Institutionalization and its Malaise

There have been recent attempts to de-institutionalize psychoanalysis in America even at the moment when it is becoming more institutionalized than ever.  An air of malaise  pervades: a large group of analysts commiserating over the fact that they had attached themselves to institutes that they know are more than problematic and not taken another path.. There are few if any who truly follow their own path or “formation” as a lay analyst and to confront the authority of institutes and the law. But why don’t more do this? 


Lacan’s school was a major breaking point in the institutionalization and infantilization of psychoanalysis. When Lacan was kicked out of the IPA he created his own school of another type – one with rigor and multiplicity (to a certain degree). The workings of that school and those that have evolved in its aftermath have attempted to lay out a path beyond the binary “institute/no institute” toward a school of another kind – and what Lacan called analysis in extension. The operations of the cartel, the pass, the topology and poetics of the symptom, and other experiments in their success and failure deserve serious study. If there is a problem with the few analytic schools of this type that exist, it is that they do not honor multiplicity enough. Unbehagen attempts to answer to this – but at the expense of rigor. It is not considered a place that can provide a formation (by those inside or outside of it) so it is made up of those from other institutes. 


What is needed – or hopefully desired – is a school that offers rigor without rigidity and multiplicity without relativity. And/or those subjects who have the courage not to cede on their desire and to follow the singular path of formation that they feel called to without submitting to the pressure to be recognized by the master or protected by the group. Lacan did not say the analyst CAN authorize himself, he said the analyst ONLY authorizes himself by himself (and a few others). He cannot be authorized by any authority be it state, institute, or university. And in this he followed Freud. So who are these “few others”: the same since Freud’s time – other analysands and analysts within a community and ethic of difference. The political position of the analyst follows that of Bataille’s sovereignty (not Schmitt’s): neither to take up the position of the master nor its hysterical critique but to walk another direction – transversally – toward one’s desire regardless of the consequences of meconnaissance.