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Upton Sinclair: The Juggernaut of war flattens out all opposition

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Upton Sinclair: Selections on war

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Upton Sinclair
From Boston (1928)

Upton Sinclair

“…But you must realize that Mother is going to fight from now on; Mother holds her convictions with just the same intensity that you hold yours, and something inside her compels utterance. It is that stern terrible thing we call out Puritan conscience. It is out of fashion at the moment, but it takes new forms, it has a rebirth, and does not rest until it has made some impression on the world – some change such as the independence of the colonies, or the abolition of slavery, or the outlawing of war, or the setting free of labor. And then the next generations forgets about the conflict, and says how famous Boston is, what great people it has produced! And their grandchildren become the aristocracy, and want everything to stay as it is!”

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But Cornelia did not succeed in preventing the war. The great machine rolled on, flattening out all opposition. The Irish of Boston might parade and spit, they might hold meetings that turned into riots, they might make the city a scandal throughout the nation – but the great machine would flatten them out in the end, their mayor, their police force, and their cardinal. It would do the same with socialists and anarchists, pacifists, sentimentalists, all other varieties of cranks. Clear the way fro the Juggernaut!…

So Rupert and Henry got possession of the great property for one-twentieth of its market value, and turned out the German-American executives, and put in some younger sons of the “blue-bloods,” and were ready to manufacture war supplies and sell them to the government at the highest possible prices. And the government was ready to buy with patriotic fervor. If the business men of the country made big profits, they could pay high wages, and enlarge the plants, and increase the product, and there would be prosperity for everyone except the Kaiser.

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