quotation on socialists

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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:53 pm

I am confused about one quite often used phrase:

"The one who is NOT a socialist at the age of 20, is not a human being. The one who is that still at age 40 is an idiot"

(or something like that...)

This is either attributed to Winston Churchill or to Somerset Maugham.

Both seem dubious to me:

The first was NOT a socialist for lifetime,
the latter WAS it for lifetime.
Submitted by Jan Saudek (Marbach - Germany)
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:08 pm

Jan, This statement is often mistakenly attributed to Winston Churchill, but if you look at his life, this certainly wasn’t the model he followed. He was a soldier at 20 and a conservative member of Parliament at 25 – hardly a socialist. A few years later he did switch to the Liberal Party, which was not ‘liberal’ in the modern sense but did later return to the Conservatives. As far as Somerset Maugham (1874–1965), English novelist, dramatist, and short-story writer goes, I have no idea how he would have even remotely be associated with this quote (among other things, being bisexual and having written on homosexuality wasn’t exactly a conservative topic in his day).
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"If a man is not a socialist in his youth, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 30 he has no head." So said Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929), French statesman, journalist, editor, and French premier 1906–09, 1917–20, and one-time radical.

There are several versions of this saying and it has been attributed to several different people but Clemeceau apparently appropriated the idea from the original statement made by mid-19th French
historian and statesman Francois Guizot, who said:

"Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head".

He was referring to the controversy over whether France should be a republic or a monarchy. Guizot was a staunch monarchist in Louis-Philippe's reign and defender of conservative policies and enemy of the liberals and republicans who were pushing for such radical reforms as suffrage (even universal suffrage) not based on land ownership and wealth. So perhaps it appeared to Guizot that foolish young people with a lot of heart and enthusiasm had liberal thoughts and pipe dreams in their ardent but frivolous youth, but once the wisdom of age and experience kicked in they would realize the foolishness of their ideas and concede that the monarchy was the better system.
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Some variations on the statement are:

"If you're not a socialist at the age of 20, then you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at the age of 40, then you have no brain."

“If you are not a socialist at the age of 20 you have no heart, if you are still a socialist at the age of 40 you have no brain.”

“If you are not a leftist at 20 you have no heart, but if you are still a leftist at 40 you have no brains.”

“Anyone who isn't a socialist at the age of 20 hasn't got a heart and anyone who isn't a capitalist at the age of 50 hasn't got a head.
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Ken G – March 3, 2004
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:22 pm

So, my suspicion (which is just common sense ;-) was somehow right.
Reg. WC: apparently people tend to connect successfull popular sayings to successfull people (i.e. it is also not true that he was the inventor of the misstrust in statistics); seems to be some kind of "positive feedback regulation"
Reg. SM: That´s new to me that he should have been bisexual. I am usually very carefull with allegations like that, because it was very often used as an political argument to defame the enemy (starting in the Bible with the people of Sodom....). But nonetheless he most have been of very very questionable moral qualities because he was a nudist and a pacifist also. Perhaps he was a smoker.....

Thanks a lot for clarifying!
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:37 pm

Jan, I thought it was well-known that Somerset Maugham had many affairs in his life with both men and women. It is discussed in almost any biographical sketch that you look at that he had been torn between two lovers, Maude Syrie and Gerald Haxton.
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“In 1915, Maugham published what was later heralded as his masterpiece (and would eventually sell more than 10 million copies, ‘Of Human Bondage.’ By the time this book appeared, the 41-year-old Maugham was an ambulance driver in France, having volunteered for service when World War I broke out in 1914. He corrected the proofs for ‘Bondage’ in a small hotel in Malo, near Dunkirk, between driving shifts. He was also torn between two lovers by then, that of his beautiful mistress, Gwendolyn Maude Syrie Wellcome, daughter of philanthropist Thomas John Bernardo Wellcome, and that of a handsome young American homosexual, Gerald Haxton.”

“In 1914 he first served with the Red Cross in France. He fell in love with Gerald Haxton (1892-1944), a twenty-two-year old from San Francisco who was serving in the same ambulance unit in Flanders. Somerset Maugham's character Tony Paxton in ‘Our Betters’ (1917) represents Gerald Haxton.”

