Best quotes by the American Writer Eric Hoffer

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Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. ERIC HOFFER

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER

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

Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. ERIC HOFFER



You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. ERIC HOFFER
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Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. ERIC HOFFER

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves. ERIC HOFFER

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are. ERIC HOFFER

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail. ERIC HOFFER

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

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

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. ERIC HOFFER

It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak. ERIC HOFFER

It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents. ERIC HOFFER

We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams. ERIC HOFFER

Where everything is possible miracles become commonplaces, but the familiar ceases to be self-evident. ERIC HOFFER

Many of the insights of the saint stem from their experience as sinners. ERIC HOFFER
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How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty. ERIC HOFFER

The beginning of thought is in disagreement -- not only with others but also with ourselves. ERIC HOFFER

There is always a chance that he who sets himself up as his brother's keeper will end up by being his jail-keeper. ERIC HOFFER

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. ERIC HOFFER

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle. ERIC HOFFER

An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. ERIC HOFFER

The real antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity. ERIC HOFFER

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. ERIC HOFFER

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER

Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart. ERIC HOFFER

Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible. ERIC HOFFER

Facts are counterrevolutionary. ERIC HOFFER

We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and contagious. ERIC HOFFER


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Eric Hoffer's Quotes About

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Eric Hoffer power quotes

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Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart. ERIC HOFFER

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of their inadequacy and impotence. They hate not wickedness but weakness. When it is in their power to do so, the weak destroy weakness wherever they see it. ERIC HOFFER
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Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart. For we can win a man's heart one day and lose it the next. But when we break a proud spirit we achieve something that is final and absolute. ERIC HOFFER
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Freedom means freedom from forces and circumstances which would turn man into a thing, which would impose on man the passivity and predictability of matter. By this test, absolute power is the manifestation most inimical to human uniqueness. Absolute power wants to turn people into malleable clay. ERIC HOFFER
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To the excessively fearful the chief characteristic of power is its arbitrariness. Man had to gain enormously in confidence before he could conceive an all-powerful God who obeys his own laws. ERIC HOFFER
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The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future. ERIC HOFFER
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Eric Hoffer prejudice quotes

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We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about. ERIC HOFFER

Sometimes we feel the loss of a prejudice as a loss of vigor. ERIC HOFFER

That which corrodes the souls of the persecuted is the monstrous inner agreement with the prevailing prejudice against them. ERIC HOFFER

When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths. ERIC HOFFER

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Eric Hoffer people quotes

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There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people - we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size. ERIC HOFFER

When people are bored it is primarily with themselves. ERIC HOFFER
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It is the around-the-corner brand of hope that prompts people to action, while the distant hope acts as an opiate. ERIC HOFFER

It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt. ERIC HOFFER

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Eric Hoffer change quotes

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In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are. ERIC HOFFER

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER

The well adjusted make poor prophets. A pleasant existence blinds us to the possibilities of drastic change. We cling to what we call our common sense, our practical point of view. Actually, these are names for an all-absorbing familiarity with things as they are.... Thus it happens that when the times become unhinged, it is the practical people who are caught unaware...still clinging to things that no longer exist. ERIC HOFFER

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Eric Hoffer age quotes

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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. ERIC HOFFER
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Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world. ERIC HOFFER
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To grow old is to grow common. Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world. ERIC HOFFER
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It is the malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn. ERIC HOFFER

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More quotes by Eric Hoffer

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Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors; they can be smelled. ERIC HOFFER

There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other. ERIC HOFFER

It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities. ERIC HOFFER

The passion to get ahead is sometimes born of the fear lest we be left behind. ERIC HOFFER



Our greatest weariness comes from work not done. ERIC HOFFER

Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy -- the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation. ERIC HOFFER

The self-styled intellectual who is impotent with pen and ink hungers to write history with sword and blood. ERIC HOFFER

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. ERIC HOFFER

Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow. ERIC HOFFER

The greatest weariness comes from work not done. ERIC HOFFER

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

Man was nature's mistake --she neglected to finish him -- and she has never ceased paying for her mistake. ERIC HOFFER

The pleasure we derive from doing favors is partly in the feeling it gives us that we are not altogether worthless. It is a pleasant surprise to ourselves. ERIC HOFFER

We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about. ERIC HOFFER

A man by himself is in bad company. ERIC HOFFER

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents. ERIC HOFFER

We can remember minutely and precisely only the things which never really happened to us. ERIC HOFFER
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It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs. 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. ERIC HOFFER
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There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet. ERIC HOFFER

A successful social technique consists perhaps in finding unobjectionable means for individual self-assertion. ERIC HOFFER

