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Fig 5.20 – Escape from Freedom

Text: Page 263

In Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm, a Frankfurt School scholar, wrote a classic work on freedom that explored the willingness of individuals in modern times to submit to totalitarianism over democracy, even as democracy provided the opportunity for freedom. Fromm argued that while democracy set some people free; other people became isolated and felt dehumanized. In this process, people were willing to give up their freedom by a pledge of blind loyalty to a leader or by submitting to an all-powerful state. Escape from Freedom provides a symbol of the human dilemma and paradox of freedom with one segment of humanity removing their chains, while another puts the chains back on.

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