Freud and Marx
Marx and Freud both discussed the issues surrounding civilization, communism and freedom. The philosophers at times agree, and at other times disagree regarding the reasons for civilization, but for the most part, their ideas regarding liberty complement each other. Freud believes that man is innately aggressive, whereas Marx believes that men are naturally good. This difference in beliefs is the basis for their differing points of view about civilization. Both philosophers believe that man is complex, as is displayed in his ability to perform high-order thinking skills. Further, both argue that under certain conditions in modern society, liberty is restricted and man is unable to live a full life. While Freud and Marx differ in their beliefs of why this occurs, both find that the loss of man's individuality and self is of significant concern, and thus base their philosophies on this dilemma. Marx believes that man is naturally good, but the ownership of property has brought about aggression and selfishness. In other words, over time private property and money have corrupted man. Marx points out that throughout history, classes have existed, but were based on "feudal, patriarchal, and idyllic relations." Tradition and family relations determine a person's class. In the capitalistic society, however, only the ownership of property, the "naked self-interest
cash payment," determines one's class. Marx describes the continuous conflict as an ongoing trend of class struggles. When many take a look at society they notice that with in classes there's always the oppressors and oppressed in continuous hostility towards each other. However, when this phenomenon ends it is normally a rebellious way. Marx describes the two classes into which people are divided: the bourgeoisie and proletariats. The bourgeoisie are the property owners and the proletariats those property-less people who must sell their services for a living, also called wage-laborers. The bourgeoisie are always looking to gain capital at the expense of the proletariats, which naturally increases the gap between the two classes. It was found that the most profitable method was the exploitation of human labor. In order to implement this, the bourgeoisie had to find new ways to oppress the labors (Proletariats). It came to be that the ownership of land, does not hold as much value as the mass production of laborers. Freud, in contrast to Marx, believes that man is naturally aggressive. Further, Freud argues that property is only an instrument through which humans release their aggression. Thus, he does not believe that the ownership of property is the main downfall of society. Freud also asserts that it is not possible to eliminate the difference in wealth and power between men. He does not believe that a repressive society, as proposed by Marx, would fulfill this aim. Rather, Freud believes restricting man is necessary for other reasons. Freud argues that a civilized society is necessary to restrain aggressive impulses and to protect man from his environment. Freud describes Eros as the instinct for humans to unite and form civilizations, however, aggression works against this. He states, "aggression is an original, self-subsisting instinctual disposition in man" that "constitutes the greatest impediment to civilization." He calls aggression the "representative of the death instinct." Freud seems to be saying that the struggle between civilization and aggression is a struggle between life and death. He says the super-ego regulates a person in the form of a conscience. When a situation goes wrong the conscience inflicts a type of self-punishment, which is guilt, towards the individual. Then Freud goes on to talk about being bad as the reason for being guilty. There is a contradiction between the ego and the super-ego because sometimes the ego wants to do things that are bad, but the super-ego must restrain the person...
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