Three Cheers for the H.L. Mencken Club

Benjamin Villaroel, American Renaissance, September 19, 2014

The H.L. Mencken Club (HLMC), which has established itself as a haven for serious dissent from the Right, will be holding its seventh annual meeting in Baltimore, from October 31 to November 2.

In his opening address at the H.L. Mencken Club’s first gathering, Paul Gottfried outlined the purpose of the group:

If the H.L. Mencken Club can achieve that for which it has been formed, it should have an eventful and–for those who disagree with us–profoundly disruptive future. We are part of an attempt to put together an independent intellectual Right, one that exists without movement establishment funding and one that our opponents would be delighted not to have to deal with. Our group is also full of young thinkers and activists, and if there is to be an independent Right, our group will have to become its leaders.

And, indeed, there is much to be said of the HLMC’s impact on the unauthorized right since its inception in 2008. For example, the number of people associated with the club who have been purged from the ranks of the Respectable Right is an honor roll of real conservatism–and a sign they are doing something right:

The list above is hardly comprehensive (see also: William Regnery, Jack Hunter, Peter Brimelow, etc.), but it shows the stubborn fearlessness of the HLMC. And for those of us inclined to believe that a genuine counter-establishment will rise from the castaways of today’s cognitive/managerial elite, the HLMC appears as a kind of vanguard.

This “vanguard” is not the product of wishful thinking. Richard Spencer, the perennial master of ceremonies, has gone far since he helped put together the first gathering in 2008. At the time he was the managing editor of Takimag, a delightfully reactionary site, but soon moved on to found his own, more radical, site, Alternative Right. Today, he runs Radix Journal and is president of the National Policy Institute.

F. Roger Devlin is another luminary who has attended every HLMC gathering–and gave a spectacular speech at the 2011 gathering. Dr. Devlin is perhaps best role model there is for independent scholars on the right. His writings can be found on nearly every website the mainstream fears: American Renaissance, Counter-Currents, The Occidental Quarterly, and Vdare, among others. His regular writings over the last several years have influenced more than one member of the rising, “Dark Enlightenment.”

The HLMC has also served as a platform for promoters of Human Biodiversity, and not only its more prominent bloggers like Steve Sailer and John Derbyshire, but also their more academic counterparts, such as Byron Roth, Michael Hart, and Henry Harpending. While the Establishment Right’s interest in science consists almost solely in denying climate change, the HLMC considers areas of study that will become steadily more important given current demographic trends: IQ, evolution, and behavior genetics.

Remembering Prof. Gottfried’s remarks of six years ago, although there is still a strong, yet tepid, conservative establishment, the HLMC calmly smashes its PC strictures. As I sat in the audience last year, I thought perhaps the conference could be summarized with one line from Milton’s Paradise Lost. When the fallen angels have been sent to Hell after losing their power struggle in Heaven, they debate their next move. Moloch calls for a renewed rebellion, “Which if not Victory is yet Revenge.”

Registration is now open for what is sure to be a first-rate conference.

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  • LHathaway

    Can you give an article a positive vote? If so, consider this is an upvote.

    • Oil Can Harry

      If an audience member should criticize a Mencken Club speaker for advocating race realism the speaker would have a simple reply:

      “Take a stroll outside the Club’s Baltimore location and then come back and tell us the races are all the same under the skin.”

      • 1stworlder

        Please tell me that its not somewhere with black tranny pro sty toots walking around outside, but that covers a lot of Baltimore

    • Glen

      “Can you give an article a positive vote?” – LHathaway

      Share it on Facebook or Twitter.

      My question is, does the HLM Club have a branch out west or is it limited to the east coast?

  • Mack0

    I am eternally grateful to these men for displaying such bravery in the face of insurmountable opposition. I’ve only recently become aware of the movement and as Mr. Taylor would say, “its good to be back among the living”.

    • Publius Pompilius Quietus

      As Enoch Powell said in his monuments speech, “I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else.” The same is true for these men, I suspect.

      • Mack0

        After the birth of my child, I felt a deep stirring within myself and I could no longer shrug my shoulders and think about something else. The future of my child is the future of us all. I assumed the responsibility for my people the day she was born.

        • Paleoconn

          Our debt to our forefathers will be paid to our children. And it should be with interest. When we are gathered unto our fathers after we leave this vale of tears, we need to do so looking them in the eye knowing we acquitted ourselves well.

