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371 Society Quotes

The rule seems to be that those who find no difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others. They are easily persuaded and led.

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We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

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

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In human affairs, the best stimulus for running ahead is to have something we must run from.

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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.This minding of other people's business expresses itself in gossip, snooping and meddling, and also in feverish interest in communal, national and racial affairs. In running away from ourselves we either fall on our neighbor's shoulder or fly at his throat.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

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When our individual interests and prospects do not seem worth living for, we are in desperate need for something apart from us to live for. All forms of dedication, devotion, loyalty and self-surrender are in essence a desperate clinging to something which might give worth and meaning to our futile, spoiled lives.

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We run fastest and farthest when we run from ourselves.

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The revulsion from an unwanted self, and the impulse to forget it, mask it, slough it off and lose it, produce both a readiness to sacrifice the self and a willingness to dissolve it by losing one's individual distinctness in a compact collective whole.

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To our real, naked selves there is not a thing on earth or in heaven worth dying for. It is only when we see ourselves as actors in a staged (and therefore unreal) performance that death loses its frightfulness and finality and becomes an act of make-believe and a theatrical gesture. It is one of the main tasks of a real leader to mask the grim reality of dying and killing by evoking in his followers the illusion that they are participating in a grandiose spectacle, a solemn or lighthearted dramatic performance.

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Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience.

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Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.

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How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization.

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

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The truth seems to be that propaganda on its own cannot force its way into unwilling minds; neither can it inculcate something wholly new; nor can it keep people persuaded once they have ceased to believe. It penetrates into minds already open, and rather than instill opinion it articulates and justifies opinions already present in the minds of its recipients.

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Proselytizing is more a passionate search for something not yet found than a desire to bestow upon the world something we already have. It is a search for a final and irrefutable demonstration that our absolute truth is indeed the one and only truth. The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others.

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Religion is not a matter of God, church, holy cause, etc. These are but accessories. The source of religious preoccupation is in the self, or rather the rejection of the self. Dedication is the obverse side of self-rejection. Man alone is a religious animal because, as Montaigne points out, "it is a malady confined to man, and not seen in any other creature, to hate and despise ourselves.".

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To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats- we know it not.

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The desire to be different from the people we live with is sometimes the result of our rejection- real or imagined- by them.

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It is not at all simple to understand the simple.

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Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.

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...in the shaping of a life, chance and the ability to respond to chance are everything.

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A society that refuses to strive for superfluities is likely to end up lacking in necessities.

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The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.

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Words have ruined more souls than any devil's agency.

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Spiritual stagnation ensues when man's environment becomes unpredictable or when his inner life is made wholly predictable.

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