Eric Hoffer citáty

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Eric Hoffer

Datum narození: 25. červenec 1902
Datum úmrtí: 21. květen 1983

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Eric Hoffer byl americký filozof.

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Citáty Eric Hoffer

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„We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength. Section 57

„Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership. There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts. Section 91 http://books.google.com/books?id=pRxBBnyBvcYC&q=%22Charlatanism+of+some+degree+is+indispensable+to+effective+leadership%22&pg=PA116#v=onepage

„Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. There may even be a certain antagonism between love of humanity and love of neighbor; a low capacity for getting along with those near us often goes hand in hand with a high receptivity to the idea of the brotherhood of men. About a hundred years ago a Russian landowner by the name of Petrashevsky recorded a remarkable conclusion: "Finding nothing worthy of my attachment either among women or among men, I have vowed myself to the service of mankind." He became a follower of Fourier, and installed a phalanstery on his estate. The end of the experiment was sad, but what one might perhaps have expected: the peasants — Petrashevsky's neighbors-burned the phalanstery. Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary. Ch. 11: "Brotherhood"

„There is hardly a single instance of cultural vigor marked by moderation in expression.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: It is the Frenchman's readiness to exaggerate that is at the root of his intellectual lucidity and also of his capacity for acknowledging merit. The English were not afraid to exaggerate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and they were then not far behind the French in the lucidity of their thinking.... There is hardly a single instance of cultural vigor marked by moderation in expression. Entry (1954)

„The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious. The refusal to see ourselves as we are develops a distaste for facts and cold logic. There is no hope for the frustrated in the actual and the possible. Salvation can come to them only from the miraculous, which seeps through a crack in the iron wall of inexorable reality. They ask to be deceived. What Stresemann said of the Germans is true of the frustrated in general: "[They] pray not only for [their] daily bread, but also for [their] daily illusion." The rule seems to be that those who find difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others. They are easily persuaded and led. Section 59

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„The desire for praise is more imperative than the desire for food and shelter.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: This food-and-shelter theory concerning man's efforts is without insight. Our most persistent and spectacular efforts are concerned not with the preservation of what we are but with the building up of an imaginary conception of ourselves in the opinion of others. The desire for praise is more imperative than the desire for food and shelter. Entry (1952)

„A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: There is a fundamental difference between the appeal of a mass movement and the appeal of a practical organization. The practical organization offers opportunities for self-advancement, and its appeal is mainly to self-interest. On the other hand, a mass movement, particularly in its active, revivalist phase, appeals not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self. A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation. Section 7

„It is easier to hate an enemy with much good in him than one who is all bad. We cannot hate those we despise.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: It is easier to hate an enemy with much good in him than one who is all bad. We cannot hate those we despise. The Japanese had an advantage over us in that they admired us more than we admired them. They could hate us more fervently than we could hate them. The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American's hatred for a fellow American (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners. It is of interest that the backward South shows more xenophobia than the rest of the country. Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life. <!-- p. 96

„People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident. To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident. To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief of the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility. Section 93

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„They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor. Section 77

„Modern man is weighed down more by the burden of responsibility than by the burden of sin.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: Modern man is weighed down more by the burden of responsibility than by the burden of sin. We think him more a savior who shoulders our responsibilities than him who shoulders our sins. If instead of making decisions we have but to obey and do our duty, we feel it as a sort of salvation. Section 84

„A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: To the intellectual the struggle for freedom is more vital than the actuality of a free society. He would rather "work, fight, talk, for liberty than have it." The fact is that up to now the free society has not been good for the intellectual. It has neither accorded him a superior status to sustain his confidence nor made it easy for him to acquire an unquestioned sense of social usefulness. For he derives his sense of usefulness mainly from directing, instructing, and planning — from minding other people's business — and is bound to feel superfluous and neglected where people believe themselves competent to manage individual and communal affairs, and are impatient of supervision and regulation. A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual. The intellectual craves a social order in which uncommon people perform uncommon tasks every day. He wants a society throbbing with dedication, reverence, and worship. He sees it as scandalous that the discoveries of science and the feats of heroes should have as their denouement the comfort and affluence of common folk. A social order run by and for the people is to him a mindless organism motivated by sheer physiologism. Ch. 12: "Concerning Individual Freedom". [In this passage "work, fight, talk, for liberty than have it" is a quotation of Lincoln Steffens from The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens (1931), p. 635]

„Where opinion is not coerced, people can be made to believe only in what they already "know."“

—  Eric Hoffer
Context: The truth seems to be that propaganda on its own cannot force its way into unwilling minds; neither can it inculcate something wholly new; nor can it keep people persuaded once they have ceased to believe. It penetrates only into minds already open, and rather than instill opinion it articulates and justifies opinions already present in the minds of its recipients. The gifted propagandist brings to a boil ideas and passions already simmering in the minds of his hearers. he echoes their innermost feelings. Where opinion is not coerced, people can be made to believe only in what they already "know."

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