— But take an instance we are being watched.
— Yeah but, I don’t care– if you’re watched, you know what I mean? I– Here I preach arrogance. So what? Let the big Other watch me, maybe he will learn something and be less stupid, you know. This is not my problem, you know. Like, you know when we were those half-dissidents, no? And a guy, when we had some committee for human rights, blah blah, a guy–
— Or they change your behavior, being watched…
— No, no, no nono, no no… You know, I learned through friends that some secret policemen were really mad at me because I told a horrible story then, it’s one of– I told them, and it’s true, you know I read a history of United States in 19th century where I was told that racism was so strong in the old south, anti-black racism, that when you have in New Orleans, before civil war, brothels, whorehouses, prostitution houses, the white customer was making love to a white prostitute and if a black guy entered the room, ringing rings whatever, they didn’t stop making love, it was like… They didn’t consider a black person entering, a human gaze which puts you to shame, it’s like a dog, a bird, you don’t care, you go on making love. And I told them, this was horrible what they did, the way they treated blacks there, but we should treat secret policemen… Secret policemen should be treated like black servants, you know. You don’t care. And this is where they feel most horrified, you know, when they learn that you don’t care.
Moreover, see how the subject situates himself in what I might call the suspension of the articulation of the dream. The subject himself, as he situates himself, as he assumes himself, knows as one might say, because the other does not know, the subjective position of the other. And here of ***being in default*** as one might say. That he is dead, of course, is a statement that after all cannot touch him. Every symbolic expression like this one, of the being dead, makes him subsist, preserves him when all is said and done. It is precisely indeed the paradox of this symbolic position: the fact is that there is no being to being, no affirmation of the being dead which in a certain fashion does not immortalise him. And this indeed is what is in question in the dream. But this subjective position of the being who is ***in default***, this subjective lesser value, is not directed at the fact that he is dead, it is essentially directed at the fact that he is the one who does not know. This is how the subject situates himself before the other. In addition this sort of protection exercised with respect to the other which means that not only does he not know, but that at the limit I would say that he must not be told that, is something which is always found more or less at the root of every communication between people, what one can and what one cannot let him know. Here is something whose incidence you should always weigh every time you are dealing with an analytic discourse. There was some talk last night about those who could not speak, express themselves, about the obstacles, about the resistances that are properly speaking involved in discourse. This dimension is essential to relate this dream to another dream which is borrowed from the last page of Trotsky’s Journal at the end of his stay in France at the beginning of the last war I think. It is a particularly moving dream. It is at the moment when, perhaps for the first time, Trotsky begins to experience in himself the first intimations of some diminution of the vital energy which was so inexhaustible in this man. And he sees appearing in a dream his companion Lenin, who congratulates him on his good health, and on his indomitable character. And the other, in a fashion which takes its value from this ambiguity that there always exists in dialogue, gives him to understand that perhaps this time there is something in him which is not now at the same level that his old companion had always known. But what he thinks about is how to spare this old companion who emerges in this way in such a significant fashion at a critical, decisive moment of his vital evolution. And wanting to recall something which precisely referred to the moment when even he, Lenin, had slackened in his efforts, he says, to indicate to him the moment when he died: the time when you were very very ill. As if a precise formulation of what was in question would by its very breath, dissipate the shade before whom Trotsky, in his dream at this decisive moment of his existence, maintains himself.
Lacan’s Seminar Book 6: Desire & its interpretation