Read Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud Christopher Hitchens James Strachey Peter Gay Online


Freud’s seminal volume of twentieth-century cultural thought grounded in psychoanalytic theory, now with a new introduction by Christopher Hitchens.Written in the decade before Freud’s death, Civilization and Its Discontents may be his most famous and most brilliant work. It has been praised, dissected, lambasted, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Originally published in 193Freud’s seminal volume of twentieth-century cultural thought grounded in psychoanalytic theory, now with a new introduction by Christopher Hitchens.Written in the decade before Freud’s death, Civilization and Its Discontents may be his most famous and most brilliant work. It has been praised, dissected, lambasted, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Originally published in 1930, it seeks to answer several questions fundamental to human society and its organization: What influences led to the creation of civilization? Why and how did it come to be? What determines civilization’s trajectory? Freud’s theories on the effect of the knowledge of death on human existence and the birth of art are central to his work. Of the various English translations of Freud’s major works to appear in his lifetime, only Norton’s Standard Edition, under the general editorship of James Strachey, was authorized by Freud himself. This new edition includes both an introduction by the renowned cultural critic and writer Christopher Hitchens as well as Peter Gay’s classic biographical note on Freud....

Title : Civilization and Its Discontents
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ISBN : 9780393304510
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 158 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Civilization and Its Discontents Reviews

  • Corinne
    2019-04-18 06:54

    This book deftly delineates the dilemma in our civic society, where the struggle between our ethics and animal instincts continue, and the ‘prices’ we have paid in making our society safe and secure. It rejoins what Victor Hugo and Tolstoy and Steinbeck show in their works...But, most of all, I think it acutely depicts the fate of our judicial system, conceived by men who thought punishment would be the detriment to crime, but which ironically turned out to be the incitement to more heinous crimes. True, countries like Norway have understood the importance of humane treatment in restoration, as opposed to humiliation in confinement, but, in most countries, the old-fashioned system still reigns, because it’s the easiest to sleep in the status quo.Let’s hope this will change someday.

  • C C
    2019-04-25 09:49

    This book explains why the average man--someone like you--is always pissed off, as if there is a cauldron of boiling anger just beneath his oxford button-down and neatly pressed slacks. This book explains why he (you) will be standing behind that scruffy, ponytailed hipster in the checkout lane, he with his artisanal pickles in one hand and his smoking hot girlfriend in the other, and you with your mayonnaise and suddenly feel the urge to lunge at him and tear the larynx out of this throat; but don't. Instead you smile and through gritted teeth call him a douchebag under your breath. Later, sitting behind the wheel of your Honda Civic, you shudder. Where did that impulse come from, you wonder. The answer: you're an animal, buddy. That fancy Master's degree can't conceal the truth: you're a bloodthirsty, sex-crazed animal. A status-seeking primate. Go on, if you dare, look inside yourself. You'll see the truth. Just try to keep your clothes on.

  • Miss Ravi
    2019-04-03 02:57

    فروید مواد تشکیل‌دهنده‌ی تمدن را برمی‌شمارد. و این‌ها را در مقابل هدف انسان از زندگی یعنی سعادتمندی قرار می‌دهد ولی در این تقابل رابطه‌ی مثبتی پیدا نمی‌کند. یعنی تمدن موافق سعادت هر فردی نیست. بلکه تمدن بیش‌تر نگاهش به جمع است. فروید می‌گوید اگر هر فردی به ابژه‌ی عشق دست پیدا کند اصلا باقی دنیا برایش مهم نیست. اجتماع برایش ضرورتی ندارد. می‌تواند بدون هیچ جمعی با ابژه‌اش تا ابد زندگی کند. قشنگ نیست؟ برای من چرا ولی تمدن این را نمی‌‌خواهد ا‌ما ابژه عشق را هم لازم دارد. تا خیالش از تمدید نسل بشر مطمئن باشد! شبیه یک بازی است.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-18 03:47

    This may come as a surprise considering how much I complain about psychotherapy, but I LOVE SIGMUND FREUD. This is not just transference, and no, he doesn't remind me at all of my father; I believe Freud was a great genius, and far more importantly, that he was a fantastic writer and very interesting person. I also believe that Freud is one of the most unfairly maligned and willfully misinterpreted figures of the past hundred-or-so years.If you haven't read him (HIM, not his theories), or 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. He's a lot of fun, extremely interesting, and surprisingly humorous -- check out his short piece on jokes for a good time. This book here explores dark themes and ends on a somber note, as one might expect of a European book about civilization written in 1931. Anyway, if I were to stay up all night long talking and doing lines with any figure, alive or dead, throughout human history, there is no question in any structure of my mind who it would be.

  • Mr.
    2019-04-07 05:46

    `Civilization and its Discontents' is Freud's miniature opus. It is a superficial masterpiece that stretches further than any of his other works; he is reaching for an explanation for human nature in terms of the id-ego-superego structure of the individual as he exists in civilization. For Freud, human beings are characterized by Eros (Sex Drive) and Thanatos (Death Drive), which remain in opposition to one another. This small book is filled with as many interesting ideas as any work of modern philosophy. Freud adopts (perhaps a bit hastily), a Nietzschean position with regard to the role of religion and institutions of social morality which curb and shape primordial human drives. As a result, human beings, and civilizations as a whole remain unsatisfied and suffer from neuroses. He concludes with a discussion of human aggression, which manifests itself in the form of communalized human aggression. He wonders as to whether or not human beings will be able to overcome this drive. It seems to me that this question remains the most important for human beings in the 21st century. Will we be able to overcome our Thanatos and survive the destructive powers that we have created? I suspect that Freud will be better remembered as a thinker and philosopher than as an analyst or doctor precisely because he asks the questions that remain relevant for civilization today, and are likely to remain imperative in the future.

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-04-04 08:12

    There’s something unbelievable about Freud. If he was some ancient Greek or Medieval thinker, his ideas might not seem as strange. But the man was a contemporary of Albert Einstein, John Maynard Keynes, and F.D.R. He lived through the Great Depression and World War II—two events that continue to haunt the present day. Yet his theories seem so remote from our positivistic era, it’s difficult to even take them seriously.Nonetheless, he remains one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. In their diluted form, his ideas have pervaded our culture to the extent that we do not even realize that we are drawing on them. His name is just as recognizable as Einstein's, or Darwin's. Yet both of those thinker’s ideas are still held in high repute—more, they established the entire paradigm for their fields. Meanwhile, Freud’s ideas are only taken seriously in the dark recesses of literary or cultural criticism.Pondering this, I came upon a realization. Freud’s system is a bizarro version of Christianity. Instead of a soul experiencing the temptations of the body, we get the ego experiencing the temptations of the id. Instead of Original Sin, we get the Oedipus Complex. Instead of confession and atonement, we get psychotherapy. Replace the Virgin Mother with the mother as an object of lust. Replace the Heavenly Father with the father as an object of jealousy. And replace Jesus with Freud.By now I’m convinced that the erstwhile popularity of his ideas was a product of this confluence. It is an entire secular religion. His ideas are so appealing, that some people have become enthralled enough to apply them to nearly aspect of human life. The whole sexual liberation movement drew inspiration from this sexually repressed Austrian. Strange. But I am rambling now, let me get to this book.It strikes me that Civilization and its Discontents is Freud’s sequel to Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morality. The two works tackle nearly identical issues: the origins of religion, of good and evil, and of the guilty conscience. And both give historical answers. Nietzsche believed that the guilty conscience was an outgrowth of the creditor/debtor relationship; Freud, on the other hand, believed that guilt arose as a result of a historical act of aggression towards a father. But most psychologists nowadays, I suspect, would find it quixotic to look for a historical origin to an emotion.It seems hardly worth the time to criticize Freud’s ideas, but here is just a bit. When trying to grapple with something as abstract as a mind, it seems that thinkers resort to an analogy. The central analogy of Freud’s thinking is pneumatic. He believes we are motivated by “drives,” which build up pressure when not satisfied. These drives can be diverted and redirected, like a stream of water. While this analogy seems viable when thinking about sexual desire or hunger, it is useless when thinking of questions like language acquisition. Moreover, Freud places sexuality in the center of his system. Yet this makes just as much sense as placing the urge to eat in the center of a theory of human nature. Human behavior is complex. Reducing it down to the satisfaction of one or two drives is beyond simplistic. It’s stupid.But enough of these criticisms; let’s look at the positives. Freud was one of the first intellectuals (though by no means the first) to place the emotional life in the center of human nature. As far back as Plato, philosophers have tended to think that rational theories were fundamental to our thinking. Witness Socrates, asking logic-chopping arguments about the nature of religious worship in Euthyphro, apparently oblivious to the emotional side of religion. This tendency to see human life as attempts at rational explanations extended all the way down to Freud’s day. In The Golden Bough, the anthropologist James Frazer,a contemporary of Freud's, explained religion as a kind of proto-science. Compared with this, I think Freud’s notion that religion is a satisfaction of an emotional need is a real insight.Not only that, but Freud made clear the extent to which self-knowledge is almost impossible. Much of our motivations, he pointed out, stem from unconscious sources. While these motivations are not the river-like drives that he posited, he was at least correct in his supposition that the brain’s activities are not all conscious. In my opinion, this was a definite advance over thinkers like Locke, Hume, or Kant, who believed that they could get to the bottom of human thinking simply via introspection.Regardless of the extent to which he was correct, Freud's influence is undeniable. So It’s worth the time to wade through his books, however bizarre they seem.

