After recent critiques of global totality , Laurence Rickels reminds us that the will to domination has always been the pathological truth of the modern psyche. In this respect his Nazi Psychoanalysis  is particularly timely because it seeks to historicise the contemporary problem of post-modern fundamentalism through an analysis of the psycho-social organisation of the totalitarian psyche. Akin to authors such as Heidegger , Arendt , and the Frankfurters, Adorno , Horkheimer , and Marcuse , Rickels is critical of the nightmare of rationality that sees excessive reason reverse towards its dialectical opposite, un-reason. Thus, his thesis opposes the conclusions of contemporary critics, such as Herf  and Wolin , who have sought to understand the Nazi psyche as a peculiarly German phenomenon. While Herf and Wolin argue that the theories of Heidegger, Arendt, and the Frankfurters, which generalise the Nazi psyche to wider modernity, excuse German responsibility for the Holocaust, Rickels' suggestion is that such attempts to particularise the totalitarian mind-set represent efforts to 'not see' the Nazi component that continues to haunt every aspect of modern society. As such, Rickels' project reminds us that the Nazi pathology (the desire to 'not see' the lack that is hard-wired into the structures of modern life) is still very much a part of the modern, or post-modern, world.
Following Aberrations of Mourning  and The Case of California  the third instalment of Rickels' trilogy of books on psychoanalysis and culture is concerned to illuminate the structure of relationship between Nazism and modernity. Nazi Psychoanalysis begins by foregrounding a case of psychopathology whereby the confusion and slippage of the signifiers 'Nazi' and 'not see' leads the patient to associate the unconscious wish for the magical destruction of her ghostly other ('not see') with the psycho-politics of Nazism ('Nazi'). Apart from illuminating the core thesis of Nazi Psychoanalysis, which is that the infantile death wish connects to the aggressivity of Nazism through the ambivalent identifications of group psychology, the opening passage of the book is also important because it sets the standard parameters of the relationship between the analyst and the patient that Rickels seeks to explore through the connections that can be seen to link Nazism to psychoanalysis to the structures of modernity.
The not see / Nazi passage foregrounds the structure of the analytic relationship that is based on the analyst's investigation of the patient's symptoms. When it is assumed that the patient's experience of the confusion of signifiers occurs on the objective surface of language, the role of the analyst becomes to expose the associations behind such symptomatic slippage in order to discover the root cause, or meaning, of the patient's psychopathology. As such, the relationship between the patient and the analyst in the not see / Nazi passage revolves around the latter's excavation of the former's symptoms. But rather than accept the traditional binary structure that governs the relationship between analyst and patient, and consequently orders our understanding of the associations that link psychoanalysis to modernity to Nazism, the aim of Rickels' project is to show how these apparent oppositions are bound together through the endless reversals of the process of transference.
Following this scheme we can better understand the form of Rickels' work. In terms of style Nazi Psychoanalysis is marked by the author's fusion of traditional analysis and precision slips that are themselves generated by the hyper-modernity of the text itself. As Louis Sass  has shown in his books on madness and modernism, psychopathologies, such as semiological confusions and linguistic slips, are to be found at the hyper-reflexive edge of modernity, rather than in the regression to pre-modern primitivism. Similarly in Rickels' works, from Aberrations of Mourning through The Case of California to Nazi Psychoanalysis, the author's knowledge of his own writing seems to produce a form of textuality that is forever sliding into the category of materiality. This is not to say that Rickels' has lost control of his writing through excessive auto-analysis, but rather that the author of Nazi Psychoanalysis has sought to develop a style that holds the line between a concern for content and a preoccupation with form in order to fight the restrictive nature of the modern symbolic order. For this reason I believe that we should understand Rickels' work as a borderline case, as a text that stands on the outer-limits of modernity, just before the slide into the abyss of glossomania.
