THE CRUELTY OF THE SUPER-EGO. Phillips acknowledges that:…”[n]othing makes us more suspicious…than the suggestion…that we should…start really loving ourselves.” Yet he attacks the self-critical part of each of us—“the part that Freud calls the super-ego”. The super-ego is “remarkably narrow-minded”,”relentlessly repetitive”, and “cruelly intimidating”. It is not simply the harshness of the super-ego, but that “It never brings us any news about ourselves.”
Phillips has much more to criticize about the super-ego. We identify with it even though it “is only one part—a small but loud part—of the self”.