Bourgeoisie Quotes

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The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
Vladimir Lenin
Be radical, have principles, be absolute, be that which the bourgeoisie calls an extremist: give yourself without counting or calculating, don't accept what they call ‘the reality of life' and act in such a way that you won't be accepted by that kind of ‘life', never abandon the principle of struggle.
Julius Evola
The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie.
Gustave Flaubert
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)
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)
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)
I'm more of a warrior than you'll ever be. I believe in the class war. I believe in the battle of the sexes. I believe in my tribe. I believe in the righteous, intelligent clued-up section of the working classes against the brain-dead moronic masses as well as the mediocre, soulless bourgeoisie.
Irvine Welsh (Porno (Mark Renton, #3))
‎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
All over the world, wherever there are capitalists, freedom of the press means freedom to buy up newspapers, to buy writers, to bribe, buy and fake "public opinion" for the benefit of the bourgeoisie.
Vladimir Lenin (Revolution!: Sayings of Vladimir Lenin)
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)
…he noticed that the free thinkers, the doctrinaires of the bourgeoisie, people who claimed every liberty that they might stifle the opinions of others, were greedy and shameless puritans whom, in education, he esteemed inferior to the corner shoemaker.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature)
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)
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
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)
This is why a tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome. No, van Gogh was not mad, but his paintings were bursts of Greek fire, atomic bombs, whose angle of vision would have been capable of seriously upsetting the spectral conformity of the bourgeoisie. In comparison with the lucidity of van Gogh, psychiatry is no better than a den of apes who are themselves obsessed and persecuted and who possess nothing to mitigate the most appalling states of anguish and human suffocation but a ridiculous terminology. To a man, this whole gang of pected scoundrels and patented quacks are all erotomaniacs.
Antonin Artaud
The intellectual forces of the workers and peasants are growing and getting stronger in their fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their accomplices, the educated classes, the lackeys of capital, who consider themselves the brains of the nation. In fact they are not its brains but its shit.
Vladimir Lenin (Letters of Lenin (Russian Studies: Perspectives on the Revolution) (English and Russian Edition))
Exchange, fair or unfair, always presupposes and includes the rule of the bourgeoisie.
Vladimir Lenin
Nothing perhaps illustrates the general disintegration of political life better than this vague, pervasive hatred of everybody and everything, without a focus for its passionate attention, with nobody to make responsible for the state of affairs—neither the government nor the bourgeoisie nor an outside power. It consequently turned in all directions, haphazardly and unpredictably, incapable of assuming an air of healthy indifference toward anything under the sun.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — bourgeoisie and proletariat.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
You must meet old Rowbotham, Bertie. A delightful chap. Wants to massacre the bourgeoisie, sack Park Lane and disembowel the hereditary aristocracy. Well, nothing could be fairer than that, what?
P.G. Wodehouse (The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves, #2))
The bourgeoisie, which far surpasses the proletariat in the completeness and irreconcilibility of its class consciousness, is vitally interested in imposing its moral philosophy upon the exploited masses. It is exactly for this purpose that the concrete norms of the bourgeois catechism are concealed under moral abstractions...The appeal to abstract norms is not a disinterested philosophic mistake but a necessary element in the mechanics of class deception.
Leon Trotsky
Once, in a spasm of sappiness, you asked Q-Jo if she thought your dreams would ever come true. 'You aren't talking about dreams,' she corrected you, 'you're referring to your pathetic bourgeoisie ambitions. Dreams don't come true. Dreams are true.
Tom Robbins (Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)
The modern picture of the artist began to form: The poor, but free spirit, plebeian but aspiring only to be classless, to cut himself forever free from the bonds of the greedy bourgeoisie, to be whatever the fat burghers feared most, to cross the line wherever they drew it, to look at the world in a way they couldn't see, to be high, live low, stay young forever -- in short, to be the bohemian.
Thomas Wolfe
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)
Nobody reads poetry, we are told at every inopportune moment. I read poetry. I am somebody. I am the people, too. It can be allowed that an industrious quantity of contemporary American poetry is consciously written for a hermetic constituency; the bulk is written for the bourgeoisie, leaving a lean cut for labor. Only the hermetically aimed has a snowball's chance in hell of reaching its intended ears. One proceeds from this realization. A staggering figure of vibrant, intelligent people can and do live without poetry, especially without the poetry of their time. This figure includes the unemployed, the rank and file, the union brass, banker, scientist, lawyer, doctor, architect, pilot, and priest. It also includes most academics, most of the faculty of the humanities, most allegedly literary editors and most allegedly literary critics. They do so--go forward in their lives, toward their great reward, in an engulfing absence of poetry--without being perceived or perceiving themselves as hobbled or deficient in any significant way. It is nearly true, though I am often reminded of a Transtromer broadside I saw in a crummy office building in San Francisco: We got dressed and showed the house You live well the visitor said The slum must be inside you. If I wanted to understand a culture, my own for instance, and if I thought such an understanding were the basis for a lifelong inquiry, I would turn to poetry first. For it is my confirmed bias that the poets remain the most 'stunned by existence,' the most determined to redeem the world in words..
