Quotes for Today

    Here are two quotes from William Cobbett that were sent to me by AJY. I really think both are profound…

  • Thousands upon thousands are yearly brought into a state of real poverty by their great anxiety not to be thought poor.
  • The Christian religion, then, is not an affair of preaching, or prating, or ranting, but of taking care of the bodies as well as the souls of people; not an affair of belief and of faith and of professions, but an affair of doing good, and especially to those who are in want; not an affair of fire and brimstone, but an affair of bacon and read, beer and a bed.
  • This next quote is one I found from a website giving biographical information on William Cobbett:
      William Cobbett, Thirteen Sermons (1822)

      All property has its origin in labour. Labour itself is property; the root of all other property; and unhappy is that community, where labourer and poor man are synonymous terms. No man is essentially poor: poor and rich are relative terms; and if the labourer have his due, and be in good health, in the vigour of life, and willing to labour, to make him a poor man there must be some defect in the government of the community in which he lives. Because the produce of his labour would of itself produce a sufficiency of every thing needful for himself and family. The labouring classes must always form nine-tenths of a people; and what a shame it must be, what an imputation on the rulers, if nine-tenths of the people be worthy of the name of poor! It is impossible that such a thing can be, unless there be an unfair and an unjust distribution of the profits of labour. Labour produces every thing that is good upon the earth; it is the cause of every thing that men enjoy of worldly possessions; when, therefore, the strong and the young engage in labour and cannot obtain from it a sufficiency to keep them out of the ranks of the poor, there must be something greatly amiss in the management of the community; something that gives to the few an unjust and cruel advantage over the many; and surely, unless we assume the character of beasts of prey, casting aside all feelings of humanity, all love of country, and all regard for the ordinances of God, we must sincerely regret, and anxiously endeavour to remove, such an evil, whenever we may find it to exist. The man who can talk about the honour of his country, at a time when its millions are in a state little short of famine; and when that is, too, apparently their permanent state, must be an oppressor in his heart; must be destitute of all the feelings of shame and remorse; must be fashioned for a despot, and can only want the power to act the character in its most tragical scenes.

    Cobbett wrote those words in the Nineteenth century but them seem more relevant today than ever before. Our society truly is “greatly amiss in the management of the community” when there exist such “an unfair and just distribution of the profits of the labour.”