Henry Louis Mencken was a renowned American journalist, satirist, essayist, and cultural critic, who became famous for his aggressive and acidic views on the Scopes trial, calling it “the trial of the monkeys”. His cultural views are still studied by many today, as he was racist and anti-Semitic, on par with other famous people during the World Wars era.
To understand the reflection of an era marked by discrimination and values that today would be considered ultra-conservative, we will take a tour of some of the sentences of HL Mencken The most important.
HL Mencken’s Most Remarkable Phrases
We may never know his true inclinations, but we can learn more about his life and worldview with the best quotes from HL Mencken, which we’ll show below.
1. War is a good thing, because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature…
A strange unpopular opinion on the benefits of war.
2. Trust is the feeling of being able to believe a person even though we know we would lie instead.
Your perception of the context of trust.
3. It is completely legal for a Catholic to avoid pregnancy by resorting to mathematics, although it is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
A critique of the conflict between science and religion.
4. What is a political campaign but a concentrated effort to eliminate a group of politicians who are bad and put in others who are supposed to be better. The first conclusion, I think, is always correct; the second is certainly false.
A direct critic of the way politics was handled.
5. A cynic is someone who, when he smells flowers, immediately reaches for a coffin.
Always see the negative side of life.
6. For every human problem, there is always an easy, clear, plausible and wrong solution.
Things don’t always go as planned, but sometimes it’s for the best.
7. Love is like a war, easy to start, hard to end, impossible to forget.
All our love experiences always leave an indelible mark.
8. Nature hates a fool.
Warning us that we must be cunning in this world.
9. Theology: effort to explain what is not known, in terms of not being “worthy” to know.
To deny the taxing nature of religion that its concepts are the only correct ones.
10. Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Certainly, when we fall in love, there is an element of illusion.
11. Religion encompasses concepts that go against all common sense. It can only be defended by making assumptions and adopting rules of logic that are never heard in any other realm of human thought.
One of his criticisms of the oppressive church system.
12. Remorse: Regret for having waited so long to do something.
One of the hardest weights to undo.
13. Live so you can look anyone in the eye and send them to hell.
Never regret what you do.
14. The king’s head falls and tyranny becomes freedom. The change seems abyssal. Then, piece by piece, the face of freedom hardens, and gradually becomes the same old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, then another.
Not all politicians who promote democracy want the freedom of the people, but seek absolute power.
15. A famous man is one who is known to many people whom he is happy not to know.
Behind the admiration of some, there is a lot of greed behind.
16. Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.
He has never agreed with the way democracy develops.
17. It takes a long time for a naturally confident person to come to terms with the idea that God won’t help them after all.
Many people have this type of conflict, where they have to find common ground for their beliefs.
18. The older I get, the more I distrust the general belief that old age brings wisdom.
Do you think old age brings absolute wisdom?
19. Definition of a rich man: someone who earns a hundred dollars more than his sister-in-law’s husband.
When money becomes a race to be better than the other.
20. I believe in one thing: freedom; but I don’t believe in freedom enough to want to impose it on anyone.
Freedom is a responsibility and a right of every person.
21. Consciousness: inner voice that warns us that someone may be watching us.
The conscience does not always leave us alone, but it is a tool to hide our sins.
22. An idealist is a man who, assuming that a rose smells better than a cabbage, deduces that a rose soup would also taste better.
Excessive idealism makes us lose the course of life.
23. The main value of money is that we appreciate it more than it is worth.
It is we who impose the value of money and place it above everything else.
24. The most dangerous man for any government is the one who has the ability to think things out for himself, regardless of superstitions or taboos.
Perhaps that is why we seek to silence as many voices as possible.
25. Puritanism: The tormenting fear that someone, somewhere, is happy.
Religious fanaticism creates dissatisfied and fearful people.
26. It is impossible to imagine the universe ruled by a wise, just, and omnipotent God, but it is very easy to imagine it administered by a council of gods.
Saying that there is not just one God, but many of them.
27. When ‘A’ annoys or hurts ‘B’ on the pretext of saving or improving ‘X’, ‘A’ is a villain.
No end justifies an unjust means.
28. Faith can be succinctly defined as an illogical belief that the improbable will happen.
Faith can be present in many things that bring positive change.
29. Every honest man is ashamed of the government under which he lives.
Every person should fully understand the weight of choosing a good or bad politician.
