Waiting for other people

A psychoanalytic interpretation of the time for action

Jordan Osserman, Aimée Lê

DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15959.1

Typical responses to a confrontation with failures in authority, or what Lacanians term ‘the lack in the Other’, involve attempts to shore it up. A patient undergoing psychoanalysis eventually faces the impossibility of doing this successfully; the Other will always be lacking. This creates a space through which she can reimagine how she might intervene in her suffering. Similarly, when coronavirus forces us to confront the brute fact of the lack in the Other at the socio-political level, we have the opportunity to discover a space for acting rather than continuing symptomatic behaviour that increasingly fails to work.

10 Jun 2020