Posts Tagged ‘the unconscious’

The New Afrikaners

August 11, 2012

“When the space of a lapsus no longer carries any meaning (or interpretation), then only is one sure that one is in the unconscious. One knows.

            But one has only to be aware of the fact to find oneself outside it. There is no friendship there, in that space that supports this unconscious.

            All I can do is tell the truth. No, that isn’t so – I have missed it. There is no truth that, in passing through awareness, does not lie.

            But one goes after it all the same.”

            Jacques Lacan The Four Fundamental Concepts Of Psycho- Analysis, preface to the English language edition, opening line, dated 17.5.76


            The unconscious is out there. It exists. OK, so Freud and Lacan are soooo yesterday, but the analysis contribution of “psycho-analysis” is still, today, pretty incredible. Who was not captivated by the latest Sherlock Holmes series out of England? Or House for that matter when it first started out? To talk of the analytic process is profound. To talk of the unconscious is to lie. To talk of racial matters in the US, to have a conversation about race, is to lie. And most folks shy away for it exposes so much of the “But one has only to be aware of the fact to find oneself outside it. There is no friendship there, in that space that supports this unconscious.” To talk of the conditions of racism in the US is perfectly fine. Volumes are written and talk shows, celebrity twitters, political diatribes, etc. abound with it. Indeed, one can say it is economics, or religion, or tribalism. The list of process oriented speculations goes on and on. To point to a material specific of the process in the here and now is to lie. The rebuttals and “offended” remonstrations that accompany any such pronouncements usually hinge on that it is not so, it cannot be so. “But one goes after it all the same.”

            The last few posts of this blog have been following a thread, the thread of politics “as an apparatus that imagines reality.” Finds us back with Lacan, his fundamentals and the unconscious, doesn’t it (the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real)? The imagined reality of today’s US presidential race swirls around the eye of economics, the one shown at the pinnacle of the pyramid on the back of the US dollar. This eye sees and discerns. It knows. This gaze dominates. One party in particular employs it much as an Ockham’s razor, a determinant of what is acceptable, and worthy of participation in the governance of our country. In a sense, it creates a truly American version of apartheid. An apartheid that says “Economics is all there is. Either you embrace this, or you are an other, not one of those who determine our governance.” It is not a Rancierean type of politics for it is not about admission or recognition, but only allegiance. You cannot gain admission to the economics, you can only be part of the economics. And it is an apartheid economics.

            Although the value of the vice presidency has been compared with that of a bucket of warm spit, today’s announcement of Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate has verified the existence and place of the new Afrikaners in the US.