Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

Misquotes

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 4 posts ] 
Misquotes
Author Message
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Misquotes

I mentioned in this post my intention to create a topic about the subject of misquotes, miss-attributed quotations and so on, and with some input from Dragan Glas I thought I'd go ahead.

So, the example I wanted to begin with is probably one that you're all already aware of (at least you would be if you've watched enough Hitchens). The following quote is often cited, and attributed to Karl Marx:

"Religion is the opiate of the masses"


The actual quote, put into context is thus:

"The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower"

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people


This gives quite a different context to how the quote is often used.

So I thought it might be interesting to discuss misquotes/miss-attributed quotes. Post any that you may be aware of (with an explanation of how/why it is a misquote if possible).
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:55 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Misquotes

"I disagree with what you say but i will defend to the death your right to say it" - Attributed to Voltaire but actually comes from Evelyn Beatrice Hall who uses that as a summary of his philosophy in her book "The Friends of Voltaire.
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:03 pm
TheMissingNUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:15 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Misquotes

"Let them eat cake!"

Supposedly said by Queen Marie-Antoinette (the wife of King Louis XVI of France), after hearing that the French people had no more bread to eat. The quote is typically taken as an example of the inability of the nobility to relate the lower classes during the French Revolution. However, the quote first appears in an anecdote told by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, about an unnamed princess. At the time of writing, Marie-Antionette was only nine.

Yours, etc.
Alexander
Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:31 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 774Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Misquotes

TheMissingN wrote:"Let them eat cake!"

Supposedly said by Queen Marie-Antoinette (the wife of King Louis XVI of France), after hearing that the French people had no more bread to eat. The quote is typically taken as an example of the inability of the nobility to relate the lower classes during the French Revolution. However, the quote first appears in an anecdote told by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, about an unnamed princess. At the time of writing, Marie-Antionette was only nine.

Yours, etc.
Alexander

Also, if I remember correctly, it's not only misquoted in who said it, but in what was said. The original is "let them eat brioche". The context is as follows. In Paris in the 1700s feeding people was an important part of the governing, as hungry poor people tended to riot (a choise of somewhat risky rioting and starving isn't a hard one), and bread was the mainstream of food for the poor. For this a number of laws were passed about bread manufacturing, such as what you could put in the bread (talkum, sawdust and chalk were all common addatives before), how much it should weigh (selling underweight bread could be considered counterfiting of weight and warranted harsh penalties, thus "bakers dozen", 13 breads to make sure the batch weight over the required limit) and that every baker should make enough cheaper breads for the poor people to buy. If a baker ran out of the cheap bread he was required, by law, to sell more expensive (and more white, white bread was considered finer, thus adding of talkum, alum etc) bread to the poor at the price of the more common bread. This more expensive bread was called brioche. So what that unnamed princess was actually saying that since cheap bread was unavaivable, because of one thing or another, bakers should sell the poor the more fine brioche at the same price, as required by law. If anything this is a statement is pro common people, not a elitist, snobby statement showing now uninformed the princess was.
Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:53 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 4 posts ] 
Return to Art, Culture & History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
cron