Saturday, March 10, 2012

Upton Sinclair

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
-Upton Sinclair

Human beings suffer agonies, and their sad fates become legends; poets write verses about them and playwrights compose dramas, and the remembrance of past grief becomes a source of present pleasure - such is the strange alchemy of the spirit.
-Upton Sinclair, Dragon's Teeth

Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded. They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars.
-Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

A large section of the idling classes of England get their incomes by believing that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Jonah swallowed a whale; and with the progress of science they were naturally finding this more and more difficult. A school of ingenious Bible-twisters arose, to invent symbolical and literary meanings for fairy tales, in order that people who no longer believed could continue with good conscience to collect the salaries of belief.
-Upton Sinclair, Mammonart: An Essay in Economic Interpretation

All day long this man would toil thus, his whole being centered upon the purpose of making twenty-three instead of twenty-two and a half cents an hour; and then his product would be reckoned up by the census taker, and jubilant captains of industry would boast of it in their banquet halls, telling how our workers are nearly twice as efficient as those of any other country. If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy.
-Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

I, the driver of this car, that used to be Jim Ross, the teamster, and J.A. Ross and Co., general merchandise at Queen Centre, California, am now J. Arnold Ross, oil operator, and my breakfast is about digested, and I am a little too warm in my big new overcoat because the sun is coming out, and I have a new well flowing four thousand barrels at Los Lobos river, and sixteen on the pump at Antelope, and I'm on my way to sign a lease at Beach City, and we'll make up our schedule in the next couple of hours, and 'Bunny' is sitting beside me, and he is well and strong, and is going to own everything I am making, and follow in my footsteps, except that he will never make the ugly blunders or have painful memories that I have, but will be wise and perfect and do everything I say.
-Upton Sinclair

At last Paul went on. "I know how it is, son. You won't do it, you haven't the nerve for it-you're soft." He waited, while those cruel words sank in. "Yes, that's the word, soft. You've always had everything you wanted- you've had it handed to you on a silver tray, and it's made you a weakling. You have a good heart, you know what's right, but you couldn't bear to act, you'd be too afraid of hurting somebody."
-Upton Sinclair

0 comments: