23 March 2019

23rd March 1900 - Erich Fromm was born

Erich Fromm was born on 23rd March 1900. He was a well known psychoanalyst who, as well as setting up psychoanalysis clinics, and writing a lot of learned books, wrote a couple of best sellers for which he is probably best known: Escape from Freedom and The Art of Loving. In these he developed psychoanalytic theory that explored the relationship between society and the individual. He was influenced by Freud and Marx.

In Escape from Freedom he looked at how society had developed. Until recent centuries peoples lives were ordered by the tribe, feudal system, or church. During the 19th century people began to have some freedom but their lives became increasingly alone, insecure, and meaningless without God. Some people find ways to escape from freedom into totalitarian regimes, or to alcohol, and many other ways. He spoke about accepting or welcoming freedom or choosing to escape from it.

In The Art of Loving, Fromm argues that Love 'is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.' Most people have not come to love on the level that counts - love born of maturity, self-knowledge and courage. He describes different types of love, and then puts together a theory of love and in the final chapter gives some pointers how this love is to be practised. It needs practise and concentration to develop like any Art. He talks about escaping our narcissistic way of seeing everything as affecting us, and seeing others more objectively.

Thankyou to Wikipedia 23rd March for the date.

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