All roads…

by Nene

So I’m reading about Erich Fromm on Wikipedia because I have a brain crush on him when I see this:

Political ideas and activities

Fromm’s most well-known work, Escape from Freedom, focuses on the human urge to seek a source of authority and control upon reaching a freedom that was thought to be an individual’s true desire. The culmination of Fromm’s social and political philosophy was his book The Sane Society, published in 1955, which argued in favor of humanistic and democratic socialism. Building primarily upon the early works of Karl Marx, Fromm sought to re-emphasise the ideal of personal freedom, missing from most Soviet Marxism, and more frequently found in the writings of libertarian socialists and liberal theoreticians. Fromm’s brand of socialism rejected both Western capitalism and Soviet communism, which he saw as dehumanizing and bureaucratic social structures that resulted in a virtually universal modern phenomenon of alienation.

I’m seeing a lot of socialism, rejection of both Soviet communism and Western capitalism, and getting very hot and bothered. I continue:

He became one of the founders of socialist humanism, promoting the early writings of Marx and his humanist messages to the US and Western European publics. In the early 1960s, Fromm published two books dealing with Marxist thoughts (Marx’s Concept of Man and Beyond the Chains of Illusion: my Encounter with Marx and Freud). In 1965, working to stimulate the Western and Eastern cooperation between Marxist humanists, Fromm published a series of articles entitled Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium. In 1966, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year.

At this point I am realizing I need to read this book Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium… As the thought sinks in, I turn to my bookshelf and realize it’s already sitting there. In fact, I had picked it up after volunteering at a book fair.

It’s been happening recently that some of the different subjects that interest me (health, justice and social change, love, understanding reality, understanding people, the role of intellectual pursuit, the role and methodology of education, learning what is good and positive, deciding what is the best moral way to live, how to go about doing this, knowing what limitations exist and what goals are attainable and worthy of pursuit, et cetera) converge when I find a piece that links two, forming an organic, completed loop. The link is socialism. Thus far this is only in a nebulous, vague sense, as I am only arriving at it vicariously and without looking at it directly. Even so, I am always one to appreciate such serendipity. I suspect this will be my next area of study.