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Title: Group Psychology and The Analysis of The Ego
Author: Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Group Psychology and The Analysis of The Ego" ***

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No. 6




[Illustration: colophon]


Copyright 1922


A comparison of the following pages with the German original
(_Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse_, Internationaler Psychoanalytischer
Verlag, Vienna, 1921) will show that certain passages have been
transferred in the English version from the text to the footnotes. This
alteration has been carried out at the author's express desire.

All technical terms have been translated in accordance with the Glossary
to be published as a supplement to the _International Journal of

J. S.



   I Introduction                                         1

  II Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind               5

 III Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life            23

  IV Suggestion and Libido                               33

   V Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army      41

  VI Further Problems and Lines of Work                  52

 VII Identification                                      60

VIII Being in Love and Hypnosis                          71

  IX The Herd Instinct                                   81

   X The Group and the Primal Horde                      90

  XI A Differentiating Grade in the Ego                 101

 XII Postscript                                         110




The contrast between Individual Psychology and Social or Group[1]
Psychology, which at a first glance may seem to be full of significance,
loses a great deal of its sharpness when it is examined more closely. It
is true that Individual Psychology is concerned with the individual man
and explores the paths by which he seeks to find satisfaction for his
instincts; but only rarely and under certain exceptional conditions is
Individual Psychology in a position to disregard the relations of this
individual to others. In the individual's mental life someone else is
invariably involved, as a model, as an object, as a helper, as an
opponent, and so from the very first Individual Psychology is at the
same time Social Psychology as well--in this extended but entirely
justifiable sense of the words.

The relations of an individual to his parents and to his brothers and
sisters, to the object of his love, and to his physician--in fact all
the relations which have hitherto been the chief subject of
psycho-analytic research--may claim to be considered as social
phenomena; and in this respect they may be contrasted with certain other
processes, described by us as 'narcissistic', in which the satisfaction
of the instincts is partially or totally withdrawn from the influence of
other people. The contrast between social and narcissistic--Bleuler
would perhaps call them 'autistic'--mental acts therefore falls wholly
within the domain of Individual Psychology, and is not well calculated
to differentiate it from a Social or Group Psychology.

The individual in the relations which have already been mentioned--to
his parents and to his brothers and sisters, to the person he is in love
with, to his friend, and to his physician--comes under the influence of
only a single person, or of a very small number of persons, each one of
whom has become enormously important to him. Now in speaking of Social
or Group Psychology it has become usual to leave these relations on one
side and to isolate as the subject of inquiry the influencing of an
individual by a large number of people simultaneously, people with whom
he is connected by something, though otherwise they may in many respects
be strangers to him. Group Psychology is therefore concerned with the
individual man as a member of a race, of a nation, of a caste, of a
profession, of an institution, or as a component part of a crowd of
people who have been organised into a group at some particular time for
some definite purpose. When once natural continuity has been severed in
this way, it is easy to regard the phenomena that appear under these
special conditions as being expressions of a special instinct that is
not further reducible, the social instinct ('herd instinct', 'group
mind'), which does not come to light in any other situations. But we may
perhaps venture to object that it seems difficult to attribute to the
factor of number a significance so great as to make it capable by itself
or arousing in our mental life a new instinct that is otherwise not
brought into play. Our expectation is therefore directed towards two
other possibilities: that the social instinct may not be a primitive one
and insusceptible of dissection, and that it may be possible to discover
the beginnings of its development in a narrower circle, such as that of
the family.

Although Group Psychology is only in its infancy, it embraces an immense
number of separate issues and offers to investigators countless
problems which have hitherto not even been properly distinguished from
one another. The mere classification of the different forms of group
formation and the description of the mental phenomena produced by them
require a great expenditure of observation and exposition, and have
already given rise to a copious literature. Anyone who compares the
narrow dimensions of this little book with the extent of Group
Psychology will at once be able to guess that only a few points chosen
from the whole material are to be dealt with here. And they will in fact
only be a few questions with which the depth-psychology of
psycho-analysis is specially concerned.



Instead of starting from a definition, it seems more useful to begin
with some indication of the range of the phenomena under review, and to
select from among them a few specially striking and characteristic facts
to which our inquiry can be attached. We can achieve both of these aims
by means of quotation from Le Bon's deservedly famous work _Psychologie
des foules_.[2]

Let us make the matter clear once again. If a Psychology, concerned with
exploring the predispositions, the instincts, the motives and the aims
of an individual man down to his actions and his relations with those
who are nearest to him, had completely achieved its task, and had
cleared up the whole of these matters with their inter-connections, it
would then suddenly find itself confronted by a new task which would lie
before it unachieved. It would be obliged to explain the surprising
fact that under a certain condition this individual whom it had come to
understand thought, felt, and acted in quite a different way from what
would have been expected. And this condition is his insertion into a
collection of people which has acquired the characteristic of a
'psychological group'. What, then, is a 'group'? How does it acquire the
capacity for exercising such a decisive influence over the mental life
of the individual? And what is the nature of the mental change which it
forces upon the individual?

It is the task of a theoretical Group Psychology to answer these three
questions. The best way of approaching them is evidently to start with
the third. Observation of the changes in the individual's reactions is
what provides Group Psychology with its material; for every attempt at
an explanation must be preceded by a description of the thing that is to
be explained.

I will now let Le Bon speak for himself. He says: 'The most striking
peculiarity presented by a psychological group[3] is the following.
Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be
their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their
intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts
them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel,
think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each
individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of
isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into
being, or do not transform themselves into acts except in the case of
individuals forming a group. The psychological group is a provisional
being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined,
exactly as the cells which constitute a living body form by their
reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from
those possessed by each of the cells singly.' (p. 29.)[4]

We shall take the liberty of interrupting Le Bon's exposition with
glosses of our own, and shall accordingly insert an observation at this
point. If the individuals in the group are combined into a unity, there
must surely be something to unite them, and this bond might be precisely
the thing that is characteristic of a group. But Le Bon does not answer
this question; he goes on to consider the alteration which the
individual undergoes when in a group and describes it in terms which
harmonize well with the fundamental postulates of our own

'It is easy to prove how much the individual forming part of a group
differs from the isolated individual, but it is less easy to discover
the causes of this difference.

'To obtain at any rate a glimpse of them it is necessary in the first
place to call to mind the truth established by modern psychology, that
unconscious phenomena play an altogether preponderating part not only in
organic life, but also in the operations of the intelligence. The
conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its
unconscious life. The most subtle analyst, the most acute observer, is
scarcely successful in discovering more than a very small number of the
conscious[5] motives that determine his conduct. Our conscious acts are
the outcome of an unconscious substratum created in the mind in the main
by hereditary influences. This substratum consists of the innumerable
common characteristics handed down from generation to generation, which
constitute the genius of a race. Behind the avowed causes of our acts
there undoubtedly lie secret causes that we do not avow, but behind
these secret causes there are many others more secret still, of which we
ourselves are ignorant.[6] The greater part of our daily actions are the
result of hidden motives which escape our observation.' (p. 30.)

Le Bon thinks that the particular acquirements of individuals become
obliterated in a group, and that in this way their distinctiveness
vanishes. The racial unconscious emerges; what is heterogeneous is
submerged in what is homogeneous. We may say that the mental
superstructure, the development of which in individuals shows such
dissimilarities, is removed, and that the unconscious foundations, which
are similar in everyone, stand exposed to view.

In this way individuals in a group would come to show an average
character. But Le Bon believes that they also display new
characteristics which they have not previously possessed, and he seeks
the reason for this in three different factors.

'The first is that the individual forming part of a group acquires,
solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power
which allows him to yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he
would perforce have kept under restraint. He will be the less disposed
to check himself from the consideration that, a group being anonymous,
and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which
always controls individuals disappears entirely.' (p. 33.)

From our point of view we need not attribute so much importance to the
appearance of new characteristics. For us it would be enough to say that
in a group the individual is brought under conditions which allow him to
throw off the repressions of his unconscious instincts. The apparently
new characteristics which he then displays are in fact the
manifestations of this unconscious, in which all that is evil in the
human mind is contained as a predisposition. We can find no difficulty
in understanding the disappearance of conscience or of a sense of
responsibility in these circumstances. It has long been our contention
that 'dread of society [_soziale Angst_]' is the essence of what is
called conscience.[7]

'The second cause, which is contagion, also intervenes to determine the
manifestation in groups of their special characteristics, and at the
same time the trend they are to take. Contagion is a phenomenon of which
it is easy to establish the presence, but that it is not easy to
explain. It must be classed among those phenomena of a hypnotic order,
which we shall shortly study. In a group every sentiment and act is
contagious, and contagious to such a degree that an individual readily
sacrifices his personal interest to the collective interest. This is an
aptitude very contrary to his nature, and of which a man is scarcely
capable, except when he makes part of a group.' (p. 33.)

We shall later on base an important conjecture upon this last statement.

'A third cause, and by far the most important, determines in the
individuals of a group special characteristics which are quite contrary
at times to those presented by the isolated individual. I allude to that
suggestibility of which, moreover, the contagion mentioned above is only
an effect.

'To understand this phenomenon it is necessary to bear in mind certain
recent physiological discoveries. We know to-day that by various
processes an individual may be brought into such a condition that,
having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys all the
suggestions of the operator who has deprived him of it, and commits acts
in utter contradiction with his character and habits. The most careful
investigations seem to prove that an individual immersed for some length
of time in a group in action soon finds himself--either in consequence
of the magnetic influence given out by the group, or from some other
cause of which we are ignorant--in a special state, which much resembles
the state of fascination in which the hypnotised individual finds
himself in the hands of the hypnotiser.... The conscious personality has
entirely vanished; will and discernment are lost. All feelings and
thoughts are bent in the direction determined by the hypnotiser.

'Such also is approximately the state of the individual forming part of
a psychological group. He is no longer conscious of his acts. In his
case, as in the case of the hypnotised subject, at the same time that
certain faculties are destroyed, others may be brought to a high degree
of exaltation. Under the influence of a suggestion, he will undertake
the accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible impetuosity. This
impetuosity is the more irresistible in the case of groups than in that
of the hypnotised subject, from the fact that, the suggestion being the
same for all the individuals of the group, it gains in strength by
reciprocity.' (p. 34.)

'We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the
predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of
suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical
direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas
into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the
individual forming part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has
become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.' (p. 35.)

I have quoted this passage so fully in order to make it quite clear that
Le Bon explains the condition of an individual in a group as being
actually hypnotic, and does not merely make a comparison between the two
states. We have no intention of raising any objection at this point, but
wish only to emphasize the fact that the two last causes of an
individual becoming altered in a group (the contagion and the heightened
suggestibility) are evidently not on a par, since the contagion seems
actually to be a manifestation of the suggestibility. Moreover the
effects of the two factors do not seem to be sharply differentiated in
the text of Le Bon's remarks. We may perhaps best interpret his
statement if we connect the contagion with the effects of the individual
members of the group upon one another, while we point to another source
for those manifestations of suggestion in the group which are put on a
level with the phenomena of hypnotic influence. But to what source? We
cannot avoid being struck with a sense of deficiency when we notice that
one of the chief elements of the comparison, namely the person who is to
replace the hypnotist in the case of the group, is not mentioned in Le
Bon's exposition. But he nevertheless distinguishes between this
influence of fascination which remains plunged in obscurity and the
contagious effect which the individuals exercise upon one another and by
which the original suggestion is strengthened.

Here is yet another important consideration for helping us to understand
the individual in a group: 'Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms
part of an organised group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder
of civilisation. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a
crowd, he is a barbarian--that is, a creature acting by instinct. He
possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the
enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.' (p. 36.) He then dwells
especially upon the lowering in intellectual ability which an individual
experiences when he becomes merged in a group.[8]

Let us now leave the individual, and turn to the group mind, as it has
been outlined by Le Bon. It shows not a single feature which a
psycho-analyst would find any difficulty in placing or in deriving from
its source. Le Bon himself shows us the way by pointing to its
similarity with the mental life of primitive people and of children (p.

A group is impulsive, changeable and irritable. It is led almost
exclusively by the unconscious.[9] The impulses which a group obeys may
according to circumstances be generous or cruel, heroic or cowardly, but
they are always so imperious that no personal interest, not even that of
self-preservation, can make itself felt (p. 41). Nothing about it is
premeditated. Though it may desire things passionately, yet this is
never so for long, for it is incapable of perseverance. It cannot
tolerate any delay between its desire and the fulfilment of what it
desires. It has a sense of omnipotence; the notion of impossibility
disappears for the individual in a group.[10]

A group is extraordinarily credulous and open to influence, it has no
critical faculty, and the improbable does not exist for it. It thinks in
images, which call one another up by association (just as they arise
with individuals in states of free imagination), and whose agreement
with reality is never checked by any reasonable function
[_Instanz_].[11] The feelings of a group are always very simple and very
exaggerated. So that a group knows neither doubt nor uncertainty.[12]

It goes directly to extremes; if a suspicion is expressed, it is
instantly changed into an incontrovertible certainty; a trace of
antipathy is turned into furious hatred (p. 56).[13]

Inclined as it itself is to all extremes, a group can only be excited by
an excessive stimulus. Anyone who wishes to produce an effect upon it
needs no logical adjustment in his arguments; he must paint in the most
forcible colours, he must exaggerate, and he must repeat the same thing
again and again.

Since a group is in no doubt as to what constitutes truth or error, and
is conscious, moreover, of its own great strength, it is as intolerant
as it is obedient to authority. It respects force and can only be
slightly influenced by kindness, which it regards merely as a form of
weakness. What it demands of its heroes is strength, or even violence.
It wants to be ruled and oppressed and to fear its masters.
Fundamentally it is entirely conservative, and it has a deep aversion
from all innovations and advances and an unbounded respect for tradition
(p. 62).

In order to make a correct judgement upon the morals of groups, one must
take into consideration the fact that when individuals come together in
a group all their individual inhibitions fall away and all the cruel,
brutal and destructive instincts, which lie dormant in individuals as
relics of a primitive epoch, are stirred up to find free gratification.
But under the influence of suggestion groups are also capable of high
achievements in the shape of abnegation, unselfishness, and devotion to
an ideal. While with isolated individuals personal interest is almost
the only motive force, with groups it is very rarely prominent. It is
possible to speak of an individual having his moral standards raised by
a group (p. 65). Whereas the intellectual capacity of a group is always
far below that of an individual, its ethical conduct may rise as high
above his as it may sink deep below it.

Some other features in Le Bon's description show in a clear light how
well justified is the identification of the group mind with the mind of
primitive people. In groups the most contradictory ideas can exist side
by side and tolerate each other, without any conflict arising from the
logical contradiction between them. But this is also the case in the
unconscious mental life of individuals, of children and of neurotics, as
psycho-analysis has long pointed out.[14]

A group, further, is subject to the truly magical power of words; they
can evoke the most formidable tempests in the group mind, and are also
capable of stilling them (p. 117). 'Reason and arguments are incapable
of combating certain words and formulas. They are uttered with solemnity
in the presence of groups, and as soon as they have been pronounced an
expression of respect is visible on every countenance, and all heads are
bowed. By many they are considered as natural forces, as supernatural
powers.' (p. 117.) It is only necessary in this connection to remember
the taboo upon names among primitive people and the magical powers which
they ascribe to names and words.[15]

And, finally, groups have never thirsted after truth. They demand
illusions, and cannot do without them. They constantly give what is
unreal precedence over what is real; they are almost as strongly
influenced by what is untrue as by what is true. They have an evident
tendency not to distinguish between the two (p. 77).

We have pointed out that this predominance of the life of phantasy and
of the illusion born of an unfulfilled wish is the ruling factor in the
psychology of neuroses. We have found that what neurotics are guided by
is not ordinary objective reality but psychological reality. A
hysterical symptom is based upon phantasy instead of upon the repetition
of real experience, and the sense of guilt in an obsessional neurosis is
based upon the fact of an evil intention which was never carried out.
Indeed, just as in dreams and in hypnosis, in the mental operations of a
group the function for testing the reality of things falls into the
background in comparison with the strength of wishes with their
affective cathexis.[16]

What Le Bon says on the subject of leaders of groups is less exhaustive,
and does not enable us to make out an underlying principle so clearly.
He thinks that as soon as living beings are gathered together in certain
numbers, no matter whether they are a herd of animals or a collection of
human beings, they place themselves instinctively under the authority
of a chief (p. 134). A group is an obedient herd, which could never live
without a master. It has such a thirst for obedience that it submits
instinctively to anyone who appoints himself its master.

Although in this way the needs of a group carry it half-way to meet the
leader, yet he too must fit in with it in his personal qualities. He
must himself be held in fascination by a strong faith (in an idea) in
order to awaken the group's faith; he must possess a strong and imposing
will, which the group, which has no will of its own, can accept from
him. Le Bon then discusses the different kinds of leaders, and the means
by which they work upon the group. On the whole he believes that the
leaders make themselves felt by means of the ideas in which they
themselves are fanatical believers.

Moreover, he ascribes both to the ideas and to the leaders a mysterious
and irresistible power, which he calls 'prestige'. Prestige is a sort of
domination exercised over us by an individual, a work or an idea. It
entirely paralyses our critical faculty, and fills us with astonishment
and respect. It would seem to arouse a feeling like that of fascination
in hypnosis (p. 148). He distinguishes between acquired or artificial
and personal prestige. The former is attached to persons in virtue of
their name, fortune and reputation, and to opinions, works of art, etc.,
in virtue of tradition. Since in every case it harks back to the past,
it cannot be of much help to us in understanding this puzzling
influence. Personal prestige is attached to a few people, who become
leaders by means of it, and it has the effect of making everything obey
them as though by the operation of some magnetic magic. All prestige,
however, is also dependent upon success, and is lost in the event of
failure (p. 159).

We cannot feel that Le Bon has brought the function of the leader and
the importance of prestige completely into harmony with his brilliantly
executed picture of the group mind.



