THE SCHOOL AND ITS ANALYST
THE SCHOOL AND ITS ANALYST
Lecture at Grenada, October 27, 1990
at a Seminar of the Freudian Field, Andalusia
Transcript of Juan Carlos Ríos. Alicia Bukschtein translation. Text and notes prepared by Catherine Bonningue.
This 1990 lecture given at Granada at the time of the founding of the European School of Psychoanalysis remained unpublished to our knowledge.* It was translated and established for the Library of the School of the Freudian Cause. What is said there is more topical than ever and refers to the sense of constructing analytical institutions based on Lacan’s teaching. One finds in it a detailed reading of the ‘Founding Act’ and remarks, admittedly dated to the procedural part, on the pass. At the end of the text in the debate, Jacques-Alain Miller comments on Lacan’s position in relation to the State: he does not call his wishes the State to intrude into the Freudian field but evokes it all along as a possibility. We know that this is where we are today, whatever some may say. Lacan, Jacques-Alain Miller says, has always insisted on the idea that we are accountable. J.-A. Miller concluded by speaking about the European School as a ‘base of operations’ in Europe – it is a ‘power response’ in the face of ‘the possible desire of the State to capture psychoanalysis’. C. Bonningue
I am content. From the intellectual point of view, few things give me as much pleasure as the commentary of Lacan’s texts. This is not a duty, but really a pleasure. These texts have a rigorous, meditated form, each word has its place, a chosen place. This can be commented like poetry – with the same attention, the same care – although this is not a poetry, and the structure supporting these statements can be reworked. There is another intellectual appeal to read and comment on Lacan. If the texts seem obscure at first, their elucidation delivers a surplus jouissance [plus-de-jouir]. To comment on Lacan must be a divertimento [divertissement]: we must invent, update the difficulties. Knowledge does not have to be sad.
The text has one structure, not several. Our readings can vary but have to aim at only one good reading, even if we are not at its height. This does not mean that everyone can read it as he pleases. Today I have a special thought for García Lorca – I read a lot during my teenage years, to learn Spanish. It is his signature that most caught my attention, so that, like any teenager, I sought my own signature. The one I have to put these days on several documents copies his.
The theme of this seminar, ‘The School and its analyst’, is a variation of the title of Lacan’s text from 1967 ‘Proposition on the analyst of the school’. It was chosen in the perspective of the Spanish School. A first step was taken towards this school, we are in the construction of the European School of Psychoanalysis.
The construction of a School of psychoanalysis concerns solely the practising analysts or analysands. It is of more interest to the world than that. Lacan wanted to allow non-analysts to enter his school, and we, we must, do the same with ours. This construction must be done with the supervision, a term used by Lacan to an audience outside. We are not in a seminar of pure theory but in a seminar of pure and applied theory. Our applied works aim at the construction of a school, that which signifies that our discussions will have an immediate application.
We chose to comment on the statutory texts of Lacan, that of ‘The founding act’1. It is about an act that begins with ‘I found’. That is what we call, from Austin, a performative2. Once you have said ‘I found’, it is founded, on condition of being in a position in which others might believe. We believe Lacan when he says ‘I found the French School of Psychoanalysis’, but if he had said ‘French School of Dentistry’, it would not have been an effective performative. The theory of the performative discusses the conditions of the context that make the effectiveness of the statement. Lacan says this in the first paragraph of the ‘Preamble’, “Concerning the founding, the question may first be raised with regard to its relation to the teaching that does not leave the decision of the founding act without guarantee”3. The ‘I found’ of Lacan is an effective performative because he held his seminar for ten years, the seminar that is the contextual condition of the ‘I founded’.
Lacan had not held yet at that time his seminar ‘The Analytic Act’4 but we already find in this performative act of the founding, in the statement ‘founding act’, the anticipation with emphasis on the act. We will see how the statement ‘I found’ of someone assumes efficacy.
Towards the end of the life of this School, Lacan tried to do an act of dissolution which is symmetrical to the founding act but between the one and the other of these acts a few hundred members had emerged to give their opinion. He had done the ‘I found’ alone but on leaving the founding, when rendering the performative ‘I dissolve’ effective, he encountered an objection.
Let’s note the number of resonances in this act of founding and the thematic on which Lacan plays.
– The thematic of truth pursued by the power: Lacan founds his school when he opposes the IPA and presents himself in the position of truth being pursued by the power, by an international bureaucracy that wants to drown the truth. This makes us think of some characters in the story pursued by the Church: Spinoza5, Bruno6, Servet7, Trotski8 or Luther9. Lacan himself did not compare the IPA and the Vatican.
– The theme of the reconquest: “This work objective is inseparable from a formation to be provided in this movement of reconquest”10. The reconquest has, for the French, many resonances with De Gaulle11.
– The theme of Odysseus: the return to Freud is Lacan’s Odyssey. Ithaca is in the hands of usurpers and Odysseus returns to reclaim his legitimate place in his country12. More generally, the theme of usurpation of legitimacy is very important in the literature of the West, for example in Richard the Lion Heart13. Is there not some Ivanhoe14 in the founding act of Lacan, and also, as latent, a theme of resistance to the American imperialism? The International was in American hands and Lacan drew up the flag of the European resistance against them.
There is a wealth of references.
Plus-one of his School
Lacan was a member of the French Society of Psychoanalysis, which asked his membership in the International. The politics of the International had been to create a division within the heart of the Society, thus excluding Lacan. This ‘excommunication’ had as a consequence a radicalisation of his position. The exclusion produced liberating effects radicalising the position of the excluded.
To exclude Lacan was the IPA’s historic mistake. Held inside, he could have been restricted. He was already criticising the IPA during the previous ten years, but once he found himself outside, the force of his teaching increased manifold. This contingency is our very history: instead of refinding ourselves in the IPA, we have found ourselves in other places. Once rejected by the IPA, the choice of the School was, for Lacan, a forced choice. And the text of the ‘Founding Act’ comments on Lacan’s forced choice: either the disappearance of psychoanalysis or forming his own school. Thus at the age of sixty-three, and after holding his seminar for ten years, Lacan was forced to decide the creation of his own school. He called it ‘Freudian School’ to emphasise that this was not about a deviation from Freudianism, that it was not about a Lacanian school but an Odyssean school.
In the performative he said: ‘I found the French School of psychoanalysis’. You have to go to read the fourth paragraph of the ‘Preamble’, “Freudian School of Paris – that title kept in reserve in the founding act [...]”15. When Lacan accomplishes the founding performative of the French School of Psychoanalysis, he founds, hidden in it, the Freudian School of Paris. It was about a bet for Lacan and, not knowing how we would react, he would not sully the beautiful title of the Freudian School of Paris. He first presented a mask and when we began to meet and work, he pulled out of his pocket that other title. It will not be the same with the European School.
It is the IPA that decided of this act, it is its attitude that has taken this decision to Lacan. Only a few years later did I understand what Lacan says in “I found – as alone as I have always been in my relationship to the psychoanalytic cause [...]”16. In 1964, Lacan gave me some pamphlets to join this school, asking me how many I wanted for my comrades. It was really militant. I do not know the context of that moment, which I only really learned about in 77 when I put together texts of the time17. Even then, a group of his students wanted to save Lacan and establish a school of the noteworthy. A few weeks later, Lacan leaves the text in which he says: ‘I found, alone’. This means, in the context of the time, that he did not found it with them but all alone. Lacan ranks as the plus-one of the School, not being included himself in the series of the School.
It is a theme for endless reflection, which invites us to reflect on what led Lacan to this solitude. It is a kind of confession. It concerns a biographical reference, in addition to the one related to the Freudian cause. Each of us can ask ourselves a question: Am I alone or not in my relationship to the analytic cause?
We try to make changes. It is true that Lacan says that there is no collective subject of enunciation. That is why there is no act of foundation of the European School. I do not consider as founder, Eric Laurent, either. We almost consider that Lacan is its founder. We take as reference the act of founding and continue the movement he initiated with his ‘I found’.
How to present it? Firstly, that the School was necessary was a deduction. Secondly, it was said: ‘It exists’. On 1 September, the decision is taken, and it is 22. Here, none has come to repeat a ‘I found’.
Lacan comments on this theme of ‘alone’ in his ‘Discourse to the EFP’. There is a difference between ‘being alone’ and ‘being the only one’18. Someone who founds a school is no longer all alone, there is one more in the list of members.
We can also comment on the end of the sentence: “[...] which I affirmed, for the next four years that nothing herein prevents me from responding personally the direction”19. After four years, it seems that someone asked what would happen with the direction. Lacan looked away and continued for sixteen more years. There was talk at the time of Lacan’s death with very little tact. It was one of a favourite themes of French psychoanalysts long before it happened. We can say that he is committed for four years to come, but not from then.
A signifier that stands out in the first part of the ‘Founding Act’ is: work. One does not enter the school to rest, but to work there and work more: The School is ‘the organism where a work must be accomplished. [...] This work objective is inseparable from a formation to be dispensed within this movement of reconquest. [...] Those who will enter this School will commit themselves to fulfilling a task that is subject to internal and external supervision. [...] To carry out the work, we will adopt the principle of an elaboration sustained in a small group. [...] PLUS ONE charged with the selection, discussion and the outcome to be accorded the work of each. [...] No one will be regarded to be demoted to reenter at a rank of base-level work. [...] The conditions of criticism and supervision where all work is to be pursued will be submitted to the School. [...] The point of these studies is the questioning of the established routine. [...] A directory will bring together the titles and summary of work. [...] We adhere to the School by presenting there a working group constituted as we have said. [...] The success of the School will be measured at the output of works that are acceptable in their place. [...] The teaching of psychoanalysis can only be transmitted from one subject to another by way of a transference of work”.20
This strongly resembles the Stakhanovism. Here it is only about the work, and the work produced by the cartels, that is to say by small groups. The School is a group formed by groups and Lacan was there the plus-one. A work subjected to an internal and external criticism and supervision. The internal supervision is exercised by the organs of the School who can perform a selection of works.
Presence in the world
Saying ‘external supervision’ is to say that the School is in contact with the rest of society, in contrast to what it is for analytical groups. In the past, Lacan had already criticised the extraterritoriality of analytical societies that are closed to the rest of culture, science, social problems… The external supervision means for Lacan that the School should be concerned, attentive, open to the contemporary world.
Remember the last article of the ‘Syllabus’ of Vatican I, of the Pope Pius IX21, where it is written that the Church does not have to be reconciled with the contemporary world. It demanded from the Catholic Church a great effort to update.
Here it is entirely the opposite. The School is related to today’s society, not to accept its values, but to be present. It is not easy, and I have to say that the School of the Freudian Cause did not provide the time of its development with this side. The few times the School tried to have contact with the outside, they have failed, there was a huge refusal.
This should be allowed to happen differently with the European School. The Library of the Catalonia Section plans to have a large opening to the outside. This could be an example for Paris. The repetition of the word ‘work’ comes to cover the absence of another signifier that does not appear here. To say that the School is a body of work is to say that it is not an organ for recognition of analysts. If recognition takes place at the School level, it is that of work. Lacan assures that the work will be recognised: “Nothing will be spared to ensure that anything that is done of value, receives the attention it merits and in the appropriate place”. It is a promise of recognition of the work.
Another very important point is that entry into this school will not be one to one but by cartels, small working groups who declare a work they want to do in the School. In its first directory appeared a list of cartels. It was later changed into a much more conventional directory. The European School could take the example of the first directory.
I cannot comment in depth on the theme of permutation and organisation of the School. I will say something about the three sections into which Lacan divided his School.
First, Lacan distinguishes the pure discipline and the applied discipline, that is to say, an epistemological model.
• 1. Pure psychoanalysis.
• 2. Applied psychoanalysis.
• 3. Psychoanalysis in science, psychoanalysis as knowledge.
The distinction between pure psychoanalysis and applied psychoanalysis is coherent from the point of view according to which therapy belongs to applied psychoanalysis. Pure psychoanalysis is not as such therapy, therapy is a side effect of the analytic process. Lacan organises his school upon this principle that the proper goal of an analysis is not healing, a theme that has no meaning in psychoanalysis. With the theme of castration, he insists on the incurable and it is rather about isolating something incurable in the subject than promising a complete healing. Healing is not the end [finalité] of analysis, the analyst has to take care of the desire to heal, which is also present in Freud when he speaks of furor sanandi.
I will comment on a few paragraphs of these three sections.
Anticipation of the pass
In the ‘pure psychoanalysis’ section, Lacan says, ‘praxis and theory of psychoanalysis itself’22. The term praxis belongs to the era of Marxism, when there was a mixture of very interesting discourse. There are also plenty of winks to the Althusserians, for example when he speaks of a praxis of theory or it says “[...] that the mere mention of Freud, of hope of truth to which he led, makes a figure to meet in the name of Marx? ...”23. It was the time when the name of Marx appeared to be a guarantee of something effective. A little later he said: “[...] the reason why Marxism fails to account for a power always more disproportionate and more crazy as regards the political [...]”24. That’s how you can comment on the word praxis.
In the second paragraph of the ‘pure psychoanalysis’ section, Lacan says: “The urgent problems to be raised about all the issues of the training analysis will be found here to pave through a sustained confrontation between people with an experience of training analysis and candidates in training”25. This makes things clearer. Previously, we believed to be able to solve the problem of the training analysis through the intermediary of uniquely sustained confrontation training analysts. In 1964, Lacan says that we must discuss with the candidates themselves that which is an anticipation of the pass. This sentence shows well that Lacan was looking for a solution to what is the end of analysis, not from a discussion among analysts, but by what happens between analysts and analysands.
A little further, it is stated clearly: “To pursue in the alibis the misrecognition that hides behind false papers, asks for a more valuable encounter with a personal experience of those who will summon it to confess, holding it for the common good”26.
It is like an anticipation of the pass. To require, to invite those who finish an analysis to testify to it. The school requires, as a service to it and to knowledge, this testimony coming to vouch for the changes produced during the experience, and that only the analysand can know. The analyst cannot know these, this analyst who, ultimately, may be a fool.
