Is the shit!!!
Just spent some time skimming through my beat-up copy of Eric Hoffer's, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, and my oh my did I find some gems of pertinent wisdom.
- Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
- The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he 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.
- In times of peace and prosperity, a democratic nation is an institutionalized association of more or less free individuals. On the other hand, in times of crisis, when the nation's existence is threatened, and it tries to reinforce its unity and generate in its people a readiness for self-sacrifice, it almost always assumes in some degree the character of a mass movement.
- It is a perplexing and unpleasant truth that when men already have "something worth fighting for," they do not feel like fighting. People who live full, worthwhile lives are not usually ready to die for their own interests nor for their country nor for a holy cause. Craving, not having, is the mother of a reckless giving of oneself.
- 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 obvious, therefore, that in order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in.
- To be in possession of an absolute truth is to have a net of familiarity spread over the whole of eternity. There are no surprises and no unknowns. All questions have already been answered, all decisions made, all eventualities foreseen. The true believer is without wonder and hesitation.
- Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in the devil. Usually the strength of the mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil. When Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered: "No....We should have then to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one."
- Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us. There is a guilty conscience behind every brazen word and act and behind every manifestation of self-righteousness.
- People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident
Wow, this guy knows what's up.
Eric Hoffer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia