A Glimpse of Psychoanalytic and Post-Modernism

Friday, 18th  December 2015

Amazingly, today we merged two chapters between chapter Psychoanalytic and Post-Modernism theory. First, we discuss about psychoanalytic theory. Psychoanalytic theory focus the self as the object of study, and then the Postmodernism as our closing of this course. In my perspective, psychoanalytic theory has made me conclude that humans are never happy. However, is it necessary to be happy? Is happiness the purpose of life?

Psychoanalytic theory was first introduced by Sigmund Freud. He claimed that there are three aspects of human’s mind. They are id, ego, and super ego. Freud said id is humans’ instinct that has many desires and tend to be animalistic. The ego manage the self to be stable, and the superego consists of conscience and morality. Freud also claimed that most of modern people tend to be not happy because most of them hold their sexual desires. After Freud, here comes the post-Freudian theorists. They are Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Interestingly, both of them developed Freudian theory with Marxian theory. In Fromm perspective, modern people mostly think what TO CONSUME, and lead them into consumerism. From this, Fromm claimed that modern people are not happy because they search for pleasure instead of happiness. Happiness in modern people diminished into pleasure to consume some commodities, such as drinking liquor, enjoy music, movies, sex, etc. Marcuse defined those commodities as false needs. According to him, humans are similar with robot, and then “robotism” appeared. As a result, life has no significant meaning for humans.

In my opinion, modern people tend to be more stressed. Why? Because they are so busy. WE are so busy with our business and tend to be a “robot” who just do the routines again and again. Somehow,  this course leads me to make a poem which describe modern people in my lens.


We work and we talk,

We never think—just talk and walk

Work and walk,

Then talk and walk,

Work and talk,

till the Sun taken by the Moon

to find some coins—to find some pride

then off to the couch, empty on one side

too tired to care, so stiff to feel

then we wake to work


Talk and walk,

Work and talk,

We never think, just talk and walk

Alive but dead, dead but alive


After psychoanalytic, our discussion changed into post-modernism theory. Post-modernism theory is different from the other theories. It brings us to criticize and suspect all theories that we’ve learned whether those are valid or not. Most of post-modernist critique the science and linked to relativism. They argue that there is no absolute and objective viewpoint to detect the truth. I think most of post-modernist are the most skeptical theorists from all theorists whom we’ve discussed through this semester. Most of their analysis are likely to criticize other theories. They also attack the idea of cultural theory as moral enterprise. Bauman said that social theory forces people to make their own moral and ethical choices. As a result, post-modernism also discuss identity and difference as analysis.

In my opinion, post modern theory is too skeptical in viewing knowledge. Skepticism, as philosophy said, it is good, but when it turns to be excessive, it can detain us from gaining a lot of knowledge. However, post-modernism has redeemed the strict structure from modernism and portray flexibility towards discourse. Maybe that is why it can be called “playful” theory.

Finally, this course has come to the end. I have learned to be more critical, and I think I could analyze some phenomenon with many perspective and theory that I have learned this term. I’m so glad taking this course because it improves my way of thinking from my rigid perspective, until now I can be more critical and appreciate many perspective around me. Mr. Junaedi has also inspired me through this term. It is an honour to be one of his students in his lectures, and made me became mre interested in research. Before taking this class, I decided not to take thesis for my final year. However, after I ended this class I am considering it again. Although I don’t know my grade will be good or not, but the most important is I have gained a lot of knowledge from this class. Now, I became more interested in those theories and I plan to read them again for preparing my research in the next year.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin


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