Critical Analytic Practice

Critical analytic practice takes account of the history of Analysis as a Western practice from Socrates to Freud, beginning within the birth of philosophy as a practice of opening – undoing and unknotting the whole. That which remains is emergent potential – power versus force. The completion of analysis within psychoanalysis as cure does not place it against philosophy but only sustains the truth of philosophy and science as analytic practice – that which is always prone to closure. But nothing in psychoanalysis itself makes it any safer than philosophy – or science, or medicine, or poetics, or political action, or critical social theory – from this closure. Critical analytic practice remains faithful to this process and praxis in any field without regard for dogma or discipline.

As participant in the early Freudian psychoanalytic circles of Paris and the Hegelian- Marxist seminars of Kojeve and the surrealist artistic experimenations, Georges Bataille shared with Lacan the same concern for the invention of a new subject. Limited economy assumes production of objects and rational thought – which Bataille states is itself which suffocates us. How to extend the drive without production captured in a dead end – an alleyway of the vicious circle. The general economy develops a form of set theory for the contemporary world in which material and psychic energies are circulated not within closed fields but for the purpose of communication and exchange across boundaries. One must know how to express or release or one will undergo it in any case. Thus the symptom – physical, psychological or social – is a matter of poor aesthetics.

Against the Marxist closure of communism, Bataille poses the Nietzschean artist as sovereign subject. Sovereignty is not unaware of the other. On the contrary by becoming all the more aware of the other, the man of today – whether in communist party line or democratic political correctness – is suffocated by this awareness, and this is what Bataille sought to forestall. In the face of such paralysis, a dedication to the act. The free act is neither submission nor revolt. The other is bypassed. The move is to step laterally, transversally. The other is witness. Or the gift is to the other of a free act. The ambient context against which sovereignty takes place is the only remaining social belief or “religion” palatable: the unavowable community, the community of those who have nothing in common.

This is a new form of communism or commonism – a generic freedom of the act which binds radical individuation in a common goal. The history of its future is barely told – portrayed in film and literature such as “Lost Horizon” and “Destroy She Said.” This is a seeming paradox in which a new global communal form of humanity embraces the radical autonomy of self-regulation or self-governance as Reich called it. This is not anarachy – or it is anarchy only in the sense of anti-hierarchy, in the sense of order imposed from above. But it is not chaos. Relationality is maintained vertically, laterallyand transversally through a nested hierarchy or great chain of being – infinite sets in which each set has its own sovereign state while both participating as a part in others and composed itself of multiple parts.

For Reich this method embraced social dynamics and the organic body alike and led him to the development of what he called “orgonomy” – the science and practice of organic relations. Here the organ or organism is the sovereign entity at each level and place in the continuum even as it is open to the outside by means of “orgasm”: release, expression, communication, and contact. It is the permeable membrane – the boundary both fluid and structured which is the key to Reich’s whole redevelopment of psychoanalytic medicine and psychoanalytic sociology – ultimately founded on the drive which manifests equally in the psychic, energetic, organic and material realm. Reich’s self-regulation within orgonomy is Bataille’s sovereignty within general economy.