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.

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Entry from June 09, 2010
“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser”

Nobel prize-winning scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) told this to an Associated Press reporter in November 1930:

“Reduced to a formula,” he replied after a moment’s reflection, “one might say simply that an empty stomach is not a good political adviser. Unfortunately, the corollary also is true—namely, that better political insight has a hard time winning its way as long as there is little prospect of filling the stomach.”

Einstein was speaking about the German political situation and was implying that desperation does not make good politics.

The saying is also frequently given with the “advisor” spelling: “An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.”


Wikipedia: Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein (pronounced /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14 March 1879–18 April 1955) was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

His many contributions to physics include the special and general theories of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the first post-Newtonian expansion, explaining the perihelion advance of Mercury, prediction of the deflection of light by gravity and gravitational lensing, the first fluctuation dissipation theorem which explained the Brownian movement of molecules, the photon theory and wave-particle duality, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, the semiclassical version of the Schrödinger equation, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein additionally wrote and commentated prolifically on numerous philosophical and political subjects.

YAHOO! Answers
What does this quote mean “An empty stomach is not a good political advisor” - albert einstein?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
I assume it means that being hungry is not a state when people are best at making rational political decisions.

However, I can find no reliable citation to Einstein. It first turns up attributed to Einstein in various quotation collections in the 1940s (see Google Books http://books.google.com/books?client=fir… ) and one or two say it comes from Einstein’s book “Cosmic Religion” - but it’s not in there.

His nearest similar quotation (from 1931) is “Hitler is living — or shall I say sitting? — on the empty stomach of Germany. As soon as economic conditions improve, Hitler will sink into oblivion” ( http://books.google.com/books?id=AIHgK-p… )

23 November 1930, Springfield (MA) Rep ublican, pg. 2A, cols. 4-5:
Einstein Dreads Nerve-Wracking
“Hospitality” Awaiting His Arrival


“Father of Relativity” Expects Profitable Parleys With
Scientists But Shrinks From “Indorsements,” Din-
ners, Speeches—Half-Tempted to Stay on Ship at
New York
Berlin, No. 22—(AP)—What Prof. ALbert Einstein fears most about his approaching visit in the United States is his arrival in New York, he told the Associated Press today.
(...)
The Associated Press representative asked Professor Einstein to comment on the German situation.

“Reduced to a formula,” he replied after a moment’s reflection, “one might say simply that an empty stomach is not a good political adviser. Unfortunately, the corollary also is true—namely, that better political insight has a hard time winning its way as long as there is little prospect of filling the stomach.”

9 December 1930, Syracuse (NY) Herald, “Sharp Comment—The Great and Near Great Say,” pg. 8, col. 5:
“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.”—Albert E. Einstein.

10 October 1974, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Who Said That?,” pg. D2:
An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.—Albert Einstein.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, June 09, 2010 • Permalink