Governments Being Both Repressors and Restorers

In reading Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents,” one can see how establishing a civilization can repress human nature and individuality and become more focused on the group as a whole. Although governments are established to protect people’s rights and keep citizens safe, governments can make laws that limit people’s freedoms, and as a result, these laws should be seen as unjust. Politicians make unjust laws by hindering people’s natural freedoms. In the past, these laws included laws of segregation that prevented African Americans from attending the same schools, using the same restrooms, or even voting. In today’s age, anti-trans laws that have been passed by many states wish to limit the rights of the transgender community to do as they please. For example, laws have been passed to prevent transgender girls from participating in girls’ teams, and other laws prevent transgender people from using bathrooms. Through Freud’s eyes, laws made to form a civilization are causing people to restrict their own sexuality and are preventing people from having the freedom and liberty they deserve. Overall, I believe that a government’s main purpose is to protect people’s rights and ensure everyone is safe; however, at times, government officials may pass laws that are unjust, and if unjust laws are passed, as stated by Dr. Martin Luther King himself, the citizens must disobey them in order for those laws to be retracted and for these issues to be brought to light.

In addition to governments restricting people’s freedoms and sexuality, Freud believed that governments are also designed for people to renounce their own natural instincts they were given as humans. For example, because of people’s desire for sexual gratification and people’s will to survive, laws that prevent rape and killing are put into effect to punish those who commit such actions. Because of these restrictions, people can not achieve the happiness that they desire and a  feeling of discontent arises among the citizens. While Freud believes that people make these laws to restrict people’s happiness, I believe that laws outlawing rape and killing are made to ensure that the people are safe and make sure that people who commit these crimes are put behind bars. Without such laws in place, criminals would be running wild in the streets causing havoc throughout many cities. In the end, while Freud does make some good points about governments being repressive, I believe that government officials should do the best they can to ensure that no unjust law is passed in order for everyone to benefit and prevent certain groups of people from being discriminated against and to restore order in a nation full of chaos.

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