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Society Quotes


Top 35 Society Quotes

 Society Quotes

No 1 (Best quote!)

Our society is what we make it.

- Milton and Rose Friedman, pictured right, Free To Choose (1980)Society Quotes



Other thinkers and leaders agree:

 Society Quotes

The strength and power of a country depends absolutely on the quantity of good men and women in it.

- John Ruskin (1819-1900), pictured right, the English writer and philosopher.


Society Quotes

There is no such thing [as society]. There are individual men and women, and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first.

- Margaret Thatcher (1925- ), pictured right, British prime minister.

 Society Quotes

A country is only as good as the people in it.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher, pictured right.


Society Quotes


You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.

- Marie Curie (1867-1934), Polish-born French physicist, pictured right.


Society Quotes

But Edmund Burke (1729-97), pictured right, the Irish-born British Member of Parliament, comments:

To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.



 No 2Society Quotes

Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

- John F. Kennedy (1917–63), American president, pictured right.



No 3Society Quotes

The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.

- Omar Bradley (1893–1981), American general, pictured right.


Two other Americans agree:

 Society Quotes

The good society is one in which virtue pays.

- Abraham Maslow (1908-70), pictured right, psychologist.


Society Quotes

The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous,

- Frederick Douglass (c1818–95), civil rights campaigner, pictured right.


The Talmud, the Jewish holy book, also says:

By three things is the world sustained: by truth, by judgement, and by peace.



No 4Society Quotes

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

- Martin Luther King (1929–68), American civil rights leader, pictured right.


Society Quotes

The English philosopher, Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), pictured right, agrees:

The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation.



No 5Society Quotes

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things,

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) American poet, philosopher, pictured right.

 Society Quotes


The English writer, Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957), pictured right, is similarly critical of our materialistic society:

A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.



No 6Society Quotes

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

- Winston Churchill (1874–19650, British prime minister, pictured right.


Society Quotes

The English economist, John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), pictured right, agrees:

Ideas shape the course of history.



No 7Society Quotes

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor.

(from the 1776 book The Wealth of Nations)

- Adam Smith (1723-90), pictured right, Scottish philosopher.


Society Quotes

John Kenneth (J. K.) Galbraith (1908-2006), pictured right, in his book, The Culture of Contentment (1992), agrees:

Nothing in the age of contentment ...so contributes to social tranquillity as some screams of anguish from the very affluent.


Society Quotes

Adam Smith, pictured right, also says in The Wealth of Nations (1776):

No society can be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable



No 8Society Quotes

Big Brother is Watching You.

(Party slogan in the 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four)

- George Orwell (1903-50), pictured right, English writer.



No 9Society Quotes

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made,

- Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher, pictured right.


Society Quotes

William Golding, pictured right, in his book, Lord of the Flies (1954), also emphasizes the darker side of human nature:

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.


Society Quotes

But Shakespeare's, pictured right, Miranda (in The Tempest) is far more optimistic:

How beautiful mankind is! O brave new world that hath such people in ’t!



No 10Society Quotes

Ours is the age of substitutes: instead of language, we have jargon; instead of principles, slogans; and, instead of genuine ideas, Bright Ideas.

- Eric Bentley (1916– ), English-born American writer, pictured right.



No 11Society Quotes

Society is indeed a contract…it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born,

- Edmund Burke (1729–97),Irish-born British politician and philosopher, pictured right.


No 12Society Quotes

When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.

- Carl Rogers (1902-87) American psychologist, pictured right.



No 13Society Quotes

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

- Samuel Johnson (1709–84), English writer, pictured right.



No 14Society Quotes

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,

(from the 1945 novel Animal Farm)

- George Orwell (1903-50), pictured right, English writer.


Society Quotes

Benedict (or Baruch) Spinoza (1632-77), pictured right, the Dutch philosopher, points out the impossibility of equality because of differing effort and ability:

He who seeks equality between unequals seeks an absurdity


Society Quotes

Milton and Rose Friedman (pictured right and below) also comment in Free To Choose (1980)

A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both

Society Quotes




No 15Society Quotes

The greatest disease today...is the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody,

- Mother Teresa (1910-97),  Albanian nun,, pictured right.


Society Quotes

Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC), pictured right, founder of Buddhism, agrees:

A generous heart, kind service, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.



No 16Society Quotes

Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race.

- William Gladstone (1809-1898) British prime minister, pictured right.



No 17Society Quotes

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

- Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher, pictured right.


Society Quotes

Martin Luther King (1929–68), the American civil rights leader, pictured right.says something similar:

A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard



No 18Society Quotes

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

- Karl Marx (1818–83), German philosopher, pictured right.



No 19Society Quotes

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

(Marcellus in Hamlet)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right.  


The Duke of Albany in Shakespeare's King Lear also comments on the world's immorality:

Humanity must perforce prey on itself like monsters of the deep.

 - William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right



No 20Society Quotes

The life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,

(from the 1651 book Leviathan)

- Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), pictured right, English philosopher.

 Society Quotes

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) the American writer and philosopher, pictured right, says similarly:

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.



No 21Society Quotes

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die,

- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), American president , pictured right.


 Eisenhower also comments:

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.


No 22Society Quotes

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

- John F. Kennedy (1917-63), American president, pictured right.



No 23Society Quotes

This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.

- Horace Walpole (1717-97), English writer and politician, pictured right. 



No 24Society Quotes

We may make mistakes, but they must never be mistakes which result from faintness of heart or abandonment of moral principle,

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), American president, pictured right.



No 25Society Quotes

We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither.

- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), American president 1901-9, pictured right.



No 26Society Quotes

Herein lies the tragedy of the age...that men know so little of men.

- William E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), African American civil rights campaigner and writer, pictured right.



No 27Society Quotes

The common wealth of all civilizations is the education of the child.

- Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Swiss educational psychologist, pictured right.



No 28Society Quotes

A great nation is a compassionate nation.

- Martin Luther King (1929-68), pictured right, American civil rights leader.



No 29Society Quotes

When the heart is right, the personal life is cultivated. When personal lives are cultivated, families become harmonious. When families are harmonious, government becomes orderly. And when government is orderly, there will be peace in the world,

- Confucius (551-479 BC), Chinese philosopher, pictured right



No 30Society Quotes

We can no longer buy the highest satisfactions of the individual life at the expense of social injustice,

- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1901), American theologian, pictured right.



No 31Society Quotes

Liberté, equalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, fraternity).

- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), Swiss philosopher, pictured right.



No 32Society Quotes

Man is the creature of circumstances.

- Robert Owen (1771-1858), Welsh businessman, pictured right.



No 33Society Quotes

The disastrous feature of our civilization is that it is far more developed materially than spiritually,

- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), German philosopher and doctor, pictured right.



No 34Society Quotes

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.

- Erich Fromm (1900-80), German-born American psychologist and philosopher, pictured right



No 35Society Quotes

 In the end we are our choices.

- Jeff Bezos (1964- ), founder and boss of Amazon (pictured right)

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