Erick Fromm


Dean Gotcher

"In the process of history man gives birth to himself. He becomes what he potentially is, and he attains what the serpentthe symbol of wisdom and rebellionpromised, and what the patriarchal, jealous God of Adam did not wish: that man would become like God himself." Erick Fromm You shall be as gods: A radical interpretation of the old testament and its tradition 1966

"Human consciousness can be liberated from the parental (Oedipal) complex only be being liberated from its cultural derivatives, the paternalistic state and the patriarchal God."  "Freud speaks of religion as a ‘substitute-gratification'– the Freudian analogue to the Marxian formula, ‘opiate of the people.'" (Norman O. Brown  Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History)

"If the guilt accumulated in the civilized domination of man by man can ever be redeemed by freedom, then the ‘original sin' must be committed again: ‘We must again eat from the tree of knowledge in order to fall back into the state of innocence." (Herbart Marcuse  Eros and Civilization: A philosophical inquiry into Freud)

"To experience Freud is to partake a second time of the forbidden fruit; and this book cannot without sinning communicate that experience to the reader."  (Normal O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History) 

"But Brown (the author of Life Against Death) believed that the payoff was worth the price of sinnamely, that alienation would be overcome, and the return of the repressed completed, rendering problems of sin permanently moot."  (Mike Connor. From the March 23-30, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz)

Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Book 2 Affective Domain .... Benjamin Bloom

"In the more traditional society a philosophy of life, a mode of conduct, is spelled out for its members at an early stage in their lives." p. 166

"A major function of education in such a society is to achieve the internalization of this philosophy."

"This is not to suggest that education in an open society does not attempt to develop personal and social values." "It does indeed." p. 166

"But more than in traditional societies it allows the individual a greater amount of freedom in which to achieve a Weltanschauung1" p. 166

"1Often this is too challenging a goal for the individual to achieve on his own, and the net effect is either maladjustment or the embracing of a philosophy of life developed by others." p. 166

"1Cf. Erich Fromm, 1941; T. W. Adorno et al., 1950" p. 166

"Personal relations between men have this character of alienation. Hegel and Marx have laid the foundations for the understanding of the problem of alienation." Erick Fromm Escape from Freedom

"The immediate task is to unmask human alienation in its secular form, now that it has been unmasked in the sacred form." Karl Marx Selected writing in Sociology and Social Philosophy trans. by T. B. Bottormore.  [To Marx the earthly family and the heavenly family are the same therefore the earthly family must be destroyed in theory and practice.] 

"Every form of objectification results in alienation"  "Alienation is the experience of ‘estrangement' (Verfremdung) from others, . . ." "Alienation has a long history. Its most radical sense already appears in the biblical expulsion from Eden." "Alienation, according to Feuerbach, derives from the externalization (Entausserung) of human powers and possibilities upon a non-existent entity: God. . ." "God is thus the anthropological source of alienation . . ." "Alienation will continue so long as the subject engages in an externalization (Entausserung) of his or her subjectivity."  Bronner Of Critical Theory and its Theorists

"The life which he has given to the object sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force."  Karl Marx MEGA I/3, pp. 83-84

"Alienation will continue so long as the subject engages in an externalization (Entausserung) of his or her subjectivity."  Bronner Critical Theorists and their Theory

"Tillich suggests that it would be better to let the giver of arbitrary laws to destroy us physically than to accept the psychological destruction that would accompany submission to an alien will."  Leonard F. Wheat Paul Tillich's Dialectical Humanism

"We may call this new order by the name of democratic socialism but the name does not matter; all that matters is that we establish a rational economic system serving the purposes of the people.  Only in a planned economy in which the whole nation has rationally mastered the economic and social forces can the individual share responsibility and use creative intelligence in his work.  All that matters is that the opportunity for genuine activity be restored to the individual; that the purposes of society and of his own become identical." Erick Fromm Escape from Freedom 

"In fact, it is probably fair to say that Erich Fromm's Marx's Concept of Man introduced the young Marx to America and provided the dominant interpretation of this thinker for the students of the New Left."  "…Fromm gave the humanitarian, idealist, and romantic proponents of the New Left a Marx they could love."  Bronner Of Critical Theory and its Theorists

" ... the central problem of democracy is not the discovery of some optimal solution or standard for ranking incommensurate values; ... The central problem of democracy is instead the formation of a somewhat vaguely defined ‘postconventional' consensus through which everyone affected by a decision must be able to participate in reaching it." Bronner Of Critical Theory and its Theorists

"Changing a group atmosphere from autocracy toward democracy through a democratic leadership means that the autocratic followers must shift toward a genuine acceptance of the role of democratic followers." "It is of utmost importance that the trainer of democratic leaders establish and hold his position of leadership." "In a democratic process deviation is welcomed as a possible source of improvement in common ways of thinking and acting."  Kenneth Benne Human Relations in Curriculum Change

"Bypassing the traditional channels of top-down decision making, our objective centers upon .... transform public opinion into an effective instrument of global politics." "Individual values must be measured by their contribution to common interests and ultimately to world interests.... transforming public consensus into one favorable to the emergence of a stable and humanistic world order." "Consensus is both a personal and a political step. It is a precondition of all future steps..."  Ervin Laszlo  A Strategy for the Future: The Systems Approach to World Order.

