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Civilization and Its Discontents PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Civilization and Its Discontents
Author: Sigmund Freud
Publisher: Published September 17th 1989 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1930)
ISBN: 9780393301588
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros. Civilization and Its Discontents is one of th 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. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros. Civilization and Its Discontents is one of the last of Freud's books, written in the decade before his death and first published in German in 1929. In it he states his views on the broad question of man's place in the world, a place Freud defines in terms of ceaseless conflict between the individual's quest for freedom and society's demand for conformity. Freud's theme is that what works for civilization doesn't necessarily work for man. Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But culture inhibits his instinctual drives. The result is a pervasive and familiar guilt. Of the various English translations of Freud's major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud under the general editorship of James Strachey. Freud approved the overall editorial plan, specific renderings of key words and phrases, and the addition of valuable notes, from bibliographical and explanatory. Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. The result was to place the Standard Edition in a position of unquestioned supremacy over all other existing versions.

30 review for Civilization and Its Discontents

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Das Unbehagen in der Kultur = Civilization And Its discontents, Sigmund Freud Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Civilization"). Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the desire for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works, and one of the most influential and stu Das Unbehagen in der Kultur = Civilization And Its discontents, Sigmund Freud Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ("The Uneasiness in Civilization"). Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the desire for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud's most important and widely read works, and one of the most influential and studied books in the field of modern psychology. عنوانها: تمدن و ملالت‌های آن ؛ ملالت‌های تمدن؛ ناخوشایندی های فرهنگ (مترجم: امید مهرگان، نشر گام نو، 1382)؛ تمدن و ناخرسندیهای آن؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و دوم ماه آوریل سال 2006 میلادی عنوان: تمدن و ملالت‌های آن ؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: محمد مبشری؛ تهران، ماهی، 1383؛ در 124 ص؛ شابک: 9647948352؛ چاپ چهارم 1387؛ موضوع: روانکاوی و فرهنگ - سده 20 م عنوان: ملالت‌های تمدن؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: محمود بهفروزی؛ تهران، جامی، 1395؛ در 160 ص؛ شابک: 9786001761515؛ موضوع: روانکاوی و فرهنگ - سده 20 م فروید با رویکردی روانکاوانه، تکوین، و تکامل فرهنگ و تمدن را مورد کنکاش قرار میدهد. کشمکش میان سلیقه های فردی و اوضاع اجتماعی که همان خاستگاه ملالتهای تمدن ست را نیک مینمایاند. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    C C

    This book helps explain one of life’s enduring phenomena: rage. It explains why standing behind that scruffy, ponytailed, mustachioed gentleman in the checkout lane (let’s call him “Gerard,” for good measure), can trigger paroxysms of homicidal fury. Something deep and ancient roils inside as you do a quick comparison: Gerard, with his sensationally attractive girlfriend in tow, (let’s call her “Melanie”); and you, with just you. You stand there fronting a twitching half-smile that conceals the This book helps explain one of life’s enduring phenomena: rage. It explains why standing behind that scruffy, ponytailed, mustachioed gentleman in the checkout lane (let’s call him “Gerard,” for good measure), can trigger paroxysms of homicidal fury. Something deep and ancient roils inside as you do a quick comparison: Gerard, with his sensationally attractive girlfriend in tow, (let’s call her “Melanie”); and you, with just you. You stand there fronting a twitching half-smile that conceals the throbbing urge to rip the man-bun off his head with your bare hands. Alas, the spell is broken: you need to pay the cashier for those artisanal cucumbers, the ones you read about on Salon’s wellness blog. Later, sitting behind the wheel of your Hybrid, you shudder. Where did that come from, you wonder. The answer: you're an animal, buddy. That handsomely tailored Oxford button down only goes so far to hide the truth: you're a bloodthirsty, sex-crazed, status-seeking ape. Go on, if you dare, look inside yourself. You'll see the truth. Just try to keep your clothes on.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

    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 crim 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    نعیمه بخشی

    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 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    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 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mr.

    `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 p `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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    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 centu 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Belal

    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 الإنسا 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 الدائمة ومن 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 "