        • B.A_2014

          My brother was the same. He was a dope smoker (as once was I) with nothing going for himself. Since he had a daughter, he stopped the drugs, got a job in a museum and for some reason (stats and his big brothers advice) he hates the planters (notice I said planters, not immigrants because that is what they are).

  • JohnEngelman

    H. L. Mencken’s sense of humor consisted of laughing at people who were less intelligent than he was, and encouraging his readers to laugh too. During the 1920’s the targets of Mencken’s wit were usually rich, powerful, and full of their importance. It was possible for decent people to join in the laughter.

    During the Great Depression his aim shifted to unemployed factory workers, farmers who had lost their farms, and humanitarians who thought the government should help the first two groups. Mencken’s laughter continued at the usual volume, but decent people were no longer able to join in on the fun.

    I appreciate Mencken as a writer. I do not respect him as a thinker. I do not like him as a person.

    • propagandaoftruth

      I loved Mencken even when I was a libtard stooge mouthpiece. Brutally funny because brutally true.

      In my book he approaches the Buddha in terms of brutal Truth telling, and how can you not love that?

      For me, “dark enlightenment” has been a quasi-religious experience, a soul renewing sort of journey. Very painful, profoundly disturbing…

      But once it all sunk in I’ve never felt better in my life. I’m always mildly angry and it feels great. I laugh at everything. I hate with delight and pure gusto.

      When all morality has been inverted by a sick, totalitarian polity, I will passionately serve the “dark side” and rejoice in Valhalla!

      Dark Enlightenment. Good stuff, man, ha ha…

      • Robert Binion

        Which ancient said “the gods laugh when a child dies”? I know that Mr. Taylor abhors the negativity but I, too, am learning to hate. Those whom I merely tolerated in the past are now detested. I laugh at their midnight shuffleboard and “Daily Show” President and know that the only honorable advertising is that found on the right field wall.

        • propagandaoftruth

          Yeah, it’s…

          Natural. I mean, a huge part of our collective experience is indeed all about going “against nature” so to speak. Civilization is rather unnatural if one sees Man as unnatural.

          What? How can Man, a product of Nature itself, be unnatural? How can a creation of Nature create anything that is itself unnatural?

          Regardless, what our enemies call “hatred” I call discretion. What I feel when our enemies use the language to hurt us and advance their genocidal ideology…

          Is HATRED.

          And I’m OK with that, you know?

      • Michael Robert Ryan

        One of my favorite quotes is from George Orwell’s _1984_, where Winston Smith says “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.” That quote becomes more pertinent with each passing year: it’s sick out there, and getting sicker.

        • The Worlds Scapegoat

          I believe Winston was referring to the phoney virtue, purity, and goodness.


          • propagandaoftruth

            Messianic Democratic Totalitarianism.

            Very phoney. Devoid of Truth.

          • Michael Robert Ryan

            And that’s exactly what I’m referring to. Just like Winston Smith, we live in a society where “all morality has been inverted by a sick, totalitarian polity,” as propagandaoftruth so succinctly put it.

        • Rhialto

          If Winston Smith had to spend 1 year in the real 2014 UK, he would become an enthusiastic supporter of Big Brother: Much better Big Brother than David Cameron.

      • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

        I’m a Mencken fan as well. He described the South as “The Sahara of the Bozart”, and described the South as beginning below the Potomac River. That was also a different era. Baltimore was prosperous, safe, and clean back then. So was Philly. Both cities had few Blacks then, and Baltimore Blacks were segregated Southern style. I think that the rural settlements of shiftless Negroes he saw in rural Tidewater Virginia, and the contrast of these to Baltimore, and the clean, vital, all White towns of PA and Northern Maryland painted a vivid picture for Mencken. He would be horrified at what Negroes have done to his Baltimore. Mencken loved his Baltimore, a city of Northern vitality mixed with Southern charm. His Baltimore was a racial realist city where Blacks knew their place.

    • I too have read from others that Mencken did not have the most congenial nature and could be quite cruel at times in whom he criticized. Maybe so.

      But the times that we live in which features so many that engage in ‘pretty talk,’ endless niceties, and overly-qualified statements that never drive home what one really wants to say, H.L. Mencken is a breath of fresh air.

      The world is crumbling around us, our nation is imploding before our eyes, and there are concerted efforts to eradicate the numbers and influence of whites in the West – and yet so many of us are overly worried about the rough husk of how some whites communicate.

