Pleasura & Realitas: The Dialectic of Dominating Impulses

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Prometheus Books, 1993 - Social Science - 155 pages
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This compelling book makes human history come alive by viewing it as the conflict and synthesis of powerful human drives.
E.L. Stone's exploration of the forces of human nature at their most dynamic captures the rich texture of social history by demonstrating that society is indeed the individual writ large. The behavior of individuals can be understood, in part, through the internal struggle between the self-involved, aggrandizing id and the self-conscious, controlling ego. When extrapolated to the human community, history becomes a convulsive power play between what Stone calls pleasura - the forces of the passions (be they good or evil, liberal or reactionary), which break away from the status quo - and realitas - the countervailing desire to fashion order out of chaos and maintain social control through the rule of law. History is transformed into a fascinating drama in which these forces vie for ascendancy, merge in momentary coexistence, and then explode with the fervor of intense commitment. Containing both the promise of human self-realization and the risk of stagnation, if not utter destruction, the powerful dialectic described in Pleasura and Realitas will help us understand our past, deal with the present, and anticipate the future.

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