Essay about Problems of Civilization and Society

1341 Words 6 Pages
Throughout human history, man has always encountered problems and seeks to solve it in order to alleviate his own suffering. Pain is one of the pertinent reasoning behind almost all actions taken by humanity as a whole, not dependent on status, class, race, gender, etc. However, as humans, we are also constrained to the society in which we live. We behave the way we do, and react the way we do because society has structured us to do so in that particular manner. Civilization cannot exist without the existence of man, however, man never ceases to change the construct of his civilization. In his Civilization and Its Discontents Sigmund Freud explains the conflict in which humans experience self-entanglement, primarily due to the …show more content…
There is no possibility at all of its being carried through; all the regulations of the universe run counter to it. (Freud 25)

In stating this, Freud says that although the purpose in our lives is to strive after happiness, this mental programming is strictly limited and, therefore, we must follow it according to the constructs from civilization. Similarly, the best way to attain happiness is by instinctual gratification, which is also restricted by civilization, since most of the energy that goes towards achieving this personal gratification is to satisfy civilization's requirements, and thereby delay sexual gratification, which is another way to attain happiness. Coming directly from nature, which man cannot change, sexual gratification gives happiness, but the suppression of these sexual desires is a discontent of civilization. The purpose of civilization is to divert the attention of the individual from seeking sexual gratification and put forth all energies, which would under normal circumstances be used for sexual gratification, to achieve two main purposes of civilization: one, to protect men against nature, and two, adjust their [man and nature] relationship. In order to avoid displeasure received from the suppression of sexual gratification, Freud suggests substitution gratification. He writes,

One gains the most if one can sufficiently heighten the yield of pleasure from the
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