~ Jim Quinn from The Burning Platform
… [edited ~R]
H.L. Mencken was a renowned newspaper columnist for the Baltimore Sun from 1906 until 1948.
His acerbic satirical writings on government, democracy, politicians and the ignorant masses are as true today as they were then. He was writing during the last Unraveling and Crisis periods in America, the similarities cannot be denied.
There are no journalists of his stature working in the mainstream media today, among the lightweight shills that parrot their corporate masters’ propaganda and unquestioningly report the fabrications spewed by our government.
Mencken’s skepticism of all institutions is an unknown quality in the vapid world of present day journalism. The Roaring Twenties of decadence, financial crisis caused by loose Fed monetary policies, stock market crash, Depression, colossal government redistribution of wealth, and ultimately a World War, all occurred during his prime writing years.
The cycles of history reveal that people do not change, just the circumstances. We are currently in a Crisis period when practical, truth telling realists like Mencken are most useful and necessary. Mencken captured the essence of American politics and a disconnected populace 80 years ago. Even though many people today feel the average American is less intelligent, more materialistic, and less informed than ever before, it was just as true in 1930 based on Mencken’s assessment:
“…As democracy is perfected, public office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
You can make your own judgment on the accuracy of his statement.
People still read newspapers in the 1930s to acquire credible information about the economy, politics and economy. Today’s corporate owned rags aren’t fit to line a bird cage. The mainstream media is a platform for the lies of their corporate sponsors. The upcoming presidential campaign will be a nightmare of endless negative advertisements created by Madison Avenue maggots and paid for by rich powerful men attempting to herd the mindless sheeple
Fear has worked for 100 years in controlling the masses, as Mencken noted during his time:
“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.”
The purpose of those who wield power is to keep the masses dumbed down and paranoid regarding artificial enemies. By making life an inexhaustible bureaucratic nightmare or rules, regulations, forms, ID cards, registrations, and red tape, those in power maintain control and accumulate power. H.L. Mencken would be proud.
The corporate / government / banking oligarchy started the fire. The world is burning to the ground and politicians have thrown gasoline onto the fire with passage of debt financing programs, and a myriad of other government solutions.
Other than Ron Paul and a few other truth tellers, everything being spewed at the public from the MSM, Wall Street, and Washington DC is intellectually dishonest, manipulated and packaged by pollsters and PR firms. I’ve come to the conclusion that those in power desire that public school systems of the United States churn out ignorant, non-questioning morons.
Critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether one should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which one accepts or rejects it. Any thinking would be a shocking change of pace from the corrupt corporate owned politicians in Washington DC. But, I know many college educated people who haven’t read a book in 20 years or could care less about economic issues. They have made a choice to be ignorant.
Most Americans are incapable of looking beyond a 2 to 3 year time horizon. Politicians, banks, and marketers take advantage of this witlessness to enslave the average American. We’ve come to love our slavery, appearing successful is more important than actually doing the hard work to actually become successful.
An informed, interested, questioning public would be a danger to the government as described by Mencken:
“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out … without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”
The combination of; educationally uninformed, ignorant by choice, and intellectually dishonest, will be fatal for the country.
The financial crisis was caused by excessive utilization of debt. In order to correct these imbalances, the country needed to undergo a deleveraging and reversion back to a country of savers. Savings equals investment. Instead, our “leaders” have reduced interest rates to 0% and have gone on an unprecedented government borrowing and spending spree. Savers and senior citizens are punished, while gamblers and speculators are rewarded. Anyone who thinks about this strategy for a few minutes will realize it is asinine and hopeless.
It seems one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on though is that spending money they don’t have will have no negative consequences (“deficits don’t matter” ~Cheney). When you have a Federal Reserve willing to print to infinity there is no limit to how much you can spend. Only a fool would believe there won’t be consequences. That fool writes and opinion column for the NYT and has a Nobel Prize on his bookshelf.
You have to be delusional to believe this claptrap. Luckily for the politicians, most Americans are delusional and apathetic. Americans’ inability to deal with reality and fondness for not thinking beyond tomorrow has shown them to be an inferior species, as Mencken noted:
“The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.”
Mencken understood the false promises of democracy 80 years ago:
“Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. It is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
We deserve to get it good and hard, and we will.
“The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.”