chapter  2
Masochism and the Repetition Compulsion
Pages 12

One of the basic postulates of psychoanalytic psychology is excep­ tionless psychological determinism (Freud, 1901), from which it fol­ lows that avoidable pain or loss come about only through the operation of preexisting mental dispositions. In other words, in a fundamental sense, any maladaptation is amasochistic." It may be pertinent to note in this connection that in his late work, beginning with uBeyond the Pleasure Principle" (1920), Freud assumed the operation of a permanent force he called uprimary masochism." Although he defined this nar­ rowly as the operation of entropy, in a clinical context it is to be understood as a self-damaging udrive" that prevents the attainment of pleasure aims. Although recently theoreticians have seldom classified masochism as a drive, Freud's concept still appears to be useful in focusing on the inevitability of conflict between certain innate dispo­ sitions and the individual's conscious adaptive goals.