29 Timeless Upton Sinclair Quotes To Share
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. was a renowned American novelist, journalist, political activist and politician, who published more than 100 novels of his own. He won the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943. His notable works include novels such as ‘Wide Is the Gate’, A’ Presidential Mission’ and ‘The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America’. Upton Sinclair was a well-recognized whistleblower, who was instrumental in exposing the dark secrets of working conditions of the U.S. meat and packaging, coal, oil and automotive industries at that time. He also accused J.P. Morgan for orchestrating ‘the Great Depression’ and the Panic of 1907 in order to acquire a bank. He also took part in the End of Poverty Campaign after being elected as a Democratic Party candidate for the Governor of California. Many of Upton’s literary works, including ‘The Jungle’, ‘The Wet Parade’ and ‘Oil!’ have been a great source of inspiration for movies and have frequently been adopted for celluloid. Here are some timeless quotes from this outspoken writer and activist of the early 20
th century America.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. Fascism is capitalism plus murder. All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescabably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda. I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach. They use everything about the hog except the squeal. One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption. 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. Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid. To do that would mean, not merely to be defeated, but to acknowledge defeat- and the difference between these two things is what keeps the world going. The old wanderlust had gotten into his blood, the joy of the unbound life, the joy of seeking, of hoping without limit. The great corporation which employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country—from top to bottom it was nothing but one gigantic lie. Can you not see that the task is your task - yours to dream, yours to resolve, yours to execute? They were trying to save their souls- and who but a fool could fail to see that all that was the matter with their souls was that they had not been able to get a decent existence for their bodies? It is impossible to get a man to understand something if his livelihood depends on him not understanding. So he went on, tearing up all the flowers from the garden of his soul, and setting his heel upon them. Dad, as a good American, believed his newspapers. The rich people not only had all the money, they had all the chance to get more; they had all the know-ledge and the power, and so the poor man was down, and he had to stay down. And now was one to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom this hog personality was precious, to whom these hog squeals and agonies had a meaning? A wonderful privilege it was to be thus admitted into the soul of a man of genius, to be allowed to share the ecstasies and the agonies of his inmost life. There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where the things are behind the bars, and the man is outside. ...and the wild beast rose up within him and screamed, as it had screamed in the Jungle from the dawn of time. As if political liberty made wage slavery any the more tolerable!
I say there is no modern evil which cannot be justified by these ancient texts; and there is nowhere in Christendom a clergy which cannot be persuaded to cite them at the demand of ruling classes.
Our friends were not poetical, and the sight suggested to them no metaphors of human destiny; they thought only of the wonderful efficiency of it all.
It appeared as if the whole world was one elaborate system, opposed to justice and kindness, and set to making cruelty and pain.
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.
How could they find out that their tea and coffee, their sugar and flour, had been doctored; that their canned peas had been colored with copper salts, and their fruit jams with aniline dyes?
Here was one more difficulty for him to meet and conquer. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.