The Relevance of E. Fromm's Ideas about Sane Society in 2020

Introduction. The paper discusses E. Fromm's ideas about human mental health, his social needs and society, which promotes and at the same time prevents the maximum disclosure of a person's potential in accordance with his or her nature. In contrast to sociological relativism, Fromm substantiates the position of normative humanism, according to which, when examining a person's paths to happiness, one should analyze, first of all, the mental health of society, and not a person, consider how a particular social system contributes to the productive solution of the problems facing a person. The purpose of the paper is to assess the degree of relevance of Fromm's ideas about a healthy society in 2020 in accordance with the realities of our time. Scientific novelty is determined by the small number of similar studies in contemporary Russian sociology. Methodology and sources. The paper uses the approach of normative humanism proposed by Fromm. Psychoanalysis, socio-psychological traditions of behaviorism and cognitivism are also used. Results and discussion. A human, according to Fromm, has a dual nature: he or her is no longer an animal, and even for full mental health, and even more so, for feelings of self-realization and happiness, it is not enough for him or her to just satisfy biological needs, following instincts. Having lost harmony with nature and at the same time remaining a part of it, having received reason and awareness of his or her own life, he or she at the same time acquires the need to resolve the contradictions of the existence. They express basic social needs that can be addressed in a more or less productive way: involvement as opposed to narcissism, overcoming and creativity as opposed to destructiveness, rootedness and brotherhood as opposed to incest, a sense of identity and individuality as opposed to herd conformism, the need for an orientation system: reason versus irrationality. In modern Fromm's Western society, market capitalism is increasingly penetrating into everyday relations between people, forming orientations towards an unproductive solution to the problem of human existence. In modern society, this trend continues unabated, making Fromm's conclusions and recommendations no less relevant than a few decades ago. Conclusion. Due to the widespread use of the Internet and social networks, the development of mass social movements with radical views on everyday life, strengthening the aggressive manner of communication, the preservation of pre-existing contradictions between representatives of national and other groups, modern society contributes to maintaining a “market” approach to human relations. Under such conditions, the disclosure of a person's potential in accordance with his or her nature is difficult, nevertheless, everyone has the opportunity, critically referring to social stereotypes, and mastering the art of thinking really rationally, to strive for happiness.

Authors: Pashkovsky E. A.

Direction: Sociology

Keywords: sane society, mental health, normative humanism, social needs

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