Review of the book «Authority and Authoritarianism. A reading from psychoanalysis» by Miquel Bassols

Autoritat i autoritarisme. Una lectura des de la psicoanàlisi
Miquel Bassols i Puig
València: Publicacions de la Universitat de València, 2020

[Automatic translation from Catalan]:
The first virtue of this book is that it is not only a strict treatise on theory, but the author makes a practical application of this theory and places it in the specific historical circumstances in which he and his society are immersed at the time he writes and publishes this book. It is an exercise of spreading and at the same time of introspection, a practical analysis of the theory of power and law, of the recognition or non-recognition of the Another as a subject.

This effort by the author not to stay in the theoretical territory and «to live up to the subjectivity of his time» as he himself says in the text, does not make it a less professional and more personal book thanks to the author’s ability to expose «an ethical position in the face of unrest in civilization» that his community is expressing / suffering, without this making him fall into the trap of writing a political libretto.
The case about what the author develops his theory is not a local case, firstly because it is widely known throughout the world, and secondly because it occurs simultaneously in the time and in the forms with what happens elsewhere on the planet, whether it is the authoritarian and discriminating Turkey, the Chinese dictatorship with the crushing of the democratic forces in Hong Kong, or the disappearances and tortures that reappeared during the 2019 Chile of Sebastián Piñeira. Binding it to a specific case does not make it a local case but brings the full force of truth about theoretical concepts.

The author, in good time, reminds us that Lacan […]

Anna Miñarro
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