Aristocracy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "aristocracy" (showing 1-30 of 69)
Carl Sagan
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Eugene V. Debs
“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
Eugene V. Debs

E.M. Forster
“I believe in aristocracy, though -- if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secreat understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but power to endure, and they can take a joke.”
E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy

Tennessee Williams
“There is only one true aristocracy . . . and that is the aristocracy of passionate souls!”
Tennessee Williams

Ayn Rand
“Fransisco, you're some kind of very high nobility, aren't you?" He answered, "Not yet. The reason my family has lasted for such a long time is that none of us has ever been permitted to think he is born a d'Anconia. We are expected to become one.”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

John Keats
“Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.”
John Keats

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Aristocracy's only an admission that certain traits which we call fine - courage and honor and beauty and all that sort of thing - can best be developed in a favorable environment, where you don't have the warpings of ignorance and necessity.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

James Kelman
“Ninety-nine per cent of traditional English literature concerns people who never have to worry about money at all. We always seem to be watching or reading about emotional crises among folk who live in a world of great fortune both in matters of luck and money; stories and fantasies about rock stars and film stars, sporting millionaires and models; jet-setting members of the aristocracy and international financiers.”
James Kelman

Mark Twain
“It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions...

The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.”
Mark Twain

Karl Marx
“Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming catastrophe.

In this way arose feudal Socialism; half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future, at times by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart's core, but always ludicrous in its effects, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Gustave Flaubert
“ There was an air of indifference about them, a calm produced by the gratification of every passion; and through their manners were suave, one could sense beneath them that special brutality which comes from the habit of breaking down half-hearted resistances that keep one fit and tickle one’s vanity—the handling of blooded horses, the pursuit of loose women. ”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Leo Tolstoy
“Wait, wait,' he began, interrupting Oblonsky. 'Aristocratism, you say. But allow me to ask, what makes up this aristocratism of Vronsky or whoever else it may be - such aristocratism that I can be scorned? You consider Vronsky an aristocrat, but I don't. A man whose father crept out of nothing by wiliness, whose mother, God knows who she didn't have liaisons with... No, excuse me, but I consider myself an aristocrat and people like myself, who can point to three or four honest generations in their families' past, who had a high degree of education (talent and intelligence are another thing), and who never lowered themselves before anyone, never depended on anyone, as my father lived, and my grandfather. And I know many like that. You find it mean that I count the trees in the forest, while you give away thirty thousand to Ryabinin; but you'll have rent coming in and I don't know what else, while I won't, and so I value what I've inherited and worked for... We're the aristocrats, and not someone who can only exist on hand-outs from the mighty of this world and can be bought for twenty kopecks.

'But who are you attacking? I agree with you,' said Stepan Arkadyich sincerely and cheerfully, though he felt Levin included him among those who could be bought for twenty kopecks.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Alexis de Tocqueville
“There is hardly any political question in the United States that sooner or later does not turn into a judicial question. From that, the obligation that the parties find in their daily polemics to borrow ideas and language from the judicial system. Since most public men are or have formerly been jurists, they make the habits and the turn of ideas that belong to jurists pass into the handling of public affairs. The jury ends up by familiarizing all classes with them. Thus, judicial language becomes, in a way, the common language; so the spirit of the jurist, born inside the schools and courtrooms, spreads little by little beyond their confines; it infiltrates all of society, so to speak; it descends to the lowest ranks, and the entire people finishes by acquiring a part of the habits and tastes of the magistrate.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville
“Aristocracy naturally leads the human mind to the contemplation of the past, and fixes it there. Democracy, on the contrary, gives men a sort of instinctive distaste for what is ancient. In this respect aristocracy is far more favorable to poetry; for things commonly grow larger and more obscure as they are more remote; and, for this two-fold reason, they are better suited to the delineation of the ideal.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville
“Laws were made to establish a gradation of ranks; but it was soon found that the soil of America was opposed to a territorial aristocracy. To bring that refractory land into cultivation, the constant and interested exertions of the owner himself were necessary; and when the ground was prepared, its produce was found to be insufficient to enrich a proprietor and a farmer at the same time. The land was then naturally broken up into small portions, which the proprietor cultivated for himself. Land is the basis of an aristocracy, which clings to the soil that supports it; for it is not by privileges alone, nor by birth, but by landed property handed down from generation to generation, that an aristocracy is constituted. A nation may present immense fortunes and extreme wretchedness; but unless those fortunes are territorial, there is no true aristocracy, but simply the class of the rich and that of the poor.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Julian Fellowes
Lady Sylvia McCordle: Mr Weissman -- Tell us about the film you're going to make.
Morris Weissman: Oh, sure. It's called "Charlie Chan In London". It's a detective story.
Mabel Nesbitt: Set in London?
Morris Weissman: Well, not really. Most of it takes place at a shooting party in a country house. Sort of like this one, actually. Murder in the middle of the night, a lot of guests for the weekend, everyone's a suspect. You know, that sort of thing.
Constance: How horrid. And who turns out to have done it?
Morris Weissman: Oh, I couldn't tell you that. It would spoil it for you.
Constance: Oh, but none of us will see it.”
Julian Fellowes, Gosford Park: The Shooting Script

