Upton Sinclair Quotes

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  • Fascism is capitalism plus murder.

    Tyrants   Murder   Plus  
    Upton Sinclair (2016). “Presidential Agent”, p.373, Open Road Media
  • 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.

    Men   Desire   Bars  
    Upton Sinclair (2015). “The Jungle: A Novel”, p.303, Open Road Media
  • One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption.

    Upton Sinclair (2016). “The Jungle”, p.387, First Avenue Editions
  • 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.

    Taken   Men   Games  
    Upton Sinclair (2016). “The Jungle”, p.163, Xist Publishing
  • Dad, as a good American, believed his newspapers.

    Dad   Newspapers  
    Upton Sinclair (2007). “Oil!”, p.214, Penguin
  • The remedy [for the Great Depression] is to give the workers access to the means of production, and let them produce for themselves, not for others, . . . the American way.

    Mean   Giving   Way  
  • Over the vast plain I wander, observing a thousand strange and incredible and terrifying manifestations of the Bootstrap-lifting impulse.

    Upton Sinclair (2014). “The Profits of Religion”, p.17, Trajectory Inc
  • 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.

    Drama   Grief   Writing  
    Upton Sinclair (2016). “Dragon's Teeth”, p.483, Open Road Media
  • In the twilight, it was a vision of power.

    Upton Sinclair (2016). “The Jungle”, p.37, First Avenue Editions
  • You don't have to be satisfied with America as you find it. You can change it. I didn't like the way I found America some sixty years ago, and I've been trying to change it ever since.

    America   Years   Trying  
  • Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. And this impulse may be harmless, when it is genuine. But what are we to say when we see the formulas of heroic self-deception made use of by unheroic self-indulgence?

    Fate   Animal   Men  
    "The Profits of Religion : An Essay in Economic Interpretation". Book by Upton Sinclair, Introductory, "Bootstrap-lifting", 1918.
  • So the laws of good driving forbade you to go off the magic ribbon except in extreme emergencies. You were ethically entitled to several inches of margin at the right-hand edge; and the man approaching you was entitled to an equal number of inches; which left a remainder of inches between the two projectiles as they shot by. It sounds risky as one tells it, but the heavens are run on the basis of similar calculations, and while collisions do happen, they leave time enough in between for universes to be formed, and successful careers conducted by men of affairs.

    Upton Sinclair (2007). “Oil!”, p.2, Penguin
  • The old wanderlust had gotten into his blood, the joy of the unbound life, the joy of seeking, of hoping without limit.

    Blood   Joy   Limits  
  • Through fasting. . .I have found a perfect health, a new state of existence, a feeling of purity and happiness, something unknown to humans.

  • But the devil is a subtle worm; he does not give up at one defeat, for he knows human nature, and the strength of the forces which battle for him.

    Upton Sinclair (2014). “The Profits of Religion”, p.262, Trajectory Inc
  • An event of colossal and overwhelming significance may happen all at once, but the words which describe it have to come one by one in a long chain.

    Long   Events   May  
    Upton Sinclair “100%: The Story of a Patriot”, Lulu.com
  • Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself.

    Men   Strange   Beast  
    Upton Sinclair (2014). “The Profits of Religion”, p.19, Trajectory Inc
  • Can you blame me if I am pursued by the thought of how much we could do to remedy social evils, if only we had an honest and disinterested press?

    Media   Evil   Honest  
    Upton Sinclair (2015). “The Brass Check: A Study of American Journalism”, p.101, Open Road Media
  • The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC [End Poverty in California]. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.

    Running   Lying   Epic  
    Upton Sinclair “The Jungle”, Lulu.com
  • You can't make somebody understand something if their salary depends upon them not understanding it.

  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

    Wisdom   Men   People  
    Quoted in Evan Esar, The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (1949)
  • It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests - and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear.

  • It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence.

    Real   Foolish   Evidence  
  • 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.

    Wall   Dollars   Pieces  
    Upton Sinclair (2012). “The Money Changers”, p.178, Courier Corporation
  • We define journalism in America as the business and practice of presenting the news of the day in the interest of economic privilege.

    Upton Sinclair (2015). “The Brass Check: A Study of American Journalism”, p.236, Open Road Media
  • The proletarian writer is a writer with a purpose; he thinks no more of art for art's sake than a man on a sinking ship thinks of painting a beautiful picture in the cabin; he thinks of getting ashore - and then there will be time enough for art.

    Beautiful   Art   Men  
    Cosmopolitan, October, 1906.
  • All truly great art is optimistic. The individual artist is happy in his creative work. The fact that practically all great art is tragic does not in any way change the above thesis.

  • Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters.

    Two   People   Political  
    Upton Sinclair (2015). “The Brass Check: A Study of American Journalism”, p.236, Open Road Media
  • Consider Christmas - could Satan in his most malignant mood have devised a worse combination of graft plus bunkum than the system whereby several hundred million people get a billion or so gifts for which they have no use, and some thousands of shop clerks die of exhaustion while selling them, and every other child in the Western world is made ill from overeating - all in the name of the lowly Jesus?

  • The supreme crime of the church to-day is that everywhere and in all its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of mind; that it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence.

    Stupidity   Sloth   Brain  
    Upton Sinclair (2005). “The Profits of Religion”, p.55, Cosimo, Inc.
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    Upton Sinclair quotes about: Art Journalism Religion

    Upton Sinclair

    • Born: September 20, 1878
    • Died: November 25, 1968
    • Occupation: Author