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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 13, 2024
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times”

“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times” is a saying that has been printed on many images. The saying is frequently credited to author G. Michael Hopf, from his novel Those Who Remain, Book 7 (2016) in The New World series. However, the saying, as well as many similar sayings, existed earlier, especially in the 2010s. The saying is related to the Strauss-Howe generational theory, from the 1990s.
 
From Reddit—AskHistorians on June 21, 2020: “In his (Herodotus—ed.) Histories, when a Persian first suggests to Cyrus the Great that they should conquer other lands, Cyrus sagely replied: ‘Go ahead and do this, but if you do so, be prepared no longer to be rulers but rather subjects. Soft lands breed soft men; wondrous fruits of the earth and valiant warriors do not grow from the same soil.’”
 
“Soft Times Make Soft Men” was in a bank advertisement in the Fulton (MO) Daily Sun on September 15, 1921. “Easy times make easy lives—stale, flat, unprofitable. Hard times make strong men” (by University of Missouri President Walter Williams) was printed in The Columbia Missourian (Columbia, MO) on August 6, 1932. “Easy times make easy lives, stale, flat, unprofitable. Difficult times make strong men” (also from Walter Williams) was printed in the Linn County Budget-Gazette (Brookefield, MO) on November 9, 1932.
 
“Tough times breed strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times breed weak people. Weak people create tough times. #Selah” was posted on X/Twitter by Dave Melendez 🏁 on December 22, 2011. “Good times breed weak people, weak people breed hard times, hard times breed hard people, hard people breed good times” was posted on X/Twitter by WeeWilly on July 1, 2012. “Seen as someone’s signature on a forum: ‘Tough times breed strong people; Strong people create good times; Good times breed weak people; Weak people create tough times’” was posted on Facebook by Benjamin Kibbey on July 17, 2012.
 
“Hard times create strong men” was posted on X/Twitter by Heaven🔌Kaymen on August 26, 2012. “Bad times create strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times create weak people. Weak people create bad times” was posted on X/Twitter  by Mike S on June 1, 2023.  “Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times. Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times” was posted on Facebook by Richard Dennis on July 2, 2013. “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times” was posted on Facebook by JudyHarris on March 28, 2014.
 
[This entry was assisted by the Quote Investigator.]
 
   
Wikipedia: Strauss-Howe generational theory
The Strauss–Howe generational theory, devised by William Strauss and Neil Howe, describes a theorized recurring generation cycle in American history and Western history. According to the theory, historical events are associated with recurring generational personas (archetypes). Each generational persona unleashes a new era (called a turning) lasting around 20–25 years, in which a new social, political, and economic climate (mood) exists. They are part of a larger cyclical “saeculum” (a long human life, which usually spans between 80 and 100 years, although some saecula have lasted longer). The theory states that a crisis recurs in American history after every saeculum, which is followed by a recovery (high). During this recovery, institutions and communitarian values are strong. Ultimately, succeeding generational archetypes attack and weaken institutions in the name of autonomy and individualism, which eventually creates a tumultuous political environment that ripens conditions for another crisis.
 
Know Your Meme
About
Hard Times Create Strong Men, Strong Men Create Good Times, Good Times Create Weak Men, Weak Men Create Hard Times
refers to a catchphrase that attempts to describe the cycle of prosperity and regression in society. Starting in 2016, the phrase has appeared in multiple image macros and has later become a subject of parodies and ironic use.
   
Origin
While the quote is generally attributed to Those Who Remain: A Postapocalyptic Novel, a book by G. Michael Hopf published in December 2016,[4] the earliest macros containing the phrase were spread online starting as early as August 2016. These include a collection of four paintings depicting various periods of Roman Empire, and a photograph of several armed Chechen fighters, with an August 15th, 2016, post on 9GAG[1] being the earliest viral image macro containing the caption (shown below, left).
 
