Quote Book -[10]- Economics & Society

Page 62 – 63 The communist think they have found the way to redeem mankind from evil.  Man is unequivocally good and well disposed to his neighbour, but his nature has been corrupted by the institution of private property.  Ownership of property gives the individual the power and so the temptation, to mistreat his neighbour; whoever is excluded from ownership is bound to be hostile to the oppressor and rebel against him.  When private property is abolished, when goods are held in common and enjoyed by all, ill will and enmity among human beings will cease.  Because all needs will be satisfied, no one will have any reason to see another person as his enemy; everyone will be glad to undertake whatever work is necessary.  I am not concerned with economic criticisms of the communist system; I have no way of knowing whether the abolition of private property is expedient and beneficial.*   But I can recognise the psychological presumption behind it as baseless illusion.  With the abolition of private property the human love of aggression is robbed of one of its tools, a strong one no doubt, but certainly not the strongest.  No change has been made in the disparities of power and influence that aggression exploits in pursuit of its end, or in nature.  Aggression was not created by property; it prevailed with almost no restriction in primitive times, when property was very scanty.

[* – Anyone who tasted the misery of poverty in his youth and experienced the indifference and arrogance of propertied people, should be safe from the suspicion that he has no sympathy with current efforts to combat inequalities of wealth and all that flows from them.  Of course, if this struggle seeks to appeal to the abstract demand, made in name of justice, for equality among all men, the objection is all too obvious: nature, by her highly unequal endowment of individuals with physical attributes and mental abilities, has introduced injustices that cannot be remedied.]

Source: Civilisation and its discontents, By: Sigmund Freud

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