Erich Fromm - The Art Of Loving - Deepstash
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Erich Fromm - The Art Of Loving

A little perspective is required to understand Fromm’s pursuit and interest in Love. Erich Fromm grew up and got a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in Germany in 1922. He wrote his final dissertation, “On Jewish Law”, as a nod to his Jewish parents and roots.

Those aware of history know that this time of the Interwar period is one of the single worst examples of persecution in recorded history. Erich Fromm dealt with this hatred over the next 20 years of his life, and his experiences are key to the fundamental premise of his work entitled The Art of Loving, published in 1956.


1.27K reads


Freedom From, Freedom To, And Sadomasochists

Sadomasochists wish for there to be an order or hierarchy that limits the access to positive freedom; they are more comfortable when there is an order and ranks within society. In agreeing to this rank they submit themselves to hierarchy and restrictions in life. This is the masochist in ...


449 reads

Shying Away From Freedom, To Submission And Abuse

Here, it’s easy to see the correlation between the philosophy Erich Fromm developed and the life he lived in Germany. Seeing his country tear itself apart with authoritarian principles and people willfully submitting to and using the power of hierarchical society to feel less existential ...


421 reads

Mature and Immature Love

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.”

What Erich Fromm means by immature love is love generated from a point of narcissism. The most narcissistic facet of this type of love is a transa...


971 reads

Negative Freedom - Freedom *From*

Negative Freedom according to Erich Fromm is the “freedom from”. This type of freedom has been gradually increasing within society ever since the time of hunter-gatherer tribes, where humanity started. It represents the removal of things that can control us entirely: free...


611 reads

The Solution: To Love Effectively

Erich Fromm believed that the solution to this behavior in society and to our existential loneliness that causes it is one the same thing: it is to Love effectively.

Shockingly, Fromm’s idea for this solution started ironically: Love should begin with being comfort...


363 reads

The Persecution Of Bona Fides Love

This understanding and practice though will inevitably face backlash. People will fight against it because it is scary. Our society, and the society that The Frankfurt School was a part of in the 1930s, have institutionalized the commodification of the people within themselves. Fighting a...


308 reads

The Commodification And Institutionalization Of Immature Love

Our contemporary understanding of love and how we find love falls into this category, as illustrated by our use of dating app sites that specifically limit the number of matches that you can have or profiles that you can see based on the level of income and other filters. Fromm w...


783 reads


Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgme...



329 reads

What Was The Frankfurt School?

The Frankfurt School had the luxury and misfortunate privilege of existing in unique times. During the Interwar Period (1918-1939) in the heart of rising Fascism an incredible group of academics and scholars found each other in Germany with a like-minded goal: to provide societal research...


2.22K reads

The Search For A Tribe

This existential loneliness that affects humanity comes from our ability to judge and be aware of our own actions. Our search for a tribe or a group often finds us excluding those not in that tribe. Some of the time the tribe we want to belong to excludes us or perhaps we are within the t...


938 reads


Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one “object” of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indif...



318 reads

Positive Freedom Has Opponents

Those who find this “freedom to” in front of them may have a negative response to opportunity. They may see all that opportunity and freedom and wish for a more rigid way of life, a life where choice is limited in advance instead of the weight of endless possibilities they can choose for ...


479 reads


Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person.

Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also ...



423 reads

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

Yet, Fromm noticed something unexpected while working on the problem facing humanity. Everybody was already searching for Love. People were obsessed with the idea. Books on Love were being taken off all the shelves in every book store. Singles clubs were rapidly becoming popular and roma...


813 reads


Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult...Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but ...



360 reads

Seeing the Problem Ahead of Time

This submission to social hierarchy is easy to see in retrospect, but during the time Fromm was living in it was much harder. Erich Fromm put forward this idea of people shying away from freedom and leaning toward authoritarian principles in the late 1920s. The original argument by The Fr...


326 reads

Loving: Good Faith, Fair Dealing, Due Diligence

No one needs to justify themselves to you and this creates an atmosphere of sincerity; and sincerity is love. More importantly, that is where the faith aspect comes in for Fromm. Anyone who gives out love to everyone they meet does not commodify their fellow members of society and trusts ...


309 reads

Positive Freedom - Freedom *To*

Positive Freedom, on the other hand, is a sort of “freedom to”. For example, we have the opportunity to choose what things we pursue. If we have “freedom to” then we are not restricted to a life of needs; we are not limited to a caste we may be born into. We have a reasonable amo...


472 reads

To Love Effectively Is To Be Comfortable With Loneliness

This comfort with loneliness and ourselves helps us see that everyone is struggling with the same things. Every race, sex, gender, and all peoples live in a society.

Everyone within society struggles with loneliness and finding a place to fit in.


381 reads

The First Aspect Of Love - Humility

When we have humility we can avoid the egoism that plagues most relationships, romantic or otherwise. We should avoid the commodification of both ourselves and the other person by seeing that they do not need to justify themselves and prove their worth to remove your loneline...


360 reads

The Next Two Aspects Of Love - Courage And Faith

The next two aspects of love that are required to change our understanding go hand in hand: they are courage and faith. Courage to Fromm is by far the most difficult of the aspects to achieve. Most likely you and all of us are part of the neutral group of societ...


306 reads

The Fundamental Separateness

Erich Fromm was forced to flee Germany during the Fascist takeover in the 1930s. He first went to Geneva, ultimately finding residency at Columbia University in New York.

During this time Fromm began wondering about what was wrong with humanity.

The fundamental problem of huma...


1.03K reads

Erich Fromm - Escape From Freedom

The answers to these issues with love and loneliness are found in The Frankfurt School and Erich Fromm’s other major work, Escape from Freedom (1941). In this work, Fromm describes a problem we can still see in contemporary society: Individuation. This individualization that occu...


644 reads

Authoritarianism Pushes Us Into Tribes

Erich Fromm argued that if the people in society that are part of the 75% – the neutral, majority party – had a fundamental misunderstanding of Love and Freedom, which they did, then the 75% would be more likely to fall into authoritarianism. This is because authoritarianism pushes you in...


305 reads

Erich Fromm: Love in Our Modern Age - Assets And Liabilities

Many of the descriptions used by Fromm have parallels to our society today. We are feeling more and more lonely in a world that is more and more interconnected. We are seeing into each other’s lives in ways that are inherently commodified. We subscribe to a “grind” mindset that tells ...


271 reads

Love As Art - Something To Pursue, To Practice, To Master

Getting away from this mindset by treating Love not as a feeling and commodity but as an art is the key.

Pursuing an art requires courage to continue, humility to understand that you are just beginning in this practice and faith that if y...


286 reads




“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

One of the main scholars of the Frankfurt School was Erich Fromm, an intellectual who, faced with hatred and being labeled a political dissident, chose to study the opposite of what he saw as the main problem facing all of humanity: hate, segregation, and divisiveness. He chose to study Love.

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