Quotes by Erich Fromm

27 quotes found  
9926A sane society is that which corresponds to the needs of man — not necessarily to what he feels to be his needs, because even the most pathological aims can be felt subjectively as that which the person wants most; but to what his needs are objectively, as they can be ascertained by the study of man. It is our first task then, to ascertain what is the nature of man, and what are the needs which stem from this nature.
7401Our social pattern is such that the successful man is not supposed to be afraid or bored or lonely. He must find this world the best of all worlds; in order to have the best chance for promotion he must repress fear as well as doubt, depression, boredom, or hopelessness.
7105It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing is further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing whatsoever on reason or mental health. Just as there is a folie à deux there is a folie à millions. The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same mental pathology does not make these people sane.
7101Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision making which replace the principles of instincts. he has to have a frame of orientation which permits him to organize a consistent picture of the world as a condition for consistent actions. He has to fight not only against the dangers of dying, starving, and being hurt, but also against another anger which is specifically human: that of becoming insane. In other words, he has to protect himself not only against the danger of losing his life but also against the danger of losing his mind.
2292Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.
2159If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated.
2251If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.
2313Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
2164Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines.
2332Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one's own self.
2171One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.
2347The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.
2184In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
2364Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'
2186The history of man is a graveyard of great cultures that came to catastrophic ends because of their incapacity for planned, rational, voluntary reaction to challenge.
2368Who will tell whether one happy moment of love, or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies?
2195If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.
2392The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
2203There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.
2440There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
2214Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.
2481Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.
2228The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.
2501Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.
2241Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?
2593To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime.
2250Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.
27 quotes found