Bourgeoisie Quotes

Quotes tagged as "bourgeoisie" (showing 1-30 of 37)
Karl Marx
“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors,' and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous 'cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

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

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
“And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state that it has to feed him instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie; in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.

The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labor. Wage-labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Mœbius
“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.”
Mœbius

Leon Trotsky
“‎The party that leans upon the workers but serves the bourgeoisie, in the period of the greatest sharpening of the class struggle, cannot but sense the smells wafted from the waiting grave.”
Leon Trotsky

Hannah Arendt
“Imperialism was born when the ruling class in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion. The bourgeoisie turned to politics out of economic necessity; for if it did not want to give up the capitalist system whose inherent law is constant economic growth, it had to impose this law upon its home governments and to proclaim expansion to be an ultimate political goal of foreign policy.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hermann Hesse
“The bourgeois today burns as heretics and hangs as criminals those to whom he erects monuments tomorrow.”
Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Hannah Arendt
“Only the unlimited accumulation of power could bring about the unlimited accumulation of capital.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

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

Kathy Acker
“I need anything, anything that will stop me from living in the kind of death the bourgeois eat, the death called comfort.”
Kathy Acker, In Memoriam to Identity

Hannah Arendt
“The philosophy of Hobbes, it is true, contains nothing of modern race doctrines, which not only stir up the mob, but in their totalitarian form outline very clearly the forms of organization through which humanity could carry the prerequisite for all race doctrines, that is, the exclusion in principle of the idea of humanity which constitutes the sole regulating idea of international law. With the assumption that foreign politics is necessarily outside of the human contract, engaged in the perpetual war of all against all, which is the law of the "state of nature," Hobbes affords the best possible theoretical foundation for those naturalistic ideologies which hold nations to be tribes, separated from each other by nature, without any connection whatever, unconscious of the solidarity of mankind and having in common only the instinct for self-preservation which man shares with the animal world. If the idea of humanity, of which the most conclusive symbol is the common origin of the human species, is no longer valid, then nothing is more plausible than a theory according to which brown, yellow, or black races are descended from some other species of apes than the white race, and that all together are predestined by nature to war against each other until they have disappeared from the face of the earth.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

John Fowles
“I hate what G.P. calls the New People, the new class people with their cars and their money and their tellies and their stupid vulgarities and their stupid crawling imitations of the bourgeoisie.
(...)
The New People are still the poor people, it is the new form of poverty. The others hadn't any money and these haven't any soul.”
John Fowles

Friedrich Engels
“True, t is only individuals who starve, but what security has the working-man that it may not be his turn tomorrow? Who assures him employment, who vouches for it that, if for any reason or no reason his lord and master discharges him tomorrow, he can struggle along with those dependant upon him, until he may find some one else 'to give him bread'? Who guarantees that willingness to work shall suffice to obtain work, that uprightness, industry, thrift, and the rest of the virtues recommended by the bourgeoisie, are really his road to happiness? No one. He knows that every breeze that blows, every whim of his employer, every bad turn of trade may hurl him back into the fierce whirlpool from which he has temporarily saved himself, and in which it is hard and often impossible to keep his head above water. He knows that, though he may have the means of living today, it is very uncertain whether he shall tomorrow.”
Friedrich Engels

Christopher Hitchens
“In the same essay, Said (who is reviewing Peter Stansky and William Abrams, co-authors obsessed with the Blair/Orwell distinction) congratulates them on their forceful use of tautology:

‘Orwell belonged to the category of writers who write.’ And could afford to write, they might have added. In contrast they speak of George Garrett, whom Orwell met in Liverpool, a gifted writer, seaman, dockworker, Communist militant, ‘the plain facts of [whose] situation—on the dole, married and with kids, the family crowded into two rooms—made it impossible for him to attempt any extended piece of writing.’ Orwell’s writing life then was from the start an affirmation of unexamined bourgeois values.


This is rather extraordinary. Orwell did indeed meet Garrett in Liverpool in 1936, and was highly impressed to find that he knew him already through his pseudonymous writing—under the name Matt Lowe—for John Middleton Murry’s Adelphi. As he told his diary:

I urged him to write his autobiography, but as usual, living in about two rooms on the dole with a wife (who I gather objects to his writing) and a number of kids, he finds it impossible to settle to any long work and can only do short stories. Apart from the enormous unemployment in Liverpool, it is almost impossible for him to get work because he is blacklisted everywhere as a Communist.


