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Freud Civilization And It's Discontents

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Freud Civilization And It's Discontents
Freud’s main argument in a Civilization and It’s Discontents states that the humans mind is divided into three main parts, the ego, superego, and id. These three parts are constantly trying to overpower us, but we must find equilibrium in order to live in a functional society, and because of this ongoing battle with oneself, Freud does not think people have control over society. The discontent is created because people have to repress their natural instincts, thus making violence a part of the human condition.
Freud was writing amongst the aftermath of World War One and when Hitler came to power in central Europe. Death was inevitable and mass killings took place for the first time. During this time, Freud’s theory of the subconscious was
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He states that chaos is our id; it is the energy that comes from our instincts and is subject to the observance of the pleasure principle. Since the id comes to us at birth, our only concern is meeting its needs. The ego is on the conscience level, trying to control the id. The superego is the moral authority; it regulates our sense of right and wrong and acts as our morality. On page 114, Freud states that “The tension between the harsh super-ego and ego that is subjected to it, is called by us the sense of guilt; it expresses itself as a need for punishment”, thus helping us stay in the lines drawn by the laws of society 3. The id is the source of all of our violence. The ego is our natural authority (i.e. the government saying were going to war, and Hitler killing people) and keeps everything in check. Freud also states that the “oceanic feeling” has nothing to do with why people cling to religion. In chapter 1, it says “This feeling, he adds, is a purely subjective fact, not an article of faith; it brings with it no assurance of personal immortality but it is the source of the religious systems, directed by them into particular channels, and doubtless also exhausted by them” 4. Freud argues that it has more to do with the fact that most religions represent the ultimate father figure, and

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