If popular wisdom baptized money as “the excrement of the Devil”, the cunning of Luther (whose bowel movements inspired the Reformation, according to the biographers) consisted in robbing money from the devil and having it blessed by God. This gave the green light to capitalism, which is not without reason is doing much better with Protestant pragmatism than with the stupidities of the Catholics, who are still ashamed today of doing the same as the others.
The anal sphincter can be worked just like public spending: you open or contract it. In the same way that Keynesian anal eroticism is opposed to that of Friedman, there are those who enjoy spending while others find their most exquisite pleasure in retaining. This shows how false is the usual idea that money only exists because of what it can buy. Money can provide a jouissance in itself, by the mere fact of its retention and accumulation.
Many people have the prejudice that undergoing psychoanalysis is something for the rich. They are wrong in every respect. Firstly, because this idea is typical of those who are completely unaware of the psychology of the rich: the rich do not pay. It’s not that they do not pay for their psychoanalytic sessions, it’s that they simply do not pay anything. That is, no more no less, the position of the rich: to not pay any price. For that reason, it is a contradiction to expect the rich to pay more taxes. If they did, they would no longer be themselves, the rich, even if their fortunes kept pouring out of their ears. It is very rare for a rich man to undergo psychoanalysis: he is not usually willing to pay the price of knowing. He prefers to hire others to take charge of the knowledge that he is not willing to assume.
Secondly, if you want to know something about yourself, something about your most intimate truth, you will have to be willing to give something up. If you do not want to know anything, you will possibly pay a much more costly price. It is for this reason that one pays for psychoanalytic therapy. Of course, the amount will be variable according to the possibilities of each one. A true analyst will never leave at the door someone who shows a decided desire to want to know.
Paying for analysis is not only the proof of your commitment, but the metaphor of what you must give up in order to conquer something better for your own life. Around this symbolic gesture we will see the most astonishing behaviors deployed: sacrifice, pettiness, concealment, exhibition, generosity. In sum: a wide range of human passions will be put into play when it’s time to put your hand in your pocket.
“Stingy” or “unstinting”, the subject always shows something of his own intimacy when it comes to money. The analytical session is an incomparable testing ground to study precisely what economics will never manage to decipher: the secret and impure substance of that which moves the world.
Translated by Florencia F.C. Shanahan