Who knows, by ways still unknown to me, this discourse might link up again to what I had to say about the one: the one that becomes undone and the one that is in ‘extension’. It is the one of the good totality. It is the one that unifies social masses. It is the one that becomes undone and becomes fragmented with psychoanalysis. The fragments are the signifiers, which are the ones that do not become undone – I conventionally call them the ones in ‘intension’, to differentiate them from the ‘one in extension’ or of mass. These are the ‘ones’ that run across the world to gather other masses (by identification, as Freud says) and unify other Egos.
In the history of the psychoanalytic movement, these two types of ‘ones’ have counterpoised one another in a singular way. My vision of this history, elaborated with Sergio Contardi, is simple. The divisions of the analytical movement – all but one – have occurred in the name of psychotherapy, which, at an individual level, proposes the reconstruction of the imaginary unity of the Ego as a therapeutic end, and, at a social level, advances ideals of adaptation and civil homeostasis. With psychotherapy we are in the realm of the ‘one in extension’, the ‘one’ that comes undone. So you see Adler contesting Freud because he takes no notice of the inferiority of the organ; you see Jung contesting Freud because he takes no notice of psychic energy; you see Fromm contesting Freud because he takes no notice of the dynamics of the socio-environmental factor. They all demand that we get into the bag of the ‘one’ through the route of psychotherapeutic conformism. But Freud has always turned a deaf year to the servile discourse. Not because he was a master (had he been one, he would have appreciated all these!), but because he had something new to fry in his little pan: the signifier ‘psychoanalysis’, in which he was more interested than in social conventions. The moral: Freud has always gone down his own path behind the ‘one in intension’, which, as yet, the efforts of the scientific discourse have not manage to remove: the signifier ‘psychoanalysis’, as I said.
I spoke of an exception. Lacan produces the new and definitive split in the analytical movement – which, whitened by scientificity, in the mean time had become a psychotherapeutic movement in the hands of Jewish conformism labelled as International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). But he did so in a topsy-turvy way, reproducing no less than psychoanalysis itself. This is why he claimed to have made a return to Freud, but with a difference in relation to him. After Lacan, in fact, the splits no longer occur in the name of psychotherapy, but, rather, in the name of small narcissistic differences, fostered by little people, who have gone onto the scene either as little Lacans or as great lacanians. In reality, Lacan has advanced the theoretical clarification of psychoanalysis to the point where there is no escape for cowards. Indeed, after Lacan, the risk is that there can be only ‘pentiti’ (2) of psychoanalysis. Dear Ettore, are we the ‘pentiti’ of psychoanalysis?
With affection and curiosity,