Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School
Jacques Lacan*

Before reading this proposition I emphasise that it has to be understood against the background of a reading, or a rereading, of my article, “Situation de la psychanalyse et formation du psychanalyste en 1956”, Ecrits (Paris: Seuil, 1966), 419-86.

We shall be concerned with structures maintained [assuré] in psychoanalysis and with guaranteeing their effectiveness for the psychoanalyst.

This is offered to our School, after a sufficiently lengthy duration of organs fashioned according to limiting principles. The only novelty we introduce is in their functioning. It is true that thereby the solution to the problem of the psychoanalytic Society appears.

This solution is located in the distinction between hierarchy and gradus. 

I shall at the beginning of this [academic] year produce this constructive step:

1. produce it—i.e., show it to you;
2. put you in a position to produce its framework, which must reproduce this step in these two senses.

Let us recall our existing [framework].

First, a principle: the psychoanalyst derives his authorisation only from himself. This principle is inscribed in the original texts of the School and is decisive for its position.

This does not exclude the possibility that the School provide a guarantee that an analyst has come out of its training.

The School may do this on its own initiative.

And the analyst may want this guarantee, which henceforth can only go further: to become responsible for the progress of the School, to become a psychoanalyst through its own experience.

Looking at it from this point of view, we can recognise that as from now these two forms are responded to by:

1. The A.M.S., or Analyst Member of the School, constituted simply by the fact the School recognises him as a psychoanalyst who has proved himself.

This is what constitutes the guarantee emanating from the School, the first to be distinguished.

The initiative for this falls upon the School, where one is admitted at the base only with a work project and without any consideration being given to provenance or to qualifications. A practising analyst is initially registered there in just the same way as one lists a doctor, an ethnologist, or anyone else.

2. The A.S., or Analyst of the School, who is characterised as being among those who are able to testify to crucial problems, at the vital point they have come to, for analysis, especially in so far as they themselves are working on them or at least working towards resolving them.

This place implies that one wants to occupy it: one can be in it only if one has requested it de facto if not formally.

That the School can guarantee the analyst’s relationship to the training that it provides is thus established.

It can and hence must.

It is here that appears the failure, the lack of inventiveness, to fulfil a function (namely, the function that existing societies boast of) by finding different paths to it, ones that avoid the disadvantages (and the misdeeds) of the organisation of these societies.

The idea that maintaining a similar organisation is necessary for regulating the gradus can be picked out from amongst its effects of malaise. This malaise is not sufficient justification for maintaining the idea. Even less for returning to it in practice.

That there should be a rule for the gradus is implied in a School, even more certainly than in a society. For, after all, in a society there is no need for it, when the only interests a society has are scientific ones.

But there is a real at stake in the very training of psychoanalysts. We hold that existing societies be founded on this real.

We also start from the fact, which is quite apparent, that Freud wanted them to be as they are. The fact is no less obvious—and for us conceivable—that this real provokes its own miscognition, indeed produces its systematic negation.

It is therefore clear that Freud took the risk of a particular halt. Perhaps more: that he detected there the only possible shelter for avoiding the extinction of the experience.

That we face this question thus raised is not my privilege. It is the very consequence, let us say this at least for the analysts of the School, of the choice of School they have made.

They find themselves here as a group because they did not want to put to a vote what it was taking away: the pure and simple survival of a teaching—that of Lacan’s.

Whoever, elsewhere, remains to say that it was a question of the training of analysts has lied. For all one had to do was vote along the lines the IPA wanted for one to gain entry to it at full tilt, on the single condition of receiving for a short time an ablution from the initials made in English1 (we won’t forget the French group).2 My analysands [analysés], as they say, were even particularly welcome, and still would be if it could result in silencing me.

Anyone who is prepared to listen is constantly being reminded of this.

It is therefore to a group to whom my teaching was valuable enough, even essential enough, for everyone deliberating to have marked their preference for maintaining it over the advantages offered them—and this without being able to foresee events, just as without my being able to foresee events I interrupted my seminar following the said vote—it was for this group stuck for a way out that I offered to found the School.

The value of what is at stake is indicated by the decisive choice made by those who are here.

There can be a stake that for some is of such value as to be essential for them, and it is my teaching.

