25Jan10

There is no such thing, Freud states, as ‘eradicating’ evil. The impulses that constitute the ‘deepest essence’ of human nature are ‘neither good nor bad’ in themselves. He will condemn actions but never the drives from which they stem. It is a central tenet of psychoananlysis that if we can tolerate what is most disorientating– disillusioning– about our own unconscious, we will be less likely to act on it, less inclined to strike out in a desperate attempt to assign the horrors of the world to someone or somewhere else. It is not, therefore, the impulse that is dangerous but the ruthlessness of our attempts to be rid of it.

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