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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

Commitment becomes hysterical when those who have nothing to give advocate generosity, and those who have nothing to give up preach renunciation.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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That hatred springs more from self-contempt than from a legitimate grievance is seen in the intimate connection between hatred and a guilty conscience.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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There is a guilty conscience behind every brazen word and act and behind every manifestation of self-righteousness.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The most effective way to silence our guilty conscience is to convince ourselves and others that those we have sinned against are indeed depraved creatures, deserving every punishment, even extermination. We cannot pity those we have wronged, nor can we be indifferent toward them. We must hate and persecute them or else leave the door open to self-contempt.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Propaganda...serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others; and the more reason we have to feel guilty, the more fervent our propaganda.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Unity and self-sacrifice, of themselves, even when fostered by the most noble means, produce a facility for hating. Even when men league themselves mightily together to promote tolerance and peace on earth, they are likely to be violently intolerant toward those not of a like mind.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We do not usually look for allies when we love. Indeed, we often look on those who love with us as rivals and trespassers. But we always look for allies when we hate.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Whence come these hatreds...? They are an expression of a desperate effort to suppress an awareness of our inadequacy, worthlessness, guilt and other shortcomings of the self. Self-contempt is here transmuted into hatred of others- and there is a most determined and persistent effort to mask this switch.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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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 American...is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners...Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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It seems that when we are oppressed by the knowledge of our worthlessness we do not see ourselves as lower than some and higher than others, but as lower than the lowest of mankind. We hate then the whole world, and we would pour our wrath upon the whole of creation.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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We are unified both by hating in common and by being hated in common.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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All prayers and hopes are a reaching-out for coincidences.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must be stripped of his individual identity and distinctness. He must cease to be George, Hans, Ivan or Tadao- a human atom with an existence bounded by birth and death. The most drastic way to achieve this end is by complete assimilation of the individual into a collective body. The fully assimilated individual does not see himself and others as human beings. When asked who he is, his automatic response is that he is a German, a Russian, a Japanese, a Christian, a Moslem, a member of a certain tribe or family. He has no purpose, worth and destiny apart from his collective body; and as long as that body lives he cannot really die.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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What are we when we are alone? Some, when they are alone, cease to exist.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything in to an empty head.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know. One often obtains a clue to a person's nature by discovering the reasons for his or her imperviousness to certain impressions.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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The untalented are more at ease in a society that gives them valid alibis for not achieving than in one where opportunities are abundant. In an affluent society, the alienated who clamor for power are largely untalented people who cannot make use of the unprecedented opportunities for self-realization, and cannot escape the confrontation with an ineffectual self.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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When we leave people on their own, we are delivering them into the hands of a ruthless taskmaster from whose bondage there is no escape. The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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When watching men of power in action it must be always kept in mind that, whether they know it or not, their main purpose is the elimination or neutralization of the independent individual- the independent voter, consumer, worker, owner, thinker- and that every device they employ aims at turning men into a manipulable "animated instrument" which is Aristotle's definition of a slave.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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It is not sheer malice that pricks our ears to evil reports about our fellow men. For there are frequent moments when we feel lower than the lowest of mankind, and this opinion of ourselves isolates us. Hence the rumor that all flesh is base comes almost as a message of hope. It breaks down the wall that has kept us apart, and we feel one with humanity.

Psychological subjects Quotes, by Eric Hoffer

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