— Henri Lefebvre French philosopher 1901 - 1991
From Critique of Everyday Life: Volume 1 (1947/1991), Context: Everything great and splendid is founded on power and wealth. They are the basis of beauty. This is why the rebel and the anarchic protester who decries all of history and all the works of past centuries because he sees in them only the skills and the threat of domination is making a mistake. He sees alienated forms, but not the greatness within. The rebel can only see to the end of his own ‘private’ consciousness, which he levels against everything human, confusing the oppressors with the oppressed masses, who were nevertheless the basis and the meaning of history and past works. Castles, palaces, cathedrals, fortresses, all speak in their various ways of the greatness and the strength of the people who built them and against whom they were built. This real greatness shines through the fake grandeur of rulers and endows these buildings with a lasting ‘beauty’. The bourgeoisie is alone in having given its buildings a single, over-obvious meaning, impoverished, deprived of reality: that meaning is abstract wealth and brutal domination; that is why it has succeeded in producing perfect ugliness and perfect vulgarity. The man who denigrates the past, and who nearly always denigrates the present and the future as well, cannot understand this dialectic of art, this dual character of works and of history. He does not even sense it. Protesting against bourgeois stupidity and oppression, the anarchic individualist is enclosed in ‘private’ consciousness, itself a product of the bourgeois era, and no longer understands human power and the community upon which that power is founded. The historical forms of this community, from the village to the nation, escape him. He is, and only wants to be, a human atom (in the scientifically archaic sense of the word, where ‘atom’ meant the lowest isolatable reality). By following alienation to its very extremes he is merely playing into the hands of the bourgeoisie. Embryonic and unconscious, this kind of anarchism is very widespread. There is a kind of revolt, a kind of criticism of life, that implies and results in the acceptance of this life as the only one possible. As a direct consequence this attitude precludes any understanding of what is humanly possible.
„Nothing withstands the influence of wealth. Everything submits to its tyranny, everything cowers at its dominion.“
Οὐδὲν ὑφίσταται τὴν βίαν τοῦ πλούτου· Πάντα ὑποκύπτει τῇ τυραννίδι, πάντα ὑποπτήσσει τὴν δυναστείαν.
— Henri Lefebvre French philosopher 1901 - 1991
„Always accustomed to wealth, she did not understand its value; we must want money to really know its worth, and money seemed to her the vilest consideration that could have influence.“
— Letitia Elizabeth Landon English poet and novelist 1802 - 1838
The Monthly Magazine
— John Mearsheimer, book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001), Chapter 2, Anarchy and the Struggle for Power, p. 43
— Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Stray Birds (1916), 139
„If fortune makes a wicked man prosperous and a good man poor, there is no need to wonder. For the wicked regard wealth as everything, the good as nothing. And the good fortune of the bad cannot take away their badness, while virtue alone will be enough for the good.“
— Sallustius Roman philosopher and writer
On the Gods and the Cosmos, IX. On Providence, Fate, and Fortune.
— Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
2009, First Inaugural Address (January 2009), Context: Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
„Everything you possess of skill, and wealth and handicraft,
wasn't it first merely a thought and a quest?“
— Rumi Iranian poet 1207 - 1273
Jewels of Remembrance (1996), Context: If an ant seeks the rank of Solomon, don't smile contemptuously upon its quest. Everything you possess of skill, and wealth and handicraft, wasn't it first merely a thought and a quest? III, 1445-49
„Everything which the economist takes from you in the way of life and humanity, he restores to you in the form of money and wealth.“
— Lionel Trilling, book Sincerity and Authenticity
Sincerity and Authenticity (1972), p. 123
„The State is competent to assign duties and draw the line between good and evil only in its immediate sphere. Beyond the limits of things necessary for its well-being, it can only give indirect help to fight the battle of life by promoting the influences which prevail against temptation, — religion, education, and the distribution of wealth.“
— John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton British politician and historian 1834 - 1902
The History of Freedom in Antiquity (1877), p, 125
„Wealth itself is blameless, but there can be fear for its precious eye; for I consider the presence of a house's master to be its saving light.“
— Aeschylus, The Persians
The Persians (472 BC), Ἔστι γὰρ πλοῦτός γ᾽ ἀμεμφής, ἀμφὶ δ᾽ ὀφθαλμῷ φόβος· ὄμμα γὰρ δόμων νομίζω δεσπότου παρουσίαν. lines 168–169 (tr. Christopher Collard)
„Like the Roman Empire in the early fifth century, Europe has allowed its defenses to crumble. As its wealth has grown, so its military prowess has shrunk, along with its self-belief. It has grown decadent in its shopping malls and sports stadiums. At the same time, it has opened its gates to outsiders who have coveted its wealth without renouncing their ancestral faith.“
— Niall Ferguson British historian 1964
"Paris and the fall of Rome" https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/11/16/paris-and-fall-rome/ErlRjkQMGXhvDarTIxXpdK/story.html Boston Globe, November 16, 2015.
„Nothing is quite so wretchedly corrupt as an aristocracy which has lost its power but kept its wealth and which still has endless leisure to devote to nothing but banal enjoyments. All its great thoughts and passionate energy are things of the past, and nothing but a host of petty, gnawing vices now cling to it like worms to a corpse.“
— Alexis De Tocqueville, book Democracy in America
Democracy in America, Volume II (1840), Book Three, Book Three, Chapter XI.
„Mercantilism is based upon the idea that a nation's wealth and security depend upon its ability to regulate and control its external trade at the expense of others.“
— Peter Dicken British geographer 1938
Global Shift (2003) (Fourth Edition), Chapter 5, The State, p. 132
„Your system of producing wealth, factories, mines, cooperatives will fall apart, like everything else, under the attacks of the people, in the delirious, popular boulimia.“
— Louis-ferdinand Céline French writer 1894 - 1961
L'Ecole des cadavres (1938), 101