Friday, July 25, 2008

(What do you think about this blog? Is it interesting and helpful to you? Please see note at the end of this post. Thanks! John)

“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, who was born on this day in 1902 in New York City (died 1983), was a self-educated longshoreman who came to fame in the 1950's with the publication of his first book, The True Believer, a caustic analysis of the nature of mass movements and those who are driven to join them… The alienated seek to lose themselves in these movements by adopting those fanatical attitudes that are, according to Hoffer, fundamentally "a flight from the self."

Reading Hoffer’s True Believer when I was 20 years old had a big impact on my thinking.

Individualism, isolating one’s self from society, can certainly go too far. But group thinking is the big danger in our mass society. Hoffer saw that once any of us stops believing in God we will very likely fall prey to some mass movement and become a fanatic of one stripe or another.

What is the antidote to fanaticism? To love God and to love and serve those who are in our life. Loving service is the true key to health grassroots politics and entrepreneurship, it seems to me. What do you think?

What do you think? Will you take a minute to help me? Please let me know what you think about this blog and give me any suggestions for making it more helpful and/or interesting to you. I'd like to make this more of a dialog. Why do you think people don't post comments?

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