Speakers Push Air

The Ghost Of Tom Joad: Steinbeck Nails Capitalism
October 14, 2011, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Bookshelf, Politricks, Reading | Tags: , ,

I read Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath when I was a kid. I enjoyed it, understood something of the suffering he wrote about but didn’t really get the politics. I’m reading it again and it’s just.. perfect.

If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have, read it again. Most of all, read Chapter 5, Steinbeck writing about the fate of tenant farmers in Oklahoma having their land seized, but also writing about the whole fucking machine / monster.

“Some of the ownners were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshipped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank- or The Company- needs – wants – insists – must have – as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters.”

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