Bourgeois Quotes

Quotes tagged as "bourgeois" Showing 1-30 of 37
Karl Marx
“The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered forms, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation, distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Steven Pinker
“Much of what is today called "social criticism" consists of members of the upper classes denouncing the tastes of the lower classes (bawdy entertainment, fast food, plentiful consumer goods) while considering themselves egalitarians.”
Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Karl Marx
“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Tayeb Salih
“Everyone who is educated today wants to sit at a comfortable desk under a fan and live in an air-conditioned house surrounded by a garden, coming and going in an American car as wide as the street. If we do not tear out this disease by the roots we shall have with us a bourgeoisie that is in no way connected with the reality of our life...”
Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North

Karl Marx
“But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.”
Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto

Milan Kundera
“Revolution in Love’. Can you tell me what you mean by that? Do you want free love as against bourgeois marriage, or monogamy as against bourgeois promiscuity?”
Milan Kundera, Life is Elsewhere

“Little by little the agents have taken over the world. They don't do anything, they don't make anything, they just stand and take their cut.”

“Like symbolism, decadence puts forth the idea that the function of literature is to evoke impressions and 'correspondences', rather than to realistically depict the world. ... the decadent aestheticized decay and took pleasure in perversity. In decadent literature, sickness is preferable to health, not only because sickness was regarded as more interesting, but because sickness was construed as subversive, as a threat to the very fabric of society. By embracing the marginal, the unhealthy and the deviant, the decadents attacked bourgeois life, which they perceived as the chief enemy of art.”
Asti Hustvedt

Thomas Mann
“Naphta loathed the bourgeois state and its love of security. He found occasion to express this loathing one autumn afternoon when, as they were walking along the main street, it suddenly began to rain and, as if on command, there was an umbrella over every head. That was a symbol of cowardice and vulgar effeminacy, the end product of civilization. An incident like the sinking of the Titanic was atavistic, true, but its effect was most refreshing, it was the handwriting on the wall. Afterward, of course, came the hue and cry for more security in shipping. How pitiful, but such weak-willed humanitarianism squared very nicely with the wolfish cruelty and villainy of slaughter on the economic battlefield known as the bourgeois state. War, war ! He was all for it – the universal lust for war seemed quite honorable in comparison.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Philip K. Dick
“On one hand she seems so agile, so athletic, and yet I've seen her appear so awkward that it embarrassed me. She gives the impression of a hard, worldly adroitness, and in some situations she's like an adolescent: rigid with ancient, middle class attitudes, unable to think for herself, falling back on old verities...victim of her family teaching, shocked by what shocks people, wanting what people usually want. She wants a home, a husband, and her idea of a husband is a man who earns a certain amount of money, helps around the garden, does the dishes...the idea of a good husband that's found in This Week magazine; a viewpoint from the most ordinary stratum, that great ubiquitous world of family life, transmitted from generation to generation. Despite her wild language.”
Philip K. Dick, Confessions of a Crap Artist

John Fowles
“You despise the real bourgeois classes for all their snobbishness and their snobbish voices and ways. You do, don't you? Yet all you put in their place is a horrid little refusal to have nasty thoughts or do nasty things or be nasty in any way. Do you know that every great thing in the story of art and every beautiful thing in life is actually what you call nasty or has been caused by feelings that you would call nasty? By passion, by love, by hatred, by truth. Do you know that?”
John Fowles, The Collector

C.S. Lewis
“And he had been very badly treated by a girl too. He had thought her a really civilised and adult personality, and then she had unexpectedly revealed that she was a mass of bourgeois prejudices and monogamic instincts.”
C S Lewis, The Great Divorce

Karl Marx
“The Constitution, the National Assembly, the dynastic parties, the blue and the red republicans, the heroes of Africa, the thunder from the platform, the sheet lightning of the daily press, the entire literature, the political names and the intellectual reputations, the civil law and penal code, the liberté, égalité, fraternité and the second of May 1852—all have vanished like a phantasmagoria before the spell of a man whom even his enemies do not make out to be a magician. Universal suffrage seems to have survived only for a moment, in order that with its own hand it may make its last will and testament before the eyes of all the world and declare in the name of the people itself: Everything that exists has this much worth, that it will perish.”
Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

“Ainsi dans le faste ostenstatoire d'une dernière cérémonie, le bourgeois, laissant à ses fils un héritage plus riche que celui qu'il a reçu de son père, quite ce monde où il a conu au moins deux grands sources de joie, la fortune et la vanité...

