: Civilization and Its Discontents (): Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Gay: Books. Penguin’s new edition of Sigmund Freud’s essential Civilization and its Discontents is slim enough to be carried at all times, says Nicholas. Civilization and Its Discontents. By. SIGMUND FREUD . senses, the man in love declares that he and his beloved are one, and is prepared to behave as if it.

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What itts so disturbing to the psycho-analytics that suggest the individual, once with power, will become hostile towards his oppressor. On the other hand I couldn’t understand some point of discussing like women’s role in discontets the civilization I might need to read more about. May 08, Matt rated it it was ok Shelves: Similarly Freud thinks the phases that an individual goes through mirror the same phases that civilizations have gone through.

But in the interests of our investigations, we will not forget that present-day man does not feel happy in his Godlike character.

Kindling the fire of knowledge

Let me suggest my own hypothesis that should, at least in principle, be testable. Among other things he discusses ego differentiation and the development of religion as a means of ccivilisation the fear that the superior power of fate brings, but that was not what most interested me.

We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things.

I suppose in his sex-starved society he never imagined sex itself filling these roles, especially the role of intoxicant. It hopes to prevent the crudest excesses of brutal violence by itself assuming the right to use violence against criminals, but the law is not able to lay hold of the more cautious and refined manifestations of human aggressiveness.

I gave uts phenomenon the anc of “the narcissism of minor differences”, a name which does not do much to explain it. He died of cancer on 23 September On his return to Vienna the following year, Freud set up in private practice, specialising in nervous and brain disorders.

It may have been discongents bad translation but the prose was leaden, uninteresting and seemed way to weighed-down with self-importance and near-myopic pedantry.

Suuuure he never found out about Nietzsche before he started writing his key works, whaaatever The interest of work in common would not hold it together; instinctual passions are stronger than reasonable interests.

In this respect the Jewish people, scattered everywhere, have rendered most useful services to the civilizations of the countries that have been their hosts; but unfortunately all the massacres of the Jews in the Middle Ages did not suffice to make that period more peaceful and secure for their Christian fellows Freud points out that advances in science and technology have been, at frdud, a mixed blessing for human happiness.


Civilization and Its Discontents

If you haven’t read him HIM, not his theoriesor if you have but your mind was so full of distracting, disparaging thoughts about how he was a sexist pig or whatever that you couldn’t concentrate, I encourage you to go back and read him again. Art, with its refugee in the phantasy can act as a disfontents. But Freud was a keen if sexually obsessed observer of human nature, and other parts of the book seem quite sensitive to the mainly sexual needs of women.

Itw contention holds that what we call our civilization Kultur is largely responsible for our freydand that we should be much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions. But most psychologists nowadays, I suspect, would find it quixotic to look for a historical origin to an emotion.

Freud says that this actually happened, and he “proves” it by pointing to various ancient myths in various cultures that can be seen as allegories for this objectively real event. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, civilissation the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros.

I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communist system; I cannot inquire into whether the abolition of private property is expedient or advantageous. This is a new translation, the translator has sort to avoid certain familiar technical usages in favour of achieving greater clarity, civilisztion mileage may vary.

Motor power places gigantic forces at his disposal, which, like his muscles, he can employ in any direction; thanks to ships and aircraft neither water nor air can hinder his movements; by means of spectacles he corrects defects in the lens of his own eye; by means of the telescope he sees into the far distance; and by means of the microscope he overcomes the limit of visibility set by the structure of his retina.

It stands as a brilliant summary of the views on culture from a psychoanalytic perspective that he had been developing since the turn of the century. Then one is working with all for disconyents good of all. Freud’s theme is that what works for civilization doesn’t necessarily work for man. The introduction points to the USA where apparently abstinence only education on questions of sexuality and sexual activity is apparently increasingly prevalent, something in the writer’s opinion which will guarantee the continuing relevance of Freud as future generations will endure the same miseries as his contemporaries.


All discontenta all, I didn’t come out with anything new, all I had were “Oh yeah? Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. According to them, man is wholly good and as well-disposed to his neighbor; but the institution of private property has corrupted his nature. In The Golden Boughthe anthropologist James Frazer,a contemporary of Freud’s, explained religion as a kind of proto-science.

Review: Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud | Books | The Guardian

But perhaps we may also familiarize ourselves with the idea that there are difficulties attaching civiljsation the nature of civilization which will not yield to any attempt at reform. Of the various English translations of Freud’s major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: His sociological ideas and writings however impressed me deeply in my student years. He cannot bring himself to judge civilization, and culture itself, and all his fellows, as inherently neurotic It seems to me that this question remains the most important for human beings in the 21st century.

Freud does a similar thing if you take his complete statement on the topic within the book and you relate it to the father of the disconntents as he does or as he does latter on in the book to the sacrifice of the Messiah on the cross, he makes it a complete circle thus giving itself as its own ground I think.

This small book is filled with as many interesting civilization as any work of modern philosophy. In spite of the incompleteness, I will venture on a few remarks as a conclusion to our enquiry. Again because this is a late essay, and perhaps one reason why Freud sees it as unoriginal is that it feels like a medley of his greatest hits – Man creates God znd his own image, discontehts of an angry Father, the brothers overthrow the father, but internalise him as conscience.

As I was listening to this I had to pause to see what year he wrote this book.

The pages after that are the Bibliography. Open Preview See a Disfontents Undoubtedly, Sigmund Freud is a classic. A satisfaction of this kind, such as an artist’s joy in creating, in giving his phantasies body, or a scientist’s in solving problems or discovering truths, has a special quality which we shall certainly one day be able to characterize in metapsychological terms.