Monday, November 26, 2018

Some Christologies

Some Christologies
Thomas Allen

    Over the centuries, several explanations have been presented about the relationship of Jesus, Christ, and the Son of God. Some of these views follow.
    1. Adoptionism. According to the Adoptionists, Jesus was a full flesh and blood human, but at some point in his life, usually at his baptism, but also at his conception or resurrection, God the Father adopted Jesus as his Christ and Son. Jesus was not divine by nature. Paulianists are an example of Adoptionists.
    2. Separationism. According to the Separationists, Jesus was born as a man. However, at some point, usually at his baptism, God the Son, Christ, entered Jesus and empowered him. Thus, Christ was the God nature, and Jesus was the human nature. Just before the crucifixion, the God nature, Christ, left the human nature, Jesus. Valentinians are an example of Separationists.
    3. Docetism. According to the Docetists, Jesus was completely divine; he was God himself. Thus, Jesus was not really human; he only seemed human. Moreover, he did not really die or suffer on the cross; he only appeared to have suffered. Marcionites are an example of Docetists.
    4. Patripassianism or Modalistic Monarchianism. According to the Patripassianists, Jesus was one of the three manifestations or modes of God; the other two manifestations were the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus was God himself because God is unipersonal. Jesus was the incarnation of God. For Patripassianists, God himself came to earth as Jesus Christ and suffered on the cross. Sabellians are an example of Patripassianists. Today, Oneness Pentecostals represent Patripassianism.
    5. Creationism. According to Creationists, Jesus was specially created as the Son of God and Christ before his conception — usually God’s first creation. Jesus was this preexisting being incarnated, and this preexisting being is usually thought of being to Jesus what the soul is to other men. In any event, he is not eternal and is subordinated to the Father. The Christ of the Creationists is neither deity nor human; he is a super-angelic being. Arians are an example of preexisting Creationists. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses represent Creationism.
    6. Begottenism (for want of a better term). According to Begottenism, Jesus had only one nature: human; he was never divine or had a divine nature. He was born a man, lived as a man but without sin, died as a man, and was resurrected a man. Jesus is literally the Son of God, i.e., God is his father, who is miraculously endowed and exceedingly divinely inspired far beyond any prophet with an extremely close relationship with God. Jesus came into being when God begot him in the womb of Mary to be his Messiah. The divinity of the Son is that of the Father residing in him and acting by him. Although Jesus only has a human nature and never has a divine nature, some Begottenists believe that he was deified whereas other reject this notion. A major difference between Begottenism and Adoptionism is that Begottenists maintain that Jesus was begotten as the Messiah; he was the Messiah from conception. Most Adoptionists believe that God adopted Jesus as the Messiah after he was born. Photinians and  Socinians are examples of Begottenists. Today, Christadelphians represent Begottenism.
    7. Humanism. Jesus is just a man, a “mere” man, the son of Joseph, albeit an extraordinary man. He lived an righteous life, whose example and teachings should be followed. Apparently, he has no more of a special relationship with God that any other man. He was just another holy man like Zoroaster, Buddha, and Mohammed. Naturally, he is void of any divinity. Today, Unitarian-Universalists represent Humanism.
    Note: Both Monophysites and Dyophysites, which follow, are Nicaean Trinitarians. They believe in three Gods, yet not three Gods, but one God. As stated in the Athanasian Creed, “So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.”
    7. Monophysitism. According to the Monophysites, Christ, the Incarnate Word, had only one nature: either divine or a composite nature of the human and divine, i.e., Miaphysitism. Related to Monophysitism was Apollinarianism, which maintained that the divine Logos functioned as the mind of Christ, who possessed a real, imperfect human body. Today, Monophysitism as Miaphysitism survives in the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Also, Monophysitism is found in liberation theology.
    8. Dyophysitism. According to the Dyophysites, Jesus is fully human and fully God. He possesses two natures, human and divine, in one person, without confusion of substance. That is, Jesus is 100 percent human and 100 percent God united in one person without any confusion of the two natures. Dyophysitism is the doctrine of Orthodox Christianity. It is expressed in the Athanasian Creed as follows: “Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.” Closely related to the Trinitarians are the Nestorians, who also believe the Nicaean Trinitarian Creed; however, they rejected the doctrine of “Mary the Mother of God” and were thus declared heretics. Nestorians were also condemned for declaring that Jesus had two natures: divine and human. Nestorianism survives today in the Assyrian Church.
    Except for Monophysitism, Patripassianism, and some interpretations of Dyophysitism and most followers of Humanism, all of the above Christologies maintain a supreme God who is eternal, immortal, immutable, and impassible. Because Monophysites, Patripassianists, and some Dyophysites have God suffering and even dying on the cross, their God is not eternal (the eternal cannot die), immortal (although he comes back to life), immutable, or impassible (an impassible being cannot suffer). Obviously, two different Gods are being worshiped. One God is eternal, immortal, immutable, and impassible; the other is mortal, mutable, and passible.

