Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968). The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
By Martin Luther
(German religious reformer, 14831564. A picture of the conditions which brought on the Peasants War in Germany, 1525)
BEFORE all, if the princes and lords wish to fulfill the duties of their office they must prohibit and banish the vicious system of monopolies, which is altogether unendurable in town or country. As for the trading companies, they are thoroughly corrupt and made up of great injustices. They have every sort of commodity in their own power and they do with them just as they please, raise or lower the prices at their own convenience and crush and ruin all the small shop peoplejust as the pike does with the small fish in the wateras if they were lords over Gods creatures and exempt from all laws of authority and religion. How can it be godly and just that in so short a time a man should grow so rich that he can outbid kings and emperors? They have brought things to such a pass that all the rest of the world must carry on business with risk and damage, gaining today, losing tomorrow, while they continually grow richer and richer, and make up for their losses by higher profits; so it is no wonder that they are appropriating to themselves the riches of the whole world.