Five weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Dozens responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a couple per week.
Sorry if this is vague, but there’s this quote that goes something like “You get the democracy you deserve” or “In a democracy you get the government you deserve.” I’ve heard that quite a few times and I realized recently I didn’t actually know where it came from.
The Yale Book of Quotations has the following quote under Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) from Lettres et Opuscules Inédits, vol. 1, no. 53 (1851) (Letter of 15 August, 1811):
Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite. (Every country has the government it deserves.)
Ari asks who said the following:
In the long run, we’re all dead.
The YBQ has this under John Maynard Keynes, from “A Tract on Monetary Reform,” Chapter 3 (1923):
But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?