The Italian Connection Part 2

16 ..16

I have never held this view but, rather, the exact opposite one, and I have explained this on several public occasions at which Sciacchitano was present. In synthesis: I believe that the State has the right to norm all that it wants, but it should not do so by throwing upside down consolidated traditions and principles of doctrine. If the State wishes to norm psychoanalysis it should norm psychoanalysis, not something else that it believes to be psychoanalysis. Having said this, I believe that the best thing for psychoanalysts would be to regulate themselves.
In his letter dated 22nd September 1997, Sciacchitano again writes:

‘Cold and mechanical, the vegetative germinates in Baldini, who wants a scientific psychoanalysis that is without a subject, teachable in some private university that is run by a rector.’

First, I note that whilst in his letter dated 29th July I emerged as a defender of subjective rights, by the 22nd September I have already become someone who would like to abolish these. I also wish to underline that to define ‘cold and mechanical’ the vegetative soul (it would be best to say ‘the vegetative part – mòrion – of the soul’), indicates a lack of knowledge about Aristotle.
Most of all, I firmly object to the equation: science = abolition of the subject. I have explained several times (also, in private, to Sciacchitano) that at least since the ’20s – with the turn of quantum physics – science absolutely no longer does away with the subject, it no longer attempts to abolish it. As a Freudian analyst and as a scientist, I know full well that the subject cannot be abolished, but I also know that this is not an obstacle to the constitution of a scientific objectivity. Today’s scientific objectivities are all constituted in a way that could be defined as ‘non-transcendentalist’ – if Sciacchitano knows what I am talking about. That is, far from denying the subject, scientific objectivities themselves are nothing else but forms of subjectivities. Needless to say, this too is not cold and mechanical.
The project of a psychoanalytic institute – which I have always suggested only as one possible solution of the problem of analytical formation – was not born out of my own mind, but goes right back to Sigmund Freud. The suggestion that I am manoeuvring to bring about for myself the possibility to take up a position as Rector is one that aims at implying that my involvement in all of this is moved by some occult ambition for power. That is, it suggests that, unlike Freud, I do not support the scientific value of psychoanalysis because I have a strong conviction and on the basis of some well founded arguments, but, rather, only in order to obtain academic power. The whole of my life demonstrates that this is quite to the contrary, and all those who know me even a little bit can testify to this.
I think that in private anyone has the right to manifest their opinions – even in ‘Dionysian’ ways – but in public tones and manners should be different.

Franco Baldini