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Monday, September 12, 2005

happy birthday, h. l. mencken!

Thomas DiLorenzo notes the birthday of the late, great H. L. Mencken. DiLorenzo pulls some great quotes:
Politicians "are seldom if ever moved by anything rationally describable as public spirit; there is actually no more public spirit among them than among so many burglars or street walkers. Their purpose, first, last and all the time, is to promote their private advantage, and to that end, and that end alone, they exercise all the vast powers that are in their hands."
I have to disagree with Mencken there. At least the street walker is an honest businessperson, giving value for money.

Here's another great quote revealing that farmers were welfare queens even back in Mencken's day:
"Let the farmer, so far as I am concerned, be damned forevermore! To hell with him, and bad luck to him! He is,unless I err, no hero at all, and no priest, and no altruist, but simply a tedious fraud and ignoramus, a cheap rogue and hypocrite, the eternal Jack of the human pack. He deserves all that he suffers under our economic system, and more. Any city man, not insane, who sheds tears for him is shedding the tears of the crocodile."

"No more grasping, selfish and dishonest mammal, indeed, is known to students of the Anthropoidea. When the going is good for him he robs the rest of us up to the extreme limits of our endurance; when the going is bad he comes bawling for help out of the public till. Has anyone ever heard of a farmer makng any sacrifice of his own interests, however slight, to the common good? Has anyone ever heard of a farmer practicing or advocating any political idea tht was not absolutely self-seeking -- that was not, in fact, delibertely designed to loot the rest of us to his gain? Greenbackism, free silver, government guarantee of prices, all the complex fiscal imbecilities of the cow state John Baptists -- these are the contributions of the virtuous husbandman to American political theory . . . . Yet we are asked to venerate this prehensile moron as . . . the foundation stone of the state!"


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