Anxiety, Signal of the Real (excerpt)
“Let’s note first of all that the notion of disorder in the real is not in the same register as that of disorder in the symbolic – for example, the one that Dora, Freud’s famous patient, complained about – where Lacan emphasised that it was up to the analyst to point out the part the patient plays in this disorder of the world. This type of disorder in the symbolic has Hegelian resonances. It is dialectical. It can be analysed and gone beyond; it concerns that which Lacan termed, with Hegel, “the claim made by the ‘beautiful soul’ who rises up against the world in the name of the law of the heart.”
Neither is disorder in the real easily comparable to that which Lacan attributes to psychosis, when, in “On a Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis,” in Écrits, he mentions with regard to the psychotic subject “a [disorder] that occurred at the inmost juncture of the subject’s sense of life”, and that is found at the junction of the symbolic and the real.
The disorder that psychoanalysis is dealing with today is political. In his introduction to the next congress, Jacques-Alain Miller indicated that it results from the profound upheaval of the symbolic order caused by the emergence – and their “combined domination” – of two discourses prevalent in modern times: the discourses of science and capitalism. They “have managed to destroy, and perhaps even break the traditional structure of the human experience in its deepest foundations”, he said.”
Translated by Florencia F. C. Shanahan and Pamela King