Dr. Alain Vanier is an analyst and president of Espace Analytique Paris. He completed a medical degree and worked in child and adult psychiatry for more than 15 years. He has also worked together with Maud Mannoni at the Experimental School of Bonneuil-sur-Marne. Since 1996 Alain has worked as a professor at Université Paris. He had written more then 280 publications, 4 books and delivered more than 800 lectures across the world. In 2018 he was made a Professor Emeritus at Université de Paris.
I begin by addressing the concept of paranoia, the meaning of fear and its persecutory signification,
and then try to see if it can allow us to understand certain collective phenomena that we can observe
Freud considered paranoia to be a defense mechanism against homosexuality. However, it is hard to
understand why homosexuality would require such an elaborate defensive mechanism, since many
people have no problems accepting it and living with it. We should not forget, in this context, that
the social bond for Freud was constituted by the modification of the offspring who inherited this
latent homosexuality. Freud’s reference in this matter was President Schreber and his feminization,
which President Schreber first rejected at the onset of his psychosis and later assumed once his
delirium stabilized and he had found his role as God’s wife.
Lacan, who came to psychoanalysis through his clinical work with psychoses and not through work
with hysterics, as was the case with Freud, pointed out, in line with Freud and Freud’s later work on
narcissism, that what Freud calls homosexuality corresponds in psychosis to phenomena relating to
the image of the body which—unlike in neurosis—are not articulated around the normative
consequences of the Oedipus complex. The Oedipus complex is, in Lacan’s point of view, one of
Freud’s dreams and, as with any dream, it deserves to be interpreted, that is, we should try to unveil
the structure of the dream and find out what is really at stake: the separation from the jouissance of
the primal Other, and the limiting of this primal jouissance. Without this, the subject remains
hampered by this jouissance, the jouissance of the body, which invades him or her and makes him
or her its object—a meaningless jouissance with no meaning other than that derived from the
significations of the Other. However, Lacan will go one step further and observe that in each of us
there is a paranoid function: the ego. The ego, constituted by successive identifications enacted
during the mirror stage (stade du miroir), is essentially narcissistic—this explains why paranoid
reactions are so frequent in all people, even those who do not present a true psychotic structure.
I posit the idea that these paranoid reactions are a way of treating anxiety. There are, of course,
other ways. Anxiety is closely connected with the body—something shown by its etymology of the
word (angustia). Anxiety is used to define an uncomfortable psychological condition, but also refers
to physical discomfort—the tightening of the epigastrium, a tight throat, palpitations—we become
pale, our legs give way from under us, we experience shortness of breath. All this refers directly to
the body. Even though anxiety is in psychoanalysis the “fundamental, basic affect,” it is not, for
psychoanalysts, a throwback reflex, a resurgence of animal instinct, or a primeval biological
survival reflex—something that the term phobia (phobos) might tend to suggest. Because he is
ensnarled in language, man turns biological needs into desires. For Freud, anxiety corresponds to a
physical tension which cannot be articulated in a psychic context. Freud (1916) posited a division
between fear and anxiety—something which shows the influence of his clinical work during World
War I. He distinguishes three categories according to the “relation to danger.” First there was
anxiety—Angst—which refers to a state and “disregards the object.” The danger can be unknown
and bring about a condition of expectation and preparation. Next comes fear (Furcht), which
requires a definite object and which directs attention to this object. Last, there is dread (Schreck).
Dread is the effect of an unprepared-for danger—there is no alert given by anxiety—and is thus
characterized by surprise. The human being protects himself or herself from dread by anxiety.
Traumatic neuroses—war neuroses—were the best examples of dread. The interaction of anxiety
and fear is nowhere more explicit than in the case of phobia.
In the 1920s, Freud (1928) posited a second theory concerning anxiety. In this new theory, Freud
reversed his initial proposal: It is not repression which causes anxiety but “anxiety which produced
repression” (p. 109). Because anxiety first arises in the face of an extreme and threatening danger.
Freud named this anxiety Realangst—which we might want to call realistic anxiety or, still better,
“anxiety in the face of the real.” This is something that the little boy in love with his mother
experiences. Although such love appears as an internal danger, it refers back to an external one—the
imaginary fear of castration. It is not so much that castration might actually occur. Freud points out
that this danger is threatening from the outside and the child really believes that it is there (p. 109).
