Working Class Quotes

Quotes tagged as "working-class" Showing 1-30 of 118
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

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

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?

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

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

Amor Towles
“--You're rather well read for a working-class girl, she said with her back to me.
--Really? I've found that all my well-read friends are from the working class.
--Oh my. Why do you think that is? The purity of poverty?
--No. It's just that reading is the cheapest form of entertainment.
--Sex is the cheapest form of entertainment.
--Not in this house.”
Amor Towles, Rules of Civility

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

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

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

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

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

Quentin R. Bufogle
“To all you who believe we shouldn't have a minimum wage -- that the minimum amount you can be paid should be determined solely by your employer. We tried it once before: it was called SLAVERY.”
Quentin R. Bufogle

Silvia Federici
“In the name of "class struggle" and "the unified interest of the working class," the Left has always selected certain sectors of the working class as revolutionary subjects and condemned others to a merely supportive role in the struggles these sectors were waging.”
Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Karl Kristian Flores
“People are born on this planet with no choice at all
And have to spend most of their life working to pay it off.”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Michael Bassey Johnson
“Some jobs are not hard to get.
It is just that you do not have enough money or guts to pay for it, in cash or in kind.”
Michael Bassey Johnson, Before You Doubt Yourself: Pep Talks and other Crucial Discussions

J. Andrew Schrecker
“We should've waged a war against poverty and not the impoverished.”
J. Andrew Schrecker

Silvia Federici
“Only from a capitalist viewpoint being productive is a moral virtue, if not a moral imperative. From the viewpoint of the working class, being productive simply means being exploited.”
Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Avijeet Das
“Dreams are our own. Our dreams stay with us till we realize them. We can never ignore our dreams. It is because of our dreams that we get inspired to keep on working and striving harder to achieve our life’s purpose. A life spent in achieving and realizing our dreams makes life meaningful!”
Avijeet Das

Abhijit Naskar
“MCA: Middle Class Activist (The Sonnet)

I don't know the meaning of socialism,
But progress without society is insanity.
I don't know the meaning of capitalism,
But catering to luxury produces disparity.
I don't know the meaning of woke,
But no life is complete without community.
I don't know the meaning of philosophy,
But intellect is useless without amity.
I don't own many fancy gadgets,
Affording essentials I stand without greed.
I'll probably never set foot on MARS,
On earth I'll be serving the abandoned in need.
High and mighty tech won't make this world better,
Till we place humanity at our highest altar.”
Abhijit Naskar, Solo Standing on Guard: Life Before Law

Karl Kristian Flores
“I used to scream, “Daddy!” and hug him when he came home,
Until one day I got scared hugging a father I didn’t know.
Who is daddy except for that one man in my house at night
To eat dinner, sleep, and go away again?”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Karl Kristian Flores
“I am off to a life where I can exist in a room and not have to pretend I want to be there. I am off to hear people who have something to say. I don’t even have to agree with it— I just want to know what it’s like to listen to a real sentence. I long for a time where I don’t wish the day would be over. This means leaving the company. I can wonder, or I can wander—and it’s time for me to get lost. Reinvention is hard. To let it go? To admit you don’t love something anymore? That’s the stuff that kills you. But I must run before another workday asks for me again. Things are hard so that we can start. I feel like fate is blindfolding me. My arms reach out not knowing if I’ll impale myself or secure my foothold—but all great things come from motion. Nothing begets nothing. And I’m scared, but I have the movies with me. The things we love require us. I wonder what would happen if everyone in the world did what they loved. Would things fall into place and leave no empty spaces? Would there be harmony in the work field? Sustainable marriages? Children with parents? Dirty water? Would there be resignation letters?”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Karl Kristian Flores
“Maria was waiting for the bus. Her body is cramped, like from the workday before and the workday tomorrow. Today during her shift, she stared so long at a toilet she cleaned that when she flushed it down with bleach, an irrecoverable part of her went with it. She shivers.”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Karl Kristian Flores
“Organize their money on a chopping board. Sort out your worth.

$15,000 for outdated textbooks K-12.

$1,000 for a lifetime of flu vaccinations.

$8 an hour to help someone else make money.

$300 a year for food coupons.

$1,000 additional salary for any job that has a chance of expected death.

$600 co-pay on medication for an illness they cause you.

$2,000 for social security.

$15,000 for pension.

$150,000 for the average life insurance policy. $250,000 for a doctor’s fatal mistake.

$350,000 if the doctor made it in a different state.

2/5 of a soul lost in the workplace.

3/5 of a soul lost to fuck for food.

$4,000 to bury someone in the soil.

And there you have you. Easy to make. Affordable. Special.”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Karl Kristian Flores
“The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and other bureaus reserve that a budget for a human life is worth anywhere from 4-10 million dollars. Like a sports car. Like a construction site. Or an airplane. As if the mysterious gift of consciousness could fit in the box of a W-2 form. To them, we are 4 inches of digital ink on a computer screen. Money: if we can’t get rid of it, we can at least admit it doesn’t deserve us.”
Karl Kristian Flores, The Goodbye Song

Abhijit Naskar
“There is no chance of welfare in the society, unless the conditions of the working class are improved.”
Abhijit Naskar, Generation Corazon: Nationalism is Terrorism

Abhijit Naskar
“Change is not when a billionaire becomes a trillionaire, real societal change is when a construction worker who never passed high school can send their child to college without depending on anyone.”
Abhijit Naskar, Generation Corazon: Nationalism is Terrorism

“What keeps me in New York is neither the high culture of museums and concert halls nor the unrivaled opportunities for working, eating, and spending that New Yorkers revel in. Rather it is a sensibility that is distinctly working-class—generous; open-minded but skeptical; idealistic but deflating of pretension; bursting with energy and a commitment to doing.”
Joshua B. Freeman, Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II

“Authors like Shakespeare and Goethe have glorious monologues that flood the theater with words. This endless verbalizing is a lie. This perfect harmony between heart and tongue exists only on a stage. I wanted to use language realistically to dramatize the tension that arises when the correspondence between feelings and language breaks down. Even Brecht swindled when it comes to language. His peasants speak more intelligently and more beautifully than any university professor.
I wanted to smash this convention of stage language. I do not believe that people can heave their hearts into their mouths and speak their inner torments trippingly on the tongue. Language should not be the central element in drama. Language exists only on the surface of our consciousness. The great human struggles are played out in silence and in the inability to express oneself. Language should have the same function in the theater that it has in reality.”
Franz Xaver Kroetz

Grover Cleveland
“A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.”
Grover Cleveland

Karl Marx
“And this is the economic constitution of our entire modern society: the working class alone produces all values. For value is only another expression for labour, that expression, namely, by which is designated, in our capitalist society of today, the amount of socially necessary labour embodied in a particular commodity. But, these values produced by the workers do not belong to the workers. They belong to the owners of the raw materials, machines, tools, and money, which enable them to buy the labour-power of the working class. Hence, the working class gets back only a part of the entire mass of products produced by it. And, as we have just seen, the other portion, which the capitalist class retains, and which it has to share, at most, only with the landlord class, is increasing with every new discovery and invention, while the share which falls to the working class (per capita) rises but little and very slowly, or not at all, and under certain conditions it may even fall.”
Karl Marx, Wage Labour and Capital

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