The Future of an Illusion

The Future of an Illusion

The Future of an Illusion

The Future of an Illusion

Excerpt

We have glided unawares out of the economic plane over into the psychological. At first we were tempted to seek the essence of culture in the existing material resources and in the arrangements for their distribution. But with the discovery that every culture is based on compulsory labour and instinctual renunciation, and that it therefore inevitably evokes opposition from those affected by these demands, it became clear that the resources themselves, the means of acquiring them, and the arrangements for their distribution could not be its essential or unique characteristic; for they are threatened by the rebelliousness and destructive passions of the members of the culture. Thus in addition to the resources there are the means of defending culture : the coercive measures, and others that are intended to reconcile men to it and to recompense them for their sacrifices. And these last may be described as the psychical sphere of culture.

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