Civilization and Its Discontents

Sigmund Freud,

Civilization and Its Discontents
 
 

Civilization and Its Discontents is considered Freud's most brilliant work. In it he states his views on the broad question of man's place in the world. It has been praised, dissected, lambasted, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Originally published in 1930, it seeks to answer several questions fundamental to human society and its organization—What influences led to the creation of civilization? Why and how did it come to be? What determines civilization’s trajectory? This process, argues Freud, is an inherent quality of civilization that instills perpetual feelings of discontent in its citizens. Freud's theme is that what works for civilization doesn't necessarily work for man. Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction.



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