"Human rights and duties are grounded in the institutions and ideologies of a culture, not in a nature independent of man's social relationships. If human rights are to be guaranteed, they must be guaranteed by appropriate social, political, and economic controls of human behavior, not by opposition to these." "The rights of private judgment can be defensibly defined and enforced on a democratic basis only by processes of collaborative planning. They cannot be guaranteed by dogmas concerning the nature of man." "To the democratic planner 'dogmas' are seen methodologically as 'intellectual' attempts to save some privileged position from open collective criticism and modification." "How to convert the perception of favored principles by those who hold them from dogmas to 'hypotheses' remains a central problem for democratic social engineers." "... changing human relations; for, inevitably, it must consider not only what 'is' and what 'can be' but also, what 'ought to be'." Kenneth Benne Human Relations in Curriculum Change

"The most effective method for weakening the child's will is to arouse his sense of guilt." "The most important symptom of the defeat in the fight for oneself is the guilty conscience."  Erick Fromm Escape from Freedom

"The new guilt complex appears to be historically connected with the rise of patriarchal religion (for the Western development the Hebrews are decisive)." "The guilty conscience is formed in childhood by the incorporation of the parents and the wish to be father of oneself." "We must return to Freud and say that incest guilt created the familial organization." "Human consciousness can be liberated from the parental (Oedipal) complex only be being liberated from its cultural derivatives, the paternalistic state and the patriarchal God." "The abolition of repression would only threaten patriarchal domination." "Freud, Hegel, and Nietzsche are, like Marx, compelled to postulate external domination and its assertion by force in order to explain repression." Norman O. Brown   LIFE AGAINST DEATH

"Freud noted that ... patricide and incest ... are part of man's deepest nature."  Irvin Yalom The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

"What we call ‘conscience' perpetuates inside of us our bondage to past objects now part of ourselves: ..." Norman O. Brown Life Against Death

"Social control is most effective at the individual level. The personal conscience is the key element in ensuring self-control, refraining from deviant behavior even when it can be easily perpetrated." "The family, the next most important unit affecting social control, is obviously instrumental in the initial formation of the conscience and in the continued reinforcement of the values that encourage law abiding behavior." Dr. Robert Trojanowicz The meaning of "Community" in Community Policing

"...  the super-ego ‘unites in itself the influences of the present and of the past.'" Norman O. Brown Life Against Death

"It is a function of the ego to make peace with conscience, to create a larger synthesis within which conscience, emotional impulses, and self operate in relative harmony." "When this synthesis is not achieved, the superego has somewhat the role of a foreign body within the personality, and it exhibits those rigid, automatic, and unstable aspects discussed above." Theodor Adorno The Authoritarian Personality

"The superego is conceived in psychoanalysis as functioning substantially in the same way as the conscience." "Superego development is conceived as the incorporation of the moral standards of society." "Therefore the levels of the Taxonomy should describe successive levels of goal setting appropriate to superego development." Benjamin S. Bloom Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Book I Cognitive Domain

"This voice which really isn't you but tells you the way the world works is a direct attack on creativity. We have to work to remove it." "When we learn to silence the inner voice that judges yourself and others, there is no limit to what we can accomplish, individually and as part of a team. Absence of judgment makes you more receptive to innovative ideas." Michael Ray Maslow on Management, Abraham Maslow, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998. p. 223, 225

". . . a tendency to transmit mainly a set of conventional rules and customs, may be considered as interfering with the development of a clear-cut personal identity in the growing child." Theodor Adorno  The Authoritarian Personality

"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being determines their consciousness. Language, like consciousness, only arises from the need, the necessity, of intercourse with other men." Karl Marx MEGA I/5, pp. 10-11, 19
"Sense experience must be the basis of all science. Science is only genuine science when it proceeds from sense experience, in the two forms of sense perception and sensuous need, that is, only when it proceeds from Nature."  Karl Marx MEGA I/3, p. 123
"The more of himself man attributes to God, the less he has left in himself." Karl Marx MEGA I/3, pp. 83-84

"Every neurosis is an example of dynamic adaptation; it is essentially an adaptation to such external conditions as are in themselves irrational and, generally speaking, unfavorable to the growth of the child." ". . . Definition of religious experience as experience of absolute dependence is the definition of the masochistic experience in general." Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

"My work on motivations come from the clinic, from a study of neurotic people." Maslow on Management, Abraham Maslow, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998. p 71

"This carry-over from the study of neurosis to the study of labor in factories is legitimate." Maslow on Management, Abraham Maslow, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998. p 71

"The main support of this theory has come mostly from psychotherapists like Rogers and Fromm." Maslow on Management, Abraham Maslow, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998. p 71

"Protestantism was the strongest force in the extension of cold rational individualism." Horkheimer Vernunft and Selbsterhaltung, p. 33

"To experience Freud is to partake a second time of the forbidden fruit"  Norman O. Brown

"But Brown believed that the payoff was worth the price of sin--namely, that alienation would be overcome, and the return of the repressed completed, rendering problems of sin permanently moot." Mike Connor 

"Parental discipline, religious denunciation of bodily pleasure, . . . have all left man overly docile, but secretly in his unconscious unconvinced, and therefore neurotic."  "The bondage of all cultures to their cultural heritage is a neurotic construction." "Neurotic symptoms, with their fixations on perversions and obscenities, demonstrate the refusal of the unconscious essence of our being to acquiesce in the dualism of flesh and spirit, higher and lower." "Freud speaks of religion as a ‘substitute-gratification' – the Freudian analogue to the Marxian formula, ‘opiate of the people.'" "Psychoanalysis must treat religion as a neurosis." Norman O. Brown  Life Against Death

"The family thus may be considered to be the psychological agent of the society." Erick Fromm Escape from Freedom

"The major implication . . . was the transformation of the family's role in the process of socialization." Martin Jay The Dialectical Imagination: The History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research 1923-1950

"Freedom, as Fromm argued in Escape from Freedom meant ‘freedom to,' not merely ‘freedom from.'"  Martin Jay  The Dialectical Imagination

 "Freedom from excessive tension and from pressures to adopt a particular viewpoint." "His efforts need not conform to the views of authority." Benjamin S. Bloom Taxonomy of Education Objectives Book 1: Cognitive Domain

"In psychology, Freud and his followers have presented convincing arguments that the id, man's basic and unconscious nature, is primarily made up of instincts which would, if permitted expression, result in incest, murder, and other crimes." "The whole problem of therapy, as seen by this group, is how to hold these untamed forces in check in a wholesome and constructive manner, rather than in the costly fashion of the neurotic." Carl Rogers in his book on becoming a person: A Therapist View of Psychotherapy

"Doubt is the starting point of modern philosophy. Rational doubts have been solved by rational answers. The irrational doubt has not disappeared and cannot disappear as long as man has not progressed from negative freedom to positive freedom.  Erik Fromm Escape from Freedom

"Philosophy is a free and not self-seeking activity, … This activity contains the essential element of a negation, because to produce is also to destroy; … as Mind passes on from its natural form, it also proceeds from its exact code of morals and the robustness of life to reflection and conception. The result of this is that it lays hold of and troubles this real, substantial kind of existence, this morality and faith, and thus the period of destruction commences."  Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy Introduction B. Relation of Philosophy to Other Departments of Knowledge.

Man is free from all ties binding him to spiritual authorities, but this very freedom leaves him alone and anxious, overwhelms him with a feeling of his own individual insignificance and powerlessness. We are proud that in his conduct of life man has become free from external authorities, which tell him what to do and what not to do."  "Both the sadistic and the masochistic trends are caused by the inability of the isolated individual to stand alone and his need for a symbiotic relationship to overcome this aloneness."  [Fromm believed that man could] "not take the last logical step, to give up 'God' and to establish a concept of man as a being who is alone in the world, but who can feel at home in it if he achieves union with his fellow man and with nature."  Erik Fromm Escape from Freedom 

"Work done by Horkheimer in the thirties identified 'neurosis as a social product, in which the family was seen as a primary agent of repressive socialization.'" "A logical connection emerges with the anthropological perspective of the young Marx wherein ‘the eye becomes the human eye, the ear the human ear.'" Erich Fromm, Marx's Concept of Man, New York, 1961, p. 133  Stephen Eric Bronner Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists p. 212

"In Escape from Freedom, Fromm offered the sado-masochistic character as the core of the authoritarian personality." "The antithesis of the ‘authoritarian' type was called ‘revolutionary.'" "By The Authoritarian Personality ‘revolutionary' had changed to the ‘democratic.'" Martin Jay The Dialectical Imagination 

