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Discuss the relationship between love and aggressivity in Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents - Essay Example

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Discuss the relationship between love and aggressivity in Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents

Finally, Freud deploys his concepts of love and aggression to show that civilized societies are bound to fail: they place restrictions on our natural sentiments of love and aggressiveness which are in many cases insupportable - in particular, he criticises societies founded on the Christian principle of love, and those founded on communist ideas.
Freud's discussion of the origins of our aggressiveness show how strongly it is related to love, as he conceives it. The initial aggressive sentiment is directed inwards, at the child's own ego, Freud claims, due to a frustration of the desires of the child's ego. This 'introjected' aggressive impulse results in the formation of the super-ego, and so the initiation of feelings of guilt. For example, when a child is forbade by a parent to do something which is desired by his ego, he initially feels aggressiveness towards that parent as a result of the frustration of his desires. However, since aggressiveness cannot be directed towards the parent, it is directed at the ego, the source of the frustrated desire. ...Show more


Love and aggressiveness are very closely related in Freud's conception of a person's social interactions. Both allow the individual to satisfy the desires of his ego: love-relationships provide satisfaction of desires either through sexual satisfaction, or (in friendships) through aid to achieve the individual's aims; aggressiveness towards other people allows the individual to satisfy the desires of his ego undisturbed by competition from others…
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