||"A historical political resource."
The Profits of Religion
|Title||The Profits of Religion|
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|Last Modified||Craverguy - September 20, 2009 07:56pm|
|Description||This excoriating critique of religion, especially as represented by powerful clerical institutions, is a lesser-known work by Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), who had earlier become famous for his novel The Jungle. More than just a broadside against religion, The Profits of Religion (1918) is the work of an impassioned, idealistic socialist writing at the end of the First World War, when the notion of an international socialist revolution still seemed like a very real possibility to many of the left-leaning thinkers of the day. |
Sinclair's chief concern is social justice and his aim is to enlighten common people by training his critical intelligence on the many hypocrisies of established religion, which stand in the way of achieving a just society for all. He is particularly incensed by the collusion of religion with the power structure of capitalism in exploiting the poor to increase its own wealth while ignoring the obvious material needs of the less fortunate.
This work, written before Sinclair and others on the American Left became disillusioned with Soviet-style socialism, offers a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual currents prevalent on the left at the beginning of the twentieth century.