Social and political oppression of a designated social group may be compared to repression in the individual domain. In both cases, there is an agency that acts as an oppressor or repressor, which agency arouses resistance in the oppressed. Resistance aims to liberate the oppressed/repressed from the subjugating agency. The question that I address in the present paper is whether there is any advantage in resisting oppression or repression jointly with the oppressor or the repressor. Such advantage may emerge if we deconstruct the separateness between the oppressor and the oppressed-repressor and repressed. Such a deconstruction gives rise to more hybrid notions of power relations. My paper examines these issues in two distinct domains: that of psychoanalysis (with special reference to therapy) and post-colonial theory (with special reference to the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza). The results of my deconstruction are formulated in terms derived from the work of Melanie Klein, especially the concept of 'part object'. I freely extend this term to refer to forms of partial subjecthood such as part subject, part resistance and part reconciliation and use these formulations to argue that resistance to repression/oppression in both therapy and the Occupation could better be done by collaboration between the related sides. This allows mutual reinforcement of the resisting effort. I illustrate these ideas by vignettes from the Palestinian-Israeli arena.
- part object