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Civilization and Its Discontents (Anglais) Broché – 5 février 2010

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Reprint of the 1930 American edition. In this seminal book, Sigmund Freud enumerates the fundamental tensions between civilization and the individual. The primary friction stems from the individual's quest for instinctual freedom and civilization's contrary demand for conformity and instinctual repression. 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. As a result, civilization creates laws that prohibit killing, rape, and adultery, and it implements severe punishments if such commandments are broken. This process, argues Freud, is an inherent quality of civilization that instills perpetual feelings of discontent in its citizens.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a09e33c) étoiles sur 5 23 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x99d19df8) étoiles sur 5 Very wise about what it really means to be disatissfied and why we secretly need to be 5 mars 2012
Par jafrank - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I found this really interesting, Freud takes his theories about the psyche and stretches them as far as they can go, asking what, if anything is the mental state of civilization. What its components are, how they interact with each other and what happens when they clash with one another. A lot of these observations seem really obvious, but he approaches them in a way which shows how so much of how we live our day to day lives is based on this weird sense of dissatisfaction with the world that we might ultimately need in order to really function as people. And, as with Moses and Monotheism, he's got enough humility and appreciation for how huge his tasks here are to admit that he might not have it all figured out. It's a really great sociological book to read if you don't care for sociology per se
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a71fc3c) étoiles sur 5 a must read in your lifetime 5 décembre 2011
Par ilovebridge - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Excellent thought provoking book that casts a new light on your perception of civilization and the individual's love/hate relationship with it. Not to nit pick, but the death instinct and the libido are not in "constant" opposition, but a bit of both can always be found in each one's expression. For example, the cold pleasure of self destruction and the aggressiveness of the sexual act. This is not my "take" on it so to speak, but discussed extensively by Freud himself in his other works, where he even gives eating as an example. (The destruction of outside organic matter to sustain life.) Regarding libido and death instincts as polar opposites is a simplification that, oddly enough, makes things more confusing.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8e7f3c) étoiles sur 5 Interesting concepts. 20 décembre 2013
Par Jjoek1 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I read this in my youth at which time it seemed to have a great impression on me. Re-reading it now 60 yrs later, it is still of interest, but not so impressive, since many of Freud's concepts are now commonplace.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a569ea0) étoiles sur 5 Complex but thought-provoking 23 novembre 2013
Par Imran Lorgat - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
A bit complex as an introduction to Freud but a great look into his ideas. Civilization and its Discontents covers what Freud believes to be the psychological origins of civilization as well as its costs and benefits.

Full review linked here: [...]
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x99d2039c) étoiles sur 5 A Dangerous and Subversive Eye-Opener / CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS -- by Dr. Sigmund Freud (1930/2010) 13 août 2012
Par T. Prentice - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié

[Why wasn't THIS on anyone's high school, college or graduate school reading list?]

I thought Freud only wrote about sex and psyche. Here he takes on the "discontents" of civilization which has always been praised and beatified to us as the highest embodiment of Homo sapiens sapiens accomplishment. Freud does buy into that, but he is also pretty clear-eyed about the 'discontents' that befall human civilization.

And, yes, there is also sex and psyche within.

It is a very readable and accessible book. 144 pages. (I wonder why "THEY" didn't want us to read this?)]


"The bit of truth behind all this - one so eagerly denied - is that men are not gentle, friendly creatures wishing for love, who simply defend themselves if attacked, but that a powerful measure of desire for aggression has to be reckoned as part of their instinctual endowment. The result is that their neighbor is to them not only a possible helper or sexual object, but also a temptation to them to gratify their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without recompense, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and kill him. Homo hominine lupus; who has the courage to dispute it in the face of all the evidence in his own life and in history?

"This aggressive cruelty usually lies in wait for some provocation, or else it steps into the service of some other purpose, the aim of which might as well have been achieved by milder measures...man as savage beast to whom the thought of spring THEIR OWN KIND is alien. Anyone who calls to mind the atrocities of early migrations, of the invasion by the Huns, or by the so-called Mongols under Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, of the sack of Jerusalem by the pious crusaders, even indeed the horrors of the last world war, will have to bow his head humbly before the truth of this view of man". (pp. 85-86)

[Mini-Deconstruction: Written in 1930, one wonders at the absence of mention of the specific cruelties of the White, Christian, Capitalist European Empires invading and occupying the Western Hemisphere and committing genocide on the AmerIndians - from Cristobal Colon and the Spanish to the Portuguese, English, Dutch, French, German, Belgian; as well as noting the absence by Freud of the mention of slavery. But he covers it elsewhere.]

"...we cannot see why the systems we have ourselves created should not rather ensure protection and well-being for us all...(however sometimes) we come across a point of view which is so amazing that we will pause over it...our so-called civilization itself is to blame for a great part of our misery and we should be much happier if we were to give it up and go back to primitive conditions." (p. 44)

"As a result of voyages...men came into contact with primitive peoples and races. To the Europeans, who failed to observe them carefully and misunderstood what they saw, these people seemed to lead simple, happy lives - wanting for nothing ----such as the travelers who visited them, with all their superior culture, were unable to achieve." (p. 45)

"...one can hardly go wrong in concluding that the idea of a purpose in life stands and falls with the religious system" (p. 26)

[I much prefer living life and The Pursuit of Happiness (that doesn't hurt any others, including animals.]

(1930/2010). CIVLIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Dr. Sigmund Freud; (Joan Riviere, tr); c 2010; Mansfield Center, CT: Martino Publishing. 144 pp.
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