You can read four articles free per month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please Articles The True Believer Revisited Tim Madigan on September 11th and on a longshoreman who understood the psychology of mass movements. After the initial horrified reaction I experienced on September 11th, my first question was: How could the terrorists have sacrificed their own lives, and taken the lives of thousands of others, as well as causing such colossal destruction?
First of all, somewhat counter-intuitively, the contents of your platform or doctrine are almost irrelevant. Remember that the primary motivation most people have for joining the movement is found within themselves more on this in the next paragraph.
You will need a story, of course, but its basic requirements are that it a illustrates or reinforces that the present is intolerable, and b promises great success, even a utopia, in the far, distant future.
The vaguer and more nebulous this promise, the less concrete modern example: It makes the present a Remember that people generally do not join because of the rightness or wrongness of your cause. They join, rather, to forget their individual existences.
Hoffer is describing what he believes is a certain psychological type: Their innermost craving is for a new life- a rebirth- or As individuals they feel themselves to be failures, but in a group they can ascribe to their lives purpose and meaning, even if it is only in "the eyes of posterity.
The playing field is emotion, not reason, and the vitality of the movement ultimately depends on its ability to foster cohesion, unity, the sense of being part of a tribe.
Those who desire this sense of communion, and taste it just once, may never again be able to live without it. Hoffer writes, It is doubtful whether the fanatic who deserts his holy cause or is suddenly left without one can ever adjust He remains a homeless hitch hiker on the highways of the world thumbing a ride on any eternal cause that rolls by He is even ready to join Though his single-minded dedication is a holding on for dear life, he easily sees himself as the supporter and defender of the holy cause to which he clings He cannot be weaned away from his cause by an appeal to his reason or moral sense.
But he finds no difficulty in swinging suddenly and wildly from one holy cause to another. He cannot be convinced but only converted. As Hoffer writes, "rather than instill opinion it [propaganda] articulates and justifies opinions already present in the minds of its recipients Take it from no less an authority than Joseph Goebbels, who apparently once said, "a sharp sword must always stand behind propaganda if it is to be really effective.
Likewise the fomenting of suspicion among your followers, which brings us to But this enemy, the indispensable devil of every mass movement- is omnipresent. He plots both outside and inside the ranks of the faithful. It is his voice that speaks through the mouth of the dissenter If anything goes wrong within the movement, it is his doing.
As Hitler said, apparently in an unguarded moment, "if the Jew did not exist, we would have had to invent him.
If you have to ask, you still have a lot to learn. They do this by claiming that the The fanatical Communist refuses to believe any unfavorable report or evidence about Russia, nor will he be disillusioned by seeing with his own eyes the cruel misery there The "fact-proof screen" is of course another way to instill unity and cohesion.
Outside influence reminds your followers that there are perhaps justifiable opinions and beliefs that counter those your movement teaches; such opinions must always be characterized as dissent, heresy, samizdat, "the dishonest media", etc.The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer is a political philosophy classic from It has lost absolutely nothing to age.
It has lost absolutely nothing to age. In Walden Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."/5. By David J. Stewart "For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death." —Psalm What a wonderful promise from God! Buy a cheap copy of The True Believer: Thoughts on the book by Eric Hoffer.
A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. The True 5/5(5). A General Survey of Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) Patients [Editor's Note: This article explains the damage inflicted on victims of mind control programs such as the government MK ULTRA program.
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. Find great deals on eBay for the true believer.
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