Another presentiment tells me, as if I knew already—though I don't know anything at all—that I am about to discover the source of morality.
—Letter of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, May 31, 1897 (The Origins of Psychoanalysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess)
… the realization of a secret wish … might mature at the same time as Rome.
—Letter of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, March 2, 1899 (The Origins of Psychoanalysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess)
In his 1958 essay “Psychoanalysis—Science or Party Line?” Erich Fromm asserts:
unconsciously [Sigmund Freud] … wanted to be … one of the great cultural-ethical leaders of the twentieth century. He wanted to conquer the world … and to lead man to the only—and very limited—salvation he was capable of: the conquest of passion by intellect. To Freud, this—not any religion or any political solution like socialism—was the only valid answer to the problem of man. (Fromm, 1963, p. 143)
Freud, however, eludes Fromm. The following paraphrase of the preceding quotation conveys my quite different reading of the father of psychoanalysis: consciously [Sigmund Freud] wanted to conquer the world and to lead man to the only—and very limited—salvation he was capable of: the conquest of passion by intellect. To Freud, this was the only valid answer to the Jewish problem.
In other words, like Theodor Herzl, Sigmund Freud was bent on delivering his people from anti-Semitism—but secretly so.
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