What Is True?
November 10, 2002
Edited: December 30, 2008


About H.L. Mencken: Individualist and Libertarian

Essay by Murray N. Rothbard:   H. L. Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian (1)

Selected quotations:

"It is, perhaps, a fact provocative of sour mirth that the Bill of Rights was designed trustfully to prohibit forever two of the favorite crimes of all known governments: the seizure of private property without adequate compensation and the invasion of the citizen's liberty without justifiable cause...."

"The atom bomb, I have long preached, is the greatest invention that Yahweh has made since Leprosy. Certainly it has given great glory to the Christian physicists of this country. Try to imagine a decent cannibal throwing it on a town full of women and children."

"I believe in complete freedom of thought and speech alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society."

Article by Gary Galles with quotations from Mencken:
H.L. Mencken on Liberty and Government (2)

"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."

"Good government is that which delivers the citizen from being done out of his life and property too arbitrarily and violently-one that relieves him sufficiently from the barbaric business of guarding them to enable him to engage in gentler, more dignified, and more agreeable undertakings..."

"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."

Web site by Gibbons Burke: The H. L. Mencken Page - A Mencken Cornucopia - guide to H. L. Mencken resources on the Web (3)

Further Reading and References

1. http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard19.html
LewRockwell.com is a great libertarian web site.

2. http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=1018
Mises.org is the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is full of resources on libertarianism and Austrian economics.

3. http://www.io.com/~gibbonsb/mencken.html

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