MEN VERSUS THE MAN, 100 YEARS ON

The following address was delivered to the HL Mencken Club's annual meeting in Baltimore, October 22, 2010.



by John Derbyshire

Let me do a little scene-setting. It is March of 1910 — just 100 years and change ago. William Howard Taft is in the White House; Edward the Seventh, very nearly Taft's equal in girth, was on the British throne. China's last Emperor was in the Forbidden City, and the Russian Empress was under the spell of Rasputin.

JOE SOBRAN AND THE WAGES OF "RESPECTABILITY"


Self-christened advocates of cultural harmony, equality, justice, and ideological soundness have long insisted that in order to prove oneself truly tolerant one must "NEVER tolerate INtolerance."

Of course, this notion of redefining a concept as its very opposite is purposely obfuscatory. What it means, laid bare, is, "WE, your betters, decide which positions are tolerable, and which are beyond the pale. If you offend our sensibilities, we will come down on you hard. So watch your step, little man, because WE call the shots, not you."