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 December 20, 2012
“What is a communist? One who hath yearnings for equal division of unequal earnings.”

English poet Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849) wrote:

EPIGRAM.
What is a communist? One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings:
Idler, or bungler, or both, he is willing
To fork out his penny, and pocket your shilling.*
*And he has two names, Legion and Danger.


The epigram was published in Elliott’s More Verse and Prose by The Cornlaw Rhymer (1850), but some citations give 1831 a the date of this epigram. Elliott’s definition of a communist has been reprinted in many books.


Wikipedia: Ebenezer Elliott
Ebenezer Elliott (17 March 1781 – 1 December 1849) was an English poet, known as the Corn Law rhymer.

Google Books
More Verse and Prose
By The Cornlaw Rhymer

Volume I
By Ebenezer Elliott
London: Charles Fox
1850
Pg. 72:
EPIGRAM.
What is a communist? One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings:
Idler, or bungler, or both, he is willing
To fork out his penny, and pocket your shilling.*
*And he has two names, Legion and Danger.

Google Books
February 1850, The People’s Review, pg. 40:
Elliott’s anti-corn-law invectives ill be remembered as examples in point, but one epigram which we find in this volume—one over which the Athenaeum has more than once rejoiced—is, in its indiscriminating spirit, an illustration of these remarks. It runs thus:—

What is a communist? One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings:
Idler, or bungler, or both, he is willing
To fork out his penny, and pocket your shilling.


Google Books
Famous Lines:
A Columbia Dictionary of Familiar Quotations

By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1997
Pg. 84:
What is a communist? One who has yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings.
EBENEZER ELLIOT, (1781-1849) British pamphleteer, poet. “Epigram” (1831), published in Poetical Works (1840).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, December 20, 2012 • Permalink