Lacanian Review Online: Eradicating Presence

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When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender
This I could not do

(Leonard Cohen, The Partisan)
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1st December 2018

The Dream of Living With No Risks

AIDS was probably the first postmodern event to inaugurate the definitive consolidation of biopolitics and the appropriation of the concept of risk by the State with the aim of introducing a regulation, an ordering, and even a prophylaxis of subjectivity. Threatened by a pandemic of proportions unprecedented since the era of the great European plagues, and following a first period of perplexity and dread, the Western subject learned to add a new concern to the shadows that hovered over him from the political realm.

When, twenty years later, the Al Qaeda operation against the Twin Towers was broadcast live by all audiovisual media on the planet, the subject (who in the meantime had mutated, his Western identity dissolving into the undefined and euphemistic magma of "global society") came to realize that from then on risk (his eternal and not always visible traveling companion) had become converted into the only dogma of faith to which he could cling.

In losing in an almost definitive manner its political function, the State has become administrator, manager and supervisor of the fabulous risk industry […]

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Issue # 6 of The Lacanian Review
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