Eric Hoffer on true believers and false fronts

Ten of my favorites from the always perceptive Eric Hoffer:

“Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for lost faith in ourselves.”

“The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.”

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”

“People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.”

“It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations–past and present–are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.”

“It is the pull of opposite poles that stretches souls. And only stretched souls make music.”

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.”

“A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.”

“The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others.”

“Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength.”

More on Hoffer here.

One thought on “Eric Hoffer on true believers and false fronts

  • January 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm
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    I have enjoyed reading Hoffer’s work. He embodied the working class intellectual, which sadly no longer exists. No matter one’s station in life, cultivating the mind should be paramount.

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