Frases de Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer Foto
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Eric Hoffer

Fecha de nacimiento: 25. Julio 1898
Fecha de muerte: 21. Mayo 1983

Eric Hoffer fue un escritor y filósofo estadounidense. Escribió diez libros y obtuvo la Medalla Presidencia de la Libertad en febrero de 1983 de Ronald Reagan. Su primer libro The True Believer, fue publicado en 1951, fue ampliamente reconocido como un clásico. Este libro, que él consideraba como el mejor, estableció su reputación, y permaneció como un escritor exitoso por la mayor parte de su vida.

Frases Eric Hoffer

„The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Fuente: Before the Sabbath (1979), p. 40-41
Contexto: The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power. The best education does not automatically make people compassionate. We know this more clearly than any preceding generation. Our time has seen the best-educated society, situated in the heart of the most civilized part of the world, give birth to the most murderously vengeful government in history.
Forty years ago the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead thought it self-evident that you would get a good government if you took power out of the hands of the acquisitive and gave it to the learned and the cultivated. At present, a child in kindergarten knows better than that.

„Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Section 139
The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)
Contexto: Compassion is probably the only antitoxin of the soul. Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. One would rather see the world run by men who set their hearts on toys but are accessible to pity, than by men animated by lofty ideals whose dedication makes them ruthless. In the chemistry of man's soul, almost all noble attributes — courage, honor, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc. — can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.

„Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.“

—  Eric Hoffer, libro The True Believer

Section 26
The True Believer (1951), Part Two: The Potential Converts
Contexto: Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom." It was not sheer hypocrisy when the rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from responsibility?

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„Absolute power achieves uniqueness by dehumanizing others.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Journal entry (28 March 1959)
Working and Thinking on the Waterfront (1969)
Contexto: The significant point is that people unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have-not" type of self. If Hitler had had the talents and the temperament of a genuine artist, if Stalin had had the capacity to become a first-rate theoretician, if Napoleon had had the makings of a great poet or philosopher they would hardly have developed the all-consuming lust for absolute power.
Freedom gives us a chance to realize our human and individual uniqueness. Absolute power can also bestow uniqueness: to have absolute power is to have the power to reduce all the people around us to puppets, robots, toys, or animals, and be the only man in sight. Absolute power achieves uniqueness by dehumanizing others.
To sum up: Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.

„Compassion is probably the only antitoxin of the soul. Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Section 139
The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)
Contexto: Compassion is probably the only antitoxin of the soul. Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. One would rather see the world run by men who set their hearts on toys but are accessible to pity, than by men animated by lofty ideals whose dedication makes them ruthless. In the chemistry of man's soul, almost all noble attributes — courage, honor, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc. — can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.

„Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world. Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Israel's Peculiar Position (1968)
Contexto: Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world. Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.
There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him. The Swedes, who are ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews.
They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

„They want power, lordship, and opportunities for imposing action.“

—  Eric Hoffer

The Temper of Our Time (1967)
Contexto: The attitude of the intellectual community toward America is shaped not by the creative few but by the many who for one reason or another cannot transmute their dissatisfaction into a creative impulse, and cannot acquire a sense of uniqueness and of growth by developing and expressing their capacities and talents. There is nothing in contemporary America that can cure or alleviate their chronic frustration. They want power, lordship, and opportunities for imposing action. Even if we should banish poverty from the land, lift up the Negro to true equality, withdraw from Vietnam, and give half of the national income as foreign aid, they will still see America as an air-conditioned nightmare unfit for them to live in.

„To think out a problem is not unlike drawing a caricature. You have to exaggerate the salient point and leave out that which is not typical.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Entry (1950)
Contexto: To think out a problem is not unlike drawing a caricature. You have to exaggerate the salient point and leave out that which is not typical. "To illustrate a principle," says Bagehot, "you must exaggerate much and you must omit much." As to the quantity of absolute truth in a thought: it seems to me the more comprehensive and unobjectionable a thought becomes, the more clumsy and unexciting it gets. I like half-truths of a certain kind — they are interesting and they stimulate.

„Our doubts about ourselves cannot be banished except by working at that which is the one and only thing we know we ought to do.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Entry (1955)
Contexto: Our doubts about ourselves cannot be banished except by working at that which is the one and only thing we know we ought to do. Other people's assertions cannot silence the howling dirge within us. It is our talents rusting unused within us that secrete the poison of self-doubt into our bloodstream.

„We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.“

—  Eric Hoffer, libro The True Believer

Section 57
The True Believer (1951), Part Three: United Action and Self-Sacrifice
Contexto: We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength.

„Men of talent have to be goaded to engage in creative work. The groans and laments of even the most gifted and prolific echo through the ages.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Entry (1953)
Contexto: The sense of worth derived from creative work depends upon "recognition" by others, which is never automatic. As a result, the path of self-realization, even when it is the only open one, is taken with reluctance. Men of talent have to be goaded to engage in creative work. The groans and laments of even the most gifted and prolific echo through the ages.

„The significant point is that people unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Journal entry (28 March 1959)
Working and Thinking on the Waterfront (1969)
Contexto: The significant point is that people unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have-not" type of self. If Hitler had had the talents and the temperament of a genuine artist, if Stalin had had the capacity to become a first-rate theoretician, if Napoleon had had the makings of a great poet or philosopher they would hardly have developed the all-consuming lust for absolute power.
Freedom gives us a chance to realize our human and individual uniqueness. Absolute power can also bestow uniqueness: to have absolute power is to have the power to reduce all the people around us to puppets, robots, toys, or animals, and be the only man in sight. Absolute power achieves uniqueness by dehumanizing others.
To sum up: Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.

„The most important point is — and remains — not to take oneself seriously.“

—  Eric Hoffer

Entry (1954)
Contexto: The most important point is — and remains — not to take oneself seriously. There is no past, and, certainly, no future. There are but a few years — ten at the most. You pass your days as best you can, doing as little harm as possible. Let the desires be few and treat expectations as weeds. You read, scribble as the spirit moves you, hear some new music, see every week the few people you are attached to. Again: guard yourself, above all, against self-dramatization, a feeling of importance, and the sprouting of expectations.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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