Quotes About Working Class

Quotes tagged as "working-class" (showing 1-30 of 41)
Tawni O'Dell
“She hated her job the same way I hated my jobs because she knew she was worth more, but she also hated herself so there wasn't much point in trying to do better.”
Tawni O'Dell, Back Roads

Jeanette Winterson
“I didn't want to be in the teeming mass of the working class.[...] I didn't want to live and die in the same place with only a week at the seaside in between. I dreamed of escape - but what is terrible about industrialisation is that it makes escape necessary. In a system that generates masses, individualism is the only way out. But then what happens to community - to society?”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

“I'm not working-class: I come from the criminal classes.”
Peter O'Toole

Alan Sillitoe
“Well, it's a good life and a good world, all said and done, if you don't weaken.”
Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Christopher Hitchens
“As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Douglas Coupland
“Face it: You're always just a breath away from a job in telemarketing.”
Douglas Coupland, Microserfs

George Orwell
“This business of petty inconvenience and indignity, of being kept waiting about, of having to do everything at other people’s convenience, is inherent in working-class life. A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that ‘they’ will never allow him to do this, that, and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that ‘they’ would never allow it. Who were ‘they’? I asked. Nobody seemed to know, but evidently ‘they’ were omnipotent.”
George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

Núria Añó
“The land of easy mathematics where he who works adds up and he who retires subtracts.”
Núria Añó

Hervé Bazin
“O horário é um triturador de lembranças”
Hervé Bazin, La Mort du petit cheval

Roman Payne
“Let these men sing out their songs,
they've been walking all day long,
all their fortune's spent and gone...
silver dollar in the subway station;
quarters for the papers for the jobs.”
Roman Payne

John Dos Passos
“But the workingpeople, the common people, they won't allow it.' 'It's the common people who get most fun out of the torture and execution of great men.... If it's not going too far back I'd like to know who it was demanded the execution of our friend Jesus H. Christ.”
John Dos Passos, The Big Money

“Embrace dysfunction" this one helps in the workplace!”
Rick Hein

Haruki Murakami
“One guy yelled at me, 'You stupid bitch, how do you live like that with nothing in your brain?' Well, that did it. I wasn't going to put up with that. Ok, I'm not so smart. I'm working class. But it's the working class that keeps the world running, and it's the working classes that get exploited. What kind of revolution is it that just throws out big words that working-class people can't understand? What kind of crap social revolution is that? I mean, I'd like to make the world a better place, too. If somebody's really being exploited, we've got to put a stop to it. That's what I believe, and that's why I ask questions. Am I right, or what?”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“So blieb [den individuellen Aufsteigern aus dem Arbeitermilieu] allein die Imitation der Verhaltensweisen und Ideologien von der mindestens heimlich bewunderten privilegierten Schicht, in die einzutreten schließlich Ziel des langen Weges war. Doch das Original mag den Nachahmer nicht, verhält sich bestenfalls gönnerhaft-spöttisch, von oben herab. Der Kopierende gibt sich alle erdenkliche Mühe, wird oft gar zum aggressiven Apologeten des Vorbildes, was – so Norbert Elias – »zu ganz spezifischen Verkrümmungen des Bewußtseins und der Haltung« führt. Der sozialdemokratische Kotau vor den Imperativen der Privatisierung, der finanzkapitalistischen Entgrenzungen, der Steuerbefreiung für Kapitalinvestoren in den Jahren 1999-2005 – er mag damit zu tun haben.”
Franz Walter, Vorwärts oder abwärts? Zur Transformation der Sozialdemokratie

Lailah Gifty Akita
“We are endowed with different kinds of gifts for different kinds of services.”
Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!

