Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (Dec 2004) Vol. 9 Issue 3, p. 298-314.
This paper explores the implications of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory for radical politics today. Focusing on anarchism as a revolutionary alternative to Marxism, the paper develops Lacan’s argument about the paradoxical relationship between freedom, transgression and authority, as well as his theory of the four discourses, in order to rethink the antiauthoritarian project in non-utopian and non-essentialist terms. It concludes by calling for a new form of radical politics that seeks to avoid the discourse of the Master through an ethics of contingency, and discusses the contemporary anti-globalization movement as an example.