H.L. Mencken Quotes
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It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
Dachshund: A half-a-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long.
The lunatic fringe wags the underdog.
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.
The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful.
The state remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.
Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.
I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind.
Love is photogenic. It needs darkness room to develop
Equality before the law is probably forever unattainable. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.
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.
The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable.
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
All government is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.
the average man does not want to be free. he simply wants to be safe.
The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.
The ideal Government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone - one which barely escapes being no government at all.
Alimony - the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.
How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Sometimes the idiots outvote the sensible people.
School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence.
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
The only kind of freedom that the mob can imagine is freedom to annoy and oppress its betters, and that is precisely the kind that we mainly have.
There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
Freedom of press is limited to those who own one.
The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.
Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man.
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.
We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.
There's really no point to voting. If it made any difference, it would probably be illegal.
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 be ignorant.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
The martini: the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
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.
The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.
Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.