We have made use of Le Bon's description by way of introduction, because
it fits in so well with our own Psychology in the emphasis which it lays
upon unconscious mental life. But we must now add that as a matter of
fact none of that author's statements bring forward anything new.
Everything that he says to the detriment and depreciation of the
manifestations of the group mind had already been said by others before
him with equal distinctness and equal hostility, and has been repeated
in unison by thinkers, statesmen and writers since the earliest periods
of literature.[17] The two theses which comprise the most important of
Le Bon's opinions, those touching upon the collective inhibition of
intellectual functioning and the heightening of affectivity in groups,
had been formulated shortly before by Sighele.[18] At bottom, all that
is left over as being peculiar to Le Bon are the two notions of the
unconscious and of the comparison with the mental life of primitive
people, and even these had naturally often been alluded to before him.

But, what is more, the description and estimate of the group mind as
they have been given by Le Bon and the rest have not by any means been
left undisputed. There is no doubt that all the phenomena of the group
mind which have just been mentioned have been correctly observed, but it
is also possible to distinguish other manifestations of the group
formation, which operate in a precisely opposite sense, and from which a
much higher opinion of the group mind must necessarily follow.

Le Bon himself was prepared to admit that in certain circumstances the
morals of a group can be higher than those of the individuals that
compose it, and that only collectivities are capable of a high degree of
unselfishness and devotion. 'While with isolated individuals personal
interest is almost the only motive force, with groups it is very rarely
prominent.' (p. 65.) Other writers adduce the fact that it is only
society which prescribes any ethical standards at all for the
individual, while he as a rule fails in one way or another to come up to
its high demands. Or they point out that in exceptional circumstances
there may arise in communities the phenomenon of enthusiasm, which has
made the most splendid group achievements possible.

As regards intellectual work it remains a fact, indeed, that great
decisions in the realm of thought and momentous discoveries and
solutions of problems are only possible to an individual, working in
solitude. But even the group mind is capable of genius in intellectual
creation, as is shown above all by language itself, as well as by
folk-song, folk-lore and the like. It remains an open question,
moreover, how much the individual thinker or writer owes to the
stimulation of the group in which he lives, or whether he does more than
perfect a mental work in which the others have had a simultaneous share.

In face of these completely contradictory accounts, it looks as though
the work of Group Psychology were bound to come to an ineffectual end.
But it is easy to find a more hopeful escape from the dilemma. A number
of very different formations have probably been merged under the term
'group' and may require to be distinguished. The assertions of Sighele,
Le Bon and the rest relate to groups of a short-lived character, which
some passing interest has hastily agglomerated out of various sorts of
individuals. The characteristics of revolutionary groups, and
especially those of the great French Revolution, have unmistakably
influenced their descriptions. The opposite opinions owe their origin to
the consideration of those stable groups or associations in which
mankind pass their lives, and which are embodied in the institutions of
society. Groups of the first kind stand in the same sort of relation to
those of the second as a high but choppy sea to a ground swell.

McDougall, in his book on _The Group Mind_,[19] starts out from the same
contradiction that has just been mentioned, and finds a solution for it
in the factor of organisation. In the simplest case, he says, the
'group' possesses no organisation at all or one scarcely deserving the
name. He describes a group of this kind as a 'crowd'. But he admits that
a crowd of human beings can hardly come together without possessing at
all events the rudiments of an organisation, and that precisely in these
simple groups many of the fundamental facts of Collective Psychology can
be observed with special ease (p. 22). Before the members of a random
crowd of people can constitute something in the nature of a group in the
psychological sense of the word, a condition has to be fulfilled; these
individuals must have something in common with one another, a common
interest in an object, a similar emotional bias in some situation or
other, and ('consequently', I should like to interpolate) 'some degree
of reciprocal influence' (p. 23). The higher the degree of 'this mental
homogeneity', the more readily do the individuals form a psychological
group, and the more striking are the manifestations of a group mind.

The most remarkable and also the most important result of the formation
of a group is the 'exaltation or intensification of emotion' produced in
every member of it (p. 24). In McDougall's opinion men's emotions are
stirred in a group to a pitch that they seldom or never attain under
other conditions; and it is a pleasurable experience for those who are
concerned to surrender themselves so unreservedly to their passions and
thus to become merged in the group and to lose the sense of the limits
of their individuality. The manner in which individuals are thus carried
away by a common impulse is explained by McDougall by means of what he
calls the 'principle of direct induction of emotion by way of the
primitive sympathetic response' (p. 25), that is, by means of the
emotional contagion with which we are already familiar. The fact is that
the perception of the signs of an emotional state is calculated
automatically to arouse the same emotion in the person who perceives
them. The greater the number of people in whom the same emotion can be
simultaneously observed, the stronger does this automatic compulsion
grow. The individual loses his power of criticism, and lets himself slip
into the same emotion. But in so doing he increases the excitement of
the other people, who had produced this effect upon him, and thus the
emotional charge of the individuals becomes intensified by mutual
interaction. Something is unmistakably at work in the nature of a
compulsion to do the same as the others, to remain in harmony with the
many. The coarser and simpler emotions are the more apt to spread
through a group in this way (p. 39).

This mechanism for the intensification of emotion is favoured by some
other influences which emanate from groups. A group impresses the
individual with a sense of unlimited power and of insurmountable peril.
For the moment it replaces the whole of human society, which is the
wielder of authority, whose punishments the individual fears, and for
whose sake he has submitted to so many inhibitions. It is clearly
perilous for him to put himself in opposition to it, and it will be
safer to follow the example of those around him and perhaps even 'hunt
with the pack'. In obedience to the new authority he may put his former
'conscience' out of action, and so surrender to the attraction of the
increased pleasure that is certainly obtained from the removal of
inhibitions. On the whole, therefore, it is not so remarkable that we
should see an individual in a group doing or approving things which he
would have avoided in the normal conditions of life; and in this way we
may even hope to clear up a little of the mystery which is so often
covered by the enigmatic word 'suggestion'.

McDougall does not dispute the thesis as to the collective inhibition of
intelligence in groups (p. 41). He says that the minds of lower
intelligence bring down those of a higher order to their own level. The
latter are obstructed in their activity, because in general an
intensification of emotion creates unfavourable conditions for sound
intellectual work, and further because the individuals are intimidated
by the group and their mental activity is not free, and because there is
a lowering in each individual of his sense of responsibility for his own

The judgement with which McDougall sums up the psychological behaviour
of a simple 'unorganised' group is no more friendly than that of Le Bon.
Such a group 'is excessively emotional, impulsive, violent, fickle,
inconsistent, irresolute and extreme in action, displaying only the
coarser emotions and the less refined sentiments; extremely suggestible,
careless in deliberation, hasty in judgment, incapable of any but the
simpler and imperfect forms of reasoning; easily swayed and led,
lacking in self-consciousness, devoid of self-respect and of sense of
responsibility, and apt to be carried away by the consciousness of its
own force, so that it tends to produce all the manifestations we have
learnt to expect of any irresponsible and absolute power. Hence its
behaviour is like that of an unruly child or an untutored passionate
savage in a strange situation, rather than like that of its average
member; and in the worst cases it is like that of a wild beast, rather
than like that of human beings.' (p. 45.)

Since McDougall contrasts the behaviour of a highly organised group with
what has just been described, we shall be particularly interested to
learn in what this organisation consists, and by what factors it is
produced. The author enumerates five 'principal conditions' for raising
collective mental life to a higher level.

The first and fundamental condition is that there should be some degree
of continuity of existence in the group. This may be either material or
formal; the former, if the same individuals persist in the group for
some time; and the latter, if there is developed within the group a
system of fixed positions which are occupied by a succession of

The second condition is that in the individual member of the group some
definite idea should be formed of the nature, composition, functions and
capacities of the group, so that from this he may develop an emotional
relation to the group as a whole.

The third is that the group should be brought into interaction (perhaps
in the form of rivalry) with other groups similar to it but differing
from it in many respects.

The fourth is that the group should possess traditions, customs and
habits, and especially such as determine the relations of its members to
one another.

The fifth is that the group should have a definite structure, expressed
in the specialisation and differentiation of the functions of its

According to McDougall, if these conditions are fulfilled, the
psychological disadvantages of the group formation are removed. The
collective lowering of intellectual ability is avoided by withdrawing
the performance of intellectual tasks from the group and reserving them
for individual members of it.

It seems to us that the condition which McDougall designates as the
'organisation' of a group can with more justification be described in
another way. The problem consists in how to procure for the group
precisely those features which were characteristic of the individual and
which are extinguished in him by the formation of the group. For the
individual, outside the primitive group, possessed his own continuity,
his self-consciousness, his traditions and customs, his own particular
functions and position, and kept apart from his rivals. Owing to his
entry into an 'unorganised' group he had lost this distinctiveness for a
time. If we thus recognise that the aim is to equip the group with the
attributes of the individual, we shall be reminded of a valuable remark
of Trotter's,[20] to the effect that the tendency towards the formation
of groups is biologically a continuation of the multicellular character
of all the higher organisms.



We started from the fundamental fact that an individual in a group is
subjected through its influence to what is often a profound alteration
in his mental activity. His emotions become extraordinarily intensified,
while his intellectual ability becomes markedly reduced, both processes
being evidently in the direction of an approximation to the other
individuals in the group; and this result can only be reached by the
removal of those inhibitions upon his instincts which are peculiar to
each individual, and by his resigning those expressions of his
inclinations which are especially his own. We have heard that these
often unwelcome consequences are to some extent at least prevented by a
higher 'organisation' of the group; but this does not contradict the
fundamental fact of Group Psychology--the two theses as to the
intensification of the emotions and the inhibition of the intellect in
primitive groups. Our interest is now directed to discovering the
psychological explanation of this mental change which is experienced by
the individual in a group.

It is clear that rational factors (such as the intimidation of the
individual which has already been mentioned, that is, the action of his
instinct of self-preservation) do not cover the observable phenomena.
Beyond this what we are offered as an explanation by authorities upon
Sociology and Group Psychology is always the same, even though it is
given various names, and that is--the magic word 'suggestion'. Tarde
calls it 'imitation'; but we cannot help agreeing with a writer who
protests that imitation comes under the concept of suggestion, and is in
fact one of its results.[21] Le Bon traces back all the puzzling
features of social phenomena to two factors: the mutual suggestion of
individuals and the prestige of leaders. But prestige, again, is only
recognizable by its capacity for evoking suggestion. McDougall for a
moment gives us an impression that his principle of 'primitive induction
of emotion' might enable us to do without the assumption of suggestion.
But on further consideration we are forced to perceive that this
principle says no more than the familiar assertions about 'imitation' or
'contagion', except for a decided stress upon the emotional factor.
There is no doubt that something exists in us which, when we become
aware of signs of an emotion in someone else, tends to make us fall into
the same emotion; but how often do we not successfully oppose it, resist
the emotion, and react in quite an opposite way? Why, therefore, do we
invariably give way to this contagion when we are in a group? Once more
we should have to say that what compels us to obey this tendency is
imitation, and what induces the emotion in us is the group's suggestive
influence. Moreover, quite apart from this, McDougall does not enable us
to evade suggestion; we hear from him as well as from other writers that
groups are distinguished by their special suggestibility.

We shall therefore be prepared for the statement that suggestion (or
more correctly suggestibility) is actually an irreducible, primitive
phenomenon, a fundamental fact in the mental life of man. Such, too, was
the opinion of Bernheim, of whose astonishing arts I was a witness in
the year 1889. But I can remember even then feeling a muffled hostility
to this tyranny of suggestion. When a patient who showed himself
unamenable was met with the shout: 'What are you doing? _Vous vous
contresuggestionnez!_', I said to myself that this was an evident
injustice and an act of violence. For the man certainly had a right to
counter-suggestions if they were trying to subdue him with suggestions.
Later on my resistance took the direction of protesting against the view
that suggestion, which explained everything, was itself to be preserved
from explanation. Thinking of it, I repeated the old conundrum:[22]

            Christoph trug Christum,
            Christus trug die ganze Welt,
            Sag' wo hat Christoph
            Damals hin den Fuss gestellt?[23]

Christophorus Christum, sed Christus sustulit orbem:
    Constiterit pedibus dic ubi Christophorus?

Now that I once more approach the riddle of suggestion after having kept
away from it for some thirty years, I find there is no change in the
situation. To this statement I can discover only a single exception,
which I need not mention, since it is one which bears witness to the
influence of psycho-analysis. I notice that particular efforts are being
made to formulate the concept of suggestion correctly, that is, to fix
the conventional use of the name.[24] And this is by no means
superfluous, for the word is acquiring a more and more extended use and
a looser and looser meaning, and will soon come to designate any sort of
influence whatever, just as in English, where 'to suggest' and
'suggestion' correspond to our _nahelegen_ and _Anregung_. But there has
been no explanation of the nature of suggestion, that is, of the
conditions under which influence without adequate logical foundation
takes place. I should not avoid the task of supporting this statement by
an analysis of the literature of the last thirty years, if I were not
aware that an exhaustive inquiry is being undertaken close at hand which
has in view the fulfilment of this very task.

Instead of this I shall make an attempt at using the concept of _libido_
for the purpose of throwing light upon Group Psychology, a concept which
has done us such good service in the study of psycho-neuroses.

Libido is an expression taken from the theory of the emotions. We call
by that name the energy (regarded as a quantitative magnitude, though
not at present actually mensurable) of those instincts which have to do
with all that may be comprised under the word 'love'. The nucleus of
what we mean by love naturally consists (and this is what is commonly
called love, and what the poets sing of) in sexual love with sexual
union as its aim. But we do not separate from this--what in any case
has a share in the name 'love'--on the one hand, self-love, and on the
other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity
in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas.
Our justification lies in the fact that psycho-analytic research has
taught us that all these tendencies are an expression of the same
instinctive activities; in relations between the sexes these instincts
force their way towards sexual union, but in other circumstances they
are diverted from this aim or are prevented from reaching it, though
always preserving enough of their original nature to keep their identity
recognizable (as in such features as the longing for proximity, and

We are of opinion, then, that language has carried out an entirely
justifiable piece of unification in creating the word 'love' with its
numerous uses, and that we cannot do better than take it as the basis of
our scientific discussions and expositions as well. By coming to this
decision, psycho-analysis has let loose a storm of indignation, as
though it had been guilty of an act of outrageous innovation. Yet
psycho-analysis has done nothing original in taking love in this 'wider'
sense. In its origin, function, and relation to sexual love, the
'_Eros_' of the philosopher Plato coincides exactly with the love force,
the libido, of psycho-analysis, as has been shown in detail by
Nachmansohn and Pfister;[25] and when the apostle Paul, in his famous
epistle to the Corinthians, prizes love above all else, he certainly
understands it in the same 'wider' sense.[26] But this only shows that
men do not always take their great thinkers seriously, even when they
profess most to admire them.

Psycho-analysis, then, gives these love instincts the name of sexual
instincts, a _potiori_ and by reason of their origin. The majority of
'educated' people have taken their revenge by retorting upon
psycho-analysis with the reproach of 'pan-sexualism'. Anyone who
considers sex as something mortifying and humiliating to human nature is
at liberty to make use of the more genteel expressions 'Eros' and
'erotic'. I might have done so myself from the first and thus have
spared myself much opposition. But I did not want to, for I like to
avoid concessions to faint-heartedness. One can never tell where that
road may lead one; one gives way first in words, and then little by
little in substance too. I cannot see any merit in being ashamed of sex;
the Greek word 'Eros', which is to soften the affront, is in the end
nothing more than a translation of our German word _Liebe_ [love]; and
finally, he who knows how to wait need make no concessions.

We will try our fortune, then, with the supposition that love
relationships (or, to use a more neutral expression, emotional ties)
also constitute the essence of the group mind. Let us remember that the
authorities make no mention of any such relations. What would correspond
to them is evidently concealed behind the shelter, the screen, of
suggestion. Our hypothesis finds support in the first instance from two
passing thoughts. First, that a group is clearly held together by a
power of some kind: and to what power could this feat be better ascribed
than to Eros, who holds together everything in the world? Secondly, that
if an individual gives up his distinctiveness in a group and lets its
other members influence him by suggestion, it gives one the impression
that he does it because he feels the need of being in harmony with them
rather than in opposition to them--so that perhaps after all he does it
'_ihnen zu Liebe_'.[27]



We may recall from what we know of the morphology of groups that it is
possible to distinguish very different kinds of groups and opposing
lines in their development. There are very fleeting groups and extremely
lasting ones; homogeneous ones, made up of the same sorts of
individuals, and unhomogeneous ones; natural groups, and artificial
ones, requiring an external force to keep them together; primitive
groups, and highly organised ones with a definite structure. But for
reasons which have yet to be explained we should like to lay particular
stress upon a distinction to which the authorities have rather given too
little attention; I refer to that between leaderless groups and those
with leaders. And, in complete opposition to the usual practice, we
shall not choose a relatively simple group formation as our point of
departure, but shall begin with highly organised, lasting and artificial
groups. The most interesting example of such structures are
churches--communities of believers--and armies.