  • Belal
    2019-04-12 08:54

    أكثر استفادة لي من الكتاب ،أنه غير لي نظرتي السطحية ،لأطروحة فرويد الخاصة ،بعقدة قتل الأب الأصيلة ،فأنا كنت أردها دائما بالحجة العادية ،أنه إذا كان الذنب ،قد جاء من القتل ،فكيف تكونت هذه القابلية أصلا ،للشعور بالذنب ؟،ولكن تحليل فرويد لها ،وادماجها في منظومته التفسيرية كان أقوى من التعامل معها بصفتها خيال جامح ..يقول جورج طرابيشي المترجم ،أن السؤال الذي يجيب عليه فرويد هو ""لماذا لا يحظى الإنسان بالسعادة التي ينشدها مهما قارب أن يكون الها؟"" ،يمكن القول بأن الإجابة على مدار الكتاب هي "لإن الإنسان مكبوت يحش بالذبندائما ،ولأن السعادة قائمة أساسا على التحقق المفاجئ للرغبة "فكرة الكتاب الأساسية بشكل سطحي بسيط ،أن هناك قلقا أو اضطرابا في اي حضارة ،ناتج عن ان أي حضارة لا يمكن أن تقوم بغير أن تقوم بعملية كبت لبعض الغرائز الإنسانية ،مستغلة في ذلك شعور الإنسان بالذنب ،أو تزرعه فيه ،وبدون عملية الكبت هذه لا يمكن قيام الحضارة ،لكن في الجانب الآخر ،نفس هذا الكبت ،هو الذي يولد الاتجاه اللاحضاري ،والتعاسة الإنسانية الدائمةومن شأن أي كبت مبالغ فيه ،من قبل أي حضارة ،أن ينتج بجوار كمية التعاسة الزائدة ،أسخاصا عصابيين ،لأنه ليس كما يظن القديسين أن مثلهم العليا دائما في يد الإنسان ،وليس الأنا_وهو الجزء الواعي من الإنسان الذي يوفق بين غرائزه وبين مثله العليا_له مثل هذه السيطرة المتوهمة على نفسه ،بل بشكل ما يمكن القول بأن له حدا ،إن تجاوزه ،يفقد بعده القدرة على الموازنة بين الهو والأنا الأعلي،ويصير أقرب للمريض النفسي..من جهة أخرى ،يناقش الكتاب ،ألنزعة العدوانية عند الإنسان ،ويعتبرها غريزة طبيعية إنسانية ،وهي تجلي لغريزة الموت أو غريزة التدمير ،التي استنتجها فرويد في كتابه "ما فوق مبدأ اللذة " ،بصفتها الغريزة الأخرى المقابلة لغريزة الايروس ،أو الجنس ،أو الحياة ،وهو يحلل كيف تميل الحضارة بشكل عام وضروري ،لتجاوز هذه الغريزة أو كبتها أو توجيهها ،ويتساءل في نهاية الكتاب"إن مسألة مصير الجنس البشري ،تطرح نفسها ،،هل سيكون في متناول الحضارة ،أن تتغلب على الخلل الذي تدثه نزعة الإنسان العدوانية هذه "وهذا السؤال له أهمية خاصة خصوصا بعدما "سيطر الإنسان على الطبيعة سيطرة كبيرة ،بحيث بات من السهل على البشر ،أن يفنوا بعضهم بعضا عن بكرة أبيهم "

  • Ahmed Oraby
    2019-03-26 07:04

    منذ بداية الكتيب، ويصرح فرويد بالعبارة الأكثر مباشرة: لا أؤمن بما يسميه البعض بالكلانية wholness أو الإدراك الباطني بوجود أعلى وأشمل يحكم العالم. وهي الفكرة، عينها، التي ناقشها فراس سواح وبنى عليها نظريته حول الدين، أو بالأحرى التجربة الدينية. في معرض نقد سواح لنظريات دراسة الدين الأخرى، والتي ترى إليه بأنه: إما عبادة للأرواح، وإما تطور طبيعي للأسطورة والخرافة، وإما عزاء وهمي اختلقه عقل الإنسان هربًا من مشكلاته، وإما وإما. يرى السواح أن كل تلك النظريات تختزل كثير من أفكار الدين، في نقطة بسيطة ودقيقة، هي نقطة وجود الإله. لكن لم لا نجتازها؟ألا نؤمن أصلا بكرة الإله المشخص الكريه الذي رسم معالمه فرويد مشكلا من صورته في التوراة، أو صور الله الأخرى؟كل الأديان، في بدايتها، اشتملت على مبدأ التجريد، حتى المسيحية.يرفض فرويد الفكرة من أساسها، ويراها دليلًا على كون الإنسان ما زال في طور الطفولة يبحث عن ثدي أمه أو سيطرة أبيه المستبديرى فرويد أن الدين هو بمثابة الخمر أو المخدرات أو الأفيون أو الكحول، عامل مسكن يعتمد عليه الساسة في السيطرة، أو المقهورين للإحساس بالاندماج.يرى كذلك أنه حيث تكون الآلام، يكون الكحول.يتكلم فرويد بلغة شاعرية رمزية مستقاة من شيلر وهاينه وأكثر من شاعر ألماني كلاسيكي ورومانسييرى فرويد إلى العقيدة بوصفها عائق في وجه الحضارةويرى كذلك إلى الدين بوصفه موات بشكل أو بآخريختلف خطاب فرويد للدين ما بين النظرة المادية الحاكمة على للما وراء بالرفض، وما بين السلوكية التي تفسر دوافع المرء بشكل عقلي، وما يين النظرة التحليلية النفسية التي ترى الدين على أنه عصاب ومرض.هل هذا كل شيء؟ في الغالب. لكن فرويد، حسبما يرى فروم، وفراس، وستيس، وغيرهم ممن نظروا للدين والتجربة الدينية نظرة تعلو النظرة المعتادة لروح عصر التنوير، يرون أنه لو أن فرويد تخلص من نظرته السوداوية ولو إلى حد قليل تجاه الإنسان، لبإنسان بوصفه منتجَا وكيانًا فعالا، لأفسح فرويد للديم مجالا.ليس دفاعل عن الدين وليست اعتذاريات، ولكن تقديرَا لما للدين من أهمية في نماء روح الفرد.يقول فراس: لا يمكن للمرء أن يعيش بلا عقيدة، وهي حقيقة. أيا كانت هذي العقيدة حتى ولو فاسدة، يحتاج المرء للإيمان.الإيمان لا بوصفه وهما أو تعزية، لكن بوصفه دفعًا للأمام وإنتاج وتنمية لروح الفرد والبحث عن ما هو أسمى من الإنسان.يردد فروم نفس النبرة وإن بشكل أنضج. لا يحتاج المرء للوهم. ولا يحتاج للدين في شكله الفرويدي، ولا للدين في شكله التسلطي أي.ًا ما كان اسم ومسمى المعتقد. يحتاج المرء للإيمان بفكرة سامية، فكرة تمنحه حرية الفعل والإنتاجية وحرية للفكر، ولا تقيده باسم نص أو شعيرة تسلطية تسلبه إنسانيته.يؤكد فرويد، من خلال مماثلات وأمثولات وسرديات قصصية لما للدين من خطر على الإنسان وعقله. يقص استعارات ومجازات تنظر للدين على أنه حجر العثرة ابذي يعيق التقدملكن ربما لو أن فرويد أفسح ولو نقرة للتجربة الدينية وليس شرطًا الدين الحرفي النصوصي، لكان مذهبه أنضج.ربما كان فرويد على صواب حين أقر بأن للدين عوامل مسكنة كما للخمروربما كان محقًا حقًا حين أنبأ بما ترتكبه أيادي المؤمنين من شناعات بدافع من معتقداتهم - حسبما يفسرونها - وبالتأكيد كان على حق لما أشار بما للدين من سطوة على النفوس.لكن الفكرة لا تكمن في الدين قدر مل تكمن في فعل السطوة والتسلط نفسه، والذي هو عامل مشترك بين الأيديولوجيات السياسية العلمانية حتى.فات فرويد مثيرًا من التفصيلات، صوبها له في رأسي فروم وفراس. ولا يزال الموضوع الرئيس غير محسوم، ولا يمكن حسمه فحسب، لكن يعتمد على رؤية كل فرد للدين والمقدس ومدى حدود كل منهما، وعلى نقطة الانطلاق أيضًا: إنسانية، أم تسلطية.إنتاجية أم كمونية.حرفية أو كلانية

  • ZaRi
    2019-03-31 03:55

    سرچشمه های رنج" رنج از سه جهت ما را تهدید می کند: ١- از طرف جسم خودمان که محکوم به تلاشی و اضمحلال است ٢- از طرف جهان بیرون و طبیعت که با نیرویی چیره، بیرحم ویرانگر ما را مورد حمله قرار می دهد ٣- نهادهایی که روابط میان انسان را در خانواده، دولت و جامعه تنظیم می کنند" ( ص٣٥)پذیرش مورد اول و دوم هموارتر به نظر می رسد. در مقابل چیرگی طبیعت و قدرت ویرانگرش و نیز ناجاودانگی و فنای بدنمان مقاومت چندانی نمی توانیم نشان دهیم و به رشد علوم و دانش بشری که در این زمینه ها تا حدی کمکمان می کنند دلخوشیم اما مشکل اصلی در مورد نهادها و مناسباتی است که زندگی جمعی و به طور خلاصه "تمدن" به ما تحمیل کرده و یا بهتر بگوییم خودمان برای خودمان ایجاد کردیم و این که چرا تا این حد موجب ناخرسندی و ملالتمان شده است؟راه های احتراز و دوری از رنج ١-عزلت نشینی و دوری جستن از دیگران نزدیکترین راه است برای محافظت از رنجی که ممکن است از ارتباط با دیکران حاصل شود٢-تسلط بر طبیعت به کمک علم و تکنولوژی و تحت انقیاد درآوردن آن. از این میان جالب ترین روش، روش هایی است که می کوشند ارگانیسم انسان را تحت تاثیر قرار دهند. هر رنجی در تحلیل نهایی یک احساس است و فقط تا زمانی که آ«را احساس کنیم وجود دارد.٣-روش شیمیایی سکر و استفاده از مواد شیمیایی برای رهایی از رنج. به کمک این نوع مواد نه فقط به لذت بی واسطه دست می یابد بلکه می تواند به جهانی خود ساخته و توهم آمیز پناه برد.٤-چیره شدن بر سرچشمه درونی نیازها که نوع افراطی آن، کشتن سایق ها یا در محدودیت و امساک نگه داشتن آن ها.٥-جا به جا کردن لیبیدو یا والایش سایق ها. به این معنی که آدمی بتواند لذت ها را به سرچشمه های فعالیت های روحی و فکری ارتقا دهد . گرچه ضعف این روش این است که برای همه قابل استفاده نیست و نیازمند داشتن استعداد و سرشتی است که در عامه یافت نمی شود.٦-قطع رابطه با واقعیت به عنوان سرچشمه رنج ها. و می توان از این هم فراتر رفت و جهان را دوباره ساخت، جهان دیگری که در آن تحمل ناپذیرترین خصوصیات محو شوند و خصوصیات دیگری که با آرزوهای فرد تطابق دارند جای آنها را بگیرند. دین های نوع بشر را هم می توان در این دسته قرار داد.٧-زندگی عاشقانه که عشق در آن مرکزیت دارد و همه رضایت ها از عشق ورزیدن و مورد عشق واقع شدن حاصل می شود.. این روش گرچه به علت داشتن مجموعه ای قابل توجه از جنبه های خاص نسبت به فن های دیگر امتیاز دارد اما در عین حال " هیچ گاه در برابر رنج، بی حفاظ تر از هنگامی که عشق می ورزیم و هیچ گاه ناکام تر از وقتی که ابژه ی عشق را از دست می دهیم نیستیم.٨-در حالتی کلی تر سعادت را فقط از طریق لذت بردن از زیبایی جستجو می کنیم. فرقی نمی کند زیبایی در انسان یا طبیعت یا اثر هنری یا علمی. زیبایی و جذابیت در اصل از خصوصیات ابژه جنسی هستند.٩-آخرین فن که حداقل برای عده معدودی اتفاق می افتد پناه بردن به یک بیماری نوروتیک است که معمولا در سنین جوانی اتفاق میافتد.در نهایت می توان گفت قاعده ای وجود ندارد که به کار همه بخورد و هرکس باید راه خاص خود را بیاید یا به تعبیر دیگر همان اقتصاد لیبیدویی هر فرد. که موازنه ای است میان ارضای لذت های فرد و ناکامی های او.