Rickels' liminal textuality combines the normal position of the analyst and the dislocated situation of the patient in a mode of writing that is always-already becoming coherent / incoherent. This is the mark of, what I want to call, his post-modern schizo-style. Contrary to Sass, who argues that psychoanalysis has understood schizophrenia as an exclusively regressive phenomenon, which should be theorised through notions such as the failure of reality testing and egoistic weakness, I believe that Rickels' work can show how Freudian psychoanalysis generates its symptomatic other every time it runs up against its own analytic limits. Far from being a regressive condition, Rickels' schizo-style allows us to see how psycho-pathologies emerge from the same hyper-reflexive, modern, moment that gave birth to psychoanalysis itself. In this respect Sass misses the inter-relation between psychoanalysis and psychopathology, even though his own work addresses the connection between madness, which occupies the realm of pathology, and modernity, as the home of psychoanalysis.
The effect of this mis-recognition is that Sass can accuse psychoanalysis of linking psychopathology to regression apart from any relationship to its modern other. However, exploration of the psychoanalytic tradition suggests that Freud was well aware of the necessary ambivalence of modernity. For example, consider Civilization and its Discontents.  In this book Freud was concerned to explain how hyper-modernity produces its own peculiar forms of madness and irrationality, pathologies that cannot simply be associated with regression on its own terms. Followers of the father of psychoanalysis have adopted a similar position. Both Adorno, whose Negative Dialectics  explained that there could be no end to transference, and Deleuze and Guattari, who became aware of the irreducibility of the relationship between modernity and madness towards the end of Anti-Oedipus , have also reached the conclusion that the modern period is scarred by a kernel of negativity that does not exist apart from the rational forces that continue to rage against the very existence of pathology.
After the anthropological discovery that transgression can only exist in relation to taboo, Deleuze and Guattari conclude their assault on Oedipal law with the sobering recognition that schizophrenia does not escape the structures of modernity, but simply completes the logic of a mode of rationality that necessarily results in the production of the irrational, pathological, other that Bataille  called the accursed share. Through his schizo-style, which combines the restrained insight of the analyst with the excessive reflexivity of the patient, we can see that Rickels follows in the tradition of those thinkers, such as Bataille and Deleuze and Guattari, who have sought to strike the balance between these two alternatives. That is to say that each of these writers has sought to trace the path of the vectors that links the creativity of language to the madness of the signifier qua thing without ever collapsing the twin infinitives into one moment of totalitarian indifference. Akin to these Nietzschean thinkers, the endless pursuit of this vanishing point is important for Rickels because the fine line that separates creation and madness is the border that defines the moment of becoming.
Following Bataille, the father of the post-modern, and Deleuze and Guattari, the inventors of post-modern psychoanalysis, Rickels' own post-modernity emerges from his abyssal combination of analytic theory and schizo writing that coils around the structure of the text and enters into a symbiotic relationship with the content of his work that in turn theorises the same modern process of analytic reflection and pathological excess. While this spiral of analysis and slips is completely modern, it is Rickels' extra self-reflexive move, which pushes the two points together only to attempt to hold the line between the forever collapsing alternatives, that makes the contradictory concept of the post-modern applicable to the description of his work.
As such, Rickels' post-modernity revolves around his awareness of the irreducible nature of the relationship between analysis and its others. His writing is, therefore, conscious that it must accept otherness. Indeed the other cannot be denied because the very existence of consciousness necessary implies the existence of an unconscious mind that will forever shadow the realm of knowledge. Like the Kantian mind, which generates a negative perception of noumena by virtue of the fact that the categories of the mind can only ever structure what already relates to their own space, Rickels' writing is always scarred by the failure of meaning that emerges from an excess of significance. It is this acceptance of the emergence of the real that allows Rickels' work to enter into a communicative relationship with the reader who is asked to interpret the otherness within the text itself. Despite possible criticism to the contrary, which might accuse Rickels of wilful obscurity, schizo style has its own ethic of communication.
From the otherness inside the text to the otherness outside the text, Rickels' precision slips, which are themselves generated by the excessive modernity of his analysis, push the objectivity of language to extremes in order to generate an ethic of subjective interpretation qua communicative interaction. Here the rejection of the ideal of objectivity through a process of excessive reflection, and the consequent presentation of a text that cannot stand apart from the process of transference, pushes Rickels' work towards the other. However, the spiral of his work, which runs through schizo style and its relation between analysis and slips to the text qua object and the interpretative reader, also moves in an intra-textual direction.
Apart from schizo style and the struggle against the totalitarian moment of writing, Rickels' text also spirals towards a consideration of the relationships between psychoanalysis, modernity, and Nazism. The madness of Rickels' style is, therefore, informed by the madness that is characteristic of the subject of Nazi Psychoanalysis itself. In this respect the study of the relationships between modernity, psychoanalysis, and Nazism mirrors the exploration of the associations between analysis and the symptom that runs through the structure of the book. Whereas analysis and the symptom are caught in a process of transference at the level of style, so that the hyper-reflexivity of analysis collapses into the symptom, only for the symptom to produce yet more analysis, the content of Rickels' book shows how modernity, and the drive towards rationality that is characteristic of disciplines such as psychoanalysis, has produced its own forms of hyper-reflexive madness. Thus Rickels' point is that such pathologies, or the sciences that seek to cope with their existence, cannot be separated from the totalitarian will to closure that is characteristic of modernity itself: Nazism.
Rickels fights the Nazism of his own text through over-analysis and the recuperation of the slips that such reflexive extremity produces as its pathological symptom. As such, his work critiques the Nazi moment that haunts every aspect of modernity. But because modernity is, like psychoanalysis, an infinite process, the kernel of Nazism can never be put to rest. It is clear that this is never the purpose of Rickels' work. He is reflexive enough to know that the will to eradicate the Nazi principle conforms to the totalitarianism of Nazism through the logic of excess and reversal. Rather the ethic of Rickels thought, and Nazi Psychoanalysis in particular, is that psychoanalysis must, like modernity, remain an endless project. Akin to his own schizo style, it must observe the law of the father and fight the Nazi principle that seeks to ignore, or not see, the taboo that forbids totalitarian closure and the return to the mother. Thus Rickels wants to illuminate the scarred nature of modernity, and consequently the open nature of his own work, through a process of transference that can teach us to accept otherness. Through the modern practice of psychoanalysis he is concerned to fight the Nazi principle that aims to obliterate the other qua stumbling block to the realisation of the solipsistic self.
For Rickels the totalitarian moment of Nazism is the enemy of transference. Against transference the Nazi strategy is to reduce the trauma of psycho-sexual castration that enables social interaction by attacking the other that appears to compromise egoistic integrity. In this respect Rickels understands the Nazi's hatred of the other in terms of the projection of the infantile death wish against the father onto an external screen. That is to say that Nazism becomes the externalisation and desublimation of an intra-psychic process. Given the thesis that Nazism emerges from a dual process of externalisation and desublimation, we can better understand the hyper-reflexive roots of the totalitarian principle. In the first instance we can argue that the externalisation of the death wish against the father who enacts symbolic castration occurs when the self-scrutinizing element of the hyper-modern psyche becomes absolutely other to the sector of the mind that is the object of scrutiny.
From this point of view the domination of the super-ego leads to the disassociation of the self through the condition that leads the hyper-reflexive modern to experience his own self-scrutiny as a process of alien infiltration. As Sass  has shown the hyper-modern person is prone to mis-recognise the work of reflexivity and the exercise of self-control as inter-psychic, or external, events. This splitting occurs when reflexivity over-flows the experience of conscious auto-analysis and the self undergoes complete fragmentation. At this point, on the very edge of reflexivity, the split self (that is the self as both subject and object) perceives itself as two different beings and the super-ego is transformed into a material object. Put another way, the super-ego becomes an alien that torments the self from a distance, a master conspirator who is able to penetrate the depths of the self and, thus, the enemy par excellence.
