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quotations The Best H. L. Mencken Quotes  

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A list of the best H. L. Mencken quotes. This list is arranged by which famous H. L. Mencken quotes have received the most votes, so only the greatest H. L. Mencken quotes are at the top of the list. All the most popular quotes from H. L. Mencken should be listed here, but if any were missed you can add more at the end of the list. This list includes notable H. L. Mencken quotes on various subjects, many of which are inspirational and thought provoking.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best H. L. Mencken quotes?" and "What is the most famous H. L. Mencken quote?"

You can see what subjects these historic H. L. Mencken quotes fall under displayed to the right of the quote. Be sure to vote so your favorite H. L. Mencken saying won't fall to the bottom of the list.

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A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar. H. L. Mencken

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The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it. H. L. Mencken

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Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks it is seldom necessary to assume. H. L. Mencken

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It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man. H. L. Mencken

5
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The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake. H. L. Mencken

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

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Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. H. L. Mencken

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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

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Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. H. L. Mencken

11
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Injustice is relatively easy to bear what stings is justice. H. L. Mencken

12
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The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and Hence Clamorous To Be Led To Safety by an endless series of hobgoblins. H. L. Mencken

13
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What men value in this world is not rights but privileges. H. L. Mencken

14
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It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. H. L. Mencken

15
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It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake. H. L. Mencken

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Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages. H. L. Mencken

17
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Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. H. L. Mencken

18
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Legend : a lie that has attained the dignity of age. H. L. Mencken

19
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I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone. H. L. Mencken

20
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Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. H. L. Mencken

21
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No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. H. L. Mencken

22
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Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. H. L. Mencken

23
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The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor. H. L. Mencken

24
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Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it. H. L. Mencken

25
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A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable. H. L. Mencken

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Most people want security in this world, not liberty. H. L. Mencken

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The average man does not get pleasure out of an idea because he thinks it is true; he thinks it is true because he gets pleasure out of it. H. L. Mencken

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Unionism, seldom if ever, uses such powers as it has to ensure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguard bad work. H. L. Mencken

29
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School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn't take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not. H. L. Mencken

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30
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The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line. H. L. Mencken

31
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The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence. H. L. Mencken

32
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Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken

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Have you ever watched a crab on the shore crawling backward in search of the Atlantic Ocean, and missing? That's the way the mind of man operates. H. L. Mencken

34
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It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money. H. L. Mencken

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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

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Time stays, we go. H. L. Mencken

37
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The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated. H. L. Mencken

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A judge is a law student who grades his own papers. H. L. Mencken

39
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A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. H. L. Mencken

40
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It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. H. L. Mencken

41
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An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing. H. L. Mencken

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When women kiss it always reminds one of prize-fighters shaking hands. H. L. Mencken

43
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Don't overestimate the decency of the human race. H. L. Mencken

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To sum up: 1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10, 000 revolutions a minute. 2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride. H. L. Mencken

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

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The movies today are too rich to have any room for genuine artists. They produce a few passable craftsmen, but no artists. Can you imagine a Beethoven making $100, 000 a year? H. L. Mencken

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A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know. H. L. Mencken

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The most valuable of all human possessions, next to a superior and disdainful air, is the reputation of being well-to-do. H. L. Mencken

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Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses. H. L. Mencken

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It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. H. L. Mencken