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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Did Sigmund Freud Contribute to The Modern Civilization?



Although civilizations don’t form just like that, unlike the ‘pocket civilizations’ of the past, formation of Modern Civilizations is much more complex. It has taken centuries to form and there is no single entity, country, continent or gender that has formed it. While in terms of gender, both sexes have contributed, in terms of race, all races have done so. Similarly, several revolutions, ideologies and personalities have contributed to its formation. Although it sounds strange, while even communism has contributed to its formation, amongst the giant personalities, even Sigmund Freud has done so.


It is true that world has changed so much since the days of Sigmund Freud, when he was a towering figure respected by many. Surprisingly despite so much of prestige in his days he is the only thinker, who has been derided so much. Once labelled ‘Father of psychology’, now New Yorker even debunks him as a thinker. As if the then feminists were much ahead of today’s psychologists and reporters, they had criticised Freud long time ago. It is a different story that patriarchy refused to listen to the ranting of few masculinised women, as the Freudians called them.

Rebuked by feminists, then by all today, it must be mad to believe that Freud contributed to the formation of the Modern World.

Simple answer to this is the conundrum is that world was very different at the time, when Freud brought out his theories. He must be judged by the standards of his time and the things he gave to the then world, not today.

The surprising thing is that this man, who was born as Sigismund on 6th May 1856, in Czech Republic, became a professor extraordinaire in 1902 following the publication of ‘Interpretation of dream’ and later died in Britain in 1939, is criticized even now by the media moguls like Times. This itself speaks volumes about the gift of this man. Even if he was wrong, he was the man, who started the ‘man is psych’ and was regarded as the Father of Psychology. Unlike fathering a child, this title needs much more. Although often seen as para-science, Psychology, now, grabs the respect of science itself. It has produced both researchers and professionals, who help many patients. Although his demeaning of women is legendary, almost as a blessing in disguise, he is the one who started sexual revolution that made women become aware of their body powers. Furthermore, cruel to women, human history has not been nice to children either. It was not unusual for parent to tell the teacher, ‘You can beat the hell out of him but make him become a good student’. Freud alerted the world about the effect of trauma on kids.

Analysing this psychoanalyst, the strange sounding book ‘Women’s Power : Its Past, Its present, Its Future: Femocracy’ discuses in much more detail, why this man was important in the formation of Modern Civilization.


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