Sigmund Freud's Civilization And Its Discontents

821 Words4 Pages
Student: Lucache Oana (căs. Şulic)
Civilization and its Discontents Sigmund Freud, “the most influential intellectual legislator of his age” , was an Austrian neurologist and the father of psychoanalysis. Besides his questionless print that he left in the field of psychoanalysis that he himself founded, Freud had a keen eye for the interpretation of culture and society. “What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it?”. This is the question concerning men’s lives that our excerpt from Freud’s “Civilization and its Discontents” begins with and the question that perhaps most people ask themselves quite often. Freud’s simple answer to this widely spread question is happiness which can be achieved by “an
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Our aggressiveness is a continuous and the most serious threat for civilization. Civilized society tried with no major success to use love for the other, restriction upon sexual life and even violence against criminals to stop our natural aggressiveness. Freud gives here the communists’ example who believe that they found the way to deliver us from our aggressive nature by abolishing private property. Unlike Marx who states that abolition of private property is the solution of any form of human conflict, Freud doesn’t agree, arguing that this doesn’t stop our aggressive nature and that there are other things too which would arouse our aggressiveness since “it forms the basis of every relation of affection and love among people”. It is hard to give up on our…show more content…
A cohesion between the members of a community is formed and thus, a feeling of “hostility against intruders” appears, which helps protecting that community. The modern man cannot be happy since both his sexuality and his aggressiveness are being controlled by civilization. Eros in Freud’s view is the “principle of life” for which civilization tries to “bind together isolated individuals into a vast unity, humanity as such” , whereas Thanasos is the death drive, aggressiveness being its representative. Our evolution as a civilized society depends on the continuous struggle between Eros and Thanasos, “the instinct of life and the instinct of
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