The Political Mind

Psychoanalysis and Politics

Essay Competition Political Minds

Freud's contribution to political thinking cannot be underestimated.He questioned the origin and structure of society in "Totem and Taboo" , unmasked illusions and dogmas in "The Future of an Illusion" and "Civilization and its Discontents" criticised Bolshevism in the New Introductory Lecture on Psychoanalysis , and described the foundation of a people, in Moses and Monotheism. He criticised "civilised sexual morality" as the source of "the nervous illness of modern times." In Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego he dismantles the concepts of leader, crowd, and power. In the agency of the superego, Freud ascribed values, ideals, and imperatives associated with morality and society to the psyche.

In fact the sexual drive, the death drive, and the instinct for mastery exercises an implacable determinism throughout existence, social and political, individual and psychological.

Political thought as in Machiavelli, Hobbes, Marx, Weber, and others—intersect and illustrate many of Freud's ideas. e.g. the radical rejection of all forms of illusion, the will to lucidity based on a flexible rationality, the dismantling of connections within communities, the emphasis on the autonomy and responsibility of the individual subject.

These seminars will explore Psychoanalysis and Politics in the light of contemporary issues such as racism, terrorism, totalitarian thinking, NHS ,the market economy, ecology, gender and sexuality, whistle blowing .etc

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