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Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.


I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures. If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored.

ERICH FROMM, The Dogma of Christ

Boredom is nothing but the experience of a paralysis of our productive powers.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

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

ERICH FROMM, The Art of Loving

The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel. But given man’s nature, robots cannot live and remain sane, they become “Golems,” they will destroy their world and themselves because they cannot stand any longer the boredom of a meaningless life.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

Modern European and American history is centered around the effort to gain freedom from the political, economic, and spiritual shackles that have bound men. The battles for freedom where fought by the oppressed, those who wanted new liberties, against those who had privileges to defend. While a class was fighting for its own liberation from domination, it believed itself to be fighting for human freedom as such and thus was able to appeal to an ideal, to the longing for freedom rooted in all who are oppressed. In the long and virtually continuous battle for freedom, however, classes that were fighting against oppression at one stage sided with the enemies of freedom when victory was won and new privileges were to be defended.

ERICH FROMM, Escape from Freedom

Freedom is the fundamental condition for any growth.

ERICH FROMM, Escape from Freedom

The criterion of mental health is not one of individual adjustment to a given social order, but a universal one, valid for all men, of giving a satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ”Patriotism” is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by ”patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation, which is the concern with the nation’s spiritual as much as with its material welfare –never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

Man, the more he gains freedom in the sense of emerging from the original oneness with man and nature and the more he becomes an "individual," has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity of love and productive work or else to seek a kind of security by such ties with the world as destroy his freedom and the integrity of his individual self.

ERICH FROMM, Escape from Freedom

That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.

ERICH FROMM, The Sane Society

The minute study of the process of rationalization is perhaps the most significant contribution of psychoanalysis to human progress.

ERICH FROMM, Psychoanalysis and Religion

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, On Disobedience: Why Freedom Means Saying No to Power

Obedience to a person, institution or power ... is submission; it implies the abdication of my autonomy and the acceptance of a foreign will of judgment in place of my own.

ERICH FROMM, On Disobedience

Modern capitalism needs men who cooperate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated ... what is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow man and from nature.

ERICH FROMM, quoted in Wisdom for the Soul


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