Freudian Field, Year Zero
by Jacques-Alain Miller
Paris, 11th June 2017
Lacan Quotidien n°718
Will psychoanalysis end up surrendering its arms in the face of the mounting impasses of our civilization, as Lacan exclaimed one day, out of disappointment or anger, when the notables of his school, the Freudian School of Paris, refused to endorse his "Proposition of the 9th of October 1967, on the Psychoanalyst of the School"? It is by no means a foregone conclusion.
The Schools of the Freudian Field have long been what Lacan wanted them to be, refuges against civilization’s discontents. Since the executive of the École de la Cause freudienne, led by its president, Christiane Alberti, and that of Uforca, have, at my request, enthusiastically adopted my proposal to take a public position 1) against Marine Le Pen and 2) for democracy and the rule of law, and now that the vast majority of members have embarked on a national campaign of republican and Anti-Le Pen Forums, it has become clearer how the ECF, flanked by its satellites, Uforca, the ACF and the CPCT, can become what, at the moment of creating his School, Lacan called, with an energy which, in my eyes testified to the best of the warrior spirit of the French nation, "a base of operations" with the aim both of reconquering the Freudian Field, by winning it back from the IPA, and of overcoming those impasses of civilization that pose a threat to the very existence of psychoanalysis.
The attention paid to the political struggle in France, since the 1st of March this year, has not made me lose sight of the fact that today, through the continuous effort of several generations of analysts, there is not one School, but seven: the ECF, the EOL, the EBP, the ELP, the SLP, the NLS and, most recently born, the NEL.
Once Macron was elected on the 7th of May – and as soon as a local and subaltern revolt from the EOL had been countered, a revolt which in fact played the same role as the revolt of notables of 1967, namely to hamper the forward movement – I thought that the lessons of the French experience should be resituated at a global level. Especially since, on the 14th of May, I created "la movida Zadig", ZERO ABJECTION DEMOCRATIC INTERNATIONAL GROUP.
As of this Sunday, the 11th of June, the day after the conversation organized at the EOL by its executive committee under the enlightened leadership of its president, Gustavo Stiglitz, I can announce that the entire Freudian Field has now rallied to Zadig.
The global Lacanian political network is not to be confused with the WAP, or its Schools, but is rather an extension of it at the level of public opinion. As such, it will benefit everywhere from the support of our institutions and will be part of the Freudian Field in the broader sense of the term. As for Zadig's way of operating and the causes it will defend nationally and transnationally, everything has to be invented. Our initiative concerning the Venezuelan crisis and the Pasolini petition are just a start. Within the framework set by my first decisions, the field is open to initiatives!
It is therefore: "Freudian field, year zero". Everything begins again, without being destroyed, to be carried to a higher level. Through a retroactive effect, I now understand why I stopped giving my Cours in 2011.
It was the consequence of the decline in my transference to the Freudian Field, a result of the feeling of failure that had gripped me since it dawned on me that all the members of the ECF had joined the project of Freda, who proposed replacing the School model put forward by Lacan with that of an association of psychotherapists engaged in chasing subsidies and obeying the impulses of an association, the association Aurore, known for mixing its money with the instructions of the Ministry of Health. This plan of liquidation was about to be realized when I alone stood in its way.
What’s more, the Freudian Field seemed to have reached its nec plus ultra in 2011. I saw myself as a prisoner of the world I had created, this Freudian Field governed by the algorithms I had provided, and functioning without me, as I had desired. All I had to do was to mill my Cours until my death. The curse of Sartre’s "pratico-inert” was upon me. Bringing my sempiternal Cours to an end appears to me today as a desperate effort to escape petrification and reconnect with the real of life.
The page has been turned. Jam 2 will resume Jam 1’s course in a new form. My idea is now to mesh my work with that of various collectives of the Freudian Field who are willing.
It is already established that this is what is going to happen in Italy in the form of this "Lacanian Political Seminar", which I will co-chair in Turin with Rosa-Elena Manzetti on July 8th, then in Rome, Bologna and Milan, with Di Ciaccia, the coupleFrancesconi and Mazzotti, and Focchi. In Paris, it will be the "The Quilting Point Seminar" which I have decided to start on the 24th of June, which will be filmed so it can be put online. In Buenos Aires it will be the "Seminar Clipol" (clinic and politics) which I propose for the approval of the Argentine colleagues, and which will be held next December during a trip I will make to Buenos Aires to receive an honorary doctorate, on the initiative of Osvaldo Delgado, whom I thank. Elsewhere in the Freudian Field, everything is open.
This coming week I will provide an update on the Zadig networks created or in formation around the world, the network known as "Channel of the One", the programme for the Paris and Turin Seminars, etc.
I was there with my friend Mireille Cardot – whose name caused Lacan to raise an eyebrow as I introduced him – when, Lacan read his "Adjoining Note to ‘The Foundation Act’”, in June 1964, before an audience of less than a hundred people gathered in Sylvia’s drawing room at 3, rue de Lille. After having spoken of the "admission committee, to be called Cardo",1 he said this, which, in my view is still a major wager: "The École’s success will be measured by the appearance of works that are acceptable in their place.”2
This is what is at stake in this multipurpose Seminar: to inscribe forever the teaching of Lacan in the universal discourse.
Translated by Philip Dravers