We live in an era driven by the union of the market and technoscience, which has produced a radical effect on subjectivity : the loss of belief in the order offered by the Name of the Father.
The world has disregarded the credit it used to give to the Other, because the regime of self-control has infiltrated it.
Children do not admit the adult’s authority, simply because they have it : we are in the era of the dictatorship of the object, whatever form it takes : gadget or child.
One analysand said that when words were not enough and her explanation became disfigured in discussion because her child did not accept the limit, became insistent and the situation escalated, she ended up telling the child that she was going to go to her room for a few minutes with the door closed. She did this to put a cooler head. She was demonstrating a know-how of which she had no knowledge – which is why she lived her decision with anguish and guilt.
When the limit does not operate by dividing the child, the limit needs to be located elsewhere, that is, by dividing the other. Some door has to be closed ; today it is not that of the punished child’s room, but that of the mother’s room. In this way she subtracts herself and drops the object that could not be released. Here there is the transmission of a desire that is not anonymous.
In a world where the object is at hand, ready to be consumed at any time and then discarded, how to sanction it lost for ever and ever ? By bringing into play they cession some way. If one cannot dispute it with the child, then, it will be necessary to locate it by giving up one’s own.
These scenes in which there is a struggle for control show that authority as such is lost, that there is no Other but others. In these situations, what is really at stake, are the object of the gaze and the voice. It is necessary that the other, the child’s partner, in some way, agree to subtract and give up the object in which they have become, on the one hand, the child for his mother, and on the other, the mother for the child (each one becomes the object of the other), and produces a cut.
In a world without fault, the fault needs to be engendered in some way. Transmission is to let the child know that there may be a lack. That is to give them a tool so that they are not left alone : without an Other and in charge of incarnating the law. Because if they have to do it, it is no longer the law of desire, it is their own law, the law of their freedom : an iron law.
There is transmission as long as someone, when necessary, is in charge of épater and redistribution of jouissance. In this act, there is also a gift of love. At this time, it is about making an impact, not in the way of agreeing to make semblance of command, but in the form of love : giving what you do not have to someone who is not.
So, what authority can parents have in a world that no longer believes in authority ? The authority to transmit that there is the possibility for each one in the cession of one’s own enjoyment. It is a matter of sifting the most real point of what the transmission operation is, that which can only be done in action and therefore only transforms the subject itself. But it is a bet : a bet that, for those who lack the tools of the father, something of this act touches them and leads them to know that there are tools and of what order they are.
 Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XIX, …or Worse, text established by J.-A. Miller, transl. A.R. Price, Cambridge/Medford, MA, Polity Press, 2018, p. 184.
 Lacan J., Geneva lecture on the symptom, in Analysis, n°1, 1989.
Translation : Belén Vigil Mendoza
Proofreading : Ana Inés Bertón
Picture : ©Laurence Malghem