The book by Freud, civilization and its discontents argue about the capitalist work and effects they have had on the society from a different perspective compared to the estranged labor by Karl Marx. Despite the differences that do exist between the theories, there exist some similarities that will be highlighted in the content of this paper. The similarities in this essay will be highlighted contrasting and comparing the contents of these two articles.
The article by Freud is based on his previous work which is religiously based. In essence, his try to overlook the existence of different pathological and health status. He tries to explain human nature in different emotional and physiological feelings which had not been evaluated. The book tries to explain the bond that needs to build between different persons in order to peacefully co-exist peacefully within the world with other persons. Freud tries to state that the society is enslaved through the kind of lifestyle that people have adapted to that has contributed to their misery (Marx & Engel 61). The civilization that has been adapted in recent years has contributed to the suffering people are undergoing within the society. Through Freud argument, he makes it clear that the society has the power to choose the lifestyle they want to live. The civilization can be changed through going back to the traditional way of life which favored majority of the people in the world. The current way of living has caused people to go against civilization stated by Freud, “the only wheels which political economy sets in motion are greed, and the war amongst the greedy – competition” (Freud 87). Freud tries to put it that people are not contented with the current civilization due to the suffering that has arisen through this civilization.
The current state of civilization is attributed to the foundation it was built in where it was brought up in a hurry. This is what has contributed to the current state of dissatisfaction with the current civilization as stated in Freud’s book. The current state of civilization has been contributed to through the discoveries that have been made which have led to the diversity among different members of the society. The perspective that the Europeans viewed other cultures that lived simple lives with little wants attributed the changes that took place in civilization as suggested by Freud. The Europeans were not in contented by this lively hood and made the changes that have contributed to the current crisis witnessed within the society. However, despite the changes that were made, it is made clear in Freud’s book that man comes to realize that he is under too much pressure to maintain the currently adopted way of livelihood that is was termed as civilized. The adapted civilization does not bring happiness since it brings up competition within the different people within the society.
Despite the advancement, people have made within the world in relation to scientific innovations. The society remains unhappy with the kind of civilization they are leading. This is despite the changes they have made where they are in control of almost everything that happens in the world. Marx argument of the modern civilization and capitalism is based on the gap that has been created between the rich and the poor. From Marx argument, he makes it clear the modern way of living that is thought to be civilized has brought forth a lot of changes that have made the society unequal. This is due to the different social standards that have been established that have contributed to the existence of the poor within the community. This is because the poor continue to be looked down upon, and they are not in a position to acquire property as opposed to other members of the society. Marx article is similar to Freud’s article from the aspect that they both try to get a clear understanding of history and the society (Freud 46). The idea on Marx mind was fuelled by the scientific innovations that were taking place during that particular time. Marx challenges the economic strains and political downfall that was taking place during his period despite the existence of technology and other scientific innovations that took place during that era. This is similar to Feuds argument where he questioned the existence o the modern civilization. This was because there were great innovations yet the society did not have any progress in relation to civilization.
The current civilization was corrupted unlike in the earlier times where civilization was built to unite a society. However, Marx tries to argue out that the backwardness in civilization has been contributed by the way nations are imitating each other practices in efforts to become more civilized compared to other nations. This is similar to Freud’s article where he put it that, the spread of the European culture bring forth competition and corruption of traditional cultural practices. Both Freud and Marx are seen to have a clear understanding of the society and civilization through the arguments they present in relation to modern capitalism (Freud 67). Marx views the society differently from Freud where he argues that there could never be equality in the society due to the numerous materialistic inequities that were is being witnessed in the society. Marx article and point of view is based on a materialistic perspective where he speaks of the numerous inequities that were taking place in the society yet the government constantly called for equality within the society. This argument is not similar to Freud’s article since it is based on the influence that the European have had on different societies trying to implicate their way of livelihood, therefore, undermining other people's lifestyles. Despite these differences, both writers try to speak of the inequalities that have led to the longing of the previous lifestyle where the society was equal.
There are a number of similarities based on the arguments presented by Freud and Marx. One of the reasons being, the society could never be equal since he viewed this from a materialistic point of view. Marx states his argument from a materialistic point of view while Freud’s is based on the current civilization that has enslaved people to a lifestyle that has brought them misery. This is due to the lifestyle people have adopted that is based on the European standards which goes against people’s traditional beliefs and practices (Marx & Engel 78). These are the differences that exist between the two articles. Marx is driven by the need to understand the economical changes that were taking place in the community where he goes ahead and studies political economy. This helps in putting his points across regarding the situation. He summarizes the changes that the current civilization has had in continued to affect members of the society who are not able to meet the standards that the capitalist have put.
It is evident through both arguments put across by the authors of the different articles that the capitalists have continued to neglect people who live below the social standards. The situated has prompted the creation of the different social classes that exist within the society. Despite the numerous contributions that science and innovation have made in the society, both articles make it clear that there exists a great gap within different classes that has made it difficult for members of the society to peacefully co-exist (Freud 52). This has been attributed to by the fact that people within the society look down upon people who are not able to meet the expected social standards that have been set by the changing times and perspective on civilization. This is explained on Marx argument where he makes it clear that the growing rate of materialist has made it impossible for members of the society who have no property to be looked down upon in the society “Marx was beginning to recognize that the ideals of the French Revolution, with its call for liberty and democracy, could never be achieved in a society based on material inequality "(Marx & Engel, 58). This is similar to Freud’s argument where the society does not put into consideration people who have not adapted to the expected lifestyle which the Europeans have made different members of the world to incorporate their practices into the society. This is made evident through the numerous changes that have been made in efforts to drive the society into the modern way of life which is termed to be more civilized compared to the previous way of life. Both articles try to evaluate the changes that have been brought forth by the capitalists who want to make the society unequal. This is with the intention of facilitating the existence of capitalism and other standards that rarely brought about by the existence of different personalities within the society.
Having reviewed both works by Freud and Marx well, it would be appropriate to state that Marx perspective on capitalism view civilization from a better perspective that the other argument presented by Freud. This is because Freud does not make it clear of the various changes that have been made within the society in order to facilitate the capitalism. Marx is also in a better position to present a better argument on capitalism through the critics he focuses on articles and the government that supports in equity through making the society unequal. It is evident in the modern society that those who are in higher ranks within the society are more likely to be able to acquire property that the other member of the society may not afford. This makes it clear and elaborates the real situation that capitalism has brought about a lot of inequalities within the society. The article by Marx makes it clear that without the changes that have taken place have contributed to a lot of social injustices that are being witnessed within the modern society up to date. Both writers complement each other despite the differences in opinion that may exist. This is because of the way the aim at attaining a primary objective which is to stop the differences that have been brought about by the modern civilization where people are viewed differently from member of the society.
Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its discontents. Germany. 1930. Print.
Marx, Karl, Engel, Friedrich. The Marx-Engel Reader. New York. W. W. Norton & Company. 1978. Print.