“When I was trying to explain my dissertation proposal to Mark he surprised me with an interesting criticism. I was arguing that the method and categories of psychoanalysis can be applied to some extent to ‘the social’ (e.g. the categorization of pathologies, the idea of the Big Other and so on). Now, the interesting thing is that he did not disagree with me because of the usual orthodox argument that Marxism and Psychoanalysis have two conflicting ideas of the world – and thus of the individual – (Voloshinov et al.) but because of the opposite reason. He did not see any rivalry between both ways of thinking since he delimited the scope of each one in advance, these being obviously: Marxism as the most advanced social theory, and Psychoanalysis as the best method to understand the individual. This was actually my opinion on the subject when I first started asking myself if Marxism and Psychoanalysis were compatible at all. More or less consciously this also represents the thesis shared by any compatibilist classical Marxist.
Now what this point misses is that, if we are to take it seriously, Marxism and Psychoanalysis can never exceed their delimited spaces, i.e. Marxism cannot talk about the individual and Psychoanalysis cannot say a word about ‘the social’. The problem is, obviously, that this situation is unsustainable: both discourses aim at a total symbolization, a moment of closure. What this means in practice is both discourses will inevitably tend to overtake the space of the other (e.g. Freud’s Group Psychology). Mark’s thesis then appears to be a domestication of Marxism and Psychoanalysis: they can live together as long as one does not enter the space of the other. But that, we know from Lacan’s point de capiton, this is impossible.
The most problematic part is that it is profoundly undialectical. It avoids (more precisely: represses) the touching-points between the two discourses that could, potentially, lead to a greater synthesis. That is not to say that Marxism and Psychoanalysis will not find tensions in this process –especially considering that they are both essentialist discourses. But precisely, if one has to learn anything from Hegel is that the existence of these contradictions proves the very necessity of their resolution, i.e. the combination (synthesis) of Marxism and Psychoanalysis.”
— Adria Porta Caballe