Poverty is relative, and the lack of food and of the necessities of life is not necessarily a hardship. Spiritual and social ostracism, the invasion of your privacy, are what constitute the pain of poverty.
(Alice Foote MacDougall (1867-1945), U.S. businesswoman. The Autobiography of a Business Woman, ch. 7 (1928).
Before making a great success in the restaurant and wholesale beverage businesses, MacDougall and her three children had been thrust into deep poverty by her husband's financial failure. Raised in wealth and high social standing, she had been forced to ask relatives for help and was humiliated by their presumptuous inquiries about her life style and expenditures.)
Poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government.
(Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher. "The State," addition 149, The Philosophy of Right (1821, trans. 1942).)
Success is somebody else's failure. Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including thirty million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.
(Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929), U.S. author. "A Left-Handed Commencement Address," Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989).
Speech, 1983, to Mills College.)
For as the interposition of a rivulet, however small, will occasion the line of the phalanx to fluctuate, so any trifling disagreement will be the cause of seditions; but they will not so soon flow from anything else as from the disagreement between virtue and vice, and next to that between poverty and riches.
... what's been building since the 1980's is a new kind of social Darwinism that blames poverty and crime and the crisis of our youth on a breakdown of the family. That's what will last after this flurry on family values.
(Stephanie Coontz (b. 1944), U.S. social historian. Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A13 (November 4, 1992).
Reacting to recent appeals to "family values" by both the Democratic and the Republican parties' leadership. Coontz specialized in research on the subject of the American family.)
Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters.... We have infected the pictures in museums with all our stupidities, all our mistakes, all our poverty of spirit. We have turned them into petty and ridiculous things.
(Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist. "Conversation avec Picasso," vol. 10, no. 10, Cahiers d'Art (Paris, 1935), trans. in Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art (1946).)