The child’s belief is the determining factor. Freud maintained that girls experienced the anxiety in
the face of the possible loss of love, obviously an extension of the anxiety of the baby when it
experiences the mother’s absence (p. 143). It refers back to a primal anxiety, that of birth, which
already signifies a separation from the mother. Anxiety is a signal in the ego, a danger signal when
an overpowering drive emerges. Anxiety is a signal—it warns the subject of a danger of an
enigmatic desire which involves being lost and capable of being obliterated—his or her being as
capable of becoming an object (without the subject knowing which kind of object) of the Other’s
desire. Here is where repression occurs.
One of the first remedies for anxiety is phobia. In the place of anxiety, the subject substitutes a fear,
with the resulting emergence of a phobia. Unlike in the case of anxiety, the fear represents the
advantage of being focused on an object. It is in a way an outpost of anxiety. Paradoxically, phobia
has a structuring function and introduces order—however bizarre—into the world. There are thus
places where the subject can go without being afraid, other places where he or she cannot go. This
prompted Lacan (1956-1957) to say: “The meaning of phobia is that it provides a structure for the
child’s world. It brings to the fore the function of the outside and the inside. Until then, the child is
for all purposes inside the mother,” whence the child has just been expelled (p. 246). The
confrontation with the enigma of the mother’s desire—the enigma of the Other’s desire—gives rise
to anxiety. Anxiety occurs when the subject encounters this lack in the Other which generates the
Other’s desire, and the subject does not know what object he or she is for the Other and the Other’s
desire. The fear of the phobic object—a substitute for anxiety—thus protects the subject from this
desire. The phobic object is a signifier, an all-purpose signifier. It is the avenging father, or the
devouring mother. Such signifiers often have a generic value beyond any present reality. Thus, the
fear of the wolf is still prevalent, although there are practically no longer any wolves. However, this
fear is a part of our culture and our myths. The child is helpless due to his or her complete
dependence on the Other’s desire—a desire which will always appear to him as enigmatic. “What
does the Other want? What does the Other want from me?” This question will emerge all
throughout life and colors everyone’s love life—lends excitement—to the episodes. “What am I for
the Other? What does he/she love in me—if indeed he/she loves me?” This occurs every time the
Other appears as truly the Other, but, most of the time, this is covered by the narcissistic side of the
relation to the Other. Anxiety is thus a sort of signal marking the emergence of the Other for the
subject in a real dimension and underscores the subject’s absolute underlying dependence on the
Other. When the phobic solution is not possible, a paranoid position can come: The threat of the
jouissance of the Other becomes a persecution, the Other is my persecutor, and delusion or delirium
can give a meaning to this meaningless danger.
For Freud, all anxiety was basically the anxiety of separation. In actual fact, separation does not
engender anxiety as much as what could happen if separation never took place. Anxiety emerges at
the idea of a link that denies separation. Anxiety is thus a mark of this separation, a trace left by the
symbolization of this separation. The incarnation of an object (a teddy bear or any special object
that Winnicott called “transitional” is a trace, a leftover that bears witness to the fact that separation
cannot be completely symbolized—that something is, indeed, “left over”).
Finally, it is the mother’s supposedly all-powerful position, and the imagined complete dependence
on her whims, that creates a dangerous situation for the subject.
Dread seizes you most readily when you are coming out of a profound meditative or contemplative
state, or after listening to music in rapt attention, or in deep sleep. More powerfully and readily than
anything else, a visual perception will create a feeling of dread. But especially if it is a woman’s
near presence which you perceive (this is probably true for men and women alike). Thus, the
mother’s apparition, waking someone from his profound meditative state, would be, in eidetic terms,
the ideal dread. (Benjamin, 1920-1922)
The meditative state that Benjamin refers to is—he is very clear about this—neither that of religious
meditation, nor a self-absorbed state. It is an imperfect state of meditation which “disincarnates the
flesh” and disassociates it from the foreign body—hence the power of the visual. Benjamin later
adds, “Dread is a phenomenon which can only be experienced between two people” and thus
involves the dimension of the double. Autoscopy, hallucination of the double was an important
theme of nineteenth-century literature, and the double was, most of the time, a persecutor—Le
Horla of de Maupassant, William Wilson of Edgar Allan Poe, The Double of Dostoyevsky…
So what are we afraid of? Lacan would say—We are afraid of our body. The body is our world since
“man constitutes his world from his body.” This fear of the self is called anxiety. The other registers
of fear are organized around it and come from it. What is the body? In French, at least, we don’t say
“I am” but rather “I have a body.” The body is a possession that also possesses us. It is something
that gives us jouissance—one can understand jouissance in a legal sense. Jouissance that is a bodily
jouissance functions, beyond pleasure, as a barrier. Jouissance is something that can be experienced,
for example, in pain. In most cases, we use protective ploys to save us, to shelter us from
experiencing this dimension of our body.