C.D. Wright (Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil)
The history of the industrial revolution shows how that power passed from the king and the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie. Universal suffrage and universal schooling reinforced this tendency, and at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the com- mon people. For the masses promised to become king.
Edward L. Bernays
The English bourgeoisie is charitable out of self-interest; it gives nothing outright, but regards its gifts as a business matter, makes a bargain with the poor, saying: "If I spend this much upon benevolent institutions, I thereby purchase the right not to be troubled any further, and you are bound thereby to stay in your dusky holes and not to irritate my tender nerves by exposing your misery.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
In reading, one should notice and fondle details. There is nothing wrong about the moonshine of generalization when it comes after the sunny trifles of the book have been lovingly collected. If one begins with a readymade generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it. Nothing is more boring or more unfair to the author than starting to read, say, Madame Bovary, with the preconceived notion that it is a denunciation of the bourgeoisie. We should always remember that the work of art is invariably the creation of a new world, so that the first thing we should do is to study that new world as closely as possible, approaching it as something brand new, having no obvious connection with the worlds we already know. When this new world has been closely studied, then and only then let us examine its links with other worlds, other branches of knowledge.
Vladimir Nabokov
The objection to propaganda is not only its appeal to unreason, but still more the unfair advantage which it gives to the rich and powerful.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays (Routledge Classics))
The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
I'm more of a warrior than you'll ever be. I believe in the class war. I believe in the battle of the sexes. I believe in my tribe. I believe in the righteous, intelligent clued-up section of the working classes against the brain-dead moronic masses as well as the mediocre, soulless bourgeoisie. I believe in punk rock. In northern soul. In acid house. In mod. In rock and roll. I also believe in pre commercial righteous, rap and hip hop. That's my manifesto.
Irvine Welsh (Porno (Mark Renton, #3))
How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.
John Maynard Keynes
Whether one likes it or not, the bourgeoisie, as a class, is condemned to take responsibility for all the barbarism of history, the tortures of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, warmongering and the appeal to the raison d’Etat, racism and slavery, in short everything against which it protested in unforgettable terms at the time when, as the attacking class, it was the incarnation of human progress.
Aimé Césaire (Discourse on Colonialism)
The slave-trade and slavery were the economic basis of the French Revolution. ‘Sad irony of human history,’ comments Jaurès. ‘The fortunes created at Bordeaux, at Nantes, by the slave-trade, gave to the bourgeoisie that pride which needed liberty and contributed to human emancipation.
C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (Penguin History S.))
My fear was not the fear of God but, as in the case of the whole Turkish secular bourgeoisie, fear of the anger of those who believe in God too zealously(...) I experienced the guilt complex as something personal, originated less from the fear of distancing myself from God than from distancing myself from the sense of community shared by the entire city .
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
Football divisions were a stupid and irrelevant nonsense, acting against the interest of working-class unity, ensuring that the bourgeoisie's hegemony went unchallenged.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting (Mark Renton, #2))
I cannot do even one sit-up / Sit-ups are so bourgeoisie.
Stephen Malkmus
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
Bourgeois are by nature people who hate and destroy heavens. When they see a beautiful site, they have no more pressing dream than to cut the trees, dry up the springs, build streets, shops and urinals. They call this ceasing a business opportunity.
Léon Bloy
I say that the middle class around the world… is the highest form of evolution. The bourgeoisie! — the human beast doesn’t get any better! The worldwide bourgeoisie makes what passes today for aristocrats — people consumed by juvenility who hang loose upon society — look like shiftless children.
Tom Wolfe
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms, and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society with its classes and class antagonisms we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
Only the unlimited accumulation of power could bring about the unlimited accumulation of capital.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The bourgeois today burns as heretics and hangs as criminals those to whom he erects monuments tomorrow.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
What makes a bourgeoisie is not its attitude, taste, or manners. It is not even its aspirations. The bourgeoisie is above all the direct product of precise economic realities.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.
Buenaventura Durruti
The bourgeoisie are today evading taxation by bribery and through their connections; we must close all loopholes.
