Escape from Freedom Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What are Fromm's thoughts about the battles for freedom in the chapter "Freedom-A Psychological Problem"?

In the opening pages of his book, Fromm discussed how freedom has been long fought for by the oppressed. These people fought for their freedom in an attempt to be liberated from domination. Many were willing to die for this freedom. In fact, Fromm says that kind of dedication for freedom is the biggest assertion of individuality. Though it has often been reversed, freedom has won many battles. Fromm says that in the history of the world, man has overthrown nature, the Church, and an absolute state in order to achieve freedom. This is the ultimate goal of freedom is freedom of the individual. This discussion of freedom, frames Fromm's ideas about an individual's freedom.

2. What is the significance of World War I when talking about freedom?

World War I was thought of as the final struggle for freedom. Democracies that already existed were strengthened and old monarchies fell. It was a great surprise then, and an immense disappointment, to see this vision collapse after only a few years. New systems, leaders, and political ideologies came into practice following World War I that brought man's vision of freedom to an end. Submission to authoritarian leaders changed man's social and personal life and authority was handed over to a few, select men who demanded people submit to their ideas.

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