If the said teaching is unrivalled for them, so it is for everybody, as is proved by those who crowd in without having paid the price, the question for them hinging on the profit from it that remains allowed them.

“Unrivalled” is not meant here as an evaluation but as a fact: no teaching speaks about what psychoanalysis is. Elsewhere, and in an explicit manner, the only concern is with whether it conforms.

There is an interdependence between the standstill, even the deviations, that psychoanalysis displays and the hierarchy that reigns therein—and which we describe, benevolently it will be granted, as that of coopting the wise.

The reason for this is that this coopting encourages a return to the status of prestige, combining narcissistic potency with competitive cunning—a return that re-establishes, with the reinforcements of the backslider, what training analysis aims to dissolve.

It is this effect that casts its shadow on the practice of psychoanalysis—whose termination, object and very aim prove to be inarticulable after at least half a century of continuous experience.

To remedy this, for us, we must recognise the failure (défaut) I have indicated, and not conceal it.

But this is so as to draw the missing articulation from this failure.

It [the articulation] only confirms what is found everywhere, and which has always been known, which is that for a duty to be fulfilled it is not enough that it be obvious. It is by way of its gap that it can be put into action, and this happens whenever one finds the means to make use of it.

In order to introduce it I shall appeal to the two moments in linking-up what I shall call respectively, in this deduction, psychoanalysis. in extension, i.e. everything that is summed up by the function of our School in so far as it presents psychoanalysis to the world, and psychoanalysis in intension, i.e. training in so far as it does not only prepare operators.

We forget in effect the reason it is portentous, which is that it constitutes psychoanalysis as an original experience, that it pushes it to the point of representing its finitude so as to enable its retroactivity, an effect of time, as is known, that is fundamental to it.

This experience is essential if it is to be distinguished from therapeutics, which is not only a distortion of psychoanalysis through relaxing its rigour.

I shall observe in effect that there is no possible definition of the therapeutic other than that it is the restitution of an initial state-a definition that it is precisely impossible to give in psychoanalysis.

For the primum non nocere,3 don’t even mention it, for it is destabilising not to be able to be determined as primum at the outset: what is one to choose not to harm! Just try. It is too easy in this condition to credit any treatment whatsoever with not having harmed anything. This strained characteristic is only of interest through stemming from an undecidable logic.

One can find a time in the past when it was a question of not harming the morbid entity. But the time of the doctor is more interested than is thought in this revolution-in any case the requirement that has become more precarious of what makes a teaching medical or not. Digression.

Our points of linking-up, in which our organs of the guarantee are to function, are known: it is the beginning and the end of psychoanalysis, as in chess. As luck would have it, these are the most exemplary for its structure. This luck must partake of what we call the encounter.

In the beginning of psychoanalysis is the transference. The transference is there by the grace of him who, at the outset of this proposal, we shall call the psychoanalysand.4 We do not have to account for what conditions it. At least not here. It exists at the outset; but what is it?

I am astounded that no-one has ever thought of objecting to me, given certain of the terms in my doctrine, that the transference alone is an objection to intersubjectivity. I even regret it, seeing that nothing is more true: it refutes it, it is its stumbling block. Moreover it is to establish the background against which one can see it contrasted that I initially promoted what about intersubjectivity the use of speech implies. This term was therefore one way—one way like any other, I would say, if it had not been imposed on me—of circumscribing the scope of the transference.

Thereupon, there where one is required to justify one’s academic lot, one seizes possession of the said term which is supposed, no doubt because I used it, to be levitatory (lévitatoire). But anyone who reads me can see the “with reservations” with which I worked with this reference for the conception of psychoanalysis. This forms part of the educative concessions I had to yield to for the context of fabulous ignorantism in which I had to deliver my first seminars.

Is it now possible to doubt that in referring what the unconscious uncovers for us to the subject of the cogito, that in having thereby defined the distinction between the imaginary other, familiarly known as little other, and the locus of the operation of language, proposed as the big Other, I am indicating that no subject can be supposed by another subject—if it is indeed true that this term has to be taken from Descartes? The fact that it required God or rather the truth with which he credits him for the subject to come and lodge himself under this same garb that cloaks the deceptive human shadows and the fact that Hegel in taking it up again raises the impossibility of the coexistence of consciousnesses, in so far as it concerns the subject promised to knowledge—isn’t this enough to indicate the difficulty to which precisely our impasse, that of the subject of the unconscious, offers the solution—to whoever knows how to formulate it?

