All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
A person who can acquire no property, can have no other interest but to eat as much, and to labour as little as possible. Whatever work he does beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own.
Where there is no property, or at least none that exceeds the value of two or three days' labour, civil government is not so necessary.
The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions.
The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.