EssaysFeatureImaginal PoliticsLiberal Democracy in QuestionPsyche

Psychoanalysis, Democracy, Desire

Anyone passingly familiar with the history of psychoanalysis knows that the field has occupied an embattled, marginalized, often indeterminate identity, and that its survival has often seemed precarious. Yet it is from this perch on the margins of culture and community that psychoanalysis speaks. By channeling a vortex of unconscious and conscious energies, it gives voice to raw, novel, free associations. In fact, because it speaks, and because it hails listening and speaking as the medium for therapeutic action (as “the talking cure”) psychoanalysis is powerfully relevant, even essential, to our personal and collective development. It sets in motion (as Lacan, by means of Bruce Finkwould frame it)[i] “‘a dialectic of desire,’…[desire] set free of the fixation inherent in demand.” 

Psychoanalysis achieves its results through a remarkably human, non-technological practice of talking freely, of free association.  …

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CapitalismEssaysImaginal PoliticsLiberal Democracy in QuestionO.O.P.S.PsycheSex & Gender

Pornography in the Political Domain: A Citizen is Being Beaten

It is election time. I am almost done with the course “Gender and Domination.” However, the echoes of conversations started in that class are proving to be difficult to silence. Among the questions that this seminar has left lingering, the one that has stayed with me the most has to do with the little use that historically psychoanalytic theory seems to have had for political philosophy. Maybe the problem is that I do not know enough about the topic, but it is my impression that the existing collaborations between the two disciplines are scarce at best. Yet I do not think it has to be this way. Thus, in what follows, I present my attempt to engage psychoanalysis with certain political attitudes that I consider problematic. The starting point of my reflection is an article that Drucilla Cornell wrote back in the 1990s as a response to the debate on pornography initiated by Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin.  …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsSex & Gender

Libidinal Ecology: Sex and the Anthropocene (I)

In 2013, reports starting circulating in the media that the global best-seller 50 Shades of Grey was beginning to outstay its welcome as a cultural artifact. In the UK alone, it sold 5.3 million copies to that point, even before the film based on the story was released. A large percentage of these books ended up in charity stores. Unfortunately, these stores could not resell the books, nor pulp them safely. As the Telegraph newspaper reported at the time: “the country has amassed a ‘paper mountain’ of unwanted copies . . . 

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EssaysPsyche

Growing up under Different Skies

Reflections at the Einstein Forum

I stand before you with more questions and contradictions than answers. I have chosen to speak of growing up “under different skies” because that was my destiny. What I don’t know is whether such a biographical accident sheds a very different light on growing up or whether it is more of the same with just greater geographical movement than in most young lives.

When I wrote a quarter of a century ago my intellectual autobiography …

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