Book Recommendation, March 23, 2023

“Elective Affinities” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, or Goethe as he is commonly known in the literary world and amongst the intelligentsia. It exists in a league of its own as a social theory and is above the fray when compared to a number of other social theories and when we take present day realities into consideration, in the sense that the basic argument or logic which underpins the theory of “elective affinities” is that the entire social world – which one must note is now global in scale and scope as a result of globalization and technology – can be explained by chemical processes or one major chemical process above all others, and that this basic chemical process can either bring people together or repel them from one another, and in turn, this chemical process or “elective affinities” can describe and explain everything about the social world, with the social world being the core focus and subject of the social sciences and the natural world as the core focus and subject of the natural sciences. To consider Goethe’s “elective affinities” as a foundational source or predecessor or precedent for Freud’s libido theory would not be farfetched or outside of the bounds of reason.

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