Zitate von Eric Hoffer

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Eric Hoffer

Geburtstag: 25. Juli 1902
Todesdatum: 21. Mai 1983

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Eric Hoffer war ein sozialkritischer US-amerikanischer Philosoph und Autor. Seine Ideen hat er in zehn Büchern dargestellt, deren erstes, The True Believer, sowohl von ihm selbst als auch von der Kritik als sein bestes und wichtigstes angesehen wird. Im Februar 1983 wurde er von Ronald Reagan mit der Presidential Medal of Freedom ausgezeichnet.

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Zitate Eric Hoffer

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„Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: 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. Sections 128 - 129

„In all my life I never competed for fortune, for a woman, or for fame. I learned to write in total isolation.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: In all my life I never competed for fortune, for a woman, or for fame. I learned to write in total isolation. My first work was also my best, and the first thing published. I never belonged to a circle or clique. I did not know I was writing a book until it was written. When my first book was published there was no one near me, an acquaintance let alone a friend, to congratulate me. I have never savored triumph, never won a race. Entry (1981)

„Too many words dilute and blur ideas.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Wordiness is a sickness of American writing. Too many words dilute and blur ideas. Letter to Mrs. Blumberg (27 September 1977)

„We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: 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. Sections 128 - 129

„The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: 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. Russia 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 J. 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.

„Those who discover things for themselves and express them in their own way are not overly bothered by the fact that others have already discovered these things — have even discovered them over and over again — and have expressed what they found in all manner of ways.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Total innovation is a flight from comparison and also from imitation. Those who discover things for themselves and express them in their own way are not overly bothered by the fact that others have already discovered these things — have even discovered them over and over again — and have expressed what they found in all manner of ways. Entry (1960)

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„It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression. St. Vincent De Paul cautioned his disciples to deport themselves so that the poor "will forgive them the bread you give them." Ch. 2: "The Awakening of Asia" This passage uses phrases from his earlier work The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)

„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.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: 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 off 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.

„It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves. It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world. Section 100

„I like half-truths of a certain kind — they are interesting and they stimulate.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: To think out a problem is not unlike drawing a caricature. You have to exaggerate the salient point and leave out that which is not typical. "To illustrate a principle," says Bagehot, "you must exaggerate much and you must omit much." As to the quantity of absolute truth in a thought: it seems to me the more comprehensive and unobjectionable a thought becomes, the more clumsy and unexciting it gets. I like half-truths of a certain kind — they are interesting and they stimulate. Entry (1950)

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„Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom." It was not sheer hypocrisy when the rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from responsibility? Section 26

„A society becomes stagnant when its people are too rational or too serious to be tempted by baubles.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Man is a luxury-loving animal. Take away play, fancies, and luxuries, and you will turn man into a dull, sluggish creature, barely energetic enough to obtain a bare subsistence. A society becomes stagnant when its people are too rational or too serious to be tempted by baubles. Section 28

„People who are clear-sighted, undeluded, and sober-minded will not go on working once their reasonable needs are satisfied. A society that refuses to strive for superfluities is likely to end up lacking in necessities. The readiness to work springs from trivial, questionable motives.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: There is, for instance, the fact that there is a greater readiness to work in a society with a high standard of living than in one with a low standard. We are more ready to strive and work for superfluities than for necessities. People who are clear-sighted, undeluded, and sober-minded will not go on working once their reasonable needs are satisfied. A society that refuses to strive for superfluities is likely to end up lacking in necessities. The readiness to work springs from trivial, questionable motives. … A vigorous society is a society made up of people who set their hearts on toys, and who would work for superfluities than for necessities. The self-righteous moralists decry such a society, yet it is well to keep in mind that both children and artists need luxuries more than they need necessities. Journal entry (22 February1959, 8:15 P.M.)

„The mind must be able to be "elsewhere." This needs time.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: It has been my experience that there is no substitute for time where thinking is concerned. Why is it so? The answer seems to be that in many cases to think means to be able to allow the mind to stray from the task at hand. The mind must be able to be "elsewhere." This needs time. Entry (1955)

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