Billionaire Magazine Cites Fake Gandhi Quote To Defend Insane Wealth

The quote is actually from a socialist union organizer.

Billionaire Magazine may want to invest in a new fact checker.

Not the be confused with another magazine of the same name, the publication -- which chronicles the lives of the world's wealthiest so gushingly that it would make Forbes blush -- tweeted on Tuesday a photo of a black Bentley parked in front of a docked, helicopter-equipped yacht. Paired with it was the quote: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

The quote is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, whose radical rejection of wealth and materialism helped propel him to prominence as the leader who helped topple British imperial rule over India.

"As a proud American veteran my aim is simply to inspire thought and action. Irony within our quotes and photographs can sometimes be an effective tool by which to achieve this within the 140 character constraints offered by Twitter," Lawrence Colbert, the magazine's chief executive, told The Huffington Post in an email. "Though my brand is called Billionaire, my origin and lifestyle is indeed quite humble and ordinary and I continue to act in service of our great country overseas to this day (I’m not a billionaire)."

What's more ironic is that Gandhi didn't even say that. Nicholas Klein, a socialist leader and trade unionist, probably did. He sermonized a nearly identical line in a 1918 speech to a textile workers' union in Baltimore.


"And my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement," he said, according to a Google-scanned copy of the Proceedings of the Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. "First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America."

The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which formally dissolved in 1976, is now represented by Unite Here!, a large union representing textile and hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. A spokeswoman for the union did not immediately return a call requesting comment, or a shared laugh.

Maybe, in lieu of a statue, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America will accept a Bentley or a trip to Monaco as a tribute.

This story has been updated with a statement from Billionaire.

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