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Issroff, J. (2004). Time for Psychoanalysts to Speak Up: A Reaction to Reading Violence or Dialogue? Psychoanalytic Insights on Terror and Terrorism. Free Associations, 11(2):242-270.

(2004). Free Associations, 11(2):242-270

Time for Psychoanalysts to Speak Up: A Reaction to Reading Violence or Dialogue? Psychoanalytic Insights on Terror and Terrorism1

Judith Issroff

Fromm Thought That the greatest weakness of the psychoanalytic movement was its failure to extend the understanding of the individual's unconscious to a critical analysis of his society. Does this volume succeed in its attempt? Is this collection of papers yet another well-intentioned attempt to try to understand and solve problems generated by ‘the dark side of human nature’ by those who are remote from accountability and the pitfalls of decision-making? Do psychoanalysts indeed have something to contribute towards approaching solutions to our collective plight?

Originally trained as a philosopher, Julia Kristeva (2003) is among the intellectual elite who are at home in the world of more than psychoanalysis. She uses her psychoanalytic tools to illuminate all that touches and interests sentient beings. Psychoanalysts are healers, not only practitioner-researchers into and theoreticians of the human psyche, realm of culture, and behaviours. No one would quibble with the fact that these are parlous times in the affairs of mankind. Kristeva calls for psychoanalysts to take an influential leadership role in attempting to ameliorate the predicaments of our times and human nature. No mere armchair analyst, she speaks up strongly for psychoanalysts to step into the local and global arena to make their psychoanalytic understanding and comprehension available to the public domain.

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