Sunday, May 4, 2014

Freud - Jordan S

I agree with Freud's point that aggressiveness came before private property - and so to say that with communism, everyone will be able to get along and share the wealth and work when work needs to be done -- doesn't make sense. People will still want to fight, and climb over one another, and love each other, and break up, and do all of the basic human emotions -- because those have existed since the beginning. Man in the state of nature still had aggression before he realized he could take something as his own.

However, I don't agree that all of us immediately want to fight with our neighbors and that we have an urge to kill them (Page 95). Perhaps we feel competitive with them, especially if they don't seem friendly. But I don't think we all automatically feel hostile towards others. It depends on the environment (work, home, school, etc.)


  1. I think, to connect back to the texts we read at the very beginning, the hostility among neighbors Freud talks about is in direct contradiction to Kant's social unsociability (or is it unsocial sociability? whatever) and Rousseau's social contract. Both of those are based on self-preservation within a society--you agree not to threaten someone's life so they won't threaten yours. This I agree with. I guess I can kind of see where Freud is coming from, because I also agree with his point that aggressiveness came before private property--it's a part of the state of nature, in other words--but it goes against the most basic human instinct of self-preservation. Yes, there have been countless incidents of violence in history. We all just wrote essays about it. But what I argued in my essay is that there had to have been certain conditions that came before to establish the context for the violence. It's not something innate and natural; it is always an effect of something. As your last sentence says, it depends on the environment. Freud thinks of neighbor hostility as automatic and unthinking, and existing even within a civil society, which I think is absurd.

  2. I agree with your comment about how neighbor hostility is absurd in civil society. The idea that we have an instinct to self-preservation that causes us to be aggressive towards others seems normal in a primitive society, like that of Locke's state of nature. The state of war coincides with this aggression principle that Freud writes about. However, civil society doesn't depict this instinctual state. People are rational and normally shy away from directly killing others. I think that this aggression isn't carried out,but only takes place in our mind. This inner conflict would have to happen in the super ego because we aren't aware of a constant struggle not to kill others.


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