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If he had not become a Communist at 22, I would have disowned him.
If he is still a Communist at 30, I will do it then.”There is a foolish aphorism to the effect that “If you aren’t a socialist at twenty, you have no heart, and if you are a socialist at forty, you have no head.” Something like that.
This saying is often attributed to the French statesman and historian François Guizot who died in 1874.
However, this ascription was based in an entry in “Benham’s Book of Quotations Proverbs and Household Words” which was published many years after the death of Guizot; hence the supporting data is not very strong.
Details are given further below in the 1936 citation.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
As a consequence, the writer needs some other method of generating conflict.
However, QI has not located the quotation under investigation in the writings of Burke. The same quotation with an ascription to Batbie appeared in volume five of the “La Grande Encyclopédie” which was published circa 1888.
There is a family of sayings that present a mordant judgment on this ideological evolution.
Dear Quote Investigator: Some individuals change their political orientation as they grow older.
Aujourd’hui nous pourrions ajouter: ou un coquin ».
One of the revolutionists, an honest, intelligent and perfectly sincere man, a real reformer, took up the well-known phrase of Victor Hugo: “If a man is not a republican at twenty, it is because he has no heart, and if he is one at forty, it is because he has no brains.”  [Footnote 1] Madero par una de sus intimos p. In 1923 the “Wall Street Journal” credited King Oscar II of Sweden with a version of the remark using the word “socialist” instead of “républicain” or “republican”.