Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day


Anonymous said...

Where is that quote from? I've heard it before, but could never trace it properly. And it definately fits.

B Woodman

Cedric Katesby said...

Well, I was going to say that it was George Orwell.
I've read all of his books and I was sure that the "Rough Men" quote came from him.

However, being the cautious type, I did some some checking and found out that...I've been wrong for years.
As it turns out, it's misattributed.

However, he did say something similar.

Rough Men

Did George Orwell ever say: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf?" Or: "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us?"

Not exactly. But he did make comments that were along similar lines. In his essay on Rudyard Kipling (1942), Orwell wrote: "[Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them." (Thanks to Keith Ammann for this). And in his 'Notes on Nationalism' (1945) he wrote: "Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." (Thanks to Parbety). Where the rough men crept in is anyone's guess.


For those of you who have never read any of his other books besides "1984", do yourself a favour and buy "Homage to Catalonia".
Today. Now!
Get out of you chair and get thee hence to a bookshop.
It's one of his best works and a riveting insight into one of Europe's greatest tragedies, The Spanish Civil War.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I thought that it was from Teddy Roosevelt, but I could never find it. Maybe I was thinking too narrow.

B Woodman