A glimpse in the rear view mirror fills you with terror: the past is disappearing into a blank of anonymity. Attempting to avoid the void you drive faster: you will beat the beast, this slavering, bloody beast. Your determination wavers, you can feel its hot fetid breath on your neck.
You hear the bird calling but the frantic drumming of your heart overwhelms the bird of compassion. Some other voice, perhaps from the wings of the stage, out of shot, out of reach, demands to know: what is the ground of our subjectivity? Tell me, Perec, tell me! But there is this other question I posed, what are the political implications of psychoanalysis?
‘This is a book about “communist desire” – that is the deep-seated moving force within people which impels them to strive to give their lives self-chosen collective meaning, by opposing oppression, arbitrary coercion, abolishing hierarchical structures, and ending the various forms of alienation.’ (RP Jul/Aug 2014 page 58)
So here is another pairing: individual/collective. Individual or collective; Freud or Marx. Individual and collective; Freud and Marx. As soon as we have a pairing we (in the so-called West) are immediately gripped, held within the imaginary of individualism and death to the opponent; the only life is death to the other. Of course we live within the collective but constantly imagine the hero, the selfie, the only thing that counts – everything else must be sacrificed.
What is the ground of my subjectivity? What if I was able to make the answer, YOU.
What are the political implications of psychoanalysis? What if I could make the answer, the collective.
Yesterday I went to see the Dardenne brothers new film, Two Days, One Night. I had scribbled some notes around the above before seeing the movie so there was a nice touch of Jungian synchronicity because the film is an essay on just this issue of individual/collective. Brilliant but not a fun filled movie, though one that seriously looks at current issues and holds the tension throughout plus an impressive piece of acting from Marion Cotillard.