(1516) Thomas More
“And I’ve no doubt that either self-interest, or the authority of our Saviour Christ – Who was far too kind to recommend anything else – would have led the whole world to adopt the Utopian system long ago, if it weren’t for that beastly root of all evils, pride. For pride’s criterion of prosperity is not what you’ve got yourself, but what other people haven’t got. Pride would refuse to set foot in paradise, if she thought there’d be no under-privileged classes there to gloat over and order about – nobody whose misery could serve as a foil to her own happiness, or whose poverty she could make harder to bear, by flaunting her own riches. Pride, like a hellish serpent gliding through human hearts – or shall we say, like a sucking-fish that clings to the ship of state? – is always dragging us back, and obstructing our progress towards a better way of life.”
More’s the man.