Saturday, December 12, 2009
Notes on Democracy by H.L. Menken
Who is H.L. Mencken and why am I just now reading him!? This book is genius! I started highlighting passages I liked but then realized nearly every page was marked in florescent pink.
I'm not going to say this book is for everyone but it is definitely for those of us out there that watch the news and listen to certain groups or leaders thinking, "Seriously are there people out there buying this?" Then we come into contact with those who are in fact subscribing whole-heartily to an idiotic brainless existence. Left dumbfounded we trudge along wondering if there are any 'real' people left in the world.
The world was a completely different place in 1926 when Mencken originally wrote this but it doesn't' take long to realize despite our innovations and advancements nearly 100 years later we've made no real progress in terms of democracy. Mencken's insights serve as a reminder to that fact and while the organizations may have changed and the leaders all have new names they are in essence the same.
"Public policies are determined and laws are made by small minorities playing upon the fears and imbecilities of the mob-sometimes minorities of intelligent and honest men, but usually minorities of rogues." Hmmmm, rogues you say? Remind you of anyone?
If you are of a thinking mind I highly recommend this book but be warned it reads like a philosophy book so if you think you can just pick it up and read a few chapters you're wrong. It will have you thinking and a buzz with every paragraph so make sure you have a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of after reading.
(I received this book as part of a giveaway on Goodreads.com I was not in anyway encouraged to give a review that didn't reflect my genuine feelings towards the book.)