cynic (’sin-ick) n.—One who no longer believes in the comforting illusions and protective half-truths that others use unreflectively to get through their lives.


administration, n.—An abstract concept that disguises a concrete problem of government; an administration of 4.4 million people, such as the United States has attained, has been found to be incapable of administering to 310 million citizens, though it is comforting to know that every group of 70 people has an administrator looking after them.

aristocracy, n.—The rule of a state by its ablest and often richest people; where this is not allowed, as has happened in the United States since the popular election of the Senate and the formation of the civil service, there is established the unshatterable illusion that anyone is fit to govern.


beetle, n.—Despite those clinging to a contrary belief fostered by the Bible about the primacy of man, in Nature’s design beetles are by far the most popular species, for which J.B.S. Haldane once said the Creator had “an inordinate fondness”; of all known species, 75 percent are insects, and 60 percent of those are beetles.

bureaucracy, n.—lit., government by desks; usu. the body of bureaus, offices, and petty administrators whose task is to create an ever-larger leviathan of inefficiency, intrusiveness, insufferability, and inertia so that only those laws that increase their power are carried out.


capital, n.—1. The prime seat of government, as of a state or nation, usually situated as far as possible from the largest city and most populous areas, in the hope that most people will not know and have little influence on what goes on there, and the rubes in the neighborhood will not understand.  2. The primary coinage by which the capital functions, usually distributed with acute generosity to those in charge there, including the lawmakers as well as the lawwriters, who meet in the lobby.

Christian, n.—One who professes to believe in the New Testament, at least insofar as it is compatible with his current life (which may not necessarily contain any of the virtues therein described), but who believes it does, or ought, to pertain in all its admonitions and strictures to his neighbors.

civil service, n.—The system of government administration that replaces the graft of cronyism and the corruption of nepotism with the inefficiency of bureaucracy and the lethargy of job permanency.

commonwealth, n.—A group of states with a presumed common interest, though not necessarily in sharing wealth in common; in the United States, an appellation chosen by certain states (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia) to give the illusion that somehow wealth is common to all its citizens, or at least that is the goal its leaders proclaim, though patently this does not pertain.

compromise, n.—An arrangement by which two parties agree to agree, each side giving up nothing it holds dear but trying to convince the other that its future is dark and stormy indeed; it is not a device much used in modern politics because both sides nowadays seem to be convinced of the unalterable faultlessness and exactitude of their differing positions.

conservative, n.—In politics, one who wishes to preserve his superior position(s), as one would fruit cooked to a jamlike consistency; see also neoconservative, paleoconservative.

congress, n.—A gathering together of individuals preparing to act together for certain collective causes; in U.S. politics, cap., a gathering of individuals preparing to act each entirely on his own, principally for his own causes, except when it is advantageous to work together to spend taxpayer money that will end up helping those identical causes.  Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.—Menken

corporation, n.—The  fictitious contrivance devised by American robber barons (and baronets and knights below them) in the 19th century to put responsibility for any failure of private greed on the public; in later centuries, the device by which, and for which, the nation was ruled through such fronts as the Congress and the presidency.