Life, death, and the love of control: Eric Fromm

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(Painting by Tiffany Roark, ThoughtsinPaint)

The following is an excerpt from Eric Fromm’s The Heart of Man (New York, 1966), p.41.

While life is characterized by growth in a structured, functional manner, the necrophilous person loves all that does not grow, all that is mechanical. The necrophilous person is driven by the desire to transform the organic into the inorganic, to approach life mechanically, as if all living persons were things… Memory, rather than experience; having, rather than being, is what counts. The necrophilous person can relate to an object–a flower or a person–only as he (sic.) possesses it; hence a threat to his possession is a threat to himself; if he loses possession he loses contact with the world… He loves control, and in the act of controlling he kills life.

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