It is easier to bamboozle than to debamboozle.

HerpDerp We'll go much more a roving
Please maintain social distancing message projected onto the floor of a shopping mall in Hong Kong.

Years later, Hong Kong and a few other holdouts are demonstrating the veracity of variations on the truism that It’s Easier To Fool People Than To Convince Them That They’ve Been Fooled. For the title of this brief entry, I went with one of the verified-real and attributable statements in this vein, It is easier to bamboozle than to debamboozle. That’s a partial quote from a sentence in a passage referencing unsuccessful efforts to get President Wilson’s to support moderating the most punitive aspects of the Treaty of Versailles. Wilson, reportedly, had been concerned that the peace agreement dealt too harshly with Germany but had, through months of lobbying, been won over. Later, he couldn’t be talked back out of fully supporting it.

The passage in question appears in The Public Mind: Its Disorders: Its Exploitation, a 1927 book by reporter, politician, peace activist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Angell. Angell was riffing on John Maynard Keynes’s account of U.K. P.M. Lloyd George’s attempt to de-bamboozle Wilson and his use of that term.