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Elites

  • No loose fish enters our quiet bay.

  • Every clique is a refuge for incompetence. It fosters corruption and disloyalty, it begets cowardice, and consequently is a burden upon and a drawback to the progress of the country. Its instincts and actions are those of the pack.

  • Scarcely anything that I observed in the United States caused me so much sorrow as the contemptuous estimate of the people entertained by those who were bowing the knee to be permitted to serve them.

  • Wherever the appearance of a conventional aristocracy exists in America, it must arise from wealth, as it cannot from birth. An aristocracy of mere wealth is vulgar everywhere. In a republic, it is vulgar in the extreme.

  • The ruling class isn't dissatisfied: they are healthy, well-fed, live in beauty, enjoy their own importance: fun-loving cannibals.

    • Marge Piercy,
    • "The Grand Coolie Damn," in Robin Morgan, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • There is no denying that there are 'royal roads' through existence for the upper classes; for them, at least, the highways are macadamized, swept, and watered.

  • The establishment is made up of little men, very frightened.

  • Being upper class is more than a matter of money, though money counts. ... Upper class means a certainty of belonging, an assumption of one's importance in the world. ... the U.S. aristocracy is institutionalized in U.S. history and in the mythology that transcends it. Take away black studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, Jewish studies, labor history, Chicano studies, Native American studies: what is left is what has passed for 'history' with no qualifying adjective, the story of those whose belonging was never disputed.

    • Susanna J. Sturgis,
    • "Class/Act," in Christian McEwen and Sue O'Sullivan, eds., Out the Other Side ()
  • [On the socialites in New York in the Nineties who devoted themselves to politics, charities, and other volunteer work:] I never knew but one woman who devoted her life exclusively to the social game. She ended her days arranging dinner parties with paper dolls, a breakdown pitiful to watch.

  • Justice waits upon the great, Interest holds the scale, and Riches turns the balance.

  • Aristocracies are erected on the work of other people, in whatever manner secured.