The Philosophies behind Revolutionary and Evolutionary Ways towards Social Justice in the Works of Jack London and Upton Sinclair
Two prominent American writers of the Progressive Era, Jack London and Upton Sinclair, wrote their landmark works on the topic of social justice. Setting socialism as the ultimate goal of the development of society, their visions differed in terms of the ways and methods of achieving this goal. London advocated revolutionary ways of political struggle, while Sinclair preferred more democratic methods (elections). This difference in the visions was reflected in the personalities of the protagonists of their novels as well as the philosophies of the latter. The article explores how these philosophies are linked to the idols of the writers’ youth: Friedrich Nietzsche (London’s) and Jesus Christ (Sinclair’s) and shows that for them the ideas of these idols are a matter of belief, rather than that of reason.
Keywords: revolution, socialism, Nietzscheanism, Jesus Christ, ‘the red beast’, ‘the socialist of heart’