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Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) Quotes December 2, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Books, philosophy & politics, Religion.

Longshoreman Philosopher Eric Hoffer in 1950 wrote a book called “The True Believer, ” where he tracks mass movements throughout history. He includes some critical words about Christianity, but perhaps the most striking feature of his book is that he shows how religious and seemingly non-religious movement share many traits, and may sometimes be interchangeable: “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus 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. It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.

“The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.” More about Eric Hoffer


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