Erich Seligmann Fromm

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Erich Seligmann Fromm, Nationalism, “loyalty and devotion to a nation, a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups” (Merriam Webster). Humanism, “a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values, a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason” (Merriam Webster). As a humanist, Fromm attempted to correct peoples perception of events and expose the illusion of independence within a nationalistic community that kept men enslaved to societal conformity. By doing this he thought that men, meaning the general population, could regain their individuality of thought and become free again. By definition nationalism and humanism are antagonistic as one requires fealty to a group ideology and the other to individual conscience. Fromm states that despite the devastation inflicted by World War 1, the number of lives lost, both civilian and military, and the massive destruction of property, the populations of Europe had hope for a return to peace and relative prosperity. Instead the capitalist system in Germany could not recover and was unable to provide for large sections of the population. At the same time in Russia the brutal Stalinists rose to power. Discontent and a feeling of inadequacy allowed Hitler and the Nazis to gain power and led once again to the rise of irrational nationalistic fervor. Despite the lessons of WW1 and a majority of the people in Europe being against the start of a new war, European leaders convinced the people that war was inevitable proclaiming that they needed to show their love for their country by joining the war and protecting their nation against its
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