Freud: Libido at Work

Topics: Id, ego, and super-ego, Pleasure principle, Hedonism Pages: 3 (1110 words) Published: December 16, 2005
First Paper Assignment: The Libido and Work

What is really behind the feeling that we get when we want something? Or the drive we get to put in work in this civilization we live in? To Freud, the culprit is the infamous libido. In the book, Civilizations and Discontents by Sigmund Freud, he explains the dynamics of civilization and how we are like animals being subjected to adverse conditions. For example, in work we are dissatisfied because the majority of us are not freely choosing to do the work we do. This leads to the main issue; the libido. The libido's components and roots, its displacement, its role with work, and value of work to individuals are impeded in the below passage.

"It is not possible, within the limits of a short survey, to discuss adequately the significance of work for the economics of libido… The possibility it offers of displacing a large amount of libidinal components…onto professional work and onto the human relations connected with it lends it value…as something indispensable to the preservation of society. Professional activity is a source of special satisfaction if it is freely chosen one…And yet, as a path to happiness, work is not highly prized by men…The great majority of people only work under the stress of necessity, an this natural human aversion to work raises most difficult social problems." (Freud)


To fully understand the libido we have to know were it is located. The human mind contains three main things; the id, ego, and superego. The id is our unconscious state, or what we described in class as the "sex and donuts". It contains our sex drive (libido), and other drives, as well as providing the body with the energy needed to initiate activities, like work and sex. The ego is our consciousness, meaning how we are in our normal state. The superego is our conscience, like the angel and devil. Freud believed that the id and superego clashed, because of the superego playing the role of the parent...
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