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true. ERIC HOFFER

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

It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence. ERIC HOFFER

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER

It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents. ERIC HOFFER

Sometimes we feel the loss of a prejudice as a loss of vigor. ERIC HOFFER

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do. ERIC HOFFER

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. ERIC HOFFER

We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. ERIC HOFFER

Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others. ERIC HOFFER
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There is probably an element of malice in the readiness to overestimate people; we are laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size. ERIC HOFFER
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Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat. ERIC HOFFER

The link between ideas and action is rarely direct. There is almost always an intermediate step in which the idea is overcome. De Tocqueville points out that it is at times when passions start to govern human affairs that ideas are most obviously translated into political action. The translation of ideas into action is usually in the hands of people least likely to follow rational motives. Hence, it is that action is often the nemesis of ideas, and sometimes of the men who formulate them. One of the marks of the truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action the ability to pass directly from thought to action. ERIC HOFFER

It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living. ERIC HOFFER

The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop. ERIC HOFFER

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. ERIC HOFFER

To the old, the new is usually bad news. ERIC HOFFER

The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything. ERIC HOFFER

A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time. ERIC HOFFER

A heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor. ERIC HOFFER

The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself. ERIC HOFFER

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. ERIC HOFFER

The unpredictability inherent in human affairs is due largely to the fact that the by-products of a human process are more fateful than the product. ERIC HOFFER

We all have private ails. The troublemakers are they who need public cures for their private ails. ERIC HOFFER

To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance. ERIC HOFFER

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ERIC HOFFER

Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains. ERIC HOFFER

What greater reassurance can the weak have than that they are like anyone else? ERIC HOFFER

Youth itself is a talent -- a perishable talent. ERIC HOFFER

There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people - we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size. ERIC HOFFER

Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership. ERIC HOFFER

Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. ERIC HOFFER

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. ERIC HOFFER

The nature of a society is largely determined by the direction in which talent and ambition flowby the tilt of the social landscape. ERIC HOFFER
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The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance. ERIC HOFFER
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How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization! ERIC HOFFER
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It is probably true that business corrupts everything it touches. It corrupts politics, sports, literature, art, labor unions and so on. But business also corrupts and undermines monolithic totalitarianism. Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. ERIC HOFFER
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There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience, a readiness to attempt the impossible, a bias for simple solutionsto cut the knot rather than unravel it, the viewing of compromise as surrender. Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence, absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. ERIC HOFFER
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One of the marks of a truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action --the ability to pass directly from thought to action. ERIC HOFFER

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... 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. ERIC HOFFER

Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world. ERIC HOFFER
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To grow old is to grow common. Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world. ERIC HOFFER
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The superficiality of the American is the result of his hustling. It needs leisure to think things out; it needs leisure to mature. People in a hurry cannot think, cannot grow, nor can they decay. They are preserved in a state of perpetual puerility. ERIC HOFFER

Animals often strike us as passionate machines. ERIC HOFFER

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny. ERIC HOFFER

The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth ERIC HOFFER

A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed. ERIC HOFFER

Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. The crypto-businessman is the true revolutionary in a Communist country. ERIC HOFFER

The well adjusted make poor prophets. A pleasant existence blinds us to the possibilities of drastic change. We cling to what we call our common sense, our practical point of view. Actually, these are names for an all-absorbing familiarity with things as they are.... Thus it happens that when the times become unhinged, it is the practical people who are caught unaware...still clinging to things that no longer exist. ERIC HOFFER

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

We can never really be prepared for that which is wholly new. We have to adjust ourselves, and every radical adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem: we undergo a test, we have to prove ourselves. It needs inordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling. ERIC HOFFER

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. ERIC HOFFER

We never say so much as when we do not quite know what we want to say. We need few words when we have something to say, but all the words in all the dictionaries will not suffice when we have nothing to say and want desperately to say it. ERIC HOFFER

When cowardice is made respectable, its followers are without number both from among the weak and the strong; it easily becomes a fashion. ERIC HOFFER

Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice. ERIC HOFFER

The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person. ERIC HOFFER
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The pre-human creature from which man evolved was unlike any other living thing in its malicious viciousness toward its own kind. Humanization was not a leap forward but a groping toward survival. ERIC HOFFER

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

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words. ERIC HOFFER

They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor. ERIC HOFFER

There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house. ERIC HOFFER

All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments of life; all of them demand blind faith and singlehearted allegiance. ERIC HOFFER

The birth of the new constitutes a crisis, and its mastery calls for a crude and simple cast of mind -- the mind of a fighter -- in which the virtues of tribal cohesion and fierceness and infantile credulity and malleability are paramount. Thus every new beginning recapitulates in some degree man's first beginning. ERIC HOFFER

Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage. ERIC HOFFER
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Friendship Never explain -- your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe it anyway. A real friend never gets in your way, unless you happen to be on the way down. A friend is someone you can do nothing with and enjoy it. However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words. ERIC HOFFER

However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words. ERIC HOFFER

Our present addiction to pollsters and forecasters is a symptom of our chronic uncertainty about the future... We watch our experts read the entrails of statistical tables and graphs the way the ancients watched their soothsayers read the entrails of a chicken. ERIC HOFFER

To make of human affairs a coherent, precise, predictable whole one must ignore or suppress man as he really is. It is by eliminating man from their equation that the makers of history can predict the future, and the writers of history can give a pattern to the past. ERIC HOFFER

There is sublime thieving in all giving. Someone gives us all he has and we are his. ERIC HOFFER

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

It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men. ERIC HOFFER
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No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are. ERIC HOFFER

Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity. ERIC HOFFER

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it. ERIC HOFFER

It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations -- past and present -- are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millenia. ERIC HOFFER

Perhaps our originality manifests itself most strikingly in what we do with that which we did not originate. To discover something wholly new can be a matter of chance, of idle tinkering, or even of the chronic dissatisfaction of the untalented. ERIC HOFFER

We find it hard to apply the knowledge of ourselves to our judgment of others. The fact that we are never of one kind, that we never love without reservations and never hate with all our being cannot prevent us from seeing others as wholly black or white. ERIC HOFFER

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. ERIC HOFFER

The remarkable thing is that it is the crowded life that is most easily remembered. A life full of turns, achievements, disappointments, surprises, and crises is a life full of landmarks. The empty life has even its few details blurred, and cannot be remembered with certainty. ERIC HOFFER

Marriage has for women many equivalents of joining a mass movement. It offers them a new purpose in life, a new future and a new identity (a new name). The boredom of spinsters and of women who can no longer find joy and fulfillment in marriage stems from an awareness of a barren, spoiled life. By embracing a holy cause and dedicating their energies and substance to its advancement, they find a new life full of purpose and meaning. ERIC HOFFER

There is a grandeur in the uniformity of the mass. When a fashion, a dance, a song, a slogan or a joke sweeps like wildfire from one end of the continent to the other, and a hundred million people roar with laughter, sway their bodies in unison, hum one song or break forth in anger and denunciation, there is the overpowering feeling that in this country we have come nearer the brotherhood of man than ever before. ERIC HOFFER

When you automate an industry you modernize it; when you automate a life you primitivize it. ERIC HOFFER

A soul that is reluctant to share does not as a rule have much of its own. Miserliness is here a symptom of meagerness. ERIC HOFFER
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It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites --opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity --where energies flow smoothly in one direction --there will be much doing but no music. ERIC HOFFER
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Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect. ERIC HOFFER

Nature is a self-made machine, more perfectly automated than any automated machine. To create something in the image of nature is to create a machine, and it was by learning the inner working of nature that man became a builder of machines. ERIC HOFFER

The necessary has never been man's top priority. The passionate pursuit of the nonessential and the extravagant is one of the chief traits of human uniqueness. Unlike other forms of life, man's greatest exertions are made in the pursuit not of necessities but of superfluities. ERIC HOFFER

More significant than the fact that poets write abstrusely, painters paint abstractly, and composers compose unintelligible music is that people should admire what they cannot understand; indeed, admire that which has no meaning or principle. ERIC HOFFER

There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive. ERIC HOFFER

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

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of their inadequacy and impotence. They hate not wickedness but weakness. When it is in their power to do so, the weak destroy weakness wherever they see it. ERIC HOFFER
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Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart. For we can win a man's heart one day and lose it the next. But when we break a proud spirit we achieve something that is final and absolute. ERIC HOFFER
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Freedom means freedom from forces and circumstances which would turn man into a thing, which would impose on man the passivity and predictability of matter. By this test, absolute power is the manifestation most inimical to human uniqueness. Absolute power wants to turn people into malleable clay. ERIC HOFFER
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To the excessively fearful the chief characteristic of power is its arbitrariness. Man had to gain enormously in confidence before he could conceive an all-powerful God who obeys his own laws. ERIC HOFFER
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That which corrodes the souls of the persecuted is the monstrous inner agreement with the prevailing prejudice against them. ERIC HOFFER

When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths. ERIC HOFFER

Though dissenters seem to question everything in sight, they are actually bundles of dusty answers and never conceived a new question. What offends us most in the literature of dissent is the lack of hesitation and wonder. ERIC HOFFER

We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering. We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for. ERIC HOFFER

Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from a lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions. ERIC HOFFER


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