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 Eric Hoffer Quotes
268 Famous Quotes by Eric Hoffer
7/25/1902 - 5/21/1983
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About Eric Hoffer

It is a talent of the weak to persuade themselves that they suffer for something when they suffer from something; that they are showing the way when they are running away; that they see the light when they feel the heat; that they are chosen when they are shunned.

Weakness Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness.

Age Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Thought is a process of exaggeration. The refusal to exaggerate is not infrequently an alibi for the disinclination to think or praise.

Exaggeration Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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It is the awareness of unfulfilled desires which gives a nation the feeling that it has a mission and a destiny.

Frustration Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!

Genocide Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The individual's most vital need is to prove his worth, and this usually means an insatiable hunger for action. For it is only the few who can acquire a sense of worth by developing and employing their capacities and talents. The majority prove their worth by keeping busy.

Needs Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.

Obvious Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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

Opposites Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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There is apparently no surer way of turning a thing into its opposite than by exaggerating it

Opposites Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders.

Persuasion Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.

Salvation Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We have perhaps a natural fear of ends. We would rather be always on the way than arrive. Given the means, we hang on to them and often forget the ends.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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...when we renounce the self and become part of a compact whole, we not only renounce personal advantage but are also rid of personal responsibility. There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgement. When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts which are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses. Both the strong and the weak grasp at this alibi. The latter hide their malevolence under the virtue of obedience: they acted dishonorably because they had to obey orders. The strong, too, claim absolution by proclaiming themselves the chosen instrument of a higher power- God, history, fate, nation or humanity.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We clamor for equality chiefly in matters in which we ourselves cannot hope to attain excellence. To discover what a man truly craves but knows he cannot have we must find the field in which he advocates absolute equality. By this test Communists are frustrated Capitalists.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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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. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it is a good world and would like to preserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change. The tendency to look for all causes outside ourselves persists even when it is clear that our state of being is the product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health and so on.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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...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.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom.".

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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People unfit for freedom - who cannot do much with it - are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have not" type of self.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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It is maintained that a society is free only when dissenting minorities have room to throw their weight around. As a matter of fact, a dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To some, freedom means the opportunity to do what they want to do; to most it means not to do what they do not want to do. It is perhaps true that those who can grow will feel free under any condition.

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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

Politics / government Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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