The Sane Society

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Title The Sane Society
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 1955
Authors Fromm, E.
Publisher Rinehart
City New York
Keywords alienation, humanness, machine, mechanistic organization, prestige, work-life integration
Notes machine"[Man] is part of the machine, rather than its master as an active agent. The machine, instead of being in his service to do work for him which once had to be performed by sheer physical energy, has become his master. Instead of the machine being the substitute for human energy, man has become a substitute for the machine. His work can be defined as the performance of acts which cannot yet be performed by machines." (p. 180)
prestige"Aside from money, prestige, status and the power that goes with it are assumed to be the main incentives for work. There is no need to prove that the craving for prestige and power constitutes the most powerful incentive for work today among the middle and upper classes; in fact, the importance of money is largely that of representing prestige, at least as much as security and comfort. But the role which the need for prestige plays also among workers, clerks and the lower echelons of the industrial and business bureaucracy is often ignored. The name-plate of the Pullman porter, the bank teller, etcetera, are significant psychological boosts to his sense of importance; as are the personal telephone, larger office space for the higher ranks. These prestige factors play a role also among industrial workers." (p. 293)
work-life integration"Concluding these remarks on workers' participation, I want to stress again, even at the risk of being repetitious, that all suggestions in the direction of the humanization of work do not have the aim of increasing economic output nor is their goal a greater satisfaction with work per se. They make sense only in a totally different social structure, in which economic activity is a part--a subordinate part--of social life. One cannot separate work activity from political activity, from the use of leisure time and from personal life. If work were to become interesting without the other spheres of life becoming human, no real change would occur. In fact, it could not become interesting. It is the very evil of present-day culture that it separates and compartmentalizes the various spheres of living. The way to sanity lies in overcoming this split and in arriving at a new unification and integration within society and within the individual human being." (p. 325)