Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud

Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud


Hey, what’s up guys. This is Anthony from Book Success. We are in freezy, ice-cold Boston, Massachussets right now But anyway, I’m going to talk about this book here: Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud. And, this is really a book I wanted to talk about for a very, very long time Because it touches on our deepest psychology, our human psychology. And I’m going to dive into it right now. So get ready, stay tuned and let’s dive into it. So for those of you who don’t know who Sigmund Freud is Sigmund Freud was actually one of the most aspiring psychologists of the 20th century. He was basically the founder of the psychoanalytic theory in which he dived very deep into the human psyche. He studied terms such as the ego He studies the concepts of happiness pain pleasure And he really bundled all those concepts in this book here Civilization and Its Discontents. So, what does this book here talk about? Well, in this book Sigmund Freud studied how society – or civilization – restricted our natural impulses and inclinations And therefore made us more unhappy or a bit ‘frustrated’ in life. So, Sigmund Freud started with a question And that question was: What is the purpose of people living on this planet? What is their purpose in life? And he found out, he studied that for a long time, that all people want to feel happy. That is their main purpose. They strive after happiness. And they want to remain happy. And In order to do that, Sigmund Freud argued They want to maximize pleasure, and minimize pain or unpleasure. That’s what ‘happiness’ amongst Sigmund Freud was or how it was defined And, he noticed that this is actually in contradiction with how we are wired by nature. Because human beings are not wired to be in a always very ‘happy’ state. So, he says: People will suffer. People will feel unhappy, and that’s totally natural. That’s actually ok. So, he says: the main source of unhappiness for most people, is our social relationships with other people. And in a larger context, that means that we feel unhappy by society And, he says: Society restricts the happiness of the individual Because it restricts our desires, our natural inclinations. It doesn’t fit with how we are wired. And, he says: there are two main desires or inclinations, people tend to have in common. The first one is our natural inclinations towards aggressiveness. He says All people have – like – something in common they’re very aggressive by nature. If we look back at our primitive times when we were apes, and you had to look for food, you would easily kill somebody for that. So, we are very aggressive by nature. because we have to satisfy our basic and vital needs. So, that’s an example. The second desire all human beings have in common, is their desire for sexual satisfaction. And, if we compare back to our primitive times We could like mate with everyone we wanted And that’s how we did it. I mean, there were really no policies There were no real ‘rules’, that held us accountable. That didn’t exist by then. So, right now civilization really restricts those two kinds of natural desires we have. And, that is the reason why we tend to feel a but ‘frustrated’ in life, Sigmund Freud argues. And, he really goes deeper on those concepts in his book. So, if you are interested I highly recommend you to check that out. I will put a link here in the description below, to my website where I posted a summary of this book. So, what I did on my website I made it ‘relatable’ more relatable. Because reading the book is very hard It’s complex language. It takes you some time to really get the essence. So I made the key concepts an ideas, I summarized them and laid them out for you So, if you’re interested in knowing these check out the website and I hope you get some value out of it. Anyway, I’m signing off. I’m actually watching the sunset The sun is already down. This is Boston by the way here, at my school. So, anyway Signing off. It was good to talk to you, and I hope to talk to you next time. Cheers, guys. Have a good one.

19 thoughts on “Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud

  1. thank you sooooo much for this, I literally needed it really bad. because I got my semester 4 of Masters in English exam tomorrow. And this is in my books syllabus. it means a lot .

  2. Society Restricts the happiness of the individual. Just like George Carlin said. Humans are beautiful by themselves, just individual. But when you put them in groups, they change. CRAZY!

  3. Dude! Your summary is so great, I definitely had a better understanding of the book after read your website summary. Keep t up, and could you do more books about society study or group behavior?? Thank you so much!

  4. THANK YOU! WOW you explained this better than the 3 weeks my college professor taught us on this book! And he's been teaching it for 20+ years ! You nailed it in 8 min!!

    THANK YOU<3

  5. I've wanted to cause serious bodily harm or death to a few people. The only reason I didn't do it was because I didn't want to be locked away in a cage. 1 incident in particular frustrates me to this day.

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