Donald Trump is a Philosopher

The relationship among (or between) theory and practice can be nowhere more apparent within psychoanalysis than with the deployment of the Greek word “parapraxis.” The “doing” (praxis) of speech is literally “beside itself,” split open, and prone to error(s), limitation(s), and excess(es) of meaning.

In Lacanese: the split between the statement and the enunciation is rendered palpable.

It is when the doing is opened up in this most striking way, that is, when the ‘speech-doing’ is situated beside itself and without an alibi, that ‘another scene’ begins to play out. The drama that unfolds within that other scene makes possible something like a theory.

Theory does not here function as a cork, it does not give meaning to the split. Rather, theory is the forcing of a new knowledge of the parapraxes. In this way, it is nothing but analytical discourse. The analyst’s discourse is theoretical only to the extent that it puts knowledge in the place of truth.

Finally, we can see that theory can not exist without practice, but, more importantly, practice can not change without a sound theory.

What Alain Badiou names “philosophy” is nothing of the sort. It is theory. Philosophy is the name reserved for the practice of patching up holes in the parapraxis. If you would like an analogy then imagine this:

On the main stage there is Donald Trump. He speaks about refuges, about refuse, about the ideological suturing of objet petit a. There, off camera, another scene unfolds. A muslim woman stands silently, wearing a hijab. Trump announces: “there is nothing to see over there… the main scene is here, on this stage.”

Donald Trump practices philosophy.


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