Freud and Marx will never be forgotten as their legacies carry on through their respective theories. Each of their theories are extensive however, for the purposes of this essay I will compare and contrast their theory regarding freedom and the relationship between the individual and society. Freud and Marx, it can argued were both, as individuals, dissatisfied with their societies. In the process of discussing both Freud’s and Marx’s positions regarding these areas of focus their answers to the following question will be evident and their reasoning explained. Is it possible for human’s to create a society that would not cause ...view middle of the document...
It seeks to get pleasure in and keep pain out. The reality principle governs the ego. It aims to postpone gratification due to reality in order to satisfy the id long term. The ego is the mediator between the id and superego. It is always trying to reach a compromise and balance between the two. The superego or conscience works in direct opposition to the id. It controls an individual’s sense of right and wrong as well as guilt. The superego acts as an authority and its purpose is to get the individual to behave in socially appropriate ways. Civilization and institutions within it serve the same purpose of the superego.
According to Freud there are three sources of suffering. Suffering from the body, nature, and relationships aka civilization aka society. Freud believes that a majority of suffering comes from the third source. This is ironic because it means that individuals receive the most pain from the source they created themselves. Individuals serve and are dominated by the things they have established themselves. This was not the intent. According to Freud civilization was established out of love and necessity in order to make life easier and more enjoyable for the individual. Instead it causes the most pain. Freud argues that the pain originates from the fact that civilization thwarts the freedom of the individual to satisfy the id and the pleasure principle. He states “the liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization” (pg49).Freud believes that society hinders the liberties of an individual because the development of civilization has narrowed the avenues and opportunities an individual can pursue in order to satisfy the id. Society itself and the institutions individuals create in it place limitations on their freedom.
A method that Freud claims can be used to fend off suffering is the term sublimation of the instincts. Through this process an individual obtains a higher level of pleasure from the sources of their own psychical and intellectual work. In this method of defense against pain the process and product of an individual’s work gives that person happiness. However, according to Freud “it is only accessible to only a few people because it presupposes the possession of special dispositions and gifts which are far from being common to any practical degree.” A majority of individuals in society do not have the capability of sublimation. Freud states that “professional activity is a source of special satisfaction if it is a freely chosen one if, that is to say, by means of sublimation yet, as a path to happiness, work is not highly prized by men. They do not strive after it as they do after other possibilities of satisfaction. The great majority of people only work under the stress of necessity, and this natural human aversion to work raises most difficult social problems.” Freud asserts that because sublimation is only available to few, most jobs serve as repression not sublimation for the individual. In fact Freud...