human problem successfully, and that with their present methods they never can. Consequently, the masses of the American
people do really come to believe all they hear about their finer nervous organization, and the rightness of the American
accent, and the importance of American literature; that is to say, they see things not as they are, but as they would like them to be; they deceive themselves totally.
And by such self-deception they shut against themselves the door to improvement, and do their best to make the reign of das Gemeine
In what concerns the solving of the political and social problem they see clear and think straight; in what concerns the higher civilization they live in a fools' paradise.
This it is which makes a famous French critic speak of “the hard unintelligence of the people of the United States
” --Ia dure inintelligence des Americains du Nord
--of the Very people who in general pass for being specially intelligent; and so, within certain limits, they are. But they have been so plied with nonsense and boasting that outside those limits, and where it is a question of things in which their civilization is weak, they seem, very many of them, as if in such things they had no power of perception whatever, no idea of a proper scale, no sense of