The question remains: with whom? With the false leaders who are now on the run, with the limping masters who cannot run, radio presenters who pretend to hold some knowledge by virtue of having gathered myriads of opinions and testimonies of their listeners. There is some remainder of the power to know people cling to. To each one his/her object. Others pour their tears out for being vilified as foreigners, homogenised for decades. Nothing has changed since the first days of colonialism. It was a moment that marked the birth of emigration. Britain brought it upon itself and there is no point in denying it, especially now. With the flow of foreigners starting already at the heyday of the empire’s conquest, it is hardly surprising that today in Britain hate became criminalised. It is a crime to hate, ergo, hate is prohibited.
Another strange tendency has gradually emerged to the fore. Many of the leavers, politicians among them, who have close family ties with foreign countries and nationals, in the interracial and interlingual bonds, have decided to put their foot down against immigration and the foreign, past or present. Let’s be serious. Rather, isn’t it that the problems of autonomy and sovereignty of the UK – that colonised so many independent nations, interfering in their affairs, subjecting local populations to the old and same monarchy of foreign power be it royal, papal or capitalist – boil down, truly, to the problems of the teenager pushing to go out, leave home, the all so familiar, boring, superfluous when you’re a parent in this brave new world? It is at least worth considering.
It is a long way since the XVII century division between the Levellers and Diggers, the latter led by Gerrard Winstanly, who advocated the common cornucopia of earthly goods and objects to be shared by all. The Levellers, who only believed in the Other by consent and agreement, started as the true democrats, the pioneers of referenda and free movement of people. Clearly, they were initially a menace to monarchy, but then mingled with the Royalists against Cromwell. In the new order of today, are the Remainers the new Diggers and the Leavers the new Levellers? The latter have always found discontent in their relations with the neighbour, always feared the jouissance they do not understand. The former are more at ease with the demand from the Other, keener on founding communities that are open to the new comers. They work to live. Hate is not their priority. They seem more akin to the Cathars who found in love conditions more propitious to the passage to God through life without a church. This earned them enough mortal enemies among whom the Inquisition was as good as the monarchy of God. Papacy and monarchy were best lovers then, and it took centuries before the new democracy of Levellers and Diggers, Leavers and Remainers came to existence.
On the subject of hate, Monsieur Farage, again at the centre of public attention, and without whom this push-to-vote would not have come to fruition, made some bold confessions that startled many. Not bold enough for psychoanalysts not to recognise in them the traits to be reckoned with. Farage, to whom I devoted some attention in one of the previous issues of the LRO, confirmed after in the European Parliament, where he feels more at home than in London, that no one laughs at him anymore. He stopped everyone from laughing. When he arrived in Brussels 17 years ago to undertake to divide and diminish, if not fragment, the EU, the MEPs were laughing at him. And now, with his impossible mission accomplished, he can finally find a moment of peace: “you are not laughing at me anymore, are you?” Perhaps this is not solely a problem of teenager’s sovereignty, perhaps there is something else here. Monsieur Farage endured, as he confessed to Lord Haseltine only a couple of days before the Referendum. All these years, when they were laughing at him, he put up with insults and all sorts of names thrown at him. He has become impervious to criticism because it is an insult. This endurance made him strong and turned, at least in his own eyes, into a kind of hero. The last thing remaining for this self-appointed hero to do was that he now resigned as a UKIP leader. How did he manage to milk off the Other of Brussels for all these years, while being a hero in formation in Britain? No one will ever know. Much less was wasted on Boris Johnson, another Leveller, and former London Mayor, who also withdrew, gave up, and gave it a runner. Hasn’t Lacan described resignation from the cause as an instance of moral cowardice because it is useless and serves no one? One always finds it among the self-proclaimed heroes in party politics Lacan called canaille because they are free from fear and pity, and do not believe in truth. Through history of Europe, these false heroes and part-time martyrs had nothing to lose and nothing to gain or give except for stopping others from laughing. The end is always the same for them. Having rocked the boat, they disembark just before it capsizes. Bravo! Let’s note it is a very particular criminal trait that does not stem from transgression.
To the triumph of religion Lacan long anticipated, which for us translates into the triumph of illusion as necessary, as delusional, we can add two more, that of free speech in the analytical style in the open, and that of hatred. Here, too, Farage, like no other it has to be said, made hate into a thing of everyday. It is all right to hate. It is an achievement. After all, were we not hated in the first place? He relieved ex catedra many of the burden of guilt by rendering hate good or at least a normal, everyday emotion… Guess what, he is now a running rat. It is what happens to those who sink ships or set fire to buildings. They run like rats to the end of the world or a desert island of which, as Camus observed, there isn’t any left. But that will not stop them from running.
Hate… Contrary to love, it requires very little speech. To desuppose the Other of knowledge, to imply he does not know what he is saying, was how Lacan defined it at the end. The love of the neighbour, questioned by Freud on the ground of its universal and anonymous character, draws from speech, from the singular signifier, from elegies, peons, apologias of desire addressed to the one we never know enough. Hatred is no poetry because it cannot even be made. It rather undoes what is not in the making. In the end, hate is for nothing for in it, in the act of hate, I am to the other, in the other, exactly what he is in me – the deject object that despite eviction and all this immigration hullabaloo does not go. Will the resignation make it go?
Britain is mourning. The calamity and loss are still incomprehensible. Nobody knows what’s next but perhaps nobody has ever known. To realise it at this moment we are changing the subject whenever possible while following through the chain as the golden rule, to circumvent it, to make sense, again, to circumscribe the inexistence of the Other…