A church and an army are artificial groups, that is, a certain external
force is employed to prevent them from disintegrating and to check
alterations in their structure. As a rule a person is not consulted or
is given no choice, as to whether he wants to enter such a group; any
attempt at leaving it is usually met with persecution or with severe
punishment, or has quite definite conditions attached to it. It is quite
outside our present interest to enquire why these associations need such
special safeguards. We are only attracted by one circumstance, namely
that certain facts, which are far more concealed in other cases, can be
observed very clearly in those highly organised groups which are
protected from dissolution in the manner that has been mentioned. In a
church (and we may with advantage take the Catholic Church as a type) as
well as in an army, however different the two may be in other respects,
the same illusion holds good of there being a head--in the Catholic
Church Christ, in an army its Commander-in-Chief--who loves all the
individuals in the group with an equal love. Everything depends upon
this illusion; if it were to be dropped, then both Church and army would
dissolve, so far as the external force permitted them to. This equal
love was expressly enunciated by Christ: 'Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' He
stands to the individual members of the group of believers in the
relation of a kind elder brother; he is their father surrogate. All the
demands that are made upon the individual are derived from this love of
Christ's. A democratic character runs through the Church, for the very
reason that before Christ everyone is equal, and that everyone has an
equal share in his love. It is not without a deep reason that the
similarity between the Christian community and a family is invoked, and
that believers call themselves brothers in Christ, that is, brothers
through the love which Christ has for them. There is no doubt that the
tie which unites each individual with Christ is also the cause of the
tie which unites them with one another. The like holds good of an army.
The Commander-in-Chief is a father who loves all his soldiers equally,
and for that reason they are comrades among themselves. The army differs
structurally from the Church in being built up of a series of such
groups. Every captain is, as it were, the Commander-in-Chief and the
father of his company, and so is every non-commissioned officer of his
section. It is true that a similar hierarchy has been constructed in the
Church, but it does not play the same part in it economically; for more
knowledge and care about individuals may be attributed to Christ than
to a human Commander-in-Chief.[28]

It is to be noticed that in these two artificial groups each individual
is bound by libidinal[29] ties on the one hand to the leader (Christ,
the Commander-in-Chief) and on the other hand to the other members of
the group. How these two ties are related to each other, whether they
are of the same kind and the same value, and how they are to be
described psychologically--these questions must be reserved for
subsequent enquiry. But we shall venture even now upon a mild reproach
against the authorities for not having sufficiently appreciated the
importance of the leader in the psychology of the group, while our own
choice of a first object for investigation has brought us into a more
favourable position. It would appear as though we were on the right road
towards an explanation of the principal phenomenon of Group
Psychology--the individual's lack of freedom in a group. If each
individual is bound in two directions by such an intense emotional tie,
we shall find no difficulty in attributing to that circumstance the
alteration and limitation which have been observed in his personality.

A hint to the same effect, that the essence of a group lies in the
libidinal ties existing in it, is also to be found in the phenomenon of
panic, which is best studied in military groups. A panic arises if a
group of that kind becomes disintegrated. Its characteristics are that
none of the orders given by superiors are any longer listened to, and
that each individual is only solicitous on his own account, and without
any consideration for the rest. The mutual ties have ceased to exist,
and a gigantic and senseless dread [_Angst_] is set free. At this point,
again, the objection will naturally be made that it is rather the other
way round; and that the dread has grown so great as to be able to
disregard all ties and all feelings of consideration for others.
McDougall has even (p. 24) made use of the case of panic (though not of
military panic) as a typical instance of that intensification of emotion
by contagion ('primary induction') upon which he lays so much emphasis.
But nevertheless this rational method of explanation is here quite
inadequate. The very question that needs explanation is why the dread
has become so gigantic. The greatness of the danger cannot be
responsible, for the same army which now falls a victim to panic may
previously have faced equally great or greater danger with complete
success; it is of the very essence of panic that it bears no relation to
the danger that threatens, and often breaks out upon the most trivial
occasions. If an individual in panic dread begins to be solicitous only
on his own account, he bears witness in so doing to the fact that the
emotional ties, which have hitherto made the danger seem small to him,
have ceased to exist. Now that he is by himself in facing the danger,
he may surely think it greater. The fact is, therefore, that panic dread
presupposes a relaxation in the libidinal structure of the group and
reacts to it in a justifiable manner, and the contrary view--that the
libidinal ties of the group are destroyed owing to dread in the face of
the danger--can be refuted.

The contention that dread in a group is increased to enormous
proportions by means of induction (contagion) is not in the least
contradicted by these remarks. McDougall's view meets the case entirely
when the danger is a really great one and when the group has no strong
emotional ties--conditions which are fulfilled, for instance, when a
fire breaks out in a theatre or a place of amusement. But the really
instructive case and the one which can be best employed for our purposes
is that mentioned above, in which a body of troops breaks into a panic
although the danger has not increased beyond a degree that is usual and
has often been previously faced. It is not to be expected that the usage
of the word 'panic' should be clearly and unambiguously determined.
Sometimes it is used to describe any collective dread, sometimes even
dread in an individual when it exceeds all bounds, and often the name
seems to be reserved for cases in which the outbreak of dread is not
warranted by the occasion. If we take the word 'panic' in the sense of
collective dread, we can establish a far-reaching analogy. Dread in an
individual is provoked either by the greatness of a danger or by the
cessation of emotional ties (libidinal cathexes[30]
[_Libidobesetzungen_]); the latter is the case of neurotic dread.[31] In
just the same way panic arises either owing to an increase of the common
danger or owing to the disappearance of the emotional ties which hold
the group together; and the latter case is analogous to that of neurotic

Anyone who, like McDougall (l.c.), describes a panic as one of the
plainest functions of the 'group mind', arrives at the paradoxical
position that this group mind does away with itself in one of its most
striking manifestations. It is impossible to doubt that panic means the
disintegration of a group; it involves the cessation of all the feelings
of consideration which the members of the group otherwise show one

The typical occasion of the outbreak of a panic is very much as it is
represented in Nestroy's parody of Hebbel's play about Judith and
Holofernes. A soldier cries out: "The general has lost his head!" and
thereupon all the Assyrians take to flight. The loss of the leader in
some sense or other, the birth, of misgivings about him, brings on the
outbreak of panic, though the danger remains the same; the mutual ties
between the members of the group disappear, as a rule, at the same time
as the tie with their leader. The group vanishes in dust, like a Bologna
flask when its top is broken off.

The dissolution of a religious group is not so easy to observe. A short
time ago there came into my hands an English novel of Catholic origin,
recommended by the Bishop of London, with the title _When It Was Dark_.
It gave a clever and, as it seems to me, a convincing picture of such a
possibility and its consequences. The novel, which is supposed to
relate to the present day, tells how a conspiracy of enemies of the
figure of Christ and of the Christian faith succeed in arranging for a
sepulchre to be discovered in Jerusalem. In this sepulchre is an
inscription, in which Joseph of Arimathaea confesses that for reasons of
piety he secretly removed the body of Christ from its grave on the third
day after its entombment and buried it in this spot. The resurrection of
Christ and his divine nature are by this means disposed of, and the
result of this archaeological discovery is a convulsion in European
civilisation and an extraordinary increase in all crimes and acts of
violence, which only ceases when the forgers' plot has been revealed.

The phenomenon which accompanies the dissolution that is here supposed
to overtake a religious group is not dread, for which the occasion is
wanting. Instead of it ruthless and hostile impulses towards other
people make their appearance, which, owing to the equal love of Christ,
they had previously been unable to do.[33] But even during the kingdom
of Christ those people who do not belong to the community of believers,
who do not love him, and whom he does not love, stand outside this tie.
Therefore a religion, even if it calls itself the religion of love,
must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.
Fundamentally indeed every religion is in this same way a religion of
love for all those whom it embraces; while cruelty and intolerance
towards those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion.
However difficult we may find it personally, we ought not to reproach
believers too severely on this account; people who are unbelieving or
indifferent are so much better off psychologically in this respect. If
to-day that intolerance no longer shows itself so violent and cruel as
in former centuries, we can scarcely conclude that there has been a
softening in human manners. The cause is rather to be found in the
undeniable weakening of religious feelings and the libidinal ties which
depend upon them. If another group tie takes the place of the religious
one--and the socialistic tie seems to be succeeding in doing so--, then
there will be the same intolerance towards outsiders as in the age of
the Wars of Religion; and if differences between scientific opinions
could ever attain a similar significance for groups, the same result
would again be repeated with this new motivation.



We have hitherto considered two artificial groups and have found that
they are dominated by two emotional ties. One of these, the tie with the
leader, seems (at all events for these cases) to be more of a ruling
factor than the other, which holds between the members of the group.

Now much else remains to be examined and described in the morphology of
groups. We should have to start from the ascertained fact that a mere
collection of people is not a group, so long as these ties have not been
established in it; but we should have to admit that in any collection of
people the tendency to form a psychological group may very easily become
prominent. We should have to give our attention to the different kinds
of groups, more or less stable, that arise spontaneously, and to study
the conditions of their origin and of their dissolution. We should above
all be concerned with the distinction between groups which have a
leader and leaderless groups. We should consider whether groups with
leaders may not be the more primitive and complete, whether in the
others an idea, an abstraction, may not be substituted for the leader (a
state of things to which religious groups, with their invisible head,
form a transition stage), and whether a common tendency, a wish in which
a number of people can have a share, may not in the same way serve as a
substitute. This abstraction, again, might be more or less completely
embodied in the figure of what we might call a secondary leader, and
interesting varieties would arise from the relation between the idea and
the leader. The leader or the leading idea might also, so to speak, be
negative; hatred against a particular person or institution might
operate in just the same unifying way, and might call up the same kind
of emotional ties as positive attachment. Then the question would also
arise whether a leader is really indispensable to the essence of a
group--and other questions besides.

But all these questions, which may, moreover, have been dealt with in
part in the literature of Group Psychology, will not succeed in
diverting our interest from the fundamental psychological problems that
confront us in the structure of a group. And our attention will first be
attracted by a consideration which promises to bring us in the most
direct way to a proof that libidinal ties are what characterize a

Let us keep before our eyes the nature of the emotional relations which
hold between men in general. According to Schopenhauer's famous simile
of the freezing porcupines no one can tolerate a too intimate approach
to his neighbour.[34]

The evidence of psycho-analysis shows that almost every intimate
emotional relation between two people which lasts for some
time--marriage, friendship, the relations between parents and
children[35]--leaves a sediment of feelings of aversion and hostility,
which have first to be eliminated by repression. This is less disguised
in the common wrangles between business partners or in the grumbles of a
subordinate at his superior. The same thing happens when men come
together in larger units. Every time two families become connected by a
marriage, each of them thinks itself superior to or of better birth than
the other. Of two neighbouring towns each is the other's most jealous
rival; every little canton looks down upon the others with contempt.
Closely related races keep one another at arm's length; the South German
cannot endure the North German, the Englishman casts every kind of
aspersion upon the Scotchman, the Spaniard despises the Portuguese. We
are no longer astonished that greater differences should lead to an
almost insuperable repugnance, such as the Gallic people feel for the
German, the Aryan for the Semite, and the white races for the coloured.

When this hostility is directed against people who are otherwise loved
we describe it as ambivalence of feeling; and we explain the fact, in
what is probably far too rational a manner, by means of the numerous
occasions for conflicts of interest which arise precisely in such
intimate relations. In the undisguised antipathies and aversions which
people feel towards strangers with whom they have to do we may recognize
the expression of self-love--of narcissism. This self-love works for the
self-assertion of the individual, and behaves as though the occurrence
of any divergence from his own particular lines of development involved
a criticism of them and a demand for their alteration. We do not know
why such sensitiveness should have been directed to just these details
of differentiation; but it is unmistakable that in this whole connection
men give evidence of a readiness for hatred, an aggressiveness, the
source of which is unknown, and to which one is tempted to ascribe an
elementary character.[36]

But the whole of this intolerance vanishes, temporarily or permanently,
as the result of the formation of a group, and in a group. So long as a
group formation persists or so far as it extends, individuals behave as
though they were uniform, tolerate other people's peculiarities, put
themselves on an equal level with them, and have no feeling of aversion
towards them. Such a limitation of narcissism can, according to our
theoretical views, only be produced by one factor, a libidinal tie with
other people. Love for oneself knows only one barrier--love for others,
love for objects.[37] The question will at once be raised whether
community of interest in itself, without any addition of libido, must
not necessarily lead to the toleration of other people and to
considerateness for them. This objection may be met by the reply that
nevertheless no lasting limitation of narcissism is effected in this
way, since this tolerance does not persist longer than the immediate
advantage gained from the other people's collaboration. But the
practical importance of the discussion is less than might be supposed,
for experience has shown that in cases of collaboration libidinal ties
are regularly formed between the fellow-workers which prolong and
solidify the relation between them to a point beyond what is merely
profitable. The same thing occurs in men's social relations as has
become familiar to psycho-analytic research in the course of the
development of the individual libido. The libido props itself upon the
satisfaction of the great vital needs, and chooses as its first objects
the people who have a share in that process. And in the development of
mankind as a whole, just as in individuals, love alone acts as the
civilizing factor in the sense that it brings a change from egoism to
altruism. And this is true both of the sexual love for women, with all
the obligations which it involves of sparing what women are fond of, and
also of the desexualised, sublimated homosexual love for other men,
which springs from work in common. If therefore in groups narcissistic
self-love is subject to limitations which do not operate outside them,
that is cogent evidence that the essence of a group formation consists
in a new kind of libidinal ties among the members of the group.

But our interest now leads us on to the pressing question as to what may
be the nature of these ties which exist in groups. In the
psycho-analytic study of neuroses we have hitherto been occupied almost
exclusively with ties that unite with their objects those love instincts
which still pursue directly sexual aims. In groups there can evidently
be no question of sexual aims of that kind. We are concerned here with
love instincts which have been diverted from their original aims, though
they do not operate with less energy on that account. Now we have
already observed within the range of the usual sexual object-cathexis
[_Objektbesetzung_] phenomena which represent a diversion of the
instinct from its sexual aim. We have described them as degrees of being
in love, and have recognized that they involve a certain encroachment
upon the ego. We shall now turn our attention more closely to these
phenomena of being in love, in the firm expectation of finding in them
conditions which can be transferred to the ties that exist in groups.
But we should also like to know whether this kind of object-cathexis, as
we know it in sexual life, represents the only manner of emotional tie
with other people, or whether we must take other mechanisms of the sort
into account. As a matter of fact we learn from psycho-analysis that
there do exist other mechanisms for emotional ties, the so-called
_identifications_, insufficiently-known processes and hard to describe,
the investigation of which will for some time keep us away from the
subject of Group Psychology.



Identification is known to psycho-analysis as the earliest expression of
an emotional tie with another person. It plays a part in the early
history of the Oedipus complex. A little boy will exhibit a special
interest in his father; he would like to grow like him and be like him,
and take his place everywhere. We may say simply that he takes his
father as his ideal. This behaviour has nothing to do with a passive or
feminine attitude towards his father (and towards males in general); it
is on the contrary typically masculine. It fits in very well with the
Oedipus complex, for which it helps to prepare the way.

At the same time as this identification with his father, or a little
later, the boy has begun to develop a true object-cathexis towards his
mother according to the anaclitic type [_Anlehnungstypus_].[38] He then
exhibits, therefore, two psychologically distinct ties: a
straightforward sexual object-cathexis towards his mother and a typical
identification towards his father. The two subsist side by side for a
time without any mutual influence or interference. In consequence of the
irresistible advance towards a unification of mental life they come
together at last; and the normal Oedipus complex originates from their
confluence. The little boy notices that his father stands in his way
with his mother. His identification with his father then takes on a
hostile colouring and becomes identical with the wish to replace his
father in regard to his mother as well. Identification, in fact, is
ambivalent from the very first; it can turn into an expression of
tenderness as easily as into a wish for someone's removal. It behaves
like a derivative of the first _oral_ phase of the organisation of the
libido, in which the object that we long for and prize is assimilated by
eating and is in that way annihilated as such. The cannibal, as we know,
has remained at this standpoint; he has a devouring affection for his
enemies and only devours people of whom he is fond.[39]

The subsequent history of this identification with the father may easily
be lost sight of. It may happen that the Oedipus complex becomes
inverted, and that the father is taken as the object of a feminine
attitude, an object from which the directly sexual instincts look for
satisfaction; in that event the identification with the father has
become the precursor of an object tie with the father. The same holds
good, with the necessary substitutions, of the baby daughter as well.

It is easy to state in a formula the distinction between an
identification with the father and the choice of the father as an
object. In the first case one's father is what one would like to _be_,
and in the second he is what one would like to _have_. The distinction,
that is, depends upon whether the tie attaches to the subject or to the
object of the ego. The former is therefore already possible before any
sexual object-choice has been made. It is much more difficult to give a
clear metapsychological representation of the distinction. We can only
see that identification endeavours to mould a person's own ego after the
fashion of the one that has been taken as a 'model'.

Let us disentangle identification as it occurs in the structure of a
neurotic symptom from its rather complicated connections. Supposing that
a little girl (and we will keep to her for the present) develops the
same painful symptom as her mother--for instance, the same tormenting
cough. Now this may come about in various ways. The identification may
come from the Oedipus complex; in that case it signifies a hostile
desire on the girl's part to take her mother's place, and the symptom
expresses her object love towards her father, and brings about a
realisation, under the influence of a sense of guilt, of her desire to
take her mother's place: 'You wanted to be your mother, and now you
_are_--anyhow as far as the pain goes'. This is the complete mechanism
of the structure of a hysterical symptom. Or, on the other hand, the
symptom may be the same as that of the person who is loved--(so, for
instance, Dora in the 'Bruchstück einer Hysterieanalyse'[40] imitated
her father's cough); in that case we can only describe the state of
things by saying that _identification has appeared instead of
object-choice, and that object-choice has regressed to identification_.
We have heard that identification is the earliest and original form of
emotional tie; it often happens that under the conditions in which
symptoms are constructed, that is, where there is repression and where
the mechanisms of the unconscious are dominant, object-choice is turned
back into identification--the ego, that is, assumes the characteristics
of the object. It is noticeable that in these identifications the ego
sometimes copies the person who is not loved and sometimes the one who
is loved. It must also strike us that in both cases the identification
is a partial and extremely limited one and only borrows a single trait
from the person who is its object.

There is a third particularly frequent and important case of symptom
formation, in which the identification leaves any object relation to the
person who is being copied entirely out of account. Supposing, for
instance, that one of the girls in a boarding school has had a letter
from someone with whom she is secretly in love which arouses her
jealousy, and that she reacts to it with a fit of hysterics; then some
of her friends who know about it will contract the fit, as we say, by
means of mental infection. The mechanism is that of identification based
upon the possibility or desire of putting oneself in the same
situation. The other girls would like to have a secret love affair too,
and under the influence of a sense of guilt they also accept the pain
involved in it. It would be wrong to suppose that they take on the
symptom out of sympathy. On the contrary, the sympathy only arises out
of the identification, and this is proved by the fact that infection or
imitation of this kind takes place in circumstances where even less
pre-existing sympathy is to be assumed than usually exists between
friends in a girls' school. One ego has perceived a significant analogy
with another upon one point--in our example upon a similar readiness for
emotion; an identification is thereupon constructed on this point, and,
under the influence of the pathogenic situation, is displaced on to the
symptom which the one ego has produced. The identification by means of
the symptom has thus become the mark of a point of coincidence between
the two egos which has to be kept repressed.