The body is a possession which “is introduced into the economy of our jouissance through the
image of the body.” The mirror stage (stade du miroir) is a paradigm. The child recognized himself
or herself in an image which gives him a unity even before his neuropsychological maturity allows
him to do so. For the child to assume this image, for the child to identify himself or herself with it, a
mediator is needed—the mother. There is need for the Other who carries the child and who names
the shape that the child encounters. In the mother’s gaze and in her words, the child grasps the fact
that he or she represents something for her desire without knowing exactly what this is. It is the
symbolic mediation of the Other which confers on me the image of my body. My ego is constituted
from this point on as an “alter ego.” Thus it is the body of language which makes up the body in the
mirror by conferring the latter on the subject. Language—that is, knowledge—affects the body,
parcels its jouissance, cuts it up to produce the losses of these objects—loss of oral jouissance
during the process of weaning, the loss of anal jouissance during toilet training, and so on, but also
scopic and vocal losses—so many objects that the child does not find in his or her reflection. The
zones thus cut up by the loss of these objects are zones where exchanges with the Other take place
during the period of maternal care—so many commemorative areas of a primal jouissance lost
This image is thus full of holes—the subject does not recover his or her objects; they are lacking:
not the breast but the hole represented by the mouth; not the gaze since, in front of the mirror, I see
myself not seeing. These missing parts in the image are what hold the image together, although the
image, once unified, hides them.
In respect to fears linked to dangers threatening the body directly, anxiety is the moment when we
feel that our very body might well be just one of the objects designated for the jouissance of the
Other, one of the things thrown away. Anxiety is thus a fear of fear, fear of something which
escapes understanding and knowledge—fear of the enigmatic jouissance for the subject.
Anxiety is not without an object, but the object involved is ultimately a lost object. Anxiety appears
to be without an object because what brings on anxiety is imminent presence rather than presence
itself. Anxiety is a sort of introduction to the function of the lack, since it is linked with the moment
of separation, which is part of the constitution of the object. Anxiety, then, is a lack of a lack which
constitutes, for the subject, the basis of desire. Seen from this angle, phobia shows how fear deals
with anxiety. Phobic patients show signs of resurgent anxiety when their phobia disappears. The
same occurs, in the case of obsessional neurosis, when the subject is prevented from performing his,
or her, rituals. This relation to the Other’s desire finds its normative outcome in the Oedipus
complex, that is, in the place the father takes as someone who deals with the mother’s desire. It is
here that we see that guilt is linked with anxiety, something which Kierkegaard (1844) brought out
magnificently in another context—and which Jean Delumeau (1983) also brings to the fore in his
historical research on sin and fear. Phobia points to both a realization and a deficiency, a kind of
malfunction of the Oedipal process, since phobia both reveals and remedies a failure of separation.
However, although the Oedipus complex was suitable for a certain epoch, it is no longer certain that
it will fit the bill in the future.
The “decline of the father”—the weakening of the father’s position—has become a bit of a cliché.
However, we should keep in mind that this process of the father’s decline is not a recent
phenomenon. The advent of Christianity is one of the most decisive moments, which the dispute
about the filoque bears witness to. After this setback, the patriarchal order was reinforced once
again in the West by the Renaissance. Nevertheless, it is certain that our epoch shows signs of the
weakening of the imaginary dimension of the father—something which is no doubt linked to the
promotion of extrafamilial ideals. There is a structural element in the fact that no father is really
able to provide a complete relay for the symbolic dimension of his function. The inevitable phobias
which are part and parcel of the child’s development attest to this fact. Whether it be the fear of the
dark, or of the big bad wolf, phobias appear at a given age—at the age of around three to five—and
Hans’s phobia is an example of this, since at eight or nine years of age the child realizes that he or
she can lose the parents, or be lost by them, since they are mere mortals. This is why we can say—
in the face of such incompleteness—that “we are really only afraid of what we do not understand”
(de Maupassant, 1884). Lacan (1974) says basically the same thing—when he was asked by a
journalist about “what made people to go into psychoanalysis,” he answered: “Fear. When things
happen—even things they want—but which they don’t understand, people are scared. They suffer
when they don’t understand and little by little they begin to panic. It’s called neurosis.”
