Page:Freud - Reflections on war and death.djvu/32

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REFLECTIONS ON

suspends its reproach the suppression of evil desire also ceases, and men commit acts of cruelty, treachery, deception, and brutality, the very possibility of which would have been considered incompatible with their level of culture.

Thus the civilized world-citizen of whom I spoke before may find himself helpless in a world that has grown strange to him when he sees his great fatherland disintegrated, the possessions common to mankind destroyed, and his fellow citizens divided and debased.

Nevertheless several things might be said in criticism of his disappointment. Strictly speaking it is not justified, for it consists in the destruction of an illusion. Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must there-

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