  • Blair
    2019-04-22 06:02

    The Price of Civilized Security“Civilized man has traded in a portion of his chances of happiness for a certain measure of security.”Sometimes it is worth reading the original source of an idea that now should be taken for granted in our culture. Not this time. While there are a few gems in this work, I am mainly reminded why Freud is no longer taken seriously. Here we receive his view of an entire civilization based on his experience with those few neurotic patients who can afford his services. And have you noticed that he is rather obsessed with sex?Freud deserves credit for recognizing a few fundamental truths: Unconscious processes motivate much of our behaviour, and sex plays an important role. And in this book, repression is an essential part of civilization. It is in pursuing the details that he often departs from scientific method, and sometimes from reason itself.Religion and Universal LoveFreud was not exactly a fan of religion:“Religion interferes with this play of selection and adaptation by forcing on everyone indiscriminately its own path to the attainment of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consists in reducing the value of life and distorting the picture of the real world by means of delusion; and this presupposes the intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing human beings in a state of psychical infantilism and drawing them into a mass delusion, religion succeeds in saving many of them from individual neurosis.”Religious people believe that they increase the value of life, and some religious practice may be based on sound psychological principles that Dr. Freud ignores because they are not sex. But he has a good point about universal love:“It is always possible to bind quite large numbers of people together in love, provided that others are left out as targets for aggression… After St Paul had made universal brotherly love the foundation of his Christian community, the extreme intolerance of Christianity towards those left outside it was an inevitable consequence.”In modern society there is a new God:“Man has become, so to speak, a god with artificial limbs. He is quite impressive when he dons all his auxiliary organs, but they have not become part of him and still give him a good deal of trouble on occasion… Let us also remember that modern man does not feel happy with his god-like nature.”Death, Fire and Sex ObjectsWe are not happy because our tendency for violence and sex must be suppressed for civilization to work. Writing after the shock of World War One, Freud invented a death instinct to explain why it happened. This makes no evolutionary sense. Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined makes a much better case for the importance of suppressing our natural tendency to violence. Unfortunately, Freud sees sex behind everything. Seriously, this is his version of how humanity learned to use fire:“Extinguishing a fire by urinating on it was therefore like a sexual act performed with a man, an enjoyment of male potency in homosexual rivalry. Whoever first renounced this pleasure and spared the fire was able to take it away with him and make it serve his purposes. By damping down the fire of his own sexual excitement he had subdued the natural force of fire. This great cultural conquest would thus be the reward for forgoing the satisfaction of a drive. Moreover, it is as though the man had charged the woman with guarding the fire, now held prisoner on the domestic hearth, because her anatomy made it impossible for her to yield to such a temptation.”Silly me. I thought it had something to do with fire being warm. But along with the irresistible male urge to piss on every phallic flame he sees (if I don’t feel that way it must be because I am repressed), we can see a certain view of the relationship between men and women. “Hence, the male acquired a motive for keeping the female or – to put it more generally – his sexual objects around him.”This may remind one of The Donald’s locker room talk. 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. It is hard to tell here if that is his personal view, or he is guessing about attitudes in primitive society (like towards the fire), or if it reflects what he learned from his male patients.Neurosis, Civilization and Free LoveWe are constantly reminded that the cause of neurosis is suppression of the sexual drive. In the 1960s we tried to solve that problem with free love, as part of a general campaign against the perceived ills of civilization, or against civilization itself. Freud himself knew better then to dismantle civilization:“It is contended that much of the blame for our misery lies with what we call our civilization, and that we should be far happier if we were to abandon it and revert to primitive conditions. I say this is astonishing because, however one defines the concept of civilization, it is certain that all the means we use in our attempts to protect ourselves against the threat of suffering belong to this very civilization.”Good point. I would add that one of those things that civilization tries to repress is violence, including violence against those women who are reduced to sex objects. Maybe we should think first before we tear something down.Today we can do something conspicuously lacking in Freud’s work – look for evidence to test the hypothesis. So does all that free love at least reduce neurosis? It seems every university reports that today’s liberated generation needs ever-escalating mental health support. This suggests that while some sexual freedom may beneficial, more is not necessarily better.Sex as Distraction, Diversion and DopeWe are told there are there are three kinds of palliative measures to help us endure life: “powerful distractions, which cause us to make light of our misery, substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it, and intoxicants, which anaesthetize us to it.” In other words, Distraction, Diversion and Dope. I suppose in his sex-starved society he never imagined sex itself filling these roles, especially the role of intoxicant. Fuelled by unlimited pornography, sex has become, in the words of his fellow intellectual luminary, an opiate for the masses. See The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science for what a modern psychiatrist has to say about that.Let me suggest my own hypothesis that should, at least in principle, be testable. An obsession with sex, as opposed it being part of a relationship between people, necessarily leads to an objectification of the partner, the meaning of Freud’s “sex objects”. When a person is seen as an object, the inhibition to using coercion to achieve the goal is reduced. I am drawing a direct connection between sexual “liberation” and the result we now call “rape culture”, in contradiction of the popular ethic that anything goes as long as it is consensual.Something to Talk AboutI don’t apologise for throwing my own opinions in here, because I see that as the only possible value of this book: as a stimulus to discuss the role of repression in maintaining civilization, and in particular the consequences of too much or too little sexual repression. I cannot recommend this book for any other purpose than to start such a discussion.

  • Pooya Kiani
    2019-04-07 05:52

    از آخرین کتاب های فروید، و اولین کتابی که من ازش خونده م. بسیار بسیار ارزشمند. متن کاملا خودبسنده ست. تازه و ساده شروع می شه، خوب ادامه پیدا می کنه و با مختصری تکرار مکررات به پایان می رسه.فروید واقعا نبوغ داره. چه دوستش داشته باشیم چه نه. رد پای تفکرات نویسنده ی این متن رو توی هر نحله‌ی فکری امروزی می شه دید. چه اون هایی که قبولش دارن، چه اون ها که نه. چه اون ها که بهش ارجاع می دن، چه اون هایی که اسمی از فروید نمی آرن.سخت و صعب، ولی لذتبخشه. در صورتی که کشتی گرفتن با تفکرات کسی همپایه فروید رو می پسندید، بسیار گزینه ی خوبی برای خوندنه.

  • Stela
    2019-04-04 06:10

    Undoubtedly, Sigmund Freud is a classic. Consequently, he shares the fate of any classic: everybody knows of and few read him anymore. After all, what is to discover we didn’t already learn? That he explained every evil or deviation in human behaviour by some repressed sexual urges generated mainly by the Oedipal complex. That he founded the science of psychoanalysis, but many of his theories and methods are obsolete today. That he influenced the Modernist movement, especially regarding some famous techniques such as introspection, psychological analysis, stream of consciousness, involuntary memory and so on. Things we learnt in school, while studying more or less some excerpts of his books. But when you finally make up your mind and read it, you realize he is definitely worth it. That he is always relevant, no way a mere fossil frozen in time to remind of obsolete periods in our culture.In this context, Civilization and Its Discontents is a revelation. Its main theme: civilization as a source of unhappiness for the individual, is not new (Rousseau’s good savage comes easily to mind, not to say that it is a problem debated since antiquity), but the development he chose to give it is seductive and pertinent. The premise is simple and difficult to argue with: …what decides the purpose of life is simply the programme of the pleasure principle.This pursuit of happiness is prevented by at least three factors: our own body, the external world and our relations with the others. Therefore, whenever life becomes too hard to bear, man resorts to palliative measures: “powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it.” An example of deflection could be the scientific activity. Art, with its refugee in the phantasy can act as a substitute. Drugs, alcohol etc. – as an anaesthetic. But why is man unhappy with himself and the world? Because, Freud says, man is basically an aggressive being whom civilization keeps in check through two “weapons”: Ananke and Eros, that is, “the compulsion to work, which was created by external necessity, and the power of love”. However, the love instinct (used by the society to keep its members together) is counteracted by the aggressive instinct. (I liked, even I wasn’t convinced of, the reference to the Oedipal complex as illustration for this problem: the aggressive instinct dictates the killing of the father, whereas the love instinct stops it). The struggle between Eros and Thanatos (with the continual repression of the death instinct dictated by society) leads to a sense of guilt which, although the most important problem in the development of civilization bringing with it the loss of happiness, usually remains in subconscious, being experienced rather as a sort of malaise, of anxiety. Moreover, the super-ego, which is the consciousness, penalizes the ego either with remorse or guilt, for sins committed or only thought of. The book ends with two presumptions: on one hand that beside an individual super-ego there could also be a “cultural super-ego”, thus viewing the society as a huge organism that developed its own consciousness, and on the other hand, that the battle between Eros and Thanatos is not only eternal but also unpredictable, thus throwing a pessimist shadow over the future. And he was unfortunately right. The World War II was just around the corner.

