Thursday, January 27, 2011

Every Citizen A Criminal

English: Jezzar Pasha condemning a criminal, sketched by Francis B. Spilsbury, after Daniel Orme, c. 1819It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume ... that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.

-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic

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