Eric HofferEric Hoffer, (1902-1983) American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Eric Hoffer Quote

“Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. 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 HofferEric Hoffer
~ Eric Hoffer

Ratings and Comments

Robert, Sarasota

Yes, we hide behind any system that prevents individuality - yes, we hide and call it Freedom

Dick, Fort Worth

The self-educated longshoreman had great perception. I do think he went too far here in adding 'uniformity' to 'equality.' Many desire equality in rights and justice without the least interest in anonymity.

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bauket    10/13/07

i luv the quotes the secondis the best it supports the topic in my essay thx

J Carlton, Calgary

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

jim k, austin

J Carlton, I like it.

Waffler, Smith

Those who see their lives spoiled and wasted blame it on governmnet rather then themselves, they go on talk shows and internet sites and bitch at government rather than actually doing something real and constructive.

Mike, Norwalk

(-: Waffler, WHAT? ;-) Who blames government for spoiling them, and then, goes on talk shows bitching about that same government for what its done to spoil them? Your description does sound a bit like Soros - maybe its just a party line liberal thing?

Ken, Allyn, WA

"All in all were just another brick in the Wall." Equality in misery and mediocrity for all of us is what the miserable and mediocre among us want. They engage in schadenfreude, taking pleasure in others' misery, even if they have to be miserable themselves in order to achieve it.

J Carlton, Calgary

Actually Waffler my life has been great, and would be even better if the government hadn't screwed so much of it up. I've actually become "middle class" from a starting point of "nothing". In other words I've managed to outwork the parasitic thieves who steal my money and my time so that others can sit and do nothing. That's a great system you are in love with there...

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RBESRQ    10/31/09

Yes, those who seek acceptability, comparability, and conformability are but slave to the aspirations of equality and Liberty

warren, olathe

Perfect description of the Wafflers of the world.

E Archer, NYC

Well said. A solid definition of collectivists. Collectivists start to speak for 'we' when they talk about some group. Collectivists err when they keep rolling more groups into a single group - ultimately the 'world' -- which you can expect anyone of them to refer to the world as 'we.' Then will say what 'we' should do.

I am an American, but I am not the US government -- I do not refer to the government as 'we.' The teams I join, I join voluntarily, and if I am but a thread of the tunic, then so be it, that is what I agreed to. But membership in groups to which I have not agreed to join is void, and I am not one of them. No sooner than a group is formed than someone wants to start telling them what to do. I never signed up for that.


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