Freud and Nietzsche on Human Nature and Society Essay

1439 Words Aug 19th, 2014 6 Pages
Freud and Nietzsche on Human Nature and Society

After intensive analyzation of reading Civilization and It’s Discontents by Sigmund Freud and Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche, I feel as if both Freud and Nietzsche offered virtually identical views of human nature and of the society in which they lived. In my paper I intend to prove how this is so. The Freudian view of humanity is quite pessimistic. According to his ideology, people act only in order to satisfy their needs, regardless of how noble their intentions may seem. Their actions stem either from hunger, which is the internal need to preserve the individual/ego, or from love, i.e. when a person utilizes external objects to satisfy his desires. And even
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After all, external desires are usually fueled by the libido, and repressing those sexual desires causes humans to channel their energies via other means, such as “aggression and self-destruction”. By this logic, the value we place upon relationships represses our basic human desire (libido), as the constructs of these relationships are not designed in a way that caters to this basic need. And every attempt to further restrict this desire does nothing than cause frustration at the inability to achieve it. In a similar vein, Nietzsche’s criticism on society is nothing more than a reflection of his analysis, previously stated. What society values is knowledge, and the ability to reach new heights in all aspects of life. And according to him, it is this hunger for knowledge which causes so much strife in civilization. For whether it be the creator or the creature, each will pity themselves, and act accordingly. The creature will pity himself, and try to outgrow his animalistic nature – and by doing so, will create a system of morals and values to guide him along that path. But, once on that path, which is nothing more than the ‘path’ of the creator, he now feels pity at his inability to be satisfied, due to the restraints of society, and his constant thirst for more knowledge. And as he so eloquently puts it – “Pity against
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