Vladimir Lenin (Revolution!: Sayings of Vladimir Lenin)
The bourgeoisie, when it was struggling against the nobility sustained by the clergy, hoisted the flag of free thought and atheism; but once triumphant, it changed its tone and manner and today it uses religion to support its economic and political supremacy
Paul Lafargue (The Right to Be Lazy)
Yes, yes," he shut off her attempted objection. "You would have destroyed my writing and my career. Realism is imperative to my nature, and the bourgeois spirit hates realism. The bourgeoisie is cowardly. It is afraid of life. And all your effort was to make me afraid of life. You would have formalized me. You would have compressed me into a two-by-four pigeonhole of life, where all life's values are unreal and false and vulgar." He felt her stir protestingly. "Vulgarity--a heart of vulgarity, I'll admit--is the basis of bourgeois refinement and culture. As I say, you wanted to formalize me to make me over into one of your own class, with your class ideas, class values and class prejudices.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become "profiteers," who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery. Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)
Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance in that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association of medieval commune: here independent urban republic (as
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The attempt has been made, and wrongly, to make a class of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is simply the contented portion of the people. The bourgeois is the man who now has time to sit down. A chair is not a caste.
Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
Literature, the ultimate gift for expressing the most subtle aspects of man's thought and feeling, may not survive persecution: first by religion, then by the bourgeoisie, then by Marxism, and now by commercialism. The
Anaïs Nin (The Diary Of Anais Nin Volume 3 1939-1944)
(Prayer is) a fictitious consolation invented by those who have everything in order to keep those who have nothing contented. I belong to the bourgeoisie and I know the only reason my class bothers to show the lower classes that distant paradise full of ineffable pleasures that will one day be theirs is to divert attention from their own bulging coffers and from the abundance of their harvests.
Eça de Queirós (The Mandarin and Other Stories)
The bourgeoisie . . . has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The true aristocracy and the true proletariat of the world are both in understanding with tragedy. To them it is the fundamental principle of God, and the key,—the minor key,—to existence. They differ in this way from the bourgeoisie of all classes, who deny tragedy, who will not tolerate it, and to whom the word of tragedy means in itself unpleasantness.
Isak Dinesen
The 'Manifesto' being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus belongs to Marx. That proposition is: that in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and the oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without, at the same time, and once for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles. This proposition, which, in my opinion, is destined to do for history what Darwin's theory has done for biology, we, both of us, had been gradually approaching for some years before 1845.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The bourgeoisie...by its imperialist methods of appropriation is destroying the economic structure of the world and human culture generally. Nevertheless, the historical persistence of the bourgeoisie is colossal. It holds power, and does not wish to abandon it...The red terror is a weapon utilised against a class, doomed to destruction which does not wish to perish.
Leon Trotsky
But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.
Karl Marx (On the Question of Free Trade (Annotated))
The division of the world which followed defined certain parts of the world as ‘nature’, that is, as savage, uncontrolled and, therefore, open for exploitation and civilizing efforts… the process of naturalization’ did not affect only the colonies as a whole and women of the working class the women of the bourgeoisie also were defined into nature as mere breeders and rearers of the heirs of the capitalist class. But in contrast to the African women who were seen as part of ‘savage’ nature, the bourgeois women were seen as ‘domesticated’ nature.
Maria Mies
Good enough for whom? For people who are trapped in a life that is not of their own making? Surely you can see that they merely want you to be trapped with them, so they will feel less alone in their emptiness. Be careful, Martha, you’ll become blind to your own value if you keep looking through the eyes of the bourgeoisie!
Evie Woods (The Lost Bookshop)
When the workers of a single factory or of a single branch of industry engage in struggle against their employer or employers, is this class struggle? No, this is only a weak embryo of it. The struggle of the workers becomes a class struggle only when all the foremost representatives of the entire working class of the whole country are conscious of themselves as a single working class and launch a struggle that is directed, not against individual employers, but against the entire class of capitalists and against the government that supports that class. Only when the individual worker realizes that he is a member of the entire working class, only when he recognises the fact that his petty day-to-day struggle against individual employers and individual government officials is a struggle against the entire bourgeoisie and the entire government, does his struggle become a class struggle.
Vladimir Lenin (On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet State)
Nor have I any idea why Said should consider Orwell’s life a ‘comfortable’ one. Having taken a bullet through the throat, and while suffering from a demoralising and ultimately lethal case of TB, he lived on an astonishingly low budget and tried whenever possible to grow his own food and even to make his own furniture. Indeed, if there was anything affected about him, it might be his indifference to bourgeois life, his almost ostentatious austerity.
Christopher Hitchens
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)
he bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The West is a civilization that has survived all the prophecies of its collapse with a singular stratagem. Just as the bourgeoisie had to deny itself as a class in order to permit the bourgeoisification of society as a whole, from the worker to the baron; just as capital had to sacrifice itself as a wage relation in order to impose itself as a social relation—becoming cultural capital and health capital in addition to finance capital; just as Christianity had to sacrifice itself as a religion in order to survive as an affective structure—as a vague injunction to humility, compassion, and weakness; so the West has sacrificed itself as a particular civilization in order to impose itself as a universal culture. The operation can be summarized like this: an entity in its death throes sacrifices itself as a content in order to survive as a form.
