Dreams of Empire

Brexit, Nationalism and Psychoanalysis

Brexit Day (originally scheduled for 29 March 2019) has come and gone, and not only is Britain still a member of the European Union, but opinion in the country seems as divided as ever regarding the referendum and what it meant (and still means). Therefore it seems an opportune time to pull together and expand upon some of the ideas that I’ve been exploring on this site regarding Brexit and its possible links to right-wing populism and nationalism.

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Trauma Without End

The Great War and its Aftermath

A hundred years on the Great War still casts its shadow over our society, and in some ways, even more so over mainland Europe. The legacy of the war was not only the collapse of empires, but also the rise of new ones – most notably the United States and the Soviet Union. It saw the rise and collapse of fledgling democracies across Europe, the rise and eventual collapse of fascism, the advent of the Second World War, the Cold War, the collapse of communism, and finally the emergence of the post-Cold War. But there is another legacy, another shadow, and this is the psychical wound that the First World War has left us.

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Isn’t ALL trauma ‘cultural’?

In a recent post I introduced Jeffery Alexander’s idea of cultural trauma which occurs when members of a social group feel they have been subjected to an horrendous event, which changes their sense of group consciousness, memory and future identity in a fundamental and irrevocable way.  What’s critical to note …

Applied psychoanalysis?

In my experience, there is a commonly held view in clinical circles that the only people entitled to call themselves ‘psychoanalysts’ are those individuals who have a case load; that is, they see patients/clients/analysands for some form of psychoanalytic treatment.  Of course, it’s actually more complicated than this because one …