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By Sigmund Freud

In what is still certainly one of his so much seminal papers, Freud considers the incompatibility of civilisation and person happiness, and the tensions among the claims of society and the person. we know that residing in civilised teams potential sacrificing a level of non-public curiosity, yet couldn't you argue that it actually creates the stipulations for our happiness? Freud explores the arguments and counter-arguments surrounding this proposition, targeting what he perceives to be one among society's maximum risks; 'civilised' sexual morality. in the end, doesn't repression of sexuality deeply impact humans and compromise their probabilities of happiness?

Translated by way of David McLintock.

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This appears in an anecdote: I remember the uneasiness of a young man who wanted to be Marxist and had gotten mixed up with a group of members of (the one and only) Party who showed up in strength (God knows why) to my paper on ‘The dialectic of desire and the subversion of the subject in psychoanalysis’. ’ Such an exercise, however, had its effects: and I have the proof – my book [Ecrits] was rejected by the Ford Foundation that supports such gatherings in order to clean them up. The Foundation found it unthinkable to publish me.

Hence, our task can be none other than to examine to what extent contemporary thought, associating psychoanalysis and philosophy, can rise to this challenge. Our departure point is the assumption that, for psychoanalysis and for contemporary political thought, there must be another perspective, another angle under which it is possible to conceive of a way out while breaking with the prevailing conception of a solution in terms of a subversion of the existing hegemonic arrangement. We can find an understanding of the specifically political consequences of this impasse in Lacan’s discussion of the relationship between politics and the unconscious.

Marx had paved the way to a new understanding of the object a caught up in the economy of jouissance; one could revamp the concept of Mehrlust defined as homologous or parallel to Mehrwert. Lacan offered a framework in which capitalism played a key role. The May ‘events’, as a symptom of capitalism, testified to the clash between knowledge and truth, to the struggle between capitalistic accumulation of knowledge and the irruption of a truth linked with jouissance: I have been looking for the root of what has been ridiculously called the events.

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