Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis, and Religion in Times of Terror
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The turbulent region through the eyes of Marx and Freud.
Marx and Freud in Latin America seeks to reassess the timeless relevance of the work of Marx and Freud for Latin America, based on the premise that Marxism and psychoanalysis are neither philosophical doctrines nor positivist sciences but rather intervening doctrines of the subject, in political and clinical-affective situations. After going over the possible reasons for Marx and Freud's own missed encounter with the realities of Latin America, the book presents ten studies to argue that art and literature--the novel, poetry, theater, film--perhaps more so than the militant tract or the theoretical essay provide a symptomatic site for the investigation of such processes of subjectivization.
“Every revolutionary worker should be modest, because modesty is a virtue that is beneficial to the cause of the people.”77 Only a melodramatic vision can offset the law of the heart of a revolutionary anarchist with the sordid and degraded world of an impoverished prostitute. Luba herself, by attacking Enrique, incarnates the first critique of this melodrama that is the dialectic of the good bad conscience. Enrique does not take long to learn his lesson: “And he, calm like a stone upon which
Justin Clemens and Russell Grigg, eds, Jacques Lacan and the Other Side of Psychoanalysis (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 11–28; and Joan Copjec, “May ’68, the Emotional Month,” in Slavoj Žižek, ed., Lacan: His Silent Partners (London and New York, Verso: 2006), 90–114. Here, in addition to debates within Lacanian psychoanalysis, I would refer the reader to León Rozitchner’s discussion of pudor or “shame” (pudeur in French), in the chapter “Desde la perspectiva de la intimidad: el pudor,”
like Badiou, the task consists in thinking the crimes from within the politics of communism, and not the other way around—not so as to ratify the facts with the stamp of historical inevitability, but so as to formulate an immanent critique that at the same time would avoid the simple abandonment of communism as such. “I would not want you to take these somewhat bitter reflections as yet more grist to the mill of the feeble moralizing that typifies the contemporary critique of absolute politics or
the prepubescent son, or puer, is originarily and immediately subject to a power of life and death on the part of the father. “There is no clearer way to say that the first foundation of political life is a life that may be killed, which is politicized through its very capacity to be killed,” writes Agamben. “It is as if male citizens had to pay for their participation in political life with an unconditional subjection to a power of death, as if life were able to enter the city only in the double
context for our own times of terror and regression: Christianity, as a religion and as a culture, continues, in the West, to occupy and mold the most archaic stratum, a layer always present in everyone and which emerges, as if novel and indispensable, at certain moments—moments in which a population terrorized by social, economic and political crises similar to the ones we are living today, withdraw into themselves. In Augustine we wish at least to glimpse the obscure logic of this emergence.36