Thus in the ostentatious pomp of a last ceremony, the bourgeois, leaving his sons a richer heritage than he has received from his own father, departs from this world where he has known at least two great sources of joy, the fortune and the vanity...”
Georges Mongredien, La Vie Quotidienne sous Louis XIV

Vann Chow
“I love America for its bourgeois comfort. If I was as heavily in debt as they are, I wouldn't be drinking tea or coffee anywhere. I would be sipping tap water from an old bottle and serving others tea or coffee in a cafe somewhere.”
vann chow, Shanghai Nobody

Jack London
“And, when the whim changes, it is most easy and delightfully disconcerting to play with the respectable and cowardly bourgeois fetishes and to laugh and epigram at the flitting god-ghosts and the debaucheries and follies of wisdom.”
Jack London, John Barleycorn: Alcoholic Memoirs

Peter Gay
“An experience is an encounter of mind with world, neither of these ever simple or wholly perspicuous. Often commonplace on the surface, experience shows itself, especially when we trace its roots to the remote domains of the unconscious, uncooperative, evasive, taciturn; the creature of ambiguous impulsions and unresolved conflicts, it often sows confusion and compels drastic misreadings. Far more than simply providing occasions for the stereotyped exercise of thoughts and action, experiences participate in creating the object of interest and passion; it gives form to the inchoate wishes and defends against besetting anxieties.
Peter Gay, Education of the Senses: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud

Peter Gay
“The human mind hungers for reality; except for the largely encapsulated id, which is the depository of the raw drives and of deeply repressed material, the other institutions of the mind, the ego and the superego, draw continuously and liberally on the culture in which they subsist, develop, succeed, and fail. While the mind presents the world with its needs, the world gives the mind its grammar, wishes their vocabulary, anxieties their object.”
Peter Gay, The Cultivation of Hatred - the Bourgeois Experience - Victoria to Freud

George L. Mosse
“It was a cultural revolution, and was not directed at instituting economic changes. He could thus appeal to old prejudices without threatening the existing economic system. This appealed, above all, to white-collar workers and the small entrepreneurs, as some of the statistics presented in this book will demonstrate. It was their kind of revolution: the ideology would give them a new status, free them from isolation in the industrial society, and give them a purpose in life. But it would not threaten any of their vested interests; indeed it would reinforce their bourgeois predilections toward family...and restore the 'good old values' which had been so sadly dismantled by modernity.”
George L. Mosse, Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich

“Man's nature, he postulated, was to be a "free conscious producer," but so far he had not been able to express himself freely in productive activity. He had been driven to produce by need and greed, by a passion for accumulation which in the modern bourgeois age becomes accumulation of capital. His productive activity had always, therefore, been involuntary; it had been "labour.”
Robert C. Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader

Thomas Mann
“But a man of tender sensitivities finds disruption unpleasant; he finds it unpleasant to break in on a well-constructed train of thought with his own logical or historical objections culled from memory, and even in the anti-intellectual he will honor and respect the intellect. Today we can see clearly enough that it was the mistake of our civilization to have been all too generous in exercising such forbearance and respect—since on the opposing side we were indeed dealing with naked insolence and the most determined intolerance.”
Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus

Hans Urs von Balthasar
“The man who follows Christ in full, who denies himself and and dies to himself and to the world, can never, ever be a “bourgeois.”
Hans Urs von Balthasar

Arnold Hauser
“Knighthood became an anachronism not because its weapons, but because its ‘idealism’ and irrationalism had become out of date. The knight did not understand the motive forces behind the new economy, the new society and the new state; he still persisted in regarding the middle class with its money and ‘narrow-minded’ commercial outlook as an anomaly. The men of the middle class knew much better where they stood with the knights. It amused them to join in the masquerade of the knightly tournaments and the ‘courts of love’, but they treated all such activities as mere sport; in their business activities they remained hard-headed and free from illusions in a world which was the very opposite of chivalrous.”
Arnold Hauser, The Social History of Art, Volume 1: From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages

Arnold Hauser
“Richardson' moralizing novels contain the germ of the most immoral art that has ever existed, namely the incitement to indulge in those wish-fantasies in which decency is only a means to an end, and the inducement to occupy oneself to mere illusions instead of striving for the solution of the real problems of life. They also, for that reason, denote one of the most important dividing lines in the history of modern literature; previously the works of an author were either really moral or immoral, but since his time the books which want to appear moral in most cases merely moralize. In the struggle against the upper classes the bourgeois loses his innocence, and as he has to emphasize his virtue all too often, he becomes a hypocrite.”
Arnold Hauser, The Social History of Art: Volume 3: Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism

Karl Marx
“Finally, to say that "the most favourable condition for wage. labour is the fastest possible growth of productive capital," is the same as to say: the quicker the working class multiplies and augments the power inimical to it—the wealth of another which lords it over that class—the more favourable will be the conditions under which it will be permitted to toil anew at the multiplication of bourgeois wealth, at the enlargement of the power of capital, content thus to forge for itself the golden chains by which the bourgeoisie drags it in its train.”
Karl Marx, Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit

“All along the river, the people I spoke to were hard-working and deeply attached to the mental security blanket of having a decent house, clean car and steady job. They were relatively wealthy, but at the same time quite ambivalent about wealth, and disdainful of anything which smacked of excessive consumption. Family was important, but having expensive jewellery or a fancy haircut usually were not. People considered it essential to be productive and efficient, but would also think it an outrage to be expected to reply to a work email on the weekend. From Rotterdam to Ludwigshafen, they counted pennies and returned empty bottles, avoided running up debts, and were careful to save for rainy days. Food was enjoyed but unimportant, and a 'salad' was anything covered with mayonnaise, preferably fried first.”
Ben Coates, The Rhine: Following Europe's Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps

C.S. Lewis
“When I was a boy -- a bourgeois boy -- that term was applied to my social class by the class above it. Bourgeois meant "not aristocratic, therefore vulgar." When I was in my twenties this changed. My class was now vilified by the class below it; bourgeois began to mean "not proletarian, therefore parasitic, reactionary." Thus it has always been a reproach to assign a man to that class which has provided the world with nearly all its divines, poets, philosophers, scientists, musicians, painters, doctors, architects, and administrators.”
C. S. Lewis

Владимир Набоков
“Я окончательно проясню смысл термина, сказав, что, например, сегодня в коммунистической России советская литература, советское искусство, советская музыка, советские идеалы основательно и нудно буржуазны. За железным — занавес тюлевый. Советский чиновник, крупный или мелкий, — воплощение буржуазного духа, мещанства. Ключ к флоберовскому термину — мещанство господина Омэ.”
Владимир Набоков, Lectures on Literature

Peter Gay
“The need to live by secure, sharply etched classifications is buried deep in the human mind and one of its earliest demands; simplicity allays anxieties by defeating discriminations. Real situations are rarely clear-cut, real feelings often nests of ambivalence. This is something the adult learns to recognize and to tolerate, if he is fortunate; it is a strenuous insight from which he will regress at the first opportunity. That is why the liberal temper, which taught men to live with uncertainties and ambiguities, the most triumphant achievement of nineteenth-century culture, was so vulnerable to the assaults of cruder views of the world, to bigotry, chauvinism, and other coarse and simplistic classifications. "Every society," wrote Friedrich Nietzsche in one of his most brilliant aphorisms, "has the tendency to degrade and, as it were, to starve out, its adversaries—at least in its perception." The criminal, he thought, was one victim of such a regressive process; so was the Jew. And "among artists, the 'philistine and bourgeois' becomes a caricature." And artists, the avant-gardes, Nietzsche might have added, only set the tone for the wider culture. Class consciousness, which emerged fitfully and then more and more fully and aggressively towards the end of the eighteenth and in the early nineteenth century, enshrined such a caricature: a mixture and social reality and unconscious needs.”
Peter Gay, Education of the Senses: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud

Mário de Andrade
“Death to the bourgeois on his knees, smelling of religion and not believing in God!”
Mário de Andrade

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