      Whites should be more bold, more direct, and perhaps more ‘offensive’ in their speech. We should worry less about how we might ‘offend’ others and just speak the raw truth. Yes, I understand the need for diplomacy and tact, but how far has that gotten us?

      Let’s be honest here: Sometimes we can be so ‘proper’ and ‘polite’ that we never get our message across. But people will listen to a man who is not only informed, but who has a burning message delivered in a clear and bold manner.

      Whites, perhaps more than any other time, need more of these types today.

      • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

        Mencken was an old generation Baltimorean. When passionate or purposeful, he communicated in the direct fashion of Philly and NYC. Baltimore is where, in the old days, the Northeast met and blended with the genteel South. Old time Baltimoreans showed their Southern side when relaxing. When serious, an East Coast edge came out, a Rudy Giuliani style directness.

    • Adolf Verloc

      Mr. Engelman, you have a point. I think that during the 30s, HLM became more and more of a right-wing Republican, which was far from where he started out. Still, I think that he contributed enormously to 20th century American letters.

    • Tully

      I’ll take Chesterton or Lewis over Mencken. he wasn’t a nice person, just another sarcastic, Christian bashing atheist who didn’t like working class whites. He would have fit right in with modern day white bashers like Zuckerberg and Obama.

      • none of your business

        I was only in high school when I read the Mencken book in my parents library. All I remember is that he hated Christians of any type but especially the old testament protestants and me and my family because we were lower middle class Whites.
        Who did he like anyway other than wealthy intellectuals of German descent?

    • none of your business

      John is sooooo right. My parents had a book of his essays, columns and articles. I read it in high school. He really despised the average American of anglo saxon scots Irish , especially if they were southerners. He used every insulting term such s cracker etc. He was especially insulting about those old testament protestant churches so prevalent in the south.
      The only ethnic group in America he respected was the Germans and guess what, he was German.

      • hoepper

        I have to agree with your assessment of his thinking that non-Germans could benefit from the German ways. It is a very German trait. Considering that the Anglo-Saxons were Germans who could not quite cut it in Germany and that all the Germanic tribes that settled South of the Alps had become soft and lost much of their German characteristics, it is not surprising that Mencken held such views about other Europeans and, given the state of the world in his time, it is not surprising that he thought of other races even less. And in those days holding such opinions was not yet considered a crime. But that does not change Mencken’s remarkable ability to put his observations into very concise and fitting phrases.

    • Paleoconn

      Plus he was an anti-Semite right?

      • JohnEngelman

        I did not encounter that in his writings. If he felt hostility toward Jews, it was not a major part of his thinking, and not part he wished to promote.

        His writing is usually derisive, so it is difficult to know what sort of person he admired.

        Ayn Rand wrote him a fulsome letter, claiming that she would devote her life to promoting his philosophy, and so on. If Mencken was aware of Ayn Rand he would not have taken her seriously as an artist, or a philosopher. He did not share Rand’s admiration of businessmen, although he was certainly not a socialist.

        Mencken had no philosophy. He was not a systematic thinker. He only had attitudes. He called himself “a Tory in politics.” In a letter to The New Republic he said he occupied “an interior sub class of capitalism.”

        Mencken despised the pretensions of uncultivated self made businessmen. If he had an ideal type, it was a well educated, cultured and leisured man whose family had been rich for at least a few generations, and who devoted his life to the patronage of the arts.

        Mencken voted for Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Roosevelt did not care about the unemployed. For him the major issue in 1932 was the legalization of alcohol. During the campaign of 1932 Roosevelt promised to repeal Prohibition. Mencken only turned against Roosevelt when Roosevelt raised his taxes.

        Mencken admired antebellum Southern plantation owners, and only despised the South that emerged from the Civil War. He once wrote that Negroes were biologically superior to poor Southern whites, because Negroes had slave owners as ancestors, and the poor Southern whites did not.

      • curri

        His reputation took a nose dive after his diaries (which contained some anti-Semitic (?) passages) were published. The Mencken room at the National Press Club was airbrushed from history-the NPC now denies that there ever was such a room. Also, a formerly prestigious award for journalists named after Mencken was discontinued with no notice whatsoever in the mid or late 1990s. Reading (mostly) between the lines, Google searches for the award seem to indicate that it was getting hard to get journalists to accept It or even be willing to be nominated for it.

  • MekongDelta69

    All these people mentioned in the article are going to be there? If so, that’s going to be one heck of a good conference.

