imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

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 - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

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

In LA, San Diego, Sacramento and 147 Other Cities, McD And Other Fast Food Workers Picket S05 1:08PM

Did LA pro-Israel group conceal right-wing identity from Hollywood celebs and media? S04 11:39AM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S02 4:49PM

Anti-blackracism in the U.S. S01 12:10PM

New Zine on Activist Collective Living A29 9:19AM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 2 of 2 A21 9:09PM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 A21 7:01PM

Running Down the Walls 2014 A20 8:48PM

Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery Extends Exclusive Engagement A19 3:37PM

Los Angeles Declares “Hands Up!” in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford A18 4:09AM

Ezell Ford and Ferguson Solidarity A17 6:35PM

Family and Supporters of #Justice4Fords Protest LAPD Execution of Ezell Ford in South L.A. A17 2:49PM

Southern California Swarms to Save the Bees in Solidarity with Honey Bee Day Around the Gl A17 5:30AM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 4 A05 7:03PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Creative Community for Peace S18 10:00PM

The Shortwave Report 09/19/14 Listen Globally! S18 4:59PM

UCLA Center for Near East Studies charged with racism S18 8:24AM

Anti-Assad Extremists and Obama Plan Coordinated Attacks on Syria S18 7:25AM

Ukraine's President in Ottawa and Washingto S18 4:31AM

Le système, ses agents, ses exécutants S18 1:24AM

The Failure of the Block the Boat tactic S17 8:38PM

Israel's Ruthless Agenda S17 11:46AM

National Football League Violence S17 11:29AM

Bomb Abroad Spank At Home S17 11:05AM

Naomi Klein Breaks a Taboo S17 10:57AM

OECD Takes Strong Stance on Corporate Tax Avoidance S17 7:06AM

Sergey Lavrov: World Class Peace Advocate S17 5:14AM

War Winds Near Gale Force S17 4:31AM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S16 12:14PM

Kiev Grants Donbas Limited Special Status: Hold the Cheers S16 12:13PM

Nuclear Bomb Witness, Mobile Audit Club Daily Forewords, ISIS good Sissies like Reid Fag, S16 10:15AM

police training problem S16 8:19AM

How Neoliberalism Gained Hegemony S16 7:11AM

Dreaming War, Threatening Humanity S16 5:56AM

18 Ways AntiHealth Departments Connected To Drug Co. Pawns In The CDC Do Harm S15 2:59PM

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine Without End S15 1:55PM

Israeli Persecution of Palestinians Unrelated to Defense S15 7:48AM

Beat the Heat S14 6:32PM

Israeli High Crimes Against Peace Examined S14 1:30PM

Russell Tribunal on Ukraine S14 10:16AM

TISA versus Public Services S14 9:29AM

Russia Denounces New Western Sanctions S14 6:13AM

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