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Freud, S. (1931). Letter to Georg Fuchs. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXII (1932-1936): New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis and Other Works, 251-252.

Freud, S. (1931). [SEV251a1]Letter to Georg Fuchs. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXII (1932-1936): New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis and Other Works, 251-252

Shorter Writings

[SEV251a1]Letter to Georg Fuchs Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Sigmund Freud

[SEV251a2]After reading your letter I felt a wave of the deepest sympathy, but it was soon halted by two reflections—an internal difficulty and an external obstacle. A sentence from your own preface offers me an apt expression of the former: ‘No doubt, however, there are people who have so poor an opinion of the civilized humanity of to-day that they deny the existence of a world conscience.’ I believe I am one of those people. For instance, I could not subscribe to the assertion that the treatment of convicted prisoners is a disgrace to our civilization. On the contrary, a voice would tell me, it is in perfect harmony with our civilization, a necessary expression of the brutality and lack of understanding which dominate the civilized humanity of the present time. And if by some miracle people suddenly became convinced that the reform of the penal system is the first and most urgent task before our civilization, what else would emerge than that capitalist society has not now the means for meeting the expenditure which that reform would demand? The second, the external, difficulty is brought to light in the passages in your letter in which you exalt me into a recognized intellectual leader and cultural innovator and attribute to me the

1 [SEV251a3][In Wir Zuchthäusler [We Convicts] by Georg Fuchs, Munich, Langen, 1931, x-xi.

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