The Invisible Committee (The Coming Insurrection)
Beneath the pseudo-scientific terminology one can in each case recognize a phantasy of which almost every element is to be found in phantasies which were already current in medieval Europe. The final, decisive battle of the Elect (be they the ‘Aryan race’ or the ‘proletariat’) against the hosts of evil (be they the Jews or the ‘bourgeoisie’); a dispensation on which the Elect are to be most amply compensated for all their sufferings by the joys of total domination or of total community or of both together; a world purified of all evil and in which history is to find its consummation - these ancient imaginings are with us still.
Norman Cohn (The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages)
Leader of a backward and ignorant mass, he was yet in the forefront of the great historical movement of his time. The blacks were taking their part in the destruction of European feudalism begun by the French Revolution, and liberty and equality, the slogans of the revolution, meant far more to them than to any Frenchman. That was why in the hour of danger Toussaint, uninstructed as he was, could find the language and accent of Diderot, Rousseau, and Raynal, of Mirabeau, Robespierre and Danton. And in one respect he excelled them all. For even these masters of the spoken and written word, owing to the class complications of their society, too often had to pause, to hesitate, to qualify. Toussaint could defend the freedom of the blacks without reservation, and this gave to his declaration a strength and a single-mindedness rare in the great documents of the time. The French bourgeoisie could not understand it. Rivers of blood were to flow before they understood that elevated as was his tone Toussaint had written neither bombast nor rhetoric but the simple and sober truth.
C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution)
You were expected to believe in the State for the same reason you were expected to believe in God: fear. The bourgeoisie, despite its glamour and glitz, resembled a child afraid of its father –the eternal patriarch, the Baba. Amidst uncertainty, unlike their counterparts in Europe, the local bourgeoisie had neither audacity nor autonomy, neither tradition nor memory –squeezed between what they were expected to be and what they wished to be.
Elif Shafak (Three Daughters of Eve)
The truth is that sexuality is everywhere: the way a bureaucrat fondles his records, a judge administers justice, a businessman causes money to circulate; the way the bourgeoisie fucks the proletariat; and so on. And there is no need to resort to metaphors, any more than for the libido to go by way of metamorphoses. Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused. A revolutionary machine is nothing if it does not acquire at least as much force as these coercive machines have for producing breaks and mobilizing flows.
Gilles Deleuze (Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia)
The Africans and the underdeveloped peoples, contrary to what is commonly believed, are quick to build a social and political consciousness. The danger is that very often they reach the stage of social consciousness before reaching the national phase. In this case the underdeveloped countries’ violent calls for social justice are combined, paradoxically enough, with an often primitive tribalism. The underdeveloped peoples behave like a starving population—which means that the days of those who treat Africa as their playground are strictly numbered. In other words, their power cannot last forever. A bourgeoisie that has only nationalism to feed the people fails in its mission and inevitably gets tangled up in a series of trials and tribulations. If nationalism is not explained, enriched, and deepened, if it does not very quickly turn into a social and political consciousness, into humanism, then it leads to a dead end. A bourgeois leadership of the underdeveloped countries confines the national consciousness to a sterile formalism. Only the massive commitment by men and women to judicious and productive tasks gives form and substance to this consciousness.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
I understood the infamous spiritual terror which this movement exerts, particularly on the bourgeoisie, which is neither morally nor mentally equal to such attacks; at a given sign it unleashes a veritable barrage of lies and slanders against whatever adversary seems most dangerous, until the nerves of the attacked persons break down … This is a tactic based on precise calculation of all human weaknesses, and its result will lead to success with almost mathematical certainty …
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Russia used to be great, a nation of philosophers, brilliant thinkers, artists, and scientists. Not anymore. It hasn’t been great for a long time, not since Stalin purged the thinking class. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t murder the bourgeoisie, he murdered anyone with talent. Do you know what that does to a society? I find it’s difficult to be proud of my heritage, of a culture I now consider mediocre at best, monstrous at worst. Russia is irrevocably crippled, stained by its totalitarianism—to which it still subscribes, like sheep—and rivers flow, the sky weeps with the blood of what once made it great.
Penny Reid (Kissing Tolstoy (Dear Professor, #1))
National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world-market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilized countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising 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 form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The bourgeoisie of the third quarter of the nineteenth century was overwhelmingly ‘liberal’, not necessarily in a party sense (though as we have seen Liberal parties were prevalent), as in an ideological sense. They believed in capitalism, in competitive private enterprise, technology, science and reason. They believed in progress, in a certain amount of representative government, a certain amount of civil rights and liberties, so long as these were compatible with the rule of law and with the kind of order which kept the poor in their place. They believed in culture rather than religion, in extreme cases substituting the ritual attendance at opera, theatre or concert for that at church. They believed in the career open to enterprise and talent, and that their own lives proved its merits.
