83%(6)5 out of 6 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 11 pages.
relationships by making the satisfaction of sexual pleasure the prototype of other forms of happiness that could be achieved with and through companionship. Given the risks of love, some people make themselves independent of individual love objects and instead devote themselves to a universal love for all of mankind, typified by the Christian saints. Freud calls this phenomenon "love with an inhibited aim”•Even if one of the main purposes of civilization is to bind men "libidinally" to one another, love and civilization eventually come into conflict with one another•Several different reasons for this later antagonism. For one, family units tend to isolate themselves and prevent individuals from detaching and maturing on their own. Women in particular have, according to Freud, a restraining influence on children and enter into opposition with civilization out of resentment over the intimacy and love that the requirements of work necessarily takes away from their marital relationships. Along these lines, civilization saps sexual energy by diverting it into cultural endeavors. It also restricts love object choices and mutilates our erotic lives. Taboos (against incest, first
and foremost), laws, and customs impose further restrictions. Fear of sexual revolt leads to precautionary measures beginning in childhood•For Freud, Western European civilization represents a high water-mark in the regulation of sexuality. Even heterosexuality, freely practiced and endorsed by society, is forcibly channeled into monogamy and marriage. Even where society fails to regulate and put an end to behavior it deems transgressive, it still has a severely impairing effect on the sexual life of menChapter 5 •Freud notes that civilization's antagonism toward sexuality arises from the necessity work of building communal bonds based on friendship. If the activity of the libido were allowed to run rampant, it would likely destroy the monogamous love-relationship of the couple that society has endorsed as the most stable•Freud next objects to the commandment "Love thy neighbor" because, contrary to Biblical teaching, he takes a pessimistic view of fellow man, whose primal instinct Freud considers to be aggressive, not lovingoThe biblical commandment runs counter to the original nature of man, and history is the proof: man has proven time and again that he will exploit, abuse, humiliate, cause pain, torture and kill other men, from the invasion of the Huns to the First World WaroCivilization is continually threatened with disintegration because of this inclination to aggression. It invests great energy in restraining these instincts. The law has tried to refine itself to the point of regulating most forms of aggression, but it still fails to prevent it.