20 September 2016
Lacanian Review Online
Editorail: Marie-Hélène Brousse, Véronique Voruz
by Jan Simončič
In Slovenia, everybody knows Lacan. His influence entered Slovene space some 40 years ago through the works of certain infamous philosophers. On the other hand, there is not much Lacanian psychoanalysis here. These infamous philosophers are guilty of making people think that Lacan was himself a philosopher. Conservatively, they have maintained their resistance to psychoanalysis, and defended their entrenchments to their megalomaniac philosophical project for 40 years now.
Their attempt at blackmailing psychoanalysis with philosophy, however, might be coming to an end. There exists a small Slovenian Society for Lacanian Psychoanalysis, and its offspring Institute Acheron, which have engaged in clinical analytic practice since a year ago. They are gaining momentum as they cooperate with the WAP (The World Association of Psychoanalysis) within the framework of The Freudian Field. Ever since, the society’s members have welcomed some “important” psychoanalysts (but all psychoanalysts are important as they listen to and support good solutions by analysands) to events in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Will this David manage to do the necessary work in making Goliath drop the power he holds over signifiers such as “psychoanalysis” and “Lacan”?
Psychoanalysis is more than necessary in Slovenia. It is a country where families by tradition include failed fathers, so that mothers have to take up an authoritative stance. Furthermore, Slovenes are second in the world, right after Russians, in the consumption of alcohol per capita, especially among students, while suicide rates – especially teenagers and old aged people – are among the highest in Europe and have been rising since the 1960’s – increasing significantly after the global economic crisis of 2008. Psychiatric hospitals which are in a large majority of total institutions, where many psychiatrists avoid their patients, and prefer to prescribe them drugs rather than trying to listen to them, are filled with people who have lost themselves. There is little to no prospect of being reintegrated into society for many of them.
Anti-immigrant discourse is on the rise, ever since fall last year was marked by the Balkan route of migrants turning to Slovenia through its neighbouring country, Croatia. A sad subjective story that has political dimensions is widely known, but seldom reported. A Syrian woman, accompanied by her husband, was heavily pregnancy upon entering the country 14 months ago. The government wanted to deport her back to Croatia due to bureaucratic matters, but she had to give birth. Ever since her baby was born, the family has tried to gain asylum status in Slovenia. The Slovene justice system, well-known for its long procedures, has debated on whether or not the family should be given asylum, and never reached a conclusion. The mother had psychotic episodes in the meantime, and was unable to receive the treatment that the government provides for its citizens.
But the government is not even able to protect its own female citizens. Their right to abortion is being threatened by the Church. Then came the catastrophic result in the same-sex marriage referendum (that was authorized by the Constitutional Court despite the fact that the law allowing same-sex marriage – which had been passed in parliament before that -, had sorted out the question). In the debates on national TV, we heard a woman, who used to be the headmaster of a primary school, declare that she wishes all women to give birth, including those who were raped. In front of the family planning clinic, on the other hand, there is a group of people praying for the lives of the embryos. It’s a disgrace that women, who are forced to make the decision to abort, have to walk past these lunatics every time they go to the clinic.
Goliath, while claiming to be progressive and ”left-wing”, was unable to make any change in this country, in a country that advertises itself as being on the sunny side of the Alps. “It is sunny, everything is clear in Slovenia”, a Slovene songwriter sings. In sunny weather, one sees. And Goliath sees afar, his gaze is present everywhere. In ministries, among MPs, in culture and artistic production, in journalism, and in university circles. He is impotent at the same time – he is not able to deal with his own problems.
Perhaps we don’t need David to beat Goliath in Slovenia. Goliath is beating himself hard enough. We need psychoanalysis for subjects who suffer and have to face their own symptoms. And Goliath should not interfere with that. Anyone who desires to enter analysis, should be allowed to consult an analyst, and even welcomed to do so.