Eric Hoffer: The True Believer and The Nature of Mass Movements

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In this lecture we examine Eric Hoffer’s fascinating analysis of mass movements. We look at their causes, those most prone to join a mass movement, the role of leaders and intellectuals in such movements, and more.
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The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements – (affiliate link)

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27 Responses

  1. Brady McCormick says:

    Lotta word salad here

  2. Snake Pliskin says:

    To surrender yourself to the Lord is to live in freedom with maximum potential for the gain of wisdom. To surrender yourself to the state or mass movement is to be wholly unaware of the beauty of freedom that brings out the best in a human being.

  3. str8EDF says:

    For the impatient, I will summarize this video:

    People are People.

  4. Tauney Elysia says:

    So, Why so People fight anyway? Perhaps meaning of Life lies within our will to fight. And ts a fact the ones actually fighting are never perceived as being tainted. ♡

  5. Percival Sweetwater says:

    Never more pertinent than in relation to the cult of Trump and Evangelical Christian Fascism.

  6. DJ McGrath says:

    TMiTM The Key knowledge of the self.

  7. llriv says:

    This is interesting to watch post #Resist

  8. Tom Fox says:

    The false flag operations and controlled demolition of the WORLD TRADE CENTRE buildings was swallowed up by the masses and has set the stage for where we are today and where we’re headed. None are more enslaved than those who think they are free.

  9. Berry Bell says:

    so… what about vegans?

  10. Trigger Warning says:

    For all the ones making comments without reading the book….try reading the book first.

  11. Trigger Warning says:

    Great summary. I'm currently reading the book. Thanks. This currently sounds like it could be written today for ANTIFA and all the other piggy back movements attempting to jump on the victimization band wagon.

  12. omfug says:

    Hoffer was prescient, we need his work more than ever in the age of Trumpism.

  13. shawn burnham says:


  14. Marmocet says:

    True believers sure do lack creativity. Look what happened to Star Wars, Star Trek, comic book and video game companies once they succumbed to feminists and SJWs.

  15. N.R. Trice says:

    Damn. That was some deep, deep truth there! One of the best lectures you've posted, by far. Though I'd argue radical altruism need not be inherently self-destructive.

  16. Jose Ignacio says:

    Fear and victimization creates hatred against others groups (fear of hell, of poverty, hatred created by victimization of slavery, Shoah, Palestine, women suffering,…). It generates the need for security through an authority (Jesus,Hitler,Stalin)or an ideal (communism, Israel "the promise land",Daesh, security through the idea of a superior group or race like the feminists, the afrocentrists, the aryan race,…) Easy to make true believers by manipulating emotions and then offering security.

  17. Django Freeman says:

    Libertarianism is the movement of and for the future.

  18. Josh Gibson says:

    I love your videos on social psychology, social control, collectivism, freedom, and individuality. I viewed all your videos from a political perspective but after becoming an atheist, I’m rewatching your videos from a religious perspective. The way people worship the state and a god really aren’t all that different.

  19. Brian McGuire says:

    Very well done. Hoffer was blessed with brilliance.

  20. jerry mander says:

    Wow describes the Millenials today

  21. D Snodgrass says:

    It's humorous to see so many commenters greedily scratching their personal itches on Hoffer's tree. The way i see Hoffer is the way I see Veblen; he sees many things somewhat clearly, but through the wrong end of a telescope. You can identify a few of their ideas in people and groups from a distance; but it's a flagrant mistake to assume you're seeing and assessing the whole truth about them from the "strawman" that is drawn by these gentlemen.

  22. blah deBlah says:

    This is what you get when you take away the Sacraments of good religion.

  23. Don Kirk says:

    A mass movement to bring about social change is not inherently deadly; women's suffrage, for instance, is an example of a non-lethal mass movement. What Hoffer carefully detailed was the mass movements by 'true believers,' those who gather a following by making their ideology into a secular religion complete with good-versus-evil, sacred sacrifice, transcendence, and a holy mission. Mussolini, the former president of the Italian Socialist Party and an atheist, deliberately created Fascism after WWI to be a secular religion, which he made abundantly clear in his book, "Fascist Doctrines and Institutions," as he called for war veterans' religious fanaticism to lead his movement. The lesson for us from Eric Hoffer's book is how we can distinguish between non-lethal mass movements and murderous mass movements BEFORE the slaughters begin. We will always—always—discover that true-believing ideologues, whether on the Left or Right, object to Hoffer's insightful analysis. Eric Hoffer, by the way, was not a philosopher as claimed in this video; he was a blue collar (former dock worker) sociologist.

  24. gary Brodie says:


  25. Gearsturfs says:

    Everything in this is about focusing on things that make you blind to social ills, and focus on the negativity that comes with fighting social ills.

  26. Brent Bennett says:

    Philosophy is questions that may not be answered. Religion is answers that may not be questioned.

  27. Trump says:

    TL:DW; Mass movements are never wholesome and good, always evil and the people who get involved are stupid.

    Not biased at all.

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