Understanding Fromm's Mechanisms of Escape Essay

3610 Words Jun 19th, 2008 15 Pages
To understand Fromm’s mechanisms of escape—authoritarianism, destructiveness, and automaton conformity—one must obtain an understanding of Fromm basic premise for humanity and society which is overall positive. Reviewing the mechanisms of escape can assist one in understanding how an individual can be ruled by another, take one’s own life, or become lost in society. Fromm’s book, Escape from Freedom, can be used to teach individuals and society, as a whole, how to better understand one another and evolve towards a society which exists in harmony. Understanding Fromm’s Mechanisms of Escape
As Explained in Escape from Freedom and Related Journals and Articles For one to begin understanding Fromm’s mechanisms of escape as
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As the leader of the Nazi party, Hitler made the German people dependent on him and the party by exercising absolute and unrestricted power over them. He used the same premise with the Jewish and political prisoners taken during the war. He demanded strict loyalty of his uniformed officers and soldiers even to the point of taking one’s own life to protect the party and its interests. Hitler’s neurotic profile, which is well known, plays directly into Fromm’s sado-masochistic profile. As a masochist, Hitler was weak in nature and did not master things—physical deformities, in love with his mother, poor painter, unemployed—in his life. However, he masked his masochistic tendencies and focused on the sadistic tendencies to:
(1) “make others dependent on oneself and to have absolute and unrestricted power over them, so as to make of them nothing but instruments, ‘clay in the potter’s hand;’ (2) impulse to not only rule over others in this absolute fashion, but to exploit them, to use them, to steal from them, to disembowel them, and, so to speak, to incorporate anything eatable in them; and (3) wish to make others suffer or to see them suffer” (Fromm, 143). The German people were ripe for Hitler

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