Skip to content

Jack London – Coal and God

September 19, 2014

George F. Baer, president of the Anthracite Coal Trust, 1902:

“The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the property interests of the country.”

Jack London:

“[T]he masters are quite sure that they are right in what they are doing. That is the crowning absurdity of the whole situation. They are so tied by their human nature that they can’t do a thing unless they think it is right. They must have a sanction for their acts.

When they want to do a thing, in business of course, they must wait till there arises in their brains, somehow, a religious, or ethical, or scientific, or philosophic, concept that the thing is right. And then they go ahead and do it, unwitting that one of the weaknesses of the human mind is that the wish is parent to the thought. No matter what they want to do, the sanction always comes. … One of the pleasant and axiomatic fictions they have created is that they are superior to the rest of mankind in wisdom and efficiency. Therefrom comes their sanction to manage the bread and butter of the rest of mankind. They have even resurrected the theory of the divine right of kings – commercial kings in their case.”

“But, outside the realm of business, these men are stupid. They know only business. They do not know mankind nor society, and yet they set themselves us as arbiters of the fates of the hungry millions and all the other millions thrown in. History, some day, will have an excruciating laugh at their expense.”

(from The Iron Heel [1908])

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: