The mysterious occident

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In this program, Mr. Hoffer explains why he believes it is the West and not the East that demonstrates mysterious and unnatural behavior in times of stress and change. His interest in the East and Middle East began in 1955 with the emergence of the new nations of Africa and the East. Their desire for self-rule, for modernization, was, and still is, being accompanied by terrorism, riots and violence. The west, on the other hand, finds that it does not have to resort to these tactics of violence because change has taken place in an orderly way. Mr. Hoffer’s conclusion is that this was the unnatural way… this was not normal human behavior. This orderliness and practical sense that keeps us going is due, he feels, to the rise of the autonomous individual who has the ability to make his own decisions and who must save his soul by his own efforts. This individual did not rise in the Eastern societies mainly because the secular and political powers were one in much the same manner as communism is today. In this way, a man’s religion and political faith were one, and therefore, there was never a conflict. In our society, these faiths are “fighting each other.” It is this struggle within Western man to reconcile these forces that has given rise to the autonomous individual capable of controlling his destiny in an orderly and practical manner. Mr. Hoffer then discusses this practical streak in the Westerner and the antagonism between the practical and the intellectual. Our society, unlike that of the Greeks, is dominated by the masses or the practical man, not by the intellectual as is the general belief. “Any society shaped and dominated by the intellectual,” Mr. Hoffer concludes, “Will not allow practical actions to be a gateway to man’s feeling of a sense of worth. Since our society is governed by practical considerations, it is dominated by the masses and not by the intellectuals.”
Eric Hoffer; James Day; Winifred Murphy; Bernie Stoffer; KQED, San Francisco
National Educational Television; Indiana University Audio-Visual Center
Educational; Interview
National Educational Television
IUL Moving Image Archive
Rights Statement
No Copyright - United States
Other Identifiers
Other: GR00466333; MDPI Barcode: 40000003112986; MDPI Barcode: 40000003112994

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