Critica ratiunii emotionale II - Mencken  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , ,

Azi e ziua patriei, dar cum ii spuneam lui Krossfire intr-un comentariu, prefer o zi rationala uneia nationale. Oricum, el explica tare bine cam tot ce-i de explicat, iar eu n-as putea decat sa repet urarea veche. Continui aici discutia emotie vs. logica, inceputa in cu Colbert si Adeveria.

H. L. Mencken (Initial era un singur articol, dar am decis sa nu-mi mai chinui cititorii Big Grin.) Spuneam ca Bush a fost presedintele industriei petrolifere, intrucat ei i-au finantat masiv campania. Reversul medaliei este ca Bush nu a fost votat de negri. Acestia voteaza rareori, intrucat nici unul dintre candidatii albi de pana atunci (cu exceptia lui Clinton) nu le-a captivat interesul. Ca urmare, cand a venit Katrina, Bush n-a clintit un deget pentru ei, lucru consemnat in celebrul clip cu Kanye West si Mike Myers. Ceea ce este si firesc, dar greu de acceptat pentru cei ce cred in Mos Craciun.

presedintele este al celor care-l voteaza

Acest subtitlu poate fi interpretat in mai multe feluri:

1. Daca nu votezi, nu esti reprezentat si n-ai dreptul sa pretinzi asta. Evident, poti fi sau nu de-acord cu asa ceva. Oamele idealiste vor zice “cum, pai nu-i datoria unui presedinte sa aiba grija de toata lumea?!?”. Desigur. La fel e si cu Mos Craciun.

2. Precum parintii si copiii, fiecare popor isi are presedintii / politicienii pe care-i merita. Ceea ce-mi aminteste de un citat Mencken:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard, adeca Democratia este teoria ca oamenii obisnuiti stiu ce vor si merita s-o ia tare si hardcore.

Are si una in care baga maimuteMonkey. Iata o colectie:

Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Adultery is the application of democracy to love.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

It is the theory of all modern civilized governments that they protect and foster the liberty of the citizen; it is the practice of all of them to limit its exercise, and sometimes very narrowly.

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to prevailing superstition or taboo.

No one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. Whenever the secular arm is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea, and not infrequently it is downright idiotic.

When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right.

The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.

I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air -- that progress made under the shadow of the policeman's club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.

Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel.

It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

People constantly speak of 'the government' doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men.

It is the theory of all modern civilized governments that they protect and foster the liberty of the citizen; it is the practice of all of them to limit its exercise, and sometimes very narrowly.

The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.

The state remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when the fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights.

All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.

That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.

I believe there is a limit beyond which free speech cannot go, but it's a limit that's very seldom mentioned. It's the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy. I don't think there are any other conditions to free speech. I've got a right to say and believe anything I please, but I haven't got a right to press it on anybody else. .... Nobody's got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors.

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

The psychologists and the metaphysicians wrangle endlessly over the nature of the thinking process in man, but no matter how violently they differ otherwise they all agree that it has little to do with logic and is not much conditioned by overt facts.

A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.

Daca vrei sa participi la traducerea citatelor de mai sus –care ramane in Google Translation Memory- spune-mi sa-ti trimit o invitatie. Dintre ele, sper ca macar unul sa fie recunoscut ca valabil:

Cu cat mai mare vulgul, cu-atat mai dur testul. In arii mici, in fata unor electorate mici, un om de prima mana [Remus Cernea?] din cand in cand razbeste, carand pana si vulgul prin forta personalitatii sale. Dar cand scena este nationala si lupta se da in general la a doua si a treia mana si forta personalitatii nu se poate face simtita asa usor, atunci sansele sunt de partea omului care este, intrinsec, cel mai marsav si mai mediocru – omul care poate cel mai usor si mai eficace dispersa notiunea ca mintea sa este un vid virtual.

Presedentia tinde, an de an, sa mearga la astfel de oameni. Pe masura ce democratia este perfectata, oficiul reprezinta, tot mai fidel, sufletul colectiv. Intr-o mare si glorioasa zi oamenii simpli isi vor atinge in sfarsit dorinta primordiala si Palatul Cotroceni va fi impodobit de un imbecil sinistru.

H. L. Mencken s-a nascut in 1880 si a murit intre timp. Viata lui, de reporter fara facultate, s-a intretaiat cu epoca de aur a presei scrise. Gasesti link-uri si videoclipuri in surse.


Cand eram mic, o versiune subtire a Criticii Ratiunii Pure a lui Kant a fost cartea care mi-a dat cel mai mult de lucru. Era atat de subtire (era probabil primul volum din mai multe), incat am fost convins c-o termin de citit in maxim doua ore. Si desi am incercat de mai multe ori, ochii imi alergau pe text, dar dupa cateva pagini constatam ca nu ramasesem cu nimic. Kant a fost fantastic de influent la vremea sa si ramane si azi, intrucat rezolva oarecum conflictul intre ratiune si experienta. Acum, eu nu spun ca citindu-l vei incepe sa crezi in homeopatie; uite ce zice wikipedia:

Kant believed himself to be creating a compromise between the empiricists and the rationalists. The empiricists believed that knowledge is acquired through experience alone, but the rationalists maintained that such knowledge is open to Cartesian doubt and that reason alone provides us with knowledge. Kant argues, however, that using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions, while experience will be purely subjective without first being subsumed under pure reason.


Chiar n-as putea sa fac ce zic in titlu fara cateva trimiteri la carti, nup? Majoritatea cartilor de mai jos discuta nu atat conflictul dintre rationalitate si empiricism, cat mai degraba conflictul dintre ratiune si religie. Personal, nu prea-s interesat in acesta din urma, dar imi dau seama ca pentru multi, el exista, este real si trebuie, cumva, rezolvat.

Concluzia acestui articol este in mintea si-in inima ta. Love StruckCowboyNot listeningPrayingChatterbox

Sources / More info: krossfire-1-dece, wiki-mencken, gutenberg-mencken, mencken-audio, bucurenci-negri, yt-mencken, turul2-flickr

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