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Title: Fascist di-visions of enjoyment and the perverse remainder : a psychoanalytic study
Author: Vadolas, Antonios
ISNI:       0000 0001 3541 6549
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2006
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Under the shade of escalating violence and fundamentalism, our epoch's diffused aura of liberalism supposedly tolerates difference, by exorcising the evil phantasms of totalitarianism, in favour of a liberal and humane post-modem order. Consequently, behind contemporary versions of evil, one demonises modem 'fascists', 'totalitarian threats', and 'Hitlers'. As if not obscure enough, fascist evil has been equivocally linked with perversion. Considering this link a tenebrous enigma, my thesis suggests that psychoanalysis can successfully elucidate its problematic and feeble basis, by reappraising previous narratives from a number of different discourses that inscribe the liaison between fascism and perversion in their representational stage. In a first approach, the present study dissects texts as heterogeneous, as film, social theory, political philosophy, and psychoanalysis. This is to show that, despite the divergent speculative angle that each discourse espouses, perversion is a common exegetic thread, intertextually sewing their narratives. The objective of my criticism that goes through psychoanalysis, without, however, exempting it from this criticism, is to reveal that both fascism and perversion implicate the non-symbolisable kernel in politics, which becomes the source of their mystification. My thesis argues that the fascist does not take the same discursive position, as the pervert does, regarding this symbolic gap. The first is interested in domination, drawn from the superiority of his ideology's master signifier, whereas the latter is interested in excavating the emptiness of any master signifier and in constantly provoking prefabricated knowledge, similarly to the hysteric. Apart from the level of discourse, on the ethical level, I disengage the view that sees Sade and the Nazi officer, as emblematic figures of a Kantian ethical gesture. Considering the imaginary hypostasis of their ethical performance, I argue that personal interests, fantasies and desires, determine the austerity of their ethical duty. Yet, the fantasies of Sade and Nazism are incongruent, insomuch as they are organised by antithetical ideals. Finally, I develop a new rhetoric, de-pathologised and de-ideologised, regarding the structure of the so-called pervert, introducing new vocabularies and directions for psychoanalytic research that further distance the pervert, or whom I call the extra-ordinary subject, from fascist politics and, instead, expose his diachronic "fascist" isolation from the social edifice. This reveals the fruitful alternatives that can stem from a 'return to Freud cum Lacan, which supports a flexible on-going reformulation of psychoanalytic knowledge.
Supervisor: Nobus, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Violence ; Fundamentalism ; Liberalism ; Totalitarianism ; Post-modem order