Admit that the press transferred the pontificate of Rome to Henry VIII-Admit that the press demolished in some sort the feudal system, and set the serfs and villains free; admit that the press demolished the monasteries, nunneries, and religious houses; into whose hands did all these alienated baronies, monasteries, and religious houses and lands fall? Into the hands of the democracy? Into the hands of serfs and villains? Serfs and villains were the only real democracy in those time. No. They fell into the hands of other aristocrats. . . .
According to the Tax Foundation, taxes now consume more than 38% of the average family's budget. That is more than is spent on food, clothing, housing, and transportation combined. Compare this to the plight of medieval serfs. They only had to give the lord of the manor one-third of their output - and they were considered slaves. So what does that make us?
Daniel J. Mitchell
As corporations gain in autonomous institutional power and be-come more detached from people and place, the human interest and the corporate interest increasingly diverge. It is almost as though we were being invaded by alien beings intent on coloniz ing our planet, reducing us to serfs, and then excluding as many of us as possible.
To dine, drink champagne, raise a racket and make speeches about the people's consciousness, the people's conscience, freedom andso forth while servants in tails are scurrying around your table, just like serfs, and out in the severe cold on the street await coachmen--this is the same as lying to the holy spirit.
Being doped is a pleasure you pay for. There was always opium there for the people - in the end it tainted their whole faith. If the Church had not always stood so watchfully behind the ruling powers, there would not have been such attacks against everything it stood for - although of course it may have been competing with them for the first place among the rulers, as in the Middle Ages. Whenever it was a question of keeping the serfs, and then the paid slaves down, the dope-dealers came unfailingly to the help of the oppressors.
The notion that "applied" knowledge is somehow less worthy than "pure" knowledge, was natural to a society in which all useful work was performed by slaves and serfs, and in which industry was controlled by the models set by custom rather than by intelligence. Science, or the highest knowing, was then identified with pure theorizing, apart from all application in the uses of life; and knowledge relating to useful arts suffered the stigma attaching to the classes who engaged in them.
If on Judgement Day I were summoned by St. Peter to give testimony to the used-to-be sheriff's act of kindness, I would be unable to say anything in his behalf. His confidence that my uncle and every other Black man who heard of the Klan's coming ride would scurry under their houses to hide in chicken droppings was too humiliating to hear. Without waiting for Momma's thanks, he rode out of the yard, sure that things were as they should be and that he was a gentle squire, saving those deserving serfs from the laws of the land, which he condoned.
I think politics is deadly to write about, frankly. If you have a political agenda and you set out to write a novel to prove that, say, capitalism should crumble, then it's going to be a really bad novel. Very few people have been able to deal with political fiction - Dickens, Dostoyevsky. But even Tolstoy got really tiresome when he was talking about the serfs. You have to let characters be characters, not [gruff voice] Mr Capitalism or [girlie voice] Miss Anti-Fur.
I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?
Henry David Thoreau
We preach free enterprise capitalism. We believe in it, we give our lives in war for it, but the closest most of us come to profiting from it are a few miserable shares of stock in a company that doesn't pay large enough dividends to keep a small mouse in cheese. The truth is, most of us are job serfs. At a time when invested capital returns 20 to 30 percent, we have no capital. We only have our wages and salaries, and a debt so high that something like 20c on every dollar we earn is spent to pay off what we owe.
Nicholas von Hoffman
Return to Shaoshan I regret the passing, the dying, of the vague dream: my native orchards thirty-two years ago. Yet red banners roused the serfs, who seized three-pronged lances when the warlords raised whips in their black hands. We were brave and sacrifice was easy and we asked the sun, the moon, to alter the sky. Now I see a thousand waves of beans and rice and am happy. In the evening haze heroes are coming home.
The theologians dead, knew no more than the theologians now living. More than this cannot be said. About this world little is known, -about another world, nothing. Our fathers were intellectual serfs, and their fathers were slaves. The makers of our creeds were ignorant and brutal. Every dogma that we have, has upon it the mark of whip, the rust of chain, and the ashes of fagot. Our fathers reasoned with instruments of torture. They believed in the logic of fire and sword. They hated reason. They despised thought. They abhorred liberty.
Robert G. Ingersoll
According to the Tax Foundation, the average American worker works 127 days of the year just to pay his taxes. That means that government owns 36 percent of the average American's output-which is more than feudal serfs owed the robber barons. That 36 percent is more than the average American spends on food, clothing and housing. In other words, if it were not for taxes, the average American's living standard would at least double.
Paul Craig Roberts
Fallen. Who tracks our footsteps, I wonder? We who are the forgotten, the discounted and the ignored. When the path is failure, it is never willingly taken. The fallen. Why does my heart weep for them? Not them but us, for most assuredly I am counted among them. Slaves, serfs, nameless peasants and labourers, the blurred faces in the crowd-just a smear on memory, a scuffing of feet down the side passages of history. Can one stop, can one turn and force one's eyes to pierce the gloom? And see the fallen? Can one ever see the fallen? And if so, what emotion is born in that moment? There were tears on his cheeks, dripping down onto his chafed hands. He knew the answer to that question, knife-sharp and driven deep, and the answer was... recognition.