But Pannenberg criticizes Freud and implicitly questions if his claims to libidinous and aggressive features of primary narcissism
in early infancy should be "considered normative" (p.
A Child is Being Killed: On Primary Narcissism
and the Death Drive.
16) Here, the implicit importance of Lacan's insistence on the importance of the 'symbolic history' becomes explicit, but only if we recognise that the aspect of the symbolic Lacan is invoking here is not that of the integrated, post-Oedipal relationality of signification, what Lacan refers to here as 'full speech', but those problematically isolated and insistent signifiers dispersed among the movements of primary narcissism
The narcissism in question is, of course, the so-called primary narcissism
(as opposed to secondary narcissism, which is a character trait), whose function Freud traces back to our most basic instinct for self-preservation.
While many will know that Freud lumped women and gay men together in his 1914 essay on narcissism, fewer will recall that in the same essay he attributed this quality to all people ("we are postulating a primary narcissism
in everyone") and viewed narcissism as a form of psychic resilience, "a protection against falling ill.
The objectless state of primary narcissism
as it is described by Freud has no place in K leinian theory.
He thinks that it comes from the experience of primary narcissism
, which is a primordial pooling of libido within the ego.
The one psychoanalytic social theoretical text that is firmly focused on primary narcissism
is The Future of An Illusion, and in it Freud stresses how theories--illusions--reflecting primary narcissism
(in males only) are nostalgic images of a primal state of merger with the mother, bliss, nirvana.