  • Omneya
    2019-04-22 07:07

    A tedious read, Freud's essay is mundane at worst, general knowledge at best.Freud had this tendency to make pretty obvious and minor premises and then jump to big and somehow unrelated conclusions depending on said premises.It's already known that Freud and his disciples were treading a deserted land which is psychoanalysis in their times, which calls for far more caution and far more-in this case, very welcomed-pedantry.Nevertheless Freud writes with uncalled for confidence, mixing facts with personal views with no impartial evidences to stand on, he even admits it more than once in this particular book.All in all, I didn't come out with anything new, all I had were "Oh yeah? I think so too" moments which are not my expectations whatsoever from this book.

  • Jeremy
    2019-04-03 04:59

    ...the development of the individual seems to be the product of two trends — the striving for happiness, which we commonly call ‘egoistic’, and the striving for fellowship within the community, which we call ‘altruistic’. Neither term goes much below the surface.A HUXLEY-IAN READING OF FREUD: BRAVE POST-NEW WORLDHaving just re-read ‘Brave New World’ (1932) and realising how influential Freud’s work had been on it this time around (having previously read it as a Freud-less teen...) I was keen to follow up immediately with some re-reading of Freud. The first and larger namesake essay in this book, ‘Civilization and its Discontents’ (1930), fits the bill perfectly (The second, ‘“Civilized” Sexual Morality and Modern Nervous Illness’ (1908) having a little less flesh around it, but interesting as a precursor.) and, having not read much Freud since my uni days, I had forgotten just how entertainingly he writes for a man operating in his field. (Don’t be put off by Leo Bersani’s much-more-difficult-to-read-than-Freud Introduction [still worth reading, though] ... but David Mclintock’s Translator’s Introduction is excellent; I am a sucker for these and he talks about some truly interesting things, like how a German-English translator of Freud has the extra issue of dealing with the Anglicised clinical language that pre-exists his own efforts to translate...)Brave New World is often looked at as predictive book, and a book that has a way of always remaining relevant, or even an ever increasing degree of relevance ... just look at the couple of comments on my own review... So I’m going to review this book with Brave New World as the pattern, and also try to look at how Freud’s work in this book can also be looked at through that patterning and influence, then, when it was new; and now, that it’s the post-new. The central thesis of Freud in this book relates to an absurd dilemma of Civilization: that man drags himself up out of barbarism and creates and lives a civilised life in order to pursue pleasure and avoid pain; but civilization requires him to curtail his pleasures and leaves him discontented with his lot. In order to lessen the load, he has recourse to three different methods: distractions, substitutions and intoxicants. Distractions such as scholarly activity, substitutions such as art, and intoxicants to dull the senses.The society of BNW has all of these things: distractions in consumerist-sport, substitutions in feelies, and intoxicants in soma. All of these things help avoid pain, but to remain pleasured, there is a combination of class-conditioning (which makes people happy with their lot) and un-repressed sex. Efforts are even made to avoid the infant-juvenile auto-erotic/genital guilt in the form of organised erotic play between children (that adults are not involved in ... but even so, this is probably what makes the contemporary reader most uncomfortable, so I think it helps to see it in strictly Freudian-theoretical format...). Does all of this work though in BNW terms? Well, for the lower classes, it seems to, though they remain somewhat shadowy. While the Alphas and Betas seem to have as much soma as they want, the Epsilons at least are limited to the end of their work day, and a riot protocol pre-exists the Savage’s outburst and threats to their supplies. As far as the Alphas and Betas go, unhappiness keeps sneaking through. It’s still there in the form of career success and upward-mobility. It’s hinted at by Mond that, due to the work Alphas must do, they can’t be completely conditioned out of basic critical thinking etc... So you end up with the Bernards and the Helmholtzs in Iceland where the Freudian Civilised pact becomes too much to bear and they have to be banished. As far as the Savage goes, he is almost a Christ-like figure (Linda claimed to be using the BNW contraception system...) with the later Mond as God-Father. He is more like the modern civilized man, with the libidinal drives he is subject to like any other man, but the civilized demand that these be kept in check until they have been earned, and then fulfilled only through a monogamous pairing for life with the love-object. And when his aggression at these demands on himself get too much, he internalises them through the form of punishment ... in his case, a literal whip, and, finally, the ultimate sacrifice when he has failed so ultimately.Everyone does not seems to belong to everyone else. There are still popularities and prejudices and jealousies. But there is the demand to be happy. It almost mirrors the natural ethics of ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’, which Freud points out is untenable, considering the amount of aggression inherent in our response to civilised life. How potent an obstacle to civilization aggression must be if the defence against it can cause as much happiness as the aggression itself! ...what we call natural ethics has nothing to offer but the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think that one is better than others.Our current western world demands more and more of itself, demands more and more of its ancestors, lest they be struck off from history altogether. The ethical bar racks up and up like some kind of bizarre Ethico-Olympic pole-vaulting challenge. And the failures become greater and greater, and the culture gets angrier and angrier at all the failures, and demands more, and internalises more and more and the cultural super-ego gets stronger and harsher and more aggressive. Submission is the only option, the cultural ego must crack or swing from the rafters...And, here, Freud steps away. He cannot bring himself to judge civilization, and culture itself, and all his fellows, as inherently neurotic ... mainly because the therapy would be too difficult to organise...

  • Christopher
    2019-04-09 01:47

    Read in 2000. Too long ago for me to review, but I will say that the impression I'm left with is that Freud may be more relevant today outside of his discipline than in it.

  • Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري
    2019-04-01 03:42

    I was reading this book very carefully due to Frued's reputation in my society but I find this evil!The man extremely intelligent especially explaining the most complicated "human being activity in certain societies based on Nerotics psychonalysis" This book made me understand some most important items in the civilization like: good, evil, love, hate, frustration, ego, super-ego and remorse"And why he ought to kill father, what is the relation between the sex and happiness I mean what we call (power of love).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.

  • Matt
    2019-04-03 07:43

    I've got nothing against Freud, really, but whatever it was I was looking to find I didn't find it here.It may have been a bad translation but the prose was leaden, uninteresting and seemed way to weighed-down with self-importance and near-myopic pedantry.I read it because of course its a seminal classic and one of his central texts but was mildly disappointed to see that there wasn't all that much "there" there.I've always been intrigued by Freud and I would like to get some of the finer points of his weltanschaung down. I assumed this text would help, but apparantly either I missed it or it wasn't really there to find. It is funny how at certain moments he starts to say things like "it's like a ruins!...wait, wait, no, no, it's nothing like ruins." Funny how even the great ones are overzealous with their awkward analogies. Good thing to keep in mind.It might be a handicap but mostly the Freud I've gotten is from literary theory (hello, papa Bloom!) and my ex-girlfriend (don't ask). I think Bloom is brilliantly on to something when he affirms that Freud wasn't really a psychologist, consider that more of a literary conceit, what he really was was a philosopher, a wisdom writer. (The fact that Bloom himself apparantly tried and failed utterly at psychotherapy, being told by his shrink that he was being paid to listen to hour-long lectures on how to properly read Freud might prove enough of a credential to lend his claim a little merit, no?)You can't really make a workable model of human personality with his building blocks any more, can you? I heard once that scientists have started to think of the psyche as more like the British Parliament- contending constituencies which have more on the table than just a-fuckin' and a-fightin'. But, since we're on the topic, let's not neglect the, er, pervasiveness of these rather fervently observed's well-nigh Schopenhauerian, isn't it? Hmmm...come to think of it, there really was some bad faith on Freud's part when it came to naming formative influences. Suuuure he never found out about Nietzsche before he started writing his key works, whaaatever...I like this very much and it explains how not a single practicing psychologist I've ever queried has ever said that his thinking still reigns supreme in psychological circles. Apparantly he's more of a know-it-to-know-it kind of thing. The study of the mind has gone past him now, so much the better.Psychology's loss is philosophy and literature's (philology's?) gain- it's no wonder that theorists of language and thinkers of man's place in the social sphere still pay homage. I thought this would be one of the texts which would offer hispensees(pun intended, if you're wondering) but either I missed something completely here or he did.Maybe it's better, taking these dubious observations to heart, that the literary are keeping him going. What more was he, really, than an explicator of mythos? (Think Oedipus, Karamazov, his razor-close reading of Shakespeare, the aforementioned Existential forerunners, etc)

