A Few Words from Eric Hoffer

Freedom means freedom from forces and circumstances which would turn man into a thing, which would impose on man the passivity and predictability of matter. By this test, absolute power is the manifestation most inimical to human uniqueness. Absolute power wants to turn people into malleable clay.”
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“Scratch an intellectual and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the sound, and the smell of common folk.”
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“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.’”
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“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.”
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“Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.”
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“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.”

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“The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.”
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“The aspiration toward freedom is the most essentially human of all human manifestations.”
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“If you want a Big Brother, you’ll get all that comes with it.”

Read Hoffer:
The True Believer;Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
The Ordeal of Change
Reflections on the Human Condition

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