The Italian Connection Part 1

8 ..17

As far as the rules of any profession are concerned, yes; as far as the ‘passe’ for practicing it is concerned, no. Why not? Because, in reality, psychoanalytic formation coincides with subjective formation, and this cannot be legally regulated without being impeded. But – one might say – the State has the power to regulate whatever it wishes. Certainly. This, however, once again, does not mean that it has the right to do so. Rights do not emerge from the law, but from a judicial order represented in today’s States by the Constitution, with which each single law can at times fall into contradiction. It is not a matter of clarifying only, here, what relationship there is between psychoanalysis and rights, but, also, what relationship must exist between rights and legislation. This is a political problem that has a weight far greater than the first, and that, therefore, deserves that we fight a political battle. In order to undertake such a battle, we must depart from more than our professional interests.
Obviously, I am talking from a position that subordinates law to morality. As it is well known, in Germany such subordination forms a constitutional principle, which is such that jurists can formulate contra legem sentences, whenever they consider a certain law to be greatly at odds with the moral principles expressed by the Constitution, and to do so without having to defer the matter to the Constitutional Court. This, of course, is not possible in Italy. Nevertheless, the problem exists for us too. And we should always remember this, if we do not wish to run the risk of utilising ideas about rights still tied up with an old judicial positivism – and not simply to hide our psychoanalytic professionalism behind them.
I will not continue, here, on this crucial problem regarding the philosophy of rights, to which, for sure, I shall return elsewhere. Instead, I shall limit myself to clarify that I consider it essential that, in the autumn, at whatever cost, Spaziozero formulates and publishes its theoretical positions with regard to the above three points. The fight we face demands that we understand who is our enemy. This enemy is not simply the State’s laws. It is also among us, unless we become able to establish some firm points on our programme and draw conclusions from these in our experience.

Ettore Perrella

(1) Department of University and Scientific Research.

From Sciacchitano to Perrella
Milan, 29 July 1997

Dear Ettore,
I have received your circular this morning, which, for me, has precipitated considerations I have entertained for a long time. For many reasons, I would rather communicate these to you privately – not least because of the familiarity of the discussion, which could be carried out as a philosophical dialogue, rather than as a public diatribe.
I tell you briefly how, today, I read your position. Naturally, all my arguments follow logically from my initial interpretation and you can let me know whether this is correct and acceptable.
Reduced to the bone: your argument seems to be constituted by two theses, A and B, of which the second (B) depends on the first (A) through a fortiori.