What we have learned from these three sources may be summarised as
follows. First, identification is the original form of emotional tie
with an object; secondly, in a regressive way it becomes a substitute
for a libidinal object tie, as it were by means of the introjection of
the object into the ego; and thirdly, it may arise with every new
perception of a common quality shared with some other person who is not
an object of the sexual instinct. The more important this common
quality is, the more successful may this partial identification become,
and it may thus represent the beginning of a new tie.

We already begin to divine that the mutual tie between members of a
group is in the nature of an identification of this kind, based upon an
important emotional common quality; and we may suspect that this common
quality lies in the nature of the tie with the leader. Another suspicion
may tell us that we are far from having exhausted the problem of
identification, and that we are faced by the process which psychology
calls 'empathy [_Einfühlung_]' and which plays the largest part in our
understanding of what is inherently foreign to our ego in other people.
But we shall here limit ourselves to the immediate emotional effects of
identification, and shall leave on one side its significance for our
intellectual life.

Psycho-analytic research, which has already occasionally attacked the
more difficult problems of the psychoses, has also been able to exhibit
identification to us in some other cases which are not immediately
comprehensible. I shall treat two of these cases in detail as material
for our further consideration.

The genesis of male homosexuality in a large class of cases is as
follows. A young man has been unusually long and intensely fixated upon
his mother in the sense of the Oedipus complex. But at last, after the
end of his puberty, the time comes for exchanging his mother for some
other sexual object. Things take a sudden turn: the young man does not
abandon his mother, but identifies himself with her; he transforms
himself into her, and now looks about for objects which can replace his
ego for him, and on which he can bestow such love and care as he has
experienced from his mother. This is a frequent process, which can be
confirmed as often as one likes, and which is naturally quite
independent of any hypothesis that may be made as to the organic driving
force and the motives of the sudden transformation. A striking thing
about this identification is its ample scale; it remoulds the ego in one
of its important features--in its sexual character--upon the model of
what has hitherto been the object. In this process the object itself is
renounced--whether entirely or in the sense of being preserved only in
the unconscious is a question outside the present discussion.
Identification with an object that is renounced or lost as a substitute
for it, introjection of this object into the ego, is indeed no longer a
novelty to us. A process of the kind may sometimes be directly observed
in small children. A short time ago an observation of this sort was
published in the _Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse_. A child
who was unhappy over the loss of a kitten declared straight out that now
he himself was the kitten, and accordingly crawled about on all fours,
would not eat at table, etc.[41]

Another such instance of introjection of the object has been provided by
the analysis of melancholia, an affection which counts among the most
remarkable of its exciting causes the real or emotional loss of a loved
object. A leading characteristic of these cases is a cruel
self-depreciation of the ego combined with relentless self-criticism and
bitter self-reproaches. Analyses have shown that this disparagement and
these reproaches apply at bottom to the object and represent the ego's
revenge upon it. The shadow of the object has fallen upon the ego, as I
have said elsewhere.[42] The introjection of the object is here
unmistakably clear.

But these melancholias also show us something else, which may be of
importance for our later discussions. They show us the ego divided,
fallen into two pieces, one of which rages against the second. This
second piece is the one which has been altered by introjection and which
contains the lost object. But the piece which behaves so cruelly is not
unknown to us either. It comprises the conscience, a critical faculty
[_Instanz_][43] within the ego, which even in normal times takes up a
critical attitude towards the ego, though never so relentlessly and so
unjustifiably. On previous occasions we have been driven to the
hypothesis[44] that some such faculty develops in our ego which may cut
itself off from the rest of the ego and come into conflict with it. We
have called it the 'ego ideal', and by way of functions we have ascribed
to it self-observation, the moral conscience, the censorship of dreams,
and the chief influence in repression. We have said that it is the heir
to the original narcissism in which the childish ego found its
self-sufficiency; it gradually gathers up from the influences of the
environment the demands which that environment makes upon the ego and
which the ego cannot always rise to; so that a man, when he cannot be
satisfied with his ego itself, may nevertheless be able to find
satisfaction in the ego ideal which has been differentiated out of the
ego. In delusions of observation, as we have further shown, the
disintegration of this faculty has become patent, and has thus revealed
its origin in the influence of superior powers, and above all of
parents.[45] But we have not forgotten to add that the amount of
distance between this ego ideal and the real ego is very variable from
one individual to another, and that with many people this
differentiation within the ego does not go further than with children.

But before we can employ this material for understanding the libidinal
organisation of groups, we must take into account some other examples of
the mutual relations between the object and the ego.[46]



Even in its caprices the usage of language remains true to some kind of
reality. Thus it gives the name of 'love' to a great many kinds of
emotional relationship which we too group together theoretically as
love; but then again it feels a doubt whether this love is real, true,
actual love, and so hints at a whole scale of possibilities within the
range of the phenomena of love. We shall have no difficulty in making
the same discovery empirically.

In one class of cases being in love is nothing more than object-cathexis
on the part of the sexual instincts with a view to directly sexual
satisfaction, a cathexis which expires, moreover, when this aim has been
reached; this is what is called common, sensual love. But, as we know,
the libidinal situation rarely remains so simple. It was possible to
calculate with certainty upon the revival of the need which had just
expired; and this must no doubt have been the first motive for
directing a lasting cathexis upon the sexual object and for 'loving' it
in the passionless intervals as well.

To this must be added another factor derived from the astonishing course
of development which is pursued by the erotic life of man. In his first
phase, which has usually come to an end by the time he is five years
old, a child has found the first object for his love in one or other of
his parents, and all of his sexual instincts with their demand for
satisfaction have been united upon this object. The repression which
then sets in compels him to renounce the greater number of these
infantile sexual aims, and leaves behind a profound modification in his
relation to his parents. The child still remains tied to his parents,
but by instincts which must be described as being 'inhibited in their
aim [_zielgehemmte_]'. The emotions which he feels henceforward towards
these objects of his love are characterized as 'tender'. It is well
known that the earlier 'sensual' tendencies remain more or less strongly
preserved in the unconscious, so that in a certain sense the whole of
the original current continues to exist.[47]

At puberty, as we know, there set in new and very strong tendencies with
directly sexual aims. In unfavourable cases they remain separate, in the
form of a sensual current, from the 'tender' emotional trends which
persist. We are then faced by a picture the two aspects of which certain
movements in literature take such delight in idealising. A man of this
kind will show a sentimental enthusiasm for women whom he deeply
respects but who do not excite him to sexual activities, and he will
only be potent with other women whom he does not 'love' but thinks
little of or even despises.[48] More often, however, the adolescent
succeeds in bringing about a certain degree of synthesis between the
unsensual, heavenly love and the sensual, earthly love, and his relation
to his sexual object is characterised by the interaction of uninhibited
instincts and of instincts inhibited in their aim. The depth to which
anyone is in love, as contrasted with his purely sensual desire, may be
measured by the size of the share taken by the inhibited instincts of

In connection with this question of being in love we have always been
struck by the phenomenon of sexual over-estimation--the fact that the
loved object enjoys a certain amount of freedom from criticism, and that
all its characteristics are valued more highly than those of people who
are not loved, or than its own were at a time when it itself was not
loved. If the sensual tendencies are somewhat more effectively
repressed or set aside, the illusion is produced that the object has
come to be sensually loved on account of its spiritual merits, whereas
on the contrary these merits may really only have been lent to it by its
sensual charm.

The tendency which falsifies judgement in this respect is that of
_idealisation_. But this makes it easier for us to find our way about.
We see that the object is being treated in the same way as our own ego,
so that when we are in love a considerable amount of narcissistic libido
overflows on to the object. It is even obvious, in many forms of love
choice, that the object serves as a substitute for some unattained ego
ideal of our own. We love it on account of the perfections which we have
striven to reach for our own ego, and which we should now like to
procure in this roundabout way as a means of satisfying our narcissism.

If the sexual over-estimation and the being in love increase even
further, then the interpretation of the picture becomes still more
unmistakable. The tendencies whose trend is towards directly sexual
satisfaction may now be pushed back entirely, as regularly happens, for
instance, with the young man's sentimental passion; the ego becomes more
and more unassuming and modest, and the object more and more sublime and
precious, until at last it gets possession of the entire self-love of
the ego, whose self-sacrifice thus follows as a natural consequence. The
object has, so to speak, consumed the ego. Traits of humility, of the
limitation of narcissism, and of self-injury occur in every case of
being in love; in the extreme case they are only intensified, and as a
result of the withdrawal of the sensual claims they remain in solitary

This happens especially easily with love that is unhappy and cannot be
satisfied; for in spite of everything each sexual satisfaction always
involves a reduction in sexual over-estimation. Contemporaneously with
this 'devotion' of the ego to the object, which is no longer to be
distinguished from a sublimated devotion to an abstract idea, the
functions allotted to the ego ideal entirely cease to operate. The
criticism exercised by that faculty is silent; everything that the
object does and asks for is right and blameless. Conscience has no
application to anything that is done for the sake of the object; in the
blindness of love remorselessness is carried to the pitch of crime. The
whole situation can be completely summarised in a formula: _The object
has taken the place of the ego ideal._

It is now easy to define the distinction between identification and such
extreme developments of being in love as may be described as fascination
or infatuation. In the former case the ego has enriched itself with the
properties of the object, it has 'introjected' the object into itself,
as Ferenczi expresses it. In the second case it is impoverished, it has
surrendered itself to the object, it has substituted the object for its
most important constituent. Closer consideration soon makes it plain,
however, that this kind of account creates an illusion of
contradistinctions that have no real existence. Economically there is no
question of impoverishment or enrichment; it is even possible to
describe an extreme case of being in love as a state in which the ego
has introjected the object into itself. Another distinction is perhaps
better calculated to meet the essence of the matter. In the case of
identification the object has been lost or given up; it is then set up
again inside the ego, and the ego makes a partial alteration in itself
after the model of the lost object. In the other case the object is
retained, and there is a hyper-cathexis of it by the ego and at the
ego's expense. But here again a difficulty presents itself. Is it quite
certain that identification presupposes that object-cathexis has been
given up? Can there be no identification with the object retained? And
before we embark upon a discussion of this delicate question, the
perception may already be beginning to dawn on us that yet another
alternative embraces the real essence of the matter, namely, _whether
the object is put in the place of the ego or of the ego ideal_.

From being in love to hypnosis is evidently only a short step. The
respects in which the two agree are obvious. There is the same humble
subjection, the same compliance, the same absence of criticism, towards
the hypnotist just as towards the loved object. There is the same
absorption of one's own initiative; no one can doubt that the hypnotist
has stepped into the place of the ego ideal. It is only that everything
is even clearer and more intense in hypnosis, so that it would be more
to the point to explain being in love by means of hypnosis than the
other way round. The hypnotist is the sole object, and no attention is
paid to any but him. The fact that the ego experiences in a dream-like
way whatever he may request or assert reminds us that we omitted to
mention among the functions of the ego ideal the business of testing the
reality of things.[49] No wonder that the ego takes a perception for
real if its reality is vouched for by the mental faculty which
ordinarily discharges the duty of testing the reality of things. The
complete absence of tendencies which are uninhibited in their sexual
aims contributes further towards the extreme purity of the phenomena.
The hypnotic relation is the devotion of someone in love to an unlimited
degree but with sexual satisfaction excluded; whereas in the case of
being in love this kind of satisfaction is only temporarily kept back,
and remains in the background as a possible aim at some later time.

But on the other hand we may also say that the hypnotic relation is (if
the expression is permissible) a group formation with two members.
Hypnosis is not a good object for comparison with a group formation,
because it is truer to say that it is identical with it. Out of the
complicated fabric of the group it isolates one element for us--the
behaviour of the individual to the leader. Hypnosis is distinguished
from a group formation by this limitation of number, just as it is
distinguished from being in love by the absence of directly sexual
tendencies. In this respect it occupies a middle position between the

It is interesting to see that it is precisely those sexual tendencies
that are inhibited in their aims which achieve such lasting ties between
men. But this can easily be understood from the fact that they are not
capable of complete satisfaction, while sexual tendencies which are
uninhibited in their aims suffer an extraordinary reduction through the
discharge of energy every time the sexual aim is attained. It is the
fate of sensual love to become extinguished when it is satisfied; for it
to be able to last, it must from the first be mixed with purely tender
components--with such, that is, as are inhibited in their aims--or it
must itself undergo a transformation of this kind.

Hypnosis would solve the riddle of the libidinal constitution of groups
for us straight away, if it were not that it itself exhibits some
features which are not met by the rational explanation we have hitherto
given of it as a state of being in love with the directly sexual
tendencies excluded. There is still a great deal in it which we must
recognise as unexplained and mystical. It contains an additional element
of paralysis derived from the relation between someone with superior
power and someone who is without power and helpless--which may afford a
transition to the hypnosis of terror which occurs in animals. The manner
in which it is produced and its relationship to sleep are not clear; and
the puzzling way in which some people are subject to it, while others
resist it completely, points to some factor still unknown which is
realised in it and which perhaps alone makes possible the purity of the
attitudes of the libido which it exhibits. It is noticeable that, even
when there is complete suggestive compliance in other respects, the
moral conscience of the person hypnotized may show resistance. But this
may be due to the fact that in hypnosis as it is usually practised some
knowledge may be retained that what is happening is only a game, an
untrue reproduction of another situation of far more importance to life.

But after the preceding discussions we are quite in a position to give
the formula for the libidinal constitution of groups: or at least of
such groups as we have hitherto considered, namely, those that have a
leader and have not been able by means of too much 'organisation' to
acquire secondarily the characteristics of an individual. _A primary
group of this kind is a number of individuals who have substituted one
and the same object for their ego ideal and have consequently identified
themselves with one another in their ego._ This condition admits of
graphic representation:




We cannot for long enjoy the illusion that we have solved the riddle of
the group with this formula. It is impossible to escape the immediate
and disturbing recollection that all we have really done has been to
shift the question on to the riddle of hypnosis, about which so many
points have yet to be cleared up. And now another objection shows us our
further path.

It might be said that the intense emotional ties which we observe in
groups are quite sufficient to explain one of their characteristics--the
lack of independence and initiative in their members, the similarity in
the reactions of all of them, their reduction, so to speak, to the level
of group individuals. But if we look at it as a whole, a group shows us
more than this. Some of its features--the weakness of intellectual
ability, the lack of emotional restraint, the incapacity for moderation
and delay, the inclination to exceed every limit in the expression of
emotion and to work it off completely in the form of action--these and
similar features, which we find so impressively described in Le Bon,
show an unmistakable picture of a regression of mental activity to an
earlier stage such as we are not surprised to find among savages or
children. A regression of this sort is in particular an essential
characteristic of common groups, while, as we have heard, in organized
and artificial groups it can to a large extent be checked.

We thus have an impression of a state in which an individual's separate
emotion and personal intellectual act are too weak to come to anything
by themselves and are absolutely obliged to wait till they are
reinforced through being repeated in a similar way in the other members
of the group. We are reminded of how many of these phenomena of
dependence are part of the normal constitution of human society, of how
little originality and personal courage are to be found in it, of how
much every individual is ruled by those attitudes of the group mind
which exhibit themselves in such forms as racial characteristics, class
prejudices, public opinion, etc. The influence of suggestion becomes a
greater riddle for us when we admit that it is not exercised only by the
leader, but by every individual upon every other individual; and we must
reproach ourselves with having unfairly emphasized the relation to the
leader and with having kept the other factor of mutual suggestion too
much in the background.

After this encouragement to modesty, we shall be inclined to listen to
another voice, which promises us an explanation based upon simpler
grounds. Such a one is to be found in Trotter's thoughtful book upon the
herd instinct, concerning which my only regret is that it does not
entirely escape the antipathies that were set loose by the recent great

Trotter derives the mental phenomena that are described as occurring in
groups from a herd instinct ('gregariousness'), which is innate in human
beings just as in other species of animals. Biologically this
gregariousness is an analogy to multicellularity and as it were a
continuation of it. From the standpoint of the libido theory it is a
further manifestation of the inclination, which proceeds from the
libido, and which is felt by all living beings of the same kind, to
combine in more and more comprehensive units.[51] The individual feels
'incomplete' if he is alone. The dread shown by small children would
seem already to be an expression of this herd instinct. Opposition to
the herd is as good as separation from it, and is therefore anxiously
avoided. But the herd turns away from anything that is new or unusual.
The herd instinct would appear to be something primary, something
'which cannot be split up'.

Trotter gives as the list of instincts which he considers as primary
those of self-preservation, of nutrition, of sex, and of the herd. The
last often comes into opposition with the others. The feelings of guilt
and of duty are the peculiar possessions of a gregarious animal. Trotter
also derives from the herd instinct the repressive forces which
psycho-analysis has shown to exist in the ego, and from the same source
accordingly the resistances which the physician comes up against in
psycho-analytic treatment. Speech owes its importance to its aptitude
for mutual understanding in the herd, and upon it the identification of
the individuals with one another largely rests.

While Le Bon is principally concerned with typical transient group
formations, and McDougall with stable associations, Trotter has chosen
as the centre of his interest the most generalised form of assemblage in
which man, that Ϛὡον πολιτικὁν, passes his life, and he gives
us its psychological basis. But Trotter is under no necessity of tracing
back the herd instinct, for he characterizes it as primary and not
further reducible. Boris Sidis's attempt, to which he refers, at tracing
the herd instinct back to suggestibility is fortunately superfluous as
far as he is concerned; it is an explanation of a familiar and
unsatisfactory type, and the converse proposition--that suggestibility
is a derivative of the herd instinct--would seem to me to throw far more
light on the subject.

