The Jungle eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 550 pages of information about The Jungle.
up before me and say that he believes it can continue forever; that the product of the labor of society, the means of existence of the human race, will always belong to idlers and parasites, to be spent for the gratification of vanity and lust—­to be spent for any purpose whatever, to be at the disposal of any individual will whatever—­that somehow, somewhere, the labor of humanity will not belong to humanity, to be used for the purposes of humanity, to be controlled by the will of humanity?  And if this is ever to be, how is it to be—­what power is there that will bring it about?  Will it be the task of your masters, do you think—­will they write the charter of your liberties?  Will they forge you the sword of your deliverance, will they marshal you the army and lead it to the fray?  Will their wealth be spent for the purpose—­will they build colleges and churches to teach you, will they print papers to herald your progress, and organize political parties to guide and carry on the struggle?  Can you not see that the task is your task—­yours to dream, yours to resolve, yours to execute?  That if ever it is carried out, it will be in the face of every obstacle that wealth and mastership can oppose—­in the face of ridicule and slander, of hatred and persecution, of the bludgeon and the jail?  That it will be by the power of your naked bosoms, opposed to the rage of oppression!  By the grim and bitter teaching of blind and merciless affliction!  By the painful gropings of the untutored mind, by the feeble stammerings of the uncultured voice!  By the sad and lonely hunger of the spirit; by seeking and striving and yearning, by heartache and despairing, by agony and sweat of blood!  It will be by money paid for with hunger, by knowledge stolen from sleep, by thoughts communicated under the shadow of the gallows!  It will be a movement beginning in the far-off past, a thing obscure and unhonored, a thing easy to ridicule, easy to despise; a thing unlovely, wearing the aspect of vengeance and hate—­but to you, the working-man, the wage-slave, calling with a voice insistent, imperious—­with a voice that you cannot escape, wherever upon the earth you may be!  With the voice of all your wrongs, with the voice of all your desires; with the voice of your duty and your hope—­of everything in the world that is worth while to you!  The voice of the poor, demanding that poverty shall cease!  The voice of the oppressed, pronouncing the doom of oppression!  The voice of power, wrought out of suffering—­of resolution, crushed out of weakness—­of joy and courage, born in the bottomless pit of anguish and despair!  The voice of Labor, despised and outraged; a mighty giant, lying prostrate—­mountainous, colossal, but blinded, bound, and ignorant of his strength.  And now a dream of resistance haunts him, hope battling with fear; until suddenly he stirs, and a fetter snaps—­and a thrill shoots through him, to the farthest ends of his huge body, and in a flash the dream becomes an act!  He starts, he lifts himself; and the bands are shattered, the burdens roll off him—­he rises—­towering, gigantic; he springs to his feet, he shouts in his newborn exultation—­”

Project Gutenberg
The Jungle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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