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Freud conceives of the libido as an "economic" concept.
It is an energy which can increase or descrease, and which can be displaced.
It can be desexualized or used in sublimation.
Freud insisted on the sexual nature of this energy.
Libido is a specifically sexual energy.
Throughout his work, Freud maintained a dualism in which the libido is opposed to another (non-sexual) form of energy.
Freud made a distinction between the sexual or libidinal drives and the self-preservation of ego drives.
Jung opposed this dualism, positing a single form of life-energy which is neutral in character, and proposed that this energy be denoted by the term "libido."
Imaginary and the Real
"Libido and the ego are on the same side. Narcissism is libidinal."
- Freud, Sigmund. SE XVIII. 1921c. p.90.
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p.119-20
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.291
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book II. The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 1954-55. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 1988. p.326
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p.848-9