I would actually be an anarcho-syndicalist if I imagined that

      such idealism had the remotest chance of success. True story.

      I understand that ‘state’, and of course ‘socialism’, have negative

      connotations for many U.S. Americans. However the idea that the structures

      of government and society are parasitic cannot be supported by available

      evidence. Democratic representation might not be the fairest system ever

      created, but I would ask Mr. Clark to give a few moments thought to the idea

      of a territory with no functioning state apparatus. How would fair employment

      be guaranteed? Who would protect the country? Who would provide for the

      incapable or incapacitated? How would domestic and foreign trade be

      organised? How would crime be tackled? Would there be any standards for

      education? Would there be any standards for anything at all?

  7. Michael says:

    In regards to the Lennon quote (“But church attendance in England had been falling for years, and Catholicism had less and less relevance to the generation of hippies and teens who were buying Beatles albums.”), you mean Anglicanism or simply Christianity, not Catholicism. English Catholics have been a small minority since Henry VIII.

    • In so much as Lennon was born and raised a Catholic, and his primary evidence for falling church attendance would have been first hand observation within his community (Liverpool having a Roman Catholic majority), I think Mr. Rothschild’s oversight is, ironically, quite apt. But, you are correct – in the context of the war-babies then entering adulthood, Christianity in general would be the irrelevance, more so than any particular schism.

  8. Walter Clark says:

    I think the discussion between Mr. Shuck and myself is more interesting and more important than the list of misquotes at the top of the page. I hope other readers would agree. Not only are Mr. Shuck’s points valid and well thought out, they are also very well written; clear as well as easy to read.
    Mr. Shuck wrote concerning my deemphasis on attribution: “What we thought we knew becomes no longer true. Qualities we admired or despised in a historical figure are undermined by doubts of their fundamental truth. Our faith in our carefully constructed world-view is shaken. We can no longer claim to be wiser or better informed by past events if those events have been misrepresented.”
    Gosh, how can a mistake in attribution be anything other than a copyright squabble? Society is uninjured if it is based on what is important rather than who is important. It is a good thing, what Rothschild has done above; revealing mistakes. Every time a mistake in who-said-what is revealed, the reader is reminded once again to judge the thought not the pedigree of the thought.
    There was a section in Mr. Shuck’s double spaced essay above that is almost Shakespearean. It ends with “Should they therefore be wiped clean and re-written by the next generation when the victor’s day has passed? Should we wish that every society suffer the same to be done to THEIR history as was done BY them before, like some endlessly cycling Cultural Revolution?” to which I can only answer YES. It was not hyperbole to me.
    Mr. Shuck’s best criticism of my essay is that I present a false dichotomy between the anal retention of the importance of the idea squeezing out the importance of who said it and that holding high of who said what, diminishes the objective understanding of ideas. OK, he’s right, I should view both as good. It is important to have role models and respect for reputations of good thinking. It seems to me though that both Mr. Shuck and I emphasize one more than the other. Others will too and I’m rooting for the ideas emphasis.
    I had a prediction that those who lean toward respect for the man over the idea are those that hold to tradition and part of that tradition is respect top-down authoritarianism as organized politically. And Mr. Shuck said . . . “Almost inevitably a system of responsibilities and power distribution will emerge in any group, and where two or more groups are in conflict with one another a top-down, hierarchical structure is the most efficient means of organization.” Looks like I got it right.
    Mr. Shuck asked me ” . . . to give a few moments thought to the idea of a territory with no functioning state apparatus.” I have given hours to that study. As an anarcho-syndicalist, he would have run across the ideas of anarcho-capitlists and noted how similar and how large the body of knowledge is for the capitalist version of anarchy. He asked, “How would fair employment be guaranteed?” It wouldn’t. Nor would fairness in anything be guaranteed. Fairness like any positive right requires a funded third party with a legal monopoly on the use of coercive force. Note how profoundly different free-trade is where the parties to the action need no overseers. Those involved are motivated to carry out that economic activity and future economic activities. “Who would protect the country?” You mean who would protect the politically organized state apparatus? I guess they would have to conscript young men, or tax the rest in order to hire loyal mercenaries to protect their positions of power. Contrast that with the idea that a territory is filled with sovereign individuals with no political infrastructure for another political entity to take over. “Who would provide for the incapable or incapacitated?” The middle class rich. Right now those with discretionary income receive no joy for charity because just about all causes have been taken over by the state. Unless you are a billionaire there’s nothing you can do in the way of “giving” that will make a significant difference. “How would domestic and foreign trade be organized?” Oh, he knows the answer to that one. Free trade. “How would crime be tackled?” The same way it’s done now, except their wouldn’t be a protected monopoly for the service and there would be an economic incentive to think of cheaper ways to protect rather than to genuflect to the sanctity of retribution. “Would there be any standards for education?” Goodness no. Nor would there be standards for music. “Would there be any standards for anything at all?” No, but that doesn’t mean the anarcho-capitilists are without morals. They hold to (and propose that all of society holds to) the idea of non-initiation of force and that there is no grouping of people that can violate that either. Property rights are sacred, and so on.
    I’d like to end this discussion with a well written sentence by Mr. Shuck. ” . . . question received wisdom and the assumptions we draw from it. To continually seek the truth in all things, correcting errors and establishing facts.” I would add only that to be part of this seeking, have more respect for what is said than who said it.

    (I believe the double spacing is a mere setting in Notepad. Check “View” “word wrap”.)

    Walt

    • Reg says:

      The reason we’re no longer cave dwellers is that we have made observations and acted upon them to make our surrounding more comfortable and convenient. Each step and variation there-after, does not undermine the validity of the original intention, nor does it invite a rewriting of history to conceal the embarrassment of our previous beliefs.

      Many of the achievements of the past were primitive simply because the technology of the means of achieving them had not kept pace with our imaginations. So it was in every locality that the struggle to exist had an immediacy that superseded expansion and adaptation.

      Except of course for those who were forced to hunker-down each winter in a primitive dwelling, bored with eating weevily nuts and with no UNO cards to pass the time.
      Or, to put it another way, an increase in spare time and greater convince provided the means by which adaptation may be perceived.

      Charles Darwin’s brave and astute observations were hampered by such limitations but it was his perseverance that won through at great personal cost, creating enemies at every turn, enemies who were scandalized at the thought of his remains resting in their precious Westminster Abbey.

  9. Moral Dolphin says:

    Reg, we had to do all that to get into caves in the first place starting with;

    Cave bear/lion may be tasty!

    • Reg. says:

      ~ Thinks~

      WTF was that? If we could just harness that rumble we could call it fire and turn this lion into crackling. Parteeeee Who’s bringing the Coke?

      Access to protein would grow our hair and brains and muscles and then none of the girls would let us near them. Hey! Bugger that. Or we could try feeding it to some to our busty Norwegian camp followers, that should be interesting. As long as they don’t grow hair on their chests and other bits ‘cos we haven’t invented Brazilian waxes yet.

      I wonder if that was amongst the “other strange practices” Darwin saw at Bahia?

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