Psychology

you’re great

And you’re great when you say to your friend: “I thank my fate that I’ve been able to live my life free from filth and greed… that I’ve been able to preserve, in all its freedom and purity, my feeling for the springtime and its gentle breezes… that I’ve taken no part in the gossip of malicious neighbors… that I haven’t lost my bearings in troubled times, and that my life has had meaning and continuity. For I have always hearkened to the gentle voice within me that said, ‘Only one thing matters: live a good, happy life. Do your heart’s bidding, even when it leads you on paths that timid souls would avoid. Even when life is a torment, don’t let it harden you.’ ”

Reich, Wilhelm. Listen, Little Man! New York: The Noonday Press, 1974. 125–127. Print.

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Psychology

flatness and indifference

The announcement of the bombing of a city and the death of hundreds of people is shamelessly followed or interrupted by an advertisement for soap or wine. The same speaker with the same suggestive, ingratiating and authoritative voice, which he has just used to impress you with the seriousness of the political situation, impresses now upon his audience the merits of the particular brand of soap, which pays for the news broadcast.

Newsreels let pictures of torpedoed ships be followed by those of a fashion show . . . . Because of all this we cease to be genuinely related to what we hear . . . . our emotions and our critical judgement become hampered, and eventually our attitude to what is going on in the world assumes a quality of flatness and indifference.

In the name of “freedom” life loses all its structure; it is composed of many little pieces, each separate from the other and lacking any sense as a whole.

Fromm, Erich. Escape from Freedom. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1941. 250–251. Print.

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