The Italian Connection Part 1

12 ..17

The fact is that no one can say: ‘this is ethics and this is not’. And most of all, no one should say it. In fact, no one can judge someone else on the basis of something that, for him or her, is, and has to be, totally intimate and essential: the righteousness of an action. One would assume that the Lord would do this on the last day of judgement. But from what is written in the Letter to the Romans, one can deduce that not even God would express a judgement on such a spiky matter. This is because his judgement, which is the only right one by definition, consists only in letting those judgements that we formulated in the course of our lives fall back on us (Saint Paul calls it katakrònein, which means ‘to judge retroactively’). And how could we, normal mortals, do what not even God is able to do? Therefore, I tell you frankly, your a priori distinction between what is ethical and what is not, seems to me not only impossible to sustain, but also deeply guilty of the only unforgivable act: that against the spirit. On what basis can one say whether someone is undertaking or has undertaken an analysis or a therapy? On the basis of the method used by his or her analyst or therapist? But I see thousands of very prominent analysts who hold theses that are perfectly equivalent to the sort of conforming that you have mentioned, whilst I cannot trace back the righteousness of an act to whom has committed it, leaving completely aside whom might have guided it in an analysis or a therapy. I have no sympathy whatsoever for behavioural therapy. But how can I, a priori, exclude the possibility that someone who has undergone a process of this kind might have gained from it a truly ethical position? Not only I cannot know this, but, even if by a miracle I could know it, I still could not say it, simply because I would have no right to do so. ‘Psychoanalysis’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are vague words, the signification of which cannot be defined a priori, and most of all, cannot be defined as you do.
Dear Antonello, the true risk for Spaziozero is that, if we let analysts act (in other words, ourselves), we run the risk to further aggravate our current situation. At least law 56 is so messy that it is even impossible to respect it. If, instead, we attributed to the State competence over the soul (because it is of this that one talks about when one speaks of psycho-something), we would commit an intolerably authoritarian act. And I have the impression that some positions that I hear expressed in Spaziozero are, indeed, more authoritarian than those expressed by law 56. Sadly, among these I have to place yours, given that not only you grant yourself the right to judge what is ethical and what is not (I am not sure on the basis of what evidence), but you also grant this right to the State. To this, I must add the position of those who would like to manufacture a nice faculty of psychoanalysis, and who have everything to learn about how to evaluate the acts of others. And I must conclude with the position of those, who, with a kind of State absolutism that renders pale any positivistic judiciary of half a century ago, believe that the State can legislate on anything (this is Kelsen’s thesis – who, coincidentally, also wrote in Imago before the world war, but then realised that this position had some consequences…). How may we demonstrate that no law has the right to prohibit anyone to speak with someone else (free of charge or by charging this is their business, as long as the one who is making a gain pays tax) on the basis of theoretical presuppositions much more authoritarian than those which have led to the formulation of law 56 in the terms that we, also, dislike?