The Stakes of Shibboleth

Feature section “Subjectivity and Political Dimension”
By Mariette Aklé

This article tries to understand the destructiveness that has been characterizing the Lebanese reality for decades. The author solicits the explanations of the psychoanalytical theory, especially the work of Jacques Lacan on mirror stage; the theory of which allows depicting the imaginary weft that bonds the Lebanese subjects – plural as to reflect the plurality of the Lebanese reality – in a persecutory destructiveness. The shibboleth’s symbolic function is articulated to its role within ethnic, religious, confessional, politic and familial groups that fight to exist. Translation to Arabic language and recourse to the Bible text help elucidate the effects of the shibboleth along with the recourse to Lacan’s mirror stage, in an essay on destructiveness. The multiplicity of the shibboleths makes them function as totems that dictate the belonging regardless of the Signifier Lebanon; it also determines the fusional structure of society and comes back from the real, as a non-significant object a.


  • shibboleth
  • mirror stage
  • destructiveness
  • Law
  • Lebanon
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