At the outset of World War I - the 'Great War' - Freud supported the Austro-Hungarian Empire for which his sons fought. But the cruel truths of that bloody conflict, wrought on the psyches as much as the bodies of the soldiers returning from the battlefield, caused him to rethink his stance and subsequently affected his theory. Psychoanalysis, a healing science, could tell us much about both the drive for war and the ways to undo the trauma that war inherently breeds, but its principles could just as easily serve the enemy's desires to inculcate its own brand of 'truth.' Even a century later, psychoanalysis can still be used as much for the justifications of warfare and propaganda as it is for the defiance of and resistance to those same things. But it is in the investigation of the motives and methods behind these uses that psychoanalysis proves its greatest strength. To wit, this edited collection presents published and unpublished material by analysts, writers, and activists who have worked at the front lines of psychic life and war from various stances.
Set at a point of tension and contradiction, they illustrate the paradoxical relation of psychoanalysis as both a site of resistance and healing and a necessary aspect of warmaking, propaganda, and militarism. In doing so, we venture from the home front - from the trauma of returning veterans to the APA's own complicity in CIA 'black sites' - across international borders - from the treatment of women in Latin American dictatorships to the resistance to occupation in Palestine, from mind control to an ethics of responsibility. Throughout, a psychoanalytic sensibility deconstructs the very opposition that it inhabits, and seeks to reestablish psychoanalysis as the healing discipline it was conceived to be.
Botticelli, Harris, Introduction. Part I: Psychoanalysis and Antiwar Work: Healing. McGoldrick, Where is the "Post" in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? First Impressions Working with Iraq and Afghanistan Soldiers. Gaudilliere, Men Learn from History that Men Learn Nothing from History. Boulanger, The Psychoanalytic Politics of Catastrophe. Thomas, Whose Truth? Inevitable Tensions in Testimony and the Search for Repair. Part II: The Paradox: Psychology's Militarism. Soldz, Psychologists Defy Torture: The Challenge and the Path Ahead. Reisner, From Resistance to Resistance: A Narrative of Psychoanalytic Activism. Altman, Torture and the American Psychological Association: A One-person Play. Summers, Violence and American Foreign Policy: A Psychoanalytic Approach. Part III: War and Militarism Deconstructed. Zaretsky, Psychoanalysis, Vulnerability, and War. Davoine, Casus Belli. Grand, Combat Speaks: Grief and Tragic Memory. Moss, War Stories. Stein, Notes on Mind Control: The Malevolent Use of Emotion as a Dark Mirror of the Therapeutic Process. Hollander, The Gendering of Human Rights: Women and the Latin American Terrorist State. Part IV: Resistance. Rozmarin, Living in the Plural. Botticelli, The Politics of Identification: Resistance to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Harris, Dread is Just Memory in the Future Tense. Layton, Resistance to Resistance.