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The fact is that up to now a 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.


Eric Hoffer

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The chief burden of the frustrated is the consciousness of a blemished, ineffectual self, and their ...
ERIC HOFFER
Add a few drops of malice to a half truth and you have an absolute truth.
ERIC HOFFER
Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.
ERIC HOFFER
To believe that if we could but have this or that we would be happy is to suppress the realization t...
ERIC HOFFER
Every intense desire is perhaps a desire to be different from what we are.
ERIC HOFFER
The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When ...
ERIC HOFFER
Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or our worthlessn...
ERIC HOFFER
The desire to belong is partly a desire to lose oneself.
ERIC HOFFER
It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power- power to op...
ERIC HOFFER
Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do free...
ERIC HOFFER
Absolute power turns its possessors not into a God but an anti-God. For God turned clay into men, w...
ERIC HOFFER
Despair and misery are static factors. The dynamism of an uprising flows from hope and pride. Not ...
ERIC HOFFER
The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by de...
ERIC HOFFER
When we debunk a fanatical faith or prejudice, we do not strike at the root of fanaticism. We merel...
ERIC HOFFER
Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
ERIC HOFFER
In man's life, the absence of an essential component usually leads to the adoption of a substitute. ...
ERIC HOFFER
Those of little faith are of little hatred.
ERIC HOFFER
Whoever originated the cliche that money is the root of all evil knew hardly anything about the natu...
ERIC HOFFER
Every era has a currency that buys souls. In some the currency is pride, in others it is hope, in s...
ERIC HOFFER
Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others
ERIC HOFFER
In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equippe...
ERIC HOFFER
Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possib...
ERIC HOFFER
It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.
ERIC HOFFER
It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites --opposi...
ERIC HOFFER
No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need p...
ERIC HOFFER
The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in th...
ERIC HOFFER
There is sublime thieving in all giving. Someone gives us all he has and we are his.
ERIC HOFFER
What greater reassurance can the weak have than that they are like anyone else?
ERIC HOFFER
Our passionate preoccupation with the sky, the stars, and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing...
ERIC HOFFER
Man is eminently a storyteller. His search for a purpose, a cause, an ideal, a mission and the like ...
ERIC HOFFER
We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and con...
ERIC HOFFER
Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of a...
ERIC HOFFER
Thought is a process of exaggeration. The refusal to exaggerate is not infrequently an alibi for the...
ERIC HOFFER
The pre-human creature from which man evolved was unlike any other living thing in its malicious vic...
ERIC HOFFER
Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And w...
ERIC HOFFER
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
ERIC HOFFER
We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meani...
ERIC HOFFER