Thursday 5 February 2015

Freud manuscript

We’ve all read books (especially those on assigned reading lists), going uhuh, uhuh, but then you mature and read Freud voluntarily, and now you are  looking for something more definite, like good advice. So here is Freud translated into advice relevant to your life.
  • The less a man knows about the past and present, the more insecure will be his judgment of the future. Applied to you life:  What you don’t know won’t hurt you. I mean, do you really want to know the future? Could be seriously depressing.
  • Human civilization is the sum of all those respects in which human life differs from the life of animals. Applied to your life: Forget civilization. Have fun indulging your inner animal.
  • Every civilization is built on coercion and renunciation of instinct. What did I tell you? Forget civilization already, or you’ll never have fun.
  • The masses are lazy and unintelligent. They have no love for instinctual renunciation and cannot be convinced otherwise. So who says they are unintelligent? They understand perfectly well that they can’t have any fun AND be civilized. Which also explains why they are not spontaneously fond of work.
  • And yet civilization has a way of taking over. External coercion gradually becomes internalized, and man’s super-ego takes over. Superman, where are you when we need you to combat the Great Enemy, our super-ego!
  • But there is one way to be happy AND civilized: Thinking that your civilization is better than their civilization and despise those outside our culture. So keep up the ethnic slurs and remember: Discrimination makes you happy!

 (Source: Freud, The Future of an Illusion, trans. J. Strachey)

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