There are nothing but means. Means come before subjects: if the means are subjects then they are partners. Partners are the means able to result (“goal”) in a production of wealth.
Of course, nature neither has nor knows anything about all of this.
If the students were able to recognize their teachers as their means, things would go better for them, replacing the sordid ideology of educational subjection; and so for writers, artists and so on, politicians included.
Small children get it immediately, even if soon they are lost.
The proximity subject-means (not object) or partner – interchangeable asymmetry, with all its own daily world of imputations and sanctions – is the basis of law. Law, not psychology (psychology as well-known “interpersonal relationships”, fast food psychology.)
We call “appointment” the relationship – punctual and incidental – subject-means that can be extended as a realm for the entire society (however far as we are from its conception).
The word “love”, if redeemable, would stand to designate the appointment.
Plato is far from this, as he portrays Love-Eros as the son of poverty (Penia, the mother) and expedience (Poros, the father).
Narcissus – stuck in his own excrement – is reluctant to become a mean: He has no Echo but he hallucinates her.
Hysteria conceives the appointment, but cancels it (“wait for me, I’m not coming”).
In psychoanalysis the psychoanalyst is a means.
Labor relations governed by wages and salaries are deformed appointments in which the means are always and only the salaried, rather than the slaves. This is the only freedom we know.
We have to recognize that capitalism realizes a realm of appointments with intractable uniformity: certainly not a satisfactory one, but we can’t think of an alternative.
Thinking has never transformed into thinking of the means, into a realm of appointments: this concerns the whole History of thinking.
The thinking of the means is the reality principle.