Democracy, July 25, 2010 © ydant | Flickr
EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe PsycheThe Radical Imagination

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.  …

READ MORE →