  • Michael
    2019-04-22 02:43

    This is one of those "seminal" books that shows you why so much of Western thought is totally screwed up. The premises and logic of Freud's argument are utter nonsense from beginning to end, yet he somehow taps into a vein of unconscious imagery within the contemporary Zeitgeist that still resonates 80 years later. Certainly, for anyone studying the early 20th century, the ideas in here will seem eerily familiar; Freud isn't so much creating a new argument here as speaking aloud what was in everyone's heads at the time.So, the basis of this little thought-experiment was Freud's concept of the struggle between eros and thanatos: the drive for pleasure and the drive for death. That much still may apply, one way or another. As Freud saw it, the frustration of the id's natural desire for pleasure and love led to neurotic obsessions with death and destruction through aggressive behaviors. That part of the argument is sensible enough that the publishers see fit to include it on the back cover. What they don't tell you is that all of this began at some objective point in prehistory when a gang of brother cavemen killed and ate their father in order to possess and gang-rape their mother. For real. 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. I'm sure most Freudians would say that this is a metaphorical event, which took place in the imaginations of ancient peoples and that we still carry the legacy of this concept, but Freud's rejection of Jung's "collective unconscious" forces him into a position like unto fundamentalist Christians, insisting that his myths must be based upon actual fact. Indeed, this text is largely intended as a refutation of Jung and other psycho-analysts of the time who were suggesting that something valuable might be found in spirituality. Freud used this horrific imagery to posit that all religious thought is based upon perversity and hatred. Certainly this resonated well enough with many of his contemporaries, and no doubt it still does. Underneath this is also an underlying argument that it is civilization itself which necessitates the death-drive and the existence of neuroses, again a common enough idea. Freud is not "anti-civilization," of course, and wants to believe that the eros-principle can be integrated into a healthy psyche without a complete return to nature, but this seems to contradict his own logic. Psychology has long-since abandoned Freud, but he remains an influential force in philosophy and social science, which needs to move on as well. I recommend this book primarily for its historical perspective, not for any actual insights.

  • Talie
    2019-04-19 09:11

    کتاب به علل شکل گیری فرهنگ می پرداخت.فرهنگ که در ابتدا از وصلت اروس و آنانکه پا به عرصه وجود نهاد. ناچار به تحمیل محدودیت های سختی بر گرایشات و غرایز پرخاشگری و اروس شد تا به هستی ادامه دهد. در پایان این سوال مطرح می شود: آیافرهنگ به ناخوشایندی هایی که همراه می آورد ، می ارزد؟ریوییوی دومین بار خواندن:فروید همانطور که خود می گوید در نوشتن این کتاب راهنمای چندان ماهری نبوده و خوانندگان را از مناطق متروک و راه و بیراه های پر زحمت و خستگی آور گذرانده.اما جان کلام فروید چیست؟ چرا انسان در فرهنگ احساس ناخشنودی می کند؟ آیا این مسئله ذاتی فرهنگ است؟ اصلن فرهنگ چگونه بوجود آمده؟اینها یک سری سوالات هستند که فروید سعی می کند به آنها پاسخ دهد.ابتدا با رانه ی جنسی( لیبیدو، اروس) شروع می کند. این رانه برای بوجود آمدن فرهنگ گاهی باید سرکوب شود مثل تک همسری و گاهی باید والایش یابد مثل صرف لیبیدو در دوستی های خارج از محیط خانواده. فروید زن را مخالف فرهنگ و سترون کننده ی آن و ناتوان از والایش معرفی می کند.( دو گانه ی معروف فرهنگ(مرد)/طبیعت(زن). ) اما فروید اروس را قربانی اصلی ساخت فرهنگ نمی داند. قربانی اصلی رانه ی پرخاشگری است که باید سرکوب شود که این سرکوب باعث درونی شدن رانه ی پرخاشگری و شکل گیری سوپر اگو می شود. اقتدار هولناک بیرونی به قاضی درونی و منشا ناخشنودی های انسان تبدیل می شود. فروید در بحث پشیمانی و احساس گناه اولیه گریزی به ایده ی محبوبش یعنی قتل پدر توسط پسران در انسان های نخستین می زند و ادعا می کند در این قتل نخستین نفرت نسبت به پدر و پرخاشگری تخلیه می شود اما عشق به پدر باعث همانندسازی با او و استقرار سوپر اگو می گردد.نویسنده همچنین روند رشد فرهنگ را با روند رشد فرد مقایسه کرده و امکان روان نژندی فرهنگ را مطرح می سازد. که با توجه به مطالب قبلی به نظر می رسد که روان نژندی در ذات فرهنگ است. و در پایان پرسش مهمی مطرح می شود: آیا رانه ی پرخاشگری فرهنگ را نابود می کند؟ در جدال اروس و پرخاشگری برنده کیست؟پ.ن: شباهت زیادی بین این کتاب و کتاب تبارشناسی اخلاق نیچه وجود دارد.نمره: 3.5

  • Gary
    2019-04-03 03:58

    At one time it was wrongly believed that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (i.e. the embryonic stages mirrors the development stages of the species). Similarly Freud thinks the phases that an individual goes through mirror the same phases that civilizations have gone through. Freud uses that theme to explain his psychoanalysis in describing individuals and the societies in which they live as mirror images of each other.Yes, Freud does believe some weird things and he restates them in this book such as the early infant's whole world is the mother's breast and thus we end up fetishizing the breast when we grow up, our time in the womb means we always are looking to return to an abode of some kind, something about the anal fixation and how it never leaves us and unrepressed sex desires lead to our anxieties and other such things that sound weird to our modern ears. But those distractions don't necessarily mean that this book is not highly engaging and worth reading. I'll challenge you to read any recent biography because you''ll almost always see the author slip into Freudian speak (e.g. I'm currently listening to "The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor", and the author says that her father was strict and controlling and that made Mary Astor not trusting of men and unwilling to share her feelings with others particularly men, a very Freudian interruption). It's not a bad way of seeing the world. It's how we understand our selves or others. Now days, we just don't add on the word neurosis or repression, but it's how we cope with the nature within ourselves and others.I like this book for the same reason I liked Nietzsche's "The Genealogy of Morals". I don't agree with what they are saying, but they provide a narrative that is compelling. Matter of fact, you can tell that Freud is really influenced by Nietzsche within this book. Freud will say something such as the "conscience of the individual gets repudiated by the instinct leading to an anxiety that gives a person guilt" and that leads them to the wanting of taking away of the power of the father. (I don't have the quote exactly, but I think its fairly close to what he was getting at). Nietzsche's "will to power" at it's most basic cries out for how the community takes away our primal instincts, takes us away from "mans instinct to freedom". What Freud does within this book is argues Nietzsche's viewpoint with the emphasis slightly different. Freud states that our conscience gets perturb from within the family and by extension within the community leading away from our authentic (not a Freud word, but I feel comfortable using it here) selves. As I was listening to this I had to pause to see what year he wrote this book. I noticed it came before Heidegger's "Being in Time". Heidegger had a long section on 'conscience', and seemed to conclude that the conscience is the cause of itself. 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 individual 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)). "Will" is defined as it's own cause by St. Thomas Aquinas thus giving our conscience its primal place in his theology and leading to free will such that God can judge us for our moral acts in a necessary universe but which was contingently created by God exercising His will. Freud is giving us our conscience as a thing in itself and thus we can be blamed for who we are or became (even if we are schizophrenic, autistic, or predisposed to alcoholism by genetics, or whatever). The conscience leads to guilt because of our repressed neurosis (he'll say). Nietzsche will say the guilt is not real, Heidegger says it is because of the debt we owe to the future because of the one absolute truth we always know (our own impending death), and Freud says we have the guilt always but we repress it thus leading to our neurosis. (I love using that word 'neurosis'. It's totally void of meaning and I think the DSM V doesn't use it at all as a category for that reason). All three are trying to return to us our authenticity which has been taken away from us by civilization (and the family).Freud in this book also lays out a defense for the importance of character, community, and science and aesthetics in the development of the individual and the functioning of civilization as a whole. He dismisses religion. The neurosis (there's that word again) that exist in the individual also exist within the civilization as a whole (he'll say). By character he is getting at blaming the victim. It's the values that the individual (and species) are not learning properly from their community and will later on allow for 'refrigerator mom's' to be blamed when their child is schizophrenic or have autism. He'll even say that civilization as a whole is currently (1920) suffering from neurosis. Freud lays all of this stuff out in this book. Do I agree with any of it? Not at all. But, there is a narrative that Freud uses that is fun to follow. I liked this short book so much, I'll probably buy "The General Introduction to Psychoanalysis" by Freud that audible offers which I would guess will cover most of this stuff in deeper detail.

