The Cry For Justice (Barricade, 1996)

Sunday, August 10, 2008



This massive anthology of writing on the theme of social justice was originally collected by Upton Sinclair, and contains poetry, prose excerpts and even the full text of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" to close things out.

Posted by St. Drogo at 10:59 AM  

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P. 34 - from Conventional Lies of Our Civilization by Max Nordau - "The modern day laborer is more wretched than the slave of former times, for he is fed by no master nor by anyone else, and if his position is one of more liberty than the slave, it is principally the liberty of dying of hunger. He is by no means so well off as the outlaw of the Middle Ages, for he has none of that gay independence of the free-lance. He seldom rebels against society, and has neither means nor opportunity to take by violence or treachery what is denied him by the existing conditions of life. The rich is thus richer, the poor poorer than ever before since the beginnings of history."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 50-51 - from Environment by Robert Blatchford - "Some years ago a certain writer, much esteemed for his graceful style of saying silly things, informed us that the poor remain poor because they show no efficient desire to be anything else. Is that true? Are only the idle poor? Come with me and I will show you where men and women work from morning till night, from week to week, from year to year, at the full stretch of their powers, in dim and fetid dens, and yet are poor - aye, destitute - have for their wages a crust of bread and rags. I will show you where men work in dirt and heat, using the strength of brutes, for a dozen hours a day, and sleep at night in styes, until brain and muscle are exhausted, and fresh slaves are yoked to the golden car of commerce, and the broken drudges filter through the poor-house or the prison to a felon's or a pauper's grave! I will show you how men and women thus work and suffer and faint and die, generation after generation, and I will show you how the longer and harder these wretches toil the worse their lot becomes; and I will show you the graves, and find witnesses to the histories of the brave and noble and industrious poor men whose lives were lives of toil, and poverty, and whose deaths were tragedies. And all these things are due to sin - but it is to the sin of the smug hypocrites who grow rich upon the robbery and the ruin of their fellow creatures."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 60 - from Rich and Poor by Leo Tolstoy - "The present position which we, the educated and well-to-do classes, occupy, is that of the Old Man of the Sea, riding on the poor man's back; only, unlike the Old Man of the Sea, we are very sorry for the poor man, very sorry; and we will do almost anything for the poor man's relief. We will not only supply him with food sufficient to keep him on his legs, but we will teach and instruct him and point out to him the beauties of the landscape; we will discourse sweet music to him and give him an abundance of good advice. Yes, we will do almost anything for the poor man, anything but get off his back."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 73 - from The Veins of Wealth by John Ruskin - "Primarily, which is very notable and curious, I observe that men of business rarely know the meaning of the word 'rich'. At least if they know, they do not in their reasonings allow for the fact, that it is a relative word, implying its opposite 'poor' as positively as the word 'north' implies its opposite 'south'. Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, and it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbors pocket ... the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist's sense, is therefore equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbor poor."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 93 - from The New Poverty by John Berger - "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied ... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 146 - from Inequality of Wealth by George Bernard Shaw - "I am not bound to keep my temper with an imposture so outrageous, so abjectly sycophantic, as the pretence that the existing inequalities of income correspond to and are produced by moral and physical inferiorities and superiorities - that Barnato was five million times as great and good a man as William Blake, and committed suicide because he lost two-fifths of his superiority; that the life of Lord Anglesey has been on a far higher plane than that of John Ruskin; that Mademoiselle Liane de Pougy has been raised by her successful sugar speculation to moral heights never attained by Florence Nightingale; and that an arrangement to establish economic equality between them by duly adjusted pensions would be impossible. I say that no sane person can be expected to treat such impudent follies with patience, much less with respect."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

P. 147 - from James Anthony Froude - "The endurance of the inequalities of life by the poor is the marvel of human society."

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:43 PM  

P. 138 - from George Bernard Shaw - "The thoughtless wickedness with which we scatter sentences of imprisonment, torture in the solitary cell and on the plank bed, and flogging, on moral invalids and energetic rebels, is as nothing compared to the stupid levity with which we tolerate poverty as if it were either a wholesome tonic for lazy people or else a virtue to be embraced as St. Francis embraced it. If a man is indolent, let him be poor. If he is drunken, let him be poor. If he is not a gentleman, let him be poor. If he is addicted to the fine arts or to pure science instead of to trade and finance, let him be poor ... Let nothing be done for the "undeserving": let him be poor. Serves him right! Also - somewhat inconsistently - blessed are the poor!"

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:43 PM  

P. 184 - from Jeremiah - "For among my people are found wicked men; they lay wait, he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine; yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy they do not judge. Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be avenged on a nation such as this?"

St. Drogo said...
August 22, 2008 at 3:43 PM  

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