Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ben Carson Fake-Quotes Stalin


Speaking of fake quotes, here's yet another example from the religious right.

This time it's the utterly moronic Ben Carson, who drools as follows:

"It was ... it was ... I think it was Stalin who said, `Give me your children for three years and I will have them for life.' The point being that it's relatively easy at that inflection point to indoctrinate people and to change their way of thinking for the rest of their lives."

Stalin apparently never said anything like this. Crazed right-wingers usually attribute a similar sentiment to Lenin, but even that is quite dubious. As Boller and George write in their book They Never Said It, "it is doubtful that Lenin ever made the remark... The remark about children, with appropriate adaptations of course, has been attributed to Adolf Hitler as well as to Lenin, and to Catholic Church leaders as well. But there is no evidence that any of them made the statement, and its provenance remains uncertain."

Now that Carson has attributed it to Stalin, I'm sure wingnuts will be doing the same thing over and over in the years ahead. They don't care anything about truth; all they care is whether the quote (fake or not) supports their worldview.

16 comments:

Steve Watson said...

The Jesuits were the ones I had heard that attributed to. And authentic or not, I bet that attribution predates Stalin.

colnago80 said...

I have heard that a quote along these lines was attributed to the head of the Jesuit Order at the time.

Acartia Tonsa said...

"It was ... it was ... I think it was Stalin who said, `Give me your children for three years and I will have them for life.' The point being that it's relatively easy at that inflection point to indoctrinate people and to change their way of thinking for the rest of their lives."

Hence, Sunday School.

Piotr GÄ…siorowski said...

I've seen the quote (mis)attributed to Stalin and Hitler, but there's a much older tradition of attributing it to Loyola (or to Francis Xavier), usually in the form: "Give me a child of seven, and I will show you the man", or something to that effect (Jesuit schools did not normally accept boys under seven). It's probably apocryphal anyway.

Steve Watson said...

Heck, a little Googling turns up an attribution to Aristotle, so who knows?

Mark said...

I thought it was Miss Jean Brodie, in her Prime.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Ah, so you had the "luck" to attend lectures (monologues) by John Lennox! And, I see, you came to the same conclusions as me. I can assure you that Lennox has been giving the same lectures over the years. Nothing new, just the same old nonsense. Has he not told you about his aunt Matilda? He uses her in an "argument" that "proves" that there is design in the universe. For those who don't bother to click the link above, here is the "argument":

My aunt Matilda bakes a wonderful pie. I have two friends, a physicist and a chemist. I ask the chemist to analyse the pie and he tells me, very precisely, of the chemical composition of every part of it. I ask the physicist, who reveals to me all kinds of scientific facts about the pie. But then I ask both of them: "why did aunt Matilda bake the pie?" None of the two can answer the question. No matter how hard they try to analyse the pie, scientifically, they will never be able to answer the question.

And, yes, you're right. Maybe John Lennox knows lots of things about solvable groups but his handling of information theory (or relativity or quantum mechanics for that matter) is pitiful. But his followers merely rely on the fact that he has a PhD (wow!) and so he knows...

Emily Wilson said...

In order to combat Jealousy, we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Emily Wilson: Do you realize that your saying leads to a contradiction?

Shaikh Reza said...

It was ... it was ... Jealousy Quotes I think it was Stalin who said, `Give me your children for three years and I will have them for life.' The point being that it's relatively easy at that inflection point to indoctrinate people and to change their way of thinking for the rest of their lives.

The Astonishing FartMan said...

Seems to me, the more important inquiry is not who said those words, but whether the words themselves are true. ("The Iliad was composed by Homer, or someone else of the same name."

Do you not think it's true that whoever provides a child with his earliest education will have a great influence on his opinions?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It seems to me, the more important thing is, does Ben Carson have enough intellectual honesty to admit forthrightly that his attribution was wrong?

mr nuggets said...

.you are correct, the veracity of the quote is th more important and interesting angle ..jeff is just interested in playing a moronic game of "gotcha" ..and then talks of intellectual honesty *rolly eyes*

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Mr. Nuggets is yet another anti-scholar of the "But the quote itself expresses truth, who cares who said it" variety.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

And you know very well, Nuggets, that the attribution to Stalin was meant to slur by association. You match perfectly what I said: Wingnuts "don't care anything about truth; all they care is whether the quote (fake or not) supports their worldview."

badger said...

Carson isn't a politician TIC (tongue in cheek) so his quote must have been simply an incorrect attribution. Maybe he is a politcian and doesn't know it.