Why was the body so central in capital’s politics? One is tempted to answer that this obsession with the body reflects the fear that the proletariat inspired in the ruling class. It was the fear felt by the bourgeois or the nobleman alike who, wherever they went, in the streets or their travels, were besieged by a threatening crowd, begging them or preparing to rob them. It was also the fear felt by those presiding over the life of the state whose consolidation was continuously undermined (but also determined) by threat of riots and social disorders. Yet, there was more. We must not forget, in fact, that the beggarly and riotous proletariat, who forced the rich to travel in a carriage to escape its assaults or go to bed with two pistols under the pillow, was the same who increasingly appeared as the source of all wealth. It was the same of whom the mercantilists, the first economists of capitalist society, never tired of repeating (though not without second thoughts) that ‘the more the better,’ often deploring that so many bodies were wasted on the gallows.
We are not just criticizing psychoanalysis for having selected Oedipal statements exclusively. For such statements are to a certain extent part of a machinic assemblage, for which they could serve as correctional indexes, as in a calculation of errors. We are criticizing psychoanalysis for having used Oedipal enunciation to make patients believe they would produce individual, personal statements, and would finally speak in their own name. The trap was set from the start: never will the Wolf-Man speak. Talk as he might about wolves, howl as he might like a wolf, Freud does not even listen; he glances at his dog and answers, “It’s daddy.”
I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn’t find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force—a wild pain and decay—also accompanies everything.