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Quotations From ERIC HOFFER


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  • It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations—past and present—are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 183 (1973).
  • One of the marks of a truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action—the ability to pass directly from thought to action.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aphorism 63 (1973).

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  • What greater reassurance can the weak have than that they are like anyone else?
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 111 (1955).
  • Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 36 (1973).
  • The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. The Ordeal of Change, ch. 5 (1964).
  • Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment. The crypto-businessman is the true revolutionary in a Communist country.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 73 (1973).
  • Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 38 (1955).

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  • When cowardice is made respectable, its followers are without number both from among the weak and the strong; it easily becomes a fashion.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 203 (1955).
  • People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 141 (1973).

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  • The beginning of thought is in disagreement—not only with others but also with ouselves.
    Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind, aph. 266 (1955).
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