Copyright © 2018 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018


Thomas Allen

[Editor’s note: The following is a letter to the editor that appeared in a local newspaper.]
    Rare are political candidates who do not claim to support education. But what do they mean by “education.”  Do they mean maintaining and expanding the current system of indoctrinating pupils on what to think? Do they mean teaching pupils how to think? Or do they mean something else? They seldom say.
    Nearly all, if not all, political candidates favor improving education. How do they plan to improve education? Most answer, “Spend more money.” Apparently, more than a third of the state budget spent on education is not enough. How do they plan to spend more money? They plan to spend it on raising the salaries of teachers. They seem to believe that higher teacher pay equals higher quality of education. If that were true, pupils graduating from Chicago’s public schools would be among the best-educated people in the country instead of among the worst educated because teachers in Chicago’s public schools are among the highest paid in the country. The relationship between teacher pay and the quality of education is poor.
    Other than spending more money and indoctrinating more children at an ever younger age, most candidates seem to have no clue about how to improve education. Moreover, most probably have no clue about what kind of educational system that they want. They certainly are not likely to give the voters any details. At most, they will give the voters slogans, such as “I am for better education” and “we need to raise teachers’ salaries.” Unfortunately, slogans seem to be all that most voters are interested in.

[Editor’s note: The following two items are additions to the letter and are not part of the letter appearing in the newspaper.]
    1. Before the era of anti-White political correctness, most historians considered the generation of the founding fathers the greatest generation ever produced in America. None of the founding fathers had a public school education. Most White adults could understand the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution for the United States — something that cannot be said about today’s adults. None had a public school education.
    2. The tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto reads, “Free education for all children in government schools. . . .” Obviously, the United States have fully implemented this plank. If one were to compare the other planks of the Communist Manifesto to the United States, he would discover that the United States have implemented all these planks to some degree, many of them fully, and is about 80 to 90 percent a communist country.

Copyright © 2018 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Inconvertible Paper Money: The Ideal Money

