Can you have a mass-movement about questioning mass-movements? As Hitler said, apparently in an unguarded moment, "if the Jew did not exist, we would have had to invent him.
Beginning and End[ edit ] Hoffer identifies three main personality types as the leaders of mass movements, "men of words", "fanatics", and "practical men of action". Here are some of the passages I marked from The True Believer: The substitutes would be pride instead of self-confidence, memberships in a collective whole like a mass movement, absolute certainty instead of understanding.
Mass movements aggressively promote the use of doctrines that elevate faith over reason and serve as "fact-proof screens between the faithful and the realities of the world". Not because I disagreed with the negative light he puts over his subject, but because I found the way he made his points unfair.
If you have to ask, you still have a lot to learn. Nor does he offer antidotes or countermeasures, which makes the book feel The true believer thoughts on the a warning bell.
This reminds me of the paradoxical reality that contemporary religious fundamentalist movements, while claiming to be bringing back an idyllic past, nonetheless utilize the most up-to-date technologies to spread their messages.
Likewise the fomenting of suspicion among your followers, which brings us to The hatred of a true believer is actually a disguised self-loathing, as with the condemnation of capitalism by socialists while Russia under the Bolsheviks saw more intensive monopolization of the economy than any other nation in history.
One has to get to heaven or the distant future to determine the truth of an effective doctrine. How then does one combat True Believers? He seems to use words as if he were ignorant of their true meaning. No person falls exclusively into one category, and their predominant quality may shift over time.
Hoffer also offers some insight into why the September 11th terrorists committed such horrific acts.
How could the terrorists have sacrificed their own lives, and taken the lives of thousands of others, as well as causing such colossal destruction?
There is thus an illiterate air about the most literate true believer. Examples include the mass evictions of relatively prosperous tenants during the English Civil War of the s or the middle- and working-classes in Germany who passionately supported Hitler in the s after suffering years of economic hardship.
Instead he sweeps over history, sometimes making unfair generalizations or skipping past obvious counterarguments. Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Abstractions and atrocities often go hand-in-hand.
We expect that the The true believer thoughts on the we go, the firmer the answers become, but the opposite is true. As someone who has never been formally part of a religious group even I had trouble with some of what he says. It is a search for a final and irrefutable demonstration that our absolute truth is indeed the one and only truth.
Leadership uses an eclectic bricolage of ideological scraps to reinforce the doctrine, borrowing from whatever source is successful in holding the attention of true believers.
This has implications for everything: Hoffer is very perceptive in his criticisms, and much of what he has to say is relevant to the present situation. Examples include the Japanese holdoutswho refused to believe that the Second World War was over, or the staunch defenders of the Soviet Unionwho rejected overwhelming evidence of Bolshevik atrocities.
Their innermost craving is for a new life- a rebirth- or The work, entitled The True Believer: But he finds no difficulty in swinging suddenly and wildly from one holy cause to another. Mass movements demand a "total surrender of a distinct self".
Examples include "chronically bored", the physically disabled or perpetually ill, the talentless, and criminals or "sinners". Or we explicitly were told what to believe by parents or teachers early in our lives.
And the September 11th terrorists not only learned to fly sophisticated aircrafts, they no doubt used the internet, cell phones and other modern means of communication to plan their deeds and keep their conspiracy a secret.
The movement at this stage still concerns itself with the frustrated—not to harness their discontent in a deadly struggle with the present, but to reconcile them with it; to make them patient and meek.
In either case, Hoffer suggests that mass movements are accompanied by a dearth of creative innovation because so much energy is devoted to the mass movement.
Feeling their lives are "irredeemably spoiled" and believing there is no hope for advancement or satisfaction as an individual, true believers seek "self-renunciation". Those who live traditionalist lifestyles tend to be content, but the partially assimilated feel alienated from both their forbearers and the mainstream culture "the orthodox Jew is less frustrated than the emancipated Jew" .
The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others. All these questions came to my mind while reading this book.This book presents ideas about how mass movements work and the psychology of people that awaken/join mass movements.
The author uses examples of movements of all types from the past, as well as movements that were current when the book was written; and discusses in great detail many techniques used. The True Believer Revisited The work, entitled The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements was written by Eric Hoffer (), a very unconventional man and a freethinker.
The son of Alsatian immigrants to the United States, he was born in New York City. Orphaned at the age of 5, he went blind at 7.
The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic. Preview this book» What people are saying - 4/5(16).
Summary of Eric Hoffer’s, The True Believer. September 4, 8 thoughts on “ Summary of Eric Hoffer’s, The True Believer ” tanvika says: September 4, at am That’s the precise problem I have with ideologies that make people hope for a.
[The True Believer is] one of “[Eric Hoffer] is a student of extraordinary perception and insight. The range of his reading and research is vast, amazing. Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements ERIC HOFFER. To MARGARET ANDERSON the responses of the true believer, and, (nally, the manner in which these reactions can facilitate the rise and spread of a It is perhaps also true that the rapid modernization of.
nationalism. It is perhaps also true that the rapid modernization of.Download