“Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; 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, “In Defense of Women” (1918)
THis morning I was given cause to give consideration to the stupid crap I used to do but don’t do any more. I don’t have addictive personality, so I’ve never had a problem with drugs, tobacco or drinking – I’ll have a glass of wine now and again, the same with a cigar but I don’t even like taking Aleve or ibuprofen unless there is no other alternative – I still have a few nearly full bottles of prescription painkillers left over from past injuries I have vested upon myself over the years.
I have, as I assume almost everyone has at one time or the other, exhibited bad behaviors over the years. I’ve been angry with people, been far too sarcastic (hard to believe, right?) or just isolated myself from loved ones due to some stupid misunderstanding or harsh words.
But I don’t do those things today…or at least I am conscious of them enough to correct myself earlier than in the past – and I started thinking about why that is.
The true answer is that I stopped doing them when I had them done to me. I didn’t really understand the harm until that happened…and then I thought of Saul Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals and his Rule #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” Old Saul was pretty much an ass but that does not mean he was wrong – and as progressives are wont to do, he gave us the way to end the idiocy of progressivism and the post-modern BS it is based on.
I do think we have a really good opportunity to end progressivism – or at least relegate it to something far less dangerous by stepping on the accelerator any time we see them getting tripped up over Rule 4. This Starbucks thing is a Rule 4 opportunity, as is the feminist/transgender war, the facetious media jihad against Sean Hannity (even as the media is rife with more dangerous conflicts), and pretty much anything Media Matters for America does.
In his 1915 “A Few Pages of Notes”, H.L. Mencken said that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
I would say this “Progressivism is the theory that elitists think they know what the common people want, and they deserve to get a dose of their own medicine and get it good and hard.”
Goose meet gander, so to speak…but this time, on steroids.
I used three Mencken quotes to illustrate my thoughts here… Mencken seems a strange choice, especially since he was a fan of Nietzsche and was not a real fan of religion, populism or representative democracy, a system he believed to be in which inferior men dominated their superiors – but given how much our current times mirror Mike Judge’s movie “Idiocracy”, I’m reconsidering my opinions of him.