divendres, 12 de setembre de 2014

The art of loving by Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm The art of loving 1956

El pitjor del cas es que, en la biblioteca es troba en la secció d'autoajuda. El mateix Erich Fromm avisa que el lector que cerqui un mètode "per lligar" va una mica errat: "THE READING of this book would be a disappointing experience for anyone who expects easy instruction in the art of loving." En realitat es tracta d'un atac (ni furibund ni despietat) al concepte erroni que hem atribuit a aquest sentiment, per Fromm, fonamental en el desenvolupament humà. Amb Ovidi sols comparteix el títol..

Hi ha algun moment que, des de la perspectiva del segle XXI, perd capacitat d'anàlisi com és la referència al paper de la dona tant com a dona com en el seu rol de mare. A banda d'això i la part una mica fosca on es planteja la diferència entre el concepte aristotèlic occidental i els plantejaments orientals, es tracta d'una obra molt recomanable.

Com a tast de la línia "poc romàntica" de l'obra el començament del capítol III:

Another decisive feature resulting from this concentration of capital, and characteristic of modern capitalism, lies in the specific way of the organization of work. Vastly centralized enterprises with a radical division of labor lead to an organization of work where the individual loses his individuality, where he becomes an expendable cog [engranatge] in the machine. The human problem of modern capitalism can be formulated in this way: 

Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience—yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim—except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead. 

 What is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature.  He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions. Human relations are essentially those of alienated automatons, each basing his security on staying close to the herd [ramat], and not being different in thought, feeling or action. While everybody tries to be as close as possible to the rest, everybody remains utterly [totalment] alone, pervaded by the deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and guilt which always results when human separateness cannot be overcome. Our civilization offers many palliatives which help people to be consciously unaware of this aloneness: first of all the strict routine of bureaucratized, mechanical work, which helps people to remain unaware [inconscient] of their most fundamental human desires, of the longing [anhel]  for transcendence and unity. Inasmuch[En la mesura] as the routine alone does not succeed in this, man overcomes his unconscious despair by the routine of amusement [diversió], the passive consumption of sounds and sights offered by the amusement industry; furthermore by the satisfaction of buying ever new things, and soon exchanging them for others. Modern man is actually close to the picture Huxley describes in his Brave New World: well fed, well clad, satisfied sexually, yet without self, without any except the most superficial contact with his fellow men, guided by the slogans which Huxley formulated so succinctly, such as: "When the individual feels, the community reels [tremola]"; or "Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today," or, as the crowning statement : "Everybody is happy nowadays." Man's happiness today consists in "having fun." Having fun lies in the satisfaction of consuming and "taking in" commodities, sights, food, drinks, cigarettes, people, lectures, books, movies—all are consumed, swallowed [és engolit]. The world is one great object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast; we are the sucklers [xucladors], the eternally expectant ones, the hopeful ones—and the eternally disappointed ones. Our character is geared [programat] to exchange and to receive, to barter [intercanvi, trueque] and to consume; everything, spiritual as well as material objects, becomes an object of exchange and of consumption.

The situation as far as love is concerned corresponds, as it has to by necessity, to this social character of modern man. Automatons cannot love; they can exchange their "personality packages" and hope for a fair bargain. One of the most significant expressions of love, and especially of marriage with this alienated structure, is the idea of the "team." In any number of articles on happy marriage, the ideal described is that of the smoothly functioning team. This description is not too different from the idea of a smoothly functioning employee; he should be "reasonably independent," co-operative, tolerant, and at the same time ambitious and aggressive. Thus, the marriage counselor tells us, the husband should "understand" his wife and be helpful. He should comment favorably on her new dress, and on a tasty dish. She, in turn, should understand when he comes home tired and disgruntled, she should listen attentively when he talks about his business troubles, should not be angry but understanding when he forgets her birthday. All this kind of relationship amounts to is the well-oiled relationship between two persons who remain strangers all their lives, who never arrive at a "central relationship, but who treat each other with courtesy and who attempt to make each other feel better. In this concept of love and marriage the main emphasis is on finding a refuge from an otherwise unbearable sense of aloneness. In "love" one has found, at last, a haven from aloneness. One forms an alliance of two against the world, and this egoism a deux is mistaken for love and intimacy. 

(Chapter III, Love and Its Disintegration in Contemporary Western Society)

També en el capítol IV  -The practice of love- tenim algunes perles:

I should add here that just as it is important to avoid trivial conversation, it is important to avoid bad company. By bad company I do not refer only to people who are vicious and destructive ; one should avoid their company because their orbit is poisonous and depressing. I mean also the company of zombies, of people whose soul is dead, although their body is alive; of people whose thoughts and conversation are trivial; who chatter instead of talk, and who assert cliche opinions instead of thinking. However, it is not always possible to avoid the company of such people, nor even necessary. If one does not react in the expected way—that is, in cliches and trivialities—but directly and humanly, one will often find that such people change their behavior, often helped by the surprise effected by the shock of the unexpected. 

Títol original; The art of loving
Títol en català: L'art d'estimar
Traductor: Jordi Moners
Revisió: Delfí Abella
Editorial: Edicions 62
Edició: Març 2002
Primera edició en Llibres a l'abast: 1966
ISBN: 84-297-5113-0
Pàgines: 149
Col·leció: El Cangur Butxaca

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