Nostalgia for the father is a modern theme, and our epoch has seen certain horrible reminders of
this. However, even if we are forced to observe that something is not working as it used to,
psychoanalysis remains a reasonable wager, since it is based on clinical experience—on something
else other than the restoration, or the rescue, of the patriarchal father. History—thanks to the
magnificent work of Jean Delumeau—provides us with some precedents. Jean Delumeau (1983)
shows how the accumulation of wars and unrest which the West was exposed to from the fourteenth
to the seventeenth centuries shook, psychologically speaking, Western civilization to its
foundations, “to which the language of the time attests systematically.” “A ‘country of fear’ was
formed, inside of which Western civilization felt ‘uneasy’ and which was peopled with ‘morbid
fantasies.’” Anxiety and despair threatened to break up the social underpinnings of the West. Jean
Delumeau (1983) writes,
The leaders of the Church pointed their finger at the problem and unmasked the enemies of civilization and made an
inventory of the woes that they had caused and thus named the real culprits: Turks, Jews, heretics, women (witches, of
course)…. A global death-threat was thus segmented into so many fears, formidable fears, but which were named and
explained—since the message, clear and well thought-out, came from the Fathers of the Church. This message pointed
out the perils and the enemies against which the war had to be waged—a hard war but one that could be won with the
grace of God. … The discourse of the Church—if we reduce it to its essence—was the following: wolves, the sea and
the stars, plagues, famine and war were less to be feared than the devil and sin—the death of the body was to be feared
less than that of the soul. Unmasking Satan and his allies and fighting sin was also a way to rid the earth of the woes
that they had caused.
Jean Delumeau also notes that this discourse also brought about a certain fear of the self, since
“anyone, if he drops his guard, can be become the Devil’s ally.
What is described here is a remarkable treatment of fear by fear. These incomprehensible attacks
bring us back to the very origins of fear. By explaining them, naming them, and placing them in the
heart of a combat in which each person has a role to play, this discourse—even if it does not change
the nature of the attacks—modifies the meaning and value of fear itself. It is easy, moreover, to see
the paranoiac dimension inherent in such a discourse: The enemy is coming from the outside, the
outside persecutor, which ensures the group’s unity, is also kept from ever being able to enter the
group. The Devil is, of course, God’s neighbor, just as foreigners look like us—they are the
neighbors who experience the jouissance (sin) which we have had to renounce. Because we
renounce to a first jouissance, we will during all our lives look for it. This is the origin of ancient
and modern—in a different way—segregation: The other has the jouissance I cannot reach. We can
observe that this construct begins with a physical and social discontent—exactly what happens
before the outset of paranoid psychosis. Lasègue, who in 1852 posited one of the first descriptions
of the “délire de persecutions” stressed the fact that the onset of such a condition was characterized
by more or less profound emotions and perceptions, and bodily discomfort.
Power always used fear to get stronger. What Delumeau (1983) describes was also a way for the
Church to find back the temporal power lost after the separation between potestas and auctoritas –
power for the Prince, authority for the Church. Nowadays the power has become a technique. A
good example is the apparition of the police in the modernity. The modern police, for Benjamin
(1921), are the proof of a historic change of the relationship between power and individuals.
“Society and men as social beings, individuals invested with all their social relationships, such is
now the real object of the police.” For Foucault (1982), the emergence of the police coincides with
the moment when “the government starts taking care of individuals depending on their legal status,
of course, but as human beings who work and do business.” But this is also the age that gives a new
status to life founded on science. Foucault noticed this change in the appearance of the first largescale hygiene programs. Thus, the State began to watch over citizens as a population—“its policy is,
by necessity, a biopolicy.” For writers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the word
“police” did not necessarily suggest an institution, but rather a technique of governance typical of a
State. Benjamin had already remarked upon the police as an institution of the modern State. Police
was the name of a technique of governance. We can see this evolution if we remember what
Machiavelli said about the tremendous power of slander. Today we call it economic intelligence and
other ways of persuasion through the modern techniques of communication.
