Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Comments by LiseinNM

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I did my graduate work in social theory, right at the point when the Frankfurt School was losing ground to the French. It was all very exciting, but, for too many radical intellectuals, that ferment led to anything-goes postmodernisms. In the aftermath, I have become disenchanted by both kinds of theories.
    Yes, neo-Marxism must come to terms with individual consciousness, but I doubt that Lacanian psychoanalysis will ever become, to quote Marx, a material force that will grip the masses. And who really believes that a praxis that is so complicated that it only grips the overeducated is going to have any effect on capitalism?
    I think Gendlin’s Focusing has a much better chance, especially in the “community” version taught by people like Pat Omidian. If you need theory, Gendlin generated plenty (albeit more influenced by Merleau-Ponty), but he also created Changes groups that were designed to promote mutual aid. Mutual aid is something most theorists ignore, but I believe it is the one praxis that can actually undermine capitalism. Psychoanalysis is never going to function as mutual aid.

  • I find this whole article really strange, beginning with the positive comment on Erich Fromm (my hero). I can’t believe that any Lacanian would agree with you. I don’t know if Lacan attacked him personally, but I would bet he condemned him as just another post-Freudian.
    As for humanistic psychology, these are the same arguments I heard in grad school, decades ago. Humanistic psychology is hardly monolithic and can’t be reduced to theory. Most practitioners follow Rogers in attempting to be present for those who seek their help, rather than analyzing them. In what I think are Lacanian terms (I am no expert, nor do I want to be), they are more oriented to viewing people as subjects, rather than egos. Do you really think that being present supports capitalism? Do you really think that the Lacanian emphasis on analyzing people, in accordance with complex theoretical constructs, is more likely to relieve suffering? I don’t.