26 "Upton Sinclair" Quotes And Sayings

Upton Sinclair was an American author, socialist, and socialist candidate for Governor of California. He is known for the novel The Jungle (1906) which exposed the horrors of the Chicago meatpacking industry. Sinclair's work The Jungle led to the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Federal Food and Drug Act. He was also a candidate for President of the United States in the election of 1912.

They wish to build a new and better world, and I would be glad if they could succeed, and if I saw any hope of success I would join them. I ask for their plans, and they offer me vague dreams, in which as a man of affairs, I see no practicality. Is is like the the end of Das Rheingold: there is Valhalla, very beautiful, but only a rainbow bridge on which to get to it, and while the gods ma be able to walk on a rainbow, my investors and working people cannot. Upton Sinclair
..the priests of all these cults, the singers, shouters, prayers and exhorters of Bootstrap-lifting have as their distinguishing characteristic that they do very little lifting at their own bootstraps, and less at any other man's. Now and then you may see one bend and give a delicate tug, of a purely symbolical character: as when the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Bootstrap-lifters comes once a year to wash the feet of the poor; or when the Sunday-school Superintendent of the Baptist Bootstrap-lifters shakes the hand of one of his Colorado mine-slaves. But for the most part the priests and preachers of Bootstrap-lifting walk haughtily erect, many of them being so swollen with prosperity that they could not reach their bootstraps if they wanted to. Their role in life is to exhort other men to more vigorous efforts at self-elevation, that the agents of the Wholesale Pickpockets' Association may ply their immemorial role with less chance of interference. . Upton Sinclair
In the evening I came home and read about the Messina earthquake, and how the relief ships arrived, and the wretched survivors crowded down to the water's edge and tore each other like wild beasts in their rage of hunger. The paper set forth, in horrified language, that some of them had been seventy-two hours without food. I, as I read, had also been seventy-two hours without food; and the difference was simply that they thought they were starving. Upton Sinclair
Military men say that troops can stand twenty percent losses;...
Military men say that troops can stand twenty percent losses; more than that, they go to pieces. But we had many an outfit with only twenty percent survivors and they went on fighting. Upton Sinclair
Hitler was calling upon Almighty God to give him courage and strength to save the German people and right the wrongs of Versailles...and then to settle down and govern the county in the interest of those millions of oppressed "little people" for whom he spoke so eloquently. Upton Sinclair
All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescabably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda. Upton Sinclair
This melodrama differed from others in that it was not written, it was to be played impromptu, and only once; after that it would be precedent, and would determine the destinies of mankind perhaps for centuries. Each of the actors hoped to write it his way, and no living man could say what the dénouement would be. Upton Sinclair
Was it permitted to believe that there was nowhere upon the earth, or above the earth, a heaven for hogs, where they were requited for all this suffering? Each one of these hogs was a separate creature. Some were white hogs, some were black; some were brown, some were spotted; some were old, some young; some were long and lean, some were monstrous. And each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart's desire; each was full of self- confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it– it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life. 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? Who would take this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his sacrifice?. Upton Sinclair
To Jurgis the packers had been the equivalent to fate; Ostrinski showed him that they were the Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combination of capital, which had crushed all opposition, and overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the people. Chapter 29, pg. 376 Upton Sinclair
The gates of memory would roll open–old joys would stretch out their arms to them, old hopes and dreams would call to them, and they would stir beneath the burden that lay upon them, and feel its forever immeasurable weight. They could not even cry out beneath it; but anguish would seize them, more dreadful than the agony of death. Upton Sinclair
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. Upton Sinclair
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. Upton Sinclair
They would tell you that governments could not manage things as economically as private individuals; they would repeat and repeat that, and think they were saying something! They could not see that “economical” management by masters meant simply that they, the people, were worked harder and ground closer and paid less! They were wage-earners and servants, at the mercy of exploiters whose one thought was to get as much out of them as possible; and they were taking an interest in the process, were anxious lest it should not be done thoroughly enough! Was it not honestly a trial to listen to an argument such as that? And yet there were things even worse. You would begin talking to some poor devil who had worked in one shop for the last thirty years, and had never been able to save a penny; who left home every morning at six o’clock, to go and tend a machine, and come back at night too tired to take his clothes off; who had never had a week’s vacation in his life, had never traveled, never had an adventure, never learned anything, never hoped anything–and when you started to tell him about Socialism he would sniff and say, “I’m not interested in that– I’m an individualist! ” And then he would go on to tell you that Socialism was “paternalism, ” and that if it ever had its way the world would stop progressing. It was enough to make a mule laugh, to hear arguments like that; and yet it was no laughing matter, as you found out–for how many millions of such poor deluded wretches there were, whose lives had been so stunted by capitalism that they no longer knew what freedom was! And they really thought that it was “individualism” for tens of thousands of them to herd together and obey the orders of a steel magnate, and produce hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth for him, and then let him give them libraries; while for them to take the industry, and run it to suit themselves, and build their own libraries–that would have been “Paternalism”! . Upton Sinclair
All of this might seem diabolical, but the saloon-keeper was in no wise to blame for it. He was in the same plight as the manufacturer who has to adulterate and misrepresent his product. If he does not, some one else will. Upton Sinclair
They were the triumphant and insolent possessors; they had a hall, and a fire, and food and clothing and money, and so they might preach to hungry men, and the hungry men must be humble and listen. 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 managed to get a decent existence for their bodies? Upton Sinclair
They could tell the whole hateful story of it, set forth in the inner soul of a city in which honor and justice, women's bodies and men's souls, were for sale in the market-place, and human beings writhed and fought and fell upon each other like wolves in a pit; in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and humanity was festering and stewing and wallowing in its own corruption. 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 the swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they were being trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars. Upton Sinclair
She was part of the machine she tended, and every faculty that was not needed for the machine was doomed to be crushed out of existence. Upton Sinclair
Day after day he roamed about in the arctic cold, his soul filled full of bitterness and despair. He saw the world of civilization then more plainly than ever he had seen it before; a world in which nothing counted but brutal might, an order devised by those who possessed it for the subjugation of those who did not. Upton Sinclair
Here was one more difficulty for him to meet and conquer. Upton Sinclair
In the face of all his handicaps, Jurgis was obliged to make the price of a lodging, and of a drink every hour or two, under penalty of freezing to death. Upton Sinclair