With spring, hope springs up and announces that soon we will have made it, soon we will have arrived in a “new normality”, which will not be a post-Corona normality. Corona will continue to be, but as a manageable evil, as something that concerns our “not des Lebens[1]“ (vital needs). And you can vaccinate yourself against it. This manifestation of the “new normality” is somehow unheimlich (uncanny). Norm, norme mâle[2], norm-a-lity. The new normality is like a parody of normality. Even more norms, more normopathy. There is a jouissance of the new normality on the one hand and a hateful rejection of its consequences on the other.

In the past months, I have been most shaken by the ruptures with people who were close to me before. For instance my children’s nanny or a quirky organic wine-grower who has donkeys and let children ride on them. Along with many others, they now follow a conspiratorial online discourse and have addressed me with hateful messages, such as a picture of the entrance gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp with a photo-shopped message: “impfen macht frei“ (vaccination makes you free) instead of “arbeit macht frei“ (work makes you free). In another shocking example, in Austria Corona deniers regularly demonstrated against government action. They were escorted by the police while the counter-demonstrations, organised by left-wing groups, were broken up by police violence. If these are the signs of a new normality, they are not good ones.

The new normality that points to a supposed new pandemic appears more dystopian. Yet this new normality is ultimately a signifier for the phantasm of handling a real that hits, has hit and will hit again. Francesca Biagi-Chai said at the NLS 2021 Congress (Bodily Effects of Language): “there is a danger of producing a reality that is equivalent to the real” [3]. This new normality reveals traces of hatred are already burning everywhere where an encounter with the real is negated or denied.

Before Corona, we were already under the portents of a nature that is turning against us, because of destruction caused by humans, which can potentially lead to the extinction of mankind. Greta Thunberg is a name for proclaiming this, a modern oracle for what she clearly says is often denied. Her speaking out, based on scientific facts, is resented. She is made into an object of hatred and joy. The thing at stake here is a real out of control. It is the real of our planets’ devastation that is threatening us, part of our new reality. Confronted with the encounter of the real, each subject follows its own phantasm, each individual makes-do with their own jouissance. And in times of dissolution of the symbolic and denial of the real, the jouissance of hatred exhausts itself in rejecting the jouissance of the other.

Lacan says in Seminar III, “what has been rejected from the symbolic reappears in the real”[4]. This hatred in the rejection of the jouissance of the Other is real. Hatred belongs to the real and it is producing this new reality as a battlefield between you and me, an endless production feeding both breasts of segregation[5]. In this world, where the symbolic flickers in a short circuit similar to Organsprache (organ speech), where the word represents the thing[6], there is a pluralisation of new categories. This is an attempt to create a new reality that would be equivalent to the real, a new real that is forcing an inscription that doesn’t hold. Nowadays, confronted with the real, each one goes with his or her own category of a new reanormaty, a mixture of reality and normality.

[1] Freud, Sigmund, (1895). “Project for a Scientific Psychology”, SE Vol. 1, Vintage, London (2001), p. 297.

[2]La norme mâle” is the title of the Journées de l’École de la Cause freudienne on 20 et 21 of November 2021.

[3] Francesca Biagi-Chai in her speech at the NLS-Congress 2021 on may 22nd about: Trans: Choice of the Subject or Tyranny of the Master-body

[4] Lacan J., The Seminar Book III, The Psychoses, 1955-1956, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., (1993), p. 49

[5] Miller J-A. , “Docile to Trans”, May 5th 2021, LRO 293.

[6] Freud S., (1915). “The Unconscious“, SE Vol. XIV, Vintage, London (2001), p.197.