Psycho-analysis and anarchism both claim to be “about” power, liberation, honesty, facing up to unpalatable truths. The theory and the practice are somewhat different, as Jeffrey Masson, who was hired then fired by the Freud Archive, points out (about head-shrinking)…
Final Analysis: The making and unmaking of a psychoanalyst
London: Fontana 1992
One of the more interesting objections to my work goes like this: ‘What you say about psychoanalysis, what you point out, the jockeying for power, the struggle for position, the disregard for the deeper rights of patients, the financial underpinnings, all of these exist in one form or another in every profession I have ever been associated with. Why did you think psychoanalysis would be any different? Why did you believe that somehow psychoanalysis would be any different? Why did you believe that somehow psychoanalysis would be exempt from these larger laws of nature, the struggle for existence? Were you just naïve, or were you inexperienced, or were you ignorant, or just a slow learner?” In a way this is a fair point. I have had enough of a brush with the medical profession to know that what I describe for psychoanalysis exists in precisely the same form in medicine. I know enough about the academic life to recognize that the university is no haven from the kinds of ills I have described. I have even seen a little bit of the legal profession and acknowledge that the same power struggles go on there. But there is one difference. None of these professions, with the possible exception of the university, makes the kinds of claims that psychoanalysis does. No other profession arrogates to itself the same purity of purpose, no other profession claims quite so passionately the high moral ground for its own.