Freud was able to make his analysis with Fliess who lacked a good nose thinking only of his own. Is it not that the experimental evidence of the entire analytic experience as subjectification is that of the patient? One cannot know of the end of an analysis by listening to an analyst.
The analyst has his point of view but by no means does he have the last word. Lacan presents here the anticipation of the pass. The school has to capture the most intimate experience to make it a common good – a Hegelian expression – to transform the particular into universal. This is to demand, in the procedure of the pass, from someone who has done an analysis that which makes him think that his analysis is finished: what changes and what state of perfection have you reached to present yourself as an actual analyst?
The terms of Lacan are very strong. It is a common good, not an obligation, but they may offer difficulties in their treatment of science. Just as the once dead body may be offered to science, the unconscious can be when we think it is of the past. It is about providing the cadaver of the unconscious to scientific scrutiny. It is useful not to lose that cadaverous unconscious and to recycle it with other cadavers of the unconscious, in the pass.
Psychoanalysis and the State
Three years later, in the Proposition of the pass, Lacan says: “Those who want to subject themselves to this scrutiny may do so”27. They offer their suffering, the history of their unconscious to science. This is utilitarianism: we recover the cadavers of the unconscious in the pass.
Lacan’s expressions are very valuable when he confesses what happened to his desire to know when he realised that, despite having led several psychoanalytic cures to their end, he did not have a complete knowledge about what had happened in them, and that he wanted to obtain a testimony in another frame. In the pass it is about recovering a little more about that which one cannot recover. “The scientific authorities are themselves here a hostage to a pact of inadequacy that causes that it is no longer from outside that one can expect a requirement of supervision which would be the agenda everywhere else”28.
Lacan regrets that the authorities do not oblige the analysts to testify about what they do. It is extraordinary, he does not say: let’s remain among us without answering to anyone and, if the State calls us, let’s pluck ours ears. On the contrary, he considers instead an inadequacy on the part of scientific authorities who do not require explanations from the analysts.
It is as if he wanted a Nobel Prize for psychoanalysis, and then told the jury that there is no prize to be given. Lacan regrets the absence of supervision on the part of the State, and today we are trying to protect ourselves from its intrusions. But there is something that is not so bad in the requirements of the State. For example, if our Italian friends have managed to meet, and they will certainly form a group of the European School, it is through fear of the State because they hated them among themselves that they could not work together. The famous law was of great help and Mr. Ossicini had to be appointed honorary president of the Italian section. Here is that anticipation of the pass in the ‘Founding Act’.
The supervision School
Lacan considers ‘as a special case’29 of the responsibility of the School the entry into supervision of patients when they perform the analysis. Despite everything that regulates the practice in this ‘Founding Act’, there is something that eliminates the regulations, but this maintains the requirement of supervision as responsibility of the School. For us it is a surprise to learn that in other places the practice of supervision is superfluous, that from time to time we may see a colleague, while in France it is considered necessary to go there every week. I will not develop this point further, but the formation is the responsibility of the School, not of an analyst member of the School but of the School as a whole.
Lacan offers supervision of his School when he says: “We will be proposed to the study thus introduced and to the traits where I break with the standards affirmed in the training practice, and the effects imputed to my teaching in the course of my analyses when it is the case that on the account of the students the analysands attend”30. This ‘break’ is a keyword for the School, such as ‘work’. When Lacan speaks at the end of this paragraph, of ‘the very induction at which my teaching aims’, he makes reference to what he will call, in the ‘Adjoining Note’ ‘transference of work’. It is about a teaching, not closed in on itself, but producing the effects beyond itself, inducing others to do the work.
A mathematical prudence
Let’s move now to the ‘Applied psychoanalysis Section’, which is the section of physicians. It is a kind of ghetto of physicians, where they want to study the psychiatric information and medical survey. This must correspond to something of the time.
The third ‘Section for taking inventory of the Freudian Field’ refers to the inscription of psychoanalysis into knowledge, it is about the contribution of psychoanalysis to knowledge, and also the clarification “of principles from which the analytic praxis must receive its status in science”31. It is the contention of Lacan in his seminar The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. What is the relationship between psychoanalysis and science, how to illuminate the status of the analyst and how to justify it in relation to science?
The construction of the School is facing a tribunal of the inquisition of science, as if the analysts, feeling threatened and overwhelmed by the discourse of science, were obliged to justify what they do. Lacan reiterates that the status of psychoanalysis cannot be that of an ineffable experience, which is his point of view from The Function and Field of Speech and Language32. Brief reference to his note on the theory and praxis of the affinities of sciences we call conjectural. Since 1953, Lacan has always tried to link psychoanalysis to conjectural sciences, to humanities, as they are not exact, but which take into account the human factor or that of contingency. Lacan calls the conjectural sciences scientific version of the art of prudence by Baltasar Gracian. The mathematical theory of games is like a mathematical art of prudence that says, for example, what is the best strategy in such a game. It is like a science of prudence starting from a calculus of probability. There is a whole field to be explored from the classical art of prudence to the mathematical theory of games, a mathematical prudence.
Let’s note that Lacan has foreseen it all, he is a great realist and at the same time a great organiser, “The financial funds consisting primarily of contributions from members of the School, through the subsidies the School possibly obtains, even the services it will provide as a School, will be fully reserved for its publication effort”33. The importance of the written, of the school contribution to knowledge, is of great realism. We guess the intention of Lacan is to obtain recognition of public utility for his School, which involves communication with state bodies.
In the directory, it says that it “will bring together the titles and the abstracts of work, where they have appeared [...]”34. He does not consider that the school directory is a method for listing the analysts, but conceives it like that of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, that is to say, a directory of scientific work. The new School could ask whether it would be desirable to make a directory of this kind, a work directory, and not only of addresses and of telephone numbers for potential patients. He continues: “We adhere to the School by presenting ourselves in a working group constituted as we have said”35.
It should be noted that in 1964 the entrance to the School was done as a group, not as an individual but as a member of a group. In contrast to this entry mode, we can consider the proposition in 1973, ‘The Italian Note’36, a text addressed to the Italian group being constituted, where Lacan proposes to enter the School through the pass. It is the opposite of the text of 1964. One is groupal, the other is the maximum one by one. It must be said in favour of the text of 64 that it worked, while that of 73 never worked. Would Lacan have proposed that it does not work, does not form a group? There is a tension between the two modes of entry. None has done historically. In the Freudian School of 1964, nobody presented themselves as a cartel, aside from the Ecole Normale Superieure. We were the only ones to be disciplined and to have read that Lacan wanted us to introduce ourselves in the form of cartels. We did it as a big cartel of twelve people.
Let’s say quickly what will be the entry mode to the new School, on which he is going to give his opinion. Depending on what Lacan says in this text, we will indicate a difference between what is said and what is done. We must not shrink from the difference between what is said and what is done because this difference is inevitable. But what is said affects what is done. Although the entry to group may not be done, it gave a general tone for the School, a drop of narcissism. It was not ‘I am a member’, but something more collective. Today, the problem is different. At the time, Lacan tried to lengthen the list a bit, twenty years later, the list of the European School can become a huge directory if we do not take care of giving it a structure. These are problems of conjuncture.
