The social forces that surrounded the lives of those who ascribed to the primitive societies were centrally regulated by a peculiar code of acceptable and acceptable behavior that rotated around a single symbol that was great relevance to a society, a lineage or a clan, that is the totem. Any totem was viewed with mixed emotions, those of love as well as those of fear. This was perhaps because the totem could punish the errant members of the society thus invoking the emotions of fears while it could protect the good members of the society hence invoking the feelings of love. Since the totem therefore rewarded the followers based on their behavior which was measured within the realm of the society of deciding what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, the taboos associated with a totem resembled a code of ethics.
To begin with, the taboos of a totem guided the entire society or clan on what to do and what not to do. As it happen sin the contemporary society, acceptable behavior is explained in a society's code of ethics and it is effectively differentiated from unacceptable behavior. Similarly the primitive society used the taboos of a totem to define the behavioral conduct of its members. In explaining this, Freud examined the nature of behavioral restriction against some sexual behaviors among primitive societies that wore no clothes, yet, they never seemed to be concerned about their nakedness nor have any form of sexual attraction among the members of the clan. To explain this, it was found that such communities took it as a taboo to even conceive of such a behavior in their minds, leave alone actualizing their desires. This therefore ensured that sexual malpractices were put out of the society.
The totem belief also invoked the feelings of fear form its followers. These feelings of fear are systematically intertwined in the society through the process of making the spirit of the dead a ghost which are used by the totem to punish errant members of the society. The fear of the ghost which is believed hovers around the living seeking the errant ones to devour leads to an automatic inherent fear among the living and thus the have to live in accordance with the wishes of the ghosts. The ghostly fears that are utilized by the totems of the society to rid the society of the unwanted members therefore act as a form of behavior control among the societies that believe in totem. Since their behavior is controlled by the totem taboo, this taboo is acts as a code of ethics.
Totem taboo also acted as a code of ethics for the societies that believed in it by ensuring that those who violated the taboo actually became a taboo themselves. Freud explains that those who acted against the taboos were considered a taboo also and thus had to be avoided as they would encourage other members of the society to follow the same kind of behavior. The errant members were also banished form the society and thus which further reinforced the role of totem taboos as codes of ethics. The primitive societies were based on mechanical solidarity which was earned form the kinship ties, which meant that a banished member was deprived off their means for survival since he or she could not survive alone. This therefore meant that the fear of this repercussion reinforced the form of behavior that existed in the society.
In conclusion, it is evident that the taboo of the totems acted as a code of ethics that guided the form of behavioral conduct of the members of the primitive society. The primitive society therefore had its behavior controlled by the code of conduct that was primarily based on the taboos of the totem as no member of the society was interested in violating the rules of the totem. This ensured that behavioral standards were maintained.