Bodies, Networks, Borders - The new politics of the not-All
Jacques-Alain Miller has characterised the ZADIG movement as “a field open to initiatives”, with the stated aim of making psychoanalysis exist in the political field.
ZADIG is a signifier that opens up a new field of psychoanalytic action. It has given rise to a loose network of multi-cellular associations across the different territories and continents that respond to the Lacanian compass.
These improvised, ad hoc, local and trans-national networks manifest ongoing effects of proliferation and ramification as the Lacanian orientation seeks ways to insert itself in the pressing social, political and cultural questions of our times.
This form of association, this mode of operation, goes against the grain of the dominant political tendencies of our times, which increasingly lead to the creation of barriers, the policing of borders and the retreat into the false security of national identities.
The New Issue of Mental!
Psychology of the Masses Today
Edited by Domenico Cosenza
First and foremost, this is an attempt to update Freud’s Massenpsychologie. This issue of Mental aims to let us read, from the final teaching of Lacan, the events that make up the zeitgeist, the spirit of our time, an era that opened with the astonishing electoral victory of Donald Trump in the United States and the ensuing shifts in the global political game, with all that this implies for Europe.
Some terms – “populism” and “sovereignty” in particular – have taken centre stage in the media and in public opinion. They refer to a mass reaction to the devastating effects of globalisation, which in some cases presents a worrying drift. This drift, in fact, goes in the direction that Éric Laurent defined as a “nostalgia for the One”, a return to the origins in search of a national or group identity animated by the refusal of the Other whether it is different, migrant or foreigner. Lacan had predicted it when he said that our future as common markets had strengthened the processes of segregation. In all their forms, these processes are the other aspect of contemporary universalism, the fruit of science at the service of advanced capitalism.
Mental No. 39 examines, from the perspective of psychoanalysis, the changes in contemporary discourse that are inscribing themselves in a political environment characterised by the current wave of so-called “neo-populism” and the collective phenomena that distinguish it, particularly in the European context.
Seminar 18th May 2019
The Society of the Symptom
With Colin Wright (University of Nottingham) and Roger Litten
In Saturday’s seminar we will be taking up a reading of the first five chapters of Lacan’s Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, in relation to the argument of Jacques-Alain Miller’s text A Fantasy (available online).
We aim in this way to establish a robust psychoanalytic framework within which to analyse some of the more striking symptoms of the discontents of our times.
We look forward to your participation in this urgent and ongoing work.
Director - LLP
Saturday 18th May
14.00 – 17.00
Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
Saturday 13 April, 2pm-5pm
Lacanian Politics: Confronting a Great Disorder in the Real
We invite you to join us next Saturday at a new venue for this month’s meeting. Claudia Lapping and Janet Haney will be convening a discussion about the meaning of Lacanian politics and drawing out some of the overlapping themes and questions that feature in their current work.
Claudia will introduce a project she and colleagues are working on, to establish UCL as a Sanctuary University. This project attempts to tackle some 21st-century challenges in the educational sphere in relation to refugees. Janet will present her recent contribution to The Lacanian Review, which presses Lacan’s four discourses into the service of illuminating current questions surrounding climate change.
In his presentation to the 8th WAP Congress in Buenos Aires in 2012, Jacques-Alain Miller introduced a theme to guide preparatory work for the subsequent meeting (held in Paris in 2014) and presented psychoanalysts with a new challenge: “It is a question of leaving behind the 20th century, leaving it behind us in order to renew our practice in a world itself amply restructured by two historical factors, two discourses: the discourse of science and the discourse of capitalism. These are the two prevalent discourses of modernity which, since their beginning, since their appearance, have begun to destroy the traditional structure of human experience.”
We shall be thinking about “the great disorder in the real” in terms of disturbances in the clinic and disturbances of populations. Claudia’s project in particular will give us an opportunity to explore how the structure of the discourses offer a distinctive and potentially productive way of understanding the everyday life of the university.
We look forward to seeing you at the Institute of Education and anticipate a change of pace and perspective for our discussion of the four discourses – master, hysteric, university, analyst – and the capitalist discourse. We hope this will be a profitable investment of libido and an illuminating investigation of the theft of jouissance.
