Civilization & It’s Discontent

Civilization & It’s Discontents 

Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) Neurologist, Psychologist and Philosopher.





There have been a plethora of great thinkers. There have been multitude of crazy thinkers. I’d say Freud was both. Misunderstood, partially flawed, undoubtedly profound.



​”The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing he truly precious things in life.”

“I can not point to any need in childhood so strong as that of a fathers protection.”

“The helplessness we feel as a child and usually into adulthood forces man to cling to notion of religion or spirituality. This can be brought on by the fear of the superior power of fate and its uncertain dealings.”

“Where animals are concerned , we hold the view that the most highly developed have arisen from the lowest. Yet we still find all of the simple forms alive today.”

“Life as we find it is too hard to for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments and impossible tasks. We can not do without palliative remedies. We can’t dispense with auxiliary constructions” Sigmund Freud quoting Theodore Fontaine.”

“Happiness is sought & happiness is struggled to be maintained.”

“The feeling of happiness produced by indulgence of a wild untamed craving is incomparably more intense than is the satisfying of a curbed desire”.

” It is not merely the immediate gain in pleasure which one owes to them (intoxicants) but also a measure of that independence of the outer world which is so sorely craved.”

“We are aware that it is just this property which constitutes the danger and injuriousness of intoxicating substances.”

“In certain circumstances they are to blame when valuable energies which could have been used to improve the lot of humanity are uselessly wasted.”

“The daily work of earning a livelihood affords particular satisfaction when it has been selected by free choice..And yet as a path to happiness work is not valued very highly by persons. They do not run after it as they do after other opportunities for gratification.”

“The great majority work only when forced by necessity, and this natural human aversion to work gives rise to the most difficult social problems.”

“Art affects us but as a mild narcotic and can provide no more than a temporary refuge from hardships & misery.”

“The religions of humanity, too, must be classified as mass-delusions of this kind.”

“When a large number of people make this attempt together and try to obtain assurance of happiness and protection from suffering by a delusional transformation of reality, it requires special significance. Needless to say , no one who shares a delusion recognizes it as so.”

“What is more natural than that we should persist in seeking happiness along the path by which we first encountered it.”

“Success is never certain, it depends on the cooperation of many factors.”

“Order is a kind of repetition-compulsion.”

“The benefits of order are are incontestable; it enables us to use space  and time to the best advantage, while saving expenditure of mental energy.”

“On the contrary, human beings manifest an inborn tendency to negligence and irregularity.”

“My love seems to me a valuable thing that I have no right to throw it away without reflection.”

“The existence of this tendency toward aggression which we can detect in ourselves and rightly presume to be present in others is the factor that disturbs our relations with our neighbors & makes it necessary or culture to institute its high demands.”

“Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.”

“Passions of instinct are stranger than reasoned interests.

“Civilization expects to prevent the worst atrocities of brutal violence by taking upon itself the right to employ violence against criminals, but the law is not able to lay hands on the more discreet & subtle forms in which human aggressions are expressed.”


3 Ways Humans Cope (Sigmund Freud)

1. Powerful Diversions of Interest
(These cause us to care little about our misery)

2. Substitute Gratifications
(Which lessens our pain)

3. Intoxicating Substances
(Which makes us insensitive to our pain)


What are your thoughts?