Thursday 8 January 2015


You don’t have time to read Sigmund Freud’s The Future of an Illusion? OK, here are the most quotable tidbits.

To maintain our civilization we are obliged to do many things we don’t particularly like to do: (a) work, (b) listen to reason. You see, the problem is:
Humans are not spontaneously fond of work.
And arguments are useless against passions.
But eventually we get used to the demands of civilization: Coercion gradually becomes internalized and the super-ego takes over.
Art could console us, but unfortunately it remains inaccessible to the masses who are engaged in exhausting work.
Legalizing theft would also help. What a string of satisfactions life could be, if you could help yourself to your neighbour’s assets! Until he takes yours. So maybe civilization is preferable.
Civilization has little to fear from educated people and intellectuals. It’s the uneducated masses that endanger it. As long as they have religion, they are kept in check by the fear of Hell, Freud says, but invariably they will begin to doubt the existence of God – even if this piece of writing of mine is not published.

Great stuff, eh? Memorize it, and you’ll be the light of the next party.

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