Eric J. Hobsbawm (The Age of Capital, 1848-1875)
Martin Latsis, writing for the newspaper Red Terror, November 1, 1918: “We are not fighting against single individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. It is not necessary during the interrogation to look for evidence proving that the accused opposed the Soviets by word or action. The first question you should ask him is what class does he belong to, what is his origin, his education and his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. Such is the sense and essence of red terror.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago)
Usher: Why do you play only on the black keys [of the piano]? I suppose you think black is good enough for the proletariat. You play on all the keys only for the bourgeoisie, is that it? Oleg Bard: Please, citizen, please! I'm concentrating on the white ones! Usher: So you think white is best? Play on both! Oleg Bard: I am playing on both! Usher: So you compromise with [the] Whites, opportunist!
Vladimir Mayakovsky (The Bedbug and Selected Poetry)
In order that a select few might live in great opulence, millions of people work hard for an entire lifetime, never free from financial insecurity, and at great cost to the quality of their lives. The complaint is not that the very rich have so much more than everyone else but that their superabundance and endless accumulation comes at the expense of everyone and everything else, including our communities and our environment.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
The collective sign of relief heaved on V-J Day ought to have inspired Hollywood to release a flood of "happily ever after" films. But some victors didn't feel too good about their spoils. They'd seen too much by then. Too much warfare, too much poverty, too much greed, all in the service of rapacious progress. A bundle of unfinished business lingered from the Depression — nagging questions about ingrained venality, mean human nature, and the way unchecked urban growth threw society dangerously out of whack. Writers and directors responded by delivering gritty, bitter dramas that slapped our romantic illusions in the face and put the boot to the throat of the smug bourgeoisie. Still, plenty of us took it — and liked it.
Eddie Muller (Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir)
Franco was not strictly comparable with Hitler or Mussolini. His rising was a military mutiny backed up by the aristocracy and the Church, and in the main, especially at the beginning, it was an attempt not so much to impose Fascism as to restore feudalism. This meant that Franco had against him not only the working class but also various sections of the liberal bourgeoisie—the very people who are the supporters of Fascism when it appears in a more modern form. More
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Bro, we're living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of petite bourgeoisie ideology, a petite bourgeoisie ideology whose resources and ruses are infinite and which ubiquitously permeates the world -- high culture, low culture, bienpensant media, prestige literature, pop music, commerce, sports, academia, you name it. The only reasonable response to this situation is to maintain an implacable antipathy toward everything. Denounce everyone. Make war against yourself. Guillotine all groveling intellectuals. That said, I think it's important to maintain a cheery disposition. This will hasten the restoration of Paradise. I've memorized this line from Andre Breton's magnificent homage to Antonin Artaud -- "I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive." Given the state of things, that's what we need to be doing, all the time -- negating everything that causes us to be dead while alive.
Mark Leyner
The development of the proletarian elite does not take place in an academic setting. Rather, it is brought about by battles in the factories and unions, by disciplinary punishments and some very dirty fights within the parties and outside of them, by jail sentences and illegality. Students do not flock in large numbers there as they do to the lecture halls and laboratories of the bourgeoisie. The career of a revolutionary does not consists of banquets and honarary titles, of interesting research projects and professional salaries; more likely, it will acquaint them with misery, dishonory and jail and, at the end, uncertainty. These conditions are made bearable only by a super-human faith. Understandably, this way of life will not be the choice of those who are nothing more than clever.
Max Horkheimer
It is necessary to realize that the most sacrosanct article of sexual politics in the period, the Victorian doctrine of chivalrous protection and its familiar protestations of respect, rests upon the tacit assumption, a cleverly expeditious bit of humbug, that all women were "ladies"—namely members of that fraction of the upper classes and bourgeoisie which treated women to expressions of elaborate concern, while permitting them no legal or personal freedom. The psycho-political tacit here is a pretense that the indolence and luxury of the upper-class woman’s role in what Veblen called “vicarious consumption” was the happy lot of all women. The efficacy of this maneuver depends on dividing women by class and persuading the privileged that they live in an indulgence they scarcely deserve... To succeed, both the sexual revolution and the Woman's Movement which led it would have to unmask chivalry and expose its courtesies as subtle manipulation.
Kate Millett (Sexual Politics)
Democracy in contemporary society is a fake, predicated on an illusion that we are together making choices about how best to manage ourselves, an illusion that functions to obscure the fact that we vote for different individuals to exercise power in a state apparatus that is still dedicated to the efficient management of the capitalist economy. The imperatives of capitalism must always undermine democratic decision-making, and the term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ serves to indicate that the hollow democracy of the ‘dictatorship of the bourgeoisie’ must be replaced by a socialist democracy that realises the full potential of open collective self-management.
