A Mencken Chrestomathy - Study Guide Chapter 9, Democracy, Chapter 10, Americans Summary & Analysis

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Before democracy came fully into the world, people thought it was a practically heavenly form of government. It was the dream of sentimentalists. But early democratic people simply wanted concrete material gains, and cared little for the virtue of his class. But as time progressed, the mob has adopted the moral attitude of the metaphysician. This attitude has resulted in the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and that they are competent to do it. The problem is that they are not competent.

Perhaps democracy is a self-limiting disease, like civilization. In other words, it may limit its own corrupting effects and resist other corruptions. Mencken explains the way in which it ruins greatness and individuality, but that there is a striving in democratic man for good. The problem is that it rarely manifests itself...

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This section contains 357 words
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