Freud on war and violence
From disillusionment to hope, back and forth
This article analyses Sigmund Freud’s reflections on war and violence, especially in his two main works on this issue: Thoughts for the Time of War and Death (1915) and Why War? (1932). After presenting these two essays and placing them in their historical contexts, I briefly review what authors have written about them in recent years. I then attempt to contribute something new to the discussion by examining four of Freud’s propositions: his justification for disillusionment caused by war; his suspicion about peoples and states; his denunciation of the primitivism and hypocrisy of human beings; and his determination to maintain hope in culture and history. I consider these key points of Freud’s essays separately, showing their importance for Freud’s social theory and for his critique of modernity and civilisation in general.
Copyright (c) 2022 David Pavón Cuéllar
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