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H. L. Mencken Quotes

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H. L. Mencken Quote: “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

— H. L. Mencken



H. L. Mencken Quote: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s consumed by the desire to spit on his palms, hoist the black flag and start cutting throats.”

There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s consumed by the desire to spit on his palms, hoist the black flag and start cutting throats.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The best client is a scared millionaire.”

The best client is a scared millionaire.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “For the habitual truth-teller and truth-seeker, indeed, the whole world has very little liking. He is always unpopular.”

For the habitual truth-teller and truth-seeker, indeed, the whole world has very little liking. He is always unpopular.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable...”

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable...

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.”

Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.”

You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.

— H. L. Mencken



H. L. Mencken Quote: “Adultery is the application of democracy to love.”

Adultery is the application of democracy to love.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “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.”

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


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Honor is simply the morality of superior men.”

Honor is simply the morality of superior men.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “There is always an easy solution to every problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.”

There is always an easy solution to every problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.”

The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.”

Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.”

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.

— H. L. Mencken



H. L. Mencken Quote: “A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.”

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong.”

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.”

No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The longest sentence you can form with two words is: I do.”

The longest sentence you can form with two words is: I do.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.”

There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing.”

You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.”

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The only really happy folk are married women and single men.”

The only really happy folk are married women and single men.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration – courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.”

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration – courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Every complex problem has a simple solution that doesn’t work.”

Every complex problem has a simple solution that doesn’t work.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Alimony – the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.”

Alimony – the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “There is no idea so stupid that you can’t find a professor who will believe it.”

There is no idea so stupid that you can’t find a professor who will believe it.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Our whole practical government is grounded in mob psychology and the Boobus Americanus will follow any command that promises to make him safer.”

Our whole practical government is grounded in mob psychology and the Boobus Americanus will follow any command that promises to make him safer.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “On the one side was bigotry, ignorance, hatred, superstition, every sort of blackness that the human mind is capable of. On the other side was sense.”

On the one side was bigotry, ignorance, hatred, superstition, every sort of blackness that the human mind is capable of. On the other side was sense.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.”

Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Never argue with a man whose job depends on not being convinced.”

Never argue with a man whose job depends on not being convinced.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Socialist: A man suffering from an overwhelming conviction to believe what is not true.”

Socialist: A man suffering from an overwhelming conviction to believe what is not true.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “A man of active and resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs, his politics and his epistemology.”

A man of active and resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs, his politics and his epistemology.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Those who can’t teach – administrate. Those who can’t administrate – go into politics.”

Those who can’t teach – administrate. Those who can’t administrate – go into politics.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.”

We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts.”

The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “I know of no human being who has a better time than an eager and energetic young reporter.”

I know of no human being who has a better time than an eager and energetic young reporter.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The objection to a Communist always resolves itself into the fact that he is not a gentleman.”

The objection to a Communist always resolves itself into the fact that he is not a gentleman.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.”

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.”

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “The State doesn’t just want you to obey, it wants to make you WANT to obey.”

The State doesn’t just want you to obey, it wants to make you WANT to obey.

— H. L. Mencken


H. L. Mencken Quote: “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

— H. L. Mencken

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