Argentinean philosopher León Rozitchner theorized the political potential of the Peronist movement through a unique analytical matrix drawing upon Marxism, psychoanalysis and phenomenology. This essay will explore how Rozitchner’s interpretation of Freud’s theory of group psychology in Freud y los límites del individualismo burgués (Freud and the Limits of Bourgeois Individualism, 1972) approaches the figure of the mass in ethical, political and historical terms. I argue that Rozitchner articulates these three dimensions of the mass by viewing its libidinal constitution through a unique historical-materialist lens. Freud y los límites… thus asks us to consider the question of the drive’s sublimation at stake in Freud’s theory as a technique of social reproduction and, simultaneously, as a directly productive form of labour. In this sense, the organization of libidinal investment that constitutes the mass also holds the key to its potential social emancipation. Furthermore, while Rozitchner’s view of subjectivity often appears as transhistorical in scope, his approach to the productive activity of the drive in Freud y los límites… asks us to consider the ethical stakes of sublimation in relation to a specific moment and form of capitalist exploitation. Read through this tension, Freud y los límites… thus ultimately underlines the historical conditions of the ethical transformation it demands.
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