The Sane Society
The Sane Society is a continuation and extension of the brilliant psychiatric concepts Erich Fromm first formulated in Escape from Freedom; it is also, in many ways, an answer to Freud's Civilization and its Discontents. Fromm examines man's escape into overconformity and the danger of robotism in contemporary industrial society: modern humanity has, he maintains, been alienated from the world of their own creation. Here Fromm offers a complete and systematic exploration of his "humanistic psychoanalysis." In so doing, he counters the profound pessimism for our future that Freud expressed and sets forth the goals of a society in which the emphasis is on each person and on the social measures designed to further function as a responsible individual.
What people are saying - Write a review
I read this book as a young man, and was impressed with the depth and perception of the material. Later, in mid life, when I was suffering from a bout of home-sickness "an overwhelming sadness"(I had migrated from Perth, Australia, to the USA, in 1962), I recalled this section of the book, and it (along with appeals to other literature*) gave me the strength to carry on. Go to page 68-69 of this on-line bbok to see this section, where Fromm describes the healthy individual, who is independent from "nature, mother, clan"
* These were Maslow, "Motivation and Personality", and a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Spring and Fall. to a young child", the latter being more relevant to the discussion of how to escape the oppressive sadness of homesickness, as follows: the poet describes the root of Margaret's sadness over the transient nature of the leaves: with great insight he ends this poem with:
"It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for"
I hypothesized that if I accepted ny own mortality, then other, lesser losses wouldn't worry me so much. After imagining my own death...funeral, etc.,and shedding real tears over this, I found that this hypothesis was right..for me.
ARE WE SANE?
CAN A SOCIETY BE SICK?THE PATHOLOGY OF NORMALCY
THE HUMAN SITUATIONTHE KEY TO HUMANISTIC PSYCHOANALYSIS
MANS NEEDSAS THEY STEM FROM THE CONDITIONS OF HIS EXISTENCE
A Relatedness vs Narcississm
B TranscendenceCreativeness vs Destructiveness
C RootednessBrotherliness vs Incest
D Sense of IdentityIndividuality vs Herd Conformity
3 ALIENATION AND MENTAL HEALTH
VARIOUS OTHER DIAGNOSES
E The Need for a Frame of Orientation and DevotionReason vs Irrationality
MENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIETY
MAN IN CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY
THE STRUCTURE OF CAPITALISM AND THE CHARACTER OF MAN
B NineteenthCentury Capitalism
C TwentiethCentury Society
2 CHARACTEROLOGICAL CHANGES
c Various Other Aspects
ii The Principle of Nonfrustration
iii Free Association and Free Talk
iv Reason Conscience Religion
ROADS TO SANITY
B The Principle of Communitarian Socialism
C SocioPsychological Objections
D Interest and Participation as Motivation
E Practical Suggestions