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  1. #1
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    Default Fiends, sadists and, er, ordinary people?

    I was reading quotes from Eric Fromm yesterday and I read his assertion that it was the ordinary man with extraordinary power which was most threatening to humankind, not the fiend and sadist, he used Hitler as an example, suggesting that Hitler was just an ordinary man with extraordinary power. What do you think about this? Do you necessarily agree?

    Fromm did think that there was a pathological quality to normality though, that at the time Hitler and other ideologies like it took off a sadomasochistic authoritarian personality was the norm, he analysed a lot of communists and left wingers as the same, although failed to be as critical of Trotsky and others as I think they deserved.
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

  2. #2
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I was reading quotes from Eric Fromm yesterday and I read his assertion that it was the ordinary man with extraordinary power which was most threatening to humankind, not the fiend and sadist, he used Hitler as an example, suggesting that Hitler was just an ordinary man with extraordinary power. What do you think about this? Do you necessarily agree?

    Fromm did think that there was a pathological quality to normality though, that at the time Hitler and other ideologies like it took off a sadomasochistic authoritarian personality was the norm, he analysed a lot of communists and left wingers as the same, although failed to be as critical of Trotsky and others as I think they deserved.
    Exactly.
    Only an ordinary man appeals to the masses.

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