THE PASS PROCESS
The testimony of the analysand on his analysis has in general no guarantee of truth. It is about a testimony infiltrated by the transference. There are, for example, stories of cure made by an analyst, but no stories really made by analysands. This is a limit. There are stories of cure made by analysands when the analyst is famous, when they speak of the analyst and not their own cure. When Pierre Rey talks about his analysis, he talks little about himself and is only interested in Lacan37. Jean-Guy Godin, too, is speaking only about Lacan38. Analysands of Freud did the same: Gardiner, Wortis. It is Freud who they were interested in. There is a dimension where the testimony of the analysand on his analysis has no scientific value. One expects, instead, the clinic of the case, the moments of analysis, from the analyst. However, it is different in this case, since it is about a subject supposed to be released from transference or having a different relationship with transference.
The question now is to know whether we can exit the transference, if the pass, the end of the analysis is out of transference39. My opinion is no, there is no degree zero of the transference, even if, at the end of the analysis, the subject has a different relationship to the transference, and that in this other relationship, he is likely to say something original and valuable about his analytic experience. I will not elaborate on this subject, complex, of when a testimony is considered valid in the analysis, if it is the testimony of the analyst or the analysand. This is reversed at the end of the analysis. Before the end of the analysis, the testimony is valid for the analyst, not that of the analysand, but in the end, something escapes the analyst, and it is only the analysand who can testify to it.
We are here at a university where normally sit a jury for an exam of capacity assessment: teachers on a platform, the candidate a little lower. The little candidate presents what he can do. Each teacher has a thesis, looks at it with certain contempt, mixed with understanding. He remembers his own thesis and from what he suffered. It is necessary to make the candidate who has expectations suffer a little. If one does not make him suffer, he will feel disappointed – one is not interested in his work. It is an institutionalised system of torture from which there is no way out. In the end, one says to him: “You are ours. Not quite. But with the goodwill of the jury, you are a doctor too”. It is classical on the part of a jury.
Lacan accepts the structure of the aptitude exam, the capacity, but he subverts it by interposing the passers. This would be impossible in a university exam where you cannot imagine two students going to see a third…
It is imaginable: a student completes his thesis, gives a testimony of it to the university that sends two students who are at the point of finishing their theses, but have not yet completed them, and being just a step before doing so, they meet the candidate who finished his thesis, then return before the jury to say what they think about what the candidate had said of his work. Maybe you are going to apply it now in universities… For Lacan, the passer is like the candidate not yet having finished his thesis, but still at work. Lacan says that, first, we will get a testimony that a jury cannot obtain. When in the great amphitheatre in front of a jury, what can a candidate do if not try to demonstrate that he is as good and as worthy as others, that is to say, to conform to the standards of those who are a step further? Lacan’s subversion lies in making them testify before those who are a step behind, and to ensure that the cause of the passant is defended by them. It is not: you are a small candidate, I will take you by the hand and lead you to the teachers, but that those who are still behind propel them toward the front. More precisely, it is about a device that sanctions the ability of those in front, with the participation of those who are driving behind.
Thirdly, the passers enter the process as ignorant. Lacan says they have to gather the testimony material and testify as to what makes them listen to it. This can be understandable: a candidate who is currently finishing his thesis speaks with someone who has already finished it. What is fascinating for him is to see what the step forward for himself. He can then testify to the knowledge whether he feels it really is a step forward. A teacher does not remember these things any longer, someone who is very close to the end is needed, and at the same time a step back, to obtain something very special. It is like a sensitive plate, the role of the sensitive plate seems to work.
From tragedy to comedy
Fourthly, Lacan says in addition that the charm of the process is to have the same structure as the Witz, the joke. The passant told his story to the passers and the passers repeat this story to the jury. We have here a structure of transmission: the tragic story of the passant – like that of everyone – is transformed into a comedy40. When one speaks about the pass, it often seems necessary to use a dramatic, tragic tone. It is about the worst legacy of the Freudian School of Paris, which claimed that we should talk about the pass in a trembling voice. This is not a drama. If there is tragedy, it is found before the pass. The pass signifies that we have passed from the tragic of his personal history to its aspect as comedy. Lacan always said that comedy was much more profound than the tragedy. If we claim to continue the tragedy in the pass, better not do it. The subject may make the pass when he took distance from his experience, which allows him to see that his tragic life was dominated by some signifiers playing with one another, some words playing jokes with each other. It is not terrible to speak about that. The opposite before that was terrible. The pass means that we managed to make a comedy with the impasses of existence. With his wife’s infidelity, with his illness, Molière managed to make the whole of France laugh, and even the whole world for centuries. I consider that Molière did the pass. It is a question that is difficult to solve, one of the most interesting ones.
Reduction of signifiers
On the other hand, the analysis seems asocial, the subject is separated from the rest of us. The pass is like a return to the community. It is to make his story recounted in confidence to someone, a common good. The two passers are, as in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the two representing the entire human society – the same goes for Beckett – two, not too intelligent, to represent human society. The passers can be intelligent, but in function they are representatives of society, of the common, and they are chosen at random, not because of extraordinary merit. There is a list of passers selected by the AEs in the School of Lacan, and then it is chance.
At the School of the Cause, the jury – or some of its members – is constituted by experienced analysts who spend their time saying we only send them stupid and ignorant passers. Ultimately, they would have liked to see the way they complain directly and the passers who do not know how. In the end they aimed to see the passant directly complaining about the passers who do not know how to do it. I consider this to be a mistake, as I believe there was an error in the first passes at the School of Lacan. They were very brief, two or three interviews with the passers, not more. Then, there was a tendency to lengthen the passes, the interviews with the passers lasted for hours, and sometimes a year, a year and a half between the passers and the passants. This seems to me a perversion of the process, because if we want to reintroduce the analysis in the pass, we must be analysed and if we claim to relive fully the sufferings of the analysis, then we must continue the analysis. The pass should be something faster, rather a reduction of signifiers. We can not give a model, we can accept everything, lots of variations.
The analytic experience is something very settled, having a very strong structure, not the pass. There is all the room for the invention. Twenty three years have passed since 1967 and we only have a thin experience on the issue.
My personal conclusion is that we must preserve the rapid and not dramatic character of the pass. This is to prevent the subjects who present themselves to it from living it as something hard, difficult. It is about a true experience where we speak about it from the most intimate to the quasi unknown. And that’s what we do. That’s why we need a fairly large School, it is impossible to undergo the pass in a group of twenty people. It should be as large as possible. Speaking from the most intimate to the unknown is not the same as speaking to an analyst we chose and pay for it. I do not know of any passants who take into account that the pass is a baseless artifice, it has its own significance for everyone.
J.-A. Miller intervened in these terms during the debate (summary).