Inconvertible Paper Money: The Ideal Money
Thomas Allen

    Inconvertible paper money is money that is not convertible into full-weight metallic coin, such as gold and silver coin, on the demand of its holder in spite of its promises or guarantees. Proponents of inconvertible paper money consider it the “ideal money” as it has no intrinsic value and it represents no metallic coin, which they believe to be inferior to paper money.
    Inconvertible paper money derives from two sources. First, and the most common today, are bank notes that become inconvertible because of a suspension of redemption in specie. Today’s federal reserve note is an example of this type of inconvertible paper money. When bank notes are no longer convertible to specie, they begin to behave like inconvertible government notes — especially if the government makes them legal tender and if the government controls their issue either directly or indirectly. Government notes are the second source of inconvertible paper money. That is, the government issues its paper money directly. Examples of government notes are the Assignat, the Continental and the U.S. note between 1862 and 1879. This type of inconvertible paper money was much more common before World War I than it is today. (Today, most inconvertible paper money is bank notes issued for  governments by their central banks, which often have the appearance of independence, but which are really subject to governmental control. Although this money is usually labeled as bank notes, functionally, and for all practical purposes, they are government notes.)
    Promoters of inconvertible paper money based their assertion of the superiority of inconvertible paper to metallic coin on several principles. A discussion of the chief ones follows.
    1. Medium of exchange. According to the adherents of inconvertible paper money, it is superior to metallic money as a medium of exchange. Paper money is a convention and does not have any “intrinsic value.” However, by general consent, it may become the medium of exchange of a country. It may become so acceptable that it cannot be distinguished from the acceptance of gold. This is true as long as custom or law forces people to use the paper money. If gold coin is allowed to circulate, its circulation will cease as people prefer to hoard the more valuable money, gold, and spend the less valuable money, paper. If gold coin does circulate, it will trade at a premium to the paper money.
    2. Common denominator in exchanges. Adherents of inconvertible paper money claim that it functions as well as, if not better than, metallic money as a common denominator in exchanges. Producers want an article of uniform quality that can be easily divided to serve as a common denominator in exchanges. Thus, money is a mere convention to facilitate exchanges. Inconvertible paper money can serve this purpose as well as, if not better than, gold.
    What is called “a common denominator in exchanges” is called “a measure of value” by most economists. Gold coin is superior to inconvertible paper money as a measure of value as its value as money is independent of itself. Inconvertible paper money is inferior to full-weight gold coin in that its monetary unit does not measure anything tangible that is independent of itself. For example, the Gold Standard Act of 1900 defines the dollar as 23.22 grains of gold, which means that it has a value equivalent to 23.22 grains of gold. When the redemption of federal reserve notes in gold coin ceased, federal reserve notes had a value of 23.22 grains of gold. However, as federal reserve notes were no longer convertible to gold, the dollar ceased having the value of 23.22 grains of gold. It ceased having an independent unit of measure. Its measure of value became what a dollar could buy, which is a highly inferior measure of value.
    3. Standard of deferred payment. Adherents of inconvertible paper money assert that it can function better than metallic money as a standard of deferred payment. The better a money can ensure the same purchasing power during the duration of the contract or loan, the better it functions as a standard of deferred payments. Advocates of inconvertible paper money claim that it maintains its purchasing power better than metallic coin.
    Inconvertible paper money can perform as a standard of deferred payment (it does so today) as long as it has popular acceptance. How well it performs this function depends on the regulation of its quality — so assert its proponents. Gold often proves inadequate in performing this function. Nevertheless, gold has historically done a better job of preserving value and, by that, its purchasing power than has inconvertible paper money. Eventually, inconvertible paper money loses popular acceptance. Gold never has although governments have often intervened to prevent its use, as occurred in the United States between 1933 and 1974.
    Moreover, the advocates of inconvertible paper money seldom admit that depreciation, as revealed by a premium on gold or silver, is proof that the paper money has failed as a standard of deferred payment. They argue that the value of paper has not fallen; the value of gold and silver has risen. Whenever they do admit to depreciation, the fault is not with inconvertible paper money itself. It is with the government’s failure to use the correct formula or technique, which they are ready to provide, to regulate the quantity of money. If the depreciation occurs during wartime, the argument is that the enemy is flooding the country with counterfeit notes.
    4. Natural limitations on quantity. Adherents of inconvertible paper money argue that it is superior to metallic money because it is not subject to natural limitations as is metallic money. Unlike gold, inconvertible paper money is not subject to any natural limitations. Coins, hoards, ornamentation, plat, and the like along with mines limit the quantity of gold available for monetary use. The only limitation to the quantity of paper money is the speed at which printing presses can run and the speed at which printing presses, inks, and papers can be manufactured. These limitations can be overcome by putting an ever larger number on the paper notes.
    The production of gold can vary significantly over the years. However, the quantity of newly mined gold entering the market is extremely small when compared with the aboveground stock of gold available for money. This high stock-to-flow ratio stabilizes the value of gold and prevents it from changing significantly. With no restriction other than governmental fiat placed on the production of inconvertible paper money, its quantity can increase without limit — or at least increase until it becomes worthless and no one accepts it.
    According to the advocates of inconvertible paper money, another advantage that it has over metallic money is that the cost of manufacturing paper money is extremely low. Mining gold is expensive.
        5. Not exportable. Adherents identify the inability of inconvertible paper money to be exported to other countries as an advantage that it has over metallic money, which is easily transported. Inconvertible paper money is limited in its circulation to the country of issue. (This may have been true in the past, but it is not true today. The U.S. dollar circulates worldwide. Other fiat inconvertible paper moneys also circulate outside their country of issue.)
    Under the gold standard, an overissue of money is halted by the exportation of gold. No such mechanism exists to halt the overissue of inconvertible paper money.
    Moreover, unlike gold under the gold standard, inconvertible paper money is independent of the actions and monetary policies of other countries. Advocates of inconvertible paper money consider this independence to be a great benefit.
    6. Overissue. Adherents of inconvertible paper money firmly believe that if the government follows the correct formula or technique in issuing it, overissue is impossible. So far, no one has found the correct formula or technique, although fiat money reformers have come forth with several techniques to use to issue the right amount. However, the temptation to issue ever more notes is often too great. Governments find issuing new notes easier and more acceptable than raising taxes. One of the few exceptions is the U.S. note: The government reduced the quantity in circulation and eventually redeemed them in gold.
    Under the gold standard, overissue is a self-correcting, short-lived problem. Any excess gold coins will be exported or converted to bullion. Excess convertible bank notes will be converted to gold coin, which will then be exported or converted to bullion. Thus, the overissue is quickly halted and reversed.
    7. Overissue leads to more issue. Adherents of inconvertible paper money who believe that it may be overissued are convinced that the overissue can be halted instead of leading to more issuance. However, the overissue of inconvertible paper money is seldom halted; the overissue nearly always leads to evermore increases in the money supply.
    When gold is the money, supply and demand applies. Demand creates supply; supply satisfies demand. Excess monetary gold is exported or converted to bullion.
    However, paper money is seldom exportable; it can only be used in the domestic markets. (Today, the U.S. dollar is a notable exception. Being the primary reserve currency of the world and the primary currency for buying and selling goods on the world markets, it is highly exportable. This exportation has spared Americans an enormous rise in prices.) When prices begin to rise because of excessive issuance, the government has to issue more notes just to maintain its current level of consumption. This new issuance leads to more rising prices, which leads to more issuance. Thus, a vicious cycle is created. Soon speculators enter the markets to by goods before their prices rise to sell them at a higher price later; thus, prices begin to rise even more rapidly. A prime example of this phenomenon is the Assignat of the French Revolution.
    In spite of all the historical evidence to the contrary, advocates of inconvertible paper money are convinced that no government can issue more notes than the real necessities of the government require. Unlike banks, governments cannot issue notes for profit. Therefore, the issue of government notes is limited to the absolute wants of the government. Most often governments under issue their notes — so assert some advocates of inconvertible paper money.
    8. Stability. Adherents of inconvertible paper money claim that it is more stabile, i.e., maintains constant purchasing power, than is metallic money. An abstract paper monetary unit is more likely to be less variable in value, purchasing power, than gold. Yet, history has shown that the value of inconvertible paper money is much less stable than the value of gold under the gold standard.
    Historically, gold’s purchasing power tends to rise for a decade or two and decline for a decade or two. However, over decades, its purchasing power is fairly constant. (See Roy Jastram’s study on gold’s purchasing power.)
    On the other hand, inconvertible paper money’s purchasing power tends to decline at varying rates. Moreover, the decline accelerated as the currency approaches its death.
