He wrote about the two creases of human freedom. In his work about the Freedom in History.
Fromm explores and presents the psychological and social mechanisms that lead an individual to be afraid of freedom and to prefer to give it up. And there is also the drive to destructiveness towards others or towards Explain erich fromms twofold meaning of human freedom essay when the feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming.
The more distinct forms of this mechanism are to be found in the striving for submission and domination, or, as we would rather put it, in the masochistic and sadistic strivings as they exist in varying degrees in normal and neurotic persons respectively. We shall first describe these tendencies and then try to show that both of them are an escape from an unbearable aloneness.
The most frequent forms in which masochistic strivings appear are feelings of inferiority, powerlessness, individual insignificance.
The analysis of persons who are obsessed by these feelings shows that, while they consciously complain about these feelings and want to get rid of them, unconsciously some power within themselves drives them to feel inferior or insignificant. Their feelings are more than realizations of actual shortcomings and weaknesses although they are usually rationalized as though they were ; these persons show a tendency to belittle themselves, to make themselves weak, and not to master things.
Quite regularly these people show a marked dependence on powers outside themselves, on other people, or institutions, or nature. They tend not to assert themselves, not to do what they want, but to submit to the factual or alleged orders of these outside forces.
In the more extreme cases - and there are many - one finds besides these tendencies to belittle oneself and to submit to outside forces a tendency to hurt oneself and to make oneself suffer. This tendency can assume various forms.
We find that there are people who indulge in self-accusation and self-criticism which even their worst enemies would scarcely bring against them. There are others, such as certain compulsive neurotics, who tend to torture themselves with compulsory rites and thoughts.
In a certain type of neurotic personality we find a tendency to become physically ill, and to wait, consciously or unconsciously, for an illness as if it were a gift of the gods. Often they incur accidents which would not have happened had there not been at work an unconscious tendency to incur them.
These tendencies directed against themselves are often revealed in still less overt or dramatic forms. For instance, there are persons who are incapable of answering questions in an examination when the answers are very well known to them at the time of the examination and even afterwards.
There are others who say things which antagonize those whom they love or on whom they are dependent, although actually they feel friendly towards them and did not intend to say those things.
With such people, it almost seems as if they were following advice given them by an enemy to behave in such a way as to be most detrimental to themselves.
The masochistic trends are often felt as plainly pathological or irrational. More frequently they are rationalized. Besides these masochistic trends, the very opposite of them, namely, sadistic tendencies, are regularly to be found in the same kind of characters.
They vary in strength, are more or less conscious, yet they are never missing. We find three kinds of sadistic tendencies, more or less closely knit together. This desire can refer to material things as well as to immaterial ones, such as the emotional or intellectual qualities a person has to offer.
A third kind of sadistic tendency is the wish to make others suffer or to see them suffer. This suffering can be physical, but more often it is mental suffering. Its aim is to hurt actively, to humiliate, embarrass others, or to see them in embarrassing and humiliating situations.
Sadistic tendencies for obvious reasons are usually less conscious and more rationalized than the socially more harmless masochistic trends. Often they are entirely covered up by reaction formations of over-goodness or over-concern for others.
Some of the most frequent rationalizations are the following: The annihilation of the individual self and the attempt to overcome thereby the unbearable feeling of powerlessness are only one side of the masochistic strivings. The other side is the attempt to become a part of a bigger and more powerful whole outside of oneself, to submerge and participate in it.
This power can be a person, an institution, God, the nation, conscience, or a psychic compulsion. By becoming part of a power which is felt as unshakably strong, eternal, and glamorous, one participates in its strength and glory.
One gains also security against the torture of doubt. The masochistic person, whether his master is an authority outside himself or whether he has internalized the master as conscience or a psychic compulsion, is saved from making decisions, saved from the final responsibility for the fate of his self, and thereby saved from the doubt of what decision to make.
These questions are answered by the relationship to the power to which he has attached himself. The meaning of his life and the identity of his self are determined by the greater whole into which the self has submerged.
The masochistic bonds are fundamentally different from the primary bonds.
The latter are those that exist before the process of individuation has reached its completion.A summary of Erich Fromm‘s ‘Fear of Freedom’, first published in the UK in This book is an analysis of the ‘character structure of modern man’, a work in progress published because of the urgent needs of the times.
Continue reading →. Escape from Freedom, sometimes known as The Fear of Freedom outside North America, is a book by the Frankfurt-born psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, first published in the United States by Farrar & Rinehart in Author: Erich Fromm.
Tag: Explain Erich Fromm’s twofold meaning of human freedom. typical psychological and physiological responses to a death in the family September 19, Assignment Answers. Erich Fromm’s body of work, written more than 50 years ago, was prophetic of the contemporary moment: Increasingly, global society is threatened by the many-headed monster of corporate greed, neo-liberalism, nihilism, extreme fundamentalist beliefs.
Custom Meaning of Human Freedom Essay The concept of human freedom is the focus of Erich Fromm in his philosophical scholars.
He posits that freedom as a concept, related to human lifestyle, has two fold meanings for the modern man. Chapter Two – The Emergence of the Individual and the Ambiguity of Freedom. The meaning of freedom changes as man’s awareness of himself as an independent being changes.
For most of human history, man saw himself as part of nature, one with it, but since the reformation a .