The capitalist engine is first and last an engine of mass production which unavoidably also means production for the masses… . It is the cheap cloth, the cheap cotton and rayon fabric, boots, motorcars and so on that are the typical achievements of capitalist production, and not as a rule improvements that would mean much to the rich man. Queen Elizabeth owned silk stockings. The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.
The question that is so clearly in many potential parents minds: “Why should we stunt our ambitions and impoverish our lives in order to be insulted and looked down upon in our old age?”
For the duration of its collective life, or the time during which its identity may be assumed, each class resembles a hotel or an omnibus, always full, but always of different people.
It is not true that democracy will always safeguard freedom of conscience better than autocracy. Witness the most famous of all trials. Pilate was, from the standpoint of the Jews, certainly the representative of autocracy. Yet he tried to protect freedom. And he yielded to a democracy.
Democracy is a political method, that is to say, a certain type of institutional arrangement for arriving at political — legislative and administrative — decisions and hence incapable of being an end in itself.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Karl Barth Swiss Protestant Theologian
- Immanuel Hermann Fichte German Philosopher
- August Wilhelm Schlegel German Poet, Critic, Scholar
- Barthold G. Niebuhr German Historian
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow American Poet
- George Santayana Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
- Henry Kissinger American Diplomat
- William James American Philosopher
- Robert Frost American Poet
- James Russell Lowell American Poet, Critic