Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice
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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
Man the Reformer

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

(American essayist, philosopher and poet.)
 
IT is only necessary to ask a few questions as to the progress of the articles of commerce from the fields where they grew, to our houses, to become aware that we eat and drink and wear perjury and fraud in a hundred commodities. We are all implicated in this charge. The sins of our trade belong to no class, to no individual. Everybody partakes, everybody confesses, yet none feels himself accountable. The trail of the serpent reaches into all the lucrative professions and practices of man. Nay, the evil custom reaches into the whole institution of property, until our laws which establish and protect it seem not to be the issue of love and reason, but of selfishness.  1
 
 
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