Patrick50TOP 100 COMMENTATEURS le 10 juin 2013
Format: Format Kindle
Lucide comme était Machiavel quand il écrivait "Le Prince", l'auteur analyse avec beaucoup de hauteur les mouvements de masse et ce qui mène un groupe à croire au delà de la raison dans une idéologie.
Il faut beaucoup de hauteur pour comprendre que les extrémistes se ressemblent tous. Que ce qui les fait basculer est un immense sentiment de frustration tandis que le mouvement de masse est dû à l'intelligence du discours rassembleur qui utilise souvent le mythe de l'égalité ainsi qu'avec beaucoup d'hypocrisie, celui de liberté.
En fait le vrai croyant fuit la liberté comme la peste, à commencer par la liberté de croyance. L'auteur cite beaucoup l'exemple du nazisme mais on pourrait ajouter la Sainte Inquisition, le massacre des protestants sous Louis XIV, etc. Mais c'est un discours qui marche...
Le discours sur l'égalité marche encore mieux mais évidement ceux qui le prônent ne le mettent jamais en place. Dites à un militant de gauche que l'égalité commencerait pas la suppression du statut de fonctionnaire et des régimes spéciaux... et vous allez rigoler un bon moment.
La question qu'on peut se poser à propos de ce livre est : depuis près de 60 ans, ce livre intelligent qui est toujours considéré comme l'analyse la plus lucide sur ce sujet est publié sans que quiconque ait l'idée de le traduire en Français. Je me demande si la France n'est pas toujours un pays de croyants et qu'ouvrir les yeux sur ce que nous sommes est une chose qu'il faudrait surtout éviter et que le fait de limiter cette lecture aux rares anglophones est un moindre mal.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
157 internautes sur 168 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Hofferian Insights Bearing Upon September 113 novembre 2001
Jonathan L. Widger
- Publié sur Amazon.com
"The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause."--Eric Hoffer, The true Believer None of the terrorists of September 11 were destitute. Some even had wives and children. Nevertheless, they committed suicide for their cause. Anyone wanting to understand this horrible irony would do well to read Eric Hoffer's 1951 classic, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) was a self-educated US author and philosopher who was a migratory worker and longshoreman until 1967. He achieved immediate acclaim with his first book, The true Believer. According to Hoffer, the early converts to any mass movement come from the ranks of the "frustrated," that is, "people who..feel that their lives are spoiled or wasted." The true believers' "Faith in [their] holy cause is to a considerable extent a subsitute for [their] lost faith in [themselves]." He says that we are prone to throw ourselves into a mass movement to "supplant and efface the self we want to forget." He then adds, "We cannot be sure that we have something worth living for unless we are ready to die for it." Hoffer offers a general insight about mass movements, which seems to prophetically explain why there is currently widespread anti-Western sentiment within Islamic countries: "The discontent generated in backward countries by their contact with Western civilization is not primarily resentment against exploitation by domineering foriegners. It is rather the result of a crumbling or weakening of tribal solidarity and communal life. "The ideal of self-advancement which the civilizing West offers to the backward populations brings with it the plague of individual frustration. All the advantages brought by the West are ineffectual substitutes for the sheltering and soothing anonymity of a communal existence. Even when the Westernized native attains personal success--becomes rich, or masters a respected profession--he is not happy." Further along, Hoffer mentions those who "want to eliminate free competition and the ruthless testing to which the individual is continually subjected in a free society." Why should individualism, freedom, and self-advancement be hated? Again, I can do no better than quote Hoffer: "Freedom aggravates as much as it alleviates frustration. Freedom of choice places the whole blame of failure on the shoulders of the individual. And as freedom encourages a multiplicity of attempts, it unavoidably muliplies failure and frustration...Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden...We join mass movements to escape individual responsibility...." In light of the above quotes, there is little wonder that the terrorists chose to destroy the Twin Towers. These were architectural symboles of individualism and self-advancement. But Hoffer's book does more than give us insight into the psychology of the fanatic. It causes us to soberly contemplate ourselves. For who has not experienced failure, frustration, and a sense of futility at one time or another? The true Believer is one of those few books I consider to contain ideas approximating to true "wisdom."