A position of weakness
Lacan appealed to the Althusserians of his time, against the revisionism of the Freudian theory, then he relativised its reference to truth. There is a first period in his teaching in which he develops the truth against knowledge, a classical theme. Then there is a reversal when he considers the truth, as in mathematical logic, as a function, a pure effect of a system of knowledge, a signifying system. Thus, in the certainty, we can see an allusion to the question “What did you say, how do you know?” That is the question of the School in the pass: “How do you know you are an analyst? What Other told you this? Whence comes this certainty?” It is a question Lacan himself was able to pose. He poses the question of the relationship of the founding of his School with the teaching that does not leave the decision of his act without guarantee, and he responds: “That which guarantees what I say to you, and what I say to you is the true meaning of Freud, it is the work step by step I have done for ten years”. It does not amount to saying ‘I am the truth’, but, as a worker who has already presented an argued work for ten years, his enunciation is not without guarantee. It is always conjectural, always retroactive, nachträglich, that it finds its guarantee.
We, for example, can we respond to the creation of the European School, which occurs in continuity in relation to 1964? It is as if we were verifying, after the fact, what Lacan said in 64. For me, this text is always operational, and today’s meeting belongs also to its history. We could talk about it in the Borgesian form: “This text was written for this occasion and for others to come”. It is a myth, certainly, but a beautiful myth. There is the irreducible in the mythologising, an irreducible remainder of mythologising in the human speech, and it is precisely about manoeuvring, playing with it.
The school may have the traits of a sect, sure of itself and intolerant, after what Lacan says that it begins its reconquest. Who said that? A man of sixty-three who, after devoting his life to psychoanalysis, after having formed analysts, held their seminar in a room no bigger than this one – seminars read today around the world – is found with thirty followers, saying: “We are here and we will reconquer”. He does what he can to continue. He does not formulate a position of force – that would be an intolerant discourse – but says it from a position of objective weakness.
As Stalin asked: “And the Pope, how many divisions?”, we could say: “The recovery of the Freudian Field counts how many divisions”. Lacan said he did “not want a numerous list”, he did not have one, moreover – it is a form of utterance. He was in a position of great material weakness, but had at the same time great confidence in himself and in his teaching, which was only continuing to the extent that it allowed him. That is why some phrases that would be unsustainable coming from a man of great power take a different turn when one considers the context of the actual position of Lacan at that moment. He could have consented to being silent, but he did not. This opened the space where we are now.
In 1980, Lacan decided that the title of AE would be a transitional one. Was it a fundamental decision? On 8 October, I proposed to the School of the Freudian Cause to reopen the question because it produced a certain imbalance in the School. These are the AMEs who are supposedly experienced analysts, and the AEs, appointed by the pass counterweight, not a permanent counterweight, but a transient counterweight. In 1967, it was a permanent title for Lacan who then converted it into a transient title. For Lacan, there are two ways of selecting internally analysts in the School, two paths for the recognition of analysts: the one where they are recognised in function of their practice and the one where they are recognised from their own analysis. These are two different orders: one for years and experience and one for the pass. It seems to me very important now that both titles are permanent, but for the School of the Freudian Cause, which has already ten years, something needs to change to necessitate a debate.
The ‘Founding Act’ is historically dated, since the conjuncture of science is currently very different. Capitalism has transformed the world in which we live much deeper. Think, for example, of Spain of 64 and today. When the School of the Cause maintains supply of psychoanalysis to supervision, to the scientific debate, it is a remainder of the 60s – so we hope – but science is much more fragmented and specialised than in those years when mathematical logic had, for example, a certain unity. When the mathematical logic is really mathematised, nobody dominates it on the whole in such a way that it would become a sentence that has no real incarnation. It would be very dangerous today to expect something from the State, inviting it to intrude as Lacan did. But the conjecture may change. We are in a time that is also historical and that does not prevent the epistemic direction of psychoanalysis. In 1964 Lacan viewed with optimism the force of psychoanalysis and its potential in the face of the discontent in culture. In 1968 he evokes his failure of 1953 by saying: “When psychoanalysis has surrendered to the impasses of our civilisation (Freud sensed discontent) who will go back to these? Indications in my Ecrits,”41 on the tone that anticipates the defeat of psychoanalysis. Then, in 74, he says: “It is the analytic discourse that will win”. Lacan made prophecies, in one way or another, as all the good prophets do. That’s what a good prophet has to do, thus there is always a reference that can serve him.
Base for operations
Lacan does not say it is necessary to open the gates of the Freudian field to the forces of the State even if there is something of this kind in the text. Why? What is the situation? The Freudian field is occupied by the forces of the IPA. Only a fortification of Lacan, through the School, tries to prevent the invaders from the conquest of the Freudian field. In this context, it makes sense to say: “If you continue like this, I am going to open the doors to the blue gowns of the State. You have conquered the Freudian field but the State can come and ask you what you have done, if you have the right to occupy it”.
We also have to take desire into account. It would be too convenient for the analysts to refuse all demand to give an account of what they do because psychoanalysis has nothing to do with the things of the world. This would be an abstract, subtle, isolated domain, a flying saucer. We are in a Freudian country, having a complete sovereignty and would have given an account to anyone. Lacan has, on the contrary, always insisted on the idea that we are accountable.
On the other hand, it should be underlined that the State has progressively captured the disciplines of knowledge. In the time of the Greeks the schools were not regulated by the State. Lacan refers to the Ancient schools. We do not know exactly in what way this happened but there was a freedom in the distribution of knowledge. It is from the thirteenth century that the idea of the university becomes imposed, that is to say it is an effort by the State to maintain some privileges of extraterritoriality in the university, allowing it to produce the necessary elements for the construction of the State. Later it was about capturing, for example, medicine: in the seventeenth century are built great academies of medicine, science, first as Societies of noble minds, which are gradually transformed into official bodies. Let’s find a place here for interesting debates on the academisation of medicine, a question entirely regulated for us, but which was not at the time. Isolate the doctor from the barber, from the sorcerer, this represents a complex historical process.
One day psychoanalysis could be captured in this way by the State. After the Second World War there were 20 analysts in France, now there are thousands. This is becoming a massive problem. A regularisation is being done in Europe due to this success. I am not saying we want it, but this process has fundamental roots on which we could reflect.
We are also creating the European School to have a consistent power of response and pressure, a base of operations in Europe. Why could not the Greeks have invented psychoanalysis? They were not far. When one reads Plato’s Symposium, commented by Lacan, one has an idea of transference – Socrates handled the transference – but it remains limited.
Let’s imagine a time machine allowing us to refind ourselves in Athens of the fifth century BC What could we really bring to the Greeks? Would we teach them to build a nuclear reactor? No. Could we teach a Greek in Athens to drive a car? And if you could return to the lost land of the Greeks and teach them psychoanalysis? This would be invented: a Platonic dialogue where an analyst, not a sophist, attempts to explain psychoanalysis to Socrates. I think that the fundamental things would prevent the Greeks from accepting it. One could just as well experiment with it in AD, and try to explain psychoanalysis, for example, to Saint Thomas Aquinas.
1. J. Lacan, Founding Act in Television, trans. D. Hollier, R. Krauss and A. Michelson, WW Norton, 1990, pp. 97-106. Acte de fondation, 1964, in Autre écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, pp. 229-241.
2. J. L. Austin, When Saying is Doing in How to do Things with Words, Oxford University Press, 1962. The term ‘performatives’ is defined as follows “enunciations that, apart that they are true or not, do something (and not just say it). What is thus produced is done in saying the same thing (enunciation is then an illocution) or through the fact of saying it (enunciation in this case is a perlocution) or both at the same time”, p. 181. The index, at the entry ‘performative’, refers to page 4 and the ones that follow.
3. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
4. J. Lacan, Le Séminaire, Livre XV, L’acte analytique, (1967-68), unpublished,
5. Spinoza was expelled from the Jewish community because of his rationalist position.
6. Giordano Bruno was accused of heresy and had to leave his order and country (Italy). He returned after several years of wandering and was arrested by the Inquisition, and later after a long trial sentenced to death and burnt alive.
7. Michel Servet, Spanish theologian, doctor and philosopher was fascinated by the conflict between Catholics and Protestants. He stood for the thesis that earned him death by being burnt alive (1553).
8. Lev Davidovitch Bronstein comes from the Israelite bourgeoisie. He was arrested and deported to Siberia for being a militant student in the revolutionary movement. He escaped and won England under the name Trotsky. He took part in the revolution of Saint Petersburg, was exiled again and escaped. He returned to Russia in 1917 and rejoined the Bolsheviks. Later he opposed Stalin and died assassinated by a Stalinian agent (1940).
9. Martin Luther, German theologian, was excommunicated and banished from the Empire by the Diet of Worms.
10. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
11. During the WW II General De Gaulle launched the ‘Appeal of 18 June’ from London in order to continue the struggle again the Axis forces.
12. The Odessey, the Greek epic, recounts the return of Odysseus to his homeland after the Trojan war.
13. Richard the Lion Heart was King of England (1157-1199), belonging to the Dynasty of Plantagenets.
14. Ivanhoe is a character of a novel by Walter Scott, who incarnated the symbol of loyalty to Richard the Lion Heart who he accompanied at the second Crusade and against John the Lackland.
15. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
17. Library of Ornicar?, The Scission of 1953, the psychoanalytic community in France, Supplement No 7, periodic bulletin of the Freudian field, documents edited by J.-A. Miller, forward by J. Lacan, Paris, Lyse, 1977 ; Excommunication, the psychoanalytic community in France, op. cit., 1977.
18. J. Lacan, Discours à l’École freudienne de Paris, (1970), in Autres écrits, op. cit., p. 263.
19. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
21. Twentieth Ecumenical Council convened by the Pope Pius IX in 1869.
22. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
27. J. Lacan, Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Analyst of the School, trans. R. Grigg, in Analysis No 6, 1995, Melbourne. Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste de l’École in Autres écrits, op. cit., pp. 243-259.
28. J. Lacan, Founding Act, op. cit.,
32. J. Lacan, Function and Field of Speech and Language, (1953), trans. B. Fink, WW Norton, 2007. Écrits, Paris, Seuil, 1966, pp. 237-322.
36. J. Lacan, Note italienne, (1974), in Autre écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, pp. 307-311.
37. P. Rey, Une saison chez Lacan, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1989.
38. J.-G. Godin, 5, rue de Lille, Paris, Seuil, 1990.
39. J.-A. Miller, Remarque sur la traversée du transfer, (1990), in Revue de l’École de la Cause freudienne, Actes, No 18, Paris, ECF, 1991, pp. 28-30.
40. Ibid., p. 29.
41. J. Lacan, La psychanalyse, raison d’un échec, (1968), in Autres écrits, op. cit., p. 349.
Translated by Bogdan Wolf
TOWARDS PIPOL 4 Jacques-Alain Miller
TOWARDS PIPOL 4
PIPOL 3 is hardly over and already our eyes are turned towards PIPOL 4.* PIPOL 3 testified to an epidemic that has infected the Freudian Field and is continuing to infect it every day, resonating throughout our European community.
Four years ago, the CPCT, the Psychoanalytic Center of Consultation and Treatment of the rue Chabrol, opened in Paris. If there are today about ten CPCTs in France, several in Spain, two in Italy, one in Brussels, and many more being formed, if about fifty institutions have joined the RIPA, our Network of Institutions of Applied Psychoanalysis, if all this little world is in full activity, in full growth, this is not due to any guidelines or injunctions. In fact, four years ago, it seemed that the CPCT of Paris was an experimental initiative that would very likely remain solitary for a long time, until scientific committees might wisely draw the lessons of its accomplishments.
An unforeseen enthusiasm has cleared the path. The masses of the Freudian Field took hold of this idea and transformed it into a material force; they overcame all the obstacles, bringing to light unsuspected reservoirs of good will, of availability, revealing vocations, as if each one had said to himself: “Here we are at last!” As if we were finally returning to the future. As if, through us, psychoanalysis was forging a new alliance with the present time.
A new paradigm
We are carried along by this great movement, which we must at the same time elucidate, if just to know what the following step is on the path of PIPOL.
In order to justify for ourselves the renovation introduced by the CPCT, in order to put our psychoanalytic papers in order, we turned to an old distinction: pure psychoanalysis and applied psychoanalysis. Indeed! A classical distinction.
It is true that we leave pure psychoanalysis intact, the same requirements continue to be imposed on the training of analysts, the pass remains the name of what we conceive as the real term of an analysis and we practice its verification.
The renovation in question was produced at the level of psychoanalysis as applied to therapy. It was more reassuring for us to think of it in this way. With it, we touched parameters that up till then had been constant, the duration of the cure and its payment: limited and programmed duration, payment suppressed. Take heed! Suppressed for the patient, but also, up till now at any rate, for the practitioner.
Undoubtedly short therapies had already been practiced and theorized in psychoanalysis — for example, by one of our predecessors, Franz Alexander —, as well as free treatments — by the Berlin clinic at the time of Wilhelm Reich —, but, to my knowledge, such practices had never been carried out on such a scale, nor with the ad hoc clinical elaboration that, for us, accompanies it now.
An Alpha Place
This would have been impossible if we still had as our reference the fossilized concept of the setting, understood only as the consulting room of the practitioner exercising in a private practice. Psychoanalytic effects do not depend on the setting, but on the discourse, that is, on the installation of the symbolic coordinates by someone who is an analyst, and whose quality as an analyst does not depend on the location of his consulting room, nor the nature of his clients, but rather on the experience he is engaged in.
The Lacanian concepts of the analytic act, the analytic discourse, and the conclusion of an analysis as a pass to the analyst have permitted us to conceive of the psychoanalyst as a nomad object, and psychoanalysis as a portable installation, capable of moving into new contexts, and, in particular, into institutions. The accounts given of cases show and demonstrate, bring into evidence, that specifically psychoanalytic effects are produced within institutional contexts whenever this context authorizes the installation of an analytic place. There is an analytic place possible in institutions, let’s say an Alpha Place.
An Alpha Place is not a “listening” place. We call “listening place” today a place where a subject is invited to talk drivel to his heart’s content. It is said that putting things into words brings relief. An Alpha Place is a place of response, a place where the chattering takes the form of a question, and the question itself the form of a response. There can be an Alpha Place only if, by the operation of the analyst, the chattering turns out to contain a treasure, that of an other sense having the value of a response, that is, of the knowledge we call unconscious. This mutation of the chattering depends on what we call transference, which allows the interpretive event to take place, the interpretive event that separates a before from an after, as we say classically.
