What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
Between richer and poorer classes in a free country a mutually respecting antagonism is much healthier than pity on the one hand and dependence on the other, as is, perhaps, the next best thing to fraternal feeling.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
I weigh the man, not his title; ’tis not the king’s stamp can make the metal better.
—William Wycherley (1640–1715) English Dramatist
Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.
—Mao Zedong (1893–1976) Chinese Statesman
This miserable state is borne by the wretched souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise.
—Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian Poet, Philosopher
At a round table there is no dispute about place.
I simply contend that the middle-class ideal which demands that people be affectionate, respectable, honest and content, that they avoid excitements and cultivate serenity is the ideal that appeals to me, it is in short the ideal of affectionate family life, of honorable business methods.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
Aristocracy: What is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone.
—John Ciardi (1916–86) American Poet, Teacher, Etymologist, Translator
Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors.
—Herbert Agar (1897–1980) American Journalist, Historian, Poet, Critic
Aristocracy: A combination of many powerful men, for the purpose of maintaining their own particular interests. It is consequently a concentration of all the most effective parts of a community for a given end, hence its energy, efficiency and success.
—James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) American Novelist