G. Michael Hopf
HARD TIMES CREATE
STRONG MEN.
STRONG MEN CREATE
GOOD TIMES.
GOOD TIMES CREATE
WEAK MEN.
AND, WEAK MEN CREATE
HARD TIMES.
In 2015, as I was writing the novel, Those Who Remain, Book 7 in The New World series, I was also reading a lot about generational theory. It is from my research, specifically, The Strauss-Howe Generational Theory, advanced in their books, Generations and The 4th Turning, that I was inspired to write the quote, ‘Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.’  The quote is an oversimplification of generational theory, and simply surmises that as a nation state goes from a difficult existence to prosperity, the generation that has been coddled, ‘the weak men’, lose their way, causing hard times for society. The weak men become complacent, forgetting how their forefathers gave birth to the good times and even become antagonistic to the norms of which the nation became successful. The sentiment behind the quote is not new, in fact it is old if not ancient. There has never been a generation which doesn’t look at the younger generations and believe they were weaker. I should also note, because this sentiment isn’t new there are variations which have been expressed by different individuals throughout history. The overall concept and sentiment expressed is timeless, and can be traced back to the 14th century philosopher, Ibn Khaldun and even further back to Plato himself.
 
The quote went relatively unnoticed for years until around 2020 during the height of the contentious presidential election when it began to appear…EVERYWHERE! I was shocked, but also not, as it is a powerful statement which was made between my main character, Gordon Van Zandt and his grandson, Sebastian Rutledge.
           
Newspapers,com
15 September 1921, Fulton (MO) Daily Sun, pg. 3, col. 1:
Soft Times Make Soft Men
(The Callaway Bank.—ed.)
 
Newspapers.com
6 August 1932, The Columbia Missourian (Columbia, MO), “President Speaks to Graduates on Aims of Education,” pg. 1, col. 4:
(Dr. Walter Williams, president of the University of Missouri.—ed.)
“The acquisition of knowledge is difficult,” said Dr. Williams. “The broadening of one’s vision is not easy; thinking is a painful process. Easy times make easy lives—stale, flat, unprofitable.
 
“Hard times make strong men.”
 
Newspapers.com
9 November 1932, Linn County Budget-Gazette (Brookefield, MO), pg. 3, col. 1:
“IN OLD MIZZOO”
THE JOY OF STRUGGLE
by
WALTER WILLIAMS
President, M. U.
(...)
Easy times make easy lives, stale, flat, unprofitable. Difficult times make strong men.
 
X/Twitter
Dave Melendez 🏁
@davemelendez
Tough times breed strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times breed weak people. Weak people create tough times. #Selah
10:08 PM · Dec 22, 2011
 
X/Twitter
WeeWilly
@WesWill1
Good times breed weak people, weak people breed hard times, hard times breed hard people, hard people breed good times.
9:55 PM · Jul 1, 2012
 
Facebook
Benjamin Kibbey
July 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Albany, NY ·
Seen as someone’s signature on a forum:
“Tough times breed strong people; Strong people create good times; Good times breed weak people; Weak people create tough times.”
     
X/Twitter
Heaven🔌Kaymen
@MrKaaymen
Hard times create strong men
2:20 PM · Aug 26, 2012
 
X/Twitter
Dave Melendez 🏁
@davemelendez
Tough times breed strong people; Strong people create good times; Good times breed weak people; Weak people create tough times.
10:13 PM · Nov 27, 2012
   
X/Twitter
Coach Wayland | Physical Training Craftsman
@WSWayland
Good times breed weak people. Weak people create tough times. Tough times breed strong people. Strong people create good times.
2:45 AM · May 14, 2013
 
Facebook   
Rob Car
May 14, 2013 at 1;03 PM ·
Good times breed weak people. Weak people create tough times. Tough times breed strong people. Strong people create good times.
 
Facebook   
Powering-Through Performance
May 14, 2013 at 2:45 AM ·
Good times breed weak people. Weak people create tough times. Tough times breed strong people. Strong people create good times.
 
X/Twitter 
Mike S
@Shlombro
Bad times create strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times create weak people. Weak people create bad times.
6:43 AM · Jun 1, 2013
 
Facebook
Richard Dennis
July 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM ·
Good times create weak men.
Weak men create hard times.
Hard times create strong men.
Strong men create good times.
 