Ian Parker (Slavoj Žižek: A Critical Introduction (Modern European Thinkers))
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries abandoned the idea of spiritual or intellectual happiness in order to have this material happiness, consisting of a certain number of essential consumer goods. And hence, in the nineteenth century, happiness was linked to a well-being obtained by mechanical means, industrial means, production. The new thing that Saint-Just spoke about was that, in the past, happiness could appear as a very vague, very distant prospect for humanity, whereas now, people seemed to be within reach of the concrete, material possibility of attaining it. That was why happiness was to become an absolutely essential image for the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie, and for modern society. Happiness was attainable thanks to industrial development, and this image of happiness brought us fully into the consumer society.
Jacques Ellul (Perspectives on Our Age)
understood the infamous spiritual terror which this movement exerts, particularly on the bourgeoisie, which is neither morally nor mentally equal to such attacks; at a given sign it unleashes a veritable barrage of lies and slanders against whatever adversary seems most dangerous, until the nerves of the attacked persons break down… This is a tactic based on precise calculation of all human weaknesses, and its result will lead to success with almost mathematical certainty… I achieved an equal understanding of the importance of physical terror toward the individual and the masses… For while in the ranks of their supporters the victory achieved seems a triumph of the justice of their own cause, the defeated adversary in most cases despairs of the success of any further resistance.49 No more precise analysis of Nazi tactics, as Hitler was eventually to develop them, was ever written.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
The very identity of racist Southerners depends upon contrasting themselves with those dirty black “nigras.” But, conversely, the out-groups feel that they are really and truly “in,” and nourish their collective ego with relishingly indignant conversation about squares, Ofays, Wasps, Philistines, and the blasted bourgeoisie. Even Saint Thomas Aquinas let it out that part of the blessedness of the saints in Heaven was that they could look over the battlements and enjoy the “proper justice” of the sinners squirming in Hell. All winners need losers; all saints need sinners; all sages need fools—that is, so long as the major kick in life is to “amount to something” or to “be someone” as a particular and separate godlet.
Alan W. Watts (The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
A person who has had the misfortune to fall victim to the spell of a philosophical system (and the spells of sorcerers are mere trifles in comparison to the disastrous effect of the spell of a philosophical system!) can no longer see the world, or people, or historic events, as they are; he sees everything only through the distorting prism of the system by which he is possessed. Thus, a Marxist of today is incapable of seeing anything else in the history of mankind other than the “class struggle”. What I am saying concerning mysticism, gnosis, magic and philosophy would be considered by him only as a ruse on the part of the bourgeois class, with the aim of “screening with a mystical and idealistic haze” the reality of the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie…although I have not inherited anything from my parents and I have not experienced a single day without having to earn my living by means of work recognised as “legitimate” by Marxists! Another contemporary example of possession by a system is Freudianism. A man possessed by this system will see in everything that I have written only the expression of “suppressed libido”, which seeks and finds release in this manner. It would therefore be the lack of sexual fulfillment which has driven me to occupy myself with the Tarot and to write about it! Is there any need for further examples? Is it still necessary to cite the Hegelians with their distortion of the history of humanity, the Scholastic “realists” of the Middle Ages with the Inquisition, the rationalists of the eighteenth century who were blinded by the light of their own autonomous reasoning? Yes, autonomous philosophical systems separated from the living body of tradition are parasitic structures, which seize the thought, feeling and finally the will of human beings. In fact, they play a role comparable to the psycho-pathological complexes of neurosis or other psychic maladies of obsession. Their physical analogy is cancer.
Valentin Tomberg (Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism)
Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions, those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions. In this, they resemble the theologians, who likewise establish two kinds of religion. Every religion which is not theirs is an invention of men, while their own is an emanation from God. When the economists say the present-day relations--the relations of bourgeois production--are natural, they imply that these are the relations in which wealth is created and productive forces developed in conformity with the laws of nature. These relations therefore are themselves natural laws independent of the influence of time. They are eternal laws which must always govern society. Thus, there has been history, but there is no longer any. There has been history, since there were institutions of feudalism, and in these institutions of feudalism we find quite different relations of production from those of bourgeois society, which the economists try to pass off as natural and, as such, eternal.
Karl Marx (The Poverty of Philosophy)
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)
In order to assimilate the culture of the oppressor and venture into his fold, the colonized subject has to pawn some of his own intellectual possessions. For instance, one of the things he has had to assimilate is the way the colonialist bourgeoisie thinks. This is apparent in the colonized intellectual's inaptitude to engage in dialogue. For he is unable to make himself inessential when confronted with a purpose or idea. On the other hand, when he operates among the people he is constantly awestruck. He is literally disarmed by their good faith and integrity. He is then constantly at risk of becoming a demagogue. He turns into a kind of mimic man who nods his assent to every word by the people, transformed by him into an arbiter of truth. But the fellah, the unemployed and the starving do not lay claim to truth. They do not say they represent the truth because they are the truth in their very being. During this period the intellectual behaves objectively like a vulgar opportunist. His maneuvering, in fact, is still at work. The people would never think of rejecting him or cutting the ground from under his feet. What the people want is for everything to be pooled together. The colonized intellectual's insertion into this human tide will find itself on hold because of his curious obsession with detail. It is not that the people are opposed to analysis. They appreciate clarification, understand the reasoning behind an argument, and like to see where they are going. But at the start of his cohabitation with the people the colonized intellectual gives priority to detail and tends to forget the very purpose of the struggle - the defeat of colonialism. Swept along by the many facets of the struggle, he tends to concentrate on local tasks, undertaken zealously but almost always too pedantically. He does not always see the overall picture. He introduces the notion of disciplines, specialized areas and fields into that awesome mixer and grinder called a people's revolution. Committed to certain frontline issues he tends to lose sight of the unity of the movement and in the event of failure at the local level he succumbs to doubt, even despair. The people, on the other hand, take a global stance from the very start. "Bread and land: how do we go about getting bread and land?" And this stubborn, apparently limited, narrow-minded aspect of the people is finally the most rewarding and effective model.
