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Old 26 July 2007, 05:52 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
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Fight George Orwell quote

Comment: There is a quote, attributed to George Orwell, that is a favorite
of certain segment of our population: "We sleep safely in our beds at
night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf." I have
looked for its origin -- but not hard. I am wondering about where the
quote came from. It is real... or another Urban Lengend? Would knowing
its real context change its bellicose meaning?
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Old 26 July 2007, 05:57 AM
MidgardDragon's Avatar
MidgardDragon MidgardDragon is offline
Join Date: 13 January 2004
Location: Powell, TN
Posts: 6,764

Wiki list of misquotations:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

* Alternative: "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us."
* In his 1945 "Notes on Nationalism", Orwell did state that, for the pacifist type of a nationalist, the notion that "Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." is impossible to accept. "Notes on Nationalism"
* Notes: allegedly said by George Orwell although there is no evidence that Orwell ever wrote or uttered either of these versions of this idea. They do bear some similarity to comments made in an essay that Orwell wrote on Rudyard Kipling, when quoting from one of his poems.
o "Yes, making mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep" - Rudyard Kipling (Tommy)
o "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it." - Jack Nicholson (A Few Good Men)
* Alternative: "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill (miscellaneous quotation, no date)
Yes, before anyone jumps on me, I realize it's Wiki, I'm just putting it out there.
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