At the beginning, there was the fear of God, as the main incarnation of the Other. Lacan (1955-
Fear of God is not a signifier you find everywhere. Someone had to invent it and propose it to us as
a remedy for a world beset with a multitude of terrors—a remedy which has us fear a being who, all
things considered, can only get at us through woes which are to be found everywhere in our lives.
Replacing innumerable fears with the fear of a single being whose only way of revealing his power
is to have us fear what is behind our innumerable fears—that is quite a feat! (p. 302)
Civilizations have always proposed treating fear with fear. A diffuse, imaginary fear that can take us
by surprise is substituted by a kind of generalized phobia, an oriented, focused fear which offers a
remedy for the paralyzing solitude of anxiety by collectivizing the latter. Such a remedy thus
introduces a supplementary dimension with God as the figure of the Ideal Father and brings about a
symbolization of what is, for each of us, the Real-hidden behind all these innumerable woes: death,
incomprehensible death—something we know nothing of since death refers directly to the abyss
that is found at the very heart of knowledge. We can say that all children are little metaphysicians
preoccupied by the question of death. What they meet up with in the Other is this point of
nonknowledge where belief has taken up residence. Here we will be careful not to inscribe a
certitude that would act as a stopgap and thus put an end to the little metaphysician’s curiosity as he
or she tries to cope with the abyss in the Other.
This ideal dimension of a paternal figure is particularly obvious in the way groups are formed.
Anyone who has attended a preschool class—three years of age—is struck by the problems the
teacher has trying to put the children into groups. A few years later teachers have no more trouble
doing this. The children form groups under their guidance. Forming groups under the guidance of a
tutor has always been one of the most frequent ways that fear is dealt with. The father, or a paternal
figure, protects against fear. The price of the formation of a group is regression, which maintains the
subject in a position that Freud qualified as infantile but which allows for the creation of a body and
constitutes an efficacious remedy against neurosis, at the same time allowing for the bad object to
be expelled and placed on the outside. This is what religion once did (Do not fear!) in the days
when religion was at the heart of our civilization. The relative decline of the religious discourse and
its modified position in our world can be linked with the emergence of psychoanalysis as symptom
revealing our civilization’s discontent.
What fixes my image in the mirror is thus the missing objects—fragments, facets of the primal loss
that, untiringly, the subject will seek to find again. Right now, our modern world is producing
objects designed to sate our needs but which always leave us unsatisfied. Every time we find
something again we come up against the impossible because it is never “quite that!” and the subject
goes out on yet another unending quest. Hannah Arendt (1958) pointed out the link between this
ceaseless production and death, the link with destruction which she observed even in the world of
fashion, since fashionable articles are produced with the aim of being destroyed once they become
unfashionable. Science provides us with countless gadgets designed to trap our desire. They fill up
what is missing: television, iPods, cellphones, and the like, but probably don’t give us any more
jouissance than before. This jouissance—which in the past was postponed until we entered the
pearly gates of heaven—is promised to us and deemed possible. However, we are always separated
from this jouissance, always watching it as a spectator closer and closer to the scene, since it is
always someone else (just like me) who, after winning some arbitrary contest, is seen just behind
the screen in some reality T.V. show. Although all this is the result of modern consumerism, we can
also note that it ends up producing just as much anxiety in front of the Real as does modern
science—all this in the face of the collapse of the great traditional systems and religions that
provided us with meaning. It is noteworthy that the theme of anxiety that appeared in Kierkegaard’s
philosophical writings in the nineteenth century has nourished contemporary thought—indicative of
the individual’s plight in a meaningless modern world. Is it wrong to see in the contemporary
concern for heightened security the promotion of a new fear designed to be a remedy against this
modern anxiety? Are we going to cut up the object into more and more pieces, with our bodies
decked out in high-tech equipment, remodeled, caught up more and more in the circulation of
goods? The Other—and the Other’s body—is presented to us today regimented by the laws of
consumerism. Psychotic patients—whose symptoms reveal the real truth of the times—force us to
recognize what we would prefer to ignore. Thus a young woman recently told me about an amorous
encounter that took place during her stay in a clinic. She told me of her wonderful affair with a man
who “suited her perfectly”: “We understand each other … intellectually, emotionally, and”—I
expected her to say “sexually”—but she ended her list with “financially.”