Frantz Fanon
Both theoretical analysis as well as the rich historical experience of the last quarter of a century have demonstrated with equal force that fascism is each time the final link of a specific political cycle composed of the following: the gravest crisis of capitalist society; the growth of the radicalization of the working class; the growth of sympathy toward the working class, and a yearning for change on the part of the rural and urban petty bourgeoisie; the extreme confusion of the big bourgeoisie; its cowardly and treacherous maneuvers aimed at avoiding the revolutionary climax; the exhaustion of the proletariat; growing confusion and indifference; the aggravation of the social crisis; the despair of the petty bourgeoisie, its yearning for change; the collective neurosis of the petty bourgeoisie, its readiness to believe in miracles, its readiness for violent measures; the growth of hostility towards the proletariat, which has deceived its expectations. These are the premises for a swift formation of a fascist party and its victory.
Leon Trotsky (Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It (Arkosh Politics))
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)
t is often said and written that the main point in Marx's theory is the class struggle. But this is wrong. And this wrong notion very often results in an opportunist distortion of Marxism and its falsification in a spirit acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the theory of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and, generally speaking, it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognize only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested.
Vladimir Lenin
An oppressed class which does not strive to learn to use arms, to acquire arms, only deserves to be treated like slaves. We cannot, unless we have become bourgeois pacifists or opportunists, forget that we are living in a class society from which there is no way out, nor can there be, save through the class struggle. In every class society, whether based on slavery, serfdom, or, as at present, wage-labor, the oppressor class is always armed. Not only the modern standing army, but even the modern militia - and even in the most democratic bourgeois republics, Switzerland, for instance - represent the bourgeoisie armed against the proletariat. That is such an elementary truth that it is hardly necessary to dwell upon it. Suffice it to point to the use of troops against strikers in all capitalist countries. A bourgeoisie armed against the proletariat is one of the biggest fundamental and cardinal facts of modern capitalist society. And in face of this fact, revolutionary Social-Democrats are urged to “demand” “disarmament”! That is tantamount of complete abandonment of the class-struggle point of view, to renunciation of all thought of revolution. Our slogan must be: arming of the proletariat to defeat, expropriate and disarm the bourgeoisie. These are the only tactics possible for a revolutionary class, tactics that follow logically from, and are dictated by, the whole objective development of capitalist militarism. Only after the proletariat has disarmed the bourgeoisie will it be able, without betraying its world-historic mission, to consign all armaments to the scrap-heap. And the proletariat will undoubtedly do this, but only when this condition has been fulfilled, certainly not before.
Vladimir Lenin (The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution)
There is a change underway, however. Our society used to be a ladder on which people generally climbed upward. More and more now we are going to a planetary structure, in which the great dominant lower middle class, the class that determines our prevailing values and organizational structures in education, government, and most of society, are providing recruits for the other groups — sideways, up, and even down, although the movement downward is relatively small. As the workers become increasingly petty bourgeois and as middle-class bureaucratic and organizational structures increasingly govern all aspects of our society, our society is increasingly taking on the characteristics of the lower middle class, although the poverty culture is also growing. The working class is not growing. Increasingly we are doing things with engineers sitting at consoles, rather than with workers screwing nuts on wheels. The workers are a diminishing, segment of society, contrary to Marx’s prediction that the proletariat would grow and grow. I have argued elsewhere that many people today are frustrated because we are surrounded by organizational structures and artifacts. Only the petty bourgeoisie can find security and emotional satisfaction in an organizational structure, and only a middle-class person can find them in artifacts, things that men have made, such as houses, yachts, and swimming pools. But human beings who are growing up crave sensation and experience. They want contact with other people, moment-to-moment, intimate contact. I’ve discovered, however, that the intimacy really isn’t there. Young people touch each other, often in an almost ritual way; they sleep together, eat together, have sex together. But I don’t see the intimacy. There is a lot of action, of course, but not so much more than in the old days, I believe, because now there is a great deal more talk than action. This group, the lower middle class, it seems to me, holds the key to the future. I think probably they will win out. If they do, they will resolutely defend our organizational structures and artifacts. They will cling to the automobile, for instance; they will not permit us to adopt more efficient methods of moving people around. They will defend the system very much as it is and, if necessary, they will use all the force they can command. Eventually they will stop dissent altogether, whether from the intellectuals, the religious, the poor, the people who run the foundations, the Ivy League colleges, all the rest. The colleges are already becoming bureaucratized, anyway. I can’t see the big universities or the foundations as a strong progressive force. The people who run Harvard and the Ford Foundation look more and more like lower-middle-class bureaucrats who pose no threat to the established order because they are prepared to do anything to defend the system.
