PREJUDICES - Third Series H.L. Mencken

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Published: December 21st 2009

Kindle Edition

332 pages


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PREJUDICES - Third Series  by  H.L. Mencken

PREJUDICES - Third Series by H.L. Mencken
December 21st 2009 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 332 pages | ISBN: | 10.27 Mb

Contents: On Being An American,Huneker: A Memory,Footnote On Criticism,Das Kapital,Ad Imaginem Dei Creavit Illum,Star-Spangled Men,The Poet And His Art,Five Men At Random,The Nature Of Liberty,The Novel,The Forward-Looker,Memorial Service,Education,Types Of Men,The Dismal Science,Matters Of State,Reflections On The Drama,Advice To Young Men,Suite Americaine, a selection from the first chapter: I.

ON BEING AN AMERICAN APPARENTLY there are those who begin to find it disagreeable—nay, impossible. Their anguish fills the Liberal weeklies and every ship that puts out from New York carries a groaning cargo of them, bound for Paris, London, Munich, Rome and way points—anywhere to escape the great curses and atrocities that make life intolerable for them at home. *Let me say at once that I find little to cavil at in their basic complaints. In more than one direction, indeed, I probably go a great deal further than even the Young Intellectuals- It is for example, one of my firmest and most sacred beliefs, reached after an inquiry extending over a score of years and supported by incessant prayer and meditation, that the government of the United States, in both its legislative arm and its executive arm, is ignorant, incompetent, corrupt, and disgusting—and from this judgment I except no more than twenty living lawmakers and no more than twenty executioners of their laws.

It is a belief no less piously cherished that the administration of justice in the Republic is stupid, dishonest, and against all reason and equity —and from this judgment I except no more than thirty judges, including two upon the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States. It is another that the foreign policy of the United States—its habitual manner of dealing with other nations, whether friend or foe—is hypocritical, disingenuous, knavish, and dishonorable—and from this judgment I consent to no exceptions whatever, either recent or long past.

And it is my fourth (and, to avoid too depressing a bill, final) conviction that the American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages, and that they grow more timorous, more sniveling, more poltroonish, more ignominious every day. So far I go with the fugitive Young Intellectuals— and into the Bad Lands beyond.

Such, in brief, are the cardinal articles of my political faith, held passionately since my admission to citizenship and now growing stronger and stronger as I gradually disintegrate into my component carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, nitrogen and iron. This is what I believe and preach, in nomine Domini, Amen. Yet I remain on the dock, wrapped in the flag, when the Young Intellectuals set sail.  Yet here I stand, unshaken and undespairing, a loyal and devoted Americano, even a chauvinist, paying taxes without complaint, obeying all laws that are physiologically obeyable, accepting all the searching duties and responsibilities of citizenship unprotestingly investing the sparse usufructs of my miserable toil in the obligations of the nation, avoiding all commerce with men sworn to overthrow the government, contributing my mite toward the glory of the national arts and sciences, enriching and embellishing the native language, spurning all lures (and even all invitations) to get out and stay out—here am I, a bachelor of easy means, forty-two years old, unhampered by debts or issue, able to go wherever I please and to stay as long as I please--here am I, contentedly and even smugly basking beneath the Stars and Stripes...



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