… is from page 273 of the 1997 Johns Hopkins University Press edition of H.L. Mencken’s indispensable 1956 collection, Minority Report:
Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it, but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means – that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts.