HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 2 (2021)


Ian Raymond B. Pacquing



I argue in this paper that every society has its own “libidinal drives” that may or may not paralyze the capacity of individuals towards freedom. Fromm calls this the social character. Social character is the unconscious canalization of individual libidinal drives for the attainment of social objectives instituted by the dominant figures of society. I theorize that the Freirian dyadic alliance persists because of a dominant characterology permeated by the ruling authorities. The dynamics of social character structure not only eludes the oppressed conscious awareness, but it also actually strengthens the domination and control through the institutionalization of structural policies enacted and implemented by the oppressors. Hence, what Freire laments in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed are equalized and smoothen by how the marginalized and the downtrodden cling incessantly towards the oppressors. By depending upon the dominant ruling authorities, the oppressed find fulfilment and satisfaction, upon which they fortify the dyadic-symbiotic relations. This happens because of the dynamics of their character structure that caters to the instinctual drive to survive. The social character gives rise to the inner satisfaction of oppressed libidinous desires and needs, thus equalizing their own emotional needs. Furthermore, the very nature of their submissiveness is a character trait that unknowingly recanalizes their elementary needs in life. Hence, by understanding how the Frommian social character influences social behaviors the symbiotic element that cements the Freirian dyadic relation is unlocked. Through unravelling the dynamics of social characterology, the Freirian dyadic symbiosis ungrounds itself and eventually grasps why the majority of the poor and marginalized are motivated and find fulfillment therein as a matter of survival from controlling authorities.