Quotes about wealth

A collection of quotes on the topic of wealth.

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Diogenes of Sinope photo

„The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning, pleasure and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship and death.“

—  Diogenes of Sinope ancient Greek philosopher, one of the founders of the Cynic philosophy -404 - -322 BC

Stobaeus, iv. 29a. 19
Quoted by Stobaeus

Denis Diderot photo

„In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice.“

—  Denis Diderot French Enlightenment philosopher and encyclopædist 1713 - 1784

Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (1774)
Context: In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don't have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.

Anne Frank photo
Xun Zi photo

„One whose intentions and thoughts are cultivated will disregard wealth and nobility. One whose greatest concern is for the Way and righteousness will take lightly kings and dukes. It is simply that when one examines oneself on the inside, external goods carry little weight. A saying goes, "The gentleman makes things his servants. The petty man is servant to things."“

—  Xun Zi Ancient Chinese philosopher -313 - -238 BC

Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2001), p. 263
A similar phrase to the saying is found in the 3rd millennium BCE Sumerian text Instructions of Shuruppak by Šuruppak: "You should not serve things; things should serve you." http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section5/tr561.htm
"Cultivating oneself"

Benjamin W. Lee photo
Fanny Kemble photo
Adam Weishaupt photo
Philip Sidney photo
Arthur Streeton photo
Michael Parenti photo

„Those who control the wealth of this society have an influence over political life far in excess of their number.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

Source: Democracy for the Few (2010 [1974]), sixth edition, Chapter 12, p. 203

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Michael Parenti photo
Charlemagne photo
Leonardo DiCaprio photo
Andrzej Majewski photo

„A slave dreams of freedom, a free man dreams of wealth, the wealthy dream of power, and the powerful dream of freedom.“

—  Andrzej Majewski Polish writer and photographer 1966

Niewolnik marzy o wolności, człowiek wolny o bogactwie, bogacz o władzy, a władca o wolności.
Aphorisms. Magnum in Parvo (2000)

Philippe Pétain photo

„The only wealth you possess is your labour…France will become again what she should never have ceased to be—an essentially agricultural nation. Like the giant of mythology, she will recover all her strength by contact with the soil.“

—  Philippe Pétain French military and political leader 1856 - 1951

Speech (August 1940), quoted in Pavlos Giannelia, 'France Returns to the Soil', Land and Freedom, Vol. XLI, No. 1, January-February 1941, p. 23 and Eugen Weber, 'France', in Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber (eds.), The European Right: A Historical Profile (University of California Press, 1966), p. 113.

Andrea Dworkin photo

„I advise you to fear Allah alone, with no partner of associate. I advise you to treat the first Muhâjireen well and acknowledge their seniority. I advise you to treat the Ansār well, and show approval of those among them who do well, and forgive those among them who make mistakes. I advise you to treat the people of the outlying regions well, for they are a shield against the enemy and conduits of fay; do not take anything from them except that which is surplus to their needs. I advise you to treat the people of the desert well, for they are the original Arabs and the protectors of Islam. Take from the surplus of their wealth and give it to their poor. I advise you to treat ahl adh-dhīmmah well, to defend them against their enemies and not burden them with more than they can bear if they fulfill their duties towards the believers or pay the Jizyāh with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. I advise you to fear Allah and fear His wrath, lest you do anything wrong. I advise you to fear Allah with regard to the people, but do not fear the people with regard to Allah. I advise you to treat the people justly, and to devote yourself to looking after them and protecting them against their enemies. Do not show any favour to the rich over the poor. That will be better for your spiritual well being and will help to reduce your burden of sin, and it will be better for your Hereafter, until you meet the One Who knows what is in your heart. I instruct you to be strict with regard to the commands of Allah, His sacred limits and disobedience with all people, both relatives and others. Do not show any mercy to anyone until you have settled the score with him according to his offence. Treat all people as equal, and do not worry about who is as fault or fear the blame of the blamers. Beware of showing favouritism among the believers with regard to the fay that Allah has put you in charge of, lest that lead to injustice. Keep away from that. You are in a position between this world and the Hereafter. If you conduct your affairs justly in this world and refrain from indulgence, that will earn you faith and divine pleasure. I advise you not to let yourself or anyone else do wrong to ahl al-dhimmah. I advise you sincerely to seek thereby the Countenance of Allah and the Hereafter. I have chosen advice for you that I would offer to myself or my son. If you do as I have advised you and follow my instructions, you will have gained a great deal. If you don not accept it or pay attention to it, and do not handle your affairs in the way that pleases Allah, that will be a shortcoming on your part and you will have failed to be sincere, because whims and desires are the same and the cause of sin is Iblīs, who calls man to everything that will lead to his doom. He misguided the generations who came before you and led them to Hell, what a terrible abode. What a bad deal it is for a man to take the enemy of Allah as his friend, who calls him to disobey Allah. Adhere to the truth, strive hard to reach it and admonish yourself. I urge you by Allah to show mercy to the Muslims, honour their elderly, show compassion to their young ones and respect the knowledgeable ones among them. Do not harm them or humiliate them, and do not keep the fay for yourself lest you anger them. Do not deprive them of their stipends when they become due, thus making them poor. Do not keep them away on campaigns for so long that they end up having no children. Do not allow wealth to circulate only among the rich. Do not close your door to the people or allow the strong to oppress the weak. This is my advice to you, as Allah is my witness, and I greet you with peace.“

—  Umar Second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate and a companion of Muhammad 585 - 644

Umar ibn al-Khattab, Vol. 2, p. 389-390, also quoted in At-Tabqaat ul-Kabir, Vol. 3, p. 339
Last Advise

Eric Hobsbawm photo
Jimmy Carter photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“