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Escape from Freedom Paperback – September 15, 1994
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“An analysis par excellence of our cultural neurosis. -The Nation” ―The Nation
“An important and challenging work.” ―The New York Herald Tribune
“Fromm's thought merits the critical attention of all concerned with the human condition and its future.” ―The Washington Post
About the Author
Erich Fromm was a German-born U.S. psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society. His works include The Art of Loving, Psychoanalysis and Religion, and Man for Himself. He died in 1980.
Top Customer Reviews
"The person who gives up his individual self and becomes an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more. But the price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of his self."
And second, under the chapter, "Freedom and Democracy":
"This loss of identity then makes it still more imperative to conform, it means that one can be sure of oneself only if one lives up to the expectations of others. If we do not live up to this picture, we not only risk disapproval and increased isolation, but we risk losing the identity of our personality, which means jeopardizing sanity."
"... We must replace manipulation of men by active and intelligent co-operation, and expand the principle of government of the people, by the people, for the people, from the formal political to the economic sphere."
This book also explains the rise of Nazism from a psychological and historical perspective, making it actually seem understandable.
Fromm starts the book by talking about our experience as children from the womb to breaking away and moving into the world. The problem he describes is that people on the whole do not want to be free and want to cling to ideas that make them feel as if they were back in the womb.
This book talks much about socialization and in my opinion parallels "The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge" by Peter L. Berger, Thomas Luckmann, which I believe to be one the best books ever written.
An amazing book that pieces modern society starting from the medieval to the renaissance and reformation, that is, from a well defined structured and fixed group identity, fixed meaning to life, determined purpose to life and the here after, to that of the existential, capitalistic and monopolist society that has produced radical individualism with the type of freedom producing severe loneliness, separation and the need to alleviate such emptiness, which has been fulfilled by illusionary means.
Fromm relates a major piece of Western civilization's struggle in the ability to see the correlation between the medieval, secure, self-employed society to that of the Renaissance, an elite aristocracy employing the masses as dependent employees, commodities under a new capitalistic society. It was here only the limited rich could prosper in creativity, while the masses existed in a new existential despair. And so Luther, and later Calvin, devised new forms of Christianity, existential types, to aid these new psychological needs of the masses in accepting this change from security to exploitation.
Fromm goes both into the psyche of man, the nature of societal structure, the development of western civilization and need for security and certainty to that of either authoritarian rule, internal conscious rule or the invisible rule of democratic conformity to public opinion, or automation.
Basic Masochistic/Sadistic desires of man from the extreme, to what is considered "normal" has been seen in the forfeit of the individual self into totalitarian control, capitalistic profit and religious and social concepts that attempt to fill the void of separateness without keeping the self.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of Fromm's greatest works as he breaks down the common man in every society he's been placed and the psychological factors that have molded him over time. BeautifulPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
anybody who reads this book might like ernest becker's Denial of Death & Escape from EvilPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Read the book for the first time 25+ years ago. Returning to it every few years. Still fresh and enlightening.Published 6 months ago by KCH
it seems to me that this book is his best,I was sorry that ig.n the Kindle addition you left out the epilogue which is brillilant to understand the differences in culture and his... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Margot