But Trotter's exposition, with even more justice than the others', is
open to the objection that it takes too little account of the leader's
part in a group, while we incline rather to the opposite judgement, that
it is impossible to grasp the nature of a group if the leader is
disregarded. The herd instinct leaves no room at all for the leader; he
is merely thrown in along with the herd, almost by chance; it follows,
too, that no path leads from this instinct to the need for a God; the
herd is without a herdsman. But besides this Trotter's exposition can be
undermined psychologically; that is to say, it can be made at all events
probable that the herd instinct is not irreducible, that it is not
primary in the same sense as the instinct of self-preservation and the
sexual instinct.

It is naturally no easy matter to trace the ontogenesis of the herd
instinct. The dread which is shown by small children when they are left
alone, and which Trotter claims as being already a manifestation of the
instinct, nevertheless suggests more readily another interpretation. The
dread relates to the child's mother, and later to other familiar
persons, and it is the expression of an unfulfilled desire, which the
child does not yet know how to deal with in any way except by turning
it into dread.[52] Nor is the child's dread when it is alone pacified by
the sight of any haphazard 'member of the herd', but on the contrary it
is only brought into existence by the approach of a 'stranger' of this
sort. Then for a long time nothing in the nature of herd instinct or
group feeling is to be observed in children. Something like it grows up
first of all, in a nursery containing many children, out of the
children's relation to their parents, and it does so as a reaction to
the initial envy with which the elder child receives the younger one.
The elder child would certainly like to put its successor jealously
aside, to keep it away from the parents, and to rob it of all its
privileges; but in face of the fact that this child (like all that come
later) is loved by the parents in just the same way, and in consequence
of the impossibility of maintaining its hostile attitude without
damaging itself, it is forced into identifying itself with the other
children. So there grows up in the troop of children a communal or group
feeling, which is then further developed at school. The first demand
made by this reaction-formation is for justice, for equal treatment for
all. We all know how loudly and implacably this claim is put forward at
school. If one cannot be the favourite oneself, at all events nobody
else shall be the favourite. This transformation--the replacing of
jealousy by a group feeling in the nursery and classroom--might be
considered improbable, if the same process could not later on be
observed again in other circumstances. We have only to think of the
troop of women and girls, all of them in love in an enthusiastically
sentimental way, who crowd round a singer or pianist after his
performance. It would certainly be easy for each of them to be jealous
of the rest; but, in face of their numbers and the consequent
impossibility of their reaching the aim of their love, they renounce it,
and, instead of pulling out one another's hair, they act as a united
group, do homage to the hero of the occasion with their common actions,
and would probably be glad to have a share of his flowing locks.
Originally rivals, they have succeeded in identifying themselves with
one another by means of a similar love for the same object. When, as is
usual, a situation in the field of the instincts is capable of various
outcomes, we need not be surprised if the actual outcome is one which
involves the possibility of a certain amount of satisfaction, while
another, even though in itself more obvious, is passed over because the
circumstances of life prevent its attaining this aim.

What appears later on in society in the shape of _Gemeingeist_, _esprit
de corps_, 'group spirit', etc., does not belie its derivation from what
was originally envy. No one must want to put himself forward, every one
must be the same and have the same. Social justice means that we deny
ourselves many things so that others may have to do without them as
well, or, what is the same thing, may not be able to ask for them. This
demand for equality is the root of social conscience and the sense of
duty. It reveals itself unexpectedly in the syphilitic's dread of
infecting other people, which psycho-analysis has taught us to
understand. The dread exhibited by these poor wretches corresponds to
their violent struggles against the unconscious wish to spread their
infection on to other people; for why should they alone be infected and
cut off from so much? why not other people as well? And the same germ is
to be found in the pretty anecdote of the judgement of Solomon. If one
woman's child is dead, the other shall not have a live one either. The
bereaved woman is recognized by this wish.

Thus social feeling is based upon the reversal of what was first a
hostile feeling into a positively-toned tie of the nature of an
identification. So far as we have hitherto been able to follow the
course of events, this reversal appears to be effected under the
influence of a common tender tie with a person outside the group. We do
not ourselves regard our analysis of identification as exhaustive, but
it is enough for our present purpose that we should revert to this one
feature--its demand that equalization shall be consistently carried
through. We have already heard in the discussion of the two artificial
groups, church and army, that their preliminary condition is that all
their members should be loved in the same way by one person, the leader.
Do not let us forget, however, that the demand for equality in a group
applies only to its members and not to the leader. All the members must
be equal to one another, but they all want to be ruled by one person.
Many equals, who can identify themselves with one another, and a single
person superior to them all--that is the situation that we find realised
in groups which are capable of subsisting. Let us venture, then, to
correct Trotter's pronouncement that man is a herd animal and assert
that he is rather a horde animal, an individual creature in a horde led
by a chief.



In 1912 I took up a conjecture of Darwin's to the effect that the
primitive form of human society was that of a horde ruled over
despotically by a powerful male. I attempted to show that the fortunes
of this horde have left indestructible traces upon the history of human
descent; and, especially, that the development of totemism, which
comprises in itself the beginnings of religion, morality, and social
organisation, is connected with the killing of the chief by violence and
the transformation of the paternal horde into a community of
brothers.[53] To be sure, this is only a hypothesis, like so many others
with which archaeologists endeavour to lighten the darkness of
prehistoric times--a 'Just-So Story', as it was amusingly called by a
not unkind critic (Kroeger); but I think it is creditable to such a
hypothesis if it proves able to bring coherence and understanding into
more and more new regions.

Human groups exhibit once again the familiar picture of an individual of
superior strength among a troop of similar companions, a picture which
is also contained in our idea of the primal horde. The psychology of
such a group, as we know it from the descriptions to which we have so
often referred--the dwindling of the conscious individual personality,
the focussing of thoughts and feelings into a common direction, the
predominance of the emotions and of the unconscious mental life, the
tendency to the immediate carrying out of intentions as they emerge--all
this corresponds to a state of regression to a primitive mental
activity, of just such a sort as we should be inclined to ascribe to the
primal horde.[54]

Thus the group appears to us as a revival of the primal horde. Just as
primitive man virtually survives in every individual, so the primal
horde may arise once more out of any random crowd; in so far as men are
habitually under the sway of group formation we recognise in it the
survival of the primal horde. We must conclude that the psychology of
the group is the oldest human psychology; what we have isolated as
individual psychology, by neglecting all traces of the group, has only
since come into prominence out of the old group psychology, by a gradual
process which may still, perhaps, be described as incomplete. We shall
later venture upon an attempt at specifying the point of departure of
this development.

Further reflection will show us in what respect this statement requires
correction. Individual psychology must, on the contrary, be just as old
as group psychology, for from the first there were two kinds of
psychologies, that of the individual members of the group and that of
the father, chief, or leader. The members of the group were subject to
ties just as we see them to-day, but the father of the primal horde was
free. His intellectual acts were strong and independent even in
isolation, and his will needed no reinforcement from others. Consistency
leads us to assume that his ego had few libidinal ties; he loved no one
but himself, or other people only in so far as they served his needs. To
objects his ego gave away no more than was barely necessary.

He, at the very beginning of the history of mankind, was the _Superman_
whom Nietzsche only expected from the future. Even to-day the members of
a group stand in need of the illusion that they are equally and justly
loved by their leader; but the leader himself need love no one else, he
may be of a masterly nature, absolutely narcissistic, but self-confident
and independent. We know that love puts a check upon narcissism, and it
would be possible to show how, by operating in this way, it became a
factor of civilisation.

The primal father of the horde was not yet immortal, as he later became
by deification. If he died, he had to be replaced; his place was
probably taken by a youngest son, who had up to then been a member of
the group like any other. There must therefore be a possibility of
transforming group psychology into individual psychology; a condition
must be discovered under which such a transformation is easily
accomplished, just as it is possible for bees in case of necessity to
turn a larva into a queen instead of into a worker. One can imagine only
one possibility: the primal father had prevented his sons from
satisfying their directly sexual tendencies; he forced them into
abstinence and consequently into the emotional ties with him and with
one another which could arise out of those of their tendencies that were
inhibited in their sexual aim. He forced them, so to speak, into group
psychology. His sexual jealousy and intolerance became in the last
resort the causes of group psychology.[55]

Whoever became his successor was also given the possibility of sexual
satisfaction, and was by that means offered a way out of the conditions
of group psychology. The fixation of the libido to woman and the
possibility of satisfaction without any need for delay or accumulation
made and end of the importance of those of his sexual tendencies that
were inhibited in their aim, and allowed his narcissism always to rise
to its full height. We shall return in a postscript to this connection
between love and character formation.

We may further emphasize, as being specially instructive, the relation
that holds between the contrivance by means of which an artificial group
is held together and the constitution of the primal horde. We have seen
that with an army and a church this contrivance is the illusion that
the leader loves all of the individuals equally and justly. But this is
simply an idealistic remodelling of the state of affairs in the primal
horde, where all of the sons knew that they were equally persecuted by
the primal father, and feared him equally. This same recasting upon
which all social duties are built up is already presupposed by the next
form of human society, the totemistic clan. The indestructible strength
of the family as a natural group formation rests upon the fact that this
necessary presupposition of the father's equal love can have a real
application in the family.

But we expect even more of this derivation of the group from the primal
horde. It ought also to help us to understand what is still
incomprehensible and mysterious in group formations--all that lies
hidden behind the enigmatic words hypnosis and suggestion. And I think
it can succeed in this too. Let us recall that hypnosis has something
positively uncanny about it; but the characteristic of uncanniness
suggests something old and familiar that has undergone repression.[56]
Let us consider how hypnosis is induced. The hypnotist asserts that he
is in possession of a mysterious power which robs the subject of his own
will, or, which is the same thing, the subject believes it of him. This
mysterious power (which is even now often described popularly as animal
magnetism) must be the same that is looked upon by primitive people as
the source of taboo, the same that emanates from kings and chieftains
and makes it dangerous to approach them (_mana_). The hypnotist, then,
is supposed to be in possession of this power; and how does he manifest
it? By telling the subject to look him in the eyes; his most typical
method of hypnotising is by his look. But it is precisely the sight of
the chieftain that is dangerous and unbearable for primitive people,
just as later that of the Godhead is for mortals. Even Moses had to act
as an intermediary between his people and Jehovah, since the people
could not support the sight of God; and when he returned from the
presence of God his face shone--some of the _mana_ had been transferred
on to him, just as happens with the intermediary among primitive

It is true that hypnosis can also be evoked in other ways, for instance
by fixing the eyes upon a bright object or by listening to a monotonous
sound. This is misleading and has given occasion to inadequate
physiological theories. As a matter of fact these procedures merely
serve to divert conscious attention and to hold it riveted. The
situation is the same as if the hypnotist had said to the subject: 'Now
concern yourself exclusively with my person; the rest of the world is
quite uninteresting.' It would of course be technically inexpedient for
a hypnotist to make such a speech; it would tear the subject away from
his unconscious attitude and stimulate him to conscious opposition. The
hypnotist avoids directing the subject's conscious thoughts towards his
own intentions, and makes the person upon whom he is experimenting sink
into an activity in which the world is bound to seem uninteresting to
him; but at the same time the subject is in reality unconsciously
concentrating his whole attention upon the hypnotist, and is getting
into an attitude of _rapport_, of transference on to him. Thus the
indirect methods of hypnotising, like many of the technical procedures
used in making jokes, have the effect of checking certain distributions
of mental energy which would interfere with the course of events in the
unconscious, and they lead eventually to the same result as the direct
methods of influence by means of staring or stroking.[58]

Ferenczi has made the true discovery that when a hypnotist gives the
command to sleep, which is often done at the beginning of hypnosis, he
is putting himself in the place of the subject's parents. He thinks that
two sorts of hypnosis are to be distinguished: one coaxing and soothing,
which he considers is modelled upon the mother, and another threatening,
which is derived from the father.[59] Now the command to sleep in
hypnosis means nothing more nor less than an order to withdraw all
interest from the world and to concentrate it upon the person of the
hypnotist. And it is so understood by the subject; for in this
withdrawal of interest from the outer world lies the psychological
characteristic of sleep, and the kinship between sleep and the state of
hypnosis is based upon it.

By the measures that he takes, then, the hypnotist awakens in the
subject a portion of his archaic inheritance which had also made him
compliant towards his parents and which had experienced an individual
re-animation in his relation to his father; what is thus awakened is the
idea of a paramount and dangerous personality, towards whom only a
passive-masochistic attitude is possible, to whom one's will has to be
surrendered,--while to be alone with him, 'to look him in the face',
appears a hazardous enterprise. It is only in some such way as this that
we can picture the relation of the individual member of the primal horde
to the primal father. As we know from other reactions, individuals have
preserved a variable degree of personal aptitude for reviving old
situations of this kind. Some knowledge that in spite of everything
hypnosis is only a game, a deceptive renewal of these old impressions,
may however remain behind and take care that there is a resistance
against any too serious consequences of the suspension of the will in

The uncanny and coercive characteristics of group formations, which are
shown in their suggestion phenomena, may therefore with justice be
traced back to the fact of their origin from the primal horde. The
leader of the group is still the dreaded primal father; the group still
wishes to be governed by unrestricted force; it has an extreme passion
for authority; in Le Bon's phrase, it has a thirst for obedience. The
primal father is the group ideal, which governs the ego in the place of
the ego ideal. Hypnosis has a good claim to being described as a group
of two; there remains as a definition for suggestion--a conviction which
is not based upon perception and reasoning but upon an erotic tie.[60]



If we survey the life of an individual man of to-day, bearing in mind
the mutually complementary accounts of group psychology given by the
authorities, we may lose the courage, in face of the complications that
are revealed, to attempt a comprehensive exposition. Each individual is
a component part of numerous groups, he is bound by ties of
identification in many directions, and he has built up his ego ideal
upon the most various models. Each individual therefore has a share in
numerous group minds--those of his race, of his class, of his creed, of
his nationality, etc.--and he can also raise himself above them to the
extent of having a scrap of independence and originality. Such stable
and lasting group formations, with their uniform and constant effects,
are less striking to an observer than the rapidly formed and transient
groups from which Le Bon has made his brilliant psychological character
sketch of the group mind. And it is just in these noisy ephemeral
groups, which are as it were superimposed upon the others, that we are
met by the prodigy of the complete, even though only temporary,
disappearance of exactly what we have recognized as individual

We have interpreted this prodigy as meaning that the individual gives up
his ego ideal and substitutes for it the group ideal as embodied in the
leader. And we must add by way of correction that the prodigy is not
equally great in every case. In many individuals the separation between
the ego and the ego ideal is not very far advanced; the two still
coincide readily; the ego has often preserved its earlier
self-complacency. The selection of the leader is very much facilitated
by this circumstance. He need only possess the typical qualities of the
individuals concerned in a particularly clearly marked and pure form,
and need only give an impression of greater force and of more freedom of
libido; and in that case the need for a strong chief will often meet him
half-way and invest him with a predominance to which he would otherwise
perhaps have had no claim. The other members of the group, whose ego
ideal would not, apart from this, have become embodied in his person
without some correction, are then carried away with the rest by
'suggestion', that is to say, by means of identification.

We are aware that what we have been able to contribute towards the
explanation of the libidinal structure of groups leads back to the
distinction between the ego and the ego ideal and to the double kind of
tie which this makes possible--identification, and substitution of the
object for the ego ideal. The assumption of this kind of differentiating
grade [_Stufe_] in the ego as a first step in an analysis of the ego
must gradually establish its justification in the most various regions
of psychology. In my paper 'Zur Einführung des Narzissmus' I have put
together all the pathological material that could at the moment be used
in support of this separation. But it may be expected that when we
penetrate deeper into the psychology of the psychoses its significance
will be discovered to be far greater. Let us reflect that the ego now
appears in the relation of an object to the ego ideal which has been
developed out of it, and that all the interplay between an outer object
and the ego as a whole, with which our study of the neuroses has made us
acquainted, may possibly be repeated upon this new scene of action
inside the ego.

In this place I shall only follow up one of the consequences which seem
possible from this point of view, thus resuming the discussion of a
problem which I was obliged to leave unsolved elsewhere.[61] Each of the
mental differentiations that we have become acquainted with represents a
fresh aggravation of the difficulties of mental functioning, increases
its instability, and may become the starting-point for its breakdown,
that is, for the onset of a disease. Thus, by being born we have made
the step from an absolutely self-sufficient narcissism to the perception
of a changing outer world and to the beginnings of the discovery of
objects. And with this is associated the fact that we cannot endure the
new state of things for long, that we periodically revert from it, in
our sleep, to our former condition of absence of stimulation and
avoidance of objects. It is true, however, that in this we are following
a hint from the outer world, which, by means of the periodical change of
day and night, temporarily withdraws the greater part of the stimuli
that affect us. The second example, which is pathologically more
important, is not subject to any such qualification. In the course of
our development we have effected a separation of our mental existence
into a coherent ego and into an unconscious and repressed portion which
is left outside it; and we know that the stability of this new
acquisition is exposed to constant shocks. In dreams and in neuroses
what is thus excluded knocks for admission at the gates, guarded though
they are by resistances; and in our waking health we make use of special
artifices for allowing what is repressed to circumvent the resistances
and for receiving it temporarily into our ego to the increase of our
pleasure. Wit and humour, and to some extent the comic in general, may
be regarded in this light. Everyone acquainted with the psychology of
the neuroses will think of similar examples of less importance; but I
hasten on to the application I have in view.