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    the discrete joys of cultural pessimism This volume consists of two of Freud's essays Civilisation & its discontents (1930) and the far shorter 'Civilised' sexual morality & modern nervous illness (1908). The latter essay is the simple one , it points out that conventional (in turn of the century Vienna) sexual morality is a cause of mental ill health and even when it isn't the focus on marriage as the only socially acceptable forum for the expression of sexual love in practise causes fri the discrete joys of cultural pessimism This volume consists of two of Freud's essays Civilisation & its discontents (1930) and the far shorter 'Civilised' sexual morality & modern nervous illness (1908). The latter essay is the simple one , it points out that conventional (in turn of the century Vienna) sexual morality is a cause of mental ill health and even when it isn't the focus on marriage as the only socially acceptable forum for the expression of sexual love in practise causes frigidity in women while among men it produces the effect that (citing Karl Kraus)'coition is only an inadequate surrogate for onanism' (p.147) and therefore disappointment and dissatisfaction in marriage which is meant to be the central social unit and unique source of interpersonal pleasures. In a wider sense we can see that mental illness can have a social component, and that in such cases it is society which is making us sick, if even running off to some other society might offer a cure, Freud does not go so far as to suggest. I think from this I had a sense of how scandalous Freud was in his day, equally how far his vision of Viennese society - repressed, sexual double standards, the scandal of people in pursuit of their own desires, Colonel Redl, Egon Schiele, Alma Mahler - as our dominant vision that that society, how far it is fair just and reasonable I don't know. The introduction points to the USA where apparently abstinence only education on questions of sexuality and sexual activity 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. Anyhow that was the younger Freud in 1908, making an effort to get his voice heard. Civilisation & its discontents is a very different piece, it is unhurried and self assured, there is no sense of urgency to save the world from muddled thinking this is the voice of the man confident that he has a following and that there is some respect and acceptance of his vision, it is above all deeply pessimistic about society and culture, but in a surprise twist not about human history. Reading this essay for the first time it struck me as significant that Freud and Marx were Jews, it is from the later Temple period of Judaism that a conception of history as purposive emerges, which historically is pretty unusual, it is the idea that history has meaning specifically one created by God. History has a beginning and an end, and in the end God has decreed that there will be Peace, Justice and Good times, Freud and Marx both create secular versions of this, for Marx these ends will be achieved through social and economic developments for Freud through the interactions of basic human drives, he asserts that of the two primary forces one destructive and anti-social, the other social bonding through love, that love will win through and humans will form a world community in which everybody is tied together in mutual re-enforcing bonds of friendship. Freud doesn't seem to quite believe himself, as he also sees the potential for humanity to self-destruct in an orgy of mutual slaughter. In an aside Freud looks at Communism, a flaw project in his view, tensions in human society don't come from an unequal division of property but from the psychological state of man. There is a destructive drive that is in contention with a constructive drive. Freud's vision of man in society reminded me of the opening scene of the film Cool hand Luke - drunken Paul Newman chopping off the heads of parking meters (view spoiler)[ and indeed I don't see so many parking meters around these days (hide spoiler)] , that is Freudian freedom, freedom is quite negative in its manifestations in Freud's view the freedom to please yourself by harming others. Civilisation is repression and in Freud's view a rather good thing. Sickness is the price we pay for social living. For Freud - as we say about ageing - this may not be good, but it is preferable to the alternative. This means as a consequence we are all somewhat repressed and frustrated, and it follows that this is why people were in Freudian talking therapies for ever - there can be no cure , only adaptation, and the marker of a mature well adjusted person is a certain melancholy, if not a persistent low level depression. Freud is distinctly not impressed by his own essay, and we are not surprised by his persistent cigar smoking. Given his views, the need for comfort and reassurance was sufficient for him to smoke himself to death. 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 in his own image, specifically of an angry Father, the brothers overthrow the father, but internalise him as conscience. This Freud describes as history, it is interesting (for me at least) to see that if he starts by destroying the myths of the society in lived in that he quickly comes to create a new set of myths or 'Just So Stories' to explain why we are the crazy mixed up creatures that we are. Still the unavoidable awfulness for which we are all responsible, the lingering painful consequences of economic growth and development, our Kafkaesque guilt - it works for me, or doesn't maybe. I had the sense that if Freud had not existed, it would have been necessary to have invented him as a cultural and social critic, poking beneath the surface of our accepted realities, an example here. It is a version of Enlightenment thinking that has limited faith in the goodness of human nature in a Darwinist world - everything is subject to the powers of reasoned analysis and observation, but what people say and believe about themself must not be taken at face value - just look at the self-destructiveness we see in figures in public and private life. Finally Freud looks forward to the possibility that we will be able to analyse entire ages and historical societies "one day somebody wil venture upon such a pathological study of cultural communities" (p.117) In passing Freud seems to use man to mean man rather than people, so this is openly and confidently a one sided perspective. Also there are some great footnotes (view spoiler)[ on Heine's wish to see his enemies hang on trees before his windows and on the sense of smell in sexual life (hide spoiler)] . This is a new translation, the translator has sort to avoid certain familiar technical usages in favour of achieving greater clarity, your mileage may vary.

  10. 5 out of 5

    jeroen

    Studying psychology I never cared much for Sigmunds insights into the human psyche and dreams. They seemed interesting from a cultural, maybe even literary or intellectual perspective -but not from a scientific point of view. His sociological ideas and writings however impressed me deeply in my student years. I read this book cover to cover in two days. One of the points that stuck was that humans not only have an innate drive to survive, but also to self destruct. Fascinating book and very well Studying psychology I never cared much for Sigmunds insights into the human psyche and dreams. They seemed interesting from a cultural, maybe even literary or intellectual perspective -but not from a scientific point of view. His sociological ideas and writings however impressed me deeply in my student years. I read this book cover to cover in two days. One of the points that stuck was that humans not only have an innate drive to survive, but also to self destruct. Fascinating book and very well written. I should reread..

  11. 4 out of 5

    ZaRi

    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 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 شود ٢-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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Oraby

    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 ود 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 المستبد يرى 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 ورومانسي يرى فرويد إلى العقيدة بوصفها عائق في وجه الحضارة ويرى كذلك إلى الدين بوصفه موات بشكل أو بآخر يختلف 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 التقدم لكن 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 للخمر وربما 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

  13. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    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. 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 Love Freud 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 Objects We 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 Love We 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 Dope We 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 About I 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pooya Kiani

    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 م 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stela

    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 fam 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Omneya

    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 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    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 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 city...like 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 pastimes...it'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 his pensees (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)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    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: آیا فرهنگ 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 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: آیا فرهنگ 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

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    ...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 WORLD Having 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 ...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 WORLD Having 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...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    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 ever 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري

    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 (p 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    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 su 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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    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 ag 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    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 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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monte

    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 dep 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."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    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 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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Scarpin

    Estou fazendo um trabalho sobre influência patriarcal na psicologia clássica e ler Freud é sempre um prato cheio para tal assunto. Aqui ele discorre sobre os meandros do superego cultural de forte influência do superego individual instaurado pela figura do pai na infância, traçando um paralelo também com a figura paterna religiosa com seu deus onipotente. Enfim, estamos todos fadados à culpa em função desse superego engrandecido.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yazeed AlMogren

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

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