S Freud

collage painting on Stonehenge grey paper
30 x 22
WWI series / $950

When the frenzied conflict of this war shall have been decided, every one of the victorious will joyfully return to his home, his wife and his children, undelayed and undisturbed by any thought of the enemy he has slain … If we are to be judged by the wishes of our unconscious, we are, like primitive man, simply a gang of murderers … Our unconscious is just as … murderously minded towards the stranger, divided or ambivalent towards the loved, as was man in earliest antiquity … War … strips us of the later accretions of civilization and lays bare the primal man in each of us.
The tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man, and … constitutes the most powerful obstacle to culture … Eros … aims at binding together single human individuals, then families, then tribes, races, nations into one great unity, that of humanity. Why this has to be done we do not know; it is simply the work of Eros.
These masses of men must be bound to one another libidinally; necessity alone, the advantages of common work, would not hold them together.
The natural instinct of aggressiveness in man, the hostility each against us all and of all against each one, opposes this programme of civilization. The instinct of aggression is the derivative and main representative of the death instinct we have found alongside Eros, sharing his rule over earth. And now, it seems to me, the meaning of the evolution of culture is no longer a riddle to us.
It must present to us the struggle between Eros and Death, between the instincts of life and the instincts of destruction.
– Sigmund Freud