Civilization and Its Discontents

If civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on man’s sexuality, but also on his aggressivity, we are in a better position to understand why it is so hard for him to feel happy in it – Sigmund Freud


I think the above statement summarizes the context of the arguments presented in Sigmund Freud’s book Civilization and Its Discontents. 


This pioneer in Psychoanalysis elucidates the intricate interactions between an individual and the civilization. He convincingly conveys the bamboozling civilization  has perverted to the individuals.

Concept of religion, beauty and love, their roles and implications in subduing individuals’ ‘libido’ are explained using general observations, which Freud calls common sense!


The striving of an individual towards happiness in pursuit of quenching his drives of sexuality and aggression, against a system made of entities like himself – wanting to do the same – has been analysed to bare facts, comprehensively, using Freud’s own creations of id, ego and super-ego.


Personally,I appreciatively enjoyed Freud’s analysis of the connection between conscience –>sense of guilt, and super-ego –> remorse, in the context of unsatisfied drives. It was amusing as to how he takes us along to meet the ego, super-ego and to witness the birth of conscience, and their competing efforts to bring joy and sorrow to the id, facilitated by the friction with civilization.

Although, another read would help me digest all the facts more comprehensively, this was an enjoyably revealing read,with a touch of cynicism and constant skepticism.

About Raghav/Raghu

A fortunate mass of hydrogen cloud conscious enough to be contemplating that very fact.
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