Erik Hoffer is one of America’s greatest and, sadly, least known moral and social philosophers. He was a self-educated dockworker who rose to fame when he was quoted by President Eisenhower and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.
In this Think Olio read-in, we will gather to discuss an excerpt from Hoffer’s The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."
Many are looking for a cause and a movement to join. Hoffer’s insightful and deeply human exploration of the nature of mass movements and those who are a part of them offers us both a way to understand the dynamics of mass movements (including their failure and success) and the motivations and desires of those who participate in them.
By discussing the ideas as a group, we will hopefully be able to make intentional choices about the movements we want to take part in rather than being swayed and overwhelmed by impulsive calls to action on our Facebook feed.
IDIO is a contemporary art gallery and performance space located between iron and auto workshops in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The 100-year-old space was once a horse barn, a muralist headquarters and a rave dungeon. Originally founded as Idiosyncrasy in 2013 by Mary-Evelyn Pritchard, the gallery was re-opened by Montana Simone as Idio in 2015. The space aims to foster iconoclastic arts, challenging thought and the experience of freedom in a time of consumerist conformity.