Before I declare BF a douchebag, what is the context of that quote?? He was well known for his sarcasm.
In fact he was against a large upper class accumulating all the wealth at the expense of the lower classes. He even said savage indians were "gentlemen" compared to that lot in his letter about his travels to Ireland and Scotland.
I have lately made a Tour thro' Ireland and Scotland. In these Countries a small Part of the Society are Landlords, great Noblemen and Gentlemen, extreamly opulent, living in the highest Affluence and Magnificence: The Bulk of the People Tenants, extreamly poor, living in the most sordid Wretchedness in dirty Hovels of Mud and Straw, and cloathed only in Rags......................Farther, if my Countrymen should ever wish for the Honour of having among them a Gentry enormously wealthy, let them sell their Farms and pay rack'd Rents; the Scale of the Landlords will rise as that of the Tenants is depress'd who will soon become poor, tattered, dirty, and abject in Spirit.
as you can see by this quote, he is actually being sarcastic, he is NOT recommending people become poor and tattered.
And the Effect of this kind of Civil Society seems only to be, the depressing Multitudes below the Savage State that a few may be rais'd above it.
LINKY TO HIS LETTERS
Can someone provide me the letter that he wrote that in or any link? It might even be a false quote.