Eric Hoffer Quotes

Who is Eric Hoffer?

Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher in the 20th century.

Hoffer is known for his classic books 'The True Believer' and 'The Ordeal of Change'.

Born July 25, 1902
Died May 21, 1983

Books by Eric Hoffer


Best 148 Quotes by Eric Hoffer | Page 1 of 5

“A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.”

Eric Hoffer

“A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.”

Eric Hoffer

“A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.”

Eric Hoffer

“A heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor.”

Eric Hoffer

“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.”

Eric Hoffer

“A soul that is reluctant to share does not as a rule have much of its own. Miserliness is here a symptom of meagerness.”

Eric Hoffer

“A successful social technique consists perhaps in finding unobjectionable means for individual self-assertion.”

Eric Hoffer

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“Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.”

Eric Hoffer

“Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.”

Eric Hoffer

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

Eric Hoffer

“Anger is the prelude to courage.”

Eric Hoffer

“Animals often strike us as passionate machines.”

Eric Hoffer

“Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.”

Eric Hoffer

“Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow.”

Eric Hoffer

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“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy - the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.”

Eric Hoffer

“Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice.”

Eric Hoffer

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“Politics emerges as a mechanism for controlling violence, yet violence constantly remains as a background condition for certain types of political change. Societies can get stuck in a dysfunctional institutional equilibrium, in which existing stakeholders can veto necessary institutional change. Sometimes violence or the threat of violence is necessary to break out of the equilibrium.”

The Origins of Political Order


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“Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.”

Eric Hoffer

“Facts are counter revolutionary.”

Eric Hoffer

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

Eric Hoffer

“Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage.”

Eric Hoffer

“Fear of becoming a has been keeps some people from becoming anything.”

Eric Hoffer

“Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience.”

Eric Hoffer

“How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.”

Eric Hoffer

“How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization!”

Eric Hoffer

“However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.”

Eric Hoffer

“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.”

Eric Hoffer

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer

“Intolerance is the 'Do Not Touch' sign on something that cannot bear touching. We do not mind having our hair ruffled, but we will not tolerate any familiarity with the toupee which covers our baldness.”

Eric Hoffer

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“It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.”

Eric Hoffer

“It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.”

Eric Hoffer

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“Love without sacrifice is like theft.”

The Bed of Procrustes


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