Friday, March 20, 2009

Mass Movement

A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness, and meaninglessness of an individual existence. It cures the poignantly frustrated not by conferring on them an absolute truth or by remedying the difficulties and abuses which made their lives miserable, but by freeing them from their ineffectual selves -and it does this by enfolding and absorbing them into a closely knit and exultant corporate whole.

Hoffer, Eric

(p. 41) The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

I began to keep a list of things that I heard about but didn't understand. Manchuria was the first thing on that list back in 2003. The list is the reason that I know a lot of things. There's nothing rigorous about this project, I've been meaning to look up Gottfried Leibniz for years but something always seems to come up. If you keep a list, I would add Eric Hoffer to it. I'm reading The True Believer and I'm impressed. He's also interesting because he's not your typical academic.

1 comment:

TeamMcCallum said...

I need to think about this for a while. 'freeing them from their ineffectual selves'. I'm not sure I'd agree with this but it's an interesting viewpoint.

Thanks for the post.

TeamMcCallum, www.lifetimeoflife.com