The Psychology of Violence, A Freudian Perspective Dilip Rajeev What constitutes the foundation of the violence impulse? A question deeply pertinent to us, as we tackle various social ills. From the Freudian perspective, violent impulses and all neurosis are a result of a suppressed libido, which finds expression in impulses other than normal sexuality. If we apply the same to the social psyche, we find ills such as terrorism, communism are generated in societies which evolved out a moral code that suppressed the normal, healthy expression of sexuality between the male and the female. Freud notes that the moral principles and taboos came into existence, partly as part of society’s effort to preserve a productive order. In its effort to sustain itself, and to fulfill the necessities of existence, the creative energy, it had to ensure, was not squandered on pleasure. Applying the same principle, it is apparent that a deviant moral code, or a lack of an aesthetic guidance of the human, which results in unsublimated libido, is prerequisite before social ills such as violence, poverty, aesthetic ugliness of society, etc., sets in. Even larger social ills such as communism only find its rooting in a society that has first been distorted by an invented, non-traditional moral code. Communism is an extreme scenario where the society has come to lean so much on that which is the ‘necessity,’ that the aesthetic, the truly virtuous, etc., are all set aside violently for pursuit of utilitarian ends. Needless to say, the pursuit invariably ends up ruining those societies. A social framework that suppresses the libido on one part through a pseudo-moral code, and a framework that allows not for aesthetic sublimation through creative endeavors , are the two factors that create a neurotic society. Traditional societies the approach to morality was entirely different from ours. The poems of the ancient Chinese book of Odes often deal with intimate themes of love. The Arabian Nights, the Western fairy tales, the ancient Indian legends, all give an insight into the framework of society at that time. Sexuality finds its healthy expression in vigorous love. In societies where the moral code has degenerated into creating the impression that normal sexuality itself is to be repressed, abnormal expressions arise – and this manifests in the form of violence against women, violent impulses in general.
Sexual Education A solution lies in the proper sexual education of man, and for this we can look for substance in the attitude of society during glorious ages of our history. Gender roles that were naturally fulfilled, in a
healthy way, in that framework needs to be explored. Traditional fairy tales, traditional mythology that has survived in the human psyche for thousands of years, all prove the material that can structure the psyche in a healthy way, and towards a healthy sexual expression. Unbirdled sexual activity is merely squandering the creative impulse, and the lack of a social-moral framework can be equally destructive to the society. The problem is one of finding a natural healthy expression. And what could be more healthy than that which evokes images of beauty in the psyche? If we are to take feeling as the guide, weâ€™ll find that patterns of the beautiful is found in myths, legends and fairy tales. They demonstrate their beauty and incorruptibility in form, by the very fact that they have survived for thousands of years in the human psyche, inspiring and guiding generation after generation.
Aesthetic Education In classical art forms, in games, in sports, etc., there is an opportunity to sublimate the libido. The sexual impulse conserved and sublimated can be powerfully creative, is a notion found in all major traditions. This forms the basis of Freudian psychoanalysis as well. In the neurotic society, one must find a way to avoid erratic expressions of the same, which will only creatively weaken the society. The problem is one of enabling the populace to conserve and sublimate it through engaging in art. Classical art forms, enable the human to do that. Symbols of pure classical art â€“ classical music, painting, architecture all have a profoundly sublimating impact on the human energies. Social experiments have shown anti-social behavior can be reduced by exposing people to classical music, for instance. Through a proper education that enables humans to create those grand forms of art, and by filling our society aesthetically with symbols of classical art, we create a framework where there is a continual sublimation of the creative impulse, its erratic expression is minimized, and where normal expression of the libido through love, and what is authentically traditional and normal human sexuality naturally becomes the moral code of the populace.
This were written a few years ago. Found it around, and thought would upload again.