André Michels – On the Crisis of Legitimation in the Institution

THE LETTER 16 (Summer 1999) pages 27-48

The political  can also be regarded as a dimension of psychoanalysis which awaits  its own development.  There  has been some quite   serious    thought  on   this   matter  and beginnings  made   which, however, have  hardlv entered into  the  specificity  of  psychoanalysis but rather  approached it from outside and  regarded it, or attempted to throw light   on  it, from   the  standpoint of  political   philosophy, sociology,   or ethology. Psychoanalysis found itself for  the most  part  in the  position of the loved  one which  was loved  passionately but which, – after confronting something  resistant  or   mysterious  in   her   approach,  something not amenable to conceptualisation, – was  rejected  with  no  less intensity and even  perhaps being  dismissed as obscurantist or  simply  forgotten.   For some analysis was, and is, at most something like a comet in the sky which only briefly  Hamed out and  then  immediately disappeared, but which  had none  of the strength, or constancy of a real star  to enlighten the universe and  human existence. Whether psychoanalysis is able or will ever be able to do that is something that analysts do not vet know,  because their  young discourse is  not  very  far seeing   and   hardly   any  of  them  has  found   a position from  which  he or she could  begin to answer  this question. Freud and  Lacan worked in this context  like lonely exceptions, the one, in that he discovered and  faced    a  new  field  of  work  , and  the  other   in  that  he anchored  that  field  of work   in  Western  discourse and  in  the  scientific tradition. …

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