Persuaded that poverty is the human lot, I can no longer believe in any doctrine of reform.
All such doctrines are equally stupid and futile.
There is no poverty among animals, because they live on their own, ignorant of hierarchy and exploitation.
This phenomenon is exclusively human, for man alone made his equals his slaves.
Man alone is capable of so much self-contempt.
All the charitable endeavors in this world only manage to bring poverty into greater relief; they show it to be more terrible and unintelligible than utter dereliction.
Poverty, like ruins, hurts by an absence of humanity and makes one regret that men are unwilling to change that which is well within their power to change.
Knowing full well that men could abolish poverty, you are nevertheless aware of its eternity and you feel a bitter anxiety in which man appears in all his petty inconsequence.
Poverty in social life is only a pale reflection of man’s infinite inner poverty.
Whenever I think of poverty, I lose my desire to live.
I should throw away my pen and move into the slums, where I could relieve poverty better and more efficiently than with a poisonous book.
Whenever I think of man’s abject poverty, his rot, his spreading gangrene, I am gripped by mortal despair.
Instead of constructing theories and ideologies to deal with poverty, man, this rational animal, should simply give the coat off his back in a gesture of fraternal understanding.
Poverty in the world compromises man more than anything else and will no doubt bring about the downfall of such a megalomaniac animal.
In front of poverty, I’m even ashamed of music. The essence of social life is injustice. How, then, should one support any social or political doctrine?
Poverty destroys everything in life; it makes it ghastly, disgusting.
Alongside aristocratic paleness there is the paleness of poverty: the former, a consequence of refinement, the latter, of mummification, for poverty turns you into a ghost, makes shadows out of life, twilight creatures like survivors of a cosmic holocaust.
The convulsions of poverty bear no trace of purification; they are all hatred, bitterness, and flesh gone evil.
Poverty does not engender a pure, angelic soul or an immaculate humility any more than sickness does; its humility is venomous, evil, and vengeful.
There cannot be a relative rebellion in the face of injustice.
There can only be eternal rebellion, because human poverty is eternal.
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