Courage, so far as it is a sign of race, is peculiarly the mark of a gentleman or a lady; but it becomes vulgar if rude or insensitive, while timidity is not vulgar, if it be a characteristic of race or fineness of make. A fawn is not vulgar in being timid, nor a crocodile "gentle" because courageous.
For that reason, let a prince have the credit of conquering and holding his state, the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody because the vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be and by what comes of it; and in the world there are only the vulgar, for the few find a place there only when the many have no ground to rest on.
But the nature of our civilized minds is so detached from the senses, even in the vulgar, by abstractions corresponding to all theabstract terms our languages abound in, and so refined by the art of writing, and as it were spiritualized by the use of numbers, because even the vulgar know how to count and reckon, that it is naturally beyond our power to form the vast image of this mistress called "Sympathetic Nature.
To fall for," "to be fallen for"--I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar "What a messy business it is to be fallen for" by the more literary "What uneasiness lies in being loved.
An urbanite does not become a civilized person just because he has had an education. What one assimilates in the city is book-learning and knowledge derived through emulating educated men. But that alone will not make him a civilized person. A man of simple tastes becomes complex through education because he desires to become complex. That is why a lot of educated men enjoy vulgar and obscene things. The cinema has become a vulgar philistine art form. The enormous motor car with its bloated body is a vulgar vehicle. It is difficult to create a complex thing without some vulgarity and grossness. Amongst the things valued by the educated, it is difficult to find things untainted by vulgarity. People who cannot distinguish between grossness and refinement are not uncommon among the urban educated because for many, the measure of civilization is its complexity.
Now in regard to trades and other means of livelihood, which ones are to be considered becoming to a gentleman and which ones are vulgar, we have been taught, in general, as follows. First, those means of livelihood are rejected as undesirable which incur people's ill-will, as those of tax-gatherers and usurers. Unbecoming to a gentleman, too, and vulgar are the means of livelihood of all hired workmen whom we pay for mere manual labour, not for artistic skill; for in their case the very wage they receive is a pledge of their slavery.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
At that shameful stage in the development of our criticism, literary abuse would overstep all limits of decorum; literature itself was a totally extraneous matter in critical articles: they were pure invective, a vulgar battle of vulgar jokes, double-entendres, the most vicious calumnies and offensive constructions. It goes without saying, that in this inglorious battle, the only winners were those who had nothing to lose as far as their good name was concerned. My friends and I were totally deluded. We imagined ourselves engaged in the subtle philosophical disputes of the portico or the academy, or at least the drawing room. In actual fact we were slumming it.
The dominant propaganda systems have appropriated the term "globalization" to refer to the specific version of international economic integration that they favor, which privileges the rights of investors and lenders, those of people being incidental. In accord with this usage, those who favor a different form of international integration, which privileges the rights of human beings, become "anti-globalist." This is simply vulgar propaganda, like the term "anti-Soviet" used by the most disgusting commissars to refer to dissidents. It is not only vulgar, but idiotic.