The Discourse of the Capitalist and the New Symptom

Larval Subjects .

discourse-of-the-capitalistIn late March I’ll be giving a talk before the Lacanian psychoanalysts in Toronto where I discuss what Lacan called “the discourse of the capitalist” and what analysts have been calling “the new symptom”.  As usual, I’m a nervous wreck about this because I think the analysts– real practicing analysts –know a thing or two and am always frightened of making a mess of things.  Nonetheless, I plod on.

The “new symptom” refers to symptoms such as addiction, anorexia, bulimia, cutting, depression, anxiety disorders, and so on.  We might even be able to add things such as hoarding and compulsive shopping.  While many of these symptoms existed in earlier eras, they are appearing in the clinic with greater and greater frequency.  My suggestion, is that these symptoms indicate a fundamental mutation in how the symbolic order is structured.  What is unique about these symptoms compared to those that dominated the…

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