Compasses, then & now

On the back of Desire and Its Interpretations: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VI Jacques-Alain Miller writes:

Up until recently, all of our compasses, no matter how varied, pointed in the same direction: toward the Father [the Law]. We considered the patriarch to be an anthropological invariant. His decline accelerated owing to increasing equality, the growth of capitalism, and the ever-greater domination of technology. We have reached the end of the Father Age. Another discourse is in the process of taking the former's place. It champions innovation over tradition; networks over hierarchies; the draw of the future over the weight of the past[1]

I’m using this quote in something I’ve been working on about what I see as significant changes in how speaking bodies relate to the Law (i.e., castration, prohibition) today.

The way I see it, things have shifted from people finding ways to suffer less and find enjoy within the Law’s prohibitive effects within the discourses that organized social life in the past to something that encourages the release of the drive and un-prohibited access to jouissance via a demand to “Enjoy!” regardless of the Law, within the dominant discourses of the here-and-now.

  1. This quote comes from Jacquas-Alain Miller on the back of Lacan, Jacques, Desire and Its Interpretations: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VI, ed Jacques-Alain Miller, trans Bruce Fink (Cambridge: Polity, 2013). ↩︎

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