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In this great society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find very few spontaneous actions. It is almost all custom and gross sense.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the fine souls who serve us, and not what is called fine society. Fine society is only a self-protection against the vulgarities of the street and the tavern.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

People are to be taken in very small doses.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society does not love its unmaskers.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society is a troop of thinkers and the best heads among them take the best places.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society will pardon much to genius and special gifts; but, being in its nature conventional, it loves what is conventional, or what belongs to coming together.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Essays--First Series--Self-Reliance

Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.
      - Euripides, Phoemissoe (frag. 809)

As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask.
      - Erich Fromm

For every social wrong there must be a remedy. But the remedy can be nothing less than the abolition of the wrong.
      - Henry George, Social Problems (ch. IX)

The noisy and extensive scene of crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.
      - Edward Gibbon, Memoirs (vol. I, p. 116)

It has been said that society is for the happy, the rich; we should rather say the happy have no need of it.
      - Madame Delphine Gay de Girardin

The classes and the masses.
      - Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone,
        a phrase used by him

Christian society is like a bundle of sticks laid together, whereof one kindles another. Solitary men have fewest provocations to evil, but, again, fewest incitations to good. So much as doing good is better than not doing evil will I account Christian good-fellowship better than an hermitish and melancholy solitariness.
      - Joseph Hall

Society is the atmosphere of souls; and we necessarily imbibe from it something which is either infectious or healthful.
      - Joseph Hall

Society is, and must be, based upon appearances, and not upon the deepest appearances, and not realities.
      - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Society will be obeyed; if you refuse obedience, you must take the consequences. Society has only one law, and that is custom. Even religion itself is socially powerful only just so far as it has custom on its side.
      - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Unless society can effect by education what Lord Monboddo holds man to have done by willing it, and can get rid of her tail, it will be wisest to let the educated classes keep their natural station at the head.
      - Augustus William Hare

Every man depends on the quantity of sense, wit, or good manners he brings into society for the reception he meets with in it.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Society is a republic. When an individual endeavors to lift himself above his fellows, he is dragged down by the mass, either by means of ridicule or of calumny. No one shall be more virtuous or more intellectually gifted than others. Whoever, by the irresistible force of genius, rises above the common herd is certain to be ostracised by society, which will pursue him with such merciless derision and detraction that at last he will be compelled to retreat into the solitude of his thoughts.
      - Heinrich Heine

Society is a strong solution of books. It draws the virtue out of what is best worth reading, as hot water draws the strength of tea-leaves.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.
      - Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality
         (ch. 3)

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