Levi R. Bryant over at Larval Subjects made an interesting post a few days ago re: Freudian psychoanalysis, identity and its grounding in narcissism and antagonism. Bryant makes an interesting point that is relevant to our own project:
The more we strive to coincide with the frozen image that is the ego, the more antagonistic our relations with others become. From the ego, from identification and captivation in this unhealthy form of love (there is another type of love that is not lethal or narcissistic) we encounter nothing but strife, conflict, antagonism, and war. The more we try to coincide with the captivating image and gaze, the more we need an enemy with whom to engage in with war. Nationalism must thus always go to war with other nations, identity must always vilify other identities, identification with a favorite philosopher must always lead to war with other philosophers over territories, and all the rest. The political question would thus, in part, be of how to envision a politics beyond identification, the ego, and narcissism?
A brief post before dinner for thoughts that need to be developed in greater detail. In an interview somewhere or other I vaguely remember that Derrida says that his project, from beginning to end, is an interrogation and deconstruction of narcissism. Given Derrida’s profound critique of the logic of identity, this comes as no surprise, for while identity is a postulate at the heart of Western philosophy (consider Parmenides or even Plato’s divided line) that functions as a logical axiom of truth and being (A = A), it also goes to the heart of our being as egos. In this connection, we could say that the thinkers of that beautiful French moment (Derrida, Deleuze, Irigaray, Foucault, and perhaps Lyotard), the thinkers of difference, are each in their own way addressing the problem of narcissism and its political effects. Here I cannot help but think of Lacan and his analysis of…
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