Leader as subject-supposed-to-know

In psychoanalysis, the analyst takes the position of a ‘subject-supposed-to-know’. He or she occupies a place that is the analytic situation and it is a position of power but a very particular kind of power, because the patient or analysand relates to the analyst as a ‘subject-supposed-to-know’ and that is very different to a subject-who-knows. The power of the analytic work is that the analyst knows a lot but at the same time they take a position of not knowing and the position is likened to the game of bridge where one of the four players is a dummy. The dummy lays out the cards and provokes the direction of play.

The analyst has a hunch about what could be the direction of the analysis and will make provocations in the direction but it’s really important that the the analysand relates to the analyst as a ‘subject-supposed-to-know’ and not a ‘subject-who-knows’.

Although it would be ridiculous to make direct comparisons between politics and psychoanalysis is there not a problem when we start to relate to a politician as a subject-who-knows… after all, politicians are human bearings and no human being can fully predict or know the future –

But some politicians who know a lot and have a certain feeling, have a hunch, can make a speculation or present a hypothesis – someone who can be related to as a “subject-supposed-to-know’.



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