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.
A Catechism for Workers

By August Strindberg

(Swedish poet, dramatist and novelist, 1849–1912; author of over a hundred volumes, and probably the greatest genius that Sweden has produced. It is not generally known that he was a Socialist, although the labor unions and Social-democrats of his country marched in a body at his funeral. The following are a few paragraphs from a “catechism” covering every aspect of life from the worker’s point of view)
WHAT is philosophy?  1
  A seeking of the truth.  2
  Then how can philosophy be the friend of the upper classes?  3
  The upper classes pay the philosopher, in order that he may discover only such truths as are expedient in their eyes.  4
  But suppose uncomfortable truths should be discovered?  5
  They are called lies, and the philosopher gets no pay.  6
  What is history?  7
  The story of the past, presented in a light favorable to the interests of the upper classes.  8
  Suppose the light is unfavorable?  9
  That is scandalous.  10
  What is a scandal?  11
  Anything offending the upper classes.  12
  What is esthetics?  13
  The art of praising or belittling works of art.  14
  What works of art must be praised?  15
  Those that glorify the upper classes.  16
  Therefore Raphael and Michaelangelo are the most famous artists, for they glorified the religious falsehoods of the upper classes. Shakespeare magnified kings, and Goethe magnified himself, the writer for the upper classes.  17
  But how about other works of art?  18
  There must not be others.  19

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