Eric Hoffer

(1902 - 1983)

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

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.

We cannot be sure that we have something to live for unless we are ready to die for it.

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.

We often use strong language not to express a powerful emotion but to evoke it in us.

The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.

We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.

The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.

All leaders strive to turn their followers into children.

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.

The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats- we know it not.

No one is truly literate who cannot read his own heart.