It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair (1878 – 1968) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning prolific American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres and was widely considered to be one of the best investigators advocating socialist views. He achieved considerable popularity in the first half of the 20th century.


He gained particular fame for his 1906 novel The Jungle, which dealt with conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry and caused a public uproar that partly contributed to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. Wikipedia

I aimed for the public’s heart, … and by accident I hit it in the stomach.

Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil! was the basis of the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood , starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film received eight nominations for an Oscar, and won two.

Other Quotes

You don’t have to be satisfied with America as you find it. You can change it. I didn’t like the way I found America some sixty years ago, and I’ve been trying to change it ever since.

The private control of credit is the modern form of slavery.

The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label…Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to ‘End Poverty in California’ I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.

Fascism is capitalism plus murder.

The methods by which the “Empire of Business” maintains its control over journalism are four: First, ownership of the papers; second, ownership of the owners; third, advertising subsidies; and fourth, direct bribery. By these methods there exists in America a control of news and of current comment more absolute than any monopoly in any other industry.

American capitalism is predatory, and American politics are corrupt: The same thing is true in England and the same in France; but in all these three countries the dominating fact is that whatever the people get ready to change the government, they can change it.

6 Responses to It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.

  1. Carol Cross says:

    I sure hope that the American people can change the government under President Obama’s leadership —-but the special corporate interests already are preparing to attack any agenda that he may try to advance that will interfer with their bottom lines.

    I hope the last quote, i.e. “whenever the people get ready to change the government, they can” is true.

    But, I see the steel industry is lobbying for “buy American Steel” so maybe some of our big industries that we have lost will be revived when Americans start taking care of Americans, first! Jobs is the big problem or all governments.

    Thanks, always for the education, Les!


  2. Carol Cross says:

    Sorry for the sloppy unedited post, above. I’m kind of in shock. I realize how “slow” I am sometimes to catch on and you, Les, let me learn everything in my own time and in my own way.

    I just today realized why the franchisors want you to incorporate to do business with them. Obviously, the courts can then treat Mom and Pop as “sophisticated” investor on the rationale of SEC law, and the franchisors are then not required under the law to disclose the material risk of the investment as represented by unit performance statistics on as UNIT basis. The sophisticated investors are supposed to do their own due diligence with the Item 20 references, etc…

    Such a disgusting state of affairs!. Is there anything else for me to learn?


  3. Les Stewart says:


    I have learned only a fraction of the inside information about franchising and communicated only a fraction of that in any discernible manner.

    These are very closely held approaches to doing business that are modern manifestations of professional thievery stretching back centuries. There are no new means of fraud; only different lipstick on the pig.

    However, I’m coming to realize that the reason that white-collar crime is punished so lightly is that most citizens are focused only on their self interests and care very little of others loss.

    As long as people want a “deal” there will be those willing to deliver the goods at a “steal”. Why bitch about the Afghanistan farmers growing poppies when its the demand for opium that fuels the $ going into transnational organized crime?

    Our society is hypocritical in many ways and the pass that economic crime is given is one aspect of that.



  4. Carol Cross says:

    I think you are right, Les. But, maybe economic crimes will be more carefully covered by both the business and the main media, and someone will write a book or do a movie on “The “Anatomy of Franchise Fraud” in the 21st Century. Of course, as you pointed out, the movie “A Civil Affair” didn’t do much to raise the consciousness of this country as to the state of the Corporate/big money control of tort law the Civil Courts because of greater resources and contribution to the rule of law.

    What is disheartening for me, and this must be true for you, also, is that the franchisees themselves, after failure, don’t even look at the big picture and don’t want to understand what happened to them and why it happened to them. They won’t look for the snake in the Rose Garden and believe that they have been defrauded and that the courts will come to their rescue.



  5. Les Stewart says:


    There has been a shadow almost as long as their has been a sun-lit side to everything. For the overworld that normal citizens live and work in, their is a disguised invisible, underworld that has existed, like, forever.

    The underworld has always been with us, as has man’s dark side.

    It should not be disheartening to view life accurately. Without facing inconvenient truths we can’t exercise true free will. We don’t own the outcome of our work: Our decision is to work for what we believe in and to accept that what the fate or future has in store for us.

    Leonard Cohen said: “Everything’s got a crack in it: That’s where the light comes in.”

    Franchising is nothing special. Its power is only a form of a conjurer’s spell or sleight of hand.



  6. Deacon says:

    Usher: Hey Deak, these guys have put a new face on franchising! A pig’s face! Pretty candid and pretty true!

    Deacon: Doesn’t look much different than the institutional church – does it?

    Usher: Nope, almost identical. The only difference between franchising and running a modern western church is the lipstick.

    Deacon: Yeah, the franchise color is “opportunity” and the church color is “holy”. Hah!


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