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Eric Hoffer

To quote Eric Hoffer over and over and over and .....

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 04/27/2013 - 08:33


Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

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

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

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.

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

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

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

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

We feel free when we escape—even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire.

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.

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

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

Irrationality often manifests itself in upholding the word against the evidence of the eyes. 

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” 

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.” 

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 millennia.

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.

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.

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

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

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


To quote Eric Hoffer

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 06:37


I had forgotten about Eric Hoffer.

Shame on me.

I first read Eric Hoffer because a girl I wanted to do, wanted me to (read the book, not necessarily the other thing).

I was 19 ... shut up!

As an aside, to this day, some of the stuff I do for the Little Wiffer, I do for exactly the same reason.

Anyway .....,

Eric Hoffer to my way of thinking, was arguably one of the greatest essayists of the 20th Century, if not the entire history of American thought.

The self educated longshoreman, published his first book "The True Believer" in 1951, a book that is almost universally considered to be a classic in the study of mass movements and fanaticism.

 He was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom for Literature in 1981.

He published many of his 10 books and hundreds of newspaper columns while keeping his day job as a longshoreman at the Port of San Francisco.

He finally retired from the docks in the middle 60's at the age of 65.

This excerpt from an LA Times column he wrote after that retirement published May 26, 1968


Israel's Peculiar Position 

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem.
Russian did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman.
Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.
Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.
Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.
Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms.
But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.
Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed.
Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.
There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia.
But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.
The Swedes, who are ready to break of diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews.
They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.
The Jews are alone in the world.
If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources.
Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally.
We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us.
And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.
I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.
Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.
Thanks again to David Michaels for sending this one through.
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