    Depreciating paper money fluctuates primarily for two reasons. First, the demand for money varies. Under the gold standard, this variation in demand is smoothed by gold moving into and out of the country. However, inconvertible paper money remains in the country; thus, its value fluctuates with changing demand. Second, the depreciation of inconvertible paper money impairs its circulation. Depreciation affects confidence in the currency. Inconvertible paper money depreciates more rapidly when confidence is falling and less rapidly when confidence is steady or rising. A rise in confidence may lead to a rise in purchasing power for a while. Political events affect confidence more than the volume of money in circulation.
    9. Benefits the working class. Adherents of inconvertible paper money are adamant in that the primary beneficiary of inconvertible paper money is the working class. They present it as benefitting the working class and gold standard as harming the working class. As with most claims of these advocates, the opposite is true. Inconvertible paper money is an egregious tax on production and labor. It leads to speculation, which benefits sharpies at the expense of workers. Initially, depreciating paper money increases the profits of businesses at the expense of consumers, most of whom are workers. However, these excess profits are short-lived as they attract more businesses. Moreover, inconvertible paper money leads to wasteful habits. As it is nearly always depreciating, its loss of purchasing power causes prices to rise. Moreover, prices rise before wages do and faster than wages. Thus, workers must pay more for goods and services with the same amount of labor. Also, most workers lack the means to hoard goods to sell in the future at much higher prices, or even for their own use. Worse, inconvertible paper money undermines the virtues needed to support the social system of the community. It destroys industry, frugality, and economy while promoting extravagance and speculation. Inconvertible paper money is the most effective means to cheat workers as it transfers the wealth of workers to the rich and the government.
    10. Gold is not essential to the monetary unit. Adherents of inconvertible paper money argue that gold is not essential to defining the monetary unit. They assert that gold is no more essential to the monetary unit than brass or wood of a ruler is to the yard or meter. The yard and meter are not defined by the material of which a ruler is made. They are defined by the distance that light travels in a specific fraction of a second. Likewise, the value of the monetary unit is not defined by the material of which money is made. Under the gold standard, it is defined by the value of a specific weight and purity of gold. For example, the dollar was defined as 23.22 grains of fine gold, and, thus, had a value equal to 23.22 grains of gold. Under today’s monetary standard, the dollar is a nebulous abstraction whose value cannot be defined except in terms of itself.
    Defining the value of the monetary unit, such as the dollar, peso, pound, or euro, as equal to the value of what the monetary unit buys gives the illusion of stability. The dollar always buys a dollar’s worth of goods. However, the quantity and often the quality of goods that a dollar buys declines over time. Anyone who has lived during the permanent suspension of the gold-coin standard and later the suspension of the gold exchange standard has personally witnessed the instability of an abstract monetary unit and its constant deterioration and loss of value.
    Inconvertible paper money may be as bank notes for which redemption has been suspended, such as federal reserve notes after 1932, or forced government notes, such as U.S. notes before 1879. No matter which, both derive their initial value as money from the commodity money, e.g., gold coin, that they replace.
    Unlike gold, which has value both as money and as bullion for ornamentation, etc., inconvertible paper money has only one use and that is as money, purchasing medium, a unit of account, and payment of debt and taxes. Therefore, it is low quality money. Lacking quality, it is a poor store of value. Likewise, its poor quality as money makes it a poor standard of exchange value, that is a standard of prices and accounts, or a measure of value.
    Inconvertible paper money does have value, but that value is derived from its use as money, and that value depends on the confidence that people have in it. Also, it depends to a limited extent on the authority and power of the government to force it on the people. Once the value of money degenerates beyond a certain point, the power of government can no longer force the people to accept it, even with the death penalty. Examples are the Assignat and the Continental. Unless the government gives a believable promise that the paper money will soon be convertible on demand in full-weight metallic coin, that confidence declines. Declining confidences leads to declining value, purchasing power, of inconvertible paper money.
    As the value of inconvertible paper money declines, so does the demand for it. When demand declines, its value declines. Therefore, more is needed to make the same quantity of purchases, Thus, its supply must increase to maintain the same level of purchases. Increasing supply leads to further lose of confidence and decline in demand for the money. As a result, general prices continue to rise.
    Inconvertible paper money does function as money although inferior to gold coin. It can serve as a medium of exchange, a standard for the payment of debt, especially when it is legal tender, a measure of value, and even a store of value. However, it swindles creditors and impoverishes workers as it generally loses value over time. Moreover, as it loses value at varying rates, it is a poor measure of value and a poor standard of value. However, unlike gold coin, inconvertible paper money cannot extinguish debt. It merely discharges debt by transferring it to the issuer of the paper money.

