I Am the People, the Mob – Carl Sandburg (1916)

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I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and
    clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
    and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons
    and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
    Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
    and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
    me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
    to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
    lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
    who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the
    world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his
    voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

[More about Carl Sandburg on his wiki page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sandburg ]

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