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

H. L. Mencken Quote

“Governments, whatever their pretensions otherwise, try to preserve themselves by holding the individual down ... Government itself, indeed, may be reasonably defined as a conspiracy against him. Its one permanent aim, whatever its form, is to hobble him sufficiently to maintain itself.”

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

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

The Governments' worst enemy is the man who can think and act for himself. They must love Liberals. ;-)

jim k, Austin, Tx

H.L. was very cynical and very correct on government. Government is a necessary evil and I'm not to sure of the necessary part.

Mike, Norwalk

An observation in support of the accuracy here is with almost half all eligible people able to work, almost half are unemployed. Nearly half those employed work for the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. Those unemployed are controlled / maintained by god/government subsidy (unemployment, welfare, etc.). Theocratic seminaries (government schools) along with portrayers of ecclesiastical dogma (government's industrial media complex) preach jobs instead of self sustaining / wealth enhancing entrepreneurship so that sufficient maintenance permeates the entire system of slaves. Concerning Trump this election cycle - the statist theocracy's patrons of government continuing pretensions (the preserve themselves establishment) haven't varied and are adamantly contrary to the outsider.

E Archer, NYC

Mencken nails it, once again. As power becomes more centralized, the State is empowered at the expense of the individuals that chartered it. It takes on a life of its own, an insatiable Leviathan that consumes all. This is the road to authoritarianism in whatever form.

A republican form of government was considered to be the best protection against centralized power since its very practice keeps personal power in the hands of the person. Personal responsibility should be the core pillar of Americanism.


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