Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2007


Oleh: Nurani Soyomukti

(Saya adaptasi dari Resensi Buku Erich Fromm, THE ART OF LOVING, yang pernah dimuat di JAKARTA POST)

The lack of human solidarity in our society is part of the fact of how our society disintegrated. Violences and terrorism also become the true threat of humanism when we loss our spirit to unify our existence within social relation and creating productive activity to handdle such contradiction.

Today we see that the word “love” is easily spoken by averybody. In any time the political elite, religious figure, artist-celebritist, and other public figures may say that they love people. politician give sweet promises to people in order to ger support in political proccess such in goal of winning election. Artist-celebritist play roles in some cinema and “love” exploited as a word. But, does love really come to our life? Is such figures mind and heart full of love for the people?
Love is not merely words. Love is the real action to pull our productive force to give best for society. Love cannot separated from the act for loving.

In his book entitled “THE ART OF LOVING”, Erich Fromm insist that love is an art, an action for solve the problem of separateness among human being. He was worried about the human existence in its dialectical relation with proccess of capitalistic globalization. He doesn’t argue that love, as human spirit or just as a psychological phenomenon, can be the solving problem. But, as the creative power in human existence love must be undertood and realized as real human power itself. Erich Fromm as a great thinker delivers us to the understanding that love can be seen as creative commitment and activity such respects, responsibility, descipline, and the productive character of existence.

The commercial logic in all aspect of (capitalistic) cociety make the meaning of love is reduced even misunderstood. As Fromm argues, At any rate, the sense of falling in love develops usually only with regard to such human commodities as are within reach of one's own possibilities for exchange. I am out for a bargain; the object should be desirable from the standpoint of its social value, and at the same time should want me, considering my overt and hidden as-sets and potentialities. Two persons thus fall in love when they feel they have found the best object available on the market, considering the limitations of their own exchange values. Often, as in buying real estate, the hidden potentialities which can be developed play a considerable role in this bargain. In a culture in which the marketing orientation prevails, and in which material success is the outstanding value, there is little reason to be surprised that human love relations follow the same pattern of exchange which governs the commodity and the labor market (pp.4).
To enlarge the undersanding about the meaning of love, Erich Fromm disticts some kinds of love that be able to explain the character of existence because “whatever theory about love must begine with the theory of human, human existence”.

The mazhab Frankfurt thinker who expressed his idea with mix of pshycoligical, phylosophycal, economical, and historical approach try to distinct love based on attitude and character of human existence: broherly love, motherly love, erotic love, self-love, and love to God. Each character can describe the character of human related to how human engages their life. For example, if we love just for someone (one person) and forget others, his “love” is not love, but just a mutual exchange, or enlarging egotism.

Coming into Fromm’s thought about LOVE will open our subconscious thinking. We will be brougt to the fact that our society is truly lost the spirit of love. It can be seen in the attitude of people representatives and the way government make policy that mostly oppressed the people. Further, the awakening the new spirit of meaningfull love perhaps experienced by most of us.***

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