Dreams of Empire

Brexit, Nationalism and Psychoanalysis

It is now less than six months to ‘B-day’ (March 2019) and opinion in the UK seems as divided as ever regarding Brexit, with many wondering whether it will ever happen at all, except in name only.   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 …

The (identity) politics of ‘free’ speech

Boris Johnson’s now infamous article in the Telegraph regarding Denmark’s decision to ban the wearing of the burka and the niqab appears to have ignited yet again the whole question of  how far one can go in a ‘free’ society in expressing views that are bound to offend at least …