    (Unless I missed it, I don’t see Jared Taylor‘s name there.)

  • Adolf Verloc

    Wonderful news! Mencken was one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. His essays have lost none of their pungency after almost 100 years.

  • Mixed feelings about any event which might further popularize Mencken. Although he was quite a genius, when his name gets bandied about too much we always get hit pieces in the MSM reminding all right-thinking people to shun him because of a few choice phrases he uttered regarding the Chosen Ones.

    • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

      The old Baltimore was heavily Jewish, similar to NYC and Philly. Baltimore Jews, though, did not tend to the Don Rickles style, New Yawk Negro worship. Baltimore Jews tended to be segregationists who preferred that Negroes knew their place. Robert Weissberg would have appreciated Jewish Baltimore prior to the sixties immensely. Baltimore Jews were Southerners when it came to Negroes.

  • Bantu_Education

    I don’t know much about him but I love his quotes that ridicule democracy – “an irrational belief in the wisdom of collective ignorance”. Nobody could put it better than that.

  • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

    Good idea. Another city the Negroes have destroyed. In the old days, Baltimore was delightful. It had the European ethnic neighborhoods of a Northern city along with some of the charm of Dixie. Blacks were few, and were segregated Southern style, knowing their place.

    • Mack0

      Real cultural diversity was replaced by blight. Very sad.

    • 1stworlder

      How long ago was it nice?

      • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

        Southeast Baltimore had a Polish and German neighborhood, Highlandtown, that was actually still a Polish neighborhood in the eighties. There was a German restaurant there named Haussner’s. The restaurant closed in the nineties, as the neighborhood changed. From what I hear, the neighborhood is now Hispanic.

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    Who has time for conferences?

    According to the Christards and Churchians, white men should stay home and make babies.

  • MBlanc46

    “There are other ways of dealing with their ilk.”

    I certainly hope that you are correct.

  • none of your business

    ” Klansmen who hated Bantus, would lynch some of ”
    Only if they murdered or raped a White.

  • none of your business

    I’ve only been in Baltimore once while visiting an aunt and uncle who lived in Maryland. We drove through a neighborhood full of stoop monkeys. Some neighborhoods have porch monkeys, Los Angeles has bus bench and 7-11 parking lot monkeys, and Baltimore has stoop monkeys.

    • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

      It does now. Baltimore is another city they destroyed. In Mencken’s day, Blacks were few in number in Baltimore, were segregated, and expected to know their place. Baltimore had beautiful Polish, German, Italian, Greek, and Jewish neighborhoods. Blacks waxed floors, cleaned toilets, and shined shoes. They addressed Whites with “yessah” or “yassam”, and knew better than to bully Whites. All of this is now no more than a distant memory. Baltimore today resembles Detroit.

  • propagandaoftruth

    I hate Eric Holder more than anybody in that administration. He called me a coward. I think he’s the coward. He hides behind walls and laws and BS.

    I challenge him to a fight. Just me and him, like in school. We can do boxing, or mixed martial arts, or good old pankration – no below the belt, no eye gouging, you know?

    But we both know he’s a sniveling upjumped affirmative action farce and I’d kick his high yellow posterior from here to next Tuesday as surely as he’d call the black panthers on me after hunkering in his little bunker at the halls of justice, you know?

    I really hate that guy.

  • I live in Africa. We are in the process of being eradicated by the brethren to whom we in our infinite stupidity gave the vote. Please try to make our plight public knowledge, genocide is taking place as we speak. 47 murders per day in South Africa and of the white population white farmers are taking the brunt of these attacks. More than 10 dead per month and not reported on by our very racist and black corrupt government. Africa is a pit but it is our pit and we want to keep it, 20 years ago this country was a paradise, help us save it.

    • OHDeutscheKlezmerRebel

      How can racial realist White Americans help you guys? I’m certainly aware of The Boer Genocide. How can we help from America? I feel beyond sick when I read about what the Negroes are doing to White South Africans.

      • That sir is a difficult question to answer but by simply wanting to help you are helping. What is needed is for the media to haul their heads out of their asses and report on the reality. Every nation was super quick to love the ground Mandela walked on but failed to follow up on the story and see the mess that hero with feet of clay actually made. Africans by their very nature are incapable of running a democracy as is obvious when one looks at the rest of this continent. Rape greed and corruption are the staple of all black men not just the leaders.