H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken Quotes and Sayings

H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong. ~H. L. Mencken

Never let your inferiors do you a favor - it will be extremely costly. ~H. L. Mencken

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

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking. ~H. L. Mencken

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~H. L. Mencken

We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine. ~H. L. Mencken

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

For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe... Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end. ~H. L. Mencken

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. ~H. L. Mencken

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

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. ~H. L. Mencken

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf. ~H. L. Mencken

A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it. ~H. L. Mencken

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood. ~H. L. Mencken

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. ~H. L. Mencken

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it. ~H. L. Mencken

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

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. ~H. L. Mencken

The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal. ~H. L. Mencken

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers. ~H. L. Mencken

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. ~H. L. Mencken

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

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time. ~H. L. Mencken

The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught. ~H. L. Mencken

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