30. Envy is the theory that someone else has just as little taste.
Envy is a feeling that people hate for no reason.
31. Every election is a kind of early auction of stolen goods.
A dark fate on the politics of a nation.
32. The fundamental fact of human existence is not a tragedy, but an annoyance. It’s not so much a war as a wait in a row of people. The objection to this is not that it is primarily painful, but that it is meaningless.
Speaking of the discouragement that reaches thousands of people as they progress through life.
33. It is incorrect to say that I hate everything.
Is it possible to hate everything?
34. When a man makes fun of his problems, he loses a lot of friends. They never forgive being deprived of their prerogative.
With self-confidence, people who feed on our misfortunes are afraid.
35. Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what is really unbearable is justice.
Not all justice is fair unless it can be bought.
36. No one went bankrupt for underestimating the taste of the American public.
Consumerism has contaminated the perspective of Americans.
37. If after leaving this valley you remember me and wish to please my spirit, forgive a sinner and wink at a mere girl.
We are all sinners, but that doesn’t take away our ability to contribute a grain of sand for good.
38. In any clash between a rogue and a fool, the sympathy of mankind leans towards the rogue.
Sympathy goes hand in hand with a person’s appearance and attitude.
39. The average man does not want be free. He just wants to be safe.
The security of being able to have stability for the rest of your life.
40. Socialism: nothing more than the theory that the slave is always more virtuous than his master.
A political notion that has been used to make way for dictatorships or the decline of a nation.
41. All government is essentially a conspiracy against the superior man: its only permanent object is to oppress and spoil him.
A negative view of the main objective of governments.
42. Lawyer: Someone who protects us from thieves by removing temptation.
A sarcastic opinion on the work of lawyers.
43. Before a man speaks, it’s always good to assume he’s a fool. After he speaks, it’s rarely to be assumed.
It is always better not to expect anything from anyone so as not to be disappointed.
44. Every government is obviously against Liberty.
Do you think that no government is fair and honest enough to bring peace?
45. Time is the great equalizer, even in the realm of morality.
Time can fix things.
46. There is no memory in human history of a happy philosopher.
Philosophers live in a thin line between happiness and tragedy.
47. Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
He always insists, especially at night to give us insomnia.
48. Court: A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be equal, with bets in favor of Judas.
A place where everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
49. One of the most cutesy human deceptions is the idea that friendship must be eternal or, at any rate, life, and that any act that establishes a term is somehow discreditable.
All things don’t last forever because we are constantly changing.
50. Happiness is peace after conflict, overcoming difficulties, a sense of security and well-being.
Knowing that we have successfully overcome an obstacle.
51. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.
We all have courage and something to give.
52. Poverty is a mute that acts in all forms of human activity, without excluding spiritual activities.
Poverty is one of the most demanding problems in the world.
53. You enter the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing.
We build our own lives.
54. The object of practical politics is to keep the population alarmed by threatening it with an incessant series of fears, all imaginary.
Creating imaginary scandals to distract people from what politicians are really hiding.
55. Socialist: A man who suffers from an overwhelming conviction to believe what is not true.
Socialism is a smokescreen.
56. As democracy improves, the office of president increasingly represents the inner soul of the people.
Democracy can only work if the leader of the people listens to the needs of the people.
57. If a politician discovers that some of his constituents are cannibals, he will promise them missionaries for dinner.
Create false promises to get the votes that suit them best.
58. The time will inevitably come when mankind will have to overcome the imbecility of religion, as it has overcome the imbecility of religion’s ally, magic.
Over time, we have managed to overcome the mystical nature of religion.
59. A good politician is as unthinkable as an honest thief.
They are called “white collar thieves”.
60. Some great and glorious day, the simple people of the earth will finally achieve their heart’s desire, and the White House will be adorned with a downright fool.
No one knows for certain the true intentions of the political leaders.
61. The fact is that the average man’s love of freedom is nine-tenths imaginary, as is his love of meaning, justice and truth.
Freedom is most assured to people who are valuable to society.
62. The only very happy people are married women and single men.
Each person has the responsibility to find their own happiness on their own, rather than with someone else.
63. The effort to reconcile science and religion is almost always made, not by theologians, but by scientists incapable of completely getting rid of the piety absorbed by mother’s milk.
It is the scientists themselves who are trying to find a way to create a bridge between religion and science.
64. The only time you have a free press is when you have one.
Opinions are in question, especially those that do not suit politicians.
65. Truth: Something that discredits someone.
The truth can’t be an excuse to bring someone down.
66. The dearest of follies is to vehemently believe in something that is patently false. It is the first occupation of humanity.
Sometimes we are blinded by the things we imagine.
67. Poetry has done a lot when it manages to delight, but prose must also convince.
Praising the power of letters.
68. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?
A negative attitude towards marriage.
69. When a man and a woman marry, they form a single being; the first difficulty is to decide what it is.
Marriage must go hand in hand with the commitment to seek a common future.
70. A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that is not there. A theologian is the man who finds it.
Different positions in the two professionals.
71. Jury. A group of twelve people who, after lying to the judge about his hearing, his health and his professional commitments, failed to deceive him.
Injustices before the courts are the order of the day.
72. Haste is of the devil. Slowness comes from God.
When we act impulsively, repentance opens up sooner or later.
73. Judge: A law student who decides the grade of his exams.
All judges should be people with established values about what is fair.
74. Adultery is the application of democracy to love.
A liberal vision of infidelities.
75. Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
Perhaps an illusion that does us more harm than good.
76. The only permanent feeling of the lower man is fear, fear of the unknown, of the complex, of the inexplicable. The one thing you need above all else is security.
That’s why we have to build bulletproof security, that way fear won’t win us over.
77. It is impossible to imagine this world being truly civilized, as long as it survives so absurdly.
The world will not be a quiet place until everyone achieves optimal coexistence.
78. Self-respect. The feeling of security that no one, until now, suspects of anything.
It is the confidence we create in ourselves to bring out when needed.
79. I am totally in favor of common sense, honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
Promote responsibility and decency in people.
80. What men value most in this world are not rights but privileges.
The more power a person acquires, the more untouchable they feel.
81. Of all the escape mechanisms, death is the most effective.
Death is the total end of everything.
82. A nation that stays at peace too long becomes a kind of gigantic celibate.
An “excuse” to go to war.
83. If such a board really exists, it functions precisely like the board of a losing company. the money.
On the advice ruled by the gods on the decisions of the world.
84. The bachelor wants a wife but is happy not to have her.
The perpetual debate between being in a relationship or not.
85. A man who can laugh, even at himself, is never truly unhappy.
People in a good mood are able to handle situations better.
86. It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and in all places, to assume … that every citizen is a criminal. Its only apparent aim, pursued with relentless and furious diligence, is to turn supposition into fact.
All those who are against the government are suspicious in their eyes.
87. Man becomes civilized not in proportion to his will to believe, but in proportion to his ease in doubting.
Doubt makes us look for the best answers to improve ourselves.
88. Let us trust in God, who has always deceived us in the past.
Showing his position regarding the belief of God.
89. The theater is not a place of laborious speculation, but of entertaining spectacles.
The theater is a refuge for the capacities of our imagination.
90. The New Deal began — like the Salvation Army — with the promise of the salvation of mankind. But he ended up – like the Salvation Army – opening shops, buying and disturbing the peace.
Reflection on radical change in The New Deal.
91. Single people know more about women than married people; if not, they would be too.
It is common for many people to run away from a relationship.
92. Beneath the play of all these opposites, there is something fundamental and permanent: the fundamental illusion that man can be governed and at the same time be free.
Can we have a government that guides us but does not take away our freedom?
93. Human life is fundamentally a comedy.
Everyone decides if it’s tragic or funny.
94. The well-known argument that crime is caused by poverty is an insult to the poor.
Crime can come from any social stratum.
95. Love is the illusion that one woman is different from another.
Everyone is different and that’s why they have unique things to offer.
96. Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate themselves.
Women can also be your worst enemy.
97. I know some who are constantly drunk on books like other men are drunk on whisky.
Will the surplus for books also be a negative aspect?
98. When you hear a man talk about his love for his country, it’s a sign that he expects to be paid for it.
Patriotism disguises itself as self-interest or sectarianism.
99. Democrats are always happy. Democracy is a kind of laughing gas. It may not cure anything, but it certainly stops the pain.
A patch that stops bleeding but does not repair the wound.
100. In short: 1) The cosmos is a giant wheel of fortune that spins 10,000 rounds per minute. 2) The man is a giddy fly that makes a turn on this wheel. 3) Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set in motion to turn it around.
Words that very well define the position of this satirical journalist.