Everything is Permitted, Restrictions Still Apply: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Social Dislocation, Narcissism, and Post Truth, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Everything is Permitted, Restrictions Still Apply

A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Social Dislocation, Narcissism, and Post Truth, 1st Edition

By Ian Thurston

Routledge

192 pages

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pub: 2018-06-13
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Description

This book applies historicised psychoanalytic thinking in a non-reductive way to better understand the dominant emotional trends in contemporary cultural and socio-political life, with a specific focus on the relationship between social dislocation, narcissism, and "post truth".

Rapid social dislocation and change are ubiquitous in late capitalist societies, though these processes may be felt unequally. Following the work of the late Christopher Lasch, Everything is Permitted, Restrictions Still Apply suggests there are powerful narcissistic trends in contemporary life mitigating against the capacity to acknowledge and face these changes; in other words, against the capacity to face reality and to mourn. There is a tendency to assert the primacy of a compelling emotional narrative over the claims of evidence and expertise, and to relate to others, past and present, as alternately idealised and/or denigrated aspects of the self. These trends permeate across socio-cultural divides and the political spectrum – underpinning phenomena as apparently divergent as free-market fundamentalism, certain forms of anti-capitalism, and contemporary identity and victim politics of both nominal right and left: movements that have more emotional and intellectual underpinnings in common than their proponents may care to admit. The contrast between liberal progressiveness and post-truth populism ignores the inter-relationship of these phenomena and begs the question of those powerful subjectivist and relativistic trends amongst sections of radical and "progressive" opinion that have long sought to problematise the very notion of truth. This book links these phenomena to contemporary social defences against facing limitation, loss, and internal conflict. More specifically it argues that in a pseudo-therapeutic culture preoccupied with narratives of victimhood, the losses associated with "traditional" manufacturing and its attendant associational cultures have neither been acknowledged nor mourned.

Everything is Permitted, Restrictions Still Apply will appeal to all readers interested in history, politics, and socio-cultural analysis, and in new ways of thinking about contemporary issues. It will be of particular interest to researchers applying a psycho-social perspective on contemporary conflict and to a psychoanalytically informed readership.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Introduction

CHAPTER ONE

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Subjectivity

CHAPTER TWO

Narcissism and Loss

CHAPTER THREE

Embodied Experience

CHAPTER FOUR

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Social Dislocation and Group Regression

CHAPTER FIVE

Destructive Narcissism in History – Norman Cohn’s Study of Millennialism

CHAPTER SIX

Imagined Communities – a Historicised Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Rise of Nationalism

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Downfall of Destructive Narcissism

CHAPTER EIGHT

Historical and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Fascism

CHAPTER NINE

From the Post-war Settlement to the End of History

CHAPTER TEN

Lost Worlds – the Unmourned Past as a Psychic Retreat

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Problems with the Defence

CHAPTER TWELVE

Subjectivism, Postmodernism, and Identity Politics

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

A Culture of Narcissism?

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Marketisation and Subjectivism in Mental Health Care – the Importance of the Paternal function

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

From Dyadic to Triadic – the Post-modern Turn in Psychotherapy

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Not in Our Name!

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Everything is Permitted, Restrictions Still Apply

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Post-Crash, Post-Truth

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Conclusion – a Plea for a Measure of Universalism

About the Author

Ian Thurston is a registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist, currently working as a Principal Adult Psychotherapist at the Department of Psychotherapy, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. He has worked extensively in public sector mental health care, initially as a psychiatric nurse, and later as clinical manager of an Acute Day Hospital in East London.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis