Nonetheless, there is no question that the Studien confirmed the Institute's interest in psychoanalysis. The influence of Erich Fromm here was pivotal. While there was enormous intellectual resistance to this embrace of psychoanalytic elements outside the Institute, the socio-psychoanalytic approach Fromm developed in this period became extremely influential later, inside and outside the academy, most notably in Escape from Freedom (1941). However, by that time he had parted with the Institute.
between each other, they
collectively reflect a strand of contemporary concerns about love that share in
spirit many of themes of which I offer a detailed analysis in Chapters 3, 4, and
5 via a close reading of a selection of texts exclusively from Hélène Cixous.
Luce Irigaray’s writing on the history of philosophy and psychoanalysis along
with Julia Kristeva’s similar interests in psychoanalysis allow us to see the work
of Hélène Cixous as part of a wider ‘feminist’ conversation about subjectivity
that is informed by post-structuralism. This wider context provides an
of its primarily materialist
basis, the Not-Yet-Become can be said to represent the objective side of the
Not Yet. The latter’s subjective side is captured in the Not-Yet-Conscious.
Bloch proposes the Not-Yet-Conscious as a rejoinder to the predominant
forms of psychoanalytical practice of the early and mid-twentieth century.
In The Principle of Hope, Bloch offers a critical overview of psychoanalysis –
at least in its Freudian and Jungian traditions –and argues that the latter is
extremely limited in (therapeutic) scope. First, it is too accommodating of
's characterization of common sense as ‘an infinity of traces without an inventory’.
The Institute's relevant work largely predated the advent of ‘Parisian structuralism’. Plainly demagogic speech did not constitute an elaborated discourse bearing a redeemable ‘truth content’ worthy of their use of ‘ideology’. As we saw in Chapter 3 , aside from the pivotal role of psychoanalysis, their framing of demagogic ‘oratory’ risked either class reductivism, as in Adorno's cui bono , or Lowenthal
psychological explanations, but usually dismisses the ability of psychology, psychiatry, or psychoanalysis7 to explain Birnam to himself, for
they can never get at ‘the root of the matter, the thing that drove him
to do what he did, the thing that drove him to drink’;8 ‘[H]ow did they
[people; psychiatrists] know why you did what you did, when no one
knew the things that drove you, not even yourself?’9 We might also ask
why, if the alcoholic’s troubles are largely brought upon himself because
of a fault or faults in his character –Birnam is ‘weak’ all ways
reducible to the narcissistic concern with
one’s own interests and becomes instead the very foundation of a subject for whom
it is possible to love God, to love one’s neighbour, indeed, to love at all.
Thus far I have indicated that Kristeva, Irigaray, and Cixous share a conception of divinity as a horizon of becoming for subjectivity. While I would stand
by this assertion at the most general level, Julia Kristeva’s more thoroughgoing
investment in Lacanian psychoanalysis gives rise to qualification, for it is less apparent in her work that woman as a ‘speaking’ subject
writing. While I have good reason for having chosen these texts – not the least of
which being that they uniquely serve my specific interest in thinking through
the kinds of subjectivities that might open to relations of love marked by the qualities of excess and abundance – there is nonetheless a tendency, albeit I think a
mistaken one, to view such projects as somehow dated as if only the most recent
work is a true and accurate reflection of Cixous’ thought.
Perhaps Cixous’ own theoretical reliance upon psychoanalysis, with its tendency
to impose linearity on a life
that Freud’s initial
question in the lecture is reminiscent of some of the questions which Fichte
poses for modern philosophy. In the lecture Freud develops the model of the
psyche which divides the I into id, super-ego, and ego. The lecture concludes
with the famous injunction that ‘Wo Es war, soll Ich werden’ (Where Id [It] was,
Ego [I] should become).1 The aim of psychoanalysis, as Freud sees it, is to enable
the I to integrate more of its basis in natural drives into itself and to become
more independent of the super-ego, the locus of the imperatives internalised
Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness
Fromm and Karen Horney). In
the process, the more radical premises of Freudian psychoanalysis –which
hold out no inherent promise for resolution, but rather emphasize greater self-
knowledge as to the foundations of psychic suffering, the repressive features
of the civilizing process, the unruly energies of libido, and so on –are revised in
a more openly ‘progressive’ light, so that the primary function of social psychology becomes successful (re)integration of individuals (back) into society.
In today’s context, this integrationist model remains pervasive and is
dangerous, not just because it can all too readily produce a
theodicy for the status quo, but also because its weight of obligation resists all
particularity, meaning that atrocities can be carried out without the least pang
of conscience or compassion.
In addition, there is undoubtedly something ironic in philosophy’s long-
standing opposition to feeling, insofar as this aversion has often been accompanied by a fervent passion and zeal of its own. One need not have recourse
to psychoanalysis to note that such disavowal likely discloses the ghostly
presence of that which