Thus the evidence that supposedly shames Orwell by contrast is in fact supplied by—none other than Orwell himself! This is only slightly better than the other habit of his foes, which is to attack him for things he quotes other people as saying, as if he had instead said them himself. (The idea that a writer must be able to ‘afford’ to write is somewhat different and, as an idea, is somewhat—to use a vogue term of the New Left—‘problematic’. If it were only the bourgeois who were able to write, much work would never have been penned and, incidentally, Orwell would never have met Garrett in the first place.)”
Christopher Hitchens

Hannah Arendt
“What imperialists actually wanted was expansion of political power without the foundation of the body politic. Imperialist expansion had been touched off by a curious kind of economic crisis, the overproduction of capital and the emergence of "superfluous" money, the result of oversaving, which could no longer find productive investment within national borders. For the first time, investment of power did not pave the way for investment of money, since uncontrollable investments in distant countries threatened to transform large strata of society into gamblers, to change the whole capitalist economy from a system of production to a system of financial speculation, and to replace the profits of production with profits in commissions. The decade immediately before the imperialist era, the seventies of the last century, witnessed an unparalleled increase in swindles, financial scandals, and gambling in the stock market.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Karl Marx
“The bourgeois during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Norman Lock
“What was not possessed of the 'fat light'--an immanence that shed radiance over the world of gross matter--should be left to the portraitists of sausage-shaped ladies and their rich consorts.”
Norman Lock, American Meteor

Czesław Miłosz
“If the world is divided between Fascism and Communism, obviously Fascism must lose since it is the last, desperate refuge of the bourgeoisie”
Czesław Miłosz

Thomas Mann
“De la culture et de la fortune, voilà le bourgeois.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Karl Marx
“La société bourgeoise moderne, élevée sur les ruines de la société féodale, n'a pas aboli les antagonismes de classes. Elle n'a fait que substituer aux anciennes de nouvelles classes, de nouvelles conditions d'oppression, de nouvelles formes de lutte.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

“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

Hannah Arendt
“Darwinism met with such overwhelming success because it provided, on the basis of inheritance, the ideological weapons for race and well as class rule and could be used for, as well as against, race discrimination. Politically speaking, Darwinism as such was neutral, and it has led, indeed, to all kinds of pacifism and cosmopolitanism as well as to the sharpest forms of imperialistic ideologies. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, Darwinism was still almost exclusively in the hands of the utilitarian anti-colonial party in England. And the first philosopher of evolution, Herbert Spencer, who treated sociology as part of biology, believed natural selection to benefit the evolution of mankind and to result in everlasting peace. For political discussion, Darwinism offered two important concepts: the struggle for existence with optimistic assertion of the necessary and automatic "survival of the fittest," and the indefinite possibilities which seemed to lie in the evolution of man out of animal life and which started the new "science" of eugenics.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Irène Némirovsky
“Totul era corect; le va oferi puțin mai târziu vizitatoarelor o carafă cu oranjadă și biscuiți pudrați. Doamna Perrin nu va fi șocată de meschinăria acestei gustări. Din contră, va vedea în ea o nouă dovadă a bogăției familiei Angellier, căci, cu cât ești mai bogat, cu atât ești mai avar. Va recunoaște în ea propria-i preocupare de a face economie și acea aplecare spre ascetism care e în natura burgheziei franceze și adaugă plăcerilor ei secrete și rușinoase o amărăciune tonică.”
Irène Némirovsky, Suite Française

මාර්ටින් වික්‍රමසිංහ
“The urban capitalists and the bourgeoisie differ in linguistic habits and dress from the workers. They don't live together in one integrated society, but as two separate societies that speak different languages both literally and metaphorically. The urban capitalists do not know the life led by workers. Workers experience hardships that are unheard of amongst villagers and these evoke malice in the urban workers, easily stirred by union leaders who use them to ride to power. Villagers are different.

Teaching the villagers cannot easily change what they have inherited from the environment and the past they have known and in which they have grown up. The village entrepreneur wore only a sarong in the past. Some of them wore a sarong and slung another over a shoulder. The poor villager's dress is also a sarong. The village entrepreneur speaks Sinhalese, which is the language of the poor villager too. On the day of the traditional New Year, the children of both the rich and the poor in the village eat together and play together in the homes of the villager elite. All this subdues feelings of resentment against the wealthy villagers. It's true that villagers suffer a great deal on account of their poverty. But unlike the urban poor, poverty amongst the villagers does not incite malice toward the wealthy, due to the rural way of life.”
මාර්ටින් වික්‍රමසිංහ, Yuganthaya

Karl Marx
“The introduction of free competition is thus public declaration that from now on the members of society are unequal only to the extent that their capitals are unequal, that capital is the decisive power, and that therefore the capitalists, the bourgeoisie, have become the first class in society.”
Karl Marx

Karl Marx
“It [bourgeoisie] has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Hannah Arendt
“It is significant that modern believers in power are in complete accord with the philosophy of the only great thinker who ever attempted to derive public good from private interest and who, for the sake of private good, conceived and outlined a Commonwealth whose basis and ultimate end is the accumulation of power. Hobbes, indeed, is the only great philosopher to whom the bourgeoisie can rightly and exclusively lay claim....
.... The consistency of this conclusion is in no way altered by the remarkable fact that for some three hundred years there was neither a sovereign who would "convert this Truth of Speculation into the Utility of Practice," nor a bourgeoisie politically conscious and economically mature enough openly to adopt Hobbes's philosophy of power.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

George Bernard Shaw
“Civilized society is one huge bourgeoisie: no nobleman dares now shock his greengrocer.”
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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