Ik ben zelf nogal fan van citaten. Vooral vanwege het feit dat een goed citaat – ook wel one-liner genoemd- scherp, puntig, to-the-point, onthullend of overtuigend kan zijn. Of dat allemaal tegelijk. Enige vorm van ironie, cynisme en humor is meegenomen.
Lew Rockwell had een mooi scherp en to-the-point artikel over de huidige staat van de Amerikaanse economie waar hij een uitspraak van H.L. Mencken parafraseerde: “(…) it is always great when we do not get all the government we pay for.”
Na enig browsen op het net vond ik nog veel meer genoeglijke citaten van deze H.L. Mencken: enjoy!
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under;
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time;
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;
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard;
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats [ik zou dat een mooi check en balance noemen voor elk zittend gezag -A];
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice [oeh, lekker zwartgallig – A];
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 [zoals gezegd: of allemaal tegelijk 🙂 – A];
Man is never honestly the fatalist, nor even the stoic. He fights his fate, often desperately. He is forever entering bold exceptions to the rulings of the bench of gods. This fighting, no doubt, makes for human progress, for it favors the strong and the brave. It also makes for beauty, for lesser men try to escape from a hopeless and intolerable world by creating a more lovely one of their own [ik zou zeggen, de kern van het libertarisme – A];
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages;
The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth [Amerikaanse voorverkiezingen anyone? – A];
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all;
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 [wat een fantasie heeft de man hè *cynical mode off* – A];
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 [dat vat het gehele track record van democratie als politiek systeem wel zo ongeveer samen – A];
There is always a well-known solution to every human problem–neat, plausible, and wrong;
En: After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations [over Shakespeare – A].