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Quotes of the day: Erich Fromm
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Published Sunday, March 23, 2014 @ 8:29 AM EDT
Mar 23 2014

Erich Seligmann Fromm (March 23, 1900 - March 18, 1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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All men are in need of help and depend on one another. Human solidarity is the necessary condition for the unfolding of any one individual.

As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask.

Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves.

Envy, jealousy, ambition, any kind of greed are passions; love is an action, the practice of human power, which can be practiced only in freedom and never as a result of compulsion.

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.

I believe that none can 'save' his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion.

I believe that the fundamental alternative for man is the choice between 'life' and 'death;' between creativity and destructive violence; between reality and illusions; between objectivity and intolerance; between brotherhood-independence and dominance-submission.

If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.

Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says: 'I need you because I love you.'

Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.

Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.

Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision-making which replace the principles of instincts.

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape.

Man's biological weakness is the condition of human culture.

Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.

Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others.

Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair

People have committed suicide because of their failure to realize the passions for love, power, fame, revenge. Cases of suicide because of a lack of sexual satisfaction are virtually nonexistent.

Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.

Society must be organized in such a way that man's social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it.

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.

The kind of relatedness to the world may be noble or trivial, but even being related to the basest kind of pattern is immensely preferable to being alone.

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as 'moral indignation,' which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.

To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.

Women are equal because they are not different anymore.


Categories: Erich Fromm, Quotes of the day


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