Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let Freedom Ring: Psychoanalysis and Politics

While USA unveiled its Martin Luther King, Jr monument yesterday August 22, 2011, Libyan rebels, after six months of fighting, captured the capital of Tripoli. Of this victory US President Barack Obama said, "The pursuit of human dignity is stronger than any dictator." The PBS Newshour aired last night at least ten minutes of footage of Libyan men rejoicing in the streets, on rooftops, and in cars. In the footage of these hundreds of men I noted, maybe, a half dozen women and wondered to myself if women of Libya, 42 years under dictator Momar Gadhafi, will have a voice as Libya reinvents itself in its striving toward democracy. UK Prime Minister David Cameron intimated as much in his support of a "free, democratic, inclusive Libya." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called this a "hopeful moment."

In the consulting room, freedom is described more personally, whether freedom from unconscious conflict, or freedom to embrace our multiple selves, or even freedom from the tyranny of the procrustean bed of analysts who hold too tightly to their theories. Individuals require what countries transforming themselves require: access to frozen assets, building of infrastructure, secure enough borders, and (an international) community. Therapists help patients develop their voices. In this moment of hope, my hope for Libya is that the international community aids Libya in including female voices for a truly inclusive endeavor.

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