  • Leonard Gaya
    2019-04-06 02:03

    Freud rédige ce petit livre quelques mois avant la grande crise économique de 1929. Il s'agit, au départ, d'une étude sur la souffrance, qui tire son origine de la relation de l'homme à la nature et à autrui, et sur les moyens de ne pas la ressentir : stupéfiants, méditation, sublimation, religion, amour, beauté...Mais assez vite Freud s'interroge sur le rôle de la civilisation dans l'économie libidinale. Ce que l'homme obtient à travers la culture, c'est précisément de se prémunir contre les agressions de la nature et de ses congénères, à travers l'instauration du droit et de la morale. Mais, ce faisant, l'individu doit renoncer à ses pulsions à la fois sexuelles et agressives. Et c'est cette restriction même qui devient problématique et source d'angoisse : comme dans la relation parentale, l'instinct agressif (pulsion de mort) de l'individu est empêché par l'ordre collectif et se retourne contre le Moi à travers le Surmoi (Freud parle même, au sujet de la morale, de "Surmoi collectif"), créant dans le même temps la conscience morale et le sentiment de culpabilité (reprise de la théorie du meurtre primitif dans "Totem et tabou"). Finalement, l'individu, en passant de la Nature à la Culture, a retourné sa puissance d'agression contre lui-même et troqué une menace de mort contre une autre...Il s'agit d'une réflexion essentiellement spéculative sur la condition névrotique de l'homme civilisé, portée au-delà du cadre strictement familial (lieu de prédilection de la psychanalyse) et pris au niveau du collectif social. Je ne peux m'empêcher d'y entendre un écho des propositions de Nietzsche sur la morale et la culture décadente. Freud conclut par ces mots : "il y a lieu d'attendre que l'autre de ces deux "puissances célestes", l'Eros éternel, tente un effort afin de s'affirmer". Peut-être y a-t-il là l'intuition de la possibilité d'une civilisation empathique : voir les développements récents de J. Rifkin sur ce thème.

  • Bruce
    2019-04-15 09:45

    I was interested in reading this short work at this time because Freud herein addresses, inter alia, the creation of art as sublimation of libido in society. In this text Freud addresses several issues and introduces or expands on concepts that he introduced elsewhere, and it is interesting to see the evolution of his own thinking. Among other things he discusses ego differentiation and the development of religion as a means of addressing the fear that the superior power of fate brings, but that was not what most interested me. He also expands upon his idea of the pleasure principle which draws up the program of life’s purpose.What interested me most was Freud’s discussion of culture. “The word culture describes the sum of the achievements and institutions which differentiate our lives from those of our animal forebears and serve two purposes, namely, that of protecting humanity against nature and of regulating the relations of human beings among themselves.” But one cost of society or civilization is the necessity of denying the expression of drives toward sex and aggression that themselves would undermine society. “The liberty of the individual is not a benefit of culture.” And thus these energies must be expressed in other ways, one way being the production of art.Art, thus, and these are my conclusions rather than positions Freud herein explicitly states, is both the product of sublimation and also the avenue whereby these drives or impulses can be safely and creatively expressed. After a century, these insights are not, of course, surprising or new. But keeping them in mind is helpful when we read a work of literature, listen to a piece of music, observe a work of visual art. Freud’s hypotheses and insights avail us of another lens through which to experience artistic productions and allow them to enrich our lives.

  • Monte
    2019-04-09 02:48

    First and foremost, The Standard Edition of this book does not have 160 pages. Sigmund Freud's psycho-analytical thoughts begin on page 10 and end on 112. The pages after that are the Bibliography. So in the 102 real Freud pages, I have decided that he is not quite as much of an "inspiration" as I thought he was. Beginning on page 70, he begins to analyze the pros of the Communist System in which I regard is a means to destroy the exact definition of civilization that Freud portrays: that it depends on "relationships between a considerable number of individuals" (64) and that "civilization is obeying the laws of economic necessity" (59). In his psychological opinion of the Communist System, he understands that its sole purpose is to "eliminate the burgeois" meaning middle class (73) and by doing this you must take away a man's right to private property, wealth and sexual enjoyments. Freud concludes that if those were abolished from mankind, man would no longer be ill-minded or hostile towards his neighbour. Where Freud comes up with this is beyond me. As far as I'm concerned, men enjoy their "objects" whether it be a human, a boat, a house or just an iPad. Men enjoy the right to ownership. The idea that ownership equals individual power is true, yet what is so wrong about individual power? What is so disturbing to the psycho-analytics that suggest the individual, once with power, will become hostile towards his oppressor. I believe it would be the exact opposite, just as in children: when a parent (the authority) takes away his/her favorite toy, the child likely rebels which is of natural human instinct. We like what we have and don't want anyone, including parental authority, to take it away, even temporarily to teach us a lesson. While I agree with many observations Freud makes in which is only related to psychology of mankind and civilization (disregard all politics), it seems that Freud, as a scientist of the mind, forgets emotions and irrational behavior of man. Science cannot explain every behavior of man. While science wants to believe that for every ill-action there is a reason, a mental disturbance behind it, it may not be so... unless you consider it a disease of the mind. There must always be a reason for everything because reason makes us feel better in knowing that we are still in control. Freud mentions this immensily throughout the book. To have control over fire, over feelings, over civilization. Mankind doesn't like to be "OOC" (out of control) and to avoid this lack of control, we implement rules and regulations in attempts for humans living in a society/civilization do not break those laws/rules/regulations. However, when so many are implemented, it is impossible for man to oblige every law/rule/regulation so that one day, he will (intentionally out of frustration or accidentally because he didnt know) break that law/rule/regulation. He will be punished but for what? There is one thing that Freud and I agree on immensely: "We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, from the external (authoritative) world and from our relations to other men."

