H. L. MenckenH. L. Mencken, (1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic

H. L. Mencken Quote

“Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change...[T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face if its constant and bitter opposition.”

H. L. MenckenH. L. Mencken
~ H. L. Mencken

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

A Republican form of government where the individual sovereign hires others to represent a very limited administration of inalienable personal rights (where the representative can do nothing the individual sovereign can not do in/of/for himself) is an exception to the above statement. The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land takes to an art form the above statement.

Mann, Kalamazoo

What a bunch of crap! Where would U.S. "progress" have been without the interstate highway system - a single thing among a plethora of GOVERNMENT CONCEIVED, INITIATED AND ENGINEERED accomplishments? What about NASA? It's fearful reactionaries who champion the status quo, despise general knowledge among ordinary citizens and keep Power to and for themselves, exclusively. It's time for us to stop dissecting intentionally charged quotations and LOOK AT AND INTERPRET THE REALITY TRANSPIRING AROUND US. Perhaps we should at least attempt making up our own minds ... instead of placing our collective faith and thoughts in useless bromides intended to make us hate and fear.

Mike, Norwalk

Mann, WHAT ? ? ? Though the interstate highway system is a great convince, it and more could have been accomplished through a free Republican form of government. Perceived and privately financed (bonds more than banks) railroads "progressed" the expanse and wealth and knowledge, of a more free nation than your referenced plethora of GOVERNMENT CONCEIVED, INITIATED AND ENGINEERED accomplishments. NASA has had great accomplishments. If private industry had ever been allowed to progress freely, man's scientific endeavors and knowledge would be much further advanced. AND, the quotes focus is more accurately referencing topics such as Keynesian economics, dumbing down government schools, militarizing of local standing armies (police), energy non-development, corporate - government harmonized big pharma, and the implementation of compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, government rights vs inalienable rights and governments of men / legal positivism vs. governments of law / natural law, all that being antithetic in the extreme to knowledge advancement. Your " attempt making up our own minds ... instead of placing our collective faith and thoughts in useless bromides intended to make us hate and fear (scientifically speaking, what is collective thought or faith), is a good start.

E Archer, NYC

The federal highway program is a perfect example of tendency towards permanence -- the result is federal 'jurisdiction-creep' into the states. We've all but forgotten about keeping the federal government in DC. The reason the federal government was able to do these things is because they created a monopoly on money creation, thus allowing themselves to borrow unlimited amounts of money while subverting private enterprise. For those that worship all that is big (classic temple building) the ominpotent state is to be bowed to and paid tribute -- as Mike said, if left to private enterprise, all could have been done and profit made, not just paying for $200 hammers and $90 a load for washing soldiers clothes in Iraq. The 'progressive' mindset is that the common man is nothing without the State, and 'progressively' lays claim to all individual innovation. The libs always seem to bring up the roads and highways as why government is great -- sheesh, gas taxes alone pay for all that, I would be fine if the feds just took care of the highways and stayed out of everything else. Pyramid building is centralized power's prime purpose. Government monopoly hampers most innovation like cheap energy, natural medicine, and fair trade.

Jim K, Austin

Mencken Is correct. 10 stars if possible.


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