Leaning on the Nietzsche of the Gay Science and Zarathustra, I clarified that this healing has to be understood in the intransitive sense of Genesung (‘I heal myself’), commonly translated as ‘convalescence’, as opposed to the transitive Heilung (‘I heal you’), humorously translated as ‘sanatorium’. What happens in psychoanalysis is that ‘I heal myself’ by changing my intelligence of things. What does not happen is that ‘you heal me’ by imposing conformism, of which you are a representative guaranteed and abundantly paid by the dominant power.
Put briefly, this is the theoretical basis that forms my politics of psychoanalysis. And you cannot take it as prudence if in one of the plenary meetings of Spaziozero I feel like benevolently advising you not to fornicate too much with the ministerial commissions for psychotherapy. The risk to exorcise is a corollary of the previous logical analysis. The State already appropriately intervenes on psychotherapeutic ground because this is within the ground of its competence. If you, as a psychoanalyst, get into the ground of psychotherapy, you force the State to intervene in the ground of psychoanalysis – and then it will be in an inappropriate manner.
Dear Ettore, if psychoanalysis will survive, it will never do so on the merits accrued through engaging with the ministerial commissions, nor by smuggling itself under the veil of psychotherapy. This is because, between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, there is no relation – at last we must be convinced of this and begin the elaborate the grieving, if we have not already done so with the complicity of the institutions. Psychoanalysis, perhaps, will survive, because it will be able to re-propose the novelty of its ethical discourse and its social tie within the intellectual and moral squalor in which we live today (and on the causes of this we could open a long debate, which would involve the imports of big science and its technological derivatives, as well as the theoretical poverty of the hermeneutic discourse).
In conclusion, I think I have demonstrated to you why my political prudence is not cowardice. I don’t think I will have persuaded you, though, and I confess that I would not want to do so either. Spaziozero, movement for lay analysis (and not for lay psychotherapy!), is not a monolith. It has room for diverse theoretical positions and political strategies. Of course, my position is different from yours, although it is closer to yours than to that of whom, like Baldini, understands psychoanalysis as a science. But this means that there will be an ideological debate in Spaziozero, and you know that, at that point, I will not pull back.
(1) In relation to this, see Franco Badini’s reply.
From Perrella to Sciacchitano
Padua, 3rd September 1997
If even with a month delay, I reply with great pleasure to your email dated 29th June. I wrote the open letter to which you have replied, because – perhaps in a manner that is a little provocative –