68+ Best Erich Fromm Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Erich Seligmann Fromm was a social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was a German Jew who fled and settled in the US. Profoundly inspirational Erich Fromm quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

If you’re searching for quotes from greatest philosophers that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of powerful Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel quotes, profound Guru Nanak quotes and famous Hannah Arendt quotes.

Famous Erich Fromm Quotes

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. Erich Fromm

The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. Erich Fromm

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. Erich Fromm

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. Erich Fromm

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. Erich Fromm

The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die  although it is the tragic fate of most individuals to die before they are born. Erich Fromm

The mother child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent. Erich Fromm

The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Erich Fromm

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. Erich Fromm

If I am what I have and if what I have is lost, who then am I? Nobody but a defeated, deflated, pathetic testimony to a wrong way of living. Erich Fromm

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often. Erich Fromm

In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two. Erich Fromm

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. Erich Fromm

There is nothing inhuman, evil, or irrational which does not give some comfort, provided it is shared by a group. Erich Fromm

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. Erich Fromm

People do not see that the main question is not Am I loved? which is to a large extent the question  Am I approved of? Am I protected? Am I admired?” The main question is Can I love? Erich Fromm

In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two. Erich Fromm

Alienation as we find it in modern society is almost total Man has created a world of man made things as it never existed before. He has constructed a complicated social machine to administer the technical machine he built. The more powerful and gigantic the forces are which he unleashes, the more powerless he feels himself as a human being. He is owned by his creations, and has lost ownership of himself. Erich Fromm

The mother child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent. Erich Fromm

To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness. Erich Fromm

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. Erich Fromm

The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have. Erich Fromm

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often. Erich Fromm

Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. Erich Fromm

If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I? Erich Fromm

The frightened individual seeks for somebody or something to tie his self to; he cannot bear to be his own individual self any longer, and he tries frantically to get rid of it and to feel security again by the elimination of this burden the self. Erich Fromm

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve. Erich Fromm

Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with the love of life Erich Fromm

There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers. Erich Fromm

Thus, the ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate. Erich Fromm

The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. Erich Fromm

Greedhas no satiation point, since its consummation does not fill the inner emptiness, boredom, loneliness, and depression it is meant to overcome. Erich Fromm

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal. Erich Fromm

Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a standing in, not a falling for. In the most general way, the active character of love can be described by stating that love is primarily giving, not receiving. Erich Fromm

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. Erich Fromm

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. Erich Fromm

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. Erich Fromm

Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. Love is not a spontaneous feeling, a thing that you fall into, but is something that requires thought, knowledge, care, giving, and respect. And it is something that is rare and difficult to find in capitalism, which commodifies human activity.  Eric Fromm

Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market. Erich Fromm

Reason flows from the blending of rational thought and feeling. If the two functions are torn apart, thinking deteriorates into schizoid intellectual activity and feeling deteriorates into neurotic life damaging passions. Erich Fromm

Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one’s own self. Erich Fromm

To be loved because of one’s merit, because one deserves it, always leaves doubt; maybe I did not please the person whom I want to love me, maybe this, or that there is always a fear that love could disappear. Erich Fromm

Man always dies before he is fully born. Erich Fromm

There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers. Erich Fromm

The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. Erich Fromm

Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality. Erich Fromm

To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime. Erich Fromm

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feelings as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. The indignant person has for once the satisfaction of despising and treating a creature as inferior, coupled with the feeling of his own superiority and rightness. Erich Fromm

Authority is not a quality one person has, in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him. Erich Fromm

Without effort and willingness to experience pain and anxiety, nobody grows, in fact nobody achieves anything worth achieving. Erich Fromm

Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much. Erich Fromm

Care and responsibility are constituent elements of love, but without respect for and knowledge of the beloved person, love deteriorates into domination and possessiveness. Erich Fromm

Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality. Erich Fromm

Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. Where this active concern is lacking, there is no love. Erich Fromm

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? Erich Fromm

Love is a power which produces love. Erich Fromm

Sanity is only that which is within the frame of reference of conventional thought. Erich Fromm

If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated. Erich Fromm

The ordinary man with extraordinary power is the chief danger for mankind not the fiend or the sadist. Erich Fromm

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. Erich Fromm

We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake. Erich Fromm

Love is an act of faith. Erich Fromm

Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves. If we do not understand the language in which they are written, we miss a great deal of what we know and tell ourselves in those hours when we are not busy manipulating the outside world. Erich Fromm

If I perceive in another person mainly the surface, I perceive mainly the differences,that which separates us. If I penetrate to the core, i perceive our identity, the fact of our brotherhood. This relatedness from center to center instead of that from periphery to periphery  is central relatedness. Erich Fromm

What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal. Erich Fromm

Rationalizing is not a tool for penetration of reality but a post factum attempt to harmonize one’s own wishes with existing reality. Erich Fromm

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