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It is well-known that psychoanalysts are in constant conflict with each other and the scale of these conflicts far exceeds the limits that are expected from the Freudian word and deed by the outsiders. Furthermore, intra-clinical conflicts are much more malignant in nature (than, for example, those acceptable among the intellectuals, let alone among the scientists), because they are never limited to the confrontations concerning the method’s theoretical or practical questions but always involve the drives and the impulses that could be called the unconscious of the very psychoanalytic institution and practice. It is a totally different type of the unconscious literally created by Freud himself together with the discovery of the unconscious that is well-known to us as a single unconscious of a neurotic subject. 

Who is the functional bearer of this institutional unconscious? It is so often repeated that Freud invented psychoanalysis (with such an obsequious admiration for the greatness of the genius), that it is easily forgotten that he also “invented” psychoanalysts. But what is a psychoanalyst? It is a subject seduced by Freud’s ego-ideal wherein the latter is manifested in the intention to follow devoutly Freud’s discovery-invention (wherein, as you know, the operation of “discovery” refers to the unconscious, and the one of “invention” – to psychoanalysis).

Considering the “following Freud” point, it is important to say a few words since psychoanalysts themselves, being unable to analyze their own “institutional” symptom inherent to their communities, tend to talk about their mission in the most solemn tone. In fact, as we know it from Freud himself and his biographers, there is nothing particularly charming here: it is well known that Freud treated his followers in a special manner that kept them in a state of humble euphoria reaching the degree of extreme confusion. This fact excites the idle and excessive interest in the public but it is almost entirely ignored by the clinicians who did not know Freud during his life and who do not ask what the next generations of analysts could have inherited from his ego-ideal, constantly fueled and simultaneously trampled by him. Exciting scientific passion in his associates while simultaneously scolding and reproaching them for their inability to sustain the intellectual and conceptual level of the method he discovered, Freud unwittingly plants in the psychoanalytic history and institutions emerging on its grounds something that is subsequently expressed in the displacement of the source of this scolding and incessant criticism to the level of the institutional interaction. 

From the time of Freud’s death up till now, the psychoanalyst – if we talk about her from the institutional point of view, i.e., when she deals with other psychoanalysts – is the one who is deeply disturbed and quite often perturbed by her colleagues suspecting them of being unfaithful to the basics or to the principle points of the psychoanalytic discipline and setting (frequently lacking explicit definition). The psychoanalyst is the living embodiment of anxiety concerning those with whom she shares the professional field: it is precisely in the process of this anxiety’s realization that the professional unconscious implanted by Freud comes into play.

It must be at once surprising and not worthy of any surprise that everything mentioned above is demonstrated with vengeance among the analysts who advance along the professional path under the protection of Lacan’s name. It is precisely in the Lacanian communities – but hardly Lacan’s concept itself, however complex and thrilling it may appear, neither Lacan’s legendary clinical method (in fact, its legendary reputation does not help it and does not promote its spreading) – precisely among the Lacanian institutions and among spontaneous clinical formations and groups emerging in the field of Lacanian heritage, something that appears for the analysts in the form of anxiety which was permanently inherited from Freud manifests itself anew and in a more acute form. 

It was Lacan who introduced anxiety into the psychoanalytic field when at the level of the institution he acted (as Freud did in his time) not as a subject, a leader, or a founder – whom they both were at the level of the theoretical production and clinic – but as an object which carried this anxiety into the professional field twice. It is precisely in the role of the “object” in its full-scale psychoanalytic sense that the so-called Grösser Man, the institution’s most principal man, appears for it. There is no reason to hide that this anxiety is never analyzed even in the most in-depth didactic analysis.

Nevertheless, instead of discussing this crucial question concerning the reality of the consequences stemming from this anxiety for the clinicians and communities they form, starting with Freud to the present day, psychoanalysis unreservedly concentrates on the figure of the so-called patient. If we talk about the historical dimension when this figure crystallized and transformed, what interests everyone is only the analysand’s intra-analytic regression. This concerns, in particular, the regression paradoxically connected with the analysand’s progress in her relations with the psychoanalytic knowledge. Today, the question about this knowledge takes over the potential question about the psychoanalytic institution. That is how there arises a suspicion that the analysand should not be allowed to take too many liberties in regard to this knowledge since it can destroy or sabotage her treatment. 

It must be said that this concern had a fabricated character right from the outset leading the analysts astray. However, it contained the germ of another still unarticulated unease. Today, it is more and more obvious that the clinicians’ anxiety should be addressed not so much to the modern analysands’ awareness of the psychoanalytic theory (that quite often pushes them into competition with their analysts) but to the escalating patients’ interest in the psychoanalytic environment itself. It is known that many analysts are concerned about this fact and the degree of this concern increases depending on the psychoanalyst’s closeness to the Lacanian part of the clinical spectrum. This is due to a hazardous manner, as many analysts see it, with which Lacan returns the psychoanalytic enterprise to the Freudian start: i.e., to the moment when the situation in the clinical institutions can become public. 

The fact that most psychoanalysts resist this perspective has to be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, this resistance can be interpreted as the forced necessity to preserve what in psychoanalysis constitutes its presumable “essence” and requires maintaining its autonomy. On the other hand, to say this does not mean to admit that the psychoanalysts’ intentions are exhausted by the single desire of preserving the original image of the discipline created by Freud. The significance of their objection is more extensive than the necessity to defend Freud’s original project from interventions. To a large extent, their resistance is the consequence of their own “professional unconscious” – that is, it is located in the sphere unrecognized by the psychoanalysts themselves.

