imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Erich Fromm on Karl Marx

by Carla Assmann Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:07 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

The capitalist production method makes a few persons absurdly rich while the others hardly have enough to survive. Capitalism also makes people unfree and unhappy because their access to their true needs is blocked.

ERICH FROMM ON KARL MARX

Must people be reeducated for socialism? Not at all, Erich Fromm says in his book on Marx. They only need to be free of their corrupting education.

By Carla Assmann

[This article (“Den Geist ruiniert”) published 12/24/2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://marx21.de/content/view/1815/32/. Carla Assmann is an editor of Marx21 and does not despair over her compatriots since reading this classical author.]

[“Fromm is liberating and refreshing by overcoming distortions,” an enthusiastic reviewer wrote in DIE ZEIT. In the early 1960s, the well-known psychoanalyst Erich Fromm wrote a little book titled “Das Menschenbild bei Marx” (Marx’s View of the Person) that opened the eyes of many. At that time the Cold War was picking up speed.]

The distortion of Marxist thought” is carried out on two sides, we read there. On one side, the Soviet regime claims Marx for its political legitimation and distorts his ideas. On the other side, the anti-communist West joyfully believes this propaganda and reproaches Marx that his ideal of another society consisted of soulless robotic people under the thumb of a totalitarian bureaucracy. At the same time anti-communists do not grow weary of emphasizing that capitalism with its egoistic pursuit of profit corresponds to human nature and the idea of a socialist society is daydreaming out of touch with reality.

ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITALISM

Has not history shown that no alternative to capitalism is possible and that socialism cannot function any different than in the DDR (East Germany)?

The arguments presented by Erich Fromm in “Marx’s View of the Person” are just as relevant and necessary today as at that time.

UNFREE AND UNHAPPY

Fromm’s starting point is the fact that Marx’s criticism of capitalism goes far beyond the distribution of material goods. The capitalist production method makes a few persons absurdly rich while the others hardly have enough to survive. The capitalist production method also makes people unfree and unhappy because their access to their true needs is blocked.

At the same time Marx opposed every kind of biological or historical determinism. People create the social systems under which they live and can change them.

Work with a twofold function for people is central in Marx’s analysis. Firstly, the production of food is an absolutely necessary basis for survival and secondly is an expression of the human need to be in contact with nature and other people. “Only when he or she is productively active can a person live a meaningful life and be glad in that,” Fromm wrote.

ESTRANGED PEOPLE

As individuals, persons are marked by the circumstances they create as a society. In capitalism, work loses the character of a self-determined expression of human abilities through division of labor and private ownership of the means of production and becomes a compulsion that “turns the human psyche into a fortress and ruins his spirit.”

“Estrangement” from their own activity prevents people from seeing produced objects as their own work. Since they sacrifice their time and joy in life to the production of “things,” things seem to dominate them. Social and political circumstances also appear like the elements which people face powerlessly.

INDEPENDENT AND JOINTLY DETERMINED

Marx warned against confusing the socialization of the means of production with their nationalization since people then wou9ld be merely subjected to the “abstract capitalists,” the state and bureaucracy. To breakthrough the estrangement of the world and fellow persons, each and every individual must be able to independently jointly determine the social processes.

“For Marx, socialism was never the fulfillment of life but rather the condition of such fulfillment,” Fromm explains. He also emphasized that demands limited to only more distributive justice ignore a basic problem. The rule relation remains and the possibility of cancelling material improvements at any time.

SOCIALISM IS EMANCIPATION

In socialism, the same dull mindless work is pursued, only voluntarily or as asceticism for love of community, according to Marx. On the other hand, all possibilities of self-realization are open to people in a socialist society since the social regulation of production liberates individuals from the constant worry about ensuring survival. Space arises for new desires and ideas. Democratic economies offer time and opportunity to realize this.

In the life of the working class, the oppression of people resulting from the capitalist production method appears very clearly and inexorably. However all social classes gradually suffer under the “enslavement of people by things and circumstances that they make themselves,” Fromm stresses. Therefore emancipation from these circumstances must assume the political form of worker emancipation because the liberation of all people is contained in the liberation of workers, not replacing the present capitalist rule with a new rule of one class over others.

POTENTIAL FOR LIBERATION

In “Marx’s View of the Person,” Erich Fromm tries to show that the capitalist social order contradicts “human nature” and that human nature has the potential to liberate itself from the chains that it forged itself. While his philosophy of history is not entirely convincing, that does not diminish the overall impression. Fromm shows very beautifully that the core ideas from Marx’s early philosophical writings were also central for his later work. Besides many quotations in the text, there is an appendix with extensive quotations from Marx’s early writings.

“Marx experts may not notice that they are not new,” the book review in DIE ZEIT said. “These facts are very new for millions of people who read Marx everyday (and often curse his name every day).” Unfortunately that is still true today and is reason to read Fromm’s book.

RELATED LINKS:

Philosopher and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm never abandoned his vision of a humanist non-estranged society where persons were not commodified or mere goods producers but were emancipated and shared in social, cultural and economic freedom. He wrote "Having or Being" at age 76. His first book "Escape from Freedom" explains why people fall for totalitarian leaders.

to read "Erich Fromm and His Proposal for a Basic Income" published in May 2010, click on
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/07/400819.shtml

http://www.socialistproject.ca

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

KPFK's Indy Media on Air Now on Wednesdays J25 9:13AM

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists J13 7:36PM

Dr. Maryse Narcisse of Haiti Visits Southern California M20 5:55PM

May Day March in Riverside M02 10:35PM

Nuclear Shutdown News: April 2017 M02 4:38PM

Jewish “Defense” League: Nazis in Skull-caps A07 11:13AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

La horde sauvage S25 10:42PM

[France] The State Attacks Indymedia-Grenoble and Indymedia-Nantes… Solidarity! S25 5:18PM

The US Superpower is Dangerous S25 7:59AM

Stéréotypie paraphysique S22 11:36PM

Eye Opener S22 5:43PM

There's a pretend world and a real world S22 3:38PM

Winner takes all S22 3:12PM

Doggy style S22 2:59PM

Development Group Says Debt Relief Can Provide Quick-Recovery Aid to Caribbean S22 10:32AM

Nuremberg trials needed S21 8:53PM

The Shortwave Report 09/22/17 Listen Globally! S21 4:37PM

Darkness over the White House S21 4:17AM

Paraphysique de biodynamie généralisée S20 10:09PM

6 Arrested in Female Genital Mutilation Business in La Vonia Michigan S20 10:32AM

Gang Stalking by fbi S19 6:14PM

Hurricane Maria Slams Dominica and Heads Towards Puerto Rico S19 10:18AM

Phone Privacy? S19 6:42AM

Paraphysique de l'orthopraxie S18 10:40PM

Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem S18 9:07PM

Evidence of USA Murderous Decadence &Threat to Civilization S18 5:46PM

The World at Risk under Trump S18 6:00AM

Fbi are human monsters S18 5:00AM

August 2017 Honduras coup update S17 10:50PM

Perpetrators of atrocities are employed by or associated with fbi S17 5:48PM

Mr. President ... S17 2:13PM

Nicaraguas fake Communist Gov. Forcing Canal on Southern Portion of Country No MoneyHealth S17 1:47PM

Allied Efforts in WW2@ Shortened Length of Time Nazi Party Terrorized Western Theater S17 1:36PM

Identity TRheft Rings Hurting all Classes Races and Types in USA Identity Sytems S17 1:26PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy