December 28, 2005

“They all lied. They did it for the cause.”

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:29 pm

The Left has a long and sordid history of lying for “the cause.”

It goes back at least as far as Upton Sinclair (link requires registration; HT Attack Machine via Betsy’s Page), who might argue from the grave, in typical leftist fashion, that he was merely “deferring the truth.”

Give credit where due: The LA Times piece should be saved to the hard drive for posterity. In a nutshell, the truth is this: Despite supporting the radical chic of that era that declared their innocence, Sinclair knew that 1920s revolutionary anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, who were convicted of murder and executed for their crimes, were guilty, but covered up that knowledge in the interest of the marketability of a book he was writing, and in the interest of not hurting “the (socialist revolutionary) cause.”

What ever happened to “I was wrong. I am sorry”?

Sinclair’s most famous work is “The Jungle,” an expose with fictionalized characters of slaughterhouse conditions in the early 20th century. Sinclair is credited with helping to bring about labor and agricultural reforms and, ultimately, the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. A favorable review of the book and Sinclair’s general body of work is here. A Cafe Hayek post suggests some perspective on what Sinclair found in the slaughterhouses. I believe that the conditions Sinclair found had to be corrected, but that his prescribed solution (“The proletariat was the one who deserved control of the plants in which they worked, not the rich bosses”) was, and has been proven by history to be, fatally flawed.



  1. My ninth grade teacher loved Upton Sinclair. She was such a Marxist.

    Comment by Will Franklin — December 29, 2005 @ 11:40 am

  2. Will, did we go to High School together? I was just complaining to my wife that my Socialist 9th grade history teacher made us read Sinclair and watch Warren Beatty’s Reds. She was also an FDR worshipper, and our final exam that year actually asked us the name of FDR’s dog. We never got past JFK in that history class; this was in 1990.

    Comment by Jeff — December 30, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

  3. #1 & #2, There probably wasn’t a shortage of Socialist female 9th grade history teachers who loved Upton St. Clair at the time, but the idea is still funny.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 30, 2005 @ 12:17 pm

  4. I went to school in Midland, Texas, which went for Bush by well over 80% (maybe 90%) both times. But my teacher was definitely one of those 10% types.

    Comment by Will Franklin — December 30, 2005 @ 1:00 pm

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