  • Brian
    2019-04-22 04:58

    It's impossible to read "Civilization and Its Discontents" and not come away with the impression that Freud is a genius. His ability to trace out cause and effect in human psychology is unparalleled. Most of his conclusions are convincing, and even the ones that aren't are at least thought-provoking.The main weakness of this book is its desultory style. The first seven of its eight chapters read like an anthology of things Freud was thinking about this week, very loosely themed around the source of civilization and its consequences for the psyche. It's not really until the last chapter that he weaves all the parts together. This last chapter is beautiful -- because you realize that all these threads really are all part of the same tapestry -- but it's also annoying. You're left thinking irritably, "Well if I'd known _that_ was where you were going with this I'd have read that part differently." This does not, however, affect the work's brilliance, only its accessibility.The book's thesis on civilization, as I understand it, can be summed up thus:Man has a constructive, or libidinal, impulse (Eros) and a destructive, or aggressive, impulse (death). Civilizations form when a group of people finds that they can more easily satisfy certain libidinal impulses jointly than they could apart. However, the aggressive impulse threatens to destroy any civilization thus formed. To avert this, civilization demands that its members restrain their aggression. The psyche responds by creating a "superego" that acts as an internal policeman. The superego is vested with the repressed aggression, which it directs against the ego in the form of guilt when the ego contemplates antisocial behavior. In excess, this causes neurosis.Civilization also demands that its members devote some of their energy to its upkeep. (We work jobs, pay bills, go to jury duty, etc.) But we have only a limited amount of energy. The energy we devote to "cultural aims" is energy we are not devoting to the pursuit of libidinal aims, especially sexuality. Thus civilization asks for abnegation not only of the aggressive impulse but also of the libidinal -- and this very abnegation prompts aggression towards society that then must be internalized. Guilt from this source is a civilizational malaise that Freud views to some extent as inherent in civilization, and not peculiar to our particular form of civilization.All of which speaks to me personally in a very direct way.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-03-30 01:44

    Many high school friends were a couple of years older. One of them, Ed Erickson, was particularly admired for his erudition, radicalism and interesting mother and sister. When he went away to the University of Illinois' flagship campus, I, still in high school, was honored to be invited to visit him on what amounted to a first overnight trip to a college.Taking the Illinois Central downstate was an adventure in itself, another first. So, too, were the experiences of the ugly but enormous campus set in the otherwise boring towns of Champaign and Urbana and the skyscraper dormitory he lived in. His roommate was a hippy! Students hung their food by strings from their windows in lieu of refrigerators!--a moat of frozen organic matter surrounded the building.The general library was remarkable as well. Its main reading room was underground, surrounded a submerged courtyard of sorts, the view not being much, just other seats across the way through floor-to-ceiling windows, just other students studying. Feeling self-consciously "too young", but proud to be there, I had a respectable copy of Freud's Civilization and its Discontents along, a book Ed had recommended and which I had found, cheap in paperback.Well, it was a quick read. Nothing complicated to it at all. Indeed, although I'd never read Freud before, I found nothing noteworthy or new within it. Psychoanalysis had become so much a part of the American popular culture that it was all old hat. The only thing that struck me at all was Freud's complaint about advances in transportation, about railroads hurrying us from nothing to nowhere.To impress Ed and to satisfy my conscience, I finished the dull thing and didn't read Freud again for years--after Ed introduced me to Jung in fact . . .

  • Katie
    2019-04-06 01:59

    I do love me some Freud. His theories seem too speculative at times, but his insights on basic human psychology are enlightening. Although he spent most of the time trying to disabuse his readers of that ultimate "delusion," religion, I'm afraid it had the opposite effect on me. His expert construction of the ultimate human dilemma only strengthened my belief in and need for God, for which I thank him.

  • Yazeed AlMogren
    2019-04-08 03:48

    الكتاب غير مفيد وغير مفهوم لسبب لا أعلم ماهو، هل هو سوء الترجمة أم أن أسلوب فرويد التحليلي هو السبب

  • Mike
    2019-03-27 06:06

    In chapter 1, to account for the ‘oceanic’ feeling that some of his friends report and attribute to the 'oneness of the universe', Freud constructs a very beautiful metaphor comparing the human mind with a city; just as a city’s past buildings remain as dust, and just as wars may leave physical marks of destruction that remain for centuries, maybe our earliest experiences stay with us in some unconscious form as well. In his view, this may explain the mystical feeling of 'oneness with the universe' that some of his friends relate to him- as a holdover from childhood, from before the ego learned to differentiate itself from the world around it. Is this right? I doubt anyone will ever know, but I enjoyed reading his theory. In chapter 2, he writes, about the ‘palliative measures’ people tend to try in order to make life more bearable, ‘There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it. Something of the kind is indispensible.' There’s also, of course, renouncing earthly attachment and desire, what Freud describes as 'killing off the instincts, as is prescribed by the worldly wisdom of the East.' But he barely needs to make the point that most of us aren’t equipped for this. Freud says that civilization functions to keep us safe, and does so in contrast to the aggressive impulses of the individual. We agree to take part in it (if ‘agree’ is the right verb here), for the same reason you would join a gang in prison or as a kid in a bad neighborhood: to protect yourself. As an individual, you long to satisfy your aggressive impulses towards others; but if you had free reign, so would everyone else. But even the instinct, as Freud politely calls it, is occasionally sated (in men it’s called the refractory period- you know, those precious liberated hours when sexuality seems dull, and you remember the novel or Goodreads review you want to work on); and so we're happiest, Freud writes, in contrast. This applies to civilization, and also to our lives as individuals: constant give-and-take, trying to maintain a balance between indulgence and our nobler aspirations. I started to get a little lost with the anal stuff. I seem to remember that this is an important part of understanding Freud, but this is one of the problems with no longer being in college. There's no longer a professor to tell you in what order you should read a great thinker’s works, so you pick up Civilization and its Discontents because it sounds appealing and it was 75 cents at the used bookstore…but it's a little like walking into a class halfway through a semester. My friend Ben once told me that the problem with Freud (although I can’t remember if he said it was ‘the problem with’ Freud, or maybe just ‘the thing about’ Freud) is that he, Freud, created a great theory of personality for himself- not necessarily for others. And while most of the ideas in this book seemed like common sense to me, albeit expressed in an uncommonly clear way, I see from the reviews here that not everyone feels the same way. One review even states that Freud’s ideas are so obviously wrong they don’t even need to be disputed. But I’m not sure that Freud’s failure to create a universal theory of personality is something to fault him for; maybe the best we can hope for from the study of personality are theories that we don’t need to take as gospel but give us interesting tools for ways to think about others and ourselves.

  • Arjun Ravichandran
    2019-04-05 03:44

    A penetrating (no pun intended) masterpiece of pessimism, by that great seer of the human soul, written in his depressed and fed-up old age. Civilization is always a compromise between our instincts for freedom (in all senses of the world) and the need for order that will at least guarantee some measure of human flourishing. Thus, civilization (for the individual human being) necessarily involves pain, sacrifice and neurosis. To put it in Freud's language, there is always going to be a tension between the pleasure principle and the reality principle. Additionally, this is where Freud introduces his notion of the 'death drive' ; an additional, completely destructive instinct that seeks to reduce the organism back to a state of non-being, free from all psychic disturbances.

  • [Name Redacted]
    2019-03-30 02:59

    How this book manages to be so popular, I'll never know. Then again, I have the same problem with Marx's polemics cum evangelical tracts. Like "The Future of an Illusion", this is basically a faux-dialog between Freud and an absurdly credulous strawman. I recommend comparing his fascinating (but unintentionally hilarious) "Moses & Monotheism" with Emile Durkheim's "The Elementary Forms of Religious Life" if you want some actual insight into the same topic.My verdict? He was far more successful and innovative as a psychoanalyst than as a sociologist; his prejudices and his agenda are too obvious.