From this perspective we can see how Rickels is able to explain the Nazi's other, the Jew, as a projection of the internal father figure. However, we must also be aware that the related process of desublimation, which legitimates the assault on the other, is similarly enabled when the internal father becomes the external other. At this point the processes of reflexivity and self-control fracture. This split leads to a situation whereby the attack on the other becomes legal because the agent of self-control has gone external and no longer exerts the same influence on the self. In this respect the influence of the super-ego is no longer understood in terms of self-control, but rather as domination by an alien other. Yet we must remember that this image only ever appears on the level of projection. Thus the real effects of the dictates of the super-ego are far from diminished. They simply act upon the self from behind the screen of projection. Due to the appearance of this veil, which obscures the true source of control, the legalisation of the attack on the other becomes more than simply a choice. Instead the attack on the other qua the projection of the super-ego is understood in terms of a command that seems to emanate from both the self and its other. Put another way the law of the father commands the self to attack the projection of the other in order to attack itself as the alienated, self-scrutinizing, element of the self.
For this reason Nazi aggressivity can be seen to track the bouncing ball of hyper-modernity, which moves through rationality and its others in pursuit of the totalitarian will to closure, all the way back to the image of the father. While the intra-psychic technologies of projection mean that the Nazi can legalise total war against the father figure in the shape of the other, the modern will to totality enables the transformation of father into the other. That is to say that the father becomes the other on the outer-limits of modernity, when the process of reflexivity reaches its limit, and the super-ego goes alien. At this point father becomes thing. But even though this materialisation of the law appears to release the self from the influence of the super-ego, the alienation of internal rule in the other simply defers the powers of intra-psychic discipline. Indeed it is precisely because discipline appears to go alien that the central effect of the process of deferral is that the self is able to attack the other as agent of control.
Yet this assault on the other does not diminish the powers of internal control. Despite the declaration of war, the super-ego continues to control the self from behind the scenes of the projection of the other. For this reason discipline and the dictates of duty continue to characterise the self's attack on the other who has become a puppet master bent on manipulation. Thus the self must continue to attack the other in order to secure the freedom to control its own destiny, even though the other seems to will its own destruction through its continual provocation of ever more vicious assaults. Of course, the fatality of this situation resides in the fact that it was the Nazi's own hyper-modern over-emphasis on self-determination that produced the idea of the other qua puppet master in the first place. Massive attacks on the other in the name of self-control are, therefore, only liable to increase the strength of the perception that she is bent on the domination of the self regardless of the cost to her own person.
According to this thesis we can understand why the other must suffer for the Nazi's rage against the imaginary projection of the puppet master (that masks the super-ego as agent of self-mastery) and die in the name of the re-discovery of self-control. Thus the Nazi double bind is complete. The more the self responds to the dictates of duty, the more the other appears to scheme to control the self, the more the self responds with further waves of attack. In this respect the construction of the figure of abjection can be seen to both legalise the notion of total war and transform the Hegelian concept of infinite justice into a command to seek and destroy the other wherever she is to be found. As Lacan was able to show in his Kant with Sade , the hyper-rationality of the Kantian system is prone to fold onto its perverse other, the Sadean machine, in order to produce an ethical form of evil that regards the destruction of the other in terms of duty and obligation. From the perspective of this ethic, the concept Kant himself called radical evil , the other comes the embody the figure of the indestructible victim, the Sadean fantasy who wills her own endless torment even though she appears impervious to attack. But all of this is, of course, only a projection. The sadist's fantasy of the masochism of the other is only ever an externalisation of his own state of intra-psychic sado-masochism.
Regardless of the imaginary nature of the indestructible victim, it is clear that the other is essential to the integrity of the Nazi psyche. Given that he has undergone hyper-reflexive splitting, the figure of abjection, whether she is Jew, Slav, or Homosexual, becomes the vanishing point that anchors the Nazi ego. Whereas his assumption is that her final destruction would complete his quest for self-determination, the total extermination of the other would in actual fact result in the dissolution of the Nazi psyche itself. Thus the Nazi is bent on the complete destruction of the other and, as a consequence, his own person. As Adorno has shown, psychoanalysis stands in opposition to this apocalyptic totalitarianism. Against the Nazi's thirst for annihilation, the role of psychoanalysis is to open channels of communication between the self and its other. In this respect we can see how Rickels conforms to the Freudian practice of psychoanalysis. Akin to the father figure he is concerned that we should be able to live with otherness, accept ambivalence, and conform to the law of the social order.
