Posts tagged ‘Mencken’

Keep the Populace Alarmed – Scapegoats

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, most of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Apparently the threats of international terror and China rising aren’t enough to keep us alarmed and eager for the tether. These things do tend to wear thin with time. But good old default can be taken off the shelf every now and then. It works like a charm every time.

. . .

Now and then it’s good for the government’s voluntary creditors to be reminded of whom they are dealing with. When the exploited industrious classes catch on to the swindle perpetrated by the politicians, those creditors will find their bonds, bills, and contracts in jeopardy—and properly so. It could happen sooner than that, if Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is right and our (mis)leaders realize that repudiation of the debt is the least bad way out of the fiscal morass they’ve created.

The Political Class Uses Fear of “Default” To Get Its Way: Americans are kept frightened, and politicians get to spend, tax, borrow, and coerce as usual.

“Rulers” and tyrants have used scare tactics and scapegoats for thousands of years to keep the populace in line.

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