Self-Discipline and Pandemic

Worldwide, Spanish and more specific Madrid government, appeal to our sense of responsibility once and again, to each other’s care, to impose ourselves the pertinent self-discipline. It cannot be any other way, that is how it is thought by the common sense. The same is for anyone who asks for a psychoanalyst in Madrid and in any other part of the world. In fact the formula it is imposed just by it is prudence and soundness. The difficulty is that there are three problems that the democratic parties cannot address. At least by now, it becomes structurally impossible to face them, even beyond the psychoanalysis, although perhaps workable with a psychoanalyst.

The First one, already pointed by Kant, and showed once and again by all the ones that asks for a Psychoanalyst in Madrid, as it is happening in my private practise, is that the subject is working by a sensitivity always dragged by his or her personal interests, and easily distracted from the imperatives of the practical reason. It is from here where the fastidious and truthful Peron´s formula comes: man is good, but watched, much better.

Secondly, Freud´s lucid observation, that one who creates psychoanalysis more than a century ago: Modern civilizations progress and advance to an all the time increasing stronger pressure towards the dead drive. We, Madrid psychoanalysts, see this the same way than Freud did far away. Any pleasure offer can possibly include and oversight which gives way to the dead drive. There are thousands of people that do not believe in the State public word, not in Madrid, nor in Spain, perhaps neither in Europe nor other Continents. It is not that they are deniers, but in their very guts, there is something like “this does have nothing to do with them”, even in a way that confines with the magic thinking of believing that they are immunized. Although they cannot give an account of all of this, we have testimony of it so many times in our psychoanalysis private practice.

The inevitably Third point is made up by the very own capitalism conditions, the demand to dwell in an absolute present, without any possibility of future historic perspective, and the famous “carpe diem” success, more listened as more catastrophic the situation is. That’s the reason why our world is tinged with such an apocalyptic atmosphere, and I repeat myself, not just in Madrid, but I believe, worldwide. The disorder in which the capitalist western civilization is being driven into, demands not to ignore a question coming from the crossroad itself, can the democratic and popular governments build up a new non-repressive authority? And yet, enough firm as to give a new consistency to the sovereignty exercise?  

(Words taken and translated from Jorge Aleman speech)

Psychoanalysis view of the fascinating 2020 US elections. Las fascinantes elecciones 2020 de USA bajo el punto de vista del Psicoanálisis.

As I am not a political analyst, I immerse myself with profane curiosity in the fascinating phenomenon of the US elections. “American democracy hangs by a thread” was the title that Umair Haque gave to one of his lucid articles a few days ago, in which he throws a powerful light on what is happening in that country, or rather, what is happening in the world. The American elections are not simply the symptom of the serious disease that that nation is experiencing, a disease much more serious than COVID, one that has begun to destroy the social fabric and generate consequences throughout the planet.

This is not the classic claim that what happens in the United States has repercussions in every corner of the world. Much more than that, these elections institute a radical turn in political praxis. In other words, the most aberrant is integrated into the “new normal” as a fact of nature, and the disconnection between ethics and politics reaches a dimension that takes us back to the Germany of the Third Reich. Even overwhelmed by the joy of the result, I read the numbers with disbelief. Trump has obtained five million more votes than in 2016, also achieving a notable increase among the black, Hispanic, and female populations, despite having vomited in their faces. It is the tremendous realization that violence, slander, impunity, indecency – which have always existed in the political arena – are now fundamental instruments of governance. Democracy has been stealthily corrupted by the most unworthy forms of manipulation, to the extent that a coup d’état becomes a latent possibility. The coup d’état is no longer an attack on democratic legality precipitated from outside the system. On the contrary, the coup d’état of modern capitalism not only dispenses with military force but relies exclusively on legitimate voters, capable of supporting even that which is going to lead them to social exclusion, illness, and death. The democratic coup d’etat is the latest sophistication of contemporary capitalism which, as we know, possesses the alchemical faculty of turning the most abject into consumable merchandise. The genius of Philip Roth saw this clearly in his novel “The Plot Against America”: a United States dominated by Nazism. It is true that Hitler managed to captivate 99% of the Germans, but his strategy was based on directing hatred at a perfectly defined sector of society. Trump inaugurated a new model, according to which the ferocity of fanaticism applies to all. Since he emerged in the political arena he has spread hatred in all directions. The Jews did not support Hitler. In these latest elections, Trump obtained an increase of 12% among black voters, 32% among Hispanics, and 22% among women, compared to the 2016 elections. An increase in the very groups who were ruthlessly addressed, without using any euphemism, calling each thing by name. Political analysts everywhere stumble upon that mystery that sociology, history, and economics together cannot solve: the determined will that takes hold of the masses, driven to dismemberment, to cannibalism, and ultimately to suicide. The triumph of Biden, which the whole world should celebrate, does not mean the end of the Hydra. It is the beginning of a new game where rules have been incorporated that, even intuitively, certain leaders apply in many supposedly democratic countries: the magic formula of sadism as a consensual instrument of domination.

A democratic coup allows “legal” concentration camps to form part of the institutions of control, as has happened during the Trump Administration. Millions of bodies exalted and excited by hatred offer themselves as support for the one who will end up destroying them, a grotesque ceremony where the erotic relationship between the leader and his servants is staged. Millions of bodies applauding the “soft” coup that makes use of bot technology and judicial subterfuges. Amid so much despair, this coup has been reined in today.

