Whenever I teach about the psychological strictires I have an easy time distinguishing between psychotic steuctires and neurotic structires. I’ve always had more difficulty producing an explanation of what Lacan called a perverse structure.
The difference between a neurotic and a pervert is that the former is more likely to go to jail. The second always manages to evade it. We have plenty of examples of this everywhere. There are neurotic politicians and perverse politicians. The former do everything wrong in order to be punished, even at the ballot box. They have hardly any enjoyment at all. The latter, on the other hand, enjoy everything they want. They do not pay the price or lose anything. This is the talent of the perverse. And when they end up in chains due to some judicial miracle, they have friends who get them the best conditions even when confined.1
I think this may be one of the most effective ways of describing what makes a perverse structure different than a neurotic one.
It clearly explains how the neurotic has jouissance (unconsciously enjoys)in being held accountable/punished because they feel they have done something wrong, while the pervert’s jouissance is in doing something wrong and getting away with it.
Sometimes someone with a perverse structure is held accountable via institutions like courts or the press, however this results in the pervert’s followers loving the pervert even more —i.e. the pervert “gets away with it” regardless of punishment the official keepers of law and order impose.
Two examples of a pervert “getting away with it” even when they are caught in the act of violating the rules:
Trump saying “I could shoot someone in the middle of 5’th avenue and not lose a single vote.”
Chad Ochocinco’s end zone celebrations, which he kept doing even when the NFL fined him.