It is true that here Jean-Paul Sartre, well able to recognize that the struggle to death is not this solution, since one cannot destroy a subject, and also since it is, in Hegel, appointed at birth, declares in camera5 its phenomenological maxim: it’s hell. But since this is false, and in a way that is attributable to the structure, the phenomenon clearly indicating that the coward, if he is not mad, is well able to accommodate himself to the look that gazes at him, this maxim also proves that obscurantism has the table laid not only for right-wing reunions.

The subject supposed to know is for us the pivot on which everything to do with the transference is hinged. The effects of the transference escape if one makes a pinch in order to grasp them with a fairly awkward pun in establishing itself from the need for repetition to the repetition of need.

Here the levitator of intersubjectivity will display his finesse in asking: subject supposed by whom, if not by another subject?

A recollection of Aristotle, a drop of the categories, we pray, in order to wipe away the subjective from this subject. A subject supposes nothing, he is supposed.

Supposed, I teach, by the signifier that represents him for another signifier.

Let us write the supposed of this subject as it should be written, by placing knowledge in its place adjacent to the supposition:

        S————————————>Sq                           —————————————                              s(S1,S2,...Sn)

On the top line one can recognise the signifier S of the transference, that is, of a subject, with its implication of a signifier that we shall call any signifier, that is, which supposes only particularity, in Aristotle’s sense (always timely), which thereby supposes yet other things. If it is nameable with a proper name, it is not because it is distinguished by knowledge, as we shall see.

Under the bar, but limited to the supposing span of the first signifier, the s represents the subject who results from this, implying, in the brackets, knowledge, assumed to be present, of signifiers in the unconscious, a meaning that holds the place of the still latent referent in this three-way relationship that unites it with the signifier-signified couple.

One can see that if psychoanalysis consists in maintaining an agreed-upon situation between two partners, who place themselves there as psychoanalysand and psychoanalyst, it can only unfold by the third constituent which is the signifier introduced into the discourse that thereby establishes itself, and which has a name: the supposed subject of knowledge-a formation that is not a contrivance but a lucky find, as detached from the psychoanalysand.

We shall have to see what qualifies the psychoanalyst to respond to this situation which one can see does not envelop his person. Not only is the subject supposed to know not real in effect, but it is in no way necessary that the subject who is active in the conjuncture, the psychoanalysand (the only one who speaks initially), impose it upon him.

Not only is it not necessary, it is not usually true: which is demonstrated in the initial stages of the discourse by a way of assuring oneself that the suit does not fit the psychoanalyst-an assurance against the fear that he will put, if I may say so, his creases in it too soon.

What matters for us here is the psychoanalyst in a relationship that is not secondary but direct to the subject supposed to know.
It is clear that of the supposed knowledge he knows nothing. The Sa of the top line has nothing to do with the chain of Ss in the bottom line and can only be found there through an encounter. Let us note this fact so as to reduce the strangeness of the insistence with which Freud advises us to begin each new case as if we had acquired nothing from his initial decipherings.

This in no way authorises the psychoanalyst to be satisfied in the knowledge that he knows nothing, for what is at issue is what he has to come to know.

What he has to come to know can be traced out upon the same relationship “in reserve” according to which all logic worthy of the name operates. This does not mean anything in “particular”, but it is articulated in chains of letters that are so rigourous that provided not one of them is left out, the un-known is arranged as the framework of knowledge.

What is astonishing is that with this one finds something-the transfinite numbers, for example.

What were they, before? I indicate here their relationship to the desire that gave them their consistency. It is worth thinking about the experience of a Cantor, an experience that was not entirely cost-free, in order to suggest the order, even if it is not transfinite, in which the desire of the psychoanalyst is situated.

This situation accounts, inversely, for the apparent ease with which what have to be called nullities get established in leading positions in existing societies. Understand me: what is important is not the manner in which these nullities adorn themselves (discourse on kindness?) for the outside, nor the discipline that the emptiness sustained within presupposes (it is a matter of stupidities), it is that this nullity (of knowledge) is recognised by everybody, everyday object, if I can put it like that, for the subordinates and common currency of their appreciation of their Superiors.

