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Abstract: The Primal Horde theory, first mentioned by Freud in Totem and Taboo, plays a fundamental role in his Massenpsychologie. Developed from Charles Darwin’s writings on The Descent of Man and influenced by the patriarchal theories of Atkinson and Lang, the image of the horde, regardless of its anthropological validity, can still be an excellent tool for investigating the contemporary masses. It should also be recognised, however, that Freud owes an important philosophical debt to Hobbesian philosophy: for both thinkers, society is founded on a negative ground, on the threat of a destructive Desire that makes paternal repression necessary. To imagine a positive ground for society, it is then necessary to demonstrate the possibility of an alternative, constructive Desire. However, the hypermodern masses, far from having freed themselves from the Oedipal bond, still seem destined to come to terms with Thanatos, the Death drive.
Keywords: Primal Horde; Desire; Thanatos; Marcuse; Hypermodern Masses.