To Have or To Be?

Open Road Media
8
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From the legendary psychoanalyst who wrote The Art of Loving and Escape from Freedom: A profound critique of materialism in favor of living with meaning.
 Life in the modern age began when people no longer lived at the mercy of nature and instead took control of it. We planted crops so we didn’t have to forage, and produced planes, trains, and cars for transport. With televisions and computers, we don’t have to leave home to see the world. Somewhere in that process, the natural tendency of humankind went from one of being and of practicing our own human abilities and powers, to one of having by possessing objects and using tools that replace our own powers to think, feel, and act independently. Fromm argues that positive change—both social and economic—will come from being, loving, and sharing. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erich Fromm including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 26, 2013
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Pages
215
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ISBN
9781480401945
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Movements / Humanism
Philosophy / Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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If you were to travel the world, you would quickly come to realize that the vast majority of humanity has the same list of wants and needs: food, shelter, water, education, justice and safety, to name a few. Joys and sorrows, hopes and desperations are also similar in many ways.

Even though it sometimes justifies our personal paradigm to believe differently, WE ARE ALL FUNDAMENTALLY THE SAME. If at the core we are all the same, why then is it that we collectively are having such a hard time? Essentially, this last question is where the inspiration for this book comes from. The content of the book comes from the authors decades of research, observations and experiences gained while living and working in more than nine different countries, visiting over sixty countries spread on six continents. A love, a passion and ultimately, a belief that humanity has the power to choose to create a better life for all is the driving force behind this exploration of human suffering and how to ultimately rise above it.

This need for a better life for all has never been as apparent as it is now. Our collective denial of the reality of suffering is being confronted. We are starting to realize that there is no choice but to deal with it: problems are not going away but rather, they seem to be multiplying exponentially. Perhaps we live in times where it has become luxurious thinking to believe that someone else will fix the environment, the economy, social injustices, international conflicts, human trafficking, or poverty.

It is time for greatness on a mass level to be expressed. This book is meant to appeal to the heart more than the mind. The expression analyzing something to death couldnt be more appropriate than now. All potential progress seems to be continuously stalled with the belief that there is a need to generate more data to really understand the problems. Will we die as a species because of our minds obsession for analysis or will our hearts see through the smoke of insanity, put out the fires so that at some point, hopefully sooner than later, the mind will be able to see clearly through its confusion.

Ultimately, the question is how will we individually and collectively deal with the problems currently facing humanity? This question is essentially addressed to the vast majority of humanity as most are suffering from the excessive greed that has swept the planet.

There are countless ways one can contribute to the betterment of the world. It always starts with people taking one small step to make a difference. It starts with YOU! Never underestimate the power that one person has to change the world.

The purpose of the book is threefold:

to bring about an awareness of the current situation on the planet so that people can start to question their current paradigm and see how they feed into the problems rather than help solve them; to encourage a new level of personal responsibility that is necessary in any time of change or crisis; and provide information and tools to help in the transformational process by empowering people.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Its All About Me, Isnt It? The Individual Part 2: What About the Others? The Collective Part 3: Together The Individual and the Collective

Each part has a different number of chapters. The general book outline follows:

Foreword:

This part introduces why the book was written. The foreword sets the stage for what is to come in the book and encourages the reader to read right through as some chapters are more challenging than others and that the solutions proposed are spread throughout the book.

Part 1: Its All About Me, I

In The Excessive Subject: A New Theory of Social Change, Molly Anne Rothenberg uncovers an innovative theory of social change implicit in the writings of radical social theorists, such as Pierre Bourdieu, Michel de Certeau, Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj ?i?ek. Through case studies of these writers' work, Rothenberg illuminates how this new theory calls into question currently accepted views of social practices, subject formation, democratic interaction, hegemony, political solidarity, revolutionary acts, and the ethics of alterity.

Finding a common dissatisfaction with the dominant paradigms of social structures in the authors she discusses, Rothenberg goes on to show that each of these thinkers makes use of Lacan's investigations of the causality of subjectivity in an effort to find an alternative paradigm. Labeling this paradigm 'extimate causality', Rothenberg demonstrates how it produces a nondeterminacy, so that every subject bears some excess; paradoxically, this excess is what structures the social field itself. Whilst other theories of social change, subject formation, and political alliance invariably conceive of the elimination of this excess as necessary to their projects, the theory of extimate causality makes clear that it is ineradicable. To imagine otherwise is to be held hostage to a politics of fantasy. As she examines the importance as well as the limitations of theories that put extimate causality to work, Rothenberg reveals how the excess of the subject promises a new theory of social change.

By bringing these prominent thinkers together for the first time in one volume, this landmark text will be sure to ignite debate among scholars in the field, as well as being an indispensable tool for students.

Erich Fromm was a political activist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, and one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. Known for his theories of personality and political insight, Fromm dissected the sadomasochistic appeal of brutal dictators while also eloquently championing love—which, he insisted, was nothing if it did not involve joyful contact with others and humanity at large. Admired all over the world, Fromm continues to inspire with his message of universal brotherhood and quest for lasting peace.

The first systematic study of Fromm's influences and achievements, this biography revisits the thinker's most important works, especially Escape from Freedom and The Art of Loving, which conveyed important and complex ideas to millions of readers. The volume recounts Fromm's political activism as a founder and major funder of Amnesty International, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and other peace groups. Consulting rare archival materials across the globe, Lawrence J. Friedman reveals Fromm's support for anti-Stalinist democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe and his efforts to revitalize American democracy. For the first time, readers learn about Fromm's direct contact with high officials in the American government on matters of war and peace while accessing a deeper understanding of his conceptual differences with Freud, his rapport with Neo-Freudians like Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, and his association with innovative artists, public intellectuals, and world leaders. Friedman elucidates Fromm's key intellectual contributions, especially his innovative concept of "social character," in which social institutions and practices shape the inner psyche, and he clarifies Fromm's conception of love as an acquired skill. Taking full stock of the thinker's historical and global accomplishments, Friedman portrays a man of immense authenticity and spirituality who made life in the twentieth century more humane than it might have been.

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