The reason for it can be found in the confusion over zero, in which one remains in a field in which this confusion is not acceptable. Nobody in the gradus who is concerned about teaching what distinguishes the void from the nothing, which are nevertheless not the same, nor the reference point trait for measurement from the neutral element implied in a logical group, nor the vacuity of incompetence from the non-marked of naivety-from which many things would fall into place.

It is so as to defend against this fault that I have produced the internal eight and generally the topology by which the subject is supported.

What must dispose a member of the School to similar studies is the prevalence that you can grasp in the algorithm produced above, but which still remains even if one is ignorant of it, the prevalence that is manifest everywhere: in psychoanalysis in extension as in psychoanalysis in intension-the prevalence of what I will call textual knowledge so as to contrast it with the referential notion that masks it.

It cannot be said that the psychoanalyst is an expert on all the objects that language not only proposes to knowledge but has first placed in the world of reality, the reality of interhuman exploitation. That would be better, but it is in fact rather short.

Textual knowledge was not superfluous in having enlivened a logic from which ours can learn a lesson to its surprise (I am speaking of Mediaeval logic), and it is not to its detriment that it was able to confront the relationship of the subject to Revelation.

It is not the case that since the religious value of the latter has become indifferent to us its effect within the structure has to be neglected. Psychoanalysis derives its consistency from Freud’s texts-this is an irrefutable fact. We know what texts from Shakespeare to Lewis Carroll contribute to its genius and to its practitioners.

That is the field where who is to be admitted to its study can be discerned. It is the field from which the sophist, the Talmudist, the salesman of fables and l’aéde have derived their force, which at every moment we are more or less awkwardly retrieving for our own use.

The fact that a Lévi-Strauss in his mythologics gives this field its scientific status helps us to turn it into a threshold for our selection.

Let us recall the guide that my graph gives for the analysis, and the articulation that can be extracted from it, of desire in the agencies of the subject.

This is so as to note the identity of the algorithm that is here spelt out, with what is designated in The Symposium as αγαλµα, agalma.

Where is it better said than it is here by Alcibiades that the traps of transference love have no end but that of obtaining what he thinks Socrates is the ungrateful container of?

But who knows better than Socrates that he holds only the meaning he engenders in retaining this nothing, which enables him to refer Alcibiades to the actual addressee of his discourse, Agathon (as if by chance): this is to teach you that if you are obsessed with what in the discourse of the psychoanalysand concerns you, you do not understand yet.

But is that everything, when here the psycho analysand is identical with the αγαλµα, the marvel that dazzles us, the third party, in Alcibiades? Isn’t this the occasion for us to see isolated therein the pure aspect of the subject as free relation to the signifier, the one from which the desire for knowledge as desire of the Other can be isolated?

As in all these particular cases that make up the miracle of the Greeks, this one presents us with only a closed Pandora’s box. Open, it is psychoanalysis, which Alcibiades had no need of.

With what I have called the end of the part, we have-finally-come to the core of our proposition for this evening. The end of a psychoanalysis, superfluously said to be training (didactique) is the effective passage from psychoanalysand to psychoanalyst.

Our proposition is to give an equation for this whose constant is the αγαλµα.

The psychoanalyst’s desire is his enunciation, which is able to be operative only if this desire comes into the position of the x: of this very x whose solution delivers the psychoanalysand his being and whose value is written [either] (-φ), the gap that, if one isolates it in the castration complex, is designated as the function of the phallus, or (a) for what obturates it with the object that can be recognised in the function approximated by the pregenital relation. (It is this relation that the case of Alcibiades happens to annul: which the mutilation of the Hermes connotes.)

The structure thus abridged enables you to form the idea of what happens at the end of the transference relation—that is, once desire has resolved who it was that sustained the psychoanalysand in his operation, at the end he no longer wants to take up the option, that is, the remainder that as determining his division brings about his fall from his fantasy and makes him destitute as subject.

Isn’t this the great secret that we have to keep to ourselves who, psychoanalysts, derive our sufficiency from it, whereas beatitude is being offered beyond through our forgetting it ourselves?

