The organic integration of consciousness with environment is revolutionary, not static and passive. The reason is that the model requires changing the environment in order to change the consciousness that the environment forms. Behavioral/psychological change requires a new stimulating, supportive, selective environment that weeds out competing behavior (i.e., existing debilitating behavior). Consciousness cannot be changed on its own because it is social consciousness. Dialectical thinking comprehends that determinism leads to liberation. Radical social change to improve social conditions and consciousness was Marx’s driving motivation in his scientific work and his political work.

Ratner, C. (2017). Marxist Psychology, Vygotsky’s Cultural Psychology, and Psychoanalysis. In C. Ratner & D. N. H. Silva (eds), Vygotsky and Marx. Toward a Marxist Psychology, pp. 27-108.  New York: Routledge.

 

 

 

For Critical Theory this capitalist economy – if it produces not only objects but also subjects – must also be in some way decisive for the crisis of this subject. Or rather, the crisis already exists at the beginning – already with this constitutive connection between the economy and subjectivity – because although it might be obvious that the capitalist economy is socially constituted and developed throughout history, this capitalist economy and its categories nevertheless appear as ahistorical and assume an independent second nature. Thus, subjectivity right from the start is problematic when it cannot exactly grasp the social constitution and historical specificity of its own economy – and hence of its own subjectivity. Rather, subjectivity is this misunderstanding; it is this looking at the economy and its own subjectivity as if both were not only separate but naturally given. This dialectic between normality and crisis in Critical Theory also applies to subjectivity: there is no such thing as a normal, stable and healthy subjectivity for which crisis is an external, individual interruption. Rather, just as in the economy, crisis is a part of reproducing subjectivity and a part of its normality.

 

Engster, F. (2016). Subjectivity and its crisis: Commodity mediation and the economic constitution of objectivity and subjectivity. History of the Human Sciences, 29 (2), 77–95.

 

 

Marx’s discussion of psychological issues within social consciousness has advantages and disadvantages for psychologists.

 

Its advantages are the emphasis on the social bases, organization, and function of psychological phenomena. Social consciousness emphasizes social political aspects of consciousness such as its social oppression and social liberation. Marxism is the deepest and most comprehensive description and explanation of these aspects of consciousness. (...)

The disadvantages of treating psychology within social-political consciousness include the fact that it distracts away from important details of psychological phenomena unrelated to their social oppression and emancipation. It does not formulate essential, comprehensive theories of particular psychological phenomena such as emotions, self-concept, cognition, perception, and mental illness. Instead, these are restricted to practical considerations of social oppression and emancipation. This is an important observation of the social constitution of the senses; however, it is not a general theory of senses that psychologists strive to develop – concerning why sense is social, what the social function and requirement of sense is, what makes sense social whereas animal sense is biologically determined, what the human biology of sense is compared with the biology of animal sense, and what the structural relation is between sense, cognition, emotion, and perception.

Ratner, C. (2017). Marxist Psychology, Vygotsky’s Cultural Psychology, and Psychoanalysis. In C. Ratner & D. N. H. Silva (eds), Vygotsky and Marx. Toward a Marxist Psychology, pp. 27-108.  New York: Routledge.

 

The reason is that American psychology is a sociopolitical gatekeeper of social knowledge. It removes deep, penetrating, critical research on the social system. (...) The advantage is that psychology does its job as a scientific discipline. It requires no overt, external, political censoring by the government. It is a nonpolitical form of repression that has a political function. It is a nonpolitical legitimation of political governmentality. It is thus more effective than overt political legitimation through CCP [Chinese Communist Party] censorship and ostentatious self-praise.

Ratner, C., Silva, D. N. H. (2017). Vygotsky and Marx. Toward a Marxist Psychology. New York: Routledge.

 

Estranged labor turns ... Man’s species-being into a being alien to him, into a means to his individual existence. It estranges from man his own body, as well as external nature and his spiritual aspect, his human aspect. ... An immediate consequence of the fact that man is estranged from the product of his labor, from his life activity, from his species-being, is the estrangement of man from man.

