Beyond The Leisure Principle

My boyfriend hit me in the face with a book. It was an accident, his hitting me. He only meant to hand me the book.

Susan Steinberg, “Underthings,” Spectacle (2014)

It was still an easy matter at that time for a living substance to die; the course of its life was probably only a brief one, whose direction was determined by the chemical structure of the young life.

Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920)

These circuitous paths to death, faithfully kept to by the conservative instincts, would thus present us today with the picture of the phenomena of life.


An individual person can come to function as wealth in relation to another one, in so far as the other person makes use of the first’s capacity for work, or chooses that person as sexual object; moreover, every individual is virtually an enemy of civilization, though civilization is supposed to be an object of universal human interest.

Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (1927)

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