285 internautes sur 310 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest31 octobre 2001
Eugene A Jewett
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Written 50 years ago this classic book has been dusted off in the wake of the Taliban's bombing of the Pentagon in Washington DC and the WTC in NYC. The book concerns itself with the active phase of mass movements which are dominated by a true believer, a man of fanatical faith who is ready to sacrifice his life for a holy cause. The 19 suicide bombers who have wreaked so much havoc on America are fanatics of this sort. Eric Hoffer attempts to trace the fanatic's genesis and to outline his nature. Hoffer doesn't dance around the subject like a behavioral therapist billing by the hour. He assumes, in a very straight forward fashion, that frustration with one's life is a peculiarity of fanatics, and assumes that this mindset is necessary for techniques of conversion to achieve their deepest penetration and most desirable results with regard to the fanatic's twisted adherence to his new faith. Hoffer allows that to understand the various facets of the fanatical personality requires an understanding of the practices of contemporary mass movements. Written circa 1951, he studied the Nazi's, the Fascist's, and the Communist's because it was here where the successful techniques of conversion had been perfected and applied. This is a book of ideas and as such it offers up theories. It suggests that through amplifying the negative feelings of its frustrated fanatic's a movement advances its interests by seconding their propensities. Hoffer also posits the thought that all not mass movements are bad, however the central point of the book is to explain the composition of the mindsets of a movement's collective of True Believers. At 168 pages followed by 9 pages of notes, the book is not difficult nor is it an arduous task to read. In fact it's pithy. It has short punchy sections, 125 of them. The work is to be found in the reader's reflections on Hoffer's assertions. He covers the appeal of mass movements and the desire for change found in potential candidates, the personality traits of potential converts, the unity and self sacrifice of the members that is necessary for the movement to achieve its ends, and the factors which determine the length of its active phase. I would offer here that lengthy reflection is suggested if the reader is to derive the full benefits of Hoffer's insights. Hoffer's beginning notion is that "people with a sense of fulfillment think the world is good while the frustrated blame the world for their failures. Therefore a mass movement's appeal is not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self. He continues by saying that the true believer "cannot be convinced, only converted". This basic tenet of the story is about human nature and its susceptibility to totalitarianism both secular and sectarian. To wit, he writes that "all mass movements strive to impose a fact proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. And, that that faith becomes the things the fanatic declines to see. He avers how startling it is to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible, and that faith manifests itself not in moving mountains, but in not seeing mountains move. He say's that in the context of mass movement's faith should not be judged by its profundity, sublimity, or truth but by how thoroughly it insulates the individual from himself and the world as it is." If you have any familiarity with the story of Jim Jones and his Jonestown Kool-Aid mass suicide, or of the group suicide of the members of the cult who found new meaning in the passage of the Hale Bop comet, or of the mental make up of those who bought into the seven seals dogma of David Koresh in the fatal Waco fiasco, then you will recognize that of which Hoffer describes. Read this book for further insight into the fanaticism of the holy warriors of the taliban and perhaps it will steel your resolve for the long struggle we are all in for.
40 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Required High School Reading1 octobre 2002
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I was given this book by my new Stepfather at age 19 in 1967. He had observed my flirtation, if not the beginning of a slide, with radical social activism. Mr Hoffer helped me to see that my attractions to these movements, which have largely been abandoned by even their most ardent proponents, were largely projections of unresolved and indeed unfaced inner coflicts. Thanks Dad. Thanks Mr Hoffer. You saved me and those around me a lot of grief. I think this simple book would go a long way toward social sanity if it were read by High School students.
27 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Eric Hoffer's finest work2 avril 2001
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Eric Hoffer developed an uncanny passion for absorbing and interpreting information; granted, the passion was borne of his fear of a relapse to the blindness of his youth, but it was this passion, the passion of all believers, that he truly understood. The ultimate expression of Hoffer's understanding was this book. Hoffer's jumps between his cross-sections of movements, the primary people of movements, and the people whom may join a movement(s), without any regard for the overt differences on their faces. He sees beyond them to their similarities, and does an excellent job of displaying as much to the reader without bias for any particular one. And that's the truly amazing factor of "The True Believer": the detached nature of Hoffer's writing, which was favorably compared to that of Machaivelli's writing of "The Prince." Many people find such abstractions of information and lack of favoritisms troubling, because it leaves so many unanswered questions, or more importantly, the question of who or which movements were or are right or wrong, unanswered. But that's where the reader needs to think. Some people and indeed some movements may have been right or wrong, but Hoffer is not the one to make such a judgment. You have to make those distinctions for yourself. And when you do make those choices, consider the many similarities those movements have with movements closer to your heart. It forces you to consider things at their essence, which is the same. "The True Believer" does not contain all the answers, but it shows the reader the way towards their personal choices and understanding in the matter. It's a book with potentially devastating prospects for the long closed-minded(who may risk shattering their belief/identity and being laid bare before themselves), but it leads many others to that higher sense of awareness needed to survive, even still in this day and age. Highly recommended.
52 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A classic that can change the way you see the world6 décembre 1999
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This little book is a remarkable achievement. Written by Eric Hoffer who, at the time, was a dock worker with no formal education, it is one of the best treatments of the nature and effects of ideological fanaticism ever produced. The presentation, in short chapters - each demanding to be thought about carefully - is a synthesis of years of careful reading and research on Hoffer's part. It is a book that can be read and reread with each new reading shedding new insight on political and social issues of our time. That Hoffer went on to become something of an apologist for reactionary government response to many of the protest movements during the sixties - including the civil rights movement which he characterized as a 'racket' - should not blind anyone to the value of his first book. Its insights are still fresh and its wisdom is timeless. He, alas, didn't always take his own lessons to heart.