Liberty: too hot to handle?

Yesterday Jeff Tucker posted some excerpts from a new Mises Institute release, H.L. Mencken's Notes on Democracy. Here's a choice (and characteristically pessimistic) sample:

A policeman is a charlatan who offers, in return for obedience, to protect him (a) from his superiors, (b) from his equals, and (c) from himself. This last service, under democracy, is commonly the most esteemed of them all. In the United States, at least theoretically, it is the only thing that keeps ice-wagon drivers, Y.M.C.A. secretaries, insurance collectors and other such human camels from smoking opium, ruining themselves in the night clubs, and going to Palm Beach with Follies girls...Here, though the common man is deceived, he starts from a sound premise: to wit, that liberty is something too hot for his hands---or, as Nietzsche put it, too cold for his spine.

I don't know if I can handle 200 pages of Mencken's pessimism, but it might be worth a try.

In other news, David Weigel has a post on the Reason blog called How Ron Paul Could Destroy the GOP.  If only.

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Ultimate pessimist. I happen

Ultimate pessimist. I happen to have faith in the policemen that serve our country. There may be anomalous some but I believe they're there in the spirit of good still.

If you're white,

If you're white, middle-class, love authority and tend to keep your mouth shut, you probably do have some faith in the police.

Right on, Pegasus

Though as we've seen by the integration of non-whites into the police force of most major cities, the belief in the the ultimate goodness of monopolists in violence is still quite strong.