Quotation by Matthew Arnold

If experience has established any one thing in this world, it has established this: that it is well for any great class and description of men in society to be able to say for itself what it wants, and not to have other classes, the so-called educated and intelligent classes, acting for it as its proctors, and supposed to understand its wants and to provide for them.... A class of men may often itself not either fully understand its wants, or adequately express them; but it has a nearer interest and a more sure diligence in the matter than any of its proctors, and therefore a better chance of success.
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888), British poet, critic. repr. In The Complete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold, vol. 9, ed. R.H. Super (1973). "The Future of Liberalism," Irish Essays and Others (1882).
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