Skip to content


Wish List Cart
15% off all Teen & Young Adult Books. Use code TEEN at checkout

How it works: This coupon is good for 15% off "Teen & Young Adult" books. This discount cannot be applied to gift cards or shipping. This coupon CAN be shared with friends and family. Enter the code TEEN when checking out and click the "Apply" button to see your discount before submitting your order. This coupon expires October 31st, at 11:59 PST.

Home > Psychoanalysis > The Fear of Freedom

The Fear of Freedom

ISBN: 0380011670

Language: English

Publisher: Avon Books (Mm)

The Fear of Freedom


Free U.S. shipping on orders of $10 or more



lf a man cannot stand freedom, he will probably turn Fascist. This, in the fewest possible words, is the essential argument in this modem classic, ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM. The author, Erich Fromm, is a distinguished psychologist, late of Berlin and Heidelberg, now of New York City. He applies the psychoanalytical method to the illness of our civilization which expresses itself in an abject submission to dictatorship. It is true that the rise of democracy set men free and brought to an end the authority of the medieval state and the medieval church. But it brought into existence a society where a man feels isolated from his fellows, where relationships in an industrial age are impersonal, where insecurity replaces a sense of belonging. This sense of isolation may drive an individual to one of various forms of escape. lt may drive a people to seek escape in blind devotion to a Leader, in utter submission to an all-powerful State, into a barbarous and sadistic program of aggression against minority groups or neighbor nations. Few- books since the rise of the dictators have thrown such light upon our times. Few books have penetrated so clearly into the causes of Fascism and Nazism - and into the inherent qualities of a democracy. In his psychoanalysis of the social scene, the author makes a new contribution to psychology by modifying the basic concepts of Freud in placing a purely biological orientation by a cultural one. To all who see that democracy today faces its gravest hour, Dr' Fromm illustrates the essential character of the danger and the nature of democracy's responsibility. By its brilliant exposition of the modern social scene ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM will help clarify many of today's most perplexing problems'

5.00 stars - 5 reviews
Lowest price: 3.59

Customer Reviews of The Fear of Freedom

Escape from Freedom

Fromm's book gives a great insight into the 'authoritarian personality,' first developed by Fromm's 'Fascist-scale' or as it is better known the 'F-scale.' This scale later became the center piece for Adorno's book 'The Authoritarian Personality'. Fromm's "main thesis concerns the twofold aspect of freedom: on the one hand freedom means the liberation from those 'primary bonds' which tied man to nature or which, in the clan or in the feudal society, tied him to the authorities of society and to his fellow men from whom he is not yet set apart as an 'individual.' Such 'freedom from' is not as yet a positive freedom ('freedom to'). Positive freedom, according to Fromm, 'is identical with the full realization of the individual's potentialities, together with his ability to live actively and spontaneously'" - Ernest G. Schachtel, Studies in Philosophy and Social Science (vol. 9 - 1941). According to Schachtel, Fromm's 'Escape from Freedom' is perhaps the most important contribution to the description and analysis of automaton conformity. It is a well written book, accessible to all.

May change the way you look at the world!

This book offers insight into many everyday issues: thinking, feeling, wanting, character, individualism, politics, most of all freedom - the list goes on. You will learn what it means to have a false self including: pseudo-thinking, pseudo-feeling, pseudo-willing, etc. For example, when you have a "thought" how do you know it is yours? When you want something, how do you know it is you who "wants" it?

This book also explains the rise of Nazism from a psychological and historical perspective, making it actually seem understandable.

Fromm starts the book by talking about our experience as children from the womb to breaking away and moving into the world. The problem he describes is that people on the whole do not want to be free and want to cling to ideas that make them feel as if they were back in the womb.

This book talks much about socialization and in my opinion parallels "The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge" by Peter L. Berger, Thomas Luckmann, which I believe to be one the best books ever written.

In responsibility is freedom

The escape from freedom is as Dostoevsky wrote in in 'The Grand Inquisitor' section of 'Brothers Karamazov' is made out of a desire to escape the burden of responsibility and decision. The preference for ' bread and circuses' over a life of hard decisions is one way of succumbing to totalitarianism.
Fromm sees then the possibility of escaping from freedom even when one lives in a democratic society. And he strongly argues for a different path, one in which individual human beings take responsibility for their own lives and dare to live in freedom.

We are not free by choice, not by force.

There is a lack of freedom in our world, even in the best of democracy.
Unfortunately, the only reason we are not free is because we choose not to be. In fact we are trying very hard to escape from freedom just like the title says and that is a very pessimistic thought. If there was a plot to keep us from reaching our individual freedom like some people think, that would be optimistic - In that case we could have a revolution. But the way things are we need billions of inner revolutions, and that's an implausible scenario.
All essential problems of human situation are thoroughly and clearly described in one place. If you are unhappy with your life, your surroundings, or feel weltschmerz of some kind, you'll find all the answers right here. It is incredible that book which is read so lightly almost like some novel, is so filled with wisdom and deepest understanding of human mind and it's problems.
In my opinion Erich Fromm and his entire opus are by far the most important event in Psychology and Sociology in this century.

A Definite Piece of the Puzzle - A Book To Be Read

An amazing book that pieces modern society starting from the medieval to the renaissance and reformation, that is, from a well defined structured and fixed group identity, fixed meaning to life, determined purpose to life and the here after, to that of the existential, capitalistic and monopolist society that has produced radical individualism with the type of freedom producing severe loneliness, separation and the need to alleviate such emptiness, which has been fulfilled by illusionary means.

Fromm relates a major piece of Western civilization's struggle in the ability to see the correlation between the medieval, secure, self-employed society to that of the Renaissance, an elite aristocracy employing the masses as dependent employees, commodities under a new capitalistic society. It was here only the limited rich could prosper in creativity, while the masses existed in a new existential despair. And so Luther, and later Calvin, devised new forms of Christianity, existential types, to aid these new psychological needs of the masses in accepting this change from security to exploitation.

Fromm goes both into the psyche of man, the nature of societal structure, the development of western civilization and need for security and certainty to that of either authoritarian rule, internal conscious rule or the invisible rule of democratic conformity to public opinion, or automation.

Basic Masochistic/Sadistic desires of man from the extreme, to what is considered "normal" has been seen in the forfeit of the individual self into totalitarian control, capitalistic profit and religious and social concepts that attempt to fill the void of separateness without keeping the self.

Fromm ends his book in what the positive traits of what Faust would be: that of spontaneous living, not compulsive living, but in positive affirmation and movement, in the process of life, not the results, the experience of the activity of the present moment. I couldn't agree more.

Copyright © 2015 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy GoDaddy Verified and Secured