Freud Was Right

Sigmund Freud’s theory of unhappiness comes from the demands of civilization where freedom and individuality is restricted in exchange for security and comfort. With the rise of civilizations, there is the creation of government systems such as democracy, communism, or monarchy that are designed to maintain peace, order, and control within societies. Governmental systems also come with the creation of laws and regulations that citizens are expected to uphold and follow such as paying taxes or attending jury duties. However, these systems can become repressive of human nature by restricting people’s freedom through policies and societal expectations. An example of this is the establishment of capitalism which results in wealth inequality, mass consumption, exploitation of natural resources, and a monopoly of power. This economic system disregards people’s needs and can create oppression through human rights violations, imprisonment, police brutality, and surveillance abuse. Governments also abuse their powers by manipulating control such as gentrification or mass genocide for personal gains at the expense of citizens safety and livelihood.

Any form of government is repressive of human nature because individuals are expected to meet societal demands such as working 40-hour work weeks for five days a week while getting paid minimum wage in order to afford a decent living. Individuals are indirectly forced to work and conform to societal norms. Modern capitalism and culture has also glamorized “the grind” mentality which is constantly working, investing into companies, or hustling through side businesses. This ideology of non-stop working in order to generate mass wealth and income neglects mental health, work safety, and healthy relationships. The desire to meet societal standards could lead to burnout, stress, and depression from chasing after temporary happiness over material things. Ultimately, civilization and government as cultivated oppression by restrictive policies and setting high expectations for individuals to achieve what society deems success is. 

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