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Green, A. (2005). The illusion of common ground and mythical pluralism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):627-632.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):627-632

The illusion of common ground and mythical pluralism Language Translation

André Green

When, during his presidency of the International Psychoanalytical Association, Robert S. Wallerstein on two occasions (1988, 1990) expressed the view that there existed a common ground in psychoanalysis beyond the many signs of divergence on a scale that was becoming a concern and a preoccupation for the future of psychoanalysis, he wanted to generate a glimmer of hope in a grey sky. I do not think that these circumstances are accidental and I cannot see who else but the IPA president would be capable of having such an idea and being prompted by the same intentions. I now think that this was—and remains—a political act. I am not using this adjective in any kind of pejorative sense. It seems to me that it is entirely within a president's prerogative to foster a unity between the members of his association that transcends geographical and ideological boundaries. Just as any good father attempts to reduce differences of opinion between his children, when each has adopted different political viewpoints, often contradictory or even incompatible, Robert S. Wallerstein was undertaking a highly well-intentioned manoeuvre in order to give us the courage to confront the difficult times ahead that could already be foreseen for psychoanalysis.

In his latest contribution, he relates with his customary candour the history of the movements that have dominated successively in the various parts of the psychoanalytic world, both during Freud's lifetime and since his death. However, I shall make several observations on this subject.

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