Capitalism inevitably and by virtue of the very logic of its civilization creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest.
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.
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?”
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.
To the believer Marxism presents, first, a system of ultimate ends that embody the meaning of life and are absolute standards by which to judge events and actions…
The evolution of the capitalist style of life could be easily—and perhaps most tellingly—described in terms of the genesis of the modern Lounge Suit.
We always plan too much and always think too little.
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.
Bureaucracy is not an obstacle to democracy but an inevitable complement to it.
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.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Carol Dweck American Psychologist
- Henry Adams American Historian
- Lionel Trilling American Critic
- Karl Barth Swiss Protestant Theologian
- Barthold G. Niebuhr German Historian
- Ernst Moritz Arndt German Writer
- Immanuel Hermann Fichte German Philosopher
- August Wilhelm Schlegel German Poet, Critic, Scholar
- John Rawls American Philosopher
- Josiah Royce American Philosopher