Exploring Lacan’s opaque commitment to mathematical formalization as the “ideal” of psychoanalysis, this essay reads the special practice of language enacted by the letters and logic of formal math as the radicalized symbolic that psychoanalysis recommends to both the subject and the social. That special practice involves encountering the letter in its purely formal non-sense, an encounter that the essay argues can comprise the basis of a specifically psychoanalytic conception of the political state. Against the pervasive anti-statism of both left and right discourses, psychoanalysis uniquely affirms the unavoidable structuration of sociality.

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