Marx, K. and Engels, F. (1975). Karl Marx, Frederick Engels collected works: Volume 3. New York: International Publishers.

 

This constant expansion of economic power in the form of commodities transformed human labor itself into a commodity, into wage labor, and ultimately produced a level of abundance sufficient to solve the initial problem of survival – but only in such a way that the same problem is continually regenerated at a higher level. Economic growth has liberated societies from the natural pressures that forced them into an immediate struggle for survival; but they have not yet been liberated from their liberator. (...) Commodity abundance represents a total break in the organic development of social needs. Its mechanical accumulation unleashes an unlimited artificiality which overpowers any living desires. The cumulative power of this autonomous artificiality ends up by falsifying all social life.

Guy DEBORD, The Society of the Spectacle (Critical Editions) (p. 16, 26).

 

 

Dans la production sociale de leur existence, les hommes entrent en des rapports déterminés, nécessaires, indépendants de leur volonté, rapports de production qui correspondent à un degré de développement déterminé de leurs forces productives matérielles. L’ensemble de ces rapports de production constitue la structure économique de la société, la base concrète sur laquelle s’élève une superstructure juridique et politique à laquelle correspondent des formes de conscience sociales déterminées. Le mode de production de la vie matérielle conditionne le processus de vie social, politique et intellectuel en général. Ce n’est pas la conscience des hommes qui détermine leur être : c’est inversement leur être social qui détermine leur conscience.

Karl Marx, Contribution à la critique de l’économie politique, Paris, Édit. Sociales, 1972.

 

 

According to Fumagalli’s interpretation, the financial crisis of cognitive capitalism paves the way for bio-cognitive capitalism to emerge. The prefix bio is, in this case, decisive. It indicates that the current phase of capitalist accumulation is identified with the exploitation of life in its essence, going beyond the exploitation of productive labor certified as such and therefore remunerated. Value-labor leaves more and more room for value-life (Morini and Fumagalli 2011). This process is both extensive and intensive. Extensive because life as a whole, in its singularity, becomes an object of exploitation, even in its simple everyday life. New productions are taking hold. Social (re)production, which has always operated in the history of mankind, becomes directly productive but only partially waged; the genesis of life (procreation) is transformed into business; free time is boxed, like friendly and sentimental relations, inside tracks and devices that, through algorithmic technologies, allow the extraction of surplus value (network value); the human body in its physical and cerebral components becomes the raw material for the production and planning of health and life extension, due to new bio-medical techniques. Intensive, because these processes are accompanied by new technical and organizational methods and new processes of commodification. Life put into production and therefore into value manifests itself in the first place as an undertaking of human and social relations. Social cooperation, understood as a set of more or less hierarchical human relationships, becomes the basis of capitalist accumulation. But this is not enough, as underlined by the research of Melinda Cooper and Catherine Waldby (Cooper and Waldby 2014); the human body itself, and its parts, become more and more the object of commodification and direct production of exchange value. (...) Current capitalist valorization is increasingly based on the production of subjectivity.

Fumagalli, A., Lucarelli, S., Vercellone, C., Giuliani, A. (2019). Cognitive Capitalism, Welfare and Labour: The Commonfare. London: Routledge.

 

 

Post-industrial capitalism […] tends increasingly to decenter its sites of power, moving away from structures producing goods and services towards structures producing signs, syntax and […] subjectivity.

Deleuze and Guattari, The Three Ecologies.

 

 

L'actualité de Fanon réside aussi en ceci: de façon anticipatrice, à une époque où se renvoyaient dos à dos, d'un côté, l'analyse matérialiste de l'aliénation et des rapports de force et, de l'autre, une vision existentialiste ou culturaliste du sujet (ou même, sur le plan psychanalytique, une vision d'une aventure subjective coupée du monde environnant), il a tenté de mettre en place une nouvelle construction du savoir en introduisant le corps, la langue et l'altérité comme expérience subjective nécessaire dans la construction même de l'avenir du politique. Cette démarche n'est au fond pas si éloignée de celle de l'école de Marcuse ou, plus encore, des préoccupations des psychanalystes politiques de Vienne qui furent laminés par la Seconde Guerre mondiale et leur exil forcé aux États-Unis (p. 15).


