Why War


Why War Essay, Research Paper

The two human instincts are erotic and aggressive. In Why War Sigmund Freud discusses the two human instincts that lead to war. The aggressive instinct is the block from which the erotic instinct has been built. If one was to take away the aggressive instinct the erotic instinct would fall with it. Erotic comes directly from Plato, who uses it to mean sexuality. Aggressive represents those people who seek to destroy and kill. Both instincts are of equal importance. Of the two instincts the erotic instinct is the one that people tend to acknowledge the most. People want to hide the aggressive instinct and pretend it doesn t exist. Humans want to pretend that the world is full of love and hatred doesn t exist. No matter how people recognize these instincts, they are in everyone. The erotic and aggressive instincts are only a fancier way to label love versus hate.

The instinct of self-preservation is irrefutably of an erotic nature. When people go to war, they are fighting because of their instinct of self-preservation. This is of an erotic nature because it

represents one s love for oneself and what one belongs to. People fight to preserve what they love and hold true. When a country fights in a war, they are acting upon both instincts. What gets them into the war is their erotic instinct which tells them to protect their country and themselves. Along the way the aggressive instinct tells them to hate their opposition for trying to take away their life and liberty. The two instincts are an integral part of war.

Although the aggressive instinct is not very popular, it is very important to human nature. Humans have the aggressive instinct innately programed in them. The erotic and aggressive instincts balance each other out. The aggressive instinct is a death instinct while the erotic instinct is the effort to live. Both are equally involved in war. In war time the aggressive instinct turns into a destructive instinct where one will destroy anything in its way for one s preservation of life. These instincts are entwined with each other in the sense that they protect each other.

People often wish the aggressive instinct did not exist or that they could hold it inside so as not to harm anyone. This is an impossible idea. If all of one s aggression was held in, one would inflict pain upon oneself and one day explode to hurt others in monumental ways compared to the present. The effects of one exerting their aggression outward is harmful, but not as harmful as it could be if one was to hold it in. When one takes out their aggression on the external world, the effects are beneficial to oneself, but not to others. When a person exerts aggression, they will later bring out their erotic instinct for balance.

War would not happen if either the aggressive or erotic instincts were not present. This is something that will never happen. Elimination of any human instinct is impossible. Therefore, we will always have war. The two instincts, aggressive and erotic cannot be separated into two different categories. They are intertwined and cannot survive without the other. The two instincts are competing for a monopoly over the world, a battle that neither will ever win. People choose not to see the aggressive instinct for what it is. The aggressive instinct is the block from which the erotic instinct has been built. If one was to take away the aggressive instinct the erotic instinct would fall with it.

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