Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mencken Passing 56

56 years ago today, H.L. Mencken passed away.

Previously this month, Mr. Douglas French quoted Mencken at the Mises Economics Blog:

His business is never what it pretends to be. Ostensibly he is an altruist devoted whole-heartedly to the service of his fellow-men, and so abjectly public-spirited that his private interest is nothing to him. Actually he is a sturdy rogue whose principal, and often sole aim in life is to butter his parsnips. His technical equipment consists simply of an armamentarium of deceits. It is his business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out he will try to hold it by embracing new truths.
And also, slightly in a Mencken spirit:
What makes democracy work so well? Ignorance. The majority of voters don’t know anything about the issues and of course have no idea what candidates will do once in office. Ecologist Iain Couzin at Princeton figures this makes democracy work great.

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