Alice Cherki, Préface à l'édition de 2002 des "Damnés de la terre", Frantz Fanon, 1961.

 

Le récit thérapeutique produit non pas du plaisir mais une multiplicité de formes de souffrance. (…) puisque la vocation principale de la psychologie a été de faire diminuer toutes les formes de souffrance psychique au moyen d’un idéal non défini de santé et de réalisation de soi, et puisque le discours thérapeutique a en fait contribué à créer une mémoire personnelle de la souffrance, il a, par une étrange ironie, créé une grande partie de la souffrance qu’il est censé faire diminuer.

 

Eva Illouz, Les sentiments du capitalisme, 2016, p. 116).

The computational harnessing of chance is no longer carried out through an application of a pre-constituted formal logic. Instead, the algorithmic capture of uncertainty (i.e., unknown quantities of un-patterned data) involves the speed of non-conscious connection that avoids the hierarchy of calculation and introduces an immediacy of decision able not only to forecast the future, but also to anticipate (and thus foreclose) chance.

Luciana Parisi (2018). Automated Cognition and Capital. In W. Neidich (Ed), The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism, Part Three, pp. 49-84. Berlin: Archive Books.

 

We are locked in the [digital] cave forever. (...) the price of leaving the cave is becoming too high. Opting out has become a privilege that requires a supernatural human being who can economically afford to opt-out and exist at the level of nirvana-like strength and peace to overcome all of those challenges.

 

Vladan Joler, Neural, Issue 67, p. 3.

 

Pascal Gielen's second psychopathology is related to a kind of precariousness of exchangeability. Thus in a hyperconnected world in which one is always on call 24/7, a hyperconnected hysteria emerges. Hysteria in its 19th century guise was constituted through, according to the logics of psychoanalysis a relation between the contents of the symbolic unconscious and its outward manifestation as an improbable paralysis of a limb or blindness. In its 21th century from it is rather substituted for with a kind of hysterical fear of an impending precarious loss of ones connection to the web itself. The interior chambers of Charcot's Salpêtrière Hospital demonstration chamber has now gone global and with it the fear of not being on call, not being wanted by the collective, being totally disconnected.

 

Warren Neidich, The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism. Part Two (2013, Archive Books).

We psychoanalysts, experts at calling out the defenses and evasions of others, have notably excelled at avoidance in the face of crisis ourselves. Beginning with Freud, who long underestimated the Nazi threat, continuing through the British Society’s “Controversial Discussions,” to our own near silence in a “burning world” (Cushman, 2007), when it comes to our own peril, we have long been specialists in evasion.

Let us admit it up front. Organized psychoanalysis holds a deplorable record in the face of moral emergencies. Our lack of civil courage has been stunning. In addition to the examples of Freud in the 1930s and of the self-absorbed British Society, we may consider the extensive collaboration of German psychoanalysts with the Nazi regime (Cocks, 1997) and the silence of organized psychoanalysis in the face of the U.S. resort to torture in the aftermath of the 9–11 attacks. Psychoanalyst Stephen Reisner, a true hero, has led the efforts to find out just how extensively involved were psychologists, with the blessing of the American Psychological Association (to which thousands of us psychoanalysts belong, and from which a few resigned in protest) in the Bush torture programs.

A very few other psychoanalysts have been seriously concerned since before 2008 (Boulanger, 2008; Grand, 2008; Soldz, 2008; Summers, 2008). We now know that leaders of the APA collaborated with the CIA and the Department of Defense to plan and justify torture of our fellow human beings for many years, while members actually helped to do it. The ethical corruption ran deeper, and more extensively, than almost anyone imagined. Most of us remained indifferent, or what is morally equivalent, silent.

Once again, however, we face a crisis arguably equivalent in scale to that generated by Hitler.

Orange, Donna M., Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis, and Radical Ethics.

 

 

For the first time in human history, we will immerse ourselves in motivated spaces influenced by these silicon spirits of our making. No longer will our environment be passive or benign; it will have intentions, opinions, and agendas (p. 233).

Christopher Wylie, Mindf*ck (2019)

On pourrait dire que le sujet patriarco-colonial moderne utilise la majeure partie de son énergie psychique à produire son identité binaire normative : angoisse, hallucination, mélancolie, dépression, dissociation, opacité, répétition… ne sont que les coûts psychologiques et sociaux générés par le double dispositif d’extraction de la force de production et la force de reproduction. La psychanalyse n’est pas une critique de cette épistémologie, mais la thérapie nécessaire pour que le sujet partriarcal-colonial continue à fonctionner malgré les coûts psychiques énormes et la violence indescriptible de ce régime. Face à une psychanalyse dépolitisée nous aurons besoin d’une clinique radicalement politique qui commence par un processus de dépatriarcalisation et de décolonisation du corps et de l’appareil psychique (p. 84-85).

Paul B. Preciado, Je suis un monstre qui vous parle. Rapport pour une académie de psychanalystes, 2020.

 

L'homosexualité et l'hétérosexualité, l'intersexualité et la transsexualité n'existent pas en dehors d'une épistémologie coloniale et capitaliste, qui privilégie les pratiques sexuelles de reproduction comme stratégie de gestion de la population, de reproduction de la main d'oeuvre, mais aussi de reproduction de la population qui consomme. C'est le capital et non la vie qui se reproduit. Ces catégories sont la carte imposée par le pouvoir.

 

Paul B. Preciado, Un appartement sur Uranus, 2019.

J'écris pour tous les fâchés de la rencontre avec l'inconscient. (...) J'écris pour mes amies et amis psychanalystes. Patients travailleurs de l'ombre qui, depuis leurs institutions et leurs cabinets, reçoivent les maux du quotidien et d'autres, plus anciens. Plus ou moins à l'abri, le plus souvent terrés dans un énigmatique silence, jour après jour, elles et ils s'efforcent de penser la singularité de leur écoute. Elles et ils souhaitent défendre la spécificité de ces rencontres étranges où le contemporain se tisse au gré de bribes, de morceaux, d'éclats d'histoires. Rencontres où surgit le plus vif de l'immuable comme du changement. Convaincus de leur pratique ultra-centenaire, elles et ils veulent, encore et toujours, en démontrer l'in-actualité, l'intempestivité, le bien-fondé pour tout un chacun. Relever un tel pari réclame peut-être de sortir, parfois, hors de la prudence du champ analytique et de ses repères sémantiques, métapsychologiques, cliniques. Affirmer sans ambiguïté. Prendre position. Faire un pas vers le Dehors. Respirer le grand air qui souffle parmi les revendications minoritaires. Et, là-bas, sans reculer devant les foudres idéologiques, sociales, politiques, continuer de réinventer le labeur.

 

Fabrice Bourlez, Queer psychanalyse, 2018.

La théorie psychanalytique, ne serait-ce que par sa luxuriance quasi astrologique de taxinomies croisées de zones physiques, stades de développement, mécanismes de représentation et niveaux de conscience, semblait promettre d'introduire une certaine amplitude dans les débats concernant ce que sont les différences entre les gens, mais ne devint finalement, dans sa traversée par-delà bien des frontières institutionnelles, que la plus mince des disciplines métathéoriques, faisant briller d'élégantes entités opératoires telles que la mère, le père, le préoedipien, l'oedipe, l'autre ou l'Autre.

 

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistémologie du placard. 

Ce n'est qu'en s'exposant impudemment à l'évidence que l'on atteint les confins du transformatif. 

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Épistémologie du placard, (1990/2008) p. 43.

Pour maintenir ses utilisateurs connectés, une entreprise de réseau social doit plutôt faire en sorte qu’ils s’énervent, qu’ils se sentent en danger ou qu’ils soient effrayés. La situation la plus efficace est celle dans laquelle les utilisateurs entrent dans d’étranges spirales de très fort consensus ou au contraire de conflit avec d’autres utilisateurs. Cela n’en finit jamais et c’est bien le but. 

Jaron Lanier

 

Traditional discussions of (research) purpose are silent about critique, action, advocacy, empowerment, and emancipation - the purposes often found in studies grounded in critical, feminist, or postmodern assumptions.

 

C. Marshall, G. Rossman, Designing Qualitative Research, 2016 (6th edition).

 

De nos jours, il est dangereusement facile pour un adulte de s’identifier à une technologie apparemment sans limites tout en échouant à affronter la menace vitale de manque d’air, de nourriture et d’eau sur notre planète. En nous identifiant à la riche diversité et à la merveilleuse intégration de la technologie, nous nous défendons de sentir toute l’étendue des carences et de l’appauvrissement de nos vie humaines.

Harold F. Searles, psychanalyste, 1972.

 

 

For too long, we’ve minimized the threats of this intelligent, adversarial persuasion as mere “distraction,” or minor annoyance. In the short term, these challenges can indeed frustrate our ability to do the things we want to do. In the longer term, however, they can make it harder for us to live the lives we want to live, or, even worse, undermine fundamental capacities such as reflection and self-regulation, making it harder, in the words of philosopher Harry Frankfurt, to “want what we want to want.” Seen in this light, these new attentional adversaries threaten not only the success but even the integrity of the human will, at both individual and collective levels.

Stand out of our Light. Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy. James Williams, University of Oxford, 2018.

 

 

Frustration, resentment, guilt, and fear make up the « passions » of the neoliberal relation to the self, because the promises of self-realization, freedom, and autonomy collide with a reality that systematically nullifies them. The failure of capitalism is not as spectacular as it might be because individualism cancels the failure through the interiorization of the conflict : the « enemy » becomes indistinguishable from a part of the self. « Complaints » are turned against oneself instead of relations of power.

Maurizio Lazzarato, Governing by Debt, Semiotext(e) / Intrvention Series, 2015.

 

 

The taboo against criticism of the system of contemporary enterprise is, in its unspoken way, almost as complete... as criticism of communism is explicitly forbiden in the Soviet Union.

 

Chomsky, N. (1997). Foreword in A. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy. Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty. Champaign : University of Illinois Press.

 

 

L'abondance n'est qu'un (ou du moins est aussi) système de contraintes d'un type nouveau pour comprendre aussitôt qu'à cette nouvelle contrainte sociale (plus ou moins inconsciente) ne peut que répondre un type nouveau de revendication libératrice. En l'occurrence, le refus de la "société de consommation", sous sa forme violente et érostratique (destruction « aveugles » de biens matériels et culturels) ou non violente et démissive (refus d'investissement productif et consommatif). Si l'abondance était liberté, alors cette violence serait en effet impensable. Si l'abondance (la croissance) est contrainte, alors cette violence se comprend d'elle-même, elle s'impose logiquement. Si elle est sauvage, sans objet, informelle, c'est que les contraintes qu'elle conteste sont elles aussi informulées, inconscientes, illisibles : ce sont celles mêmes de la « liberté », de l'accession contrôlée au bonheur, de l'éthique totalitaire de l'abondance.

 

Jean Baudrillard

 

 

L'humanité réagit collectivement au danger urgent de la pollution environnementale à la manière d'un patient mélancolique engagé dans un suicide par auto-négligence et qui, inconscient de toute faim pressante, se laisse mourir d'inanition ou se promène avec indiférence dans le trafic automobile effréné d'une rue trépidante. (...) L'apathie générale face à la pollution nous fait agir fondamentalement comme si nos vies ne méritaient pas que nous nous battions pour les sauver. N'est-elle pas l'indice d'un sentiment de profonde insatisfaction quant à la qualité de la vie humaine?

Harold F. Searles (1972), Unconscious processes in relation to the environmental crisis, Harold F. Searles, Psychoanalytic Review, 59, 361-374.

