H.L. Mencken on government, its participants, and its victims

On the eve of Empowered Citizen™ Day, I thought it a useful exercise to post, without comment and in no order of perceived importance, some of Mencken’s thoughts on the notion of government and its process.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

(Credit: QuotationsPage.com)

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