The Italian Connection Part 2

12 ..16

But I come to the point. I think that we have really come to the crux of the matter. You write: unless it takes a political position, Spaziozero will soon disappear. Of this I am certain. From what I can gather, it would seem that my initial letter has raised negative responses among some in the movement. Unfortunately, unlike yours, these have not been explicitly formulated.
With regard to intolerance and cowardice, in reality, I think that all those who have subscribed to Spaziozero (whose number, from what I hear from Mauro Santacatterina, has recently dramatically decreased) are neither cowards nor intolerant, for the simple reason that they did subscribe to it. I never thought or said otherwise. Nevertheless, like everyone else, we also have our own incoherencies, contradictions and even sins, and I do think that it is vital for each one of us to know, or at least to suspect, which are his or her own. If I may express something about this, contrary to what you might have thought, in my life I have always felt a real horror for all that is political. Of course, this depends also on what we mean by ‘political’. In any case, I am not a political agitator of the masses, and I should also add that I have no instinctual sympathy whatsoever for the masses themselves. On the one hand, I believe that this is a virtue, and, on the other, a defect that I struggle to correct.
In any case, if Spaziozero is to become a true movement of psychoanalytic politics, it is vital that a nucleus of positive theses emerges from within it. Not in the sense of positive rights, but in the sense that we cannot limit ourselves to speak about what we do not want, unless, having done so, we are unable to say what it is that we do want and propose. From this point of view, there are different positions (not only two, as you think perhaps too optimistically). What is more, often, the same people hold alternatively different positions. This problem seems to me a serious one, because it is not only so for those who concern themselves with psychoanalysis, but for everyone (and, I am afraid, with only very few exceptions).
I continue to believe that it is neither right, nor correct to rely on psychoanalysis as on something that automatically guarantees a proper ethical and political position for those who practise it. This seems to me an ideological illusion that, under a coating of Freudian or Lacanian paint, can let through any sort of rubbish. Given that such a coating has been produced several times, and in several forms, throughout the history of psychoanalysis, I really think it is high time to turn the page and admit, with some humility, that the word ‘psychoanalysis’ guarantees nothing at all to anyone. I believe that if my position on this triggers truly phobic reactions in some of our colleagues, it is because to accept it would also mean to accept a disorientating narcissistic fall. One would imagine that psychoanalysts should be used to such a fall. But I think that – if they did occur in analysis (and only those who have undertaken one may know whether that has happen) – later on, their narcissistic falls become over compensated by a sort of psychoanalytic purism that produces beautiful souls, but, also, hides much ignorance and conformism. I want nothing to do with all this, as I think neither do you and many others. Why surrender, then, instead of trying to reveal what each one of us thinks about the formation of analysts and the meaning that analytical practice has today? Is clarity not a much better compensation than the delirium of omnipotence?