The Italian Connection Part 2

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Psychotherapy is the shadow discourse of the master. It aims at conforming suffering people to the master’s ideals, promising that afterwards they will all be happy. Psychotherapy, in fact, does the ‘good’ (this would be enough to differentiate it from psychoanalysis) not for the individual, as it farcically holds, but for the master. Its practice does not need much subjective formation: it is enough that the candidate learns to use the cucullary muscles (so the anatomists call them in the old days, as they supported the cucullus – the cap – of the good councillors, who knew how to bend their heads to the dictates of the ruler).
Dear Ettore, having made this brief theoretical preamble, you can easily understand that what I hold at a practical and political level cannot be taken as Stalinism. I only hold that the State has the right to intervene in the exercising of the cucullary muscles of its councillors… if we wish to become these. This is not Stalinism but tolerance. I myself have no wish to become a councillor of the State. Consequently, I have no interest in the cursus honorum that the State promises to its employees. I belong to a discourse that is opposite to that of the master and its servile shadow. Psychoanalysis cannot be servitude, psychotherapy can. Therefore, the rebellion against the law that regulates psychotherapy seems to me the miserable rebellion of the servant against the master. I am not surprised to find some Catholics amongst the Spartacuses of the insurrection. It fits into the tradition of the Catholic Church’s rebellion of the eighteen hundreds against the Italian State. But I am surprised to find you among them, a lay thinker. Are you under the influence of some unknown curse?
I do appreciate your ear pulling. The term ‘morals’ does need to be re-evaluated by analysts. Personally, I reserve it to the package of moral norms reducible to the activities of the Super-Ego. But this dutiful recognition is not enough. One should also have the courage to recognise that ethical demand (Anspruch) is on the side of the Id, which is even isomorphous to the demand of the drive (therefore, in this linguistic construction, highly intellectual). The necessary work to make this position pass through the resistances of the analyst (his formation being a further resistance) is enormous. In the first instance, it requires an intellectual effort to reactivate the channels across eidetic truth (‘Ethic Truth’ today sounds like an oxymoron, since the first is relegated to the noetic plain, whilst the second to the dianoetic). In the second, it is necessary to weaken the weight of the Super-Ego in our associations (it is impossible to eliminate it), and, at the same time, give back a voice to the Id that ‘cannot say what it wants’ (The Ego and the Id, last lines). The measure that guides me to the boundary of judgement – not to judgement, in this you are correct – is Heidegger’s: ‘We are only what we have the strength to demand from ourselves’ (The Essence of Truth, comment on the myth of the cave). But the practical work, too, is not less demanding. It requires that we activate social bonds between ourselves that are less marked by the Super-Ego and more marked by the Id. Wilder, then? No, more attentive to that, which, still unwritten, continues to beat in the unconscious of each one of us. The re-launching of psychoanalysis is born out of the scriptures of still unwritten laws. In relation to this, I am very interested in what you have to say about the unconscious as an over-essential fact. It seems useful, to me, to get away from a certain neo-Platonism (from which all conformists drink, starting with some transvestites among the ‘human scientists’ – perhaps dressed in the black tunic of the uncomfortable and rebellious priest, or in the white cloak of the cognitivist doctor).