Lacan and the Truth of Capitalism

lack philosophy


International Society of Psychoanalysis & Philosophy Conference

Stockholm May 2-4 2019

Luis de Miranda, Ph.D., Örebro University

Anna Cabak Rédei, Ph.D., Lund University


Lacan and The Truth of Capitalism


Analyses of social phenomena such as capitalism are often connected to Marx directly, but in order to question the “truth of capitalism”, we will benefit from reading Lacan’s elaboration on the discourse of the capitalist, and his echoing of Marx and Heidegger in the concepts of plus-de-jouir, jouissance, object a and the Thing.

In Peut-on jouir du capitalisme? Lacan avec Heidegger et Marx (Max Milo, 2008), an essay that Anna Redei will have translated into Swedish for the occasion of this conference, Luis de Miranda, who also practices a form of psychoanalytical philosophy as therapy for individuals in Stockholm, proposed a close reading of Lacan’s Seminar XVII (1969-1970), entitled The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (L’Envers de la psychanalyse), in order to unveil what is at stake behind the capitalist appearance of fun and what role a desire for an absolute plays in our current dominant economical system. In this talk, we will take advantage of the translation process, and the comparison between French and Swedish society familiar to both speakers, to reconsider the actuality of Lacan’s analyses in the context of the now digital state of capitalism, dominated by the paradigm of “predictive analytics” and the desire to anticipate the future considered as a more and more accessible object of desire. Effects of truth about the future abound in optimistic or catastrophic propaganda. Is the future the new object a of digital capitalism? How can we articulate an approach to the truth of capitalism when capitalism seems to constantly mutate? Or is the desire for mutation part of its truth?

In which signifiers does the truth of capitalism reveal itself? We will examine the discourse of capitalism in particular through analysing its semiotic manifestation in advertisement, with a few symptomatic examples.


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  1. yesyoucan111

    When reading the question: Is the future the new object a of digital capitalism?
    I remember some lines I read a while ago, on Wikipedia, in swedish:

    “Lacan beskriver subjektets tillvaro som ett konstant tillstånd av brist. Subjektet försöker fylla denna brist med innehåll. Eftersom saknaden bara är en saknad i sig, vet inte subjektet vad det egentligen saknar och låter därför saknaden företrädas av olika symboliska objekt eller mål som hon vill uppnå. Lacan kallar dessa objekt “objet petit a”.

    Without having the knowledge, I just got the thought that maybe for some people, the future is the “objet petit a”? Well, this subject is, at the moment, too complicated for me to discuss. But I find the topic you and Anna Redei are going to talk about very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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