Explanation Of The Holocaust In Freud's "Civilization And Its Discontents"



Each individual member of society is governed by certain rules that
serve to restrict their behavior. An example of one of these societal
rules forced upon the individual is the belief that murdering another human
being is wrong. We know that this act is wrong because of strict prison
sentences that follow such courses of action. Yet, how was it that the
world could sit idly by as millions of innocent people were removed from
their homes, transported in cattle cars to concentration camps, and gassed
to death? There have been many explanations for the Holocaust, many
excuses, and many rationalizations made in describing the world's failure
to act. The fact still remains that six ...

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his work Civilization and Its
Discontents.
Freud's essay Civilization and Its Discontents was first published
in 1930, while Freud resided in Vienna, Austria. Undoubtedly, Freud was
aware of the happenings in the world political arena, particularly the
events that were transpiring in neighboring Germany. More specifically, he
was in a position to view the beginning of Hitler's rise to power. It is
interesting to note that Vienna of the early twentieth century where Hitler
and Freud lived was under the control of a mayor who was a severe Anti-
Semite, who was eventually barred from running for office by the Pope.
Hitler began his rise to power in 1924 when he attempted to take
over Munich through a military coup. The coup failed, and Hitler was
thrown in jail. It was during this time in 1924 that Hitler wrote his
famous memoir Mein Kampf, which translated means My Struggle (Dawidowicz 3).
The contents of the book included Hitler's blueprints for His Europe.
Hitler was ...

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in the development of a destructive instinct. The
main argument in Civilization and Its Discontent, according to Christopher
Badcock, the author of Essential Freud, is that “the id is basically anti-
social and only civilized by the interventions of the ego” (137).
Essentially what this means is that the individual in society is innately
asocial, but because of the presence of the ego, the individual is forced
to become sociable. This conflict between the id and the ego results in
the destruction of the individual and ultimately civilization.
Another area that Freud approached in his work was the issue of
religion. In terms of religion, Freud quoted Goethe in saying, “He who
possesses ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/28/2004 09:51:55 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1658
Pages: 7

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