Marxism and Psychoanalysis

A link between Marx's critique of society and Freud's psychoanalysis was sought mainly in so-called Freudo-Marxism, in Critical Theory and its environs, and in the structuralist engagement with Marx. These, in some cases, very diverse efforts are united by their claim not only to combine two theories of radical social critique, but also to determine how capitalist socialisation is reflected – albeit in an inverted, alienated, decentred manner – in the subject.

The coupling of Marxism and psychoanalysis has shaped the labour movement through the works of Wilhelm Reich, among others. Reich endorsed a "proletarian sexual politics" that addressed such as issues as the reform of marital law and the abolition of prostitution.  These approaches were rediscovered in the 1960s, influenced the New Left and were discussed under the rubric of "sexual liberation." In the Paris of 1968, this led to the "bedroom revolt," by which gender segregation was to be abolished in the student dorms of Nanterre University. So-called anti-psychiatry was also influential; it sought to "turn illness into a weapon," and to deploy this weapon in the struggle for a different society.

As a result of the West German student movement, Critical Psychology was developed, which understood the problems of Pschology as sociopolitical questions. The aim is to exceed both the internal scientific (self) limitations in the field and the tendency to individualization.

Some issues of the  Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie und Sexualökonomie ("Journal of Political Psychology and Sexual Economics"), which appeared between 1934 and 1938, are available online. Further information on the coupling of Marxism and psychoanalysis can be found in the archived works of Erich Fromm and Wilhelm Reich. Most of Reich's writings can be found here.