(?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)
Sigmund Freud

“The commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', is the strongest defence against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfil; such an enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be, if the defence against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! 'Natural' ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.”


Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Read more quotes from Sigmund Freud


Share this quote:
Share on Twitter

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!

43 likes
All Members Who Liked This Quote



This Quote Is From

Civilization and Its Discontents Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
36,622 ratings, average rating, 1,387 reviews
Open Preview

Browse By Tag