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Daniel Deweese

Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis and South Carolina Progressive Network

Daniel DeWeese is a strange Marxist, candidate Lacanian psychoanalyst and organizer with the South Carolina Progressive Network.

Big Papa in the Signifier of a Lack in the Other

Abstract

In 1938, Lacan in his essay, Les Complexes Familiaux, announced; “I am not one to bewail the so-called loosening of family ties…But I do think that a great many psychological consequences follow the social decline of the paternal imago.  This decline is conditioned by the worst effects of social progress on the individual.” Where does Lacan’s pronouncement of the “social decline of the paternal imago” stand in our current politico-libidinal economy? Already, Freud recognized such a decline as evinced by his case studies of weak fathers in need of the Primordial Father to reinforce paternal authority. Contemporary conservative clinicians such as Jordan Peterson continue to bemoan the decline of the father. While certain feminists  call  for the destruction of “the patriarchy.” It appears we have a conflict of perspectives here, all the while shared social meanings continue to destabilize under capitalist realism.  Père ou pire? (Father or worse?).  In this essay I evaluate Peterson’s claim of the decline of the father, his understanding and solution to this “problem” and propose an alternative analysis to the negative reality of modernity.