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

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He had started to work this out in his essay, “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” – but that work, while perhaps even more ground-breaking than this one, was less accessible, being more defended by thickets of psychoanalytic jargon. What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? That he influenced the Modernist movement, especially regarding some fam Undoubtedly, Sigmund Freud is a classic. The introduction points to the USA where apparently abstinence only education on questions of sexuality and sexual activity is apparently increasingly prevalent, something in the writer’s opinion which will guarantee the continuing relevance of Freud as future generations will endure the same miseries as his contemporaries.

This, written inon the eve of destruction as it were, is a summary of Freud’s beliefs, the potted essence of his system as applied to the broad picture. We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things. View all 3 comments. This stage is followed by Freud’s hypothesis from Totem and Taboo that human culture is bound up in an ancient Oedipal drama of brothers banding together to kill their father, and then creating a culture of rules to mediate ambivalent instinctual desires.

Published September 17th by W. 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.

This suggests that while some sexual freedom may beneficial, more is not necessarily better.

As a last technique of living, which will at least bring him substitutive satisfactions, he is offered that of a flight discontentx neurotic illness — a flight which he usually accomplishes when he is still young. And have you noticed that he is rather obsessed with sex? To have control over fire, over feelings, over civilization.


In this, his psychical constitution will play a decisive part, irrespectively of the external circumstances. Freud admits it may be difficult to accept his view of human nature as being predisposed towards death and destruction, but he reasons that the suppression of this instinct is the true cause behind civilization’s need for restrictions.

Man has a constructive, or libidinal, impulse Eros and a destructive, or aggressive, impulse death. People become neurotic because they cannot tolerate the frustration which society imposes in the service of its cultural ideals.

A tedious read, Freud’s essay is mundane at worst, general knowledge at best. Similarly Freud thinks the phases that an individual goes through mirror the same phases that civilizations have gone through.

I don’t have the quote exactly, discontenhs I think its fairly close to what he was getting at. It seems to me that this question remains the most important for human beings in the 21st century.

Civilization and Its Discontents – Wikipedia

tis Books by Sigmund Freud. 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. Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. This makes no evolutionary sense. Many of humankind’s primitive instincts for example, the desire to kill and the insatiable craving for sexual gratification are clearly harmful to the well-being of a human community.

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.

Civilization and Its Discontents

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.

Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But when igs finally make up your mind and read it, you realize he is definitely worth it. During the last few generations discontentx has made an extraordinary advance in the natural sciences and in their technical application and has established his control over nature in a way never before imagined.


I think I know what the last and the last but one of those occasions were. The answer to this can hardly be in doubt.

That he is always relevant, no way a mere fossil frozen in time to remind of obsolete periods in our culture. Jul 20, Monte siscontents it liked it Shelves: But I am rambling now, let me get to this book. At this fdeud, by forcibly fixing human beings in civiliwation state of psychical infantilism and drawing them into a mass delusion, religion succeeds in saving many of them from individual neurosis.

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. In the last analysis, all suffering is nothing else than sensation; it only exists in so far as we feel it, and we only feel it in consequence of certain ways in which our organism is regulated.

Science cannot explain every behavior of man. While there are a few gems in this work, I am mainly reminded why Freud is no longer taken seriously. Regardless of the extent to which he was correct, Freud’s influence is undeniable. 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. We can now see that it is a convenient and relatively harmless satisfaction of the inclination to aggression, by means of which cohesion between the members of the community is made easier.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Views Read Edit View history. Civilization is built out of wish-fulfillments of the human ideals of control, beautyhygieneorder, and especially for the exercise of humanity’s highest intellectual functions. Freud had been diagnosed with cancer of the jaw inand underwent more than 30 operations.

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