ShareThis Page

Mandatory reading

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

In 1951, Eric Hoffer wrote “The True Believer,” which analyzed fanatics. He studied mass movements — some religious, some social revolutions, others nationalistic. He found common traits among them.

Today, his book rings just as relevant as then. It should be mandatory reading in high school and college.

Our country was created as a representative republic, based on individual freedoms. Equality was mentioned, but not socialism.

Hoffer's book is a series of numbered short essays. No. 29 addresses the difference between freedom and equality: “Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority. Equality without freedom creates a more stable social pattern than freedom without equality.”

Still, I prefer real freedom. It is harder, has a greater risk of failure and is not politically correct at this time. However, it was real freedom that made this country great — not socialism and equality.

Hoffer's book will make you rethink modern liberal doctrines.

Kathleen Bollinger


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.