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Old 05-04-2005, 08:45 AM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Default THE TRUE BELIEVER


excerpts from
THE TRUE BELIEVER: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
by Eric Hoffer
(from a review by Dr. Mark Skousen at MSkousen.com ):
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“All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments of life; all of them demand blind faith and singlehearted allegiance.” (Preface)

Hoffer defines a “true believer” as “the man of fanatical faith who is ready to sacrifice his life for a holy cause.” Leaders of the mass movement “must know how to kindle and fan an extravagant hope”—for Islamic fanatics, death is the key to instant heaven. “If they join the movement as full converts they are reborn to a new life in its close-knit collective body, or if attracted as sympathizers they find elements of pride, confidence and purpose….” (p. 13)

The true believer is “without wonder and hesitation.” “An active mass movement rejects the present and centers its interest on the future.” (p. 82) The mass movement hates independence and individualism. The focus is on “obedience” and “one mindedness.” “Uniformity” must be developed. (p. 101) Members must be “deindividualized” and “incorporated” into the mass movement. “When we lose our individual independence in the incorporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom—freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse.” (p. 100)

Violence is essential to fanatical mass movements. “Violence breeds fanaticism….and fanaticism begets violence.” Regarding Islam: “Islam imposed its faith by force, yet the coerced Muslims displayed a devotion to the new faith more ardent than that of the first Arabs engaged in the movement.” (p. 107)

Members of the fanatic group are taught to have a common hatred, a single foe, a devil. “The ideal devil is a foreigner….Hitler—the foremost authority on devils—found it easy to brand the German Jews as foreigners.” (pp. 92-93) Hatred becomes a habit. (p. 146) Interestingly, Hoffer points out that “The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners….Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.” (p. 96)
http://www.freedomkeys.com/truebeliever.htm

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