Wouldn’t we be going to announce it, discourage the amateurs? Subjective destitution is written on the entry ticket. . . , isn’t this to provoke horror, indignation, panic, or even outrage, in any case give pretext for an objection in principle?

Merely making a prohibition of what in our being is indispensable is to offer ourselves to a return of destiny that is a malediction. What is refused in the symbolic, recall the Lacanian finding, reappears in the real—in the real of science which destitutes the subject very differently in our epoch, when alone its most eminent supporters, an Oppenheimer, are infatuated by it.

This is where we renounce what it is that makes us responsible, namely: the position in which I have fixed psychoanalysis in relation to science, that of extracting the truth that answers it in terms in which the remainder of the votes are distributed.

Under what pretext do we shelter this refusal, when it is well known what carelessness protects both truth and subjects together and that in promising the former to the latter, this is neither here nor there except for those who are already close to it. Speaking of subjective destitution will never stop the innocent whose only law is his desire.

The only choice we have is to confront the truth or ridiculise our knowledge.

This dark cloud that covers this juncture I am concerned with here, the one at which the psychoanalysand passes to becoming a psychoanalyst-that is what our School can work at dissipating.

I am no further advanced than you in this work that one cannot carry out alone, since psychoanalysis creates the means of access to it.

I must restrict myself to a news flash or two to precede it.

At the origins of psychoanalysis, how can we not recall—which, amongst us, Mannoni finally did—that the psychoanalyst is Fliess, that is, the quack, the nose tickler, the man to whom the male-female principle is revealed in the numbers 21, 28, if you don’t mind, in short this knowledge that the psychoanalysand, Freud the scientist, as the little mouth of the souls open to oecumenicalism say, rejects with all the force of the oath that binds him to the program of Helmholtz and his accomplices.

The fact that this article was given to a review that barely allowed even the term, “supposed subject of knowledge”, to appear in any other way than buried in the middle of a page detracts nothing from the value it can have for us.

In drawing our attention to this “original analysis” he returns us to the base of the dimension of mirage in which the position of the analyst is installed and suggests to us that it is not certain that it will be eliminated so long as a scientific critique has not been established in our discipline.

The title lends itself to the remark that the true original can only be the second one, through constituting the repetition that makes the first into an act, for it is that that introduces therein the deferred action (après-coup) appropriate to logical time, which is marked by the fact that the psychoanalysand has passed to becoming a psychoanalyst. (I mean Freud himself who ratifies there through not having done a self-analysis.)

I take the liberty moreover of reminding Mannoni that the scansion of logical time includes what I have called the moment for understanding, the moment, precisely, of the effect produced (I ask him to return to my sophism) by nonunderstanding, and that in avoiding, in sum, what constitutes the soul of his article he contributes to its being understood in a way that misses the point.

I remind you that the hoi polloi that we recruit on the basis of “understanding the ill” connect themselves to a misunderstanding that is not in itself healthy.

A news flash to where we are now. With the end of hypomanic analysis, described by our Balint as being the last word, as it were, of the psychoanalysand’s identification with his guide, we touch upon the consequence of the refusal denounced above (a shady refusal: Verleugnung?), which no longer leaves anything but the refuge of what is the order of the day, now adopted by the existing societies, the alliance with the healthy part of the ego, which resolves the passage to becoming the psychoanalyst by postulating this healthy part in him at the outset. What point is there henceforth in his passing through the experience?

That is the position of the existing societies. It rejects our proposal as being beyond psychoanalysis.

The passage of the psychoanalysand to becoming a psychoanalyst has a door of which this remainder that brings about their division is the hinge, for this division is nothing but the division of the subject, of which this remainder is the cause. .

In this change of tack where the subject sees the assurance he gets from this fantasy, in which each person’s window onto the real is constituted, capsize, what can be perceived is that the foothold of desire is nothing but that of a désêtre, disbeing.

In this désêtre what is inessential in the supposed subject of knowledge is unveiled, from which the psychoanalyst to come dedicates him- or herself to the agalma of the essence of desire, ready to pay for it through reducing himself, himself and his name, to any given signifier.

For he has rejected the being that did not know the cause of its fantasy, at the very moment at which he has finally become this supposed subject of knowledge.

