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Rose, J. (2009). Fascism and Fundamentalism: Response to Elisabeth Roudinesco. Psychoanal. Hist., 11(2):263-269.

(2009). Psychoanalysis and History, 11(2):263-269

Fascism and Fundamentalism: Response to Elisabeth Roudinesco

Jacqueline Rose

First to say what a privilege I consider it to be to have the opportunity to respond to Elisabeth Roudinesco, whose engagement with psychoanalysis as practitioner, as thinker and as chronicler has been so exemplary and whose interest in the potential link between psychoanalysis and politics goes back many years. I am the proud owner of what I think is perhaps her first, or certainly one of her first, books: Un discours au réel of 1973 - almost the same time as Juliet Mitchell's (1974) Psychoanalysis and Feminism - and which I remember reading with a real sense of relief because of the energy with which it argued for a dialogue between our understanding of our most contested public, and most passionately guarded private worlds. Central to that book was a thesis in Elisabeth Roudinesco's thinking that I believe has not gone away. That the unconscious, by making a breach in the subject's relation to her historical and social reality, is the place where the false promises and idealizations, the disabling mock unity of an unjust world, are most decisively, repeatedly and painfully undone. From the beginning then, I would suggest, psychoanalysis has been a counter-hegemonic discourse for Roudinesco. ‘The place of politics in psychoanalytic practice’, she wrote then, ‘has no other meaning than that of marking the place of a truth of the unconscious, of a “cut” in the subject's relation to the real’ (Roudinesco 1973, p. 17).

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