For there to be an Alpha Place, it is necessary and sufficient that the loop be closed by which “the emitter receives from the receptor its own message in an inverted form”, the subject finding himself from then on connected to the subject supposed to know that he did not know he himself was the seat of.
The emergence of such an instant of knowledge requires a severe control, because it is a spark that can set fire to the plain, I mean it can light for a subject the fire of a generalized interpretive delusion. A drastic selection is imposed for those who operate in an Alpha Place, in order to be sure they are capable of a pondered distribution of psychoanalytic effects, dosed to a subject’s capacities to bear them. Moreover, those who operate in an Alpha Place, cannot avoid practicing the art of rapid diagnostic. As a rule, this task is confided in our CPCT to the most confirmed and seasoned practitioners, who are called on to formulate a detailed prescription.
We can already perceive what was captivating about the practice of rapid therapeutic effects: the degree of clinical mastery it requires, the immediate mobilization of knowledge already accumulated both through the study of texts and effective experience, the instantaneous evaluation and the reasoned assumption of the clinical risk. We were thus able to observe that even a fleeting connection to a supposed knowledge, which by hypothesis we call unconscious knowledge, is translated as a rule by a reconnection to what we traditionally call the discourse of the Other.
I will take some distance from this formulation. The designation, “the Great Other” is an approximation; since it does not concern a unified agency, it is not a monolith. So, I find no objection to speaking of a reconnection to social reality.
What is the social? — which we have included in the title of PIPOL 3.
It is first of all a word that functions in many contexts, eminently useful, which serves as an interface between the language of political and administrative authorities and our own, probably at the cost of equivoque. The secret, ours, is that we do not distinguish between psychic reality and social reality. Psychic reality is social reality. We find in Lacan’s very last teaching this provoking proposal: “Neurosis is due to social relations”. To eliminate any seeming paradox from what I have just advanced, we only need to recall that at the foundations of social reality, we have language. By language, we mean the structure that emerges from the language we speak under the effect of the routine of the social bond. It is the social routine that provides that the signified can retain some sense, the sense that is given by the sentiment of each of us to “be part of his world, that is to say of his little family and what surrounds it.”
The psychoanalysts who exercise in the Alpha Places are of course in direct contact with the social, embodying as such the social, and restituting the social bond for the subjects they meet up with. This is what justifies the title of PIPOL 3. On the other hand, the subjects they meet up with are precisely no longer in direct contact with the social, being rather in a situation of “discontact”. Isn’t this what it would now be fitting to thematize: the situation of social discontact?
For the psychoanalysts who exercise in the Alpha Places, the CPCT and the RIPA institutions, we understand the enthusiasm that can take hold of them at seeing the mediations done away with that ordinarily veil the position of the analyst, which veil to the analyst that he is in direct contact with the social. An analyst can only function if he is in direct contact with the social, but in his consulting room, he can fail to realize this and entertain sweet dreams — Schwarmerei — of his extraterritoriality.
This word is often quoted from the mouth of Lacan as if he was praising it, when, of course, he uses it ironically. When the Alpha Place emigrates from the consulting room to the institution, it is the truth that is laid bare, that of the structural sociality of the psychoanalytic position and act. I would go so far as to say that the success of the CPCT, and more widely that of the RIPA institutions, is the success of this “operation truth”. It is this truth that founds what I heard these days in the form of “Here we are at last”.
A psychoanalytic basis for the symptom.
When we speak of pure psychoanalysis and applied psychoanalysis, we understand that the results of the first are invested in the second. That is true, and it is first of all the case of the practitioner himself, inasmuch as he is the result of his own analysis, which was neither brief nor programmed, nor free. But we cannot neglect the fact that there is a return effect. Applied psychoanalysis, the kind we practice, has an incidence on pure psychoanalysis and this incidence will increase with time.
It is already perceptible in the clinic of ordinary psychosis, psychosis without an onset, where the effects of foreclosure are not spectacular, as delusions and hallucinations are, but are translated by more discreet signs, sometimes insignificant elementary phenomena, successive disconnections with family and everything that surrounds it, social relations and the world.
Applied psychoanalysis will also have consequences on the theory of the cure. The programming of brief treatments renders the practitioner more attentive to the advances in each session taken one by one, while the Durcharbeitung of the pure experience — the “working through” as it has been translated —, the prolongated time to understand that pure analysis imposes, has as its natural effect to abrase this detail, or even to render it imperceptible to the practitioner. What sometimes deserves to be called mini-cures carried out in the Alpha Places will have the effect of sharpening the vigilance of the analysts in the direction of the analytic cure proper.
Thirdly, I remind you that our institutional Alpha Places are now, for some, subsidized by administrations, and this will be more and more the case. But a natural requirement is thus imposed on them to give an account to their commanditaires. They want figures, something quantifiable, numbers. They want to produce results for statistics, classifying machines, computers. They are already proposing the services of their engineers.
We could maintain that we operate with supposed knowledge, and that exposed knowledge denatures our operation. We could say with a sigh that it is tiring to fill in the forms they ask us for. I propose we take it from another angle: as the occasion to have our clinic with its diagnostics and its indicators pass into the circuit of common communication, which means, in the first place, having it pass into the register of integral transmission, what Lacan called the matheme.
The matheme is not only the use of $, a, S1, S2 and the rest. The requirement of the commanditaires should be the occasion for us to formalize our clinic, and why not, to rival the DSM. Why not create the BPS? Who can doubt that the constitution of a “psychoanalytic base of the symptom” (Base psychoanalytique du symptôme) capable of being quantified would have the most favorable effects on the quality of our clinical transmission, including its most subtle aspects? Am I alone in desiring a more consistent mathematic armature than the one we already dispose of? I don’t think so.
The following step to take in the series of the PIPOLs is logically imposed. It is time to pass on to a thematic, differential, graduated study of the subjective situations of social discontact*.
Social discontact has a name common in contemporary administrative language: disinsertion. This word was chosen as the title of the RIPA research project on the European level. I see PIPOL 4 as a scansion in this research. Thus, the title I propose: “Clinic and Pragmatics of Disinsertion in Psychoanalysis”.
I say clinic because we have evidently things to say and ordain concerning the fundamentals of psychoanalysis and disinsertion in which we will be able to invest our results on ordinary psychosis, in particular all that turns around what Hugo Freda named “symbolic precariousness”. It cannot be doubted that we can transmit something new — about the refusal of school, for example, since the master-signifier says something about authority and the S2 something about knowledge, and this can be communicated. I say pragmatic rather than treatment or cure because we are in the order of the savoir y faire (knowing how to deal with) of the “se débrouiller avec” (coming to terms with).
The great movement we are part of is a result of psychoanalysis having shown and still showing it has fallen behind itself. Psychoanalysis, whose practice implies the collapse of all semblants, which puts into practice a powerful, quasi Socratic, principle of irony, often remains attached to its obsolete beliefs, taking refuge in an imaginary extraterritoriality. It no longer recognizes itself in a contemporary universe whose emergence it has, nevertheless, contributed to more that others, and the most ignorant and least likeable of the lot cry over the Name-of-the-Father, dreaming of reestablishing its reign. Nostalgia of the Freudian epoch of psychoanalysis, of a time when an authoritarian, hierarchical, regulatory, and even disciplinarian social order still reigned, and where psychoanalysis was in an alveolar situation, pleading for the right to each one’s jouissance.
