0

I was reading the book Flow by Mihaly Csizkszentmihalyi, wherein the following quote is made on page 67:

“The much more subtle but equally coercive social controls of bourgeois Vienna made Freud’s road to liberation pertinent to those whose minds had been warped by such conditions. ”

This is part of the larger paragraph:

“When the inhuman conditions of factory labor became the most obvious obstacles to the workers’ freedom to order their own experience, as they were in nineteenth-century industrial Europe, Marx’s message turned out to be especially relevant. The much more subtle but equally coercive social controls of bourgeois Vienna made Freud’s road to liberation pertinent to those whose minds had been warped by such conditions. ”

Which suggests that somehow Freud was a revolution to the Bourgeois, solving a problem facing the people in that class.

What was the problem he solved, and what is the history surrounding it?

  • It is a truth universally accepted that one's parent's values are bourgeois, and that innovation in thought is the peculiar privilege of the current generation. The young are neither liberal nor innovative, but anarchist. Our parents prop up the values of a decaying order; we seek to embrace values that give life meaning and the young have no values but destruction. – Mark C. Wallace Apr 28 at 11:48
5

The answer would go something like this:

  1. Civilisation means some kind of organised society in which humans live in close proximity to each other.

  2. The humans, in the Freudian picture, are subject to internal drives, predominantly related to sex and generated by important figures such as mothers and fathers.

  3. In civilisations such as that of Vienna drives had to be repressed to allow humans to coexist.

  4. Repression required the superstructure of moral codes that forbid certain instinctive behaviours.

  5. Older, complex cultures tend to have highly developed moral codes directing or forbidding instinctual behaviour.

  6. Vienna was the centre of an ancient, complex culture with such a moral code.

  7. Repressed drives, according to Freud, led to subsequent human reactions such as neuroses, obsessions or various dysfunctional behaviours which might appear irrational on the surface but were explicable in terms of his model.

  8. The Viennese moral code applied rigid controls to bourgeois behaviour and thus created severe internal stresses and behavioural dysfunction.

  9. Thus, the economic liberation of the proletariat projected by Marx is seen as analogous to the psychological liberation projected by Freud.

This is grossly oversimplified, grossly unfair to Freud who tried latterly to turn back some of the consequences [such as the wandervogel movement and the additional components of psychiatry added by his followers] and, I take the liberty of observing, utterly beyond disproof: no wonder Popper and his fellows regard it as completely ‘unscientific’.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.