While Rickels observes the ethic of psychoanalysis, which calls for the removal of the symptom and the freedom of desire to run through the channels of the symbolic order, he is also aware that the Freudian project contains its own kernel of Nazism. That is to say that Freudian psychoanalysis becomes Nazi psychoanalysis when the chains of the symbolic order become about the final, once and for all, totalisation of the self, rather than the endless quest for transitional objects that might fill out the subject's alienation for a short period of time. As such, the quilting point of Nazi Psychoanalysis is to be found in Rickels exploration of the historical events that informed this transformation of Eros to Thanatos and Freudian practice to Nazi psychoanalysis. At this point he shows how in much the same way that modernity gave birth to Nazism, as the embodiment of its own tendency to closure, so Nazism was able to reverse the function of the modern practice of psychoanalysis in order to bolster its own totalitarian project.
Thus Rickels explains how the Nazis mobilised psychoanalysis to support their struggle with shell shock. After Freud's explanation that war neurosis emerged from the battle within the subject's own psyche, Nazi psychoanalysis was concerned with the reduction of the peace ego, which encouraged the flight to neurosis, and the augmentation of the war ego, that was ignorant of calls for self-preservation. Freud's suggestion was that shell shock returned the soldier to the experience of symbolic castration through the mechanics of deferred action. For the Nazis this return to castration, to the law of the father, and to alienation, stood in contradiction to the drive to totalisation through the war effort. Psychoanalysis was, therefore, required to armour the soldier against the experience of trauma. The peace ego, which was prone to return to castration, had to be removed in favour of the war ego, and the death drive back to (m)other.
Despite the contribution of psychoanalysis to the Nazi war effort, the relationship between the two partners was scarred by ambivalence. Psychoanalysis was, and still is, a Jewish science. It was, thus, problematic for the Nazis to make use of the other's thought to bolster their own total war on the other. In response to this situation Rickels shows how the name of Freud was written out of Nazi psychoanalysis, but the point remains that Freud was, and remains, psychoanalysis. As such, the Nazis were able to obliterate Freud's ontic relationship to greater psychoanalysis, but they were unable to reduce his ontological association to his own text. While they were unable to see this connection because of its sheer universality, Freud continued to haunt Nazi psychoanalysis from a position that was at the same time everywhere and nowhere.
Because they were unable to separate the father from his science, the other was always la part maudite of Nazi psychoanalysis. In this respect Freud was bound to Nazism, which consequently had to swallow the notion of ambivalence and suffer the infection of its own totalitarian principle, in the same way that Nazism was bound to modernity, as the principle of closure, and modernity was bound to Nazism, through the endless boundary transgressions that continue to frustrate the will to self-identity. Following this circular logic we can, therefore, say that Rickels' lesson is that even though the other can be thrust out of the process of transference, she will always return from behind the imaginary screen of solipsistic self-determination. Faced with this problem the Nazi response was to take Jung, and the notion of the transformation of the I into We into God, over father Freud's ambivalent interpretation of the nirvana principle whereby the self melts into nothingness. While the Jungian move entailed yet another rebellion against paternal law, it also sought to drive the other out of psychoanalysis. In this respect Jung became foster-father of Nazi psychoanalysis.
Through Jung's theory the nation could become a totality, a war machine, and complete the subsumption of the vulnerable individual into the indestructible group formation. But while group formation could insure the individual against trauma, Rickels shows how this anxious catastrophe preparedness, or total mobilization to refer to the work of Ernst Junger, required the complete denial of the father figure. For this reason the Nazi aim was to reduce the ambivalence of Oedipal law to zero and make mommy leader. As Rickels explains through reference to Harold Laswell's 1935 book World Politics and Personal Insecurity 'There is a profound sense in which Hitler himself plays a maternal role for certain classes in German society.'  Yet identification with the mommy, who sought to totalise life through death, could never be entirely certain. There was always the possibility of the return of the peace ego, of the identification with the enemy, and the restoration of the crippling influence of the father figure.
