Emotions that limit our freedom

Regarding Barry Andrew Ward’s July 24 letter, “Simplistic explanation for Nazis“: Once again Ward mentions immigration in the United States as a negative without elaboration.

America was once the country of “Give me your poor huddled masses …” etc. Now it seems the policy has changed, even for economic refugees whose countries have been ruined by U.S. imperialism. America has far bigger problems — such as unequal distribution of wealth, militarism (and illegal wars), and a semi-privatized prison system (that profits the more people are locked up) — than a few refugees arriving, even if those brown faces do put a few rednecks off their food.

Ward claims to have read Erich Fromm, but he possibly didn’t understand him. Fromm’s point was to examine the psychology of hate. Regardless of the psychological differences between, say, Nazism and Phalangism (or even Faragism?), hate is nonetheless hate, and hating immigrants is still hating immigrants, and is still an emotional response in most cases.

Fromm’s thesis — simplistic though it may be — is that our freedom will remain incomplete until we learn to deal with our emotions in a positive way and have built a society in which the relationship between one human being and another “is one of solidarity, not one of dominance-submission.”

jim makin
chiba

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.