41 Best Eric Hoffer Quotes

41 Best Eric Hoffer Quotes

by / Comments Off / 46 View / Dec 15, 2014

Eric Hoffer was a social philosopher from New York City, New York. He wrote many books and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. His most recognized book is The True Believer. He died at the age of 80 in 1983.

“A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual’s sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman’s sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of
leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.”

“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.”

“Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.”

“Free men are aware of the imperfection inherent in human affairs, and they are willing to fight and die for that which is not perfect.”

“God alone is satisfied with what He is and can proclaim: “I am what I am.” Unlike God, man strives with all his might to be what he is not. He incessantly proclaims: “I am what I am not.”

“If anybody asks me what I have accomplished, I will say all I have accomplished is that I have written a few good sentences.”

“It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power — power to oppress others.”

“It is easier to hate an enemy with much good in him than one who is all bad. We cannot hate those we despise.”

“It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.”

“It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs.”

“It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.”

“It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.”

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”

“Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”

“My writing is done in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fields while waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Towns are too distracting.”

“Our great weariness comes from work not done.”

“Our passionate preoccupation with the sky, the stars, and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing impulse. We are drawn back to where we came from.”

“Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.”

“Rabid suspicion has nothing in it of skepticism. The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.”

“Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others.”

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

“Take away hatred from some people, and you have men without faith.”

“The fear of becoming a “has been” keeps some people from becoming anything.”

“The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”

“The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.”

“The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out,
measure us against others and expose our inferiority.”

“The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility.”

“The weak are not a noble breed. Their sublime deeds of faith, daring, and self-sacrifice usually spring from questionable motives. The weak hate not wickedness but weakness; and one
instance of their hatred of weakness is hatred of self.”

“The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.”

“There can be no freedom without freedom to fail.”

“They who clamor loudest for freedom are often the ones least likely to be happy in a free society.”

“Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity.”

“To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.”

“True loyalty between individuals is possible only in a loose and relatively free society.”

“Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.”

“We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength.”

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.”

“What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.”

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

“Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority.”

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”