It is quite conceivable that the separation of the ego ideal from the
ego cannot be borne for long either, and has to be temporarily undone.
In all renunciations and limitations imposed upon the ego a periodical
infringement of the prohibition is the rule; this indeed is shown by the
institution of festivals, which in origin are nothing more nor less than
excesses provided by law and which owe their cheerful character to the
release which they bring.[62] The Saturnalia of the Romans and our
modern carnival agree in this essential feature with the festivals of
primitive people, which usually end in debaucheries of every kind and
the transgression of what are at other times the most sacred
commandments. But the ego ideal comprises the sum of all the limitations
in which the ego has to acquiesce, and for that reason the abrogation of
the ideal would necessarily be a magnificent festival for the ego, which
might then once again feel satisfied with itself.[63]

There is always a feeling of triumph when something in the ego coincides
with the ego ideal. And the sense of guilt (as well as the sense of
inferiority) can also be understood as an expression of tension between
the ego and the ego ideal.

It is well known that there are people the general colour of whose mood
oscillates periodically from an excessive depression through some kind
of intermediate state to an exalted sense of well-being. These
oscillations appear in very different degrees of amplitude, from what is
just noticeable to those extreme instances which, in the shape of
melancholia and mania, make the most painful or disturbing inroads upon
the life of the person concerned. In typical cases of this cyclical
depression outer exciting causes do not seem to play any decisive part;
as regards inner motives, nothing more (or nothing different) is to be
found in these patients than in all others. It has consequently become
the custom to consider these cases as not being psychogenic. We shall
refer later on to those other exactly similar cases of cyclical
depression which can nevertheless easily be traced back to mental

Thus the foundation of these spontaneous oscillations of mood is
unknown; we are without insight into the mechanism of the displacement
of a melancholia by a mania. So we are free to suppose that these
patients are people in whom our conjecture might find an actual
application--their ego ideal might be temporarily resolved into their
ego after having previously ruled it with especial strictness.

Let us keep to what is clear: On the basis of our analysis of the ego it
cannot be doubted that in cases of mania the ego and the ego ideal have
fused together, so that the person, in a mood of triumph and
self-satisfaction, disturbed by no self-criticism, can enjoy the
abolition of his inhibitions, his feelings of consideration for others,
and his self-reproaches. It is not so obvious, but nevertheless very
probable, that the misery of the melancholiac is the expression of a
sharp conflict between the two faculties of his ego, a conflict in which
the ideal, in an excess of sensitiveness, relentlessly exhibits its
condemnation of the ego in delusions of inferiority and in
self-depreciation. The only question is whether we are to look for the
causes of these altered relations between the ego and the ego ideal in
the periodic rebellions, which we have postulated above, against the new
institution, or whether we are to make other circumstances responsible
for them.

A change into mania is not an indispensable feature of the
symptomatology of melancholic depression. There are simple melancholias,
some in single and some in recurring attacks, which never show this
development. On the other hand there are melancholias in which the
exciting cause clearly plays an aetiological part. They are those which
occur after the loss of a loved object, whether by death or as a result
of circumstances which have necessitated the withdrawal of the libido
from the object. A psychogenic melancholia of this sort can end in
mania, and this cycle can be repeated several times, just as easily as
in a case which appears to be spontaneous. Thus the state of things is
somewhat obscure, especially as only a few forms and cases of
melancholia have been submitted to psycho-analytical investigation.[64]
So far we only understand those cases in which the object is given up
because it has shown itself unworthy of love. It is then set up again
inside the ego, by means of identification, and severely condemned by
the ego ideal. The reproaches and attacks directed towards the object
come to light in the shape of melancholic self-reproaches.[65]

A melancholia of this kind may also end in a change to mania; so that
the possibility of this happening represents a feature which is
independent of the other characteristics in the symptomatology.

Nevertheless I see no difficulty in assigning to the factor of the
periodical rebellion of the ego against the ego ideal a share in both
kinds of melancholia, the psychogenic as well as the spontaneous. In the
spontaneous kind it may be supposed that the ego ideal is inclined to
display a peculiar strictness, which then results automatically in its
temporary suspension. In the psychogenic kind the ego would be incited
to rebellion by ill-treatment on the part of its ideal--an ill-treatment
which it encounters when there has been identification with a rejected



In the course of the enquiry which has just been brought to a
provisional end we came across a number of side-paths which we avoided
pursuing in the first instance but in which there was much that offered
us promises of insight. We propose now to take up a few of the points
that have been left on one side in this way.

A. The distinction between identification of the ego with an object and
replacement of the ego ideal by an object finds an interesting
illustration in the two great artificial groups which we began by
studying, the army and the Christian church.

It is obvious that a soldier takes his superior, that is, really, the
leader of the army, as his ideal, while he identifies himself with his
equals, and derives from this community of their egos the obligations
for giving mutual help and for sharing possessions which comradeship
implies. But he becomes ridiculous if he tries to identify himself with
the general. The soldier in _Wallensteins Lager_ laughs at the sergeant
for this very reason:

    Wie er räuspert und wie er spuckt,
    Das habt ihr ihm glücklich abgeguckt![66]

It is otherwise in the Catholic Church. Every Christian loves Christ as
his ideal and feels himself united with all other Christians by the tie
of identification. But the Church requires more of him. He has also to
identify himself with Christ and love all other Christians as Christ
loved them. At both points, therefore, the Church requires that the
position of the libido which is given by a group formation should be
supplemented. Identification has to be added where object-choice has
taken place, and object love where there is identification. This
addition evidently goes beyond the constitution of the group. One can be
a good Christian and yet be far from the idea of putting oneself in
Christ's place and of having like him an all-embracing love for mankind.
One need not think oneself capable, weak mortal that one is, of the
Saviour's largeness of soul and strength of love. But this further
development in the distribution of libido in the group is probably the
factor upon which Christianity bases its claim to have reached a higher
ethical level.

B. We have said that it would be possible to specify the point in the
mental development of man at which the advance from group to individual
psychology was also achieved by the individual members of the group.[67]

For this purpose we must return for a moment to the scientific myth of
the father of the primal horde. He was later on exalted into the creator
of the world, and with justice, for he had produced all the sons who
composed the first group. He was the ideal of each one of them, at once
feared and honoured, a fact which led later to the idea of taboo. These
many individuals eventually banded themselves together, killed him and
cut him in pieces. None of the group of victors could take his place,
or, if one of them did, the battles began afresh, until they understood
that they must all renounce their father's heritage. They then formed
the totemistic community of brothers, all with equal rights and united
by the totem prohibitions which were to preserve and to expiate the
memory of the murder. But the dissatisfaction with what had been
achieved still remained, and it became the source of new developments.
The persons who were united in this group of brothers gradually came
towards a revival of the old state of things at a new level. Man became
once more the chief of a family, and broke down the prerogatives of the
gynaecocracy which had become established during the fatherless period.
As a compensation for this he may at that time have acknowledged the
mother deities, whose priests were castrated for the mother's
protection, after the example that had been given by the father of the
primal horde. And yet the new family was only a shadow of the old one;
there were numbers of fathers and each one was limited by the rights of
the others.

It was then, perhaps, that some individual, in the exigency of his
longing, may have been moved to free himself from the group and take
over the father's part. He who did this was the first epic poet; and the
advance was achieved in his imagination. This poet disguised the truth
with lies in accordance with his longing. He invented the heroic myth.
The hero was a man who by himself had slain the father--the father who
still appeared in the myth as a totemistic monster. Just as the father
had been the boy's first ideal, so in the hero who aspires to the
father's place the poet now created the first ego ideal. The transition
to the hero was probably afforded by the youngest son, the mother's
favourite, whom she had protected from paternal jealousy, and who, in
the era of the primal horde, had been the father's successor. In the
lying poetic fancies of prehistoric times the woman, who had been the
prize of battle and the allurement to murder, was probably turned into
the seducer and instigator to the crime.

The hero claims to have acted alone in accomplishing the deed, which
certainly only the horde as a whole would have ventured upon. But, as
Rank has observed, fairy tales have preserved clear traces of the facts
which were disavowed. For we often find in them that the hero who has to
carry out some difficult task (usually a youngest son, and not
infrequently one who has represented himself to the father surrogate as
being stupid, that is to say, harmless)--we often find, then, that this
hero can carry out his task only by the help of a crowd of small
animals, such as bees or ants. These would be the brothers in the primal
horde, just as in the same way in dream symbolism insects or vermin
signify brothers and sisters (contemptuously, considered as babies).
Moreover every one of the tasks in myths and fairy tales is easily
recognisable as a substitute for the heroic deed.

The myth, then, is the step by which the individual emerges from group
psychology. The first myth was certainly the psychological, the hero
myth; the explanatory nature myth must have followed much later. The
poet who had taken this step and had in this way set himself free from
the group in his imagination, is nevertheless able (as Rank has further
observed) to find his way back to it in reality. For he goes and relates
to the group his hero's deeds which he has invented. At bottom this hero
is no one but himself. Thus he lowers himself to the level of reality,
and raises his hearers to the level of imagination. But his hearers
understand the poet, and, in virtue of their having the same relation of
longing towards the primal father, they can identify themselves with the

The lie of the heroic myth culminates in the deification of the hero.
Perhaps the deified hero may have been earlier than the Father God and
may have been a precursor to the return of the primal father as a deity.
The series of gods, then, would run chronologically: Mother
Goddess--Hero--Father God. But it is only with the elevation of the
never forgotten primal father that the deity acquires the features that
we still recognise in him to-day.[69]

C. A great deal has been said in this paper about directly sexual
instincts and those that are inhibited in their aims, and it may be
hoped that this distinction will not meet with too much resistance. But
a detailed discussion of the question will not be out of place, even if
it only repeats what has to a great extent already been said before.

The development of the libido in children has made us acquainted with
the first but also the best example of sexual instincts which are
inhibited in their aims. All the feelings which a child has towards its
parents and those who look after it pass by an easy transition into the
wishes which give expression to the child's sexual tendencies. The child
claims from these objects of its love all the signs of affection which
it knows of; it wants to kiss them, touch them, and look at them; it is
curious to see their genitals, and to be with them when they perform
their intimate excremental functions; it promises to marry its mother or
nurse--whatever it may understand by that; it proposes to itself to bear
its father a child, etc. Direct observation, as well as the subsequent
analytic investigation of the residue of childhood, leave no doubt as to
the complete fusion of tender and jealous feelings and of sexual
intentions, and show us in what a fundamental way the child makes the
person it loves into the object of all its incompletely centred sexual

This first configuration of the child's love, which in typical cases is
co-ordinated with the Oedipus complex, succumbs, as we know, from the
beginning of the period of latency onwards to a wave of repression. Such
of it as is left over shows itself as a purely tender emotional tie,
which relates to the same people, but is no longer to be described as
'sexual'. Psycho-analysis, which illuminates the depths of mental life,
has no difficulty in showing that the sexual ties of the earliest years
of childhood also persist, though repressed and unconscious. It gives us
courage to assert that wherever we come across a tender feeling it is
the successor to a completely 'sensual' object tie with the person in
question or rather with that person's prototype (or _imago_). It cannot
indeed disclose to us without a special investigation whether in a given
case this former complete sexual current still exists under repression
or whether it has already been exhausted. To put it still more
precisely: it is quite certain that it is still there as a form and
possibility, and can always be charged with cathectic energy and put
into activity again by means of regression; the only question is (and it
cannot always be answered) what degree of cathexis and operative force
it still has at the present moment. Equal care must be taken in this
connection to avoid two sources of error--the Scylla of under-estimating
the importance of the repressed unconscious, and the Charybdis of
judging the normal entirely by the standards of the pathological.

A psychology which will not or cannot penetrate the depths of what is
repressed regards tender emotional ties as being invariably the
expression of tendencies which have no sexual aim, even though they are
derived from tendencies which have such an aim.[71]

We are justified in saying that they have been diverted from these
sexual aims, even though there is some difficulty in giving a
representation of such a diversion of aim which will conform to the
requirements of metapsychology. Moreover, those instincts which are
inhibited in their aims always preserve some few of their original
sexual aims; even an affectionate devotee, even a friend or an admirer,
desires the physical proximity and the sight of the person who is now
loved only in the 'Pauline' sense. If we choose, we may recognise in
this diversion of aim a beginning of the _sublimation_ of the sexual
instincts, or on the other hand we may fix the limits of sublimation at
some more distant point. Those sexual instincts which are inhibited in
their aims have a great functional advantage over those which are
uninhibited. Since they are not capable of really complete
satisfaction, they are especially adapted to create permanent ties;
while those instincts which are directly sexual incur a loss of energy
each time they are satisfied, and must wait to be renewed by a fresh
accumulation of sexual libido, so that meanwhile the object may have
been changed. The inhibited instincts are capable of any degree of
admixture with the uninhibited; they can be transformed back into them,
just as they arose out of them. It is well known how easily erotic
wishes develop out of emotional relations of a friendly character, based
upon appreciation and admiration, (compare Molière's 'Embrassez-moi pour
l'amour du grec'), between a master and a pupil, between a performer and
a delighted listener, and especially in the case of women. In fact the
growth of emotional ties of this kind, with their purposeless
beginnings, provides a much frequented pathway to sexual object-choice.
Pfister, in his _Frömmigkeit des Grafen von Zinzendorf_,[72] has given
an extremely clear and certainly not an isolated example of how easily
even an intense religious tie can revert to ardent sexual excitement. On
the other hand it is also very usual for directly sexual tendencies,
short-lived in themselves, to be transformed into a lasting and purely
tender tie; and the consolidation of a passionate love marriage rests
to a large extent upon this process.

We shall naturally not be surprised to hear that the sexual tendencies
that are inhibited in their aims arise out of the directly sexual ones
when inner or outer obstacles make the sexual aims unattainable. The
repression during the period of latency is an inner obstacle of this
kind--or rather one which has become inner. We have assumed that the
father of the primal horde owing to his sexual intolerance compelled all
his sons to be abstinent, and thus forced them into ties that were
inhibited in their aims, while he reserved for himself freedom of sexual
enjoyment and in this way remained without ties. All the ties upon which
a group depends are of the character of instincts that are inhibited in
their aims. But here we have approached the discussion of a new subject,
which deals with the relation between directly sexual instincts and the
formation of groups.

D. The last two remarks will have prepared us for finding that directly
sexual tendencies are unfavourable to the formation of groups. In the
history of the development of the family there have also, it is true,
been group relations of sexual love (group marriages); but the more
important sexual love became for the ego, and the more it developed the
characteristics of being in love, the more urgently it required to be
limited to two people--_una cum uno_--as is prescribed by the nature of
the genital aim. Polygamous inclinations had to be content to find
satisfaction in a succession of changing objects.

Two people coming together for the purpose of sexual satisfaction, in so
far as they seek for solitude, are making a demonstration against the
herd instinct, the group feeling. The more they are in love, the more
completely they suffice for each other. The rejection of the group's
influence is manifested in the shape of a sense of shame. The extremely
violent feelings of jealousy are summoned up in order to protect the
sexual object-choice from being encroached upon by a group tie. It is
only when the tender, that is, the personal, factor of a love relation
gives place entirely to the sensual one, that it is possible for two
people to have sexual intercourse in the presence of others or for there
to be simultaneous sexual acts in a group as occurs at an orgy. But at
that point a regression has taken place to an early stage in sexual
relations, at which being in love as yet played no part, and all sexual
objects were judged to be of equal value, somewhat in the sense of
Bernard Shaw's malicious aphorism to the effect that being in love means
greatly exaggerating the difference between one woman and another.

There are abundant indications that being in love only made its
appearance late on in the sexual relations between men and women; so
that the opposition between sexual love and group ties is also a late
development. Now it may seem as though this assumption were incompatible
with our myth of the primal family. For it was after all by their love
for their mothers and sisters that the troop of brothers was, as we have
supposed, driven to parricide; and it is difficult to imagine this love
as being anything but unbroken and primitive--that is, as an intimate
union of the tender and the sensual. But further consideration resolves
this objection into a confirmation. One of the reactions to the
parricide was after all the institution of totemistic exogamy; the
prohibition of any sexual relation with those women of the family who
had been tenderly loved since childhood. In this way a wedge was driven
in between a man's tender and sensual feelings, one still firmly fixed
in his erotic life to-day.[73] As a result of this exogamy the sensual
needs of men had to be satisfied with strange and unloved women.

In the great artificial groups, the church and the army, there is no
room for woman as a sexual object. The love relation between men and
women remains outside these organisations. Even where groups are formed
which are composed of both men and women the distinction between the
sexes plays no part. There is scarcely any sense in asking whether the
libido which keeps groups together is of a homosexual or of a
heterosexual nature, for it is not differentiated according to the
sexes, and particularly shows a complete disregard for the aims of the
genital organisation of the libido.

Even in a person who has in other respects become absorbed in a group
the directly sexual tendencies preserve a little of his individual
activity. If they become too strong they disintegrate every group
formation. The Catholic Church had the best of motives for recommending
its followers to remain unmarried and for imposing celibacy upon its
priests; but falling in love has often driven even priests to leave the
church. In the same way love for women breaks through the group ties of
race, of national separation, and of the social class system, and it
thus produces important effects as a factor in civilization. It seems
certain that homosexual love is far more compatible with group ties,
even when it takes the shape of uninhibited sexual tendencies--a
remarkable fact, the explanation of which might carry us far.

The psycho-analytic investigation of the psycho-neuroses has taught us
that their symptoms are to be traced back to directly sexual tendencies
which are repressed but still remain active. We can complete this
formula by adding to it: or, to tendencies inhibited in their aims,
whose inhibition has not been entirely successful or has made room for
a return to the repressed sexual aim. It is in accordance with this that
a neurosis should make its victim asocial and should remove him from the
usual group formations. It may be said that a neurosis has the same
disintegrating effect upon a group as being in love. On the other hand
it appears that where a powerful impetus has been given to group
formation, neuroses may diminish and at all events temporarily
disappear. Justifiable attempts have also been made to turn this
antagonism between neuroses and group formation to therapeutic account.
Even those who do not regret the disappearance of religious illusions
from the civilized world of to-day will admit that so long as they were
in force they offered those who were bound by them the most powerful
protection against the danger of neurosis. Nor is it hard to discern in
all the ties with mystico-religious or philosophico-religious sects and
communities the manifestation of distorted cures of all kinds of
neuroses. All of this is bound up with the contrast between directly
sexual tendencies and those which are inhibited in their aims.

