Mencken on the J's

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Early on, H. L. Mencken had a good grasp of the J. striving for hegemony. He saw that in Europe their assertiveness would dilute and then effectively supplant the old elites, making aristocracy in the traditional sense impossible.

In his introduction to the English-translation of Friedrich Nietzsche's The Antichrist:

"On the Continent, the day is saved by the fact that the plutocracy tends to become more and more Jewish. Here the intellectual cynicism of the Jew almost counterbalances his social unpleasantness. If he is destined to lead the plutocracy of the world out of Little Bethel he will fail, of course, to turn it into an aristocracy – i.e., a caste of gentlemen –, but he will at least make it clever, and hence worthy of consideration. The case against the Jews is long and damning; it would justify ten thousand times as many pogroms as now go on in the world.[sic]."

Nevertheless, Mencken had a favorable attitude toward the "Judaized" plutocracy as compared to the "Christianized" democrats and proletarians, whom he held in bitter contempt:

"But whenever you find a Davidsbündlerschaft making practise against the Philistines, there you will find a Jew laying on. Maybe it was this fact that caused Nietzsche to speak up for the children of Israel quite as often as he spoke against them. He was not blind to their faults, but when he set them beside Christians he could not deny their general superiority. Perhaps in America and England, as on the Continent, the increasing Jewishness of the plutocracy, while cutting it off from all chance of ever developing into an aristocracy, will yet lift it to such a dignity that it will at least deserve a certain grudging respect."

Although Mencken idealized German culture and may have inherited racial and antisemitic attitudes common in late 19th-century Germany, he came to view Adolf Hitler as a buffoon, and once compared him to a common Ku Klux Klan member.

In Treatise on the Gods (1930), Mencken wrote:

"The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered, they lack many of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom. Their fortitude, such as it is, is wasted upon puerile objects, and their charity is mainly a form of display."


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