Towards the Forum “Determined Desires for Democracy in Europe” of 18 November 2017
Lacan situates the emergence of the discourse of science, as a production of knowledge, at the level of the hysteric’s discourse, which calls into question the authority of the master. Science does not stop before the authority of those who govern, nor before that of the Church. It therefore promotes ideals of freedom, subjective autonomy, and potential forms of jouissance.
But science also produces a knowledge which it tends to situate in the position of the master. The vacillation of the discourse of the master, produced by science, therefore oscillates between democracy, as an effect of the interrogation of the hysteric, and technocracy, promoted by the University discourse.
The time of the birth of modern science is also that of the triumph of mercantilism. Freedom becomes commercial freedom, free trade, deemed to be the sole way forward in view of the gain that each gets out of it.
But experience shows that free trade leads to injustice, since exchanges never take place on an equal footing. Further, what kind of free trade is it, if today the answer to mass immigration is to construct walls, in multiple ways?
Where does democracy take us today? Which act can relativize the rush for profit and performance which puts the products of science in the service of the gain of jouissance?
Translated by Véronique Voruz