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Eric Hoffer Quotes

23 of the best book quotes from Eric Hoffer
  1. #1
    “Religiofication”—the art of turning practical purposes into holy causes.
  2. #2
    “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
  3. #3
    “The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.”
  4. #4
    “Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out.”
  5. #5
    “A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.”
  6. #6
    “There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us.”
  7. #7
    “When people are ripe for a mass movement, they are usually ripe for any effective movement, and not solely for one with a particular doctrine or program. In pre-Hitlerian Germany it was often a toss up whether a restless youth would join the Communists or the Nazis.”
  1. #8
    “Thus the differences between the conservative and the radical seem to spring mainly from their attitude toward the future. Fear of the future causes us to lean against and cling to the present, while faith in the future renders us receptive to change.”
  2. #9
    “Freedom aggravates at least as much as it alleviates frustration. Freedom of choice places the whole blame of failure on the shoulders of the individual.”
  3. #10
    “In the past, religious movements were the conspicuous vehicles of change. The conservatism of a religion—its orthodoxy—is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap.”
  4. #11
    “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”
  5. #12
    “Mass movement do not usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited. The discrediting is not an automatic result of the blunders and abuses of those in power, but the deliberate work of men of words with a grievance.”
  6. #13
    “Emigration offers some of the things the frustrated hope to find when they join a mass movement, namely, change and a chance for a new beginning.”
  7. #14
    “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.”

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  1. #15
    “We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.”
  2. #16
    “Common hatred unites the most heterogeneous elements. To share a common hatred, with an enemy even, is to infect him with a feeling of kinship, and thus sap his powers of resistance.”
  3. #17
    “Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out.”
  4. #18
    “The breaking up of a village community, a tribe or a nation into autonomous individuals does not eliminate or stifle the spirit of rebellion against the ruling power. An effective division is one that fosters a multiplicity of compact bodies — racial, religious or economic — vying with a suspicious of each other.”
  5. #19
    “The unavoidable conclusion seems to be that when the individual faces torture or annihilation, he cannot rely on the resources of his own individuality. His only source of strength is in not being himself but part of something mighty, glorious, and indestructible.”
  6. #20
    “The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American’s hatred for a fellow Americans (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners.”
  7. #21
    “Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves.”
  8. #22
    “No matter how vital we think the role of leadership in the rise of a mass movement, there is no doubt that the leader cannot create the conditions which make the rise of a movement possible. He cannot conjure a movement out of the void. There has to be an eagerness to follow and obey, and an intense dissatisfaction with things as they are, before movement and leader can make their appearance.”
  9. #23
    “The gifted propagandist brings to a boil ideas and passions already simmering in the minds of its hearers. He echoes their innermost feelings. Where opinion is coerced, people can be made to believe only in what they already “know.” ”
Book Topics › strength
Children's Books About Strength