What is the appeal of mass movements and what attracts people to them? What type of person gets sucked into one? Are there underlying ideas or themes that are shared by all mass movements?
In 1951, Eric Hoffer published a book called "True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements." In it, he argues that mass movements are broadly interchangeable even when their stated goals or values differ dramatically.
In this video essay, I apply some of his insights to modern social justice movements.
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Our society and politics appear to be on the edge of a precipice. If we are to avoid violence, the only tools we have at our disposal are dialogue and conversation.