VARIA. Charles Melman’s new psychic economy concept

Abstract. The new psychic economy is a concept of Charles Melman’s, who is a French psychoanalyst, one of the most important Jacques Lacan’s disciples. It is his manner to try to explain –which he is doing for many years now – the social changes of recent decades and their consequences, mainly in the field of psychoanalytic clinics. This paper is also inspired by other authors’ works, in particular by that of the Belgian psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Lebrun, a member of the International Lacanian Association, i.e. the School founded by Melman. Melman’s central argument is that nowadays – at least in occidental societies – the social link is submitted to a neo-liberal requirement of unlimited pleasure, that prevents symbolic castration from being functional. The decline of patriarchy – which was already diagnosed by Lacan and some others as taking place since the XIXème  century – opens the way to a matriarchal society and to a different psychic economy. Lebrun names the latter “a hinterland economy”, in reference to antique social structures, before the patriarchy era.