"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."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
"The government" is not just a "group of people" (implying that it is no more than people), it is also an instrument of society as well as subject to the interesting dynamics of groups... that groups really can be/are more (or in some cases less ;-) than the sum of those who make it up. The other key to this quote seems to be the word "usually", for we all know that there are some who are superior within their ranks, as well as many who are inferior... as is the case with all groups (mathmatics of averages & medians asside ;-). So, while the words may be true in some sort of exactness, the sense of the quote still seems to be very off the mark... and when quotes are subject to misinterpretation they get low ratings.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Again you missed the point. Government is a few people controlling the many. The more rules and laws they create, the less freedom people have.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- Anonymous      
     -- cbm, pewaukee      
    SO true. Stop expecting government to solve our problems.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Another true statement.
     -- me again     
    To the extent that Government is nothing more than a group of men is the fault not of that group of men, but of every other person who does not oppose that group of men when called for. That group of men is just doing what comes naturally to predators and parasites.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    The U.S. was a Constitutional Republic recognizing the perfect sovereignty of each and every, any and all individuals. Democratic oligarchies, and other collectivist tyrannies are illogical religions that move to minimize competing religions (imagined or otherwise) while eliminating the rights and freedoms of the individual. I don't get socialism. What is the magical number where the individual gives up his right(s) to the ethereal phantasm that is the group, usurping all that which was inalienably the individual's by birth. And if the individual didn't have the right, authority, etc. to give to the group (society) from what source did the group get such. In court, I've ask to examine this ever elusive society or government that has rights that I do not; I've never been able to get society or government on the stand.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    This ever elusive entity that man gives the title 'government' is even more a figment of imagination than a beyond human experience Creator. The Creator can at least be associated with absolute law; by way of example: gravity, science, life, etc. Only when government is considered a representative servant of the sovereign can there be a logical explanation for its existence. When government is perceived to be the creator of right(s), it becomes a very oppressive god. Compelled compliance, victimless crime, license, etc. are all evidences of a cruel god.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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