Monday, September 23, 2013

Money Wisdom #185

"Perhaps primitive economies can be distinguished from civilized economies as that pattern of economic behavior in which play and the pleasure-principle have primacy over the ostensibly rational calculus of maximum gains - that is to say, over the reality-principle. Perhaps, more generally, the two levels of culture which sociology has distinguished under various labels - primitive and civilized, Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, folk and urban - can be distinguished psychoanalytically. Primitive is that level of culture in which the rhythm of what Freud calls the primary process - the rhythm of dreams and childhood play - is predominant. Civilized is that level of culture which effectively represses the rhythm of the primary process in favor of rationality and the reality-principle." [emphasis my own]

Norman O Brown Life against Death - The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History (1959) p.37

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