It was the epoch in which social insertion was accomplished primarily through symbolic identification. A psychoanalyst could then prone the liberation of desire, salvation through the drive. We are at a time when the Other no longer exists. At the “social zenith”, the object a has replaced it. Insertion is accomplished less through identification than through consummation. The dream is less of liberation than of satisfaction. And social reality turns out to be dominated by the manque-à-jouir (want-of-jouissance). Which gives rise to the vogue of addictions, which is not simply a vogue limited to practices: everything becomes addiction in social behavior, everything takes on an addictive style. We must recognize in the addictions, as in the frenetic consummation of the plus-de-jouir (surplus-jouissance) that technology multiplies and puts on the market more and more rapidly, a desperate effort to remunerate a deficit of satisfaction that is structural.
A pragmatic moment
This is the key to the shock of civilizations. What we thus name is essentially the opposition, the incompatibility, between the religious civilization and the merchant civilization, between the civilization dominated by the ideal ego and the one that the superego strictly speaking dominates, the superego whose imperative can be formulated jouis*, between the civilization of respect and ours, which is that of greediness. The merchant civilization stigmatizes as fanaticism that of the ideal ego, and it is in turn stigmatized as perversion, corruption, immorality, Jouissance-pride. We find between the two an enigmatic mix, today’s China, where we can observe both an authoritarian control of the Ideal and an extraordinary disinhibition of consummation.
What are analysts for in these times of discontent? Not to share the discontent. The good humor that reigned during these Study Days shows that this is not our style. Not being a dupe of the illusory satisfaction of the plus-de-jouir does not however mean staying obstinately planted in the refusal of the beautiful soul, and anathematizing contemporary social reality. The mission that is ours in this world is to recognize and elucidate human diversity, the diversity of the modes-de-jouir (modes-of-jouissance) of the species. That requires renewing with the spirit of psychoanalysis at its beginnings, when psychoanalysts still knew how to sacrifice to psychoanalysis the semblants of respectability. Psychoanalysis then knew that to be entirely rigorous, it had to be a bit of a rogue.
I spoke of the Freudian moment, which is behind us. The Lacanian moment is not less behind us. It was both, in a baroque conjugation, existentialist and structuralist, that is, scientistic. Lacan himself left this moment behind him, and he sketched out for us the configuration of the contemporary moment, which is pragmatic. Yes, we are pragmatic as everyone is today, but somehow still apart, — paradoxical pragmatists who do not practice the cult of it works. The it works never works. Our good humor probably comes from the fact we know that it misses the mark, but we believe we hit on the side of the target in the right way.
Have no doubt that we are needed.
Translated by Thelma Sowley
* Transcription by Catherine Bonningue of J.-A. Miller’s talk during the PIPOL 3 Study Days, June 30th and July 1st 2007. The title of the Study Days was “Psychoanalysis in Close Touch with the Social”.
 Jacques Lacan, “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis” (1953), Écrits, Paris, Seuil, 1966, p. 298; English translation Bruce Fink, Norton, 2006, p. 246.
 J. Lacan, Le Séminaire, livre XXIV, L’insu que sait de l’une-bévue s’aile à mourre (1976-77), lesson of May 17, 1977 ; cf. Miller J.-A., « Le tout dernier Lacan » (2006-07), L’orientation lacanienne III, 9, lessons of March 14 and 21, 2007.
 Cf. J. Lacan, Le Séminaire, livre XX, Encore (1972-73), Paris, Seuil, 1975, chap. IV.
* Translator’s note. I use the signifier “insertion” here in the way it is currently used in French, with reference to the insertion of individuals into the social and economic structure, giving us the pair insertion/disinsertion. Two other pairs will have to be differentiated in this paper with reference to the lacanian clinic: for the French branchement/ rebranchement, I propose the English connection/ reconnection, for prise/déprise: contact / discontact, this final neologism corresponding to the neological use of “déprise”.. These choices do not exclude a subsequent differential elaboration of the concepts.
 This theme was chosen during the RIPA meeting on June 30, 2007, and will be implemented by a new committee directed by Hugo Freda, at the same time as research for the clinical software of our institution will be assembled by a commission directed by Jean-Daniel Matet.
* T.N. The imperative form of the verb “jouir” , also found in the expressions above and which means “to take jouissance”.
 Allusion to the Gay Pride parade that took place the day before, June 30, 2007.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR ANY PSYCHOANALYTIC ACT Éric Laurent
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR ANY PSYCHOANALYTIC ACT
First principle: Psychoanalysis is a practice of speech. It involves two partners, the analyst and the analysand, brought together in a single psychoanalytic session. The analysand speaks about what brings him there, his suffering, his symptom. This symptom is hooked into the materiality of the unconscious, made out of things that have been said to the subject, that have hurt him, and things that are impossible to say and cause him suffering. An analyst will punctuate the words of the analysand and enable him to weave the thread of his unconscious. The powers of language and the truth effects that it enables, what is called interpretation, is the actual power of the unconscious. Interpretation is apparent on both sides, analysand and analyst. They do not both have the same relation to the unconscious, however, since one has already carried this experience through to the end whereas the other has not.
THE FOUNDING ACT 21 June 1964 Jacques Lacan
THE FOUNDING ACT
21 June 1964
I hereby found -as alone as I have always been in my relation to the psychoanalytic cause- the French School of Psychoanalysis, whose direction I will personally assume for the next four years, which nothing currently prohibits me from answering for.
I intend this title to represent the organism in which there is work to be accomplished-work which in the field Freud has opened restores the cutting edge of its truth; which brings the original praxis that he instituted under the name of psychoanalysis back to the duty that in our world is incumbent upon it; which, through a sustained critique, denounces the deviations and compromises that encumber its progress while degrading its use.
This objective of our work is inseparable from the training to be dispensed within this movement of reconquest. That is, those that I have trained myself are admitted as fully qualified, just as anyone who can contribute to demonstrating that the experience of this training is well-grounded is invited to join.
Those who enter this School will undertake to fulfil a task that is subject to both internal and external supervision. In exchange they are assured that nothing will be spared in order that anything valuable they do gets the attention it deserves and in the appropriate place.
To carry out this work we shall adopt the principle of sustained elaboration in small groups. Each group (we have a name to designate them) will be composed of at least three people, five at most, four is the right balance. PLUS ONE responsible for the selection, the discussion and the outcome to be accorded to the work of each.
After a certain period of functioning the elements of the group will find themselves invited to permutate into another group.
The position of responsibility will not constitute a hierarchy for which service rendered might be capitalized into access to a higher grade, and no one will have to regard himself as demoted for entering into the rank of work at the base.
For the reason that every personal endeavour will place its author under conditions of critique and supervision to which all work undertaken will be submitted in the School.
This in no way implies an inverted hierarchy but a circular organization whose functioning-which will be easy to program-will firm up with experience.
We will form three sections whose progress I will assure along with two collaborators who will second me in each.