A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time: pills or stairs” (8/27)
“There’s always room for dessert” (8/27)
“There’s always room for Jell-O” (8/27)
“Champagne is just ginger ale that knows somebody” (8/26)
Spine of Texas (Interstate 35) (8/26)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from May 17, 2010
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves”

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves” is often credited to American broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow (1909-1965). The saying means that the electorate cannot be “sheep” or they will be taken over by “wolves” (such as a totalitarian dictatorship).

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves” has been credited to French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987) since at least 1949. It is probable that de Jouvenel originated the saying.


Wikipedia: Bertrand de Jouvenel
Bertrand de Jouvenel des Ursins, usually known only as Bertrand de Jouvenel October 1903 – 1 March 1987) was a French philosopher, political economist, and futurist.

Wikiquote: Wolves
Unsourced
A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.
Bertrand de Jouvenal

Wikiquote: Government
Unsourced
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
Edward Murrow

3 July 1943, Burlington (NC) Daily Times-News, “To Thomas Jefferson: A Tribute,” pg. 4, col. 2:
ON TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT
We affirm, in the face of unparalleled examples, our agreement with your abhorrence of government by tyranny: “To have an idea of the curse of existence under (governments of force), they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep.”—Letter to James Madison, 1787.

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
v. 54 - 1949
Pg. 7:
Bertrand de Jouvenel: A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.

14 June 1950, New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, “‘Longism’ Scored in Lafargue Talk” by george jackson, pg. 7, col. 1:
Lafargue admitted that Huey Long gave the state “many improvements.” But he added that “we are still paying the cost on public debt and high taxes.”
“Government of Wolves”
“His political philosophy left a society of sheep and a government of wolves,” Lafargue said.

Google Books
Shirtsleeve Economics;
A commonsense survey

By William A Paton
New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts
1952
Pg. 263:
The need for eternal vigilance on the part of the citizenry to keep government within bounds is implied in Bertrand de Jouvenel’s famous remark: “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

Google Books
Second encyclopedia of stories, quotations, and anecdotes
Edited by Jacob Morton Braude
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1957
Pg. 150:
A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves. — BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL

20 March 1958, Richardson (TX) Echo, pg. 7, col. 6:
A society of sheep must, in time, beget a government of wolves.—Bertrand DeJouvenel.

23 February 1977, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, pg. A11, col. 2:
“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”
-- Bertrand de Jouvenal.

Google Books
The Ramblings Of A Realist
By Charlie Walker
Biggleswade, Beds: Watkiss Studios Ltd.
2000
Pg. 24:
A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves and it is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism whilst the wolf remains of a different opinion.
Dean William. R Inge.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (2) Comments • Monday, May 17, 2010 • Permalink


Thomas Jefferson;-"The people will get the government they deserve."A society[nation]of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves"Bertrand de Jouvenal.It has already happened,American"Sheeple"

Posted by John Niles  on  07/16  at  10:20 AM

I don’t think Edward R. Murrow actually said this. http://wp.me/pemu3-oC

Posted by Kurt Greenbaum  on  05/25  at  05:55 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages