Sigmund Freud and the Global Financial Meltdown: Prensa Libre of Guatemala
Does the work of Sigmund Freud have anything to teach us about the global financial crisis and how to extricate ourselves from its clutches?
Margarita Carrera of Guatemala’s Prensa Libre reminds her readers that Freud didn’t only study sex – but the psychology behind economics and finance as well.
In his analysis of dreams, he discovered that all – absolutely everyone – are ‘colossal egoists.’ That is, egoism, deeply tied to the instinct for self-preservation and narcissism implacably governs us all. But he also realized that if human beings give in these primitive and selfish instincts, civilization itself is endangered … No one can deny the following Freudian principle: “Civilization has been achieved thanks to the relinquishment of the satisfaction of the instincts, and it demands that every individual repeat that renunciation to himself again and again.”
“But there’s an instinctive need that could save us: our need to be loved. So there’s a solution in sight that could save civilization. The individual learns to value being loved, and that helps him renounce his selfish, egotistical instincts. The task of civilization is to overcome the voracity of the individual and put limits on his or her boundless ambitions. Civilization’s purpose is to subject the policies of neo-liberalism to an exhaustive review, so that the powerful individual and those who deny the need for a State regulator not be fortified against the bankrupt majority – and so these have a place to turn in order to save themselves. ”
By Margarita Carrera
Translated By Paula van de Werken
October 16, 2008
Prensa Libre – Guatemala – Original Article (Spanish)
During the last century and up to today, the erroneous idea has persisted that Sigmund Freud devoted himself uniquely and exclusively to research into the sexual life of the individual – from the moment of his birth until his death. While it’s true that all humans are governed by the “libido,” that doesn’t mean that Freud focused his research exclusively on that subject. He also worked in the world of economics and politics, to the point of making severe criticisms of the capitalist system.
In his analysis of dreams, he discovered that all – absolutely everyone – are “colossal egoists.” That is, egoism, deeply tied to the instinct for self-preservation and narcissism implacably governs us all. But he also realized that if human beings give in these primitive and selfish instincts, civilization itself is endangered. And as amazing as it may seem, he spoke of the immense evil that festers in society when impunity operates with such effectiveness that justice disappears. His actual words were:
READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated foreign and English-language foreign press coverage of the unfolding financial crisis.