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There is no wealth but life. Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the function of his own life to the utmost, has always the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others. John Ruskin
Large fortunes are all founded either on the occupation of land, or lending or the taxation of labour. John Ruskin
Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man. Benjamin Disraeli, speech Manchester 3rd April 1872
Titles are tinsel, power a corrupter, glory a bubble, and excessive wealth a libel on its possessor. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Declaration of Rights
The labor movement means just this: it is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth. Wendell Phillips
All wealth is the product of labour. John Locke
Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver but by labour that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. Adam Smith
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. Samuel Adams
The freedom of affluence opposes and contradicts the freedom of community life. Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace
To be wealthy and honoured in an unjust society is a disgrace. Confucius, The Analects
Wealth and rank are what people desire. But unless they are attained in the right way they may not be possessed. Confucius
It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. George Orwell, 1984
Q: I’ll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything and start the cycle all over again. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine s1e7: Q-Less s1e7
Thus began the quest for the so-called American Dream: the dream made of wealth comfort and well-being ... The connection between liberty and wealth was being continually reinforced. The New American Century, PSTV 2007
England and America owe their liberty to commerce, which created a new species of power to undermine the feudal system. But let them beware of the consequences: the tyranny of wealth is still more galling and debasing than that of rank. Mary Wollstonecraft
The Queen’s wealth as a monarch includes fifty-four Commonwealth nations worldwide, millions of acres of Crown land and resources. Thousands of Crown corporations. And the Corporate State of London which is the capital of world finance. The Queen’s visible personal wealth which was accumulated tax free until 1992 include Royal Yachts, Rolls-Royces, racehorses, five castles, the world’s largest collection of jewels, twenty thousand old masterpieces, and billions of Class A shares in blue-chips and bonds which have been invested and reinvested over and over again tax free. Most of the Queen’s family’s fortune was inherited from her ancestors’ illegal opium trade with China and the black slave trade. The Bloodlines of the Illuminati
Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children. Martin Luther King
And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. Martin Luther King, attributed
The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively. Bob Marley
Unfortunately, whenever we get into power with either one of these two parties we find that the one crying need of our people – the redistribution of wealth so that none would be too poor and none would be too rich – is always neglected by the party that is in power. Huey Long
Banks ... transfer wealth from society to the creators of money. James Jaeger, Fiat Empire: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution
The wealth of the nation was quickly concentrated into the hands of the richest Romans once again. Bill Still, The Secret of Oz 2009
So in Rome we learn that with cheap, government-issued money the Roman Republic flourished, but under the gold money it perished. ibid.
There is enough money in the world to make everybody a millionaire. Money: Who Wants to be a Millionaire bloke on settee, BBC 2011
Thousands of others are flocking to wealth seminars. ibid.
A considerable part of Robert’s wealth comes from teaching other people how to get rich. ibid.
‘It’s not about the money, it’s about the mindset.’ ibid. bloke in coffee shop
I believe and I have always believed and I always will believe in private enterprise has the backbone of the economic well-being of the United States. People of American have no quarrel with business; they insist only that the power of concentrated wealth shall not be abused. Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933
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 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 VI: 235-236 1919