chapter  10
7 Pages

Neoliberal pragmatism incites perversion

The capitalist discourse
ByOwen Dempsey

Anticipatory care, as a fetishised commodity under capitalism, incites the anticipatory care-provider to form a subjectivity that desires to provide care and to produce cared for patients but can never be satisfied by how much care she or he provides.

Lacan’s psychoanalytic structures of discourse are used as a theoretical resource to analyse and identify what is at stake in the way the sense of self or subjectivity is formed by the care-provider who provides anticipatory forms of healthcare.

This chapter shows that the care-provider depersonalises the potential patient: the care-labourer. This means that the care-provider is no longer inhibited from caring at the expense of the other. This lack of inhibition from doing harm may lead to an increased self-referentiality and destabilisation of the care-provider’s subjectivity and it is suggested that this may lead the care-provider to seek to make and become his or her own Law-maker.

This, the chapter argues, may result in a perversion of care and subjectivity that has another, fifth, structure of discourse, known as the capitalist discourse. This structure is described. It identifies conditions of possibility for care-giving that will exacerbate and intensify the harms of anticipatory care.