July 25, 2018

ERIC HOFFER’S BIRTHDAY: On this day in either 1898 or 1902, depending upon whom you ask, Eric Hoffer, the only longshoreman-philosopher ever to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was born in the Bronx. Hoffer was the author of The True Believer, an inquiry into the nature of mass movements. His other works include The Ordeal of Change and The Temper of Our Time.

Hoffer wrote one of the greatest lines I’ve ever read, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

He wasn’t thinking of the Southern Poverty Law Center when he said it. But, alas, the shoe fits.

If you know one of those poor souls who still thinks of the SPLC as David against the Ku Klux Klan’s Goliath, have him or her consider this: The SPLC has accumulated an endowment of about $477 million. Meanwhile, for all practical purposes, the KKK was vanquished decades ago. The remnant isn’t even a remnant.  It’s just a handful of thugs who adopted the name, knowing that it would shock people. To keep the SPLC’s gravy train rolling it has had to frighten well-heeled donors into believing that the country is crawling with other hate groups. Not a pretty picture.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news on the SPLC, try here, here, and here. For the most recent news of Hoffer, you’ll have to be satisfied with this.

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