Carroll Quigley (Carroll Quigley: Life, Lectures and Collected Writings)
Most intellectuals and most artists belong to the same type. Only the strongest of them force their way through the atmosphere of the bourgeois earth and attain to the cosmic. The others all resign themselves or make compromises. Despising the bourgeoisie, and yet belonging to it, they add to its strength and glory; for in the last resort they have to share their beliefs in order to live. The lives of these infinitely numerous persons make no claim to the tragic; but they live under an evil star in a quite considerable affliction; and in this hell their talents ripen and bear fruit. The few who break free seek their reward in the unconditioned and go down in splendor. They wear the thorn crown and their number is small. The others, however, who remain in the fold and from whose talents the bourgeoisie reaps much gain, have a third kingdom left open to them, an imaginary and yet a sovereign world, humor. The lone wolves who know no peace, these victims of unceasing pain to whom the urge for tragedy has been denied and who can never break through the starry space,who feel themselves summoned thither and yet cannot survive in its atmosphere—for them is reserved, provided suffering has made their spirits tough and elastic enough, a way of reconcilement and an escape into humor. Humor has always something bourgeois in it, although the true bourgeois is incapable of understanding it. In its imaginary realm the intricate and manyfaceted ideal of all Steppenwolves finds its realisation. Here it is possible not only to extol the saint and the profligate in one breath and to make the poles meet, but to include the bourgeois, too, in the same affirmation. Now it is possible to be possessed by God and to affirm the sinner, and vice versa, but it is not possible for either saint or sinner (or for any other of the unconditioned) to affirm as well that lukewarm mean, the bourgeois. Humor alone, that magnificent discovery of those who are cut short in their calling to highest endeavor, those who falling short of tragedy are yet as rich in gifts as in affliction, humor alone (perhaps the most inborn and brilliant achievement of the spirit) attains to the impossible and brings every aspect of human existence within the rays of its prism. To live in the world as though it were not the world, to respect the law and yet to stand above it, to have possessions as though "one possessed nothing," to renounce as though it were no renunciation, all these favorite and often formulated propositions of an exalted worldly wisdom, it is in the power of humor alone to make efficacious.
Hermann Hesse
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)
To celebrate the Russian/Ukrainian partnership, in 1954 the 300th anniversary of the Pereiaslav Treaty was marked throughout the Soviet Union in an unusually grandiose manner. In addition to numerous festivities, myriad publications, and countless speeches, the Central Committee of the all-union party even issued thirteen "thesis", which argued the irreversibility of the "everlasting union" of the Ukrainians and the Russians: "The experience of history has shown that the way of fraternal union and alliance chosen by the Russians and Ukrainians was the only true way. The union of two great Slavic peoples multiplied their strength in the common struggle against all external foes, against serf owners and the bourgeoisie, again tsarism and capitalist slavery. The unshakeable friendship of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples has grown and strengthened in this struggle." To emphasize the point that the union with Moscow brought the Ukrainians great benefits, the Pereiaslav anniversary was crowned by the Russian republic's ceding of Crimea to Ukraine "as a token of friendship of the Russian people." But the "gift" of the Crimea was far less altruistic than it seemed. First, because the peninsula was the historic homeland of the Crimean Tatars whom Stalin had expelled during the Second World War, the Russians did not have the moral right to give it away nor did the Ukrainians have the right to accept it. Second, because of its proximity and economic dependence on Ukraine, the Crimea's links with Ukraine were naturally greater than with Russia. Finally, the annexation of the Crimea saddled Ukraine with economic and political problems. The deportation of the Tatars in 1944 had created economic chaos in the region and it was Kiev's budget that had to make up loses. More important was the fact that, according to the 1959 census, about 860,000 Russians and only 260,000 Ukrainians lived in the Crimea. Although Kiev attempted to bring more Ukrainians into the region after 1954, the Russians, many of whom were especially adamant in rejecting any form of Ukrainization, remained the overwhelming majority. As a result, the Crimean "gift" increased considerably the number of Russians in the Ukrainian republic. In this regard, it certainly was an appropriate way of marking the Pereiaslav Treaty.
Orest Subtelny (Ukraine: A History)