A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
- The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
- Edward Abbey, in A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1990)
- A person who cannot live in society, or does not need to because he is self-sufficient, is either a beast or a god.
- Aristotle, Politics
- What is not good for the beehive, cannot be good for the bees.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
- Man seeketh in society comfort, use, and protection.
- Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)
- The history of society is the history of the inventive labors that man alter man, alter his desires, habits, outlook, relationships both to other men and to physical nature, with which man is in perpetual physical and technological metabolism.
- Isaiah Berlin, Karl Marx (1978)
- I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.
- Rubén Blades, in a conference at Harvard University reported by Anne Stewart (AP: Cambridge, Mass.), "Not everyone enthusiastic about the future of TV", Bangor Daily News, 18 February 1993
- But now being lifted into high society,
And having pick'd up several odds and ends
Of free thoughts in his travels for variety,
He deem'd, being in a lone isle, among friends,
That without any danger of a riot, he
Might for long lying make himself amends;
And singing as he sung in his warm youth,
Agree to a short armistice with truth.
- What times! What manners!
- Cicero, in Catilinam
- The only living socities are those which are animated by inequality and injustice.
- Paul Claudel, Conversations dans le Loir-et-Cher
- It is the retention by twentieth-century, Atom-Age men of the Neolithic point of view that says: You stay in your village and I will stay in mine. If your sheep eat our grass we will kill you, or we may kill you anyhow to get all the grass for our own sheep. Anyone who tries to make us change our ways is a witch and we will kill him. Keep out of our village.
- Carleton S. Coon, The Story of Man
- In human society the warmth is mainly at the bottom.
- Noel Jack Counhian, Age (1986)
- The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
That none decoy'd into that fatal ring,
Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early gray, but never wise.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book II, line 627
- It's not sex and drug advice these kids need, so much as help in acquiring a world view, in motivating them to take responsibilty and enabling them to build proper relationships.
- George Curry, Daily Mail (1996)
- Society is a handout.
- Gregory Alan Elliott, Toronto Graffiti Artists
- The virtues of society are the vices of the saint.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series (1841)
- Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)
- In the affluent society, no sharp distinction can be made between luxuries and necessaries.
- John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
- I do not think there is anything deserving the name of society to be found out of London.
- William Hazlitt, Table-Talk (1822)
- A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as "state" and "society" and "government" have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame … as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world … aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.
- We have really lost in our society the sense of the sacredness of life.
- Basil Hume, The Observer Review (1995)
- We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.
- Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address (1994)
- A society made up of the individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable. The pressure of ideas would simply drive it frantic.
- H.L. Mencken, Minority Report (1956)
- When society requires to be rebuilt, there is no use in attempting to rebuild it on the old plan.
- John Stuart Mill, Dissertations and Discussions (1859)
- Heav'n forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 249
- The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward to the celestial crown above them.
- Theodore Roosevelt, address on the laying of the cornerstone of the House Office Building, Washington, D.C. (14 March 1906)
- No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776)
- As long as men are men, a poor society cannot be too poor to find a right order of life, nor a rich society too rich to have need to seek it.
- R.H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Soceity (1921)
- They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations.
- It is impossible, in our condition of Soceity, not to be sometimes a Snob.
- William Makepeace Thackeray, The Book of Snobs (1848)
- Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate oddfellow society.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)
- I suppose Society is wonderfully delightful.
To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.
- Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act III
- Society became my glittering bride,
And airy hopes my children.
- William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book III
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 724-25.
- For it is most true that a natural and secret hatred and aversation towards society in any man, hath somewhat of the savage beast.
- Francis Bacon, Essays, Civil and Moral. Of Friendship.
- A people is but the attempt of many
To rise to the completer life of one—
And those who live as models for the mass
Are singly of more value than they all.
- Robert Browning, Luria, Act V, line 334.
- Those families, you know, are our upper crust, not upper ten thousand.
- Cooper, The Ways of the Hour, Chapter VI.
- Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.
- Euripides, Phœmissæ. Frag. 809.
- 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, Chapter IX.
- The noisy and extensive scene of crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.
- Edward Gibbon, Memoirs, Volume I, p. 116.
- I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Chapter XVI.
- Le sage quelquefois évite le monde de peur d'être ennuyè.
- The wise man sometimes flees from society from fear of being bored.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, V.
- He might have proved a useful adjunct, if not an ornament to society.
- Charles Lamb, Captain Starkey.
- Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.
- The Don Quixote of one generation may live to hear himself called the savior of society by the next.
- James Russell Lowell, Don Quixote.
- A system in which the two great commandments were, to hate your neighbour and to love your neighbour's wife.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Essays, Moore's Life of Lord Byron.
- Old Lady T-sh-nd [Townshend] formerly observed that the human race might be divided into three separate classes—men, women and H-v-eys [Herveys].
- Attributed to Lady Mary Wortley Montague in Lord Wharncliffe's Ed. of her Letters and Works. Lady Louisa Stuart, in introductory anecdotes to the same, also credits the saying to Lady Montague, Volume I, p. 67. Attributed to Charles Pigott in The Jockey Club, Part II, p. 4. (Ed. 1792).
- La Société est l'union des hommes, et non pas les hommes.
- Society is the union of men and not the men themselves.
- Charles de Montesquieu, De l'Esprit, X. 3.
- This new rage for rhyming badly,
Which late hath seized all ranks and classes,
Down to that new estate 'the masses.'
- Thomas Moore, The Fudges in England, Letter 4. The classes and the masses. A phrase used by Gladstone.
- What will Mrs. Grundy say?
- Thomas Morton, Speed the Plough (Ed. 1808), Act I, scene 1..
- Sociale animal est.
- [Man] is a social animal.
- Seneca, De Beneficiis, Book VII. 1.
- Society is no comfort
To one not sociable.
- Whilst I was big in clamour came there in a man,
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society.
- To make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone.
- Men lived like fishes; the great ones devoured the small.
- Algernon Sidney, Discourses on Government, Chapter II, Section XVIII.
- As the French say, there are three sexes,—men, women, and clergymen.
- Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir, Volume I, p. 262.
- Ah, you flavour everything; you are the vanille of society.
- Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir, Volume I, p. 262.
- It is impossible, in our condition of Society, not to be sometimes a Snob.
- William Makepeace Thackeray, Book of Snobs, Chapter III.
- Society therefore is as ancient as the world.
- Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif ("A Philosophical Dictionary") (1764), Policy.
- Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
- Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, Act III.
- At present there is no distinction among the upper ten thousand of the city.
- Nathaniel Parker Willis, Necessity for a Promenade Drive.
- Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life.
- William Wordsworth, lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey.
- There is
One great society alone on earth:
The noble Living and the noble Dead.
- William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book XI.