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작성자  simonshin 작성일  2016.12.08 13:59 조회수 922 추천 0
 소극적 자유와 적극적 자유  

과목: Wholeness Life Coaching

주제: 소극적 자유와 적극적 자유                                                                                                               

강사: 신현근 박사

내용: 강의안 (Negative and Positive Freedom)

교재Fromm, E. (2013). Escape from Freedom (Kindle Edition). New York: Open Road Integrated Media


1.       Modern Man and Freedom

1.1.    Modern man, freed from the bonds of pre-individualistic society, which simultaneously gave him security and limited him, has not gained freedom in the positive sense of the realization of his individual self; that is, the expression of his intellectual, emotional, and sensuous potentialities.

1.2.    Freedom, though it has brought him independence and rationality, has made him isolated and, thereby, anxious, and powerless.

1.3.    This isolation is unbearable and the alternatives he is confronted with are either to escape from the burden of his freedom into new dependencies and submission, or to advance to the full realization of positive freedom which is based upon the uniqueness and individuality of man.


2.       “Freedom from” and “Freedom to”

2.1.    Freedom from” (negative freedom) is not identical with positive freedom, with “freedom to.”

2.2.    The process of growing human freedom has the same dialectic character that we have noticed in the process of individual growth.

2.2.1.On the one hand, it is a process of growing strength and integration, mastery of nature, growing power of human reason, and growing solidarity with other human beings.

2.2.2.But on the other hand, this growing individuation means growing isolation, insecurity, and thereby growing doubt concerning one’s own role in the universe, the meaning of one’s life, and with all that a growing feeling of one’s own powerlessness and insignificance as an individual.


3.       Paradise Lost

3.1.    Primary bonds once severed cannot be mended; once paradise is lost, man cannot return to it.

3.2.    There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual.

3.3.     However, if the economic, social and political conditions on which the whole process of human individuation depends, do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality in the sense just mentioned, while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden.

3.4.     It then becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction.

3.5.    Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom.


4.       Significance of Doubt

4.1.    It is particularly important to understand the significance of doubt and the attempts to silence it, because this is not only a problem concerning Luther’s and, as we shall see soon, Calvin’s theology, but it has remained one of the basic problems of modern man.

4.2.    Doubt is the starting point of modern philosophy; the need to silence it had a most powerful stimulus on the development of modern philosophy and science.

4.3.    But although many rational doubts have been solved by rational answers, the irrational doubt has not disappeared and cannot disappear as long as man has not progressed from negative freedom to positive freedom.

4.4.    The modern attempts to silence it, whether they consist in a compulsive striving for success, in the belief that unlimited knowledge of facts can answer the quest for certainty, or in the submission to a leader who assumes the responsibility for “certainty”— all these solutions can only eliminate the awareness of doubt.

4.5.    The doubt itself will not disappear as long as man does not overcome his isolation and as long as his place in the world has not become a meaningful one in terms of his human needs.


5.       Twofold Meaning of Freedom

5.1.    Freedom has a twofold meaning for modern man: that he has been freed from traditional authorities and has become an “individual,” but that at the same time he has become isolated, powerless, and an instrument of purposes outside of himself, alienated from himself and others; furthermore, that this state undermines his self, weakens and frightens him, and makes him ready for submission to new kinds of bondage.

5.2.    Positive freedom on the other hand is identical with the full realization of the individual’s potentialities, together with his ability to live actively and spontaneously.

5.2.1. Freedom has reached a critical point where, driven by the logic of its own dynamism, it threatens to change into its opposite.

5.2.2.The future of democracy depends on the realization of the individualism that has been the ideological aim of modern thought since the Renaissance.

5.2.3.The victory of freedom is possible only if democracy develops into a society in which the individual, his growth and happiness, is the aim and purpose of culture, in which life does not need any justification in success or anything else, and in which the individual is not subordinated to or manipulated by any power outside of himself, be it the State or the economic machine; finally, a society in which his conscience and ideals are not the internalization of external demands, but are really his and express the aims that result from the peculiarity of his self.

5.2.4.These aims could not be fully realized in any previous period of modern history; they had to remain largely ideological aims, because the material basis for the development of genuine individualism was lacking.              Capitalism has created this premise.              The problem of production is solved— in principle at least— and we can visualize a future of abundance, in which the fight for economic privileges is no longer necessitated by economic scarcity.

5.2.5.The problem we are confronted with today is that of the organization of social and economic forces, so that man— as a member of organized society— may become the master of these forces and cease to be their slave.

5.2.6.The realization of positive freedom and individualism is also bound up with economic and social changes that will permit the individual to become free in terms of the realization of his self.


