Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

— Eric Hoffer

The most sublime Eric Hoffer quotes that are little-known but priceless

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

135

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

114

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

95

Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.

92

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.

82

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

80

I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind.

73

The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts.

It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.

69

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

68

I can never forget that one of the most gifted, best educated nations in the world, of its own free will, surrendered its fate into the hands of a maniac.

67

We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential.

Hence the remarkable fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.

66

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

63

About Eric Hoffer

Quotes 581 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday July 25, 1902

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.

61

When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, it is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows and lie low until the wrath has passed.

60

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.

56

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.

55

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

54

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.

53

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

53

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.

52

A passionate obsession with the outside world or the private lives of others is an attempt to compensate for a lack of meaning in one's own life

51

The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning;

it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.

51

One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.

48

It takes a vice to check a vice, and virtue is the by-product of a stalemate between opposite vices.

48

There is in even the most selfish passion a large element of self-abnegation.

It is startling to realize that what we call extreme self-seeking is actually self-renunciation. The miser, health addict, glory chaser and their like are not far behind the selfless in the exercise of self-sacrifice.

48

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

43

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

38

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.

38

No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion; it is an evil government.

38

Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.

36

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.

36

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

33

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

31

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

30

One of the chief differences between an adult and a juvenile is that the adult knows when he is an ass while the juvenile never does.

30

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.

28

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

28

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

28

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

28

The frustrated follow a leader less because of their faith that he is leading them to a promised land than because of their immediate feeling that he is leading them away from their unwanted selves. Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment. Whither they are led is of secondary importance.

27

There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves.

The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.

26

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

26

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

24

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.

24

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.

23

The true believer, no matter how rowdy and violent his acts, is basically an obedient and submissive person.

23

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

23

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

23

Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.

23
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