Movement was associated with progress: science and technology, production, consumption. Travel and tourism were booming. The distances and the times were shortened in the speed of the communications that globalized information, tendencies, ideology. Success was measured in the ability to summon crowds that, one next to the other, shared a recital, a sporting event, a food court. With the same speed, a virus out of control at one point in the world became a pandemic. And also with speed the panic and the proposed solution were transmitted: he isolation. From the movement to detention, society acquired another profile. We are transiting the stopped society.
Our culture was organized around an ideal of consumption and an offer of enjoyments that proposed to meet all needs. Existential anguish was not in fashion. “Do not stay with the desire for anything” said an ad summarizing the ideology of the time and the illusion was generated that all wishes would be possible. But behind the brilliance of the promises grew the ever-growing rumor of the marginalization and neglect of the planet. With the current response to the danger of contagion, we are witnessing the appearance of restrictions opposed to the saturation of the waste.or. The conquest of time and space has been followed by the restriction of space that therefore modifies the perception of time, the emptiness is opposed to the full, the distancing to the closeness, the immobility to the movement. As always, history confronts us with the dialectic of oppositions. And the rumor of the vulnerable continued to grow.
From psychoanalysis Lacan had warned against the impulse of our time towards progress, movement, the search for truth, knowing more and more, as if that implied a happy and beneficial solution; This can be from time to time, he said, but in other cases it can be disastrous. And he added that the truth is shown in an alternation of strictly opposite things that must be made to revolve around each other. Following your proposal we could ask ourselves: Who said that increased activity and increased consumption would bring well-being and happiness? Society privileged the object and not the subject, the search for happiness was outside.
Psychoanalysis addresses the concepts of excess and lack in intersubjective relationships around a lost object that is trying to recover to solve the lack that afflicts the individual. But this is an illusion, the recovery of all the plus is impossible. Goodwill, plus enjoyment. In enjoying and producing something must be lost or must be transformed. Otherwise wanting to recover what was lost leads to a sinister result, just as the absence of tension, lack, leads to death. The plus and the lack are universal phenomena, interplaying with each other. Has the excess, the voracity in the accumulation of monetary values of a sector at the cost of the lack of protection and impoverishment of a majority, a policy that tried to privilege profitability without rest, the unrestricted manipulation of nature, have generated an imbalance with dire consequences ? From another angle, the interest placed in consumption distorted the desire to transform it into a mandate towards an ideal enjoyment, without limits, another excess that made the individual feel insufficient or excluded. When not with phobia or depression, as an internal limit to external push.
It is known that a period of a certain sign is followed by another of the opposite sign. Is it a casual phenomenon? At times it seems to convey an effect of magic, or a religious message. However, we can think that the opposite arises because each epoch, each structure, contains the germ of its own opposition, even of its own destruction. In this case, among other conditions, the parate is the evidence of an excess, the inevitable derivative of savage policies that even now are not stopped and accept to take the only efficient protection measure so far, isolation. And that they no longer tolerate it and seek to promote the movement again, to resume slowed production, even at the cost of lives that they consider interchangeable.
Movement and detention. The arrest that was associated with failure at this point is protection. The responsible leaders of the planet chose to contain, stop, slow down, build better conditions of assistance and cure. Isolation puts the focus back on the subject, on the inside. There are those who take advantage of it, but in many cases the subject is stunned. Fear generates the situation prone to authoritarianism and guilt. The victim is accused of having wanted too much. It has been appealed to the representation that this abrupt brake is like a biblical punishment for consumer ambition, or it is thanked for the opportunity to have pacified discomforts that now seem secondary to the threat to life. The social demands that various countries were going through in pursuit of a more equitable reality were silenced
The new normal should be able to include loss, manage the lack so that the gain of one sector does not imply the destruction of another. The movement generated by technological and scientific advances is highly rewarding and beneficial, the calls that gather passionate people for sports, music or intellectual exchanges renew vitality, work, acquire necessary or desired objects, travel, isolate ourselves or huddle together at will, celebrating, being able to hurt the dead, constitutes us as human beings.
The new normal It is not the banal belief that from now on we will wash our hands more frequently or that we will wear a mask or that we will avoid kissing strangers; Nor is it the praise of the quiet life.
The new normal should be a fairer distribution of surplus so that the lack does not end up becoming an abyss that swallows us all. With or without viruses.
Graduate in Psychology with Clinical Orientation at the UBA. Titular Member in Didactic function of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA) and of the Psychoanalytic Federation of Latin America. Author of the book “The Hidden Subject in Virtual Reality”.