In last week’s PMQ Jeremy referred to Tam Dalyall’s autobiography “The importance of being awkward”. Some people might want to title their own autobiography “The importance of being hysteric”.

In some ways it seems that the political stage has become bifurcated and disdainfully renamed from opposing sides the “Populists” and the “Liberalists” and the ideology in the US is so divided that there are even dating websites starting up for Populist’s like to help an ideologically divided people find love amongst like minded lonely souls.

In light of the new wave of UK populist-fisted rhetoric – “The Liberal hysterics need to stop whinging”, “the career politicians are just hypocrites”, “the courts are the enemies of the people and that Trump is not a liar it’s just his way of doing business”, and so on and so on …

… I have been mind rambling in an undoubtably excessive line of thought of what it might mean to be labelled a Liberal Hysteric because within the suffocation of a bullying populist world where Liberal has become a dirty word and hysteria is still used to insult, Liberal hysteria would not appear at first to have strong legs to march with …

It would seem that in the new order Liberal signifies anything that doesn’t marry up to the dogma of the Populist movement and “hysteric” is still used abusively, however in psychoanalysis the structure of the hysteric (both male and female) is the MOST interesting and creates the greatest movement in the form of questioning and pushing through the deadlocks of repressed trauma.

By contrast the obsessive tends to loop and paper-over material as a way of avoiding confrontation of past trauma. In analysis the obsessive looper is encouraged to move to a more hysteric position, to become “hystericised”, in an attempt to break the looping and become more questioning of underlying structures.

So maybe the newly labelled and categorised “Liberal Hysteric” is not such a bad thing for many people and something to be marched for …

I guess the problem is whether the position of the “Liberal Hysteric” really is in the position within the hysteric social discourse? There is always the danger that one could just be maintaining a Liberalistic obsessive looping position endlessly avoiding the past trauma and papering over the true problems, procrastinating, maintaining a position of deadly mortification typical of the obsessional neurotic structure?

Nevertheless, now the signifier “Liberal Hysteric” has been allocated a position in the symbolic order, the Liberal Hysteric has been enunciated and has the potential to assume its new position within the fertile ground of the “social discourse of the hysteric” and examples of this position might have already emerged in the form of the marches the day after the US inauguration all over the country where “millions of people took to the streets of their own free will, packed tight, lots of pink hats, lots of signage, earnest, vulgar, witty, a few brilliant (“Take your broken heart and make it art”)” and all peaceful but purposeful and determined >>>> perhaps the first neonate screams of the Liberal Hysteric.

“A certificate tells me that I was born. I repudiate this certificate: I am not a poet, but a poem. A poem that is being written, even if it looks like a subject.”

–Jacques Lacan (1981)


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