"It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression."
by:
Eric Hoffer
(1902-1983) American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
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I don't think the Obamumists see the generosity shown to them as oppressive. They don't want to work and they see government support is an entitlement that they are owed, generation after generation. And now that over 46 million Americans are on food stamps and the economy there is slowly going down the toilet under "liberal" tutelage (see Detroit) I don't expect any of it to change without something drastic happening. And yes both power and weakness played their roles.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    I too have a problem with this aphorism. Just because it sounds profound, doesn't mean it is. It starts off so interesting; that the poor could have moral problem too. Then the last sentence. It doesn't work for me. If I were down and out, and have been getting support for a long time I would still appreciate the gift but the only bad feeling I would have would be a feeling of dependence; that I was entitled because of bad luck. I would also be afraid the Republicans and other not-so-generous rich (because of luck) people might take it away. But all of those feeling would be insignificant compared to feeling sorry for myself. But just as the powerful don't see themselves as corrupted, there may be some corruption that the poor don't see either. It may be that the giving up of ever being productive is that unseen corruption.
     -- Walter Clark, Fullerton CA     
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    This is meerly a pathetic attempt to defend the retention of wealth and power in the hands of the few. If the flaws that Hoffer listed proliferate amongst the weak; they are rampant amongst the powerful. The US and A Republicans are demonstrating this perfectly; the very idea that the culture of fear, that they have worked so hard to entrench, will be slightly abated is unconscionable.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
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    Some absolute truths, far too general merged with some aaahh - no
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I'm curious what is the US "and" A?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The comments I see on the list are curiously oblivious to Hoffer's point. It is DIRECT generosity that the weak resent. The fact that they can vote themselves the power to extract benefits is in fact a manifestation of that resentment. No one likes to feel beholden. That the government seizes on this aspect of human nature, and uses it to subvert generosity of the haves, while simultaneously preempting the thanks of the have-nots, is a big reason society has become as polarized as it is.
     -- Barry Kruse, Petaluma CA     
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    Right on Mr. Hoffer.

    It is what has and is happening to America.

    Semper Fi.
     -- b, naples FL     
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    "Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence." Hoffer hits the nail on the head. Note, that government legislation continually dis-empowers the people with 'regulations' that ultimately make them dependent upon government largess. Taking control of the issuance of currency, gun control, income taxes, medicine, transportation, you name it, has all been done in the name of 'security' while empowering the wealthy further and disarming the populace completely so that they have not the power to resist.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    In their contemporary incarnations, governments, at all levels, but particularly the hideosity that is the Federal Leviathan, exist to cultivate sloth, immorality and base irresponsibility, at the nominal top and actual bottom of society.

    A certain measure of the falsity of their altruism and of the perfection of their lovelessness.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill      
    Hoffer has a great foundation in Commonsense. Bore out of experience. Boots on the ground, not in a stuffy classroom, isolated from reality.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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