"I have found whenever I ran across authoritarian students that the best thing for me to do was to break their backs immediately.  The correct thing to do with authoritarians is to take them realistically for the bastards they are and then behave toward them as if they were bastards."  "In a democratic society a patriarchal culture should make us depressed instead of glad; it is an argument against the higher possibilities of human nature, of self actualization."  Abraham Maslow Maslow on Management 1998

"A new emphasis on civic participation and social interaction alone seemed capable of confronting the crisis. And, that is precisely what Fromm provided in his notion of ‘communitarian socialism.'" Bronner Of Critical Theory and its Theorists

"... once you can identify a community, you have discovered the primary unit of society above the level of the individual and the family that can be mobilized to take concerted action to bring about positive social change. Dr. Robert Trojanowicz  Community Policing  The meaning of "Community" in Community Policing

"Walden Two: 'Now that we know how positive reinforcement works, and why negative doesn't' ... 'we can be more deliberate and hence more successful in our cultural design.  We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system, nevertheless feel free.  They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do.  That's the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement―there's no restrain and no revolt.  By a careful design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behavior―the motives, the desires, the wished.  The curious thing is that in that case the question of freedom never arises."  Carl Rogers On becoming a person

Bloom's Taxonomy: Affective Domain

"In fact, a large part of what we call "good teaching" is the teacher's ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the student's fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues." p. 54

"The affective domain is, in retrospect, a virtual ‘Pandora's Box." p. 91

"We are not entirely sure that opening our ‘box' is necessarily a good thing; we are certain that it is not likely to be a source of peace and harmony among the members of a school staff." p. 91

"It is in this ‘box' that the most influential controls are to be found."

"The affective domain contains the forces that determine the nature of an individual's life and ultimately the life of an entire people" p. 91 


"In 1948 a group of psychologists interested in achievement testing met at an American Psychological Association Convention in Boston." p. 3

"… securing a common terminology for describing and referring to the human behavioral characteristics we were attempting to appraise in our different school and college settings." p. 3

"… the types of human reaction or response to the content, subject matter, problems, or areas of human experience . . . defined in terms of thoughts, feelings, and actions." p. 3

"Whether or not the classification scheme presented in Handbook I: Cognitive Domain is a true taxonomy is still far from clear." p. 11

"The learning environment must give major emphasis to the … opportunities to practice the behavior." pp. 11-12

"… grade students with respect to their interests, attitude, or character development." p. 17

"One's beliefs, attitudes, values , and personality characteristics are more likely to be regarded as private matters, except in the most extreme instances already noted." p. 18

"My attitudes toward God, home and family are private concerns." p. 18

"The public-private status of cognitive vs. affective behaviors is deeply rooted in the Judaeo-Christian religion and is a value highly cherished in the democratic traditions of the Western world." p. 18

"Closely linked to this private aspect of affective behavior is the distinction frequently made between education and indoctrination in a democratic society." p. 18

"Education opens up possibilities for free choice and individual decisions." p. 18

"Indoctrination, on the other hand, is viewed as reducing the possibilities of free choice and decision." p. 18

"Indoctrination is regarded as an attempt to persuade and coerce the individual to accept a particular viewpoint or belief, to act in a particular manner, and to profess a particular value and way of life." p. 18

"Indoctrination has come to mean the teaching of affective as well as cognitive behaviors." p. 18

"Perhaps a reopening of the entire question would help us to see more clearly the boundaries between education and indoctrination, and the simple dichotomy expressed above between cognitive and affective behavior would no longer seem as real as the rather glib separation of the two suggests." p. 18

"Perhaps one of the most dramatic events highlighting the need for progress in the affective domain was the publication of Jacob's Changing Values in College (1957)." p. 20

"…teachers … yeald[ing] control over objectives to the examiners will . . . enable students to grow in ways specified by the objectives." "… places educational direction (and control) in the hands of a small number of instrument makers." p. 22

"… the Taxonomy will provide a bridge for further communication among teachers and between teachers and evaluators, curriculum research workers, psychologists, and other behavioral scientists." p. 23

"As this communication process develops, it is likely that the ‘folklure' …can be replaces by a somewhat more precise understanding of how affective behaviors develop, how and when they can be modified, and what the school can and cannot do to develop them in particular forms." p. 23

"… ordering and relating the different kinds of affective behavior." "… we need to provide the range of emotion from neutrality through mild to strong emotion, probably of a positive, but possibly also of a negative, kind." "… organized into value systems and philosophies of life …" p. 26

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2009-2015