“Would that he know, about what I didn’t know about the being of desire, how things stand with it, having come into the being of knowledge, and that he disappear.” Sicut palea, as Thomas says of his work at the end of his life,—like dung.

Thus the being of desire reunites with the being of knowledge and is thereby reborn, in their being bound together in a one-sided strip on which a single lack is inscribed, the one that the agalma sustains.

Peace does not immediately seal this metamorphosis in which the partner vanishes through being no more than the vain knowledge of a being that conceals itself.

Here we touch upon the futility of the term “liquidation” for this hole in which only the transference is resolved. I can only detect here, contrary to appearances, the denial of the analyst’s desire.

For who, in perceiving the two partners play like the two panels of a rotating screen in my previous lines, can not grasp that the transference has only ever been the pivot of this alternation itself.

Thus from him who received the key to the world in the split of the prepubescent, the psychoanalyst no longer has to expect a look, but sees himself become a voice.

And this other who as a child found his representative representative6 in its irruption across the unfolded newspaper behind which the sewage farm of his progenitor’s thoughts shelter, refers the effect of anxiety where he see-saws in his own dejection to the psychoanalyst.

Thus the end of psychoanalysis harbours naivety, which raises the question whether it must be taken as a guarantee in the passage to the desire to be a psychoanalyst.

From where then could an accurate testimony on whoever crosses this pass be expected, if not from an other who, like him, is still this pass, namely in whom at this moment is present the désêtre where his psychoanalyst harbours the essence of what has been passed on to him like a bereavement, knowing thereby, like any other in the function of training analyst, that it will pass onto them, too.

Who would be better able than this psychoanalysand in the pass to authenticate therein what it contains of the depressive position? We air there nothing about which, if one is not in it, one can take on airs.

This is what I will shortly propose to you as the function to be conferred, for the demand to become an analyst of the School, upon certain people whom we will therein call “passers”.

Each of them will have been chosen by an analyst of the School, he who can answer for what they are in that pass or for what they have become7 there-in short, still bound to the outcome of their personal experience.

It is to them that, a psychoanalysand, in order to have himself authorised as an analyst of the School, will speak about his analysis, and the testimony that they will be able to receive from the very heart of their own pass will be of a kind that no jury of agreement will ever collect. The decision of such a jury would therefore be enlightened by this, these witnesses of course not being judges.

There is no need to point out that this proposition implies a cumulation of experience, its compilation and elaboration, an ordering of its varieties, a notation of its degrees.

That liberties can emerge from the closing of an experience is due to the nature of deferred action in significance.

In any case this experience cannot be evaded. Its results must be communicated: to the School initially for criticism, and correlatively placed within reach of those societies which, as excluded as we have been by them, remain our concern nonetheless.

Any functioning jury therefore cannot abstain from working on the doctrine, over and above its function of selection.

Before proposing a form for it I want to indicate that, consistent with the topology of the projective plane, it is on the very horizon of psychoanalysis in extension that the internal circle we outline as the gap of psychoanalysis in intension closes.

I would like to centre this horizon with three vanishing points of perspective, each one remarkable for belonging to one of the registers whose collusion in heterotopy constitutes our experience.

In the symbolic we have the Oedipal myth.

Observe, in relation to the nucleus of the experience on which we have just insisted, what I shall technically call the facticity of this point. It stems in fact from a mythogeny, one of whose constituents is as we know its redistribution. Now, the Oedipus complex, through being ectopic (a characteristic emphasised by a Kroeber), poses a problem.

Opening it would enable us to restore, even to put into perspective, its radicality in experience. I would like to light my lantern simply with the fact that if you withdraw the Oedipus complex psychoanalysis in extension, I would say, falls entirely into the jurisdiction of President Schreber’s delusion.

Go over the correspondences between them point by point-correspondences which have certainly not been attenuated since Freud noted them in not declining the imputation. But let us leave what my seminar on Schreber offered to those capable of hearing it.

There are other aspects of this point that are relative to our relations with the outside, or more precisely with our extraterritoriality-an essential term in the ecrit that I take as a preface to this proposition.

Observe the place that the Oedipal ideology holds in dispensing in some way sociology for a century, as it should have done beforehand, from taking sides over the value of the family, of the existing family, of the petit-bourgeois family in civilisation-that is, in the society that science conveys. Do we benefit or not from what we unwittingly cover up there?

