Life has an inner dynamism of it’s own; it tends to grow, to be expressed, to be lived. It seems that if this tendency is thwarted (by others, or perhaps by ones own unconscious fears) the energy directed towards life undergoes a process of decomposition and changes in to energies directed towards destruction. In other words the drive for life and the drive for destruction are not mutually independent factors but are in a reversed interdependence. The more the drive towards life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive towards destruction; the more life is realised, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Those individual and social conditions that make for the suppression of life produce the passion for destruction that forms, so to speak, the reservoir from which particular hostile tendencies – either against others or against oneself – are nourished.

Erich Fromm

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