10 Red Pill H.L. Mencken Quotes
H.L. Mencken is one of the boldest truth tellers of the 20th century. Therefore, he is held in high regard at The New Modern Man. Mencken was a German-American journalist who is regarded as one of the most influential writers of modern times.
After reading Huckleberry Finn at age 9, Mencken knew he wanted to become a writer. He first worked in his father’s cigar store, which he disliked, before going on to study journalism by correspondence proving that rubber stamps from Ivy League schools have nothing to do with intellectual brilliance. (As an aside, one of the dumbest people I ever met graduated from Notre Dame once again confirming rubber stamps mean nothing.) Mencken then began working at a series of newspapers before founding and editing The American Mercury, a national publication that became very influential on college campuses of the time, before they became infested with liberalism.
He displayed a remarkable ability to sift through the myths that plague all civilizations and uncover truth. Even though there was no concept of Red Pill back then, Mencken had a better grasp of the concepts of mythbusting and truth telling than almost anyone before, or anyone since. Here are 10 quotes from H.L. Mencken which are just a relevant today as they were then.
1. The first selection is from A Mencken Chrestomathy, a book in which he selected some of his own favorite quotations. He reveals the true function of governments, and how they ultimately cripple men who are strong and self-sufficient.
All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives.
2. From his book Prejudices, Mencken talks about the danger a clear-seeing individual poses to the power structure. This quote helps illustrate why tyrannical governments always try to suppress speech, as the U.S. government is now doing after taking a sharp turn towards authoritarianism at the dawn of the 21st century. Red Pill men, and the manosphere, pose dangers to the power structure which is why can expect to be attacked and marginalized as we try to awake other men to the realities of The Matrix.
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, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
3. As with many thinkers of his time, Mencken saw the slide of the form of government in the U.S. from a Constitutional Republic to a Democracy as a threat to the principles the nation was supposed to be founded on. From Notes on Democracy:
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
4. The next quote is a fantastic insight, illustrating the mentality of who criticize the degenerate culture and the corrupt government in the United States, only to be demonized by the flag-waving, Team ‘Murica useful idiots. It’s not contempt for Anglo America that drives social and political criticism, it is deep concern over the direction the society is taking that motivates the manosphere.
The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.
5. The next quote parallels the wisdom of Albert Einstein: If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough. This concept is a good idea to keep in mind when debating people who try to muddy the waters by claiming a concept is too complex for the average person to understand.
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.
6. We see the next Mencken concept and quote play out quite a lot in modern society. Bertrand Russell called it The Fallacy of the Superior Virtue of the Oppressed. Our species has a tendency to assign moral superiority to those who claim any sort of grievance, especially if it is against the majority. However, Mencken saw right through this façade:
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. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”
7. Mencken saw the real reasons motivating leaders and nations to go to war, and the desire to keep the populace afraid so as to make them malleable to commands from the government hierarchy. His words are prophetic in that they illustrate the machinery today’s military-industrial complex, and the never-ending, increasingly shady and suspicious American War on Terror that resulted after 9/11.
Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; 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, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.
8. In the modern age, education is the buzzword of politicians and the lemmings in the mainstream media but the reality is a degree has become less of a symbol of education and more of a tool of enslavement. The average college graduate walks away with $30,000 in non-banktruptable debt, which helps keep them nice and pliable when under the heel of their future employer. Today’s public education system conforms to the ideals discussed below by Mencken, of creating a dependent nation of sheeple.
The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.
9. And of course, politicians were the same corrupt, often psychopathic lowlifes back then that they are now. Only today they have a lot more power to micromanage our lives as men have been de-balled by 50 years of feminism and social engineering us. Government promises effectively amount to nothing more than robbing from the producers to give to the dependent class.
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
10. Of course, as Puritanism is deeply embedded in Anglo American culture, its influence is such that the belief sexual repression, working to the point of obsession, and abstinence from any sort of pleasure are nobler pursuits than those of other, more libertine cultures. Of this, Mencken wrote:
Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Anglo American Puritanism is an interesting study in and of itself, and still has a massive amount of influence over cultural practices in North America.
Mencken is one of those rare authors who helps illuminate the mind of the Red Pill man to his plight, and the plight of his society. Reading his cynical but honest work also helps alleviate some of the pain felt by the awakened man to know the insanity of our time did not just appear out of the blue; the pathologies of man have been ongoing for a long time. However, they show no signs of being corrected, and indeed have worsened, especially in our modern age when the weaknesses of the herd are treated as strings to be pulled by an elite.
Unfortunately, Menken’s insights also show us intellectual prowess is no promise that reason will ever be heard by the masses or the often psychopathic shepherds that guide them. It is cathartic, however, to write these realizations down in hopes that someday, some shred of this knowledge will be recognized and appreciated by posterity. For that, we give gratitude to men like H.L. Mencken providing philosophical guidance to the truth-seeking individual.
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