Room 731, Institute of Education
Main Building, 20 Bedford Way
Bloomsbury, WC1H 0AL
Please note change of venue
Admission: £10 on the door
Seminar, Sunday 17th March 2019
Psychoanalytic Paradigms of Biopolitics
Speakers: Roger Litten and Ingmar Hinz (Kingston University)
In a series of seminars given in Bahia, Brazil, in 1998, partially translated into English under the title The Bone of an Analysis, Jacques-Alain Miller homes in on the question of the articulation between signifier and jouissance via the ‘Freudian question’ of the libidinal investment and disinvestment of signifying material. The publication of this earlier series of seminars from 1998 allows us to situate the core question to which Miller’s subsequent elaboration of the paradigms of jouissance can be seen to respond. At the same time, it helps us to grasp a bit more precisely some of the questions at stake in the different conceptions of the end of analysis in different phases of Lacan’s work, as indexed around the notions of assumption of mortality, crossing of the fantasy and identification with the sinthome.
Each of these three conceptions of the end of an analytic treatment, considered as modalities of the articulation between signifier and jouissance, can in their turn provide us with a framework for formulating the stakes of a psychoanalytical politics and a principle of legibility for reading developments in the contemporary political field. Current work within the Lacanian School has tended to accentuate the notion of the sinthome elaborated in Lacan’s late work as the central reference of both clinical practice and political thought, as demonstrated in Eric Laurent’s recent book L’envers de la biopolitique, which remains the essential reference for a contemporary Lacanian politics. These later elaborations, however, do not invalidate Lacan’s earlier theory, in particular his exploration of the framework of the fantasy, but rather provide new ways of considering possible knottings of some of the terms in play.
In previous sessions of the Laboratory for Lacanian Politics, we have explored some of the articulations between the clinical and political fields via the relation between the analytic discourse and the discourse of the master. In next Sunday’s seminar we will be taking up psychoanalytical politics from the other side, exploring its frontier with biopolitics. We will be attempting to extract the main co-ordinates of the biopolitical and the psychoanalytical approaches to contemporary politics in order to seek out possible points of convergence and divergence between these two approaches. In each instance the central reference will be the articulation between signifier and jouissance, sovereign law and bare life.
This project opens up a new series of questions for Lacanian politics, some of which we hope to be able to pursue in subsequent seminars. We invite you to come and join us for the opening of what promises to be a vital and urgent line of research within the framework of the Laboratory.
Sunday 17th March 2019
14.00 – 17.00
Bertrand Russell Room
Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
Forthcoming Laboratory Seminars
Add these dates to your diary
All events to be held at Conway Hall
Saturday 16 February 2019, 2-5pm
In the Artists Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Roger Litten and Jason Glynos speaking about The New Logics of Populism £10 on the door.
Also on 16 Feb, the Milan Zadig Forum, organised by Marco Focchi and colleagues at the SLP (Champ Freudian) will take place in Milan at the Aula Magna dell’Università Statale via Festa del Perdono 7, Milano (click here to register for the Milan event.)
Speakers will include: Guilia Lami, Prof of History of Slavic countries, specialist in Russian and Eastern European history and culture. Attilio Cazzaniga, engineering student and musician, Gianfranco Mormino, teacher history and moral philosophy at Milan University, Filippo Del Corno, composer, professor and Councillor for Culture, Davide Trizzo, scholar of philosophy and psychoanalysis, Vittorio Morfina teacher philosophy, history and education, Elio Francine, professor of aesthetics, Giuliana Spazzali, criminal lawyer, Ferruccio Capelli, director of the Milan House of Culture and Carlo Favero, International Macroeconomics Programme expert on intersection of macroeconomics and finance. Also psychoanalysts Eric Laurent, Christiane Alberti, Gil Caroz, Angelina Harari, Domenico Cosenza, Oscar Ventura, Marta Serra. See the Lab Facebook page for more details about the speakers and the events.
December Seminar - Lines of Research
The next meeting of the Laboratory for Lacanian Politics will be held on Saturday 15th December at the Conway Hall. Speakers include Roger Litten, Isabel Millar (Kingston University), Janet Haney and Jason Glynos (Essex University).
We will be continuing with our exploration of Jean-Claude Milner’s work, in particular his reference text The Traps of the All in which Milner applies Lacan’s formulae of sexuation to the logic of limited and unlimited groupings in the political and social spheres.
This work is intended to lay the groundwork for a reading of contemporary political questions, in particular those played out around the themes of open and closed borders and restrictions on the freedom of movement.
See the argument for this year’s work of the Laboratory, Bodies, Networks, Borders, available here: http://londonsociety-nls.org.uk/index.php?file=The-Laboratory-for-Lacanian-Politics.html
Over the course of the year we will be pursuing at least four main lines of research:
These might be considered four overlapping and interlinked aspects of the discourses framing the central political questions of our times. Any attempt to extract the logic at stake in these new discourses will require detailed investigation of themes within these different areas.
