Alienation is a pivotal concept in critical theory, going back to Rousseau, Hegel and Marx. In his theory on the becoming of the subject, Lacan gave the concept an even more radical and original meaning (there is no original essence whatsoever) and doubled it with a second process: separation. The central argument of this paper is that separation is a key concept for understanding how we can handle our contemporary alienation induced by neoliberalism.
The article deals with the idea that the origin of the becoming of the subject is symbiotic. After a historical introduction, this concept is explored as well from a developmental as from a deferred perspective. The insurmountable problems arising during these considerations lead to the conclusion that there is no adequate proof to accept the hypothesis of the symbiosis.