BEYOND THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE
Pierre Marie, Marc Masson,Yves Sarfati
Our knowledge of the context in which we wrote "Beyond the pleasure principle " is utterly lost today. We are in 1919, months after the First World War, and especially during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919, which has killed 10 times as many people as the war, and of which Sophie, the second daughter of Freud, died on January 25, 1920, and Ernst's mother, whose real game (Fort/Da) opens Freud's text.
However, this pandemic is not discussed in the elaboration of ‘Beyond…’, because to Freud, it represents a brutal necessity (the Akanké of the Greeks which cannot be must not be)" and to his son-in-law, Sophie's husband, a "nonsense and brutal cut of destiny for which we have neither to accuse nor to dig our brains, but only to bend our heads.".
There is always a real pandemic that arises when it arises, which can only be controlled by natural or artificial vaccination, knowing that it will take away those of us who are vulnerable.
In ‘Beyond…’, Freud does not deal with this necessity of things, but with the necessity of the symptom, its compulsion to repeat according to the circumstances; he instead uses Tuchè, the demonic power of the repressed exacerbated by circumstances.
What are we doing today, when the necessity of things, the chance of genetic mutation of a virus (it happens constantly), takes precedence over a catastrophic view of the situation?
The psychoanalyst is undoubtedly interested in this question.
Neither the Spanish Flu (2.5 million deaths in France) nor the Asian Flu (1957-58, 15,000 deaths in France) nor the Hong Kong Flu (1968-69, between 15 and 40,000 deaths in France...) prompted any response from the authorities. The affliction began in 2003-2004 with SARS (no deaths were reported in France) and then with 2009 flu A(H1N1), also known as "swine flu", which did not spread much (the number of deaths was that of a normal seasonal epidemic).
However, no confinement prescription is considered, since we know that such a measure for viral epidemics could be counterproductive to natural vaccination. A virus epidemic is a viral epidemic.
AIDS is on everyone's mind, but HIV is completely different in its action and in the disease, it causes by the coronavirus; if a certain "restriction" is the condition of its prevention, it does not involve a stoppage of social life.
Why are we living in such a cataclysmic ambiance?
An analysis of 355 patients who died from COVID-19 in Italy indicates that their average age was 80 years, 30% had ischemic heart disease, 35% had severe diabetes, 20% had terminal cancer, 25% had atrial fibrillation, 10% had a recent stroke history; only 0.8% of patients had no known comorbidities... The most common comorbidity for young people is very high obesity, often accompanied by diabetes, asthma, etc.
According to this comparison, Covid-19 malignancy would not be more or less likely than that of a conventional flu epidemic (less than 2% of deaths).
Let's say that hygiene measures (physical distance between people, masks, handwashing, single-use of handkerchiefs, etc.) are presented as mandatory measures to stop this type of epidemic, as they are in Sweden, the Netherlands, parts of Germany, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, or Singapore; hygiene measures that should be taught in schools... because they are the ones that prevent catching the flu.
The question is rather the emergence of the real corpse in a world that has become more precisely virtual imaginary for many of our contemporaries - when we measure the amount of time they spend in front of the television and the Internet (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, dating sites, video games, etc.) since they were children, not to mention the fact that many of them "work" in a virtual universe such as the world of computer scientists, traders, media, and so on.
Yes, there will be bodies, but there is nothing you can do about it except losing yourself in weird fantasy. Every year, there are 600,000 deaths in France, regardless of what happens, and the few thousand deaths likely to be attributed to the coronavirus, unfortunately, to be deplored, represent only a small percentage of those deaths, which is already far too high unless the adopted logistics disrupt all care lines and risk increasing cardiovascular, neurological, traumatological, kidney, and other deaths. Not to mention that corona-caused disease confinement will only postpone spontaneous vaccination and therefore the virus's virulence because the corona-caused sickness will continue as soon as the confinement is lifted. Will it be necessary to limit the population anew with each rebirth, a new Camera (Huis) where, perhaps, we will not be doomed to this for the rest of our lives, as Sartre predicted?
Freud had two Gods, Logos and Ananké, who were constantly linked to the power of reason while taking into consideration the real; Wittgenstein would say, "Let us have a synoptic view in all circumstances," and Austin would say, "Let us see the situation as a whole." In a nutshell, let us not lose sight of reason.
Psychoanalysis at the Time of the Coronavirus
Today, the psychoanalyst is confronted with a type of trauma in his analysands that causes temporary changes in their psychic reality: not only does confinement and the exacerbated sorrow of the media have effects, but also the emergence of the real of the corpse as the future has become opaque both in terms of the "exit" from confinement and the disastrous economic situation announced.
However, for many analysts, this stage is at least rich in innovation for the framework of the cure; the passage from the couch to the phone or other Face-Time and Google Duo and discovering how well the analyst is there in flesh and bones by listening, is he/she is "heard" and his voice. Freud, who thought the couch was still necessarily too close, would have been overjoyed. To say the least, most remedies have been improved. There are also apprehensions: the ritual of going to the psychoanalyst, the waiting in the small living room, the rush on the couch, the reunion with furniture, paintings, objects, the count, a sort of indispensable hors d'oeuvre around which the transfer is formed; they require time to elaborate it.
This component, dealing with the real in order to keep psychoanalytic treatment going, provides a chance to understand Jean Greisch's reasoning for his address at the colloquium on Freud's robust realism: The relationship between Freud and death is emblematic of his relationship with reality.
Should the “Meta” Witch be burned?
This article has been translated by Emilia Kardzhilova
Bulgarian tranlslation: https://zeleniatdvor.org/psychoanalysis-coronavirus/