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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 16, 2020
“Everyone has a right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege”

"Everyone has a right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege” is a saying that has been printed on many images. Origin is uncertain.

“For while I think a man has a right to be stupid, yet he must not abuse the privilege” was printed in The Democrat-Herald (Newkirk, OK) on June 9, 1911.

The quotation is frequently credited to (or about) Russian leaders Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) and especially Leon Trotsky (1879-1940). “During one of the faction disputes not long before his death, Trotsky wrote in passing: ‘Every man has a natural right to be stupid; but Dwight Macdonald abuses the privilege’” was printed in the Partisan Review in 1945. Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982) had been an editor of the Partisan Review.

“Everybody has the right to be stupid if they wish to, but many persons abuse the privilege beyond all reason” was printed in The Evening Sentinel (Carlisle, PA) on October 10, 1955. “Everybody has a right to be stupid, but we cant understand why so many people abuse the privilege” was printed in the Brookville (PA) American on November 10, 1955.


Wikipedia: Dwight Macdonald
Dwight Macdonald (March 24, 1906 – December 19, 1982) was an American writer, editor, film critic, social critic, philosopher, and political radical. Macdonald was a member of the New York Intellectuals and editor of their leftist magazine Partisan Review for six years. He also contributed to other New York publications including Time, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and politics, a journal which he founded in 1944.
(...)
Leon Trotsky reportedly observed: “Every man has a right to be stupid but comrade Macdonald abuses the privilege”.

Newspapers.com
9 June 1911, The Democrat-Herald (Newkirk, OK), pg. 6, col. 5:
For while I think a man has a right to be stupid, yet he must not abuse the privilege.
(...)
C. W. RICHARDS, M. D.

Google Books
Partisan Review
Volume 11, Issues 4-12
1945
Pg. 189:
During one of the faction disputes not long before his death, Trotsky wrote in passing: “Every man has a natural right to be stupid; but Dwight Macdonald abuses the privilege.”

3 May 1948, Daily Worker (New York, NY), “Around the Dial” by Bob Lauter, pg. 13, col. 1:
Taylor quoted Trotsky to the effect that “It is every man’s privilege to be stupid, but Dwight MacDonald abuses the privilege.”

Newspapers.com
10 October 1955, The Evening Sentinel (Carlisle, PA), p. 4, col. 2:
Everybody has the right to be stupid if they wish to, but many persons abuse the privilege beyond all reason. 

Newspapers.com
10 November 1955, Brookville (PA) American, second sec., pg. 2, col. 3:
‘EGBERT SEZ’—
“Everybody has a right to be stupid, but we cant understand why so many people abuse the privilege.”

Newspapers.com
2 February 1956, Brockaway (PA) Record, “Incidentally Comments Wise and Otherwise,” pg. 1, col. 1:
Everybody has the right to be stupid if they wish to, but many persons abuse the privilege beyond all reason.

Newspapers.com
2 October 1977, El Paso (TX) Times, “Adapting To Pigeons” by John Broussard, pg. 7-A, col. 3:
There’s an old country expression that goes: “Everyone has the right to be stupid but some people seem to abuse the privilege.”

Newspapers.com
29 September 1983, The American Israelite (Cincinnati, OH), “As We Were Saying” by Robert E. Segal, pg. 4, col. 3:
This Kornienko cheap shot serves well to recall Leon Trotsky’s perspective observation that “everyone as te right to be stupid, but Comrade Stalin abuses te privilege.”

Google Books
A Critical American:
The Politics of Dwight Macdonald

By Stephen J. Whitfield
Archon Books
1984
Pg. 20:
A colleague remembered him as a whirling dervish during the seemingly interminable debates, “spluttering angrily when he had objections to express,” undeterred by Trotsky’s acerbic remark from Mexico that “everyone has the right to be stupid, but Comrade Macdonald abuses the privilege.

Google Groups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Vecna vs. Elminster
Derek A. Weimer
4/21/98
(...)
“Everyone has a right to be stupid.
Some just abuse the privilege.”

National Review
Best Supposed Trotsky Quote
By JOHN PODHORETZ
January 3, 2006 4:19 PM
Of Dwight MacDonald, the unbelievable blowhard critic, Mr. Soon-to-Have-an-Ice-Pick-in-His-Head said, “Everyone has the right to be stupid, but Comrade MacDonald abuses the privilege.” Now that’s one quote you just have to hope isn’t ersatz.

Twitter
Ria Bautista
@im_riabau
“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.” --Joseph Stalin (tumatagos...)
7:40 PM · Jul 20, 2010·TweetDeck

Twitter
Cathy
@cathysaid
Everyone has the right to be stupid. Some people abuse the privilege. - Joseph Stalin
3:34 PM · Oct 19, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Razan AlHadlaq
@R_AlHadlaq
“ we have the right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege. “ - Leon Trotsky
5:57 AM · Mar 24, 2013·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Hugh O’Donnell
@BigWindies
@AvaVidal @Briesias God forbid ! “ Everyone has the right to be stupid but some people abuse the privilege “ ( Trotsky)
7:49 PM · May 29, 2013·Twitter Web Client

Google Books
Title Everyone Has The Right To Be Stupid Some People Abuse The Privilege: Blank Lined Journal
Author Amanda Alvarez
Publisher Amazon Digital Services LLC - Kdp Print Us, 2019
ISBN 1096681188, 9781096681182
Length 112 pages

Twitter
Beto Carotene 🇲🇾
@Beto_Kusyairy
Everyone has the right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege. 😉
3:20 AM · Jan 29, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Sunday, February 16, 2020 • Permalink