The second point is constituted by the existing type, whose facticity is this time obvious, of unit: society of psychoanalysis in so far as it is headed by an executive at the international level.

As we have said, this is how Freud wanted it, and the embarrassed smile with which he retracted the romanticism of the sort of clandestine Komintern to which he had initially given carte blanche (cf. Jones, quoted in my ecrit) only emphasises this all the more.

The nature of these societies and the manner of their compliance are illuminated by Freud’s promotion of the Church and the Army as models of what he conceives as being the structure of the group. (It is by this term in fact that the Masse of Massenpsychologie should be translated today.)

The induced effect of structure privileged in this way is further illuminated if one adds to it the function of the supposed subject of knowledge in the Church and in the Army. A study for whoever would like to undertake it: it would go a long way.

If we stay with the Freudian model the favour that imaginary identifications receive from them appears in a striking manner, as does the reason that binds psychoanalysis in intension to restricting its consideration, even its significance, to that.

One of my better students has transposed its outline onto the Oedipus complex itself by defining the function of the ideal Father.

This tendency, as they say, is responsible for relegating what can be qualified as Oedipal in [analytic] experience to the previously defined point on the horizon.

The third facticity, real, all too real, sufficiently real for it to be the case that the real is more prudish than language about promoting it, is what the term “concentration camp” renders speakable, on which it seems that our thinkers, in drifting from humanism to the terror, have not sufficiently concentrated.

Let me summarise by saying that what we have seen emerge from this, to our horror, represents the reaction of precursors in relation to what will unfold as a consequence of the rearranging of social groupings by science and, notably, of the universalisation science introduces into them.

Our future as common markets will be balanced by an increasingly hard-line extension of the process of segregation.

Is it necessary to attribute to Freud the wish, given his introduction at birth to the secular model of this process, to guarantee his group the privilege of universal floatability (flottabilité) that the two above-named institutions benefit from? This is not unthinkable.

Be that as it may, this recourse does not make it any easier for the desire of the psychoanalyst to situate itself in this conjuncture.

Let us remember that if the I.P.A. of Mittel Europa has demonstrated its preadaptation to this trial in not losing one single member in the said camps, it was due to this feat that after the war it saw an exodus—which did not occur without a contrary movement (one hundred mediocre psychoanalysts, remember)—of candidates in whose minds the motive of seeking shelter against the red tide, a fantasy of the time, was not absent.

Let us hope that the “coexistence”, which could also be illuminated by a transference, not make us forget a phenomenon that is one of our geographical coordinates, as it were, and the significance of which the drivel about racism rather masks.

The end of this document specifies the manner in which that which tends, in opening an [analytic] experience, only to render the requisite guarantees ultimately genuine could be introduced.

They are left here without being divided up in the hands of those who are experienced/have been through the mill.

It should not be forgotten however that they are those who have suffered the most from the ordeals imposed by the debate with the existing organisation. What the style and the ends of this organisation owe to the blackout8 thrown over the function of training analysis is evident as soon as it is allowed to take a look at them: hence the isolation by means of which it protects itself.

The objections that our proposition has encountered does not stem in our School from a fear that is as organic/structural.

The fact that they are expressed in a motivated theme already activates self-criticism. The supervision of capabilities is no longer ineffable through requiring more accurate titles.

It is on such a test that authority can be recognised.

That the public of technicians know that it is not a question of disputing authority, but of extracting it from fiction.

The Ecole freudienne cannot fall into the humourless tough-guy attitude of a psychoanalyst whom I met on my most recent trip to the D.S.A. “The reason I will never attack the established forms”, he told me, “is that they provide me with a routine with no problems, and this makes me comfortable.”


Translated by Russell Grigg
* Originally appeared as “Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste de l’Ecole”, Scilicet 1(1968): 14-30

  1. In English in the original.
  2. In English in the original.
  3.  Above all, do no harm (trans.)
  4. What is ordinarily called the psychoanalysed, in anticipation.
  5. Huis clos, a play by Sartre translated as “No Exit” (trans.).
  6. I.e., “ideational representative” in SE.
  7. Reading devenu for revenu (trans.).
  8. In English in the original.
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