Why the Fuck am I Doing This? – Addendum, Pt. I

“While the majority of people living in the West do not consciously feel as if they were living through a crisis of Western culture (probably never have the majority of people in a radically critical situation been aware of the crisis), there is agreement at least among a number of critical observers, as to the existence and the nature of this crisis.  It is the crisis which as been described as malaise, ennui, mal du siecle, the deadening of life, the automatization of man, his alienation from himself, from his fellowman and from nature.  Man has followed rationalism to the point where rationalism has transformed itself into utter irrationality.  Since Descartes, thought alone is considered rational – affect, by it’s very nature, irrational; the person, I, has been split off into an intellect, which constitutes my self, and which is to control me as it is to control nature.  Control by the intellect over nature, and the production of more and more things, became the paramount aim in life.  In the process man has transformed himself into a thing, life has become subordinated to property, ‘to be’ is dominated by ‘to have.’  Where the roots of Western culture, both Greek and Hebrew, considered the aim of life the perfection of man, modern man is concerned with the perfection of things, and the knowledge of how to make them.  Western man is in a state of schizoid inability to experience affect, hence he is anxious, depressed, and desperate.  He still pays lip service to the aims of happiness, individualism, initiative – but actually he has no aim.  Ask him what he is living for, what is the aim of his strivings – and he will be embarrassed.  Some may say they live for the family, others, ‘to have fun,’ still others, to make money, but in reality nobody knows what he is living for, he has no goal, except the wish to escape insecurity and aloneness.”

– Erich Fromm


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1 Response to Why the Fuck am I Doing This? – Addendum, Pt. I

  1. Pingback: Utopia is simply Dystopia multiplied by -1 « Active Philosophy

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