The Permanence of Rebellion

The Permanence of Rebellion
Véronique Voruz

Throughout my life, and for contingent reasons – in my home it was the Church and the Army; on my mother’s side a literal and moralist reading of religious texts prevailed, whereas my father, descendent of a long military lineage, found himself with a fascination for the horrors of history – I turned to the same question myself: what part of freedom is left for speaking beings when they are so fundamentally effects of the speech from which they emerge and put themselves into a meaning, whilst historizing themselves and hysterizing themselves.

Something in me rebelled, as it still does, against the hegemony of meaning. It was at this point that my encounter with psychoanalysis took place. There is a “disheveled determinism” [1] for subjects of speech: we draw our meaning from the discourses of our families, our countries, our time, while misrecognising that which is contingent. Freedom, therefore, is a non-naive gamble which requires work in reverse of the interweaving of meaning and jouissance – this interweaving of enjoyed meaning [sens joui]  which makes up the fabric or the emotional tone of life. How to be free without being crazy: the room for manoeuvring open to speaking beings is not wide.

Analytical experience is not without a refinement of madness: those who have the unfathomable desire to push an analysis to an end are also separated from common sense, with unforeseen consequences towards the conduct of life: to take-up responsibility for the elaboration of a continuously renewed knowledge – the alternative being delusion – but also to have to lodge, day by day, the urgency, the push of a life of the drive, once it is liberated from the fantasy. How indeed does the drive live on without recourse to this machine for enjoyment? There is no answer that works for everyone, it is up to each one to invent it – from the irreducible of their jouissance, a treatment for this urgency which would no longer be satisfied with the lures previously in use.

Desire as conceived by Lacan is atopic, metonymic and heretical. His teaching is an increasingly radical objection to the normativisation of speaking beings’ desires through the discourses. Lacan was, himself, a permanent rebel against the delusional effect of the signifier, which is to induce belief by the mere fact of correlating an S2 to an S1. He reoriented psychoanalysis anew towards producing new subject-effects, which add to extant subject-effects, the products of the other discourses which give meaning to life. The title of AS names this new subject-effect, an artifice of the analytic discourse. This subject-effect, without precedent in the history of humanity, remains at its best a testimony that there is something irrevocably alive and rebellious among speaking-beings, something which objects to the increasingly exhaustive capture of human beings by categorical discourses.    

Translation: Arunava Banerjee    

1 Miller, J.-A.,  « L’ère de l’homme sans qualités », in La Cause freudienne, 2004.