Sigmund Freud, Moderns and the Lost Generation

In the Victorian era, sex was the ultimate taboo.

As we have seen, the Victorian generations saw sexuality as “a hidden geyser of animality existing within everyone and capable of erupting with little or no warning at the slightest stimulus.” Nothing posed a greater threat to the Victorian ideal of self-control than human sexuality which “therefore had to be repressed at all cost.” Victorians repressed the sexual impulse and channeled it into marriage and even then frowned upon sexual pleasure. They saw it as a beast that had to be shackled.

In their rebellion against Victorianism, the Modern generations began to embrace self expression and sexual liberation in the 1910s and 1920s. They demolished the separate spheres that had previously separated men and women. As Malcolm Cowley put it, the Greenwich Village idea was that “the body is a temple in which there is nothing unclean, a shrine to be adorned for the ritual of love.” They learned from Sigmund Freud a new language of understanding human sexuality which taught them that sexual repression was the chief psychological problem ailing mankind and because psychoanalysis was “science” and “new” it was automatically better than tradition in the eyes of modernists. From Sigmund Freud, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, Havelock Ellis and H.G. Wells, Moderns learned to embrace free love and sexual liberation tentatively at first in the 1920s and later decisively in the 1960s.

The following excerpt comes from Nathan Miller’s book New World Coming: The 1920s and the Making of Modern America:

“No one had a greater influence upon American writers of the postwar generation than Sigmund Freud. The Viennese psychiatrist’s theories about sexuality and the unconscious had already provoked considerable discussion in America before he visited the United States in the autumn of 1909 to present a series of lectures on psychoanalysis at Clark University in Worchester, Massachusetts. …

Nevertheless, Freud’s ideas had their greatest impact in the United States, and led to the revamping of virtually the entire cultural landscape. He became “the Darwin of the Mind” to the popular press and was credited with the creation of modern thinking in psychiatry, psychology, child rearing, criminology, and sexual attitudes. Freudian doctrine spread rapidly in its adopted homeland because it arrived in America at the right psychological moment. The nation was undergoing an upheaval in morality, and Freud’s teachings, with their emphasis on the importance of the subconscious as a guideline for the interpretation of human motivation, found a ready audience among the Moderns, who were leading the charge against Victorianism. Freudian psychology was an escape hatch from such inhibiting legacies of the past as sexual repression, unthinking patriotism, fundamentalist religion, and naive idealism …

Psychoanalysis became popular, friends and foes agreed, because it was part of the liberating process, especially sexual liberation. “In his analyses of his patients’ dreams and neuroses, [Freud] discovered what seemed to be an inherent conflict between the demands of human instinct, and the demands of society as a whole,” wrote the social historian Robert M. Crunden. “The individual said, ‘I want’ and society, from its broader experience, said, ‘You can’t.’ …”

Self expression, sexual liberation, antiracism and atheism are part of the same Modern culture package and have traveled together as values and beliefs in the 20th century.

If you could step into a time machine, you could go back in time and see the beginning of it in the bohemian neighborhoods that emerged in Chicago and New York City in the 1910s, travel a half century into the future to the Boomers at Berkeley in the 1960s which would be the half way point and from there to our time in 2020 when Modern values have reached full saturation with Millennials.

In the months ahead, we will be taking a close look at Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche and the impact of their ideas on Americans in the early 20th century.

About Hunter Wallace 9614 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

21 Comments

  1. My understanding of Freud is that he was quite stuffy. Adam Curtis suggests in Century of the Self that Freud was very much in favour of repression, because many of the unconscious drives like libido were dangerous. It was Marcuse who challenged Fred’s view of the utility of repression and was responsible for the unravelling of a more button down attitude as exhibited by Freud and his wife Anna. BTW Freud in German is a cognate of the English word Joy. I think Bernays was much more dangerous than Freud who just suspected that monsters lurk within the mind of mankind.

    • Freud was fully aware and discussed (in his Introductory Lectures) how the observations and ideas he and his colleagues advanced (such as infantile sexuality and the Oedipus complex) outraged moral sensibilities and led people into rejecting psychoanalysis. Freud saw his movement as progressing in opposition to the dominant (Victorian) view of sexuality, he was revealing truths that people were reluctant to admit or countenance. It is correct to say that Freud rejected the proposal of a free-for-all approach to sexual relations (which he addressed in the Introductory Lectures). This was taken up by renegades from his movement such as Wilhelm Reich whose work was revived by the boomers in the late sixties.

  2. ” our time in 2020 when Modern values have reached full saturation with Millennials.”

