The joke of surplus-value and the guffaw of the saint
Today, society is driven by capitalist discourse, which profoundly affects our way of life. In this article we discuss how, from an analytic viewpoint, we can respond to this. According to Lacan, the psychoanalyst will offer a way out of the capitalist discourse by taking the position of lathouse from the analytical discourse. This means that the analyst should incarnate the object a, and personify the lost cause or object: “he acts as trash.” However, there seems to be some caution required, for which Lacan referred to the position of the Saint and Balthasar Gracian. We will discuss the tricks put to the fore by Gracian: silence, absence and appearance, which will all revolve around the question of desire. Next, we turn to the position of the Saint in Seminar XXIII, introducing three new tricks from Joyce: silence, exile and cunning. We end by discussing the concept of the ‘scabeaustration’. There can only be ‘a saint’ when one no longer wants to be ‘a saint, castrating the ‘desire-to-know,’ the ‘desire-to-interpret,’ and the ‘desire-to-die.’ The saint will have localized his symptom, recognized it, beyond the therapeutic changes, as a specific modality of jouissance.