Friday, November 15, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)


American writer on social and political philosophies.
Eric Hoffer
Our doubts about ourselves cannot be banished except by working at that which is the one and only thing we know we ought to do. Other people's assertions cannot silence the howling dirge within us. It is our talents rusting unused within us that secrete the poison of self-doubt into our bloodstream.
Hoffer quotes
To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.
Hoffer
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.




Hoffer Eric quotes
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Hoffer Eric
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
Eric Hoffer quotes
It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. There may even be a certain antagonism between love of humanity and love of neighbor; a low capacity for getting along with those near us often goes hand in hand with a high receptivity to the idea of the brotherhood of men. About a hundred years ago a Russian landowner by the name of Petrashevsky recorded a remarkable conclusion: "Finding nothing worthy of my attachment either among women or among men, I have vowed myself to the service of mankind." He became a follower of Fourier, and installed a phalanstery on his estate. The end of the experiment was sad, but what one might perhaps have expected: the peasants Petrashevsky's neighbors-burned the phalanstery.
Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary.
Eric Hoffer
It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
Hoffer Eric quotes
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Hoffer
By circumstance and perhaps also by inclination, I think in complete intellectual isolation. To expect others to help me think seems to me almost like expecting them to help me digest my food.
Hoffer Eric
We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength.
Eric Hoffer
The chief difference between me and others is that I have plenty of time not only because I am without a multitude of responsibilities and without daily tasks, which demand attention: But also because I am basically without ambition. Neither the present nor the future has claims on me.




Eric Hoffer quotes
We take for granted the need to escape the self. Yet the self can also be a refuge. In totalitarian countries the great hunger is for private life. Absorption in the minutiae of an individual existence is the only refuge from the apocalyptic madhouse staged by maniacal saviors of humanity.
Eric Hoffer
Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
Hoffer quotes
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.
Hoffer Eric
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.
Hoffer Eric quotes
A war is not won if the defeated enemy has not been turned into a friend.
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.... It is thus with most of us: we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.
Eric Hoffer quotes
A good sentence is a key. It unlocks the mind of the reader.
Eric Hoffer
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book, painting a picture, and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture. Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement.
Hoffer Eric
Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact