Decided Desires and Joyful Passions in Democracy : 18th November 2017 (Turin) : Éric Laurent

by Julia Evans on November 18, 2017

This text was originally delivered as a summary at the end of European Forum on “Decided Desires for Democracy in Europe”, which took place in Turin, 18 November 2017.

A revision based on this presentation, is published p153-164 of Psychoanalytical Notebooks : Issue 32 (Lacanian Politics and the Impasses of Democracy Today) :2018

Translation by Bogdan Wolf, Janet Haney and Philip Dravers

Available at   /éric laurent   


p156 : – Availability of On Transience : November 1915 [1916a] : Sigmund Freud: See here

11 p159 : p568 of Joyce the Symptom, Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan: For availability & notes see here.  Also see Joyce the Symptôm (Sinthôme) I & II: 16th June 1975 : Jacques Lacanor here for availability

14 p159 :  Racism 2.0 : 26th January 2014 : Éric Laurent : For notes & availability see here

15 p159 :  Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty: A New Sophism : March 1945 : Jacques Lacan : For notes & availability see  here : p174 of Bruce Fink’s translation : p18 of Bruce Fink’s and Marc Silver’s translation, quote :

This assertion assuredly appears closer to its true value when presented as the conclusion of the form here demonstrated of anticipating subjective assertion:

1) A man knows what is not a man;

2) Men recognise themselves amongst themselves to be men;

3) I declare myself to be a man for fear of being convinced by men that I am not a man.

This constitutes a movement which provides the logical form of all “human” assimilation, precisely insofar as it posits itself as assimilative of a barbarism, but which nonetheless reserves the essential determination of the “I”….


P156 :

‘Prof Zygmunt Bauman has described this movement of the dissolution of comprehensive civic identities as “liquid”. … Bauman chose the word “liquid” in order to convey the transformation of what was still solid but fragmented into a new, transient intensity. With this term, he thus updated what, in 1915, Freud had referred to [in an article of the same name] as Verganglichkeit, transience.’

– Availability of On Transience : November 1915 [1916a] : Sigmund Freud: See here

– Notes on Prof Zygmunt Bauman and ‘liquid modernity’

[From Wikipedia]

Zygmunt Bauman (19 November 1925 – 9 January 2017) was a Polish sociologist and philosopher. He was driven out of Poland by a political purge in 1968 engineered by the Communist government of the Polish People’s Republic and forced to give up his Polish citizenship to move to Israel. Three years after he moved to the United Kingdom. He resided in England from 1971 and became Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, later Emeritus. Bauman was one of the world’s most eminent social theorists, writing on issues as diverse as modernity and the Holocaust, postmodern consumerism and liquid modernity.

[From Wikipedia]

Late modernity (or liquid modernity) is the characterization of today’s highly developed global societies as the continuation (or development) of modernity rather than as an element of the succeeding era known as postmodernity, or the postmodern.

Introduced as ‘liquid’ modernity by the Polish-British sociologist Zygmunt Bauman late modernity is marked by the global capitalist economies with their increasing privatisation of services and by the information revolution.

Liquid modernity

Zygmunt Bauman, who introduced the idea of liquid modernity, wrote that its characteristics are about the individual, namely increasing feelings of uncertainty and the privatization of ambivalence. It is a kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can shift from one social position to another in a fluid manner. Nomadism becomes a general trait of the ‘liquid modern’ man as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes more—such as political or sexual orientation—excluding himself from traditional networks of support, while also freeing himself from the restrictions or requirements those networks impose.

Bauman stressed the new burden of responsibility that fluid modernism placed on the individual—traditional patterns would be replaced by self-chosen ones.Entry into the globalized society was open to anyone with their own stance and the ability to fund it, in a similar way as was the reception of travellers at the old-fashioned caravanserai. The result is a normative mindset with emphasis on shifting rather than on staying—on provisional in lieu of permanent (or ‘solid’) commitment—which (the new style) can lead a person astray towards a prison of their own existential creation.


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London


Other texts

By Éric Laurent here

Racism 2.0 : 26th January 2014 : Éric Laurent or here

New incarnations of the desire for democracy in Europe : 31st October 2017 : Éric Laurentor here

See especially : ▪ Le sac de nœuds – Chronicle of Éric Laurent ▪ The Tracery of Incarnation LQ 96 : 22nd November 2011or here

& The Stepladder (Escabeau) and Freudian Sublimation. From forcing to manipulation : A reading of «Joyce the Symptom» : (Paris) 3rd February 2015 : Éric Laurentor here

& “The Unconscious is Politics”, today : LQ518 (Lacan Quotidien 518) : May 2015 : Éric Laurentor here

& The Unconscious and the Body Event : the full interview : July 2015 : Éric Laurentor here

By Miguel Bassols here

Texts on ‘The Symbolic Order in the XXIst Century’ here

Ethics here

Definitions of humanness here  & here

Use of power here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Some Lacanian History : here

Topology : here

From LW working groups : here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Julia Evans here