Aristocracy: What is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone.
—John Ciardi (1916–86) American Poet, Teacher, Etymologist, Translator
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
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
At a round table there is no dispute about place.
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
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
—Gore Vidal (1925–48) American Novelist, Essayist, Journalist, Playwright
Rank and riches are chains of gold, but still chains.
—Giovanni Ruffini (1807–81) Italian Writer, Patriot
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.
—Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) Austrian-American Political Economist, Sociologist
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
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors.
—Herbert Agar (1897–1980) American Journalist, Historian, Poet, Critic
What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.
—Frantz Fanon (1925–61) French-Martinique Psychoanalyst, Philosopher
I weigh the man, not his title; ’tis not the king’s stamp can make the metal better.
—William Wycherley (c.1640–1716) English Dramatist
All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes.
—William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98) English Liberal Statesman, Prime Minister
The true policy of a government is to make use a aristocracy, but under the forms and in the spirit of democracy.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France