If he is left to himself, a neurotic is obliged to replace by his own
symptom formations the great group formations from which he is excluded.
He creates his own world of imagination for himself, his religion, his
own system of delusions, and thus recapitulates the institutions of
humanity in a distorted way which is clear evidence of the dominating
part played by the directly sexual tendencies.[74]

E. In conclusion, we will add a comparative estimate, from the
standpoint of the libido theory, of the states with which we have been
concerned, of being in love, of hypnosis, of group formation, and of the

_Being in love_ is based upon the simultaneous presence of directly
sexual tendencies and of sexual tendencies that are inhibited in their
aims, so that the object draws a part of the narcissistic ego-libido to
itself. It is a condition in which there is only room for the ego and
the object.

_Hypnosis_ resembles being in love in being limited to these two
persons, but it is based entirely upon sexual tendencies that are
inhibited in their aims and substitutes the object for the ego ideal.

_The group_ multiplies this process; it agrees with hypnosis in the
nature of the instincts which hold it together, and in the replacement
of the ego ideal by the object; but to this it adds identification with
other individuals, which was perhaps originally made possible by their
having the same relation to the object.

Both states, hypnosis and group formation, are an inherited deposit from
the phylogenesis of the human libido--hypnosis in the form of a
predisposition, and the group, besides this, as a direct survival. The
replacement of the directly sexual tendencies by those that are
inhibited in their aims promotes in both states a separation between the
ego and the ego ideal, a separation with which a beginning has already
been made in the state of being in love.

_The neurosis_ stands outside this series. It also is based upon a
peculiarity in the development of the human libido--the twice repeated
start made by the directly sexual function, with an intervening period
of latency.[75] To this extent it resembles hypnosis and group formation
in having the character of a regression, which is absent from being in
love. It makes its appearance wherever the advance from directly sexual
instincts to those that are inhibited in their aims has not been
completely successful; and it represents a _conflict_ between those
instincts which have been received into the ego after having passed
through this development and those portions of the same instincts which,
like other instinctive desires that have been completely repressed,
strive, from the repressed unconscious, to attain direct satisfaction.
The neurosis is extraordinarily rich in content, for it embraces all
possible relations between the ego and the object--both those in which
the object is retained and others in which it is abandoned or erected
inside the ego itself--and also the conflicting relations between the
ego and its ego ideal.


_Abraham_, 62, 108.

Affectivity. _See under_ Emotion.

Altruism, 57.

Ambivalence, 18, 55, 61.

Anaclitic type, 60.

Archaic inheritance, 10, 99.

Army 42-6, 89, 94, 110, 122.

Autistic mental acts, 2.

_Bernheim_, 35, 100

_Bleuler_, 2.

Brothers, 43, 114.
  in Christ, 43.
  Community of, 90, 112, 122.

_Brugeilles_, 34.

_Caesar_, 44.

Cathexis, 18, 20, 28, 117.
  Object-, 48, 58, 60-1, 71-2, 76.

Catholic Church, 42-3, 111, 123.

Celibacy of priests, 123.

Censorship of dreams, 16, 69.

Chieftains, Mana in, 96.

Children, 14, 16, 18-19, 30, 67 82, 91.
  Dread in, 83, 85-6.
  Parents and, 54, 86, 116.
  Sexual object of, 72, 116.
  Unconscious of, 18.

_Christ_, 42-5, 50, 111.
  Equal love of, 50.
  Identification with, 111.

Church, 42-3, 89, 94, 110-11, 122-3.

Commander-in-Chief, 42-5.

Conflict, 18, 107, 126.

Conscience, 10, 28, 68-9, 75, 79
  Social, 88.

Contagion, Emotional, 10-13, 27, 34-5, 46-7.

Crowd, 1, 3, 26, 92.

Danger, Effect on groups, 46-9.

_Darwin_, 90.

  of inferiority, 107.
  of observation, 69.

Devotion to abstract idea, 17, 75.

  absence in groups, 15-16
  interpretation in dreams, 15-16.

  Children's, 83, 85-6.
  in a group, 46-8, 50.
  in an individual, 47-8.
  Neurotic, 48.
  of society, 10.
  Panic, 45-9.

Dream, 20, 69, 104.
  Interpretation of doubt and uncertainty in, 15-16.
  symbolism, 114.

Duty, Sense of, 84, 88, 95.

Ego, 10, 18-19, 62-70, 74, 84, 93, 100-9, 120, 125-7.
  Relations between ego ideal and, 68-70, 103, 105-10.
  Relations between object and, 62-70, 74-6, 108-10.

Ego ideal, 68-70, 74-7, 80, 100-3, 105-10, 113, 126-7.
  Abrogation of the, 105.
  Hypnotist in the place of, 77.
  Object as substitute for, 74-6, 80, 103, 110.
  Relations between ego and, 68-70, 103, 105-10.
  Testing reality of things, 77.
  The first, 113.

Egoism, 57.

  Ambivalent, 18, 55.
  Charge of, 28.
  Contagion of. _See_ Contagion.
  Intensification of, in groups, 16, 23, 27-30, 33, 46, 81.
  Primitive induction of, 27, 34, 46-7.
  Tender, 72-3, 78, 116-17.

Emotional tie, 40, 43, 45, 52-3, 59-60, 64-5, 81, 88, 91, 94, 100, 117-20.
  Cessation of, 46-9.

Empathy, relation to identification, 66, 70.

Enthusiasm, in groups, 25.

Envy, 87-8.

Equality, demand for, 88, 89.

Eros, 38-40.

Esprit de corps, origin of, 87.

  conduct of a group, 18.
  level of Christianity, 111.
  standards of individual, 24-5.

Fairy tales, the hero in, 114.

Family, 70, 95, 100, 113, 120.
  a group formation, 95.
  and Christian community, 43.
  and social instinct, 3.
  Primal, 122.

Fascination, 11, 13, 21, 75.

Father, 43, 92, 98-9.
  Equal love of, 95.
  God, 115.
  Identification with, 60-2.
  Object tie with, 62.
  Primal, 92, 94-5, 99-100, 112-13, 115, 120.
    Deification of, 93, 115.
    Killing the, 94, 112-13, 122.
  Surrogate, 43, 114.

_Federn, P._, 50.

_Felszeghy, Bela v._, 48.

_Ferenczi_, 76, 98.

Festivals, 105.

Folk-lore, 25.

Folk-song, 25.

French Revolution, 26.

  for testing reality, 20, 77.
  (Instanz), 15.

Gemeingeist, origin of, 87.

Genital organisation, 19.

God, 85, 96.
  Father, 115.

Gregariousness, 83-4, 92.

  Artificial, 41-2, 52, 82, 89, 94, 110, 122.
  Different kinds of, 26, 41.
  Disintegration of, 49-51.
  Dread in, 47.
  Equality in, 89.
  feeling, 86-7, 121.
  Heightened affectivity in. _See under_ Emotion.
  ideal, 100, 102.
  Intellectual capacity of, 14, 18, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33, 81.
  Intensification of emotion in. _See under_ Emotion.
  Leaders of. _See under_ Leader.
  Libidinal structure of, 37, 40, 44-5, 47, 51, 53-4, 70, 79-80, 102-3.
  marriages, 120.
  Mental change of the individual in, 6-14, 33-4, 45, 56, 81, 102.
  mind, 3, 5-27, 40, 49, 82.
  Organisation in, 26, 30-1, 33, 41-2, 80, 82, 90.
  Primitive, 31, 33, 41, 80.
  psychological character of, 6-32.
  psychology, 1-4, 6, 25-6, 33-4, 37, 45, 53, 59, 92-4, 101, 112, 114.
  Revolutionary, 26.
  Sexual instincts and, 120.
  spirit, 37.
  Stable, 26, 41, 84, 101.
  Suggestibility of, 11, 13, 35, 84-5.
  Transient, 25, 41, 84, 101.

Guilt, Sense of, 20, 63, 65, 84, 106.

Gynaecocracy, 113.

Hatred, 53, 56.

_Hebbel_, 49.

Herd, 83-5, 89.
  instinct, 3, 83-6, 105, 121.

Hero, 17, 113-15.

Homosexuality, 57, 66-7, 94, 123.

Horde Primal, 89-95, 99, 113-14, 120.
  Father of the. _See under_ Father.

Hypnosis, 10-13, 20-1, 77-9, 81, 95-100, 125-6.
  a group of two, 78, 100.
  and sleep, 79, 98.
  of terror, 79.

Hypnotist, 13, 77, 95-9.

Hysteria, Identification in, 63-5.

Idealisation, 74.
  Identification, 59-70, 75-6, 84, 86-9, 94, 101-3, 111, 125.
  Ambivalent, 61.
  in hysterical symptom, 63-5.
  Regression of object-choice to, 64.
  with a lost or rejected object, 67-8, 108-9.
  with Christ, 111.
  with the father, 60-2.
  with the hero, 115.
  with the leader, 110-11.

Imitation, 34-5, 65, 70.

  a member of many groups, 101.
  Dread in, 47-8.
  Mental change in a group, 6-14, 33-4, 45, 56, 81, 102.
  Psychology, 1-2, 92-3, 112, 114.

Induction of Emotion, 27, 34, 46-7.

Infection, mental, 64-65.

Inferiority, Delusions of, 57, 106-7.

Inheritance, archaic, 10, 99.

  Collective, of intellectual functioning, 23, 33.
  Removal of, 17, 28, 33.

  Herd, 3, 83-6, 105, 121.
  inhibited in aim, 72-3, 78, 115-26.
  Life and death, 56.
  Love, 37, 39, 58.
  Nutrition, 85.
  Primary, 84-5.
  Self-preservative, 34, 85.
  Sexual, 19, 39, 56, 71-8, 85-5, 94, 115-26.
  Social, 3.
  unhibited in aim, 73, 77-8, 94, 115-26.
  Unconscious, 10.

Intellectual ability, lowering of,
  in groups, 14, 18, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33, 81.

Introjection, of object into ego, 65, 67-8, 76.

Jealousy, 121.

Kings, Mana in, 96.

_Kraškovič, B. Jnr._, 23.

_Kroeger_, 90.

Language, 25, 38, 71.

Latency, period of, 72, 117, 120, 126.

Leader, 20-2, 41, 44-5, 78, 82, 85, 89, 92, 99, 110.
  Abstractions as substitutes for, 53.
  Equal love of, 93, 95.
  Identification with, 110-11.
  Killing the, 90.
  Loss of, 49.
  Negative, 53.
  Prestige of, 21-2.
  the group ideal, 100, 102, 110.
  Tie with, 49, 52, 66.

_Le Bon_, 5-25, 29, 34, 82, 84, 100-1.

  structure of the group, 37, 40, 44-5, 47, 53, 70, 79-80, 102-3.
  The word, 44.
  ties, 44, 56-8, 65, 93, 100.
  in the group, 45, 51, 54.

Libido, 33-40, 44, 57, 79, 83, 102, 111, 116, 119, 123, 126.
  Narcissistic, 58, 74, 93, 104, 125.
  Oral phase of, 61.
  theory, 57, 83, 125.
  Unification of, 19.
  Withdrawal of, 108.

Love, 37-40, 42, 73, 87, 108, 122.
  a factor of civilisation, 57, 93.
  and character formation, 94, 118-20.
  and hatred, 56.
  Being in, 58, 71-9, 120-1, 124-6.
  Child's, 116-17.
  Christ's, 43.
  Equal, 42, 50, 89, 93.
  Pauline, 118.
  Self-. _See under_ Narcissism.
  Sensual, 71-3, 78, 117.
  Sexual, 37-8, 57, 120-2.
  Sublimated homosexual, 57.
  The word, 37-9, 71.
  Unhappy, 75.
  Unsensual, 73.

_McDougall_, 1, 26-31, 34-6, 46-7, 49, 84.

Magical power of words, 19.

Magnetic influence, 11.

Magnetism, animal, 96.

Mana, 96.

Mania, 106-9.

_Marcuszewicz_, 68.

Marriage, 54, 120.

Melancholia, 68, 106-9.

Metapsychology, 63, 118.

_Moede, Walter_, 24.

_Molière_, 119.

Morality, Totemism the origin of, 90.

Mother deities, 113, 115.

Multicellularity, 7, 32, 83.

Myth, 113-15.

_Nachmansohn_, 39.

Names, Taboo upon, 19.

_Napoleon_, 44.

Narcissism, 2, 38, 54-8, 69, 74-5, 93, 94, 104.

_Nestroy_, 49.

Neurosis, 18, 20, 37, 44, 58, 63, 103-4, 123-26.

_Nietzsche_, 93.

Nutrition, Instinct of, 84.

Object, 57-8, 62, 68, 74, 87, 93, 104, 125, 127.
  cathexis, 48, 58, 60-1, 71-2, 76.
  Change of, 18, 119, 121.
  Child's, 72.
  -choice, 54, 62, 64, 74, 111, 119, 121.
  Eating the, 61-62.
  Hyper-cathexis of, 76.
  Identification with ego, 108.
  Less or Renunciation of, 68, 108.
  -love, 56, 63, 74, 111.
  Relations with the ego, 65, 67-8, 70, 76.
  Sexual, 67, 72-3, 116.
  Substituted for ego ideal, 74, 80, 103, 125.

Observation, delusions of, 69.

Oedipus complex, 60-61, 63, 66, 117.
  Inverted, 62.

Oral phase of organisation of the libido, 61.

Organisation in groups, 26, 30-1, 33, 41-2, 80, 82, 90.

Orgy, 121.

Panic, 45-9.

Pan-sexualism, 39.

_Paul, Saint_, 39, 118.

_Pfister_, 39, 119.

_Plato_, 38.

Poet, the first epic, 113-114.

Power, 9, 15, 28.
  of leaders, 21.
  of words, 19.

Prestige, 21-2, 34.

Primitive peoples, 14, 18-19, 24, 92, 96, 105.

Psycho-Analysis, 4, 7, 14, 18, 36, 38-9, 59-60, 84, 97.

  Group, 1-4, 6, 25-6, 33-4, 37, 45, 53, 59, 92, 94, 101.
  Group and individual, 1-2, 92-93, 112, 114.

Psychoses, 66, 103.

Puberty, 67, 72-73.

Races, repugnance between related, 55.

_Rank, Otto_, 112, 114.

Rapport, 97.

  Function for testing, 20, 77.
  Contrast between Objective and Psychological, 20.

Regression, 82, 91, 117, 121, 126.

Religion, 51, 90.
  Wars of, 51.

  Sexual tendencies, 74, 117, 123-4.
  The, 10, 104, 117-18, 126.

Repression, 9, 54, 64-5, 69, 72, 84, 95, 105, 117, 120.

Resistance, 84, 104.

Responsibility, Sense of, 9-10, 29-30.

_Richter, Konrad_, 36.

_Sachs, Hanns_, 16, 115.

_Schopenhauer_, 54.

  consciousness, 30-1.
  depreciation, 107.
  love. _See under_ Narcissism.
  observation, 69.
  preservation, 15, 34, 84-5.
  sacrifice, 11, 38, 75.

Sex, 39.

  act, 92, 121.
  aims, 58, 72.
    Diversion of instinct from, 58.
    Infantile, 72.
    Obstacles to, 120.
  life, 19, 72.
  over-estimation, 53-5.
  Tendencies, Inhibited and uninhibited. 72-3, 77-8, 94, 115-16, 125-26.
  union, 37-8.

_Shaw, Bernard_, 121.

_Sidis, Boris_, 84

_Sighele_, 24-5.

_Simmel, E._, 44.

Sleep, 98, 104.
  and hypnosis, 98.

_Smith, Robertson_, 70.

  duties, 88, 95.
  relations, 2-3, 57.

Socialistic tie, 51.

Society, 24, 26, 28, 90.
  Dread of, 10.

Sociology. _See under_ Group Psychology.

Speech, 84.

  devotion, 17, 75.
  homosexual love, 57.

Sublimation, 118.

Suggestibility, 11, 13, 35, 84-5.

Suggestion, 12-13, 17, 29, 34-7, 40, 82, 95, 99, 102.
  Counter-, 35.
  Definition for, 100.
  Mutual, 12, 27, 34, 82.

Superman, 93.

Taboo, 19, 96, 112.

_Tarde_, 34.

Totemism, 90, 112-13.

  clan, 95.
  community of brothers, 112.
  exogamy, 122.

Tradition, 17, 21.
  of the group, 31.
  of the individual, 32.

Transference, 97-8.

_Trotter_, 32, 83-5, 89, 105.

Uncanniness, 95, 99.

Uncertainty, absence in groups, 15-16.
  interpretation in dreams, 15-16.

Unconscious, 8, 10, 12, 14-16, 18, 23-4, 64, 67, 72, 97, 100, 104.
  Groups led by, 14.
  instincts, 10.
  _Le Bon's_, 10, 14, 24.
  of children, 18, 117.
  of neurotics, 18.
  Racial, 9.

_Wallenstein_, 44.

War neuroses, 44.

War, The, 44.

_Wilson, President_, 44.

Wishes, Affective cathexis of, 20.

Words, magical power of, 19.


     No. 1. ADDRESSES ON PSYCHO-ANALYSIS. BY J.J. Putnam, M.D. Emeritus
     Professor of Neurology, Harvard University. With a Preface by Sigm.
     Freud, M.D., LL.D.

     (Budapest), Karl Abraham (Berlin), Ernst Simmel (Berlin) and Ernest
     Jones (London). Introduction by Prof. Sigm. Freud (Vienna).


     Authorized Translation from the second German Edition by C. J. M.

     President of the International Psycho-Analytical Association.

     M.D., LL.D. Authorized Translation by James Strachey.



Edited by Ernest Jones President of the Association

With the Assistance of DOUGLAS BRYAN, J. C. FLÜGEL (London) A. A. BRILL,

Issued Quarterly Subscription 30s. per Volume of Four Parts (c. 500 pp.)
the parts not being sold separately.