As such, the condition of Quislingism, named after the Norwegian Nazi collaborator by Ernest Jones, became a key psychological problem for those involved in the psychology of warfare. Similarly Rickels shows how desertion was also a problem associated with the soldier's abdication from duty in favour of the identification with the other qua enemy. In order to wage total war effectively these traces of ambivalence had to be eradicated and, despite its irreducible relation to the other, Nazi psychoanalysis became the tool to perform such psychic surgery. Through psychoanalysis the Nazis sought to develop a new kind of soldier whose mental elasticity could match the novel speeds of total war. This soldier had to be willing to go all the way back to mother, to follow the war ego against the call for self-preservation, and to follow duty regardless of the threat of self-destruction. After this psychology lesson it is ironic, but not at all surprising, that the Nazi's will to totality was the cause of their abject failure. As Rickels explains, the Nazis could not stop winning and, therefore, consigned themselves to never being able to do anything but lose.
Insofar as complete failure is hard-wired into the structure of totalitarianism, the Allied powers have been trading off the total destruction of the Nazi state since 1945. However, contemporary events, such as the 9 / 11 terror attacks, can allow us to argue that perhaps the West's own winning streak is finally about to run up against its own dialectical limit. Against the backdrop of declarations of the end of history , which insisted upon the final, and total, victory of liberal democracy over all other models of governance, the apocalyptic scenes of 9 / 11 suggest that the West's own account is now also overdrawn. Beyond the complete failure of the Nazi machine, Rickels explains that the totalitarian bankruptcy of American power has been on the cards since the screening of the Gulf War and the invention of the notion of friendly fire. He argues that 'The war was so efficient ... that not only were enemies killed but even some of one's own had to go.'  In this passage Rickels evokes Paul Virilio's notion of the suicidal state  through his vision of a totalitarianism that attacks itself in order to strike against a spectral other that does not exist apart from the technologies of endo-psychic projection. Following this insight into the auto-cannibalistic tendency of the Nazi principle, I believe that we can shed light on the condition that has seen the agents of America's Cold War struggle with the opponents of Western ideology, such as Saddam and Bin Laden, become the front line enemies of the contemporary global war on terror.
 For example see Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's recent Empire (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000).
 Laurence Rickels, Nazi Psychoanalysis: Volume I: Only Psychoanalysis Won the War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002).
 Martin Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism" in his Basic Writings (San Francisco: Harper, 1993), Pp. 213-267.
 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harvest Books, 1973).
 Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, The Dialectic of the Enlightenment (London: Verso, 1997).
 Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason (London: Continuum, 1974).
 Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (London: Routledge, 1991).
 Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).
 Richard Wolin, Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Lowith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
 Laurence Rickels, Aberrations of Mourning: Writing on German Crypts (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1988).
 Laurence Rickels, The Case of California (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).
 Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1992). Also see Louis Sass, The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994).
 Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989).
 Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics (London: Continuum, 1983).
 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Volume I: Anti-Oedipus (London: Athlone, 1984).
 Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: Volume I: An Essay on General Economy (New York: Zone Books, 1991).
 Louis Sass, The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994).
 Jacques Lacan, "Kant with Sade" in October (Number 51: Winter 1989), Pp. 55-104.
 Alenka Zupani, "Kant with Don Juan and Sade" in Joan Copjec, (ed.), Radical Evil (London: Verso, 1996), Pp. 105-126.
 Harold Laswell cited in Laurence Rickels, Nazi Psychoanalysis: Volume I: Only Psychoanalysis Won the War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), Pp. 124.
 Frances Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (London: Avon Books, 1993).
 Laurence Rickels, Nazi Psychoanalysis: Volume I: Only Psychoanalysis Won the War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), Pp. 217.
 Paul Virilio, "The Suicidal State" in James Der Derian, (ed.), The Virilio Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), Pp. 29-46.