Civilization and Its Discontents

Why did civilization develop according to Freud

Page 38 Civilization and its Discontents..

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. Freud identifies three key historical events that produced this disillusionment with human civilization: 1) the victory of Christendom over pagan religions (Freud notes the low value placed on earthly life in Christian doctrine); 2) the discovery and conquest of primitive tribes and peoples, who appeared to Europeans to be living more happily in a state of nature; 3) scientific identification of the mechanism of neuroses, which are caused by the frustrating demands put on the individual by modern society. Antagonism toward civilization developed when people concluded that only a reduction of those demands - ‹in other words, withdrawal from the society that imposed them‹ - would lead to greater happiness. (p38)