Escape From Freedom By Jean-Paul Sartre, Erich Fromm

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Who or what defines human nature? How do human beings shape and create their existence? Humankind is a benevolent species that is fueled by compassion, empathy, kindness, love, and many other emotions that allow people to care for those around them. As a result, human beings are constantly creating and reshaping their existence simultaneously through the choices they make. However, the ability to freely choose and decide can bring positive or negative outcomes on behalf of humankind. As seen in the philosophical works of Jean-Paul Sartre, Erich Fromm, and Sigmund Freud, each philosopher explores the meaning behind human nature through discussions about human behavior and action. Each philosopher introduces his own take on humankind and mental …show more content…
In his novel, Escape from Freedom, Fromm introduces many ideas in regards to how individuals will take action to overcome the feeling of powerlessness and loneliness. He introduces “mechanisms of escape” that individuals may or may not use in order to do so; a significant one being: automaton conformity. Automaton conformity is when an individual loses sight of his or her personal self in order to create a pseudo self: a false representation of the individual. An individual will do this in order to conform to the rest of society in order to stop themselves from standing out. However, such creation of a pseudo self can be self-destructive. For instance, Fromm explains, “The automatization of the individual in modern society has increased the helplessness and insecurity of the average individual” (Fromm, 15). With the growing problem of automaton conformity, human beings continue to lose sight of the true self, and the pseudo self becomes what is considered normal. Although the pseudo self provides safety and security in the form of conformity, it does not provide true individualism. As human beings, people have continuously forgotten the importance of difference, individualism, and diversity: resulting in the deliberate promotion of conformity. However, as a species that attempts to promote diversity and embrace difference, people have to accept the true self. In order to save people’s true selves, people must allow others to express themselves freely, instead of causing others to feel the need to create a pseudo self. There have been many instances where people are forced to conform to societal norms, instead of freely expressing their true self. For example, in America there has been an ever present and growing problem with bullying. As bullying is typically rejected everywhere, it still takes place in the schools in

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