    That depends upon definition. Have Millennial women fully embraced modern values? Definitely. Millennial men? Not so much, unless you count laziness. I think the lack of vigor in Millennial men into forcing their will upon the world is the absolute hopelessness of there being any sort of real reward out there. Boomers hold all the cards, the elite entrenched, material goods a dime a dozen, housing over-priced, women unmarriageable and work underpaid and somewhat scarce.

    However I don’t think Millennial men are living the roaring twenties lifestyle or the Boomer’s party revolution. They aren’t doing party drugs for the good feels, it’s more to dull the pain. They aren’t living in a general sexual utopia. The only things they can easily afford are video games, cars and houses are too over-priced.

    Millennial women on the other hand can play video games in low cut tops and receive thousands of dollars a month. They can have anonymous sex on demand with the most desired of men. They were and are babied by their Boomer parents and enjoy all the privileges of being a woman of yesteryear but are not held to any of the standards. Can things be difficult for Millennial women looking for a trad lifestyle? Sure. However they are under no obligation to participate in modern society but still benefit from zero expectations. Millennial mothers are also the ones passing out tablets to their toddlers and filming them thinking it’s funny.

    There really needs to be some sort of generational division between the sexes if you’re going to study them. With men it’s simply about survival within a miserable system, with women it’s about enjoying the fruits of the system until you don’t want to anymore and then realize you’re trapped in a cage.

    Two very different experiences.

  3. It IS a beast that needs to be shackled, and can be shackled. The Bible (New Testament) seems to rank fornication with pride as the worst of all sins.

  4. I beginning to believe that Dixie is nothin but full of controlling queen fag’s …. more ridiculous BS to lock up the women. Y’all be burnin at the stake again soon. All for your “lawd” the effete son if a tranny he-she with an “ineffable name” …. bunch epsilon cucks

  5. Argentina has the most per capital psychoanalysis of any other country in the world.

    It also has the highest Jewish population in Latin America.

    Go figure.

  6. I realize that Occidental Dissent is a place for metrosexual nationalism and pretentious pseudo-intellectual arguments revolving around irrelevant historical anecdotes…

    Give it a rest Hunter, even I’m considering about leaving this site for good. What would you do without me?

    This site is the poster child for why the Alt Right failed. Have you listened to a Richard Spencer – Edward Dutton podcast? It’s the most boring shit in the world.

    Is that the Alt Right’s strategy now? To bore their enemies to death?

    You guys were better off when you were shit posting and popping out memes. Yeah it was juvenile, but at least it was entertaining. This shit is just depressing and puts me to sleep.

      • Have you seen what kind of “Whites” you attract to this site?

        I would never go out for a drink or hang out with almost any of these people.

        Your audience is mostly made up of incels, metrosexuals, pseudo-intellectuals, and people living in their basement waiting for society to collapse.

        You and Spencer killed the Alt Right. It’s dead.

        I never ever said you should only talk about the election and Trump. That is what you keep accusing me of and it’s false.

        • The feeling is mutual.

          Who cares whether Donald Trump and the GOP are in power? What did Barack Obama do in eight years in power compared to the last four years with Trump and the GOP in power? In the last four years, we have lost online free speech, free assembly, literally hundreds of monuments, law and order has collapsed in half the country, “criminal justice reform” was passed and black felons were let out of prison. Political correctness is now 100x worse than it was before Trump was elected president. The biggest cultural change of the Obama years was when the Republican-controlled Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Obama’s biggest legislative accomplishment was Obamacare. Otherwise, he accomplished pretty much nothing and Antifa was tiny and marginalized.

          Donald Trump’s failed presidency isn’t Richard Spencer’s fault. It is not my fault. Charlottesville wasn’t our fault either. There has been hundreds of “Charlottesvilles” since May because Trump’s Justice Department and the FBI has allowed Antifa and BLM to run wild. Finally, a poll came out on the Alt-Right in September and no one has changed their views since 2017. There is no proof that the Alt-Right is dead. The same amount of people say they support the Alt-Right in 2020 as in 2016. There is always less energy on the Right when Republicans are in power. Fortunately, we are less than three weeks away from the GOP losing power.

          • That is probably the most compelling case you have made against Trump in that post right there.

            Why don’t you write like that instead of whining about Amy Coney Barrett having to say “yes” to denouncing White supremacy. You know she has to answer that to be confirmed.

            I’m seriously thinking about leaving this site, not because of your anti-Trump views but because of you wasting my time with these useless historical articles and half assed anecdotes on current events.

