A Mencken Chrestomathy Themes

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Elitism

Mencken was an elitist of the most explicit sort. However, he did not express a standard form of elitism, where some race, religion or other group was superior to another or even superior to the rest of humanity. Instead, Mencken was an equal opportunity elitist, believing that every community produces idiots and fools. The truly worthy people were extremely few and far between.

Mencken usually preferred social hierarchies and liked best those people at the top (so long as the hierarchies weren't governments). As a result, he had a sort of natural elitism and preferences for aristocracy. Superior individuals were typically mistreated and oppressed by their communities but survived to set themselves apart by sheer will and merit, not race, class, etc. Mencken clearly conceived of himself as a member of this group.

A clear example of Mencken's natural elitism is on display in his writings about the...

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This section contains 748 words
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Buy the A Mencken Chrestomathy Study Guide
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