“Die Unzulänglichkeiten ihres Herkunftsmilieus [der Arbeiterschaft], sich in Sprache und Kultur der mittleren und höheren Schichten ausdrücken zu können, erschwerten ihren Aufstieg – und trugen dazu bei, dass sich die sozialen Parvenüs oft geradezu demonstrativ nach unten abgrenzten, um in der Lebenswelt oben willkommen geheißen zu werden. Wohl auch deshalb nahm der spätere Bundeskanzler Schröder den Brioni so wichtig. Störend dabei war, dass der Übereifer in der Adaption der neuen Lebensmaximen die frühere soziale Inferiorität erst recht offenlegte und so auf die Unsicherheit im Stil hinwies; hier machte sich eine von den traditionellen Eliten robust errichtete Sperre bemerkbar, welche die social climbers trotz – besser: gerade wegen – ihres angestrengten Tuns nicht überwinden konnten.”
Franz Walter, Vorwärts oder abwärts? Zur Transformation der Sozialdemokratie

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Бедные люди капризны, — это уж так от природы устроено. Я это и прежде чувствовал. Он, бедный-то человек, он взыскателен; он и на свет-то божий иначе смотрит, и на каждого прохожего косо глядит, да вокруг себя смущенным взором поводит, да прислушивается к каждому слову, — дескать, не про него ли там что говорят? ...И ведомо каждому, Варенька, что бедный человек хуже ветошки и никакого ни от кого уважения получить не може, что уж там ни пиши!”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Poor Folk

“The road to the new society had lengthened and become overgrown sadly since 1904. The working class in many thousands had been shown its errors in thinking, but persisted in them. Very well: the working class must have the rigours of capitalism, and if the rigours were harsh - it serves them right for not accepting socialism.”
Robert Barltrop

Haruki Murakami
“O.K., so I'm not so smart. I'm working class. But it's the working class that keeps the world running, and it's the working class that gets exploited. What the hell kind of revolution have you got just tossing out big words that working-class people can't understand? What the hell kind of social revolution is that? I mean, I'd like to make the world a better place, too. If somebody's really being exploited, we've got to put a stop to it. That's what I believe, and that's why I ask questions.”
Haruki Murakami

W.S. Gilbert
“ALEXIS
I have made some converts to the principle that men and women should be coupled in matrimony without distinction of rank. I have lectured on the subject at Mechanics' Institutes, and the mechanics were unanimous in favour of my views. I have preached in workhouses, beershops and Lunatic Asylums, and I have been received with enthusiasm. I have addressed navvies on the advantages that would accrue to them if they married wealthy ladies of rank, and not a navvy dissented!

ALINE
Noble fellows! And yet there are those who hold that the uneducated classes are not open to argument! And what do the countesses say?

ALEXIS
Why, at present, it can't be denied, the aristocracy hold aloof.

ALINE
Ah, the working man is the true Intelligence after all!

ALEXIS
He is a noble creature when he is quite sober.”
W.S. Gilbert, The Sorcerer

Richard Wright
“Never had I felt so much the slave as when I scoured those stone steps each afternoon. Working against time, I would wet five steps, sprinkle soap powder, then a white doctor or a nurse would come and, instead of avoiding the soppy steps, walk on them and track the dirty water onto the steps that I had already cleaned. To obviate this, I cleaned but two steps at a time, a distance over which a ten-year-old child could step. But it did no good. The white people still plopped their feet down into the dirty water and muddled the other clean steps. If I ever really hotly hated unthinking whites, it was then. Not once during my entire stay at the institute did a single white person show enough courtesy to avoid a wet step.”
Richard Wright, Black Boy

Tony Benn
“He referred to Aneurin Bevan as 'Urinal' Bevan. As for the working classes, they couldn't write their own names in shit on a lavatory wall. I said I thought they could.”
Tony Benn, The Benn Diaries: 1940-1990

Núria Añó
“Europe, the land of easy mathematics where he who works adds up and he who retires subtracts. The land where the economy gets to stagger all over the continent.”
Núria Añó

Sergio Troncoso
“There is a certain pride in work and in your body throbbing beyond any boundaries you imagined you could endure. You identify with those who come home with pieces of pork fat wedged into their boots, with gashes on their arms and legs from their tools and machines, and with black grime etched into the folds of their dark skin.

Too often this country has turned its back on the working class and the working poor, not to mention the undocumented workers who harvest the food for American tables and build our houses.”
Sergio Troncoso

Karl Marx
“The 'free' laborer, thanks to the development of capitalistic production, agrees, i.e. is compelled by social conditions, to sell the whole of his active life, his birthright for a mass of pottage.”
Karl Marx

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