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20th Century Individualism — Freud

I am compelled to respond to this article in the Guardian.

If we want a different politics, we need another revolutionary: Freud

Subtitle of the OpEd by Suzanne Moore:

Marx is all very well, but to effect real change Sigmund Freud’s modern tools of self-examination hold the answers

Freud is amazing. He took the mechanics of the steam engine and applied it to humans. For steam read libido. Thus he created a lexicon of what goes on “inside” and taught us to examine this engine. You can hear my tone, I’m not a Freudian! However I do think he was a genius to create the whole notion of a medicalised form of psychological wellbeing. (Ah my tone again!) I’m not as anti Freud as I sound though, what I’m against is how his philosophy was received in the culture. Freud or Marx! The great false dichotomy.

Like Stuart Brand in my last post, Freud came along just at the right time with ideology that was used to obfuscate the fact that much of the lack of wellbeing is due to the fact a few are clipping the ticket on everything we produce. That’s the economic side of the misery, the psychological side of that is that the ticket clippers determine the nature of work, the purpose of work. We become separate from what we do everyday, alienated, bereft of meaning & purpose, and we’re then encouraged to find it in consumerism. I don’t know if Freud ever said misery was all our own fault, but his work and legacy can be used to imply that.

And here is the Guardian, of all places, publishing blatantly that it is Freud not Marx that will change politics. Like we will all do therapy at $$ per hour to save the world.

I find the article offensive. Not just because of the terrible politics, but because as a psychotherapist, I, or my profession might be seen as supporting this mind numbing ideology.

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