Clamor and Lenio — Işık Barış Fidaner

When counting the parts of the psyche, we still rely on Freud’s famous (almost) hundred-year-old triad ‘id, ego, superego’ (Es, Ich, Über-Ich). Let us attempt to divide the psyche in a different way. The human psyche consists of two parts: the crying part and the soothing part [1]. Let’s name these two parts in Latin, ‘clamor’ and ‘lenio’ [2].

The cry of clamor relies on the truth that excites love in order to inaugurate the effort of symbolization. This truth is the ground of all embodiments. Before modernity, this truth was attributed to Nature, it was supposed to be a truth that instinctively knows itself and self-sufficiently maintains itself. But the modern human has lost the Natural basis of truth, his/her ‘natural’ expectations are undermined. In order to compensate for the absence of Nature, scientific disciplines were developed, symbolic systems like binary logic, truth tables, ‘and/or’ operators etc. were invented. Based on these systems of truth, electronic circuits and computers were produced and finally Internet was founded as the most modern field of clamor. In clamor’s field of truth, Nature was gradually replaced by modern systems.

Clamor has to be soothed, and this task is for the realism of lenio. The reality expressed by lenio is that love is never universal and that love is always limited by hate. This reality is the ground of all authorizations. Before modernity, this role of realism was attributed to God, he was supposed to be the single divine power that sets all limits to reality. But the modern human has lost the Godly basis of reality, (s)he has to limit love and hate by his/her own will. Although the modern systems that replaced Nature has put people in the ‘user’ position, they can be authorized in a real sense only by relying on their own wills.

On the other hand, one should know that the suppositions described as ‘premodern’ mostly continue their existence today. Most of the people want to believe in the Naturality of clamor and/or the Godliness of lenio. The wish to believe in the Naturality of clamor causes the disavowal of systemic effects like the climate crisis. The wish to believe in the Godliness of lenio steers people to right-wing authoritarian leaders and leave them without a will of their own.


Işık Barış Fidaner is a computer scientist with a PhD from Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Admin of Yersiz Şeyler, Editor of Žižekian Analysis, Curator of Görce Writings. Twitter: @BarisFidaner


[1] For the analysis of this image, see “Ağlaşma ve Öteki’nin eksikliği”

[2] Clamor and lenio roughly resemble Freud’s pleasure principle and reality principle or Lacan’s jouissance and castration. For the first resemblance, see “Postmodern Alienation Model”, for the second resemblance, see “The Dialectic of Castration and Jouissance”


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