"But there is a question which i can hardly evade. If the development of civilization has such far-reaching similarity to the development of the individual and if it employs the same methods, may we not be justified in reaching the diagnosis that, under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations, or some epochs of civilization -- possibly the whole of mankind -- have become 'neurotic'?"

Sigmund Freud, Civilizations and its Discontents


Butters said…
Freud is just a corrupted version of Nietzsche.
misspecs said…
Er, how about some commentary on the excerpt, Awais?

Needless to add, I do not understand what it say!
Salman Latif said…
When do we call an individual or a civilization 'neurotic?'
Awais said…
It is just a passing thought that rose up in Freud's mind, and which i could relate to. Neurosis is a broad and somewhat vague category of psychiatric illness (including Depression, Mania, Anxiety etc). An individual can become neurotic, and Freud just wonders that can a civilization as a whole also become neurotic. However, Freud realizes the precariousness of the analogy and hence does not take it any further.

Perhaps it could be seen in this context, as i do. Freud wrote at another place "Our civilization imposes an almost intolerable pressure on us" That the whole relationship between society and the individual has got out of balance, and that a neurotic patient might actually be a normal person living in an abnormal society. (I have actually seen such cases.)
Bhai Chod said…
Your blog is going to become my new haunt.
I like that you quoted this because in relation to our conversation on twitter, I think the same society can be seen as Orwellian or Huxley-esque (?) depending on whose perspective within that society we choose to see it from.
Also thought I'd share this:
"I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life (Jung, [1961] 1989:140)."


Jung saw collective neuroses in politics: "Our world is, so to speak, dissociated like a neurotic" (Jung, 1964:85).

all from that wiki on neurosis you sent me :)