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Kotkavirta, J. (2017). Editorial. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 40(2):77-78.

(2017). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 40(2):77-78



Jussi Kotkavirta


‘Fundaments and fundamentalism’ was the theme of the Nordic Psychoanalytic Congress 2016 in Stockholm. In the present issue we publish three of the papers read in the congress, by Johan Eriksson, Jussi Kotkavirta and Sverre Varvin. In these papers, and in several others presented in the congress, a kind of dialectic between fundaments and fundamentalism is articulated. Most generally it can be formulated as follows: it is vitally important to reflect constantly on the fundaments of one’s thinking, judging, valuing, behaving, to keep open a space for critical reflection, because otherwise one is in danger of committing into a fundamentalist mindset of some sort. In several presentations it was emphasized that this demand of self-reflection is vital for psychoanalysts and psychoanalysis, and such reflection was practiced in the congress.


Fundamentalism as a mass phenomenon is essentially connected with modernity, and in particular with its current late phase of global capitalism. Helmut Dubiel, a German sociologist in the Frankfurt school tradition, has captured this important connection well (Dubiel, 1992). The early project of enlightenment was questioned by romanticism, whereas the neo-romanticist reactionary ideologies and movements, fascism included, may be seen as critical responses against industrial capitalism. The contemporary global capitalism, which does not respect any cultural or other limits, is questioned above all by radical religious neo-traditionalisms, i.

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