            Can’t tell if you’re being lazy or you don’t give a shit. Maybe both.

          • Oh no!

            What will we do without you posting comments here to inform us what Richard Spencer is saying on any given day?

            I would rather read books and write about history and learn something than continue to waste my time writing articles about current events and mainstream politics which have a shelf life of less than 48 hours. Antifa and BLM have killed another Patriot, torn down another monument, rioted and burned down another city, etc. In sum, the GOP is helpless and incapable of doing anything with the power they are given about any of this. They are incapable of doing anything except for pushing the agenda that their donors support like tax cuts or deregulation or whatever Israel wants or military spending, etc. That’s all anyone needs to know about the subject.

            If you know that, then everything that follows from it makes sense and nothing will surprise you. You can go spend your time learning a new skill or about something else in full confidence that you aren’t missing anything. It is a waste of time to pay close attention to politics.

        • Gryphon, you literally bitch about things that only an Amnat would bitch about. Your worldview sounds 1:1 like something I’d hear on Fuentes or Beardson. If anyone is a metrosexual in the comments section, it’s you kiddo.

        • If Trump loses this election it’ll basically be an interaction of rubbing darkies the wrong way while failing to follow through with promises to white supporters. I’m not sure that he loses this one, as Hunter reckons. But if he does go down it is largely because of angry nigs/ disillusioned whites dynamic.

        • gryphons,

          1 A few of the whiners are accusing you of being Anglin. Are you willing to put the rumor to rest?
          2 Whether you want to admit it or not, the alt-right was always in the minority and Charlottesville merely discredited it even further in the eyes of the mainstream. RS and HW wouldn’t have been able to save it in any case because their appeal has always been more limited than that of cuckservatives like Ben Shapiro or Charlie Kirk due to fewer resources and their extremism on some issues.
          3 I do agree with you that much of “alt right entertainment” is too esoteric and boring for the masses. That’s why someone like Nick Fuentes has better outreach and a larger audience. He tries to make his material less boring and intellectual/pseudointellectual.

          Some here might compare alt right entertainment to Masterpiece Theater and Fuentes to WWE but guess what? WWE is still way more popular and influential than MT will ever be regardless of how you view the content and nothing you say or do will ever change that.

          USA USA
          Wally George the father of combat TV and conservative TV entertainment!
          Nixon the most redpilled and pro-middle class President in recent history!
          Trump the start of an America First makeover of the GOP. Trump 2020!

    • gryphon,

      Stick around or else the only sane readers left will be me, 80s, shawn, and a couple others and the rest will be fangirl boomers like november, boomer x, ivan, etc. I don’t think either of us would prefer to live in “Victorian America” than today and you can bet your life most of the reactionaries here would cry to return to the 2020s if they lived just one month back then. Actions speak louder than words!

      HW,

      Who are you blaming exactly for sexual liberation though? Freud? Jewish sex therapists? The ACLU? White Losters?

      They WERE sexually repressive times though. Most American states had laws against premarital sex, shacking up, adultery, sodomy, and interracial sex and most states didn’t permit no fault divorce for Pete’s sake. The government has no business telling consenting adults what they can do in their bedrooms.

      And your thesis that sexual liberalism led to racial egalitarianism is wrong. The Roman Empire was more based and brutal in its pagan years than it was when that Semitic religion known as Christianity became the state religion. In fact, past Western historians have cited Christianity as a contributing factor to the split of the empire. Nazi Germany and fascist Japan tolerated prostitution and even set up brothels, but were they racially egalitarian societies?

      USA USA
      Wally George the father of combat TV and conservative TV entertainment!
      Nixon the most redpilled and pro-middle class President in recent history!
      Trump the start of an America First makeover of the GOP. Trump 2020!

      • It was part of the Losters general rebellion against Victorianism after World War I.

        Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, H.G. Wells, Margaret Sanger and others provided the rationalization for it. As for sexual liberation and racial egalitarianism, the two traveled together in two waves. The first wave was in the 1920s when both triumphed in the liberal intelligentsia. The second wave was when racial equality and sexual liberation had the time to filter down from the intelligentsia through he universities and into the culture and gained mass traction in the 1960s.

        • Freud did tend to advocate for sexual repression to maintain civilization. He also realized that it created hysterical and neurotic personalities in the middle class. I don’t think he was critiquing civilization, rather he was pointing out that civilization was a thin veneer over a terrifying set of drives. I don’t think he was wrong on that score. One or two fissures in the traditions of the medieval and early modern moral system have cascaded into the shattered society we now inhabit.

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