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Erich Fromm Quotes
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Erich Fromm Quote: “Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “I believe that the experience of love is the most human and humanizing act that it is given to man to enjoy and that it, like reason, makes no sense if conceived in a partial way.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “I believe that if an individual is not on the path to transcending his society and seeing in what way it furthers or impedes the development of human potential, he cannot enter into intimate contact with his humanity.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “One can only understand the power of the fear to be different, the fear to be only a few steps away from the herd, if one understands the depths of the need not to be separated.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “What matters is the effect, not the process.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Faith is not a weak form of belief or knowledge; it is not faith in this or that; faith is the conviction about the not yet proven, the knowledge of the real possibility, the awareness of pregnancy.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Man can never stand still. He must find solutions to this contradiction, and ever better solutions to the extent to which reality enables him.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “A relatively primitive village in which there are still real feasts, common artistic shared expressions, and no literacy at all is more advanced culturally and more healthy mentally than our educated, newspaper-reading radio-listening culture.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Giving is the highest expression of potency.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “When people can see a vision and simultaneously recognize what can be done step by step in a concrete way to achieve it, they will begin to feel encouragement and enthusiasm instead of fright.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality. Love is an active power in man; a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from his fellow men, which unites him with others; love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet it permits him to be himself, to retain his integrity. In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Man can only know the nagation, never the position of ultimate reality.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “In the view of the wise, Heaven is man and Earth woman: Earth fosters what Heaven lets fall.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The most important factor for the development of the individual is the structure and the values of the society into which he was born.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If you love without calling forth love, that is, if your love as such does not produce love, if by means of an expression of life as a loving person you do not make of yourself a loved person, then your love is impotent, a misfortune.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The common suffering is the alienation from oneself, from one’s fellow man, and from nature; the awareness that life runs out of one’s hand like sand, and that one will die without having lived; that one lives in the midst of plenty and yet is joyless.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The pathetic superstition prevails that by knowing more and more facts one arrives at knowledge of reality. Hundreds of scattered and unrelated facts are dumped into the heads of students; their time and energy are taken up by learning more and more facts so that there is little left for thinking. To be sure, thinking without a knowledge of facts remains empty and fictitious; but “information” alone can be just as much of an obstacle to thinking as the lack of it.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Whether a carpenter makes a table, or a goldsmith a piece of jewelry, whether the peasant grows his corn, or the painter paints a picture, in all types of creative work the worker and his object become one, man unites himself with the world in the process of creation. This, however, holds true only for productive work, for work in which I plan, produce, see the result of my work. In the modern work process of a clerk, the worker on the endless.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “A society whose members are helpless need idols.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “When Fascism came into power, most people were unprepared, both theoretically and practically. They were unable to believe that man could exhibit such propensities for evil, such lust for power, such disregard for the rights of the weak, or such yearning for submission. Only a few had been aware of the rumbling of the volcano preceding the outbreak.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “What holds true for the individual holds true for a society. It is never static; if it does not grow, it decays; if it does not transcend the status quo for the better, it changes for the worse. Often we, the individual or the people who make up a society, have the illusion we could stand still and not alter the given situation in the one or the other direction. This is one of the most dangerous illusions. The moment we stand still, we begin to decay.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The need for speed and newness, which can only be satisfied by consumerism, reflects restlessness, the inner flight from oneself.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “One discovers answers to problems only when one feels that they are burning and that it is a a matter of life and death to solve them. Is nothing is of burning interest, one’s reason and one’s critical faculty operate on a low level of activity; it appears then that one lacks the faculty to observe.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The right to express our thoughts, however, means something only if we are able to have thoughts of our own; freedom from external authority is a lasting gain only if the inner psychological conditions are such that we are able to establish our own individuality.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “We... have created a greater material wealth than any other society in the history of the human race. Yet we have managed to kill off millions of our population in an arrangement which we call “war.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The development of man’s intellectual capacities has far outstripped the development of his emotions. Man’s brain lives in the twentieth century; the heart of most men lives still in the Stone Age. The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to be objective. They need myths and idols to endure the fact that man is all by himself, that there is no authority which gives meaning to life except man himself.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The supreme principle of socialism is that man takes precedence over things, life over property, and hence, work over capital; that power follows creation, and not possession; that man must not be governed by circumstances, but circumstances must be governed by man.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “It seems that nothing is more difficult for the average man to bear than the feeling of not being identified with a larger group.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Today we take for granted that we are we. Yet the doubt about ourselves still exists, or has even grown.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Why should anyone be so grateful for acceptance unless he doubts that he is acceptable, and why should a young, educated and successful couple have such doubts, if not due to the fact that they cannot accept themselves because they are not themselves.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “People are confused and unsure, they seek answers to guide them to joy, tranquillity, self-knowledge, salvation – but they also demand that it be easy to learn, that it require little or no effort, that results be quickly obtained.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Obsessional work alone would drive people just as crazy as would complete laziness.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “My duty not to remain passive in a world which seems to be moving toward self-chosen catastrophe.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The doubt itself will not disappear as long as man does not overcome his isolation and as long as his place in the world has not become a meaningful one in terms of his human needs.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Not only thinking and feeling are determined by man’s character structure but also his actions.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “You do many things at once; you read, listen to the radio, talk, smoke, eat, drink. You are the consumer with the open mouth, eager and ready to swallow everything – pictures, liquor, knowledge. This lack of concentration is clearly shown in our difficulty in being alone with ourselves. To sit still, without talking, smoking, reading, drinking, is impossible for most people. They become nervous and fidgety, and must do something with their mouth or their hands.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The cruelty itself is motivated by something deeper: the wish to know the secret of things and of life.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Primary bonds once severed cannot be mended; once paradise is lost, man cannot return to it. There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “But any explanation which analyzes one sector to the exclusion of all others is unbalanced, and thus wrong. The socio-economic, spiritual and psychological explanations look at the same phenomena from different aspects, and the very task of a theoretical analysis is to see how these different aspects are interrelated, and how they interact.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “One can hardly overestimate people’s need to talk about themselves and to be listened to.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “People are afraid to concentrate because they are afraid of losing themselves if they are too absorbed in another person, in an idea, in an event. The less strong their self, the greater the fear of losing themselves in the act of concentration on the non-self.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If the religious system does not correspond to the prevalent social character, if it conflicts with the social practice of life, it is only an ideology.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Mobilizing the love of life is the only force that can defeat the love for the dead.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “Man can attempt to become one with the world by submission to a person, to a group, to an institution, to God. In this way, he transcends the separateness of his individual existence by becoming part of somebody or something bigger than himself, and experiences his identity in connection with the power to which he has submitted.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “The greater the sense of powerlessness and the greater lack of authentic will, the more grows either submission or an obsessional desire for satisfaction of one’s whims and the insistence on arbitrariness.”
Erich Fromm Quote: “If I am nothing but what I believe I am supposed to be – who am “I”?”
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