Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
September 2, 2012
Image Size
369 KB
Resolution
1000×668
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
1,951
Favourites
16 (who?)
Comments
49
Downloads
47
×
H.L. Mencken on Taxes by BlameThe1st H.L. Mencken on Taxes by BlameThe1st
"The intelligent man, when he pays taxes, certainly does not believe that he is making a prudent and productive investment of his money; on the contrary, he feels that he is being mulcted in an excessive amount for services that, in the main, are useless to him, and that, in substantial part, are downright inimical to him. He may be convinced that a police force, say, is necessary for the protection of his life and property, and that an army and navy safeguard him from being reduced to slavery by some vague foreign Kaiser, but even so he views these things as extravagantly expensive-he sees in even the most essential of them an agency for making it easier for the exploiters constituting the government to rob him. In those exploiters themselves he has no confidence whatever. He sees them as purely predatory and useless; he believes that he gets no more net benefit from their vast and costly operations than he gets from the money he lends to his wife's brother. They constitute a power that stands over him constantly, ever alert for new chances to squeeze him. If they could do so safely they would strip him to his hide. If they leave him anything at all, it is simply prudentially, as a farmer leaves a hen some of her eggs."

- excerpt from "More Of The Same" by H.L. Mencken
American Mercury, 1925


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956), was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. Many of his books still remain in print.

Mencken is known for writing The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial". He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, pseudo-experts, the temperance movement, and uplifters. A keen cheerleader of scientific progress, he was very skeptical of economic theories and particularly critical of anti-intellectualism, bigotry, populism, Fundamentalist Christianity, creationism, organized religion, the existence of God, and osteopathic/chiropractic medicine.

In addition to his literary accomplishments, Mencken was known for his controversial ideas. A frank admirer of Nietzsche, he was not a proponent of representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors. During and after World War One, he was sympathetic to the Germans, and was very distrustful of British "propaganda." However, he overcame his inclination to embrace all things Bavarian, referring to Hitler and his followers as "ignorant thugs."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Image from Leadership Freak.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014
Great poster and choice of H. L. Mencken, ever read his "Declaration of Independence in American"? brilliant stuff
Reply
:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No, but I should. Link?
Reply
:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
I'm afraid I came across it in an old book from the 1920's but it's great:D (Big Grin) , imagine the Declaration of Independence done by a New York Cabbie who explains why the ideals behind it are so important in plain English. It's inspiring and guaranteed to make you smile at the same time.

I think I saw a copy on a website called the Library of Liberty, I've lost the link but it's easy to find online, the website contains historical documents and publications that explain how our civil liberties originated so you've got things like an English translation of Magna Carta which states "we shall sell or deny justice to no man" and the promise of how you're supposed to be judged by a court of your peers. 

I found it educational when we did constitutional law during our first year since all of our rights in Ireland derive from English Common Law.

It also has the story of John Harrington who wrote a book called "The Commonwealth of Oceana" back in the 1600's, this book describes every civil right we now habitually enjoy, but Harrington was dragged from his home in the middle of the night in secrecy without a court order or warrant (as a law student this really made my blood boil) and secretly and illegally locked up in the dungeon of Dover Castle & denied access to either legal counsel or his family for years.

At no point was he ever formally accused of any crime or brought before a judge, eventually his family paid a bribe to King Charles II after John went insane from ill treatment and he died shortly after being released.
Reply
:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Mencken was a bitter cynical fellow with little love of his fellow man. However, he understood that some things should be criticized frequently & often to keep the discussion focused on limits. :)
Reply
:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
He was the George Carlin of his day! :D
Reply
:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014
Those two do share a certain ethos of cynical satire. :)  Mencken though was trying to prod his audience into critical thinking, while Carlin was more of a passive commentator.
Reply
:iconimperator-zor:
Imperator-Zor Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
Every tax, however, is to the person who pays it a badge, not of slavery but of liberty. It denotes that he is a subject to government, indeed, but that, as he has some property, he cannot himself be the property of a master." -Adam Smith
Reply
:iconblamethe1st:
BlameThe1st Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Because obviously I'm in control of my own tax dollars, which is why the government is spending it on drone strikes, drug raids, and corporate boondoggles.
Reply
:iconimperator-zor:
Imperator-Zor Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013
And also a vast number of things that benefit you every day, from an educated population to roads to safety standards to police.

Adam Smith understood the truth, some things are useful (indeed necessary) for society to have and can be provided best by non profit organizations.
Reply
:iconsame-side:
Same-side Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012   Writer
The US tax system is janked. It's all about "fairness," when it should be about promoting economic growth: [link]
Reply
Add a Comment: