ANTI-FREUD --- KARL KRAUS'S CRITICISM OF PSYCHOANALYSIS
AND PSYCHIATRY by Thomas Szasz. Syracuse University Press, Reprint
with a new preface, 1990, Originally published.,1976
PREFACE --- to the first edition (pxix-xxvi)
PART 1 --- Karl Kraus --- satirist against the soul-doctors(p1-100)
1) The man and his work (p3-18)
2) Kraus and Freud --- unmasking the unmasker (p19-42)
3) Karl Kraus --- noble rhetorician (p43-57)
4) Kraus's place in cultural history (p58-79)
5) Karl Kraus today (p80-100)
PART 2 --- Karl Kraus --- selections from his writings (p101-159)
6) On psychoanalysis and psychology (p103-126)
7) On institutional and forensic psychiatry (p127-151)
8) On language, life and love (p152-159)
Above everything else, Kraus was in my opinion, a prophet of personal dignity.
When I say prophet, I mean a proclaimer, a person who "speaks
forth" on behalf of what he regards as a supreme value.
Kraus's whole life embodies his prophetic calling. As writer and actor, as public
figure and private person, everything he did both served and symbolized his
uncompromising devotion to the transcendent importance of human dignity.
More than any other person, the true artist is, of course, the supporter, interpreter, and
mediator of dignity. This is why a great work of art can no more be undignified than a triangle
can have four sides.
On the other hand, a great work of science or technology can be undignified. Kraus was
one of the first among moderns to recognize this fateful fact, and the dangers that lurk behind it.
Kraus's criticisms of psychiatry and psychoanalysis are thus firmly of a piece with all
that he was. He objected to psychiatrists and psychoanalysts not so much because he
thought they were stupid and corrupt, though he surely thought they were, as
because he believed that what they said and did demeaned others, as well
as themselves, and was, therefore, undignified.
Kraus felt that a civilized person's first obligation was just that --- being civil! To him this
meant that such a person had an "irrefragable" (incapable of being refuted;
indisputable) obligation to practice the ethic of respect, not only toward
persons but toward crafts and traditions as well.
Reducing neurotics to their sexual appetites, artistic creations to sublimated perversions,
and hostile critics to irresponsible madmen, was, for Kraus, a form of bad manners, an
unforgivable indignity, and one of the characteristic symptoms of the moral decomposition
of the social order.
A civilized person does not compare an urn with a chamber pot, much less use it as one.
This, Kraus said, was the gist of his message. In our day, when more people than ever are
devoted to the degradation and destruction of urns, and to the euphemization and exaltation
of chamber pots, Kraus's message is more painful and timely than ever.