Review of The Future of an Illusion

Review of The Future of an Illusion, by Sigmund Freud, Der Judische Student, Vol. 25, No. 4 (August 1928).  Reprinted in Leo Strauss: The Early Writings.


The following remarks are meant as a call to develop the Zionist ideology in a direction in which it is not completely developed.  They follow The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud, which  appeared a year ago.  They do so neither in order to cloak themselves in the authority of a man of European fame (no authorities exist in the field in which they move), nor because what they imply could not have been known without Freud.  Rather, they do so merely because the clarity and simplicity of the Freudian manner of speaking (a clarity and simplicity not very common in Germany) help to prevent beating around the bush on the essential question.  To be sure, such clarity and simplicity are also a great danger; they fool readers used to different manners of speaking into ignoring the substance of the Freudian expositions, including their questionable substance.  Even readers who are merely familiar with the way in which the question of religion is customarily dealt with at German universities could easily dismiss the work to which we refer as superficial.  Whoever is satisfied with such criticism has understood nothing of the question that guides Freud.

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