Who could someone be
When everything is full
If not nobody?
The latest statistical results show an increasing amount of distress amongst our fellow citizens. Anxiety, depression, all kinds of medical illnesses and drugs/internet/behavioral abuse are emerging worldwide.
How did this come about?
Let us begin with a hypothesis concerning our postmodern dominant fantasy.
It is a fantasy of abundance, where man is face with possibilities, prospects and endless time - after killing death, life seems eternal1.
An example of this is the so called “post-truth” movement: large groups of people are expressing their ideas, however radically at odds they may appear with science or plain common sense. For instance, some people refuse to vaccinate their kids. Others insist that significant historical events such as the holocaust, did not take place.
Post-truth subjects, having suppressed their own memory of mortality, consider science to be of no great use anymore: it is just an opinion among so many others. Science was the last big dominant Word after the death of god. So, where does this lead us?
We live in the era of the denial of castration as such. Castration of the body, of language and of the ideal of humanity. It is much more painful to work through trauma than to suppress it in a neurotic manner or to totally cancel it, psychotically. Mourning has been reduced as a procedure (since castration is to be found there) and post-truth subjects are called in to enjoy everything and forever, in a world of uncertain past and future, in the name of worldfullness.
This is where ordinary psychosis emerges, as a clinical description of the worldwide requirement for the "ordinary", for a deranged normativity.
What is there to be said on this anxiety-ridden nightmare that is emerging worldwide?
Psychoanalysis teaches us that in order to overcome the self-realisation of life as such, we have to direct it at someone else. Without the other -ie language- desire remains crippled as to its possibilities of eternal fulfillment.
Without the other responding, the subject lies alone and life turns into a deadly drive: through repetition its only purpose is to pursue instinct and seek immediate relief, as both Freud2 and Lacan3 pointed it out in their works.
This is what Sade foretold, what Pasolini depicted in his movies. A boundless jouissance that entails the suffering of both the mind and the body. In the presence of a huge big Other relishing everything, the object that arises is waste itself.
Subjects become objects. What is missing is the law of speech, the paternal function that through castration will humanize Desire, giving a name to the human subject and intercepting the boundless jouissance. Thus jouissance will stop overcoming the body.
In order to find relief from the repetitive rage of jouissance, many post-truth subjects are addressing a different big perverse Other, in an attempt at selfhealing: big sadistic leaders of the past are being re-elected in great countries like the USA, many postmodern women in France are wearing the veil. But by calling back the dead old God, post-truth sadistic “microfathers” have little to give the postmodern subject. All these solutions may be stress-relieving at the beginning but they cannot bring desire back to the subject. And that is because they are merely a regression to a former state: the lack of the father will always be looming at the end of the road.
Postmodern and post-truth subjects are called now to invent a father that will be the carrier of the law of Desire. A father that is castrated and who will bring the word of a heritage, in the way that in Odyssey, Telemachus asks his father Ulysses to put an end to the unending night of suitors courting Penelope. An end to his palace’s wasted life and fortune4.
We are called today as analysts to take up this role more than ever.