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Word Count: 940
A civilized people may be defined as a group of persons tied together by a common ethical code who systematically predict and control their collective ability to predict and control The essential difference between civilized and uncivilized people is that among the latter there is no systematic group effort by its members to create machines for the benefit of the group as a whole machines which require several persons to operate and which may not be used for several months or even several years after construction is begun on them It is this notion of long-range planning and concern for the creativity of future generations which distinguishes the civilized person from the barbarian who typically never has any vision beyond tomorrow or the savage who lives entirely in the present The longer into the future the planning is projected the more civilized is the society Therefore a civilization never comes into being or survives unless it is guided by a cooperative group of persons who have a vision of and concern for the generations yet unborn The vision of the future is always tied to the ethical code You will recall that fundamental to Freuds view of civilization is the idea that human beings are essentially biological creatures with strong instincts among which is aggression which Freud calls an original selfsubsisting instinctual disposition in man the greatest impediment to civilization The question then obviously arises How does civilization channel cope with control or suppress this anti-social instinct In Chapter VII Freud develops the theory of the superego the internalization of aggressiveness and redirecting of it back onto the ego and the consequent creation in human beings of guilt which expresses itself as a need for punishment And this primal guilt is according to Freud the origin of civilization The question however remains To what extent is Freuds project here his vision of civilized human beings as permanently unhappy biological instinctual creatures
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