These horrors are intensified by the fact that the immigrant workers are paid wages which barely allow them to live. They dwell in crowded tenements hardly fit for human habitation. And the political climate of the era, in terms of its effect on their lives, as both workers and consumers, was one of corruption and laissez-faire. The capitalist bosses were essentially allowed by political leaders to do whatever...
... middle of paper ...
...Dream in general. And that they find the unions effective and corrupt, and find as well that they are on their own in a sea of sharks.
Socialism, to Sinclair, is the only answer for the immigrant worker, because it is an option which will not merely try to reform a corrupt system from a naively Progressive perspective, but will completely do away with capitalism and replace it with a just and fair system designed to treat human beings like human beings instead of like machines or animals to be abused and used up and tossed away when they prove rebellious or are no longer capable of adding to profits. If we accept Sinclair's premise, that capitalism is utterly corrupt and inhumane, then his criticism of unionism (in the context of capitalism) makes sense, as does his argument for socialism.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Signet, 1990.
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