Touch of the Real From Before the Automatism — Işık Barış Fidaner

In Seminar 11, Lacan mentioned the touch (tuché) of the real from “beyond” the automatism (automaton). Since the real belongs to the past (not the future), it must have touched from before the automatism (not beyond). Now let’s rewind the automatism step by step to traverse what comes before it:

Drang → automaton

Just before the automatism is the constant force of drive (Drang). The quantitative measure of an abstract force may be the last station for a scientific explanation that would reduce sensory concretions to schematic models (existence: containment), but it is instead the station of departure for the analysis that begins from the abstract and gradually concretizes itself (ex-sistence: ex-containment). We step back from Drang by asking the question: “What is this force resisting?”

resistance → Drang

Resistance differs from Drang in being aware of the automatism and resisting its scope, it attempts to break those chains. As long as the resistance “against the system” is supposed to have confronted automatism as such, it might be perceived as a spontaneous freedom, i.e. “beautiful soul”. But sooner or later, another automatism will surface from that spontaneity, and it will be clarified that this resistance is actually an automatised spontaneity, i.e. insistence:

insistence → resistance

Insistence differs from resistance in pushing against one scope of automatism on behalf of another scope of automatism. ‘Insistence-field’ is where symbols/representatives fight one another and draw their territories. While resistance might arouse love, insistence tends to arouse hatred. If resistance is the (‘free’) feminine masquerading of insistence, insistence is the masculine imposture veiled (excused) by resistance. Criticism is how clashing impostures provoke each other, whereas analysis focuses on their imposterity and accesses the context of persistence:

persistence → insistence

Drang is the automatism’s own power. Resistance is the spontaneous power against automatism. Insistence is how two automatisms clash spontaneously on a field. And persistence is how every automatism brings to that field its own spontaneity. In other words: Insistence is an already-automatised spontaneity, whereas persistence is the very spontanization of automatism itself. When the warring factions sign an armistice and their messengers meet somewhere, they pass from the insistence of their scopes to a context of persistence. Substance-subjects meet in that context of persistence, which is also where the real touches from before the automatism:

tuché → persistence

Thus the whole chain looks like the following:

tuché → persistence → insistence → resistance → Drang → automaton

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

See “The Sisterhood of Humanity”

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