“He married Syrie Wellcome and had a daughter. However, during the marriage he spent most of his time travelling abroad with Gerald Haxton.”

“Gerald Haxton was deported from Britain in 1919 as an undesirable alien. Somerset Maugham and Gerald Haxton went to live on the French Riviera in the villa 'Mauresque'. Somerset Maugham divorced his wife in 1928.”

“When Noël Coward's ‘A Song at Twilight’ was produced in 1966 ‘Punch’ remarked of the play that 'the story resonates with the life of Somerset Maugham'. The character Sir Hugo Latymer is an elderly, acerbic and acidic novelist who has spent much of his time concealing his homosexual nature. The character Perry Sheldon in the same play is said to modelled on Gerald Haxton.”

“Despite his marriage and many affairs, evidence suggests that he was largely homosexual in his interests although he was repressed initially for fear of being imprisoned like Oscar Wilde. From 1914 onwards, Maugham spent a great deal of his time travelling with his close companion Gerald Haxton from the South Seas to China and South America.”

“Maugham carefully avoided treating homosexual themes and depicting homosexual characters in his works, possibly because, as the American novelist, Glenway Wescott, pointed out, "Willie's generation lived in mortal terror of the Oscar Wilde trial."
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Ken G – March 3, 2004
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:51 pm

Jan, I probably did make a misstatement in my first posting when I said Maugham had written on homosexuality. I had assumed he had, since from my recollection his homosexuality was quite open and I assumed he was making no effort to hide it when he wrote his autobiography in his later years. After Gerald Haxton died he lived with Alan Searle until his (Maughams’s) death in 1965 and I wrongly assumed that he had overcome his reluctance to discuss the subject, but I guess those were still days in which there was a lot more fear and anxiety associated with the topic than there is today.
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Ken G – March 3, 2004
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:05 pm

I was just surprised by your staement in #1:
"
(among other things, being bisexual and having written on homosexuality wasn’t exactly a conservative topic in his day).
"

because I thought: oups, so shortly after Oscar Wilde?..which underlined by your last paragraf in #3:

"
“Maugham carefully avoided treating homosexual themes and depicting homosexual characters in his works, possibly because, as the American novelist, Glenway Wescott, pointed out, "Willie's generation lived in mortal terror of the Oscar Wilde trial."
"

Don´t take me wrong, I don´t want to argue: I was just surprised. One may argue that thie fact about somebody´s desires should not be of any interest (like one of your presendiat campaigners put it "It doesn´t matter with whom you go to bed at night, but it matters whether you have still a job when you got awake).

One may also argue that this not true for artists because their personal life usually have more influence on their results of their daily life than for "average people".

I am not sure about that.

Just a, at least to me, astonishing, therefore funny, example:

Sander Gilman, prof. at Cornell, showed in 1989 that the "Faustina" in Goethe´s "Roman elegies" may have been more likely a Faustinus...Doing that by text analysis..

Another, perhaps more known example: Sigmund Freud "found proof" that Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual...by indirect text analysis...

Perhaps now one may understand why I am interested in etymology or genereally "in words". They are powerfull tools, but it depends on you how you use them. Hopefully with wisdom and not for malice-

I am getting really offtopic, but just regard the etymologies of "crusade" and "jihad". In depends on your cultural background which one is the "bad" word...and as usual, the word of the enemy is the bad one. If you have NPOV (which is only possible if you know both) then, and only then, you may get to the underlying reasons for that what the words are trying "to descibe". And their intended misuse.....
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quotation on socialists

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:20 pm

I did little research about that (it´s really not worth to argue).

It was somekind of surprise: If you are "googeling" in english with the combiantion of "Maugham & homosexuality", you get something in the multithousands..from sometme funny sources

If you "google" on the german google, you got something like 200..most of LGBT activists (not of interest or only just by chance).

SO, not only the words are different, but also the "common knowledge".

Nothing new, I assume...


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