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Mencken on the Maker of Law

Mencken on the Maker of Law
Thomas Allen

    In 1926, H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) wrote Notes on Democracy in which he expressed his views on democracy and related issues. He was a journalist, satirist, and critic and a libertarian and one of the leaders of the Old Right. In his book, he describes the maker of law, pages 131-139. Below is an overview of his discussion on the maker of law; my comments are in brackets.
    “In the United States, the general democratic tendency to crowd competent and self-respecting men out of the public service is exaggerated by a curious constitutional rule, unknown in any other country.” Although its “aim is to preserve for every electoral unit a direct and continuous voice in the government; its actual effect is to fill all the legislative bodies of the land with puerile local politicians, many of them so stupid that they are quite unable to grasp the problems with which government has to deal.” [For example, the Representative from Georgia who thought that islands floated like boats and would sink or capsize if too many people were on the island.]
    Often no competent man is available in a district to represent it. [Many competent men live in most districts; however, they do not want to degrade themselves to the level of a democratic politician described by Mencken.] According to Mencken, the competent man “is usually so enmeshed in operations against the resident imbeciles and their leaders, and hence so unpopular, that his candidature is out of the question.”
    [Mencken seems convinced that if Congress and State legislatures were filled with competent men the Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol would not have been adopted.] “[P]liant and unconscionable jackasses” in Congress allying with members from “all the more backward States” forced the Prohibition Amendment through Congress. “[T]he votes of even more degraded noodles, assembled from the backwoods in the State Legislatures, that put the amendment into the Constitution.”
    Mencken believes that “[i]f it were possible for a congressional district to choose any man to represent it, as is the case in all other civilized countries, there would be more breaks in the monotony of legislative venality and stupidity, for even the rustic mob, in the absence of strong local antipathies, well fanned by demagogues, might succumb occasionally to the magic of a great name.”
    Because a representative must reside in the district that he represents, “a depressing gang of incompetents, mainly petty lawyers and small-town bankers” become the predominant representatives. Moreover, “in intelligence, information and integrity,” the House of Representatives “is comparable to a gang of bootleggers — a House so deficient in competent leaders that it can scarcely carry on its business.” [This is an excellent description of the Congress that President Trump faces.] Another result “is the immense power of . . . corrupt and sinister agencies [lobbyists].”
    Mencken has a low opinion of the average Southerner in the House of Representatives. According to him, the average Southern Representative “got his early education in a hedge school, he proceeded to some preposterous Methodist or Baptist college, and then he served for a time as a school teacher in his native swamps, finally reaching the dignity of county superintendent of schools and meanwhile reading law. Admitted to the bar, and having got a taste of county politics as superintendent, he became district attorney, and perhaps, after a while, county judge.” After running for Congress three or four times, he is finally elected. Such a man is unfit “for the responsibilities of a law-maker. . . . He is an ignoramus, and he is quite without the common decencies. Having to choose  between sense and nonsense, he chooses nonsense almost instinctively.” Before he went to Washington and began meeting “lobbyists, bootleggers and the correspondents of the newspapers, he had perhaps never met a single intelligent human being.” Moreover, officialdom disdains him. “His dream is to be chosen to go on a congressional junket, i.e., on a drunken holiday at government expense. His daily toil is getting jobs for relatives and retainers.” He is “a knavish and preposterous nonentity, half-way between a kleagle of the Ku Klux and a grand worthy bow-wow of the Knights of Zoroaster. It is such vermin who make the laws of the United States.” [Mencken’s description of the typical Southern Representative is less accurate today. However, it is still accurate if applied to Representatives from across the country by changing the names of some organizations. For example, the Klan is irrelevant today, except in the minds of those who believe the Southern Poverty Law Center. Today, all Klan organizations of more than two or three members are governmental fronts.]
    As for Senators, they “are measurably better, if only because they serve for longer terms.” Having a two-year term, a Representative “is constantly running for re-election. Scarcely has he got to Washington before he must hurry home and resume his bootlicking of the local bosses.” However, a Senator “may safely forget them for two or three years, and so, if there is no insuperable impediment in his character, he may show a certain independence, and yet survive.” Occasionally, some Senators may attain “a laudable mastery of the public business, particularly such as lies within the range of their private interest.” Moreover, they may “show the intellectual dignity and vigour of genuine statesmen.” Nevertheless, the average Senator “is simply a party hack, without ideas and without anything rationally describable as self-respect. His backbone has a sweet resiliency.” Moreover, “it is quite impossible to forecast his action, even on a matter of the highest principle, without knowing what rewards are offered by the rival sides.” These Senators prefer “their jobs to their dignity.”
    [Mencken gives an accurate, but unfortunately, description of the people who govern the United States and make their laws. Nothing has changed for the better since he wrote.]

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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