“The effect of intoxicants in the struggle for happiness and in keeping misery at a distance is seen as so great a boon that not only individuals, but whole nations, have accorded them a firm place in the economy of the libido. We owe to them not only a direct yield of pleasure, but a fervently desired degree of independence from the external world. We know, after all, that by drowning our sorrows we can escape at any time from the pressure of reality and find refuge in a world of our own that affords us better conditions for our sensibility. It is well known that precisely this property of intoxicants makes them dangerous and harmful. In some circumstances they are responsible for the futile loss of large amounts of energy that might have been used to improve the lot of mankind” (19).
“The sexually mature individual finds that his choice of object is restricted to the opposite sex, and that most extra-genital gratifications are forbidden as perversion. The demand for a uniform sexual life for all, which is proclaimed in all these prohibitions, disregards all the disparities, innate and acquired, in the sexual constitution of human beings, thereby depriving fairly large numbers of sexual enjoyment and becoming a source of grave injustice. The result of such restrictions might be that in normal persons…all sexual interest would flow, with no loss, into the channels still left open to it. But what is not outlawed – heterosexual genital love – is still limited by legitimacy and monogamy. Present-day civilization makes it clear that it will permit sexual relations only on the basis of a unique and indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, that it disapproves of sexuality as a source of pleasure in its own right and will tolerate it only as the device – for which a substitute has still to be found – for the increase of mankind. This is of course an extreme view, and it is known to have proved impracticable, even for quite short periods” (53).
“Man too is an animal with an unequivocally bisexual disposition….We are in the habit of saying that every human being exhibits both male and female impulses, needs and properties, but while anatomy can distinguish between male and female, psychology cannot….A further difficulty arises because erotic relations are so often associated with a degree of direct aggression…the love-object will not always be as understanding and tolerant as the farmer’s wife who complained that her husband no longer loved her because he had not beaten her for a week” (54). Since being upright – “the sexual function has since been accompanied by an unaccountable repugnance, which prevents total gratification and deflects it from the sexual aim towards sublimations and displacements of the libido.…The genitals give off strong smells that are intolerable to many and spoil their enjoyment of sexual intercourse.” However, in other cultures these odours are valuable sexual stimuli (55).
“Human beings are not gentle creatures in need of love, at most able to defend themselves if attacked; on the contrary, they can count a powerful share of aggression among their instinctual endowments. Hence their neighbour is not only a potential helper of sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to take out their aggression on him….since passions that derive from the drives are stronger than reasonable interests” (61)
I think it's an interesting proposition that we construct society such that there are minor aggressive outlets available so we don't get into major aggressive outbursts. Maybe a riot is just a necessary explosion after years of societal repression. It's catharsis. And it could be argued that video games are saving us. But I don't think so. While I do agree that we all have inborn aggression (which was a new idea at the time and controversial for the masses who believed God created us to be good), I think we can safely re-direct our aggressive energy (sports, art, work, play) without later exploding. We don't need to be harmful. People who harm often just haven't found a non-violent outlet.
“The fateful question for the human race seems to be whether, and to what extent, the development of its civilization will manage to overcome the disturbance of communal life caused by the human drive for aggression and self-destruction… Human beings have made such strides in controlling the forces of nature that, with the help of these forces, they will have no difficulty in exterminating one another, down to the last man. They know this, and it is this knowledge that accounts for much of their present disquiet, unhappiness and anxiety. And now it is to be expected that the other of the two ‘heavenly powers’, immortal Eros, will try to assert himself in the struggle with his equally immortal adversary. But who can foresee the outcome?” (106 - it's a really short book!)