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Civilization And Freedom Essay

2574 words - 10 pages

Section - 1

Definition of Civilization
Civilization occurs when a society moves to an advanced state of social development with complex legal, political and religious organizations. There are several definitions for civilization, for instance, "the people slowly progressed from barbarism to civilization"; "the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste"; "a man of intellectual refinement"; "humans living together in an organized way".

Freud defines, "civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples, and nations into one great unity, the unity of mankind. But man's natural aggressive instinct, the hostility of each against all and of all against each other, opposes this programme of civilization."

Thus, it is clear that civilization means, the change of human behavior from primitive, barbarized state to state of controlled and well-mannered conduct.
Or as Freud brings out, civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of human instincts. In that perspective a civilized man is the one who represses his own natural desires and act according to the established rules, norms, traditions and social order.

Definition of Freedom
In that context of civilization, primitive man had the freedom of their instinctual life. They could satisfy their natural desires whenever and wherever they wanted, without having the sense of guilt and shame. Animal freedom, which exists in animal kingdom, comes into same terms with human freedom in that stage as human could fulfill their desires as animals do, which is signified by the devoid of a second thought of whether that behavior is 'right' or 'wrong', 'good' or 'bad'.

Section - 2
Sigmund Freud's Analysis of Civilization

Freud used theories called pleasure principle, reality principle and structure of human psyche in order to bring out the way in which human represses their instincts in their process to civilized state.

Freud likened the mind to an enormous iceberg, of which consciousness is only the small exposed tip. The massive structure of the iceberg that lies beneath the surface is the vast region of the unconsciousness. To Freud unconscious was both a reservoir of instinctual drives and a storehouse of all the thoughts and wishes we conceal from conscious awareness because they cause psychological conflicts. All organic, biological, animal instinctual drives, which are not in control of the human beings, are in this vast region of unconscious. When civilization consciousness develops with the knowledge of physical and social environment, and it enforces the limits and extents to these, primary drives.

Further Freud divided the human psyche into three separate but interacting elements: the id, the ego and the super ego. Freud described the id as a reservoir of psychic energy, the pool of biological drives that arise...

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