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    Eric Hoffer Quotes

    Quotes by Eric Hoffer

    • Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
    • Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.
    • It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.
    • It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.
    • It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.
    • Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
    • Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.
    • Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others.
    • Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    • 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.
    • The Paleolithic hunters who painted the unsurpassed animal murals on the ceiling of the cave at Altamira had only rudimentary tools. Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. 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.
    • We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.
    • 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 have perhaps a natural fear of ends. We would rather be always on the way than arrive. Given the means, we hang on to them and often forget the ends.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      "The True Believer", 1951
    • A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
      The Passionate State of Mind, 1954
    • It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
      The Passionate State of Mind, 1954
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