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Quotations from
H.L. Mencken

[1880-1956]

       H.L. Mencken was one of the most important writers in America in the 1920s & 1930s, with a reputation as the 'sage of Baltimore' and as a cigar-smoking curmudgeon of great wit and insight.

Links are provided below for further investigation.
The references to WMail issues indicate quotes that appeared in the free monthly 'WMail' ezine
connected with the revolutionary "Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment" created by G.E. Nordell.

After WMail Issue #72 in October 2007, essays & quotations & news are being posted to the Dateline Chamesa blog

H.L. Mencken entry at Wikipedia

H.L. Mencken Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

H.L. Mencken quotes at Watchful Eye
J.W. & G.B.'s page of H.L. Mencken quotes




“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led
to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”  {Issue #20}
•      •
“Civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle.”  (in 1926)  {Issue #42 & blog 5/2012}
•      •
“The whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth
than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know
than to be ignorant.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. 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.”  (in 1920)  {Issue #56}
•      •
“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”
(after P.T. Barnum [1810-91])  {Issue #65}
•      •
“Church is a place where gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it
to persons who will never get there.”  {blog 12/2007}
•      •
“The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy!”  {blog 12/2007}
•      •
“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taken
one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent
for getting and holding office.”  {blog 12/2007}
•      •
“I go on working for the same reason [that] a hen goes on laying eggs.”  {blog 5/2008}
•      •
“24 hours in a day. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.”  {blog 8/2008}
•      •
“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”  {blog 9/2009}
•      •
“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
and begin slitting throats.”  {blog 10/2009}
•      •
“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion
to their readiness to doubt.”  {blog 6/2012}
•      •
“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.”   {blog 7/2012}
•      •
“A good politician is quite as unthinkable as a good burglar.”  {blog 7/2013}
•      •
“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me,
I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”  {blog 9/2013}
•      •
“Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.”  {blog 11/2013}
•      •
“The Martini: The only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”  {blog 11/2015}
•      •
“You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.”  {blog 3/2016}
•      •
“A large part of altruism, even when it is perfectly honest, is grounded upon the fact that it is uncomfortable
to have unhappy people about one.”  {blog 9/2016}

H.L. Mencken Quotations Not Yet Used on the Blog

"I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone."

"Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another."

"All that zoos actually offer to the public in return for the taxes spent upon them is a form of idle and witless amusement,
compared to which a visit to a penetentiary, or even to a state legislature in session, is informing, stimulating, and ennobling."

"Sociology is the outhouse in the grove of academe."

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable . . . A man full of faith is simply
one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill."

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