Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968). The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
By Horace Traubel
(American poet and editor, born 1858; disciple and biographer of Walt Whitman)
YOU will long resist me. You will deceive yourself with initial victories. You will find me weak. You will count me only one against a million. You will see the world seem to go on just as it is. One day confirming another. Presidents succeeding Presidents in unvarying mediocrity. Millionaires dead reborn in millionaire children. Starvation handing starvation on. The people innocently played against the people. Demand and supply cohabited for the production of a blind progeny. The landlord suborning the land. The moneylord suborning money. The storelord suborning production. All will seem to go on just as it is. And you who resist me will be fooled. You will say the universe is against me. You will say I am cursed. Or you will in your tenderer moments ask: Whats the use? But all this time I will be keeping on. Doing nothing unusual. Only keeping on. Asleep or awake, keeping on. Compelled to say the say of justice all by myself. Willing to wait until you are shaken up and convinced. Until you will say it to yourself. And say it to yourself you will.
There are things ahead that will stir you out of your indifference or lethargy or doubt. Give you an immortal awakening. So you will never sleep again. I do not know just what it will be. But something. And you will know it when it comes. And then you will understand why I am calm. Why I am not worried by delay. Why I am not defeated by postponements. Why all the big things that seem to be against me do not seem to worry the one little thing that is for me. Why my faith maintains itself against your property. Why my soul maintains itself against injustice. Why I am willing to say words that are thought personally unkind for the sake of a result that is universally sweet. Why I look in your face and see you long before you are able to see yourself. Why you with all your fortified rights doubt and despair. Why I without any right at all am cheerful and confident. Why you tremble when one little man with one little voice asks you a question. Why I do not tremble with all the states and churches and political economies at my heels.