We are calling on all those interested in these pressing questions to join us in this work. For more information and for dates of forthcoming seminars please consult the Laboratory page on the website of the London Society of the New Lacanian School: http://www.londonsociety-nls.org.uk/index.php?file=The-Laboratory-for-Lacanian-Politics.html
Saturday 15th December
14.00 – 17.00
Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
Roger Litten reading Jean-Claude Milner, ‘Traps of the All’, 15 Dec 2018
Freud on War and Death - Shared reading at Freud Museum to Commemorate Centenary of Armistice Day
Following the success of our summer Marathon Reading of 'Group Psychology' (podcasts of each chapter can be found on the Freud Museum website here), we are very happy to assist the museum's Education Department in a mini-marathon shared reading to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day on 11 November (13h30 until about 16h30). We shall be reading 'Thoughts for the Times on War and Death' (1915) and the exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud, 'Why War?' (1932). This time, we plan to have a few sentences of the texts repeated in the original German. We think this add a beautiful and poignant dimension to the event. Entrance to the reading is free with a ticket to the museum. Details can be found by following this link.
The Lacanian Review #5
Delights of the Ego
Amazing! Freud's good old Ego has become the star of the net: a symptom of our times, as Lacan anticipated. Ego as symptom, delights of the ego, ego at the end of analysis… with the compass of Lacan's "Joyce-the-Symptom", these readings are necessary in a chaotic world where the Ego is campaigning to replace the Father
Issue 5 of The Lacanian Review is about to come out!
It is amazing!
First, because of its theme: the EGO, the self. Yes, you've read correctly! The good old Ego, which we got from Freud but which has become the star of our modernity. From selfies to social networks, it's holding forth, babbling on. It "expresses" itself unashamedly, without compunction. It opines, judges, without ever stopping watching: in short, it's become a symptom, which is what Lacan had anticipated in his Seminar XXIII by means of his clinical approach of the work of Joyce.
Second, because of its contents. TLR 5 includes Lacan's conference "Joyce-the-Symptom", translated for the first time in English. With it, we publish the reading that Éric Laurent gave of it in Dublin, at the NLS Congress. And Ego-symptoms, Ego-delights, Ego at the end of analysis, without forgetting Lacanian Politics, which is more necessary than ever to orient ourselves in a chaotic world, in which the Ego is campaigning to replace the Father.
The Lacanian Review is the journal of the New Lacanian School and the World Association of Psychoanalysis and is available from our website, from Karnac, or from the ecf-echoppe.com. You can also buy a copy at our seminars – please email in advance for your copy: janetrhaney[@]gmail.com
The Psychoanalytical Notebooks #32
Editorial, Bogdan Wolf
Orthodoxy and Heresy
Jacques-Alain Miller, Heretics
Domenico Cosenza, The Heretic and the Orthodox
Francesca Biagi-Chai, Choice and Its Logic in Civilisation
Laurent Dupont, Adolescent Heretics: Boy or Girl, The Hour of Choice
Paola Bolgiani, Letter to the Italian School of Psychoanalysis
The Foreigner and the Politics of Hatred
Lilia Mahjoub, Fear of the Other: Discourse or Segregation
Gil Caroz, Fear of the Stranger
Roger Litten, Hate Thy Neighbour
Agnès Aflalo, Ordinary Anti-Semitism
Anaëlle Lebovits-Quenehen, If the Migrants Still Look at Us…
Bogdan Wolf, Hatred as a Passion
Social Bond and Segregations
Éric Laurent, New Incarnations of the Desire for Democracy in Europe
Alfio Mastropaolo, Resolute Desires: For Democracy or for Something Else?
Christiane Alberti, There Is Nothing but the Social Bond
Stéphanie Morel, Why the Poor Vote for the Right
Philippe De Georges, On the One and the Multiple: The Republic Is Not Empire
Antoinette Rouvroy, Governing Without Norms: Algorithmic Governmentality
The Lures and Logic of Democracy
Gil Caroz, Why Does Politics Need to Be Enlightened by Psychoanalysis Today?
