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Quotes: Mencken, H. L.


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"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists."
H. L. Mencken
LewRockwell.com

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(Added by Jim Henshaw on 6/30/2010, 11:44pm)
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Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
H. L. Mencken

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(Added by Ted Keer on 10/29/2008, 2:20pm)
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The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre - the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
H. L. Mencken
Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

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(Added by Ted Keer on 10/05/2008, 12:19am)
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Christian One who is willing to serve three Gods, but draws the line at one wife.
H. L. Mencken
A Mencken Chrestomathy

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(Added by Alexander Butziger on 1/05/2007, 8:14pm)
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God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.
H. L. Mencken
Minority Report: H. L. Mencken's Notebooks

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(Added by Alexander Butziger on 1/05/2007, 8:14pm)
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Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.
H. L. Mencken
www.theagitator.com

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(Added by Jamie Kelly on 10/23/2004, 7:59pm)
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Any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave
H. L. Mencken

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(Added by Robert Bisno on 7/13/2004, 4:19pm)
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Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
H. L. Mencken

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(Added by G. Stolyarov II on 4/16/2004, 8:55pm)
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Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, criminal, grasping, and unintelligent.
H. L. Mencken
http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/Mencken.html

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(Added by G. Stolyarov II on 3/09/2004, 7:53am)
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[Government's] great contribution to human wisdom...is the discovery that the taxpayer has more than one pocket.
H. L. Mencken
http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/Mencken.html

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(Added by G. Stolyarov II on 3/08/2004, 12:05pm)
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The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.
H. L. Mencken
http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/Mencken.html

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(Added by G. Stolyarov II on 3/08/2004, 12:04pm)
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Puritanism the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy.
H. L. Mencken

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(Added by Barry Kayton on 2/28/2004, 6:32am)
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