Thursday, August 30, 2007

Minority Report. HL Mencken. Significant Sentences 11.

Significant sentences from HL Mencken's Minority Report, acerbic thoughts on American life and culture.

"The human race, taking one day with another, has very little respect for intelligence; what it really admires is presumption, effrontery, dogmatism." p. 134.

"There seems to be a deep instinct in women which teaches them that most of the aspirations of men are vain." p. 139.

Democracy defined: "...the heavy stressing of self-reliance, the doctrine of equality before the law, government by laws not men, the insistence upon free competition." p. 139.

"The cost of quackery has never been properly estimated." p. 140.

"It takes a long while for a naturally trustful person to reconcile himself to the idea that after all God will not help him." p. 141.

"...the American people have been bolstering up its government's powers and giving it more and more jurisdiction over their affairs, paying for that folly in increased taxes and diminished liberties." p. 143.

"Politicians' principal, and indeed their sole, object is to collar public office, with all the privileges and profits that go therewith." p. 147.

"The idea at the bottom of the Christian Eucharist is precisely the idea at the bottom of cannibalism.... The devotee believes that he will acquire something of the psychological quality of the creature by devouring its body." p. 148.

"The politician is the most transient of the world's great men. Who knows who was Speaker of the House under Hayes?" p. 149.

"One of the most amusing by-products of war is its pricking of the fundamental democratic delusion...Homo Boobus...flapping his wings over his God-given rights, his inalienable freedom, his sublime equality to his masters. Of a sudden he is thrust into a training camp, and discovers that he is a slave after all--that even his life is not his own." p. 150.

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