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Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life -- its material plenitude, its sheer crowdedness -- conjoin to dull our sensory faculties.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

To go too far is as bad as to fall short.

Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.

We have almost succeeded in leveling all human activities to the common denominator of securing the necessities of life and providing for their abundance.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-born American political philosopher.

Riches are for spending.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) British statesman and philosopher.

We are no longer in a state of growth; we are in a state of excess. We are living in a society of excrescence. The boil is growing out of control, recklessly at cross purposes with itself, its impacts multiplying as the causes disintegrate.

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) French sociologist, and philosopher.


The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

William Blake (1757-1827) British poet and painter.

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680) British poet and satirist.

Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) British novelist and playwright.

Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.

Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

I hold this as a rule of life: Too much of anything is bad.

Terence (195/185 BC-159 BC) Playwright of the Roman Republic.