POLI 231 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Death Drive, Child Sexuality, Main Source

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POLI231
Lecture 16 1 March 2018
Freud: continued
Basic insight: the conflict between individual and society is a main source of unhappiness
Civilization: the whole sum of achievements and regulations that differentiate us from animals
and regulate our lives. Achievements include:
Construction of transportation innovations
Construction of devices to master nature
Intellectual arts
Rights and law in political order
Cleanliness to prevent disease
There has been a replacement of the power of the individual by the community. Once communal
law is formed, it becomes an injustice to break it. Civilization rests on the restriction of otherwise
unlimited liberty in order to create security.
In a state on nature, humans are governed by instincts
Civilizations do not operate based on these instincts
For Hobbes: it is in our self-interest to give up liberty for security
For Freud: reason does not mean having control; we can never be fully in control of our
desires
Hobbes and Freud have different theories of how civilization evolves
Freud, Chapter 4: Love and necessity
Freud and Hobbes both agree that we need to use cooperation to conquer external necessities
The power of love: binds people into groups; desire to unite and not to be parted
a. Genital love: man is unwilling to be deprived of his sexual object (woman)
b. Aim inhibited love: woman is unwilling to leave her child
If this is civilization, it is unclear why we would not be happy. Freud says that these individual
interests are in opposition with civilizations’ interests.
When men have the duty to work, it conflicts with family duties
Reproduction of the family: civilization wants to grow, and therefore requires that families
reproduce. Therefore, civilization prohibits homosexuality, polygamy and child sexuality
because it is not useful to the civilization
Social norms and restrictions will only allow for monogamous, heterosexual relationships
civilization’s interests oppose individuals’ interests
Since we cannot act on our erotic instincts, the happiness that we get from sex will not lead
to a true or constant happiness
Two instincts lead to our producing society:
a. Eros
b. Thanatos: aggression instinct; death drive
Because of aggressiveness, civilization is always threatened and must put restrictions and moral
prescriptions in place for example, love your neighbor, love your enemy
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Document Summary

Basic insight: the conflict between individual and society is a main source of unhappiness. Civilization: the whole sum of achievements and regulations that differentiate us from animals and regulate our lives. Achievements include: construction of transportation innovations, construction of devices to master nature, rights and law in political order, cleanliness to prevent disease. There has been a replacement of the power of the individual by the community. Once communal law is formed, it becomes an injustice to break it. In a state on nature, humans are governed by instincts desires: hobbes and freud have different theories of how civilization evolves. If this is civilization, it is unclear why we would not be happy. Freud says that these individual interests are in opposition with civilizations" interests: when men have the duty to work, it conflicts with family duties, reproduction of the family: civilization wants to grow, and therefore requires that families reproduce.

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