Tag Archives: Frankfurt School

Fromm: Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament

The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of PeaceThe thirteenth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace  contains Erich Fromm‘s 1960 essay  The Case for Unilateral Disarmament.  Fromm was a psychoanalyst and a member of the Frankfurt School.  He co-founded the anti-nuclear organization SANE, which as named after his 1955 book, The Sane Society.  SANE is now part of Peace Action.

Like Muste and Wallace, Fromm argues that the safest path to security is unilateral disarmament.  Not surprisingly, Fromm approaches the discussion from a psychological perspective.  To start with he pushes aside the question of whether disarmament is unilateral or mutual.  Instead, he reaches for the question of what the reaction of the opposing side will be to disarmament. He rather dryly states that

it is unfortunately true that political leaders can rarely be trusted

Fromm’s purpose is not to demonize political leaders; he argues that the human nature causes them to bifurcate their personal moral beliefs from their morality as institutional leaders.   He finds Hitler to be personally immoral, but the Russian [sic] leaders to be moral in their personal beliefs.  Continue reading Fromm: Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament