The text below was presented during the “Beat Le Pen” (BLP) Forum, hosted by l’École de la Cause freudienne, on April 22, 2022, two days before the second and final round of the French presidential election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Many speakers presented during the two nights of the BLP (April 21-22, 2022). This is the second of four presentations from that event that LRO will publish in the coming days.
In 1895, while Freud was writing Studies on Hysteria and analysing his dream about the “Irma Injection”, my grandparents were arriving in Argentina. Some came from Odessa, others from the now non-existent Bessarabia. They were fleeing misery and pogroms. They were lucky. Although their plan was to go to the USA, where family was waiting for them, they disembarked in the port of Buenos Aires, where they knew no one. They passed through the Immigrants’ Hotel and ended up in a tenement house where other Jews like them lived, and some Italians too. Some spoke Yiddish, others some dialect from southern Italy. They built a life here.
In 1978, while Lacan was delivering his seminar The Moment to Conclude, I arrived with my family in Caracas. I was fleeing the military dictatorship. I was lucky. The Venezuelans of those times welcomed me with friendship. I was able to resume my practice, and there I met Miller and Judith in person, and I encountered Lacan. My life changed forever. Like many others, I went back to Argentina when democracy returned.
If I am telling you this, it is to justify my presence in this Forum that aims to prevent Marine Le Pen from becoming president of France.
Don’t think that Marine Le Pen is a French issue. Marine Le Pen is my issue, as Argentinean, Jewish, granddaughter of immigrants, and a migrant myself. And it is also my issue because I am a psychoanalyst, and that taught me how to interpret.
In 2017 MLP addressed the “patriots”: “Today, the real divide is between patriots and globalists” she said back then in Lyon. Five years later, it is no longer so convenient to speak of patriots, a term too close to patriarchy and the father. Today MLP addresses the “People”, the French people, the people who, should she win the elections, will be called to a referendum to approve a bill on:
– Immigration control
– The protection of French nationality and identity.
– The primacy of national law, giving judges a constitutional shield [bouclier] allowing them to disregard any rule of international or EU law that is contrary to it.”
“The approval of this referendum, the candidate concludes, will make the eyes of the world, those of our nation and, above all those of the European Union, see that we are masters of our destiny.”
Well, these two eyes of the world learned to look at the photos accompanying the MLP immigration control project. They learnt to read between the lines that when MLP mentions the word “people” 21 times in the 46 pages of the project, it is in order to make the family’s rope vibrate against the neighbour, the one who speaks another language, who wears other colours, who God knows what he laughs at and what he enjoys, the one who is by definition an intruder. If MLP appeals to the French people, it is because that stirs up the paranoia that is the basis of our personality, the paranoia that knows that the Other is bad, the paranoia that suspects, distrusts, affirms its identity by segregating what is differeny and always threatens to seep across borders in the form of the black or the Muslim, the Jew or the woman.
And these eyes also learned to distinguish between statement and enunciation: when MLP defends her binding referendum by saying that when the people pronounce themselves, when they decide, then no power, no authority can question or dispute their decisions, is she not agitating the people against the Rule of Law?
Yes. As far as I am concerned, if I had the right to vote, not one vote for Marine Le Pen! But then, where would my vote go?
The Sorbonne students raise the slogan “neither Le Pen nor Macron.” That would have been a good slogan before the first round. But now, no matter how much people shout “neither one nor the other!,” one of the two will win.
In the second round, “neither one nor the other” can only become effective with revolution… or with a coup d’état. I dreamt of the first, I knew the second. But if we stay in the democratic game, the “neither nor” of the libertarian slogan will play, in spite of itself, in favour of one or the other. Forced choice, and everyone knows it.
After voting blank, or abstaining, when the coin is still spinning in the air, everyone will know which side they want it to fall on, and then, the beautiful souls of democracy will not be able to ignore the truth that their withheld vote tried to conceal.
Translated by Florencia Shanahan