Quotes from The People of the Abyss

Jack London ·  208 pages

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“Class supremacy can rest only on class degradation”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Man always gets less than he demands from life; and so little do they demand, that the less than little they get cannot save them.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“The myriads that raise the cry of hunger wail in the greatest empire in the world”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“But at the best, it is a dull, animal happiness, the content of the full belly. The dominant note of their lives is materialistic. They are stupid and heavy, without imagination. The Abyss seems to exude a stupefying atmosphere of torpor, which wraps about them and deadens them. Religion passes them by. The Unseen holds for them neither terror nor delight. They are unaware of the Unseen; and the full belly and the evening pipe, with their regular “arf an’ arf,” is all they demand, or dream of demanding, from existence.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“And yet the quality of the life is good. All human potentialities are in it. Given proper conditions, it could live through the centuries, and great men, heroes and masters, spring from it and make the world better by having lived.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Also, as I looked at the mite of a youth with the heart of a lion, I thought, this is the type that on occasion rears barricades and shows the world that men have not forgotten how to die.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Such verdicts are crimes against truth. The Law is a lie, and through it men lie most shamelessly.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“É indispensável retirar dos postos de comando todos os gestores que, estúpida e criminosamente, puseram o império à beira da falência. Fizeram um trabalho de sapa e revelaram uma incompetência invulgar, além do que desviaram fundos públicos. Cada pobre exausto e destroçado, cada cego, cada criança nascida na cadeia, cada homem, cada mulher e cada criança torturados pela fome sofrem simplesmente porque a riqueza comum foi desviada por todos esses governantes. Nenhum dos responsáveis dessa classe dirigente pode deixar de ser condenado na barra do tribunal da Humanidade.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“The Cockney has one oath, and one oath only, the most indecent in the language, which he uses on any and every occasion.  Far different is the luminous and varied Western swearing, which runs to blasphemy rather than indecency.  And after all, since men will swear, I think I prefer blasphemy to indecency; there is an audacity about it, an adventurousness and defiance that is better than sheer filthiness.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“In a civilisation frankly materialistic and based upon property, not soul, it is inevitable that property shall be exalted over soul, that crimes against property shall be considered far more serious than crimes against the person.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Man no longer follows instinct with the old natural fidelity. He has developed into a reasoning creature, and can intellectually cling to life or discard life just as life happens to promise great pleasure or pain.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“the human soul is a lonely thing”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“A exploração da mão-de-obra, os salários de miséria, as hordas de desempregados e a multidão sem abrigo e sem casa é o espectáculo a que se assiste quando há mais homens do que trabalho.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Quando a procura é maior do que a oferta, impera a selecção. Em todos os ramos da indústria, os menos competentes são rejeitados - e, como os recusam, já não estão em condições de se manterem à tona, pelo que descem até atingirem o nível em que os aceitam, um emprego numa fábrica em que não lhes seja exigida nenhuma aptidão. Consequência inevitável: os menos aptos deixam-se arrastar até ao fundo do abismo, essa espécie de matadouro onde ficam reduzidos à miséria.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Quando há mais homens que trabalho, todos os que sobram são relegados para o contingente dos incapazes e como tal ficam condenados a uma destruição penosa e progressiva.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“A supremacia de determinada classe só pode impor-se por via da degradação das outras classes sociais.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“From the slimy, spittle-drenched, sidewalk, they were picking up bits of orange peel, apple skin, and grape stems, and, they were eating them.  The pits of greengage plums they cracked between their teeth for the kernels inside.  They picked up stray bits of bread the size of peas, apple cores so black and dirty one would not take them to be apple cores, and these things these two men took into their mouths, and chewed them, and swallowed them; and this, between six and seven o’clock in the evening of August 20, year of our Lord 1902, in the heart of the greatest, wealthiest, and most powerful empire the world has ever seen.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“withal they were cursing the country with lurid metaphors quite refreshing after a month of unimaginative, monotonous Cockney swearing. The Cockney has one oath, and one oath only, the most indecent in the language, which he uses on any and every occasion. Far different is the luminous and varied Western swearing, which runs to blasphemy rather than indecency. And after all, since men will swear, I think I prefer blasphemy to indecency; there is an audacity about it, an adventurousness and defiance that is better than sheer filthiness.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Kendi bebeğinizin doğup gelişmesi, hayata dair bilgileri ve nesneleri edinmesi için uygun görmediğiniz bir yer, başka insanların bebeklerinin de hayata dair bilgileri ve nesneleri edinmesi için uygun değildir. Bu altın kural çok basit ve yeterlidir. Ekonomi bilimi ve en güçlünün hayatta kalması ilkesi bundan farklı bir şey söylüyorsa, gidip kendilerini asabilirler. Kendiniz için yeterli görmediğiniz bir şey, başka insanlar için de yeterli değildir; işte o kadar.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“What is not good enough for you is not good enough for other men, and there’s no more to be said.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“The workers, as a class, are being more and more segregated by their economic masters; and this process, with its jamming and overcrowding, tends not so much toward immorality as unmorality.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Wherever a man of vigour and stature manages to grow up, he is haled forthwith into the army. A soldier, as Bernard Shaw has said, 'ostensibly a heroic and patriotic defender of his country, is really an unfortunate man driven by destitution to offer himself as food for powder for the sake of regular rations, shelter, and clothing.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“A soldier, as Bernard Shaw has said, “ostensibly a heroic and patriotic defender of his country, is really an unfortunate man driven by destitution to offer himself as food for powder for the sake of regular rations, shelter, and clothing.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“it. The man with the high standard of living will always do more work and better than the man with the low standard of living.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Man cannot be worked worse than a horse is worked, and be housed and fed as a pig is housed and fed, and at the same time have clean and wholesome ideals and aspirations.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“Then arises the third and inexorable question: If Civilisation has increased the producing power of the average man, why has it not bettered the lot of the average man? There can be one answer only—MISMANAGEMENT.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“As some one has said, they do everything for the poor except get off their backs”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“The Law is a lie, and through it men lie most shamelessly.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


“And day by day I became convinced that not only is it unwise, but it is criminal for the people of the Abyss to marry. They are the stones by the builder rejected. There is no place for them, in the social fabric while all the forces of society drive them downward till they perish. At the bottom of the Abyss they are feeble, besotted, and imbecile. If they reproduce, the life is so cheap that perforce it perishes of itself. The work of the world goes on above them, and they do not care to take part in it, nor are they able. Moreover, the work of the world does not need them.”
― Jack London, quote from The People of the Abyss


About the author

Jack London
Born place: in San Francisco, California, The United States
Born date January 12, 1876
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