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Re: Constructive comments



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Friends:
Greetings from Chennai!
I found the book:TO HAVE OR TO BE  - Author: ERICH FROMM. On the cover
page
it says:"If we were consciously aware of what we really know about
ourselves
and others, we could not go on living as we do, accepting so many lies."

Inside it says on a special page:A NEW BLUEPRINT FOR MANKIND
"In the middle Ages it was the vision of the City of God that inspired
us.
Then, beginning in the 18th century, it was the vision of the City, of
Earthly Progress, the sense that we must understand nature in order to
dominate it.  Now this has all ended in what looks like the Tower of
Babel -
that which was progressive in the Middle Ages and the 18th and 19th
centuries has been lost.  What we now desperately need is a synthesis
between the faith of the late Middle Ages and the reason and science of
the
last two centuries. That's the only way I see that we can be saved from
a
sort of technocratic fascism."      - Erich Fromm

The following may interest you:
Marx wrote (in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts) that "free
conscious activity" (i.e., human activity) is "the species character of
man." Labor, for him, represents human activity, and human activity is
life.
Capital, on the  other hand, represents for Marx the amassed, the past,
and
in the last analysis, the dead (Grundrisse).  One cannot fully
understand
the affective charge which the struggle between capital and labor had
for
Marx unless one considers that for him it was the fight between
aliveness
and deadness, the present versus the past, people versus things, being
versus having.  For Marx the question was : who should rule whom -
should
life rule the  dead, or the dead rule life? Socialism, for him,
represented
a society in which life had won over the dead.
Marx's whole critique of capitalism and his vision of socialism are
rooted
in the concept that human  self-activity is paralyzed in the capitalist
system and that the  goal is to restore full humanity by restoring
activity
in all spheres of life.
Despite the formulations influenced by the classic economists, the
cliche
that Marx was a determinist, making human beings  the passive objects of

history and depriving them of their activity, is the very  opposite of
his
thinking, as any who themselves read Marx, rather than a few  isolated
sentences taken out of context, will be easily convinced.  Marx's  views

could not be more clearly expressed than they are in his  own statement:

"History does nothing; it possesses no colossal riches, it 'fights no
fight.'  It is rather man - real, living  man - who acts, possesses and
fights everything.  It is by no means 'History' which uses man as a
means to
carry out its ends as if it were a person apart; rather History is
nothing
but the  activity of man in pursuit of his ends" (Marx and English, The
Holy
Family).
Of near contemporaries none has perceived the passive character of
modern
activity as penetratingly as has Albert Schweitzer, who,  in his study
of
the decay and  restoration of civilization, saw modern Man as  unfree,
incomplete, unconcentrated, pathologically dependent, and "absolutely
passive".

Being as Reality
Thus far I have described the meaning of being by contrasting it to
having.
But a second, equally important meaning of being is revealed by
contrasting
it to appearing.  If I appear to be kind while my kindness is only a
mask to
cover my exploitativeness - if I appear to be courageous while I am
extremely vain or perhaps suicidal - if I appear to love my country
while I
am furthering my selfish interests, the appearance, i.e., my overt
behavior,
is in drastic contradiction to the reality of forces that motivate me.
My
behavior is different from my character.  My character structure, the
true
motivation of my behavior, constitutes my real  being.  My behavior may
partly reflect my being, but it is usually a mask that I have and that I

wear for my own purposes.  Behaviorism deals with this mask as if it
were a
reliable scientific datum; true insight is focused on the inner reality,

which is usually  neither conscious nor directly obervable.  This
concept
of being as "unmasking," as is expressed by Eckhart, is central in
Spinoza's
and  Marx's thought and is  the fundamental discovery of Freud.
To understand the discrepancy between behavior and character, between my

mask  and the  reality it hides, is the main achievement of Freud's
psychoanalysis.
Book Name : TO HAVE OR TO BE? (Page No: 83 to 85)

Hope the above interest some scholars to understand the dynamics of
human
nature and human society from psychoanalysis point of view.
Best Wishes,
Henry Thiagaraj


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