It must be said right away that this sphere does not coincide with certain specialists’ prejudices, for example, with today’s obsolete intention to investigate the reasons for analysand’s alternative gender or identity choice, or her desire to join a political protest at all costs. In this sense, when pitching psychoanalysis in these flaws, the leftist intellectual determines the appropriate framework of her criticism improperly since the psychoanalytic community’s resistance concerns a completely different, considerably more significant strategic point. What the psychoanalyst does not wish to relinquish is in fact bound to her strongly defended right to shut off the question about psychoanalytic institutions from any discussions. First and foremost, this restriction concerns the analysands, so the main bastion of the analysts’ defense should not be defined as a defense of some “sacred” psychoanalytic knowledge but as a refusal to admit the analysands to the internal institutional processes within the clinical communities in any form. 

Among other things, it is at this level that the question raised by Gabriel Tupinambá in his book “The Desire of Psychoanalysis” should be discussed. The dynamics of the narrative built around this issue seem to reflect the author’s considerable hesitation concerning the question of what the analyst who finds herself in the environment creating other analysts has to do. The indisputable advantage of the book is that its author openly admits – the overwhelming majority never does this and does not intend to do so in the future – that there is something fundamentally wrong with the psychoanalytic environment, and more than that, perhaps this disorder was a part of it right from its birth, being an unavoidable feature of its structure. 

At the same time, Tupinambá finishes the book by being convinced that those who should start dealing with this question are the interested parties who plan to join the community, for example, those who are in the process of their own didactic treatment. Rightly pointing out their miserable situation caused by the fact that the existing institution does not meet their aspirations – Tupinambá leaves the sores appearing on the body of this institution to their own care. That is why the book ends up with a proposal to reform what the author conceptualized anew in the form of the “passe” – the procedure aimed at admitting the candidates not only to the clinical community – since they can already be a part of it – but to its institutional body. 

Having no intention to diminish the very logic that brings this question to the fore, it should be pointed out that in itself, even being resolutely posed, this question is only half of the story. When we talk about the possibility of entering the institution via becoming its part, we should also talk about those participants of the analytic process who, being the analysands, are the most subordinate persons – at this point, we do not talk about the effects of power, but only about the level of the pyramid that they necessarily occupy – and in some way or another they endure the effects caused by the institutions’ existence. This enduring always appears in the form of purely individual valor that is given a special touch by the fact that the majority of this valor’s carriers will not only never be admitted to the psychoanalyzing community but they do not even consider becoming psychoanalysts.

At the same time, it does not mean that they are somehow disadvantaged or that the fate of the clinical institutions in their case is intertwined with their own fate less intensely or less significantly. On the contrary, along with the “passe” that concerns only the analysts, we should also talk about “accès” that concerns all the subjects affected by the psychoanalytic procedure. Within the framework of the formulated institutional question, both forms of admission should be considered as something completely inseparable.

Even if the access is the formation that is not only unconceived in the analytic field so far but also lacks any, even preliminary institutional form4, the direct connection between the access and the forms in which actual and future analysands deal with the information about psychoanalysis – in its clinical and institutional being – is nevertheless obvious. In other words, they deal with something that reaches beyond psychoanalysis to the outside.

Though psychoanalysts themselves are guided by an opposite assumption (which is logically dictated by the necessity to observe the abstinence regime) that the access – as well as the passe – should be a more or less inaccessible virtue because it is a temptation for those who strive inside from the outside. We are aware that the main tempter here is psychoanalysis itself: it unfailingly arouses pathological curiosity – at least among specifically structured subjects – developing into typical activeness that quite often appears as persecution (for example, an obsessive need to deal with specific texts “about psychoanalysis” or even with the very analysts in the flesh).

In this light, there is nothing surprising in the fact that any procedures supposedly capable of satisfying and provoking curiosity simultaneously, should be equipped with numerous obstacles and various refusals of admission. Nevertheless, the representatives of the psychoanalytic field are still not entirely aware that the question of access is by no means a question about the change of analysands’ condition: at least not primarily. Instead, it concerns something that is affected by the mentioned obstacle in the clinical communities themselves – consider any historical or actual example. For the psychoanalytic communities, this obstacle is not an additional external quality but the very essence of the procedure that constitutes them. Therefore, without sufficient reflection on the way the communities really function given the existence of this obstacle, its members do not see that the necessary dialectical reverse of the obstacle is revealed precisely in the access.

We do not imply that it is necessary to organize the access: neither its form, nor the character of the presumed procedure is the object of this discussion. Moreover, it is demonstrated below that any speculations are meaningless because the access is something that has always already happened. So far, we indicate that the analytic communities (schools, associations, groups) become what they are today precisely in the absence of the very possibility to raise the question about the access. 

In this way, it is absolutely obvious that unless we question the access it is impossible to think about something that is more and more often stressed by the analysts of the younger generation, puzzled and indignant by what appears as an elderly psychoanalytic environment that constitutes the institutional backbone of the community today. This environment is distinguished by its outbursts of stunning arrogance, a demonstratively hostile contempt, and courteous compassion towards both the analysands and the colleagues – especially towards those who are not considered “their people.” To this must be added the endless professional gossip mutually produced by the analysts and ever-emerging, minor informal associations incited by the hostility to ad hoc appointed enemies of the community against whom the scheming is launched. What we have here is something that can be characterized as the “salon” – the form that is, apparently, exemplary for the psychoanalytic environment from its outset.5  

This situation can hardly be called a pleasant one but that’s how it is. Moreover, it surprisingly echoes the Hegelian argument about “the real and the reasonable” which is usually hauled over the coals, so that sometimes one has to take side of its defense in order to explain it. The easiest way to argue for this claim is to draw on the reality of our own psychoanalytic environment. It is enough to show that regardless of all the features stated above, this environment does not intent to decay not only institutionally. In fact, in the course of dealing with its specialists, some analysands even manage to successfully complete their treatment.

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