Printed by K. Liebel in Vienna, II. Große Mohrengasse 23


[1] ['Group' is used throughout this translation as equivalent to the
rather more comprehensive German '_Masse_'. The author uses this latter
word to render both McDougall's 'group', and also Le Bon's '_foule_',
which would more naturally be translated 'crowd' in English. For the
sake of uniformity, however, 'group' has been preferred in this case as
well, and has been substituted for 'crowd' even in the extracts from the
English translation of Le Bon.--_Translator._.]

[2] _The Crowd: a Study of the Popular Mind._ Fisher Unwin 12th.
Impression, 1920.

[3] [See footnote page 1.]

[4] [References are to the English translation.--_Translator._]

[5] [The German translation of Le Bon, quoted by the author, reads
'_bewusster_'; the English translation has 'unconscious'; and the
original French text '_inconscients_'.--_Translator._]

[6] [The English translation reads 'which we ourselves ignore'--a
misunderstanding of the French word '_ignorées_'.--_Translator._]

[7] There is some difference between Le Bon's view and ours owing to his
concept of the unconscious not quite coinciding with the one adopted by
psycho-analysis. Le Bon's unconscious more especially contains the most
deeply buried features of the racial mind, which as a matter of fact
lies outside the scope of psycho-analysis. We do not fail to recognize,
indeed, that the ego's nucleus, which comprises the 'archaic
inheritance' of the human mind, is unconscious; but in addition to this
we distinguish the 'unconscious repressed', which arose from a portion
of that inheritance. This concept of the repressed is not to be found in
Le Bon.

[8] Compare Schiller's couplet:

  Jeder, sieht man ihn einzeln, ist leidlich klug und verständig;
        Sind sie in corpore, gleich wird euch ein Dummkopf daraus.
  [Everyone, seen by himself, is passably shrewd and discerning;
        When they're _in corpore_, then straightway you'll find he's an ass.]

[9] 'Unconscious' is used here correctly by Le Bon in the descriptive
sense, where it does not only mean the 'repressed'.

[10] Compare _Totem und Tabu_, III., 'Animismus, Magie, und Allmacht der
Gedanken.' [_Totem and Taboo._ New York, Moffat, 1918. London, Kegan
Paul, 1919.]

[11] [See footnote p. 69.]

[12] In the interpretation of dreams, to which, indeed, we owe our best
knowledge of unconscious mental life, we follow a technical rule of
disregarding doubt and uncertainty in the narrative of the dream, and of
treating every element of the manifest dream as being quite certain. We
attribute doubt and uncertainty to the influence of the censorship to
which the dream-work is subjected, and we assume that the primary
dream-thoughts are not acquainted with doubt and uncertainty as critical
processes. They may naturally be present, like everything else, as part
of the content of the day's residue which leads to the dream. (See _Die
Traumdeutung_, 6. Auflage, 1921, S. 386. [_The Interpretation of
Dreams._ Allen and Unwin, 3rd. Edition, 1913, p. 409.])

[13] The same extreme and unmeasured intensification of every emotion is
also a feature of the affective life of children, and it is present as
well in dream life. Thanks to the isolation of the single emotions in
the unconscious, a slight annoyance during the day will express itself
in a dream as a wish for the offending person's death, or a breath of
temptation may give the impetus to the portrayal in the dream of a
criminal action. Hanns Sachs has made an appropriate remark on this
point: 'If we try to discover in consciousness all that the dream has
made known to us of its bearing upon the present (upon reality), we need
not be surprised that what we saw as a monster under the microscope of
analysis now reappears as an infusorium.' (_Die Traumdeutung_, S. 457.
[Translation p. 493.])

[14] In young children, for instance, ambivalent emotional attitudes
towards those who are nearest to them exist side by side for a long
time, without either of them interfering with the expression of the
other and contrary one. If eventually a conflict breaks out between the
two, it often settled by the child making a change of object and
displacing one of the ambivalent emotions on to a substitute. The
history of the development of a neurosis in an adult will also show that
a suppressed emotion may frequently persist for a long time in
unconscious or even in conscious phantasies, the content of which
naturally runs directly counter to some predominant tendency, and yet
that this antagonism does not result in any proceedings on the part of
the ego against what it has repudiated. The phantasy is tolerated for
quite a long time, until suddenly one day, usually as a result of an
increase in the affective cathexis [see footnote page 48] of the
phantasy, a conflict breaks out between it and the ego with all the
usual consequences. In the process of a child's development into a
mature adult there is a more and more extensive integration of its
personality, a co-ordination of the separate instinctive feelings and
desires which have grown up in him independently of one another. The
analogous process in the domain of sexual life has long been known to us
as the co-ordination of all the sexual instincts into a definitive
genital organisation. (_Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, 1905.
[_Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory._ Nervous and Mental Disease
Monograph Series, No. 7, 1910.]) Moreover, that the unification of the
ego is liable to the same interferences as that of the libido is shown
by numerous familiar instances, such as that of men of science who have
preserved their faith in the Bible, and the like.

[15] See Totem and Tabu.

[16] [See footnote p. 48.]

[17] B. Kraškovič, jun.: _Die Psychologie der Kollektivitäten_.
Translated [into German] from the Croatian by Siegmund von Posavec.
Vukovar, 1915. See the body of the work as well as the bibliography.

[18] See Walter Moede: 'Die Massen-und Sozialpsychologie im kritischen
Überblick.' Meumann and Scheibner's _Zeitschrift für pädagogische
Psychologie und experimentelle Pädagogik_. 1915, XVI.

[19] Cambridge University Press, 1920.

[20] _Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War._ Fisher Unwin, 1916.

[21] Brugeilles: 'L'essence du phénomèna social: la suggestion.' _Revue
philosophique_, 1913, XXV.

[22] Konrad Richter: 'Der deutsche S. Christoph.' Berlin, 1896, _Acta
Germanica_, V, I.

[23] [Literally:"Christopher bore Christ; Christ bore the whole world;
Say, where did Christopher then put his foot?']

[24] Thus, McDougall: 'A Note on Suggestion.' _Journal of Neurology and
Psychopathology_, 1920, Vol. I, No. I.

[25] Nachmansohn: 'Freuds Libidotheorie verglichen mit der Eroslehre
Platos'. _Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse_, 1915, Bd. III;
Pfister: 'Plato als Vorläufer der Psychoanalyse', ibid., 1921, Bd. VII.
['Plato: a Fore-Runner of Psycho-Analysis'. _International Journal of
Psycho-Analysis_, 1922, Vol. III.]

[26] 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.'

[27] [An idiom meaning 'for their sake'. Literally: 'for love of

[28] An objection will justly be raised against this conception of the
libidinal [see next foot-note] structure of an army on the ground that
no place has been found in it for such ideas as those of one's country,
of national glory, etc., which are of such importance in holding an army
together. The answer is that that is a different instance of a group
tie, and no longer such a simple one; for the examples of great
generals, like Caesar, Wallenstein, or Napoleon, show that such ideas
are not indispensable to the existence of an army. We shall presently
touch upon the possibility of a leading idea being substituted for a
leader and upon the relations between the two. The neglect of this
libidinal factor in an army, even when it is not the only factor
operative, seems to be not merely a theoretical omission but also a
practical danger. Prussian militarism, which was just as unpsychological
as German science, may have had to suffer the consequences of this in
the great war. We know that the war neuroses which ravaged the German
army have been recognized as being a protest of the individual against
the part he was expected to play in the army; and according to the
communication of E. Simmel (_Kriegsneurosen and 'Psychisches Trauma'._
Munich, 1918), the hard treatment of the men by their superiors may be
considered as foremost among the motive forces of the disease. If the
importance of the libido's claims on this score had been better
appreciated, the fantastic promises of the American President's fourteen
points would probably not have been believed so easily, and the splendid
instrument would not have broken in the hands of the German leaders.

[29] [Here and elsewhere the German 'libidinös' is used simply as an
adjectival derivative from the technical term '_Libido_'; 'libidinal' is
accordingly introduced in the translation in order to avoid the
highly-coloured connotation of the English 'libidinous'.--_Translator._]

[30] ['Cathexis', from the Greek 'κατἑχω', 'I occupy'. The German word
'_Besetzung_' has become of fundamental importance in the exposition of
psycho-analytical theory. Any attempt at a short definition or
description is likely to be misleading, but speaking very loosely, we
may say that 'cathexis' is used on the analogy of an electric charge,
and that it means the concentration or accumulation of mental energy in
some particular channel. Thus, when we speak of the existence in someone
of a libidinal cathexis of an object, or, more shortly, of an
object-cathexis, we mean that the libidinal energy is directed towards,
or rather infused into, the idea (_Vorstellung_) of some object in the
outer world. Readers who desire to obtain a more precise knowledge of
the term are referred to the discussions in 'Zur Einführung des
Narzissmus' and the essays on metapsychology in _Kleine Schriften zur
Neurosenlehre_, Vierte Folge.--_Translator._]

[31] See _Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse_. XXV, 3.
Auflage, 1920. [_Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis._ Lecture XXV.
George Allen and Unwin, 1922.]

[32] Compare Bela v. Felszeghy's interesting though somewhat fantastic
paper 'Panik und Pankomplex'. _Imago_, 1920, Bd. VI.

[33] Compare the explanation of similar phenomena after the abolition of
the paternal authority of the sovereign given in P. Federn's _Die
vaterlose Gesellschaft_. Vienna, Anzengruber-Verlag, 1919.

[34] 'A company of porcupines crowded themselves very close together one
cold winter's day so as to profit by one another's warmth and so save
themselves from being frozen to death. But soon they felt one another's
quills, which induced them to separate again. And now, when the need for
warmth brought them nearer together again, the second evil arose once
more. So that they were driven backwards and forwards from one trouble
to the other, until they had discovered a mean distance at which they
could most tolerably exist.' (_Parerga und Paralipomena_, II. Teil,
XXXI., 'Gleichnisse und Parabeln'.)

[35] Perhaps with the solitary exception of the relation of a mother to
her son, which is based upon narcissism, is not disturbed by subsequent
rivalry, and is reinforced by a rudimentary attempt at sexual

[36] In a recently published study, _Jenseits des Lustprinzips_ (1920)
[_Beyond the Pleasure Principle_, International Psycho-Analytical
Library, No. 4], I have attempted to connect the polarity of love and
hatred with a hypothetical opposition between instincts of life and
death, and to establish the sexual instincts as the purest examples of
the former, the instincts of life.

[37] See 'Zur Einführung des Narzissmus', 1914. _Kleine Schriften zur
Neurosenlehre_, Vierte Folge, 1918.

[38] [Literally, 'leaning-up-against type'; from the Greek 'ἁνακλἱνω' 'I
lean up against'. In the first phase of their development the sexual
instincts have no independent means of finding satisfaction; they do so
by propping themselves upon or 'leaning up against' the
self-preservative instincts. The individual's first choice of a sexual
object is said to be of the 'anaclitic type' when it follows this path;
that is, when he choses as his first sexual object the same person who
has satisfied his early non-sexual needs. For a full discussion of the
anaclitic and narcissistic types of object-choice compare 'Zur
Einführung des Narzissmus.--_Translator._]

[39] See _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, and Abraham's
'Untersuchungen über die früheste prägenitale Entwicklungsstufe der
Libido', _Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse_, 1916, Bd, IV;
also included in his _Klinische Beiträge zur Psychoanalyse_
(Internationale psychoanalytische Bibliothek. Nr. 10, 1921).

[40] [_Kleine Schriften zur Neurosenlehre._ Zweite Folge.]

[41] Marcuszewicz: 'Beitrag zum autistischen Denken bei Kindern.'
_Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse_, 1920, Bd. VI.

[42] ['Trauer und Melancholie.' _Kleine Schriften zur Neurosenlehre_,
Vierte Folge, 1918.]

[43] ['_Instanz_'--like 'instance' in the phrase 'court of first
instance'--was originally a legal term. It is now used in the sense of
one of a hierarchy of authorities or functions.--_Translator._]

[44] 'Zur Einführung des Narzissmus', 'Trauer und Melancholie.'

[45] 'Zur Einführung des Narzissmus.'

[46] We are very well aware that we have not exhausted the nature of
identification with these samples taken from pathology, and that we have
consequently left part of the riddle of group formations untouched. A
far more fundamental and comprehensive psychological analysis would have
to intervene at this point. A path leads from identification by way of
imitation to empathy, that is, to the comprehension of the mechanism by
means of which we are enabled to take up any attitude at all towards
another mental life. Moreover there is still much to be explained in the
manifestations of existing identifications. These result among other
things in a person limiting his aggressiveness towards those with whom
he has identified himself, and in his sparing them and giving them help.
The study of such identifications, like those, for instance, which lie
at the root of clan feeling, led Robertson Smith to the surprising
result that they rest upon the recognition of a common substance
(_Kinship and Marriage_, 1885), and may even therefore be brought about
by a meal eaten in common. This feature makes it possible to connect
this kind of identification with the early history of the human family
which I constructed in _Totem und Tabu_.

[47] Cf. _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, l.c.

[48] 'Über die allgemeinste Erniedrigung des Liebeslebens.' _Kleine
Schriften zur Neurosenlehre_, Vierte Folge, 1918.

[49] Cf. 'Metapsychologische Ergänzung zur Traumlehre.' _Kleine
Schriften zur Neurosenlehre_, Vierte Folge, 1918.

[50] W. Trotter: _Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War._ Fisher Unwin,

[51] See my essay _Jenseits des Lustprinzips_.

[52] See the remarks upon Dread in _Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die
Psychoanalyse_. XXV.

[53] _Totem und Tabu._

[54] What we have just described in our general characterisation of
mankind must apply especially to the primal horde. The will of the
individual was too weak; he did not venture upon action. No impulses
whatever came into play except collective ones; there was only a common
will, there were no single ones. An idea did not dare to turn itself
into a volition unless it felt itself reinforced by a perception of its
general diffusion. This weakness of the idea is to be explained by the
strength of the emotional tie which is shared by all the members of the
horde; but the similarity in the circumstances of their life and the
absence of any private property assist in determining the uniformity of
their individual mental acts. As we may observe with children and
soldiers, common activity is not excluded even in the excremental
functions. The one great exception is provided by the sexual act, in
which a third person is at the best superfluous and in the extreme case
is condemned to a state of painful expectancy. As to the reaction of the
sexual need (for genital gratification) towards gregariousness, see

[55] It may perhaps also be assumed that the sons, when they were driven
out and separated from their father, advanced from identification with
one another to homosexual object love, and in this way won freedom to
kill their father.

[56] 'Das Unheimliche.' _Imago_, 1919, Bd. V.

[57] See _Totem und Tabu_ and the sources there quoted.

[58] This situation, in which the subject's attitude is unconsciously
directed towards the hypnotist, while he is consciously occupied with
the monotonous and uninteresting perceptions, finds a parallel among the
events of psycho-analytic treatment, which deserves to be mentioned
here. At least once in the course of every analysis a moment comes when
the patient obstinately maintains that just now positively nothing
whatever occurs to his mind. His free associations come to a stop and
the usual incentives for putting them in motion fail in their effect. As
a result of pressure the patient is at last induced to admit that he is
thinking of the view from the consulting-room window, of the wall-paper
that he sees before him, or of the gas-lamp hanging from the ceiling.
Then one knows at once that he has gone off into the transference and
that he is engaged upon what are still unconscious thoughts relating to
the physician; and one sees the stoppage in the patient's associations
disappear, as soon as he has been given this explanation.

[59] Ferenczi: 'Introjektion und Übertragung.' _Jahrbuch der
Psychoanalyse_, 1909, Bd. I [_Contributions to Psycho-Analysis._ Boston,
Badger, 1916, Chapter II.]

[60] It seems to me worth emphasizing the fact that the discussions in
this section have induced us to give up Bernheim's conception of
hypnosis and go back to the _naïf_ earlier one. According to Bernheim
all hypnotic phenomena are to be traced to the factor of suggestion,
which is not itself capable of further explanation. We have come to the
conclusion that suggestion is a partial manifestation of the state of
hypnosis, and that hypnosis is solidly founded upon a predisposition
which has survived in the unconscious from the early history of the
human family.

[61] 'Trauer und Melancholie.'

[62] _Totem und Tabu._

[63] Trotter traces repression back to the herd instinct. It is a
translation of this into another form of expression rather than a
contradiction when I say in my 'Einführung des Narzissmus' that on the
part of the ego the construction of an ideal is the condition of

[64] Cf. Abraham: 'Ansätze zur psychoanalytischen Erforschung und
Behandlung des manisch-depressiven Irreseins', 1912, in _Klinische
Beiträge zur Psychoanalyse_, 1921.

[65] To speak more accurately, they conceal themselves behind the
reproaches directed towards the person's own ego, and lend them the
fixity, tenacity, and imperativeness which characterize the
self-reproaches of a melancholiac.

[66] [Literally: 'How he clears his throat and how he spits, that you
have cleverly copied from him.']

[67] What follows at this point was written under the influence of an
exchange of ideas with Otto Rank.

[68] Cf. Hanns Sachs: 'Gemeinsame Tagträume', a summary made by the
lecturer himself of a paper read at the Sixth Psycho-analytical
Congress, held at the Hague in 1920. _Internationale Zeitschrift für
Psychoanalyse_, 1920, Bd. VI. ['Day-Dreams in Common'. _International
Journal of Psycho-Analysis_, 1920, Vol. I.]

[69] In this brief exposition I have made no attempt to bring forward
any of the material existing in legends, myths, fairy tales, the history
of manners, etc., in support of the construction.

[70] Cf. _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_.

[71] Hostile feelings, which are a little more complicated in their
construction, offer no exception to this rule.

[72] [_Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde._ Heft 8. Vienna, Deuticke,

[73] See 'Über die allgemeinste Erniedrigung des Liebeslebens.'

[74] See _Totem und Tabu_, towards the end of Part II, 'Das Tabu und die

[75] See _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, 4. Auflage, 1920, S. 96.

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