But it is not advisable to fall asleep. The Monster has laid its eggs everywhere, and there are millions of bodies ready to give them warmth and shelter for the duration of their period of incubation. From each of them will be born a new supporter of cruelty, a defining feature of the current operating system of democracies. In her novel “Children of Men”, P.D. James also envisioned a freely voted totalitarian world. God will first have to drive out the Demon before He can bless America again. God defeated the Devil way back in time. Let’s see if he will be able to do it again.


Sin ser un anlista politico, me introduzco con curiosidad profana en el fascinante fenómeno de las elecciones de USA. “La democracia americana cuelga de un hilo” era el título que Umair Haque ha dado a uno de sus lúcidos artículos hace unos días, donde arroja una potente luz sobre lo que está pasando en ese país, o quizá, lo que está pasando en el mundo. Las elecciones americanas no son sólamente el síntoma de la seria enfermedad que padece esa nación, es una enfermedad mucho más seria que La COVID, que ha empezado a destruir el tejido social y que genera consecuencias en todo el planeta.

Esta no es la clásica queja de que lo que pasa en Los Estados Unidos tiene repercusión en todas las partes del mundo. Es mucho más que eso, estas elecciones instituyen un giro radical en la praxis de la política. Dicho de otra manera, lo más aberrante está integrado en la “nueva normalidad” como un hecho de la naturaleza, y la desconexión entre la ética y la política alcanza una dimensión que nos lleva de vuelta a  Alemania y el Tercer Reich. Aún impresionado por la alegría del resultado, leí los numeros con desconfianza. Trump ha obtenido cinco millones de votos más que en el 2016, incluso obteniendo un notable aumento entre los negros, hispanos y la población femenina, a pesar de que haya vomitado en sus caras. Es tremendo darnos cuenta de que la violencia, la calumnia, la impunidad, la indecencia –que siempre ha existido en la arena política- son ahora instrumentos fundamentales para governar. La Democracia ha sido corrompida a hurtadillas por las formas más menospreciables de la manipulación, hasta tal punto que un golpe de estado se convierte en una latente posibilidad. Un golpe de estado ya no es un ataque a la legalidad de la democracia precipitado desde fuera del sistema. Al contrario, el golpe de estado del capitalismo moderno no solo viene con la fuerza militar, sino que se basa exclusivamente en votantes legítimos, capaces de soportar incluso eso mismo que les va a llevar a la exclusión social, la enfermedad y la muerte. El democrático golpe de estado es la última sofisticación del capitalismo contemporéneo, que, como sabemos, posee la alquímica facultad de convertir casi todos los objetos en mercancía consumible. El genio Philip Roth vió esto claramente en su novela “El complot contra America”: Un Estados Unidos dominado por el Nazismo. Es cierto que Hitler consiguió cautivar al 99% de lo alemanes, pero su estrategia se basaba en dirigir el odio a un sector de la sociedad perfectamente definida. Trump inauguró un nuevo modelo, según el cual la ferocidad del fanatismo se aplica a todo. Desde que ha emergido en la arena política, ha esparcido odio en todas direcciones. Los judíos no apoyaban a Hitler. En estas últimas elecciones, comparando con el 2016, Trump ha obtenido un aumento del 12% entre los votantes negros, 32% entre los hispanos y 22% entre las mujeres. Un aumento en los mismísimos grupos a los que se dirigió despiadadamente, sin eufemismo alguno, llamando a cada cosa por su nombre. Los analistas politicos de todas partes tropiezan con ese misterio que la sociologia junto con la historia y la economía no pueden resolver: la voluntad decidida que se apodera de las masas, conducidos al desmebramiento, al canibalismo y en ultima instancia al suicidio. El triunfo de Biden, que todo el mundo debería celebrar, no significa el fin de Hidra. Es el principio de un Nuevo juego donde las reglas han sido incorporadas de tal manera que, incluso intuitivamente, algunos líderes lo aplican en muchos países supuestamente democráticos: la mágica formula del sadismo como un instrumento consesuado de dominación.

Un golpe democrático permite que campos de concentración “legales” formen parte de las instituciones de control, como ha sucedido durante la Administración de Trump. Millones de cuerpos exaltados y excitados por el odio se ofrecen como apoyo al que terminará destruyendoles, una ceremonia grotesca donde se escenifica la relación erótica entre el lider y sus siervos. Millones de cuerpos aplauden el golpe “suave” que utiliza tanto el subterfugio de la tecnología como el judicial.  En medio de tanta desesperación este golpe ha sido frenado hoy.

Pero no es recommendable quedarse dormido. El monstruo ha dejado sus huevos por todas partes, y hay millones de cuerpos dispuestos a darles calor y cobijo durante su periodo de encubación. Por cada uno de ellos nacerá un nuevo partidario de la crueldad, una característica que define al sistema de democracias que opera en la actualidad. P.D. James, en su novela “Hijos de los Hombres”, también visionó un mundo libremente votado totalitario.

Dios tendra que echar al Demonio antes de que pueda bendecir otra vez a America. Dios derrotó al Demonio en tiempos remotos. Veamos si lo puede hacer otra vez.  

Gustavo Dessal