And while we can do a great deal about the third -- and over the centuries humans have done a great deal -- we have to acknowledge that failures in the third realm -- civilization -- must have some obdurate psychological cause. Note once again Freud's economic thinking: even in love we hedge our bets, protect ourselves from erotic bankruptcy by, as it were, diversifying our erotic portfolio.
Eros and Thanatos—Freud identifies two drives that both coincide and conflict within the individual and among individuals. Civilization is built out of wish-fulfillments of the human ideals of control, beautyhygieneorder, and especially for the exercise of humanity's highest intellectual functions.
It is clearly not easy for man to give up the satisfaction of this inclination to aggression. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful to us than any other.
These are paths of least resistance.
Discontent is the product of restraint. In this, his psychical constitution will play a decisive part, irrespectively of the external circumstances.
The last occasion is especially familiar to us.
I gave this phenomenon the name of "the narcissism of minor differences", a name which does not do much to explain it. Eros is the drive of life, love, creativity, and sexuality, self-satisfaction, and species preservation.
Civilization may not solve all problems, but it does prevent many problems. This endeavor has two sides, a positive and a negative aim.