The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw him into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as sir.
Excerpt from Orwell’s 1984 (via socialismandstuff)