Our Social Discontents:Revisiting Fromm’s Redemptive Psychoanalytic Critique

  • Modern society is marked with utmost ambivalence. There is the utmost desire to be free, creative, and productive. Yet, our creative and productive desires trap us and now control our own freedom to become. Couple this inconsistency with the rapid sociostructural changes, fragmentation of traditions, and dissolution of communal well-being, what we have is a life of uncertainty. It is a life debased from its very ontological foundation with the transmission of technorationalities of the capitalist industry. In modernity, we could no longer speak of individuality and subjectivity since the very historical thread that serve as its foundation is now wavered towards accumulation and possession of the capital. Moreover, this overleaning towards the capital deadens us unconsciously that we mistake this for reality. The market ideology with all its rationalizations reifies human consciousness to the extent that we consider the technorationalities as the ontological normative structure. As a result, there is a growing dislocation of subjectivity which leads to neurotic social behaviors and inner social contradictions. As a result, we have our own social discontents. It is then the aim of this paper to ponder on the psychosocial effects of the market economy. I argue that there is a need to look at the effects of this economic system that perpetually delineate subjective experiences and plunge humanity into incontrovertible pseudo images. It is at this point that Fromm’s radical psychosocial interpretation of society becomes binding. I argue with Fromm that our social libidinal drives or what he termed as social characterology, which we are all unconscious of, must be thoroughly brought to fore. I claim that this particular characterology result to the obstructions of a normal and healthy society.

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Metadaten
Author:Ian Raymond B. Pacquing
Parent Title (English):Kritike, Vol. 12, pp. 277-292.
Document Type:Articles
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2018
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-file to download
IdNo:Pacquing_I_R_2018
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Articles / Artikel
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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