Thomas Mann
“We are the bourgeoisie—the third estate, as they call us now—and what we want is a nobility of merit, nothing more. We don't recognize this lazy nobility we now have, we reject our present class hierarchy. We want all men to be free and equal, for no one to be someone else's subject, but for all to be subject to the law. There should be an end of privileges and arbitrary power. Everyone should be treated equally as a child of the state, and just as there are no longer any middlemen between the layman and his God, so each citizen should stand in direct relation to the state. We want freedom of the press, of employment, of commerce. We want all men to compete without any special privileges, and the only crown should be the crown of merit.”
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

Henry James
“He was holding his breath so as not to inhale the odor of democracy.”
Henry James, The American

Leo Tolstoy
“Well, do you suppose I made up my mind then that what I had seen was something sickening? Not a bit of it. 'If it was done with such assurance and everyone thought it was necessary, then they must have known something I didn't,' was what I thought, and I tried to find out what it was. But I couldn't, no matter how hard I exerted myself. And since I couldn't, I couldn't join the army as I'd planned to, and not only did I not join the army, I couldn't find a place for myself anywhere in society, and ended up being no good for anything, as you can see.
'Oh yes, we know all about how you're no good for anything,' said one of us, 'But tell us: how many men would be no good for anything if it weren't for the likes of you?”
Leo Tolstoy, After the Ball

“The only thing for what you are bound is to be in your limit.”
Haseeb Ch

Will Durant
“[Voltaire] theoretically prefers a republic, but he knows its flaws: it permits factions which, if they do not bring on civil war, at least destroy national unity; it is suited only to small states protected by geographic situation, and as yet unspoiled and untorn with wealth; in general "men are rarely worthy to govern themselves." Republics are transient at best; they are the first form of society, arising from the union of families; the American Indians lived in tribal republics, and Africa is full of such democracies. but differentiation of economic status puts an end to these egalitarian governments; and differentiation is the inevitable accompaniment of development.”
Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

“As every good marxist already knows, the ideological shift toward a terminally optimistic humanism was vital to the rise of bourgeoisie, and the decline of aristocracy.”
Terre Thaemlitz, Nuisance - Writings on identity jamming & digital audio production

Erwin Panofsky
“Reform or no reform, he never ceased to promote the interests of St. Denis and the Royal House of France with the same naive, and in his case not entirely unjustified, conviction of their identity with those of the nation and with the Will of God as a modern oil or steel magnate may promote legislation favorable to his company and to his bank as something beneficial to the welfare of this country and to the progress of mankind.”
Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form

Kelsey Brickl
“I was scarcely the first, nor the only current, girl of impressive derivation to be unceremoniously thrust through the iron gate at the entrance of Le Murate by parents whose aspirations for their daughters did not include marriage. Our paths to the convent were varied, but no matter. We all wound up in the same habit.”
Kelsey Brickl, Paint

Thomas Paine
“There is an unnatural unfitness in an aristocracy to be legislators for a nation. Their ideas of distributive justice are corrupted at the very source. They begin life trampling on all their younger brothers and sisters, and relations of every kind, and are taught and educated so to do. With what ideas of justice or honor can that man enter a house of legislation, who absorbs in his own person the inheritance of a whole family of children, or metes out some pitiful portion with the insolence of a gift?”
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Plutarch
“For kings indeed we have, who wear the marks and assume the titles of royalty, but as for the qualities of their minds, they have nothing by which they are to be distinguished from their subjects.”
Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives Volume 1

Alexandre Dumas
“What my family seeks in this marriage is prestige; what I seek is happiness.”
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

“There's an aristocracy in the whims of destiny.”
Efrat Cybulkiewicz

“Aristocracy, nowadays : A Man who keeps on showing his stolen Car Keys”
Jean-Michel Rene Souche, Paintings Catalogue: Paintings Catalogue by French Artist Jean-Michel Rene Souche, Odessa

“I am an aristocrat: I love liberty, I hate equality.”
John Randolph

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