Bogdan Wolf, Brexit Democracy and Heresy
Roger Litten, Capitalist Democracy
Ellie Ragland, Jacques Lacan's Capitalist Discourse
Janet Haney, Reading the Riot Acts
Decided Desires for Democracy
Éric Laurent, Decided Desires and Joyful Passions in Democracy
Poetry Rubric, Paul Ingram
"The question for us today: political transference - how to elaborate a form of the social bond that is not dependent on mastery, identification, and suggestion..." - Roger Litten, 2018
Out Now! The all-new Mental No. 37 from the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis: Desires for Democracy
New issue out now … but in French. We have translated the editorial and the highlights to keep you informed of the progress of the Zadig movement. Some articles are already in the process of translation and publication – Marie-Hélène Brousse's paper 'Democracies Without Fathers' will appear in the next issue of The Lacanian Review. Watch out!
Should psychoanalysis be involved in the political field? This issue of Mental: International Review of Psychoanalysis testifies to the direct impact of politics on the clinic and institutions and how psychoanalysis has invented modalities of intervention in this field which still seem foreign to it.
In order to bring these questions into relief and to consider them, we present clinical cases and articles rooted in the current moment, an interview and exclusive texts which underline a fundamental question: isn't democracy a condition of the very existence of psychoanalysis?
On the Desire for Democracy
By Domenico Cosenza
This issue of Mental appears under several new aspects. In the first place, it is the expression of a turn introduced last year by Jacques-Alain Miller in the relations between psychoanalysis and politics and the consequences that followed. A turn that is concretised by the direct involvement of the ECF in the electoral campaign for the presidential elections in France, with the aim of preventing the rise to power of a political formation of a neo-fascist orientation, the National Front. This is the reason why this issue of Mental is devoted to the question of democracy, particularly democracy in Europe, as seen from the point of view of psychoanalysis. There where the fundamental principles of democracy, such as freedom of expression, are in danger, the practice of psychoanalysis is equally at risk. Psychoanalysis cannot limit itself to considering politics as a field that is foreign or external to it. On the contrary, it is topologically involved. Psychoanalysis is called upon to invent its own modality of intervention in the political field, in order to preserve and even revive the democratic bases of collective life, which are the very condition of its existence.
In the second place, what's interesting about this issue resides in the fact that it welcomes the most important developments of the first European Forum, born under the aegis of ZADIG, a movement launched by Jacques-Alain Miller in May 2017. Its objective is to bring about the involvement of Lacanian psychoanalysis in the field of politics and ideological debate by means of a dialectical confrontation with the interlocutors of civil society. The European Forum held in Turin on 18 November 2017, under the title 'Decided Desires for Democracy in Europe', constituted, in effect, fertile ground for an investigation of the concept of democracy, and for a putting in relief the impasses in today's world, particularly in Europe, a continent where its fundamental principles were created and which orient, not without contradiction, the life of its nations.
In this context, Jacques-Alain Miller's text, extracted from his course De la nature des semblants, seemed to us particularly relevant. More than 20 years later, the considerations on the essence of politics, coming from the tension between formalism and decisionism (Kelsen and Schmidt), but also on the rule of law and the function of exception as well as the developments on the bureaucratico-academic drifting of Europe, seem to us particularly precious.
We have dedicated a large amount of space to theoretical and clinical contributions that we were able to listen to in 2017 and which can thus restore the vitality of the work of the European Schools of the Freudian Field. For that we have chosen to publish texts drawn from the plenary sessions of the 15th Congress of the SLP (the Italian School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis) held in Turin under the title "The Uses of Diagnosis", the 15th Study Days of the ELP in Madrid on "New Identifications", and from simultaneous sessions from the 47th Study Days of the ECF in Paris on the theme "Learning: Desire or Training?".
Finally, we decided, last but not least, to give a new graphic conception to the review which thus inaugurates, equally on the aesthetic level, the work of the new Mental team.
The Laboratory for Lacanian Politics UK was created in response to Jacques-Alain Miller's call to "make psychoanalysis exist in the political field". New networks have sprung up across the world to forge new alliances and support the political actions of psychoanalysts.
The Laboratory for Lacanian Politics UK ran a series of workshops and brought people together to explore and discuss the development of a viable politics of Lacanian psychoanalysis. We are putting together a cross-disciplinary research network and assembling resources to support a psychoanalytical reading of the coordinates of contemporary civilisation.
Our inaugural event was held on Saturday 8 July 2017 with Gil Caroz (former President of the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis). A lively exchange of ideas launched a series of seminars (details listed at the bottom of the page) and has now resulted in two exciting new interventions: a special issue of the Psychoanalytical Notebooks (PN32) – "Lacanian Politics and the Impasses of Democracy Today", edited by Bogdan Wolf – appeared in March 2018, and a public marathon reading of Freud's 1921 text Massenpsychologie, organised by Janet Haney,is being held at the Freud Museum on Sunday 24 June 2018.
Some Research Resources