65 Eric Hoffer Quotes On Success In Life

Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change (1963) was his finest work. These Eric Hoffer quotes will motivate you.

Best Eric Hoffer Quotes

  1. “I can never forget that one of the most gifted, best-educated nations in the world, of its own free will, surrendered its fate into the hands of a maniac.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  2. “For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future; but an excuse can last for life.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  3. “When watching men of power in action it must be always kept in mind that, whether they know it or not, their main purpose is the elimination or neutralization of the independent individual- the independent voter, consumer, worker, owner, thinker- and that every device they employ aims at turning men into a manipulable animated instrument which is Aristotle’s definition of a slave.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  4. “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  5. “Learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  6. “It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  7. “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  8. “No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion; it is an evil government.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  9. “It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  10. “We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  11. “Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  12. “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  13. “Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  14. “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
  15. “Add a few drops of venom to a half-truth and you have an absolute truth.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  16. “People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  17. “The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  18. “To know a person’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  19. “It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  20. “All mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  21. “The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  22. “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.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  23. “A passionate obsession with the outside world or the private lives of others is an attempt to compensate for a lack of meaning in one’s own life” ~ Eric Hoffer
  24. “The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  25. “Never have the young taken themselves so seriously, and the calamity is that they are listened to and deferred to by so many adults.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  26. “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  27. “The untalented are more at ease in a society that gives them valid alibis for not achieving than in one where opportunities are abundant. In an affluent society, the alienated who clamor for power are largely untalented people who cannot make use of the unprecedented opportunities for self-realization, and cannot escape the confrontation with an ineffectual self.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  28. “Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  29. “Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from a lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  30. “An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  31. “To learn you need a certain degree of confidence, not too much and not too little. If you have too little confidence, you will think you can’t learn. If you have too much, you will think you don’t have to learn.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  32. “One of the chief differences between an adult and a juvenile is that the adult knows when he is an ass while the juvenile never does.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  33. “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  34. “The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  35. “The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  36. “It is doubtful whether the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power-power to oppress others.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  37. “The greatest weariness comes from work not done.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  38. “Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  39. “We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  40. “Our present addiction to pollsters and forecasters is a symptom of our chronic uncertainty about the future… We watch our experts read the entrails of statistical tables and graphs the way the ancients watched their soothsayers read the entrails of a chicken.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  41. “Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  42. “Up to now, America has not been a good milieu for the rise of a mass movement. What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  43. “The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  44. “The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  45. “The frustrated follow a leader less because of their faith that he is leading them to a promised land than because of their immediate feeling that he is leading them away from their unwanted selves. Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment. Whether they are led is of secondary importance.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  46. “Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  47. “Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  48. “Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  49. “Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  50. “Far more critical than what we know or what we don’t know is what we don’t want to know.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  51. “To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  52. “Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  53. “To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  54. “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
  55. “We see through others only when we see through ourselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  56. “The beginning of thought is in disagreement – not only with others but also with ourselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  57. “They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  58. “A great man’s greatest good luck is to die at the right time.” ~ Eric Hoffer

  59. “Children are the keys of paradise.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  60. “Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  61. “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  62. “I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  63. “Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  64. “The real “haves” are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real “have nots” are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor.” ~ Eric Hoffer
  65. “Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.” ~ Eric Hoffer

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