"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.
Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine
for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them.
Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing.
The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B.
In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and
every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
I love it, A great generalization to prove an accurate observation. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is defined well as a broker in pillage.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Menkin was a crank of the 1st order and typical of his age (time) he was certain he was right. While we all may at times think our gov. is out to "get us". Most of us aren't that important.
     -- Carter, Madison,WI     
  • 2 4
    Mencken describes very well the symptoms of a general disease that is parasitic in nature.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 3
    The last 2 sentences really sum it all up.
     -- Gary, Windsor     
  • 3
    Greedy people, with eyes on the ability to plunder their own children's wealth.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  • 1
    A treasure trove! Every single sentence can stand on its own. Absolutely telling it like it is.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    A perfect description of government. Carter of Madison, you live in one of the most left wing cities in America, so you may be forgiven for your comment.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    Exactly our politicians are not leaders, just self serving hucksters.
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va     
  • 1
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