A certain dimension of the Other, which once remedied anxiety by channeling it as a fear that the
Other could protect against, has now been completely changed. The organization of auratic power
once allowed the prince to rule in the name of a divine principle that distinguished him from the
crowd. The prince possessed power, but it came from elsewhere, and this gave him his unique
position (Benjamin, 1935-1939). Scientific progress cast disrepute on such a system—any living
organism is as good as another—but the scientific organism is the machine of modern medicine. We
still know nothing regarding life itself, which has taken on a sacred character in which Benjamin
(1921) saw “the ultimate wrong turn of a weakened Western tradition seeking in cosmological
mysteries the sacred which it has lost.” This collapse of tutelary figures can be correlated with the
rise of fear—the price that the emancipated modern individual has to pay in a world that is
explained to him or her but that remains meaningless and more and more not understandable.
In her study on totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt (1951) highlighted the function of terror in modern
totalitarian regimes, the likes of which had never been seen before. She reminds us of the scientific
dimension that founded ideologies based on Darwin and Marx. The positivistic approach to law,
founded on the unreconcilable gap between legality and justice, was replaced by the laws of Nature
or History based on a scientific discourse, an ideology that does not belong to science as such but is
derived from it. Law became scientific law—so many laws that the totalitarian regime had not only
to obey but also fulfill, since the regime thus became the will of the Other—whether that Other be
Nature or History. Thus, the mere observation that a given race was “unfit to survive” was not
enough—the same race had to be exterminated in the name of a logical process characterized by
modern terror. Modern terror is thus the consequence of this new version of the law which is at one
with the progress of Nature or History. The regime of terror finalizes the isolation of each person—
“loneliness is at the core of modern terror.”
We live in a world in which our jouissance was once located and determined by the Other (Lacan,
1973). Today in the hope of recovering a little of this lost jouissance all that is left to us is to situate
ourselves in our relation to the object—a fragment of jouissance of which we have been deprived
and which we try to recover by destroying it—something that the modern discourse of victimhood
attests to. The dictators of our bloody twentieth century sought their legitimacy in the very same
argument—they were victims of those who had jouissance: the Jews, the bourgeois, and so on
(Vanier, 2003). Because, although science is replacing religion—Benjamin positioned capitalism as
a nonexpiational religion since it created a feeling of guilt—although science provides, for example,
commandments aimed at preserving life (thou shalt not smoke, thou shalt not drink, etc.) and thus
generates a kind of generalized hypochondria, we have to admit that the subject is still very anxietyridden and lacks an ethics of desire, a meaning to his or her life, and is still in search of something
which will regulate his or her jouissance. How should we live? What criteria should we use when
making certain decisions?
But science, just as the new religions, relays very imperfectly the necessities of the ancient order.
Thus, the return of religion was announced by Lacan as early as 1974. And thus are the tensions
surrounding the question of identity. Should we, however, fall victim to a fascination with the good
old times, and become nostalgic for the father of whom Novalis so eloquently spoke? A certain
disillusionment with modernity should not become an alibi for the revival of times gone by, often
idealized and illusory. Psychoanalysis is the daughter of modernity. It is neither religion nor science.
Even though it owes its birth to the progress of scientific discourse, it nevertheless concerns itself
with what science has left out and consequently contains an ethical issue. The analytical process
allows the subject to know something about his or her jouissance; it allows the subject to surround
the Real—and to counter it—to come to terms with that something that always escapes the subject,
something that nevertheless is part of his or her structure—even though it comes back to the subject
as foreign. The analytical process can allow the subject to refrain from interpreting it wrongly as a
spoliation of jouissance which captivates him or her and which he or she seeks to wrest from the
Other—on whose account he or she unknowingly rejected it.
Psychoanalysis does not promise an end to anxiety, just a reduction of it, and to be a little less in the
paranoia of the group, because less sensitive to the group jouissance: Paranoia solution is also a
seduction. What it can do is one by one—without offering a global solution—but wasn’t it
Kierkegaard who said, “At any given moment, the individual is himself and the whole human race”
Psychoanalysis can allow a person to live with his or her anxiety, which is finally the mark of our
human condition, our mortality, and our liberty. With Freud, we can say that he aim of
psychoanalysis is to succeed where the paranoid fails.
(Translated from the French by John Monahan)
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