To Have or to Be?

by Έριχ Φρομ
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To Have or to Be? is a 1976 book by social psychologist Erich Fromm that differentiates between having and being.
Fromm mentions how modern society has become materialistic and prefers "having" to "being". He mentions the great promise of unlimited happiness, freedom, material abundance, and domination of nature. These hopes reached their highs when the industrial age began. One could feel that there would be unlimited production and hence unlimited consumption. Human beings, both men and women, started dreaming about becoming the Gods of earth, but this wasn’t really the case. The great promise failed due to the unachievable aims of life, i.e. maximum pleasure and fulfillment of every desire, and the egotism, selfishness and greed of people. In the industrial age, the development of this economic system was no longer determined by the question of what is good for man, but rather of what is good for the growth of the system. So, the economic system of society served people in such a way in which only their personal interests were intended to impart.

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Nach der Lektüre, kann ich wieder guten Gewissens behaupten, die Welt sei verrückt, nicht ich. Beruhigend, wenn man in seinen Ansichten bestätigt wird :) Zum Teil aber auch recht langatmig, ein Sachbuch halt.

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