Eric Hoffer Quotes

Who was 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
Aged 80 years old

Books by Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer Sources


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.”

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

“A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.”

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

“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.”

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

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

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“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.”

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

“Anger is the prelude to courage.”

“Animals often strike us as passionate machines.”

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

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

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

“Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice.”

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“We tend to use knowledge as therapy.”

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

“Facts are counter revolutionary.”

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

“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.”

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

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

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

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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.”

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

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“The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is what does a woman want?”

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Eric Hoffer Sources