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Faigon, D. Siquier, M.I. (1992). From Authoritarian Discourse to Psychoanalytic Discourse: A Psychoanalytic View of Ethics. Psychoanal. Inq., 12(4):594-611.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 12(4):594-611

From Authoritarian Discourse to Psychoanalytic Discourse: A Psychoanalytic View of Ethics

Delia Faigon, M.D. and Maria Isabel Siquier, M.D.

As a therapeutic method, psychoanalysis provides one of the means for working through traumatic situations stemming from social conditions. Other modalities of elaboration of traumatic situations may exist through many forms of social activity. At least theoretically, however, the psychoanalytic method implies the possibility of integrating the individual's disruptive and reparatory aspects so as to diminish the risk of becoming trapped in an owner-slave, submitter-submitted, sadistic-masochistic dialectic. In this paper we attempt to offer certain ideas on how psychoanalysis as a science can help illuminate two types of social phenomena: some as evident and disruptive as genocide (Nazism, National Reorganization Process in Argentina, 1976-83), others more covert and permanent, such as authoritarianism and its derivatives, which, though less dramatic, may provide the necessary conditions for the former.

Using psychoanalytic theories that refer to ethics as our exploratory starting point, we analyze some of the ways in which human groups sustain their identity in the face of disruptive social conditions.

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