 

 

Il me semble que nous, psychanalystes, avec notre expérience de l'influence si puissante des processus inconscients sur les comportements de l'homme, devrions proposer nos lumières à nos semblables dans cette lutte commune. Je fais l'hypothèse qu'une apathie intense et globalisée freine l'appréhension de la crise environnementale par l'homme. Cette apathie est largement fondée sur des sentiments et des attitudes dont l'homme est inconscient. L'absence de littérature analytique sur ce sujet me fait penser que nous, psychanalystes, sommes également inhibés par cette apthie. Mais un deuxième facteur, un risque inhérent à notre profession tend à inhiber les contributions personnelles que nous pourrions élaborer: nous craignons que de montrer un intérêt trop vif pour ce sujet puisse ne susciter chez nos collègues qu'une impulsion à poser un diagnostic visant à déterminer si nous souffrons de dépression psychotique ou de schizophrénie paranoïde.

Harold F. Searles (1972), Unconscious processes in relation to the environmental crisis, Harold F. Searles, Psychoanalytic Review, 59, 361-374. 

 

 

Le langage binaire de l'ordinateur est également une irrésistible incitation à admettre dans chaque instant, sans réserve, ce qui a été programmé comme l'a bien voulu quelqu'un d'autre, et qui se fait passer pour la source intemporelle d'une logique supérieure, impartiale et totale. (...) Il n'est donc pas surprenant que, dès l'enfance, les écoliers aillent facilement commencer, et avec enthousiasme, par le Savoir Absolu de l'informatique: tandis qu'ils ignorent toujours davantage la lecture, qui exige un véritable jugement à toutes les lignes; et qui seule aussi peut donner accès à la vaste expérience humaine antéspectaculaire. Car la conversation est presque morte, et bientôt le seront beaucoup de ceux qui savaient parler. (p. 1609-1610)

 

Guy Debord (1988) Commentaires sur la société du spectacle. In Œuvres. Paris: Gallimard (2006).

 

 

Empires rule through cultures and epistemologies no less than guns and dollars. Early modernity's "new" imperialism was fundamentally enabled by the Cartesian revolution, which established a new way of seeing and ordering planetary life. (Has it been so different for the new imperialism of the neoliberal era?) One could conquer the globe only if one could imagine it. Early forms of external nature, abstract space and linear time enabled capitalists and empires to construct global webs of exploitation and appropriation, calculation and credit, property and profit, on an unprecedented scale.

 

Jason W. Moore, Confronting the Popular Anthropocene: Toward an Ecology of Hope, 2017.

 

 

And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.

 

George Orwell, Gangrel [No. 4, Summer], 1946; S.J.; E.Y.E.; O.R.; C.E.

 

 

[...] nous, les psychanalystes qui, avec notre apathie et notre silence assourdissant sur ce thème [la crise environnementale], refusons de voir que nous sommes « enfermés dans un environnement qui se détériore en conséquence de notre propre activité ». Je veux espérer que pourra triompher, comme dans l’analyse, le besoin de vérité sur l’homme, « enfant de la biosphère » [...].

 

Jorge Canestri, Président de la Fédération Européenne de Psychanalyse, La crise environnementale sur le divan, 2019.

 

 

La cyberguerre du futur sera peut-être moins axée sur le piratage des réseaux électriques que sur le piratage des esprits en façonnant l'environnement dans lequel se déroule le débat politique.


Tim Stevens checheur au Kings College London, spécialiste de la "cyberguerre", interrogé pour The Guardian en 2016.

 

 

If democracy is to be replenished in the coming decades, it is up to us to rekindle the sense of outrage and loss over what is being taken from us. In this I do not mean only our “personal information.” What is at stake here is the human expectation of sovereignty over one’s own life and authorship of one’s own experience. What is at stake is the inward experience from which we form the will to will and the public spaces to act on that will. What is at stake is the dominant principle of social ordering in an information civilization and our rights as individuals and societies to answer the questions Who knows? Who decides? Who decides who decides? That surveillance capitalism has usurped so many of our rights in these domains is a scandalous abuse of digital capabilities and their once grand promise to democratize knowledge and meet our thwarted needs for effective life. Let there be a digital future, but let it be a human future first.

 

Zuboff, Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (pp. 521-522). PublicAffairs.