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Bourdin, D. (2005). Le mal des idéologies [The ills of ideology] by François Duparc Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (Le fil rouge series). 2004. 288 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(4):1216-1219.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(4):1216-1219

Le mal des idéologies [The ills of ideology] by François Duparc Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (Le fil rouge series). 2004. 288 pp.

Review by:
Dominique Bourdin

Why write about ideology? François Duparc's answer opens the volume: ‘no doubt in order to understand the suffering of individuals themselves caught up, without realising it, in phenomena beyond their reach and over which they have virtually no power’. The author addresses the question of ideology in psychoanalysis inasmuch as the former is an ill subjecting individuals to a single power and alienating them in the process and also inasmuch as it inevitably traverses social practice, including psychoanalysis itself. Besides this there is a request, an individual and collective request addressed to the psychoanalyst, since the dead-ends encountered in socio-professional commitment, the choices involving identity, the pitfalls of married life and the difficulties of parenting often carry profound resonances between individual history and social context. The range of the impact of this discontent in civilisation must be taken into account, but so must vigilance be maintained regarding the conditions and difficulties implicated in taking psychoanalysis outside the realm of the individual: What becomes of the transference and the patient's request in such cases? Freud did not forge this path without internal conflict, and even when addressing social questions it is important to remain as close as possible to analytic practice.

For Duparc, ideology, whether it emerges from childhood family patterns or is adopted in reaction to trauma experienced in childhood, is projected on to the world, reproducing pre-established world visions and ways of life, which are presented beneath a mask of rationality, and which in most cases hinge on a simple minimal kernel, a symbol close to the image or taken up in a slogan allowing a great number of individuals to gather beneath one banner.

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