6.       Mechanisms of Escape

6.1.    Once the primary bonds which gave security to the individual are severed, once the individual faces the world outside of himself as a completely separate entity, two courses are open to him since he has to overcome the unbearable state of powerlessness and aloneness.

6.2.    By one course he can progress to “positive freedom”; he can relate himself spontaneously to the world in love and work, in the genuine expression of his emotional, sensuous, and intellectual capacities; he can thus become one again with man, nature, and himself, without giving up the independence and integrity of his individual self.

6.3.     The other course open to him is to fall back, to give up his freedom, and to try to overcome his aloneness by eliminating the gap that has arisen between his individual self and the world.

6.3.1.This second course never reunites him with the world in the way he was related to it before he merged (It may be understood as “emerged”) as an “individual,” for the fact of his separateness cannot be reversed; it is an escape from an unbearable situation which would make life impossible if it were prolonged.

6.3.2.This course of escape, therefore, is characterized by its compulsive character, like every escape from threatening panic; it is also characterized by the more or less complete surrender of individuality and the integrity of the self.              Thus, it is not a solution which leads to happiness and positive freedom; it is, in principle, a solution which is to be found in all neurotic phenomena.              It assuages an unbearable anxiety and makes life possible by avoiding panic; yet it does not solve the underlying problem and is paid for by a kind of life that often consists only of automatic or compulsive activities.              In this chapter I shall discuss only those mechanisms which are culturally significant and the understanding of which is a necessary premise for the psychological analysis of the social phenomena with which we shall deal in the following chapters: the Fascist system, on one hand, modern democracy, on the other.


7.       Authoritarianism

7.1.    The first mechanism of escape from freedom I am going to deal with is the tendency to give up the independence of one’s own individual self and to fuse one’s self with somebody or something outside of oneself in order to acquire the strength which the individual self is lacking.

7.1.1.Or, to put it in different words, to seek for new, “secondary bonds” as a substitute for the primary bonds which have been lost.

7.2.    The more distinct forms of this mechanism are to be found in the striving for submission and domination, or, as we would rather put it, in the masochistic and sadistic strivings as they exist in varying degrees in normal and neurotic persons respectively.

8.       Destructiveness

8.1.    We have already mentioned that the sado-masochistic strivings have to be differentiated from destructiveness, although they are mostly blended with each other.

8.2.    Destructiveness is different since it aims not at active or passive symbiosis but at elimination of its object.

8.3.    But it, too, is rooted in the unbearableness of individual powerlessness and isolation.

8.4.    I can escape the feeling of my own powerlessness in comparison with the world outside of myself by destroying it.

8.4.1.To be sure, if I succeed in removing it, I remain alone and isolated, but mine is a splendid isolation in which I cannot be crushed by the overwhelming power of the objects outside of myself.

8.4.2.The destruction of the world is the last, almost desperate attempt to save myself from being crushed by it.

8.5.    Sadism aims at incorporation of the object; destructiveness at its removal.

8.5.1.Sadism tends to strengthen the atomized individual by the domination over others; destructiveness by the absence of any threat from the outside.


9.       Automation Conformity

9.1.    In the mechanisms, we have been discussing, the individual overcomes the feeling of insignificance in comparison with the overwhelming power of the world outside of himself either by renouncing his individual integrity, or by destroying others so that the world ceases to be threatening.

9.2.    Other mechanisms of escape are the withdrawal from the world so completely that it loses its threat and the inflation of oneself psychologically to such an extent that the world outside becomes small in comparison.

9.3.    Although these mechanisms of escape are important for individual psychology, they are only of minor relevance culturally I shall not, therefore, discuss them further here, but instead will turn to another mechanism of escape which is of the greatest social significance.

9.4.    Automation Conformity

9.4.1.To put it briefly, the individual ceases to be himself; he adopts entirely the kind of personality offered to him by cultural patterns; and he therefore becomes exactly as all others are and as they expect him to be.               The discrepancy between “I” and the world disappears and with it the conscious fear of aloneness and powerlessness.              The person who gives up his individual self and becomes an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more.              But the price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of his self.

9.4.2.The loss of the self and its substitution by a pseudo self leaves the individual in an intense state of insecurity.              He is obsessed by doubt since, being essentially a reflex of other people’s expectation of him, he has in a measure lost his identity.              In order to overcome the panic resulting from such loss of identity, he is compelled to conform, to seek his identity by continuous approval and recognition by others.              Since he does not know who he is, at least the others will know— if he acts according to their expectation; if they know, he will know too, if he only takes their word for it.              The automatization of the individual in modern society has increased the helplessness and insecurity of the average individual.              Thus, he is ready to submit to new authorities which offer him security and relief from doubt.


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