Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Babble Machines
(From “When the Sleeper Wakes”)

By H. G. Wells

(One of the writer’s earlier romances, telling of a man who sleeps for two hundred years and wakens to find himself hailed as Master of the World—through the operation of a bequest of money which has been accumulating through that time. The power of this wealth is being wielded in his name by a cynical and unscrupulous oligarchy which has reduced the populace to a uniformed slave-caste, seething with futile revolt. The following portrays the newspapers of that new world of Capitalism triumphant)
BEYOND this place they came into a closed hall, and Graham discovered the cause of the noise that had perplexed him. His attention was arrested by a violent, loud hoot, followed by a vast leathery voice. He stopped and, looking up, beheld a foolish trumpet face. This was the General Intelligence Machine. For a space it seemed to be gathering breath, and a regular throbbing from its cylindrical body was audible. Then it trumpeted “Galloop, Galloop,” and broke out again.  1
  “Paris is now pacified. All resistance is over. Galloop! The black police hold every position of importance in the city. They fought with great bravery, singing songs written in praise of their ancestors by the poet Kipling. Once or twice they got out of hand, and tortured and mutilated wounded and captured insurgents, men and women. Moral—don’t go rebelling. Haha! Galloop, Galloop! They are lively fellows. Lively brave fellows. Let this be a lesson to the disorderly banderlog of this city. Yah! Banderlog! Filth of the earth! Galloop, Galloop!”  2
  The voice ceased. There was a confused murmur of disapproval among the crowd. “Damned niggers.” A man began to harangue near them. “Is this the Master’s doing, brothers? Is this the Master’s doing?”  3
  “Black police!” said Graham. “What is that? You don’t mean——”  4
  His companion touched his arm and gave him a warning look, and forthwith another of these mechanisms screamed deafeningly and gave tongue in a shrill voice. “Yahaha! Yahah, Yap! Hear a live paper yelp! Live paper. Yaha! Shocking outrage in Paris. Yahahah! The Parisians exasperated by the black police to the pitch of assassination. Dreadful reprisals. Savage times come again. Blood! Blood! Yahah!” The nearer Babble Machine hooted stupendously, “Galloop, Galloop,” drowned the end of the sentence, and proceeded in a rather flatter note than before with novel comments on the horrors of disorder. “Law and order must be maintained,” said the nearer Babble Machine.…  5

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