Good times about to come & I’ll create them!
Happy Easter everyone, may god bless you! 🧡
     
Facebook 
Tien Nagant Vu
July 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM ·
Bad times creates strong people
Strong people create good times
good times create weak people
weak people create bad times
 
Facebook
Chris Lorenzo
July 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM · Florida ·
Bad times creates strong people
Strong people create good times
good times create weak people
weak people create bad times
 
X/Twitter
B
@Bird_ManJr
Hard times create strong men
1:28 AM · Dec 10, 2013
 
Facebook
Sebastian Perez
January 8, 2014 at 5:37 PM ·
HARD TIMES
create STRONG MEN.
#makeithappen🤝
 
Facebook
Judy Harris is feeling blessed.
March 28, 2014 at 7:22 AM ·
“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”
What this says to me is this, where you start in life isn’t the end destination unless you allow it to be.
If you are a victim in your circumstance, you will forever remain trapped in it. Ie: the hard times will never end….
If you change your view point and welcome the challenge, your mind starts to find solutions, ways to move forward, ways to do it differently,
   
X/Twitter
Jacob 🇺🇸 🇪🇸
@Commando_Cat
Hard times make strong men. Strong men make easy times. Easy time make weak men. Weak men make hard times.
7:53 PM · Jun 30, 2015
 
Facebook
Tamp Tanja
November 8, 2015 at 1:00 PM ·
Hard times create strong men.
Strong men create good times.
Good times create weak men.
Weak men create hard times.”
     
X/Twitter
AltRightGuy🐸
@AndrewBunbury
@Civis_Silas
@LeonardusIX7 bad times breed hard men which breed good times which breed soft men which breed bad times.
4:09 PM · Dec 29, 2015
 
X/Twitter 
DEAR CUSTOMER
@DearCustomer25
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.
10:08 AM · Apr 18, 2016
     
X/Twitter
Slight Edge
@slightedge79
Soft times make soft men, soft men make hard times. Hard times make hard men. Hard men make soft times!
10:58 AM · May 12, 2016
 
X/Twitter
Derek Rein
@cptnd_
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.
(The saying is also shown on an image.—ed.)
8:13 PM · Jul 15, 2016
 
X/Twitter
Mr Crowson
@_Stormwell
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good time creates weak men. Weak men create hard times. The pendulum swings.
2:49 PM · Jul 16, 2016
     
9GAG 
ugfjsijs
Posted 15 Aug 16
This is accurate
(“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times” is shown on an image.—ed.)
 
X/Twitter
robzombie
@landfilth
Bad times make hard men, hard men make good times, good times make soft men, soft men make bad times #BasicHistory
8:25 AM · Aug 24, 2016
 
OCLC WorldCat record
Google Books 
Those who remain : a postapocalyptic novel
Author: G. Michael Hopf (Author)
Summary: The war between the Republic of Cascadia and the rogue nation Western Canada is raging. When it all ends, some who’ve stood with Gordon will be lost and those who remain pray that their sacrifices will usher in the new world they’ve been fighting so hard for
Print Book, English, 2016
Publisher: [CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform], [North Charleston, South Carolina], 2016
Series: The New World Series, book 7
Pg. ?:
Gordon looked at Hunter and smiled before he said, “I’ve lived a long time and seen a lot of shit. In my latter years, I’ve become somewhat of a philosopher and this is one truth that is indisputable. Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak mean create hard times.”
 
X/Twitter
Dying Days
@DyingDaysZombie
Those Who Remain: A Postapocalyptic Novel (... by G. Michael Hopf for $5.99 http://amzn.to/2cFngm8 via
@amazon
12:23 AM · Sep 30, 2016
   
X/Twitter
Gamma Del Ray
@banruh
the engine of cyclical history
(The “Hard Times create Strong Men” saying is shown on an image.—ed.)
11:11 PM · Oct 16, 2016
   
X/Twitter
Joel Lambert
@Joel5326
Strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create bad times…bad times create strong men.
Quote
Matthew McNelly
@nellfire
Oct 20, 2016
Replying to @Joel5326
True unity always involves sacrifice. Country will likely not be unified until an external threat so large forces our hand
1:05 PM · Oct 20, 2016
 
X/Twitter
BetterWisdomThanGold
@w4ytruthlife31_
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times
Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times
(This is also shown on an image titled “The Engine of Cyclical History.”—ed.)
1:46 PM · Oct 22, 2016
     
X/Twitter
Spidermain50
@Spidermain50
Hard times build strong men
Strong men build good times
Good times breed weak men
Weak men bring hard times
https://youtu.be/-CETiBe9X7g
5:48 PM · Oct 26, 2017
 
OCLC WorldCat record
Amazon.com
Hard times create strong men : What does it mean to be a man in the modern world?
Author: Stefan Aarnio (Author)
Print Book, English, 2019
Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing, Franklin, Tennessee, 2019
 
iFunny
KamenOverHeaven
5 feb 2020
the Engine of Cyclical History
       
Foreign Policy
Hard Times Don’t Make Strong Soldiers
Western strategists keep falling for myths of invincible barbarians.

By Bret Devereaux, a historian specializing in the Roman economy and military. 
MAY 2, 2020, 12:50 PM
“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” The quote, from a postapocalyptic novel by the author G. Michael Hopf, sums up a stunningly pervasive cyclical vision of history. The idea, which I have termed elsewhere “the Fremen Mirage” after the science fiction novel Dune’s desert-dwellers, posits that harsh conditions make for morally pure and militarily strong people, while wealth and sophistication make for decadent societies and poor fighters.
 
Reddit—AskHistorians   
darkoj—June 21, 2020
Does the aphorism “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times”, accurately reflect the evolution of civilizations through history and across different cultures?
COMMENTS
Iphikrates     
There is a long and colourful history of people worrying that there is something wrong with men.
 
This moral panic is born from the fact that, in many historical societies, armies were made up of ordinary citizen men. For society as a whole to be safe and secure, it was thought, men would therefore need to be tough, warlike, stoic, selfless and ready to defend the land. Society’s greatest enemy was the corrupting influence of peace and prosperity. Safe from war and used to a life of luxury, men would become soft, weak, and cowardly; they would no longer be willing or able to fight to protect themselves and others. In other words, moralists believed that comfort and wealth were enemies of masculinity itself - and, by extension, of civilised life. The stark phrase you cite here perfectly sums up this philosophy, in which masculinity is the guarantor of all good things, but is also permanently in crisis, as it constantly plants the seeds of its own destruction.
 
The idea goes back at least to the 5th century BC. The Greeks of the time of the historian Herodotos saw their own land as hard and poor, and they took this as one of the reasons why they had been able to ward off the famously wealthy Persians. They did not mind eating simple food, working in the hot sun and dying in battle, but the dainty Persians were too fond of nice things. Herodotos complicates the picture, though; he knew the Persians came from a hard land too (the arid Iranian plateau). Perhaps, he suggested, their origin explained their initial success, but their imperial power had undone them? This was certainly something his contemporary Athenians, with their newfangled empire, ought to bear in mind.
 
In his Histories, when a Persian first suggests to Cyrus the Great that they should conquer other lands, Cyrus sagely replied:
 
“Go ahead and do this, but if you do so, be prepared no longer to be rulers but rather subjects. Soft lands breed soft men; wondrous fruits of the earth and valiant warriors do not grow from the same soil.”
 
—Hdt. 9.122.3
 
Reddit—Quotes
Hurasaur—July 7, 2020
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” - G. Michael Hopf
And I think our modern society is creating more and more weak men.
 
Reddit—Quotes
Some_Chow—January 22, 2021
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” ― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain
 
iFunny 
GamingCentraI
19 nov 2022
Hard Times Create Strong Men DARK SOULS ah Weak Strong Men NG Men Create Create H
   
iFunny
WohnJick
14 apr 2023
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times. G. MICHAEL HOPF
 
iFunny
LukesMemes
16 aug 2023
And you are right here
HARD TIMES CREATE STRONG STRONG MEN CREATE GOOD TI GOOD TIMES CREATE WEAK M WEAK MEN CREATE HARD TIM MEN MES EN ES
 
iFunny
DrMexicutioner
12 jan 2024
HARD TIMES CREATE STRONG MEN I STRONG MEN CREATE GOOO TIMES TIMES CREATE WEAK MEN WEAK MEN CREATE HARD TIMES
 
X/Twitter
Weston Ulbrich
@ctrewes
Quote is apparently credited to G. Michael Hopf
@GMichaelHopf1
“Those Who Remain” & is based on the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory in which generations are influenced by unique cultural events & personas leading to recurring conflicts & reconstructions.
https://gmichaelhopf.com/hard-times
Quote
Gabriel Dombek
@DombekGabriel
Apr 12
Replying to @dhurley15
Don’t let the music drowned out the lyrics
3:39 PM · Apr 13, 2024 from Milford, CT

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /HealthWork/Businesses • Saturday, April 13, 2024 • Permalink


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