From Perrella to Sciacchitano
Padua, 18th September 1998
First of all, I would like to ask your permission to publish our correspondence, as it is, in the next volume of Arché. I do think that this exchange of ideas could be important for others too.
I now come to your letter dated 16th September. That psychoanalysis can be wild, as you write, is very true. But is psychotherapy always so? If you asked my opinion, I would immediately reply that I think it is, always. But one thing is to believe this, and another is to make it a generalising statement that would contrast with that of Lacan, according to whom the experience of psychoanalysis is totally enclosed within the analysand. This is a crucial principle, by itself sufficient to demolish any judicial criteria (that is to say, general) about the authorisation to practice as a psychoanalyst; and I can see no reason why it should not be extended to any form of psychotherapy (even to those that I find totally unacceptable). From it, Lacan drew the consequence that only the recognition of occurred formation would be possible (but then, despite the passé, he came to declare that this is reversible). So, who can give this recognition, and in the name of what? This is why having left the SISEP (1) I did not set up a psychoanalytic association (I have never thought of doing so), but something called Accademia Platonica delle Arti (2) (!!!). Sure, some analysts do belong to this, but, within it, no one has a title to legitimise his or her formation (not even I). Is this a radical, extremist, maximalist solution? I don’t know and I don’t care. In my view, it is the only possible one. This is why I have not much faith in the creation of psychoanalytic associations, if these continue to operate according to the old principle of assigning titles.
This is why, when you say that the State has the right to ‘intervene in the exercise of the cucullary muscle of its councillors’, I truly believe that this kind of tolerance is not a virtue. It would be so for the ideas of others, only as long as these others do not try to impose them on someone else. But a ‘State’ psychotherapy – should there ever be one (and, fortunately, we are not at this point yet…) – in no way should be tolerated, just as it would be intolerable for a State law to impose on me that I should go to Church every Sunday, or to the Mosque every Friday. You, instead, dear Antonello, with your tolerance, would tolerate this too, and even that the State makes soap out of six million Jews (to return to the previous example). In other words: what is it to tolerate other people’s intolerance (even more so, if the other is the State) if not unaware, and indeed, because of it, even more unforgivable cowardice?
With regard to the slave and the master, I take the liberty to remind you that, in a democratic State, sovereignty – that is, the capacity to decide on exceptional states, as Schmitt would put it (who was definitely not a Nazi) – rests with the people: that is, with me, you and all the others. It is you, who, by attributing all rights to it, transforms the State into a master. Now, what is it to do so? The name is idolatry, which is the greatest of all sins, because it grants to the State the rights that only belong to God (who, thankfully, has never given us a law against psychotherapy). Consequently, I shall now toss the omelette. Although I care very little to be seen as a layman, it is not at all me who is ‘under the influence of some unknown curse’. Rather, it is all of those –