on 16 July 2011
I had previously read Gustav Le Bon's excellent book `The Crowd', and so developed the impression that Freud's work was a continuation of Le Bon's masterful volume. However, one who develops this impression has developed the wrong one.
After the first few chapters, it seems clear that Freud is simply parroting Le Bon while singing his praises (rightly so, but surely that should be kept for journals). It is quite amazing just how much of Le Bon's tome Freud has quoted verbatim in his own book.
On the second part of this volume, we venture into more familiar and indeed recognisable Freudian literature. Freud's sick `Oedipus' complex is plastered onto the character of mankind in a fashion that seems to take the heat off Freud's own back. This is Freud at his best/worst. The sick, perverted mind of a man who is so mentally-ill he has decided that he is quite on top of things, whereas the rest of the world (especially we Europeans, or Aryans as Freud calls us) is diseased - much akin to the chronic drunk who insists HE is always sober and everyone else is incessantly drunk!
If you are Jewish, Freud's work may well apply to you. If you are not, consider it useful only for lining a bin or building a fire.
I do NOT recommend this, but i DO recommend Hans Eysenck's Decline And Fall of The Freudian Empire and Prof Kevin MacDonald's fabulous Culture of Critique (and of course Gustav Le Bon's The Crowd).