The HL Mencken Black Flag Quote:
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” -HL Mencken on Hoisting the Black Flag
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I think this HL Mencken black flag quote is important for conservatives to read for two reasons.
The first reason is that it shows that the whole concept of “toxic masculinity” is false. The ideologues on the left keep pitching it because it helps them win the radical feminist vote. Yet it has no substance. Yes, men get any and do bad things at times. Everyone does. But that’s normal. As Mencken says in the quote, all normal men want to break away from society and begin doing that every so often. It’s just how men naturally are. Masculinity isn’t toxic, its good and natural.
I also think that this quote is important because it shows how much opinions of violence have changed. Nowadays, anyone who said this would be accused of “inciting violence”. Yet, of course, the groups like Antifa that do actually incite and cause violence are never punished. People were accused of inciting violence that just for disagreeing with Talib or AOC. Just imagine what would happen if they said something like this HL Mencken Black Flag quote. Yet when Mencken said it not too long ago, it was perfectly acceptable and everyone understood what he meant. He wasn’t saying people should turn to murder and piracy when they’re furious. He was just saying that they want to and that’s normal.
Hopefully, society can regain the ability to make that distinction. So don’t actually be violent. Just know that when you get angry and want to be, that’s normal, as said in this HL Mencken Black Flag quote. Pretend to hoist the black flag and do your thing. Society now thinks that even having those feelings is evil. That is untrue. It is perfectly normal, and in fact a good and American thing to feel.
When our Founding Fathers were fighting the struggle for power that was the Revolutionary War, many American patriots became privateers and pillaged British supply ships. They hoisted the black flag and went to work. Without them, winning the war would probably not have been possible. But, because they were willing to act on their anger and temporarily become outlaws, America won the war and its independence.
Similarly, in a passage of Atlas Shrugged that relates to this HL Mencken black flag quote, pirate Ragnar Danneskjold discusses why he decided to hoist the black flag and wage war on the socialists while an outlaw:
Ragnar Danneskjold: “Would you rather I were a law-abiding citizen, Mr. Rearden? If so, which law should I abide by? Directive 10-289?” … “Look more carefully, Mr. Rearden. There are only two modes of living left to us today: to be a looter who robs disarmed victims or to be a victim who works for the benefit of his own despoilers. I did not choose to be either.”
Hank Rearden: “You chose to live by means of force, like the rest of them.”
Ragnar Danneskjold: “Yes — openly. Honestly, if you will. I do not rob men who are tied and gagged, I do not demand that my victims help me, I do not tell them that I am acting for their own good. I stake my life in every encounter with men, and they have a chance to match their guns and their brains against mine in fair battle. Fair? It’s I against the organized strength, the guns, the planes, the battleships of five continents. If it’s a moral judgment that you wish to pronounce, Mr. Rearden, then who is the man of higher morality: I or Wesley Mouch?”
Hank Rearden:”I have no answer to give you,” said Rearden, his voice low.
Ragnar Danneskjold: “Why should you be shocked, Mr. Rearden? I am merely complying with the system which my fellow men have established. If they believe that force is the proper means to deal with one another, I am giving them what they ask for. If they believe that the purpose of my life is to serve them, let them try to enforce their creed. If they believe that my mind is their property — let them come and get it.”
I know that is a bit longer passage than is usual to use, but I think it gets to the heart of the issue described in the HL Mencken black flag quote. Normal men, or at least true Americans, do not like living under the system of arbitrary laws and federal diktats that our system has become. Whereas we used to be free men, now we are subjects that the government steals from to pay for its ridiculous schemes. It is like the government in the original Robin Hood myth.
So, what is the solution? Well, it would be hard to be like Ragnar Danneskjold. Being a pirate is a bit unrealistic. But, still, it is natural to feel those urges, the urges described in this HL Mencken black flag quote.
While you cannot really act directly on them, you can channel them into something more productive. Start standing up for yourself. Start waging war on unconstitutional and tyrannical government mandates and programs. Use your anger to change the world that exists into the world that you want to exist. Read this HL Mencken black flag quote and use it. Although you cannot really hoist the black flag, you can realize that your anger is natural.
By: Gen Z Conservative
Image at top from: AZ Quotes