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Fear of Freedom

December 18, 2012

This research, too, is rather old, but also potentially interesting… as would be the conversations that it provoked, I assume: Ritchie and Ritchi wrote: “Erik Fromm, in his pioneering study, Fear of Freedom, argued that, as we approach true liberty, the challenge to traditional securities produces anxiety and panic, and we may resort to repressive mechanism in order to protect ourselves from these insecurities. We fear freedom because we fear the responsibilities which it might bring: no one to blame, no one to shelter behind, no one to make the decisions. you are free, but lonely and alone [Fromm, E (1942) The Fear of Freedom London: Routledge & Kegan Paul]. Fromm was later to make many statements about visciousness, destructiveness, and the dark and violent side of human nature [Fromm, E (1974) The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness London: Jonathan Cape].

Further pioneering work on the ideology of violence was done by other members of the Vienna circle, including Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick and others who, in a series of studies, explored the authoritarian personality. …their book The Authoritarian Personality, stands as one of the great classics of research literature on violence [Adorno, TW, Frenkel-Brunswik, E, Levinson, D, and Sanford, N (1950) The Authoritarian Personality New York: Harper].” (p.25)

Ref: Jane Ritchie and James Ritchie (1993) Violence in New Zealand. Huia Publishers and Daphne Brasell Associates: Wellington


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