Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mencken's Law

I made up my mind at once that my true and natural allegiance was to the Devil’s party, and it has been my firm belief ever since that all persons who devote themselves to forcing virtue on their fellow men deserve nothing better than kicks in the pants. Years later I put that belief into a proposition which I ventured to call Mencken’s Law, to wit:

Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.

The moral theologians, unhappily, have paid no heed to this contribution to their science, and so Mencken’s Law must wait for recognition until the dawn of a more enlightened age. - H.L. Mencken

H/T The New Liberty


Fritz said...

Here's a corollary -- whenever anyone earnestly tells you that some policy is necessary "for the children", run away as fast as you can. The person talking with you is trying to persuade you not to think.

RavingDave said...

One of the problems I am constantly forced to deal with is people thinking too fast.

I used to have a boss that would make decisions quickly, (and they often didn't turn out well) and I started calling him the smartest man I'd ever met.

I'd say to him "Doug, you are the smartest person i've ever met. Why you can make a decision that would take me several hours of research and careful thinking, and you can do it in three seconds !"

Needless to say, he was not amused, but the point is valid. I see too many decisions made without thinking them through carefully.

Usually people just try to stampede you with "it's for the Children" like you said, or something of an equal persuasiveness.