and they are the pressing majority – who do not notice the great contradiction into which they are immersed by confusing tolerance with a totalitarian statism, in which those jurists who deserve to be called so have no longer believed for more than half a century (already in 1935, Schmitt said that the State is no longer the dominant political force). The unpleasant thing is that this is not at all a curse, but the well-known and very banal effect of our loss of inclination for thinking. Instead, we spend our time mucking about with tools of communication, having lost any capacity to suspect that, whilst we muck about, a political class of infamous cultural level churns out confused and messy laws and decrees that recognise only criteria of power, whilst totally neglecting any judicial criteria. These sorts of operations are certainly part of Italian law, and to disobey them would lead to a position of illegality. But this does not mean that when the State approves such laws it operates legally. At this point, two hypothesis begin to emerge from the rights that have been formulated over the last fifty years:
1. an illegitimate law can be transgressed on moral grounds, but the transgressor remains condemnable in judicial terms.
2. An illegitimate law must be changed, because it has not and has never had any judicial value.
The second position, which seems extreme, corresponds to that adopted in all those States that have a Constitution; whereas in others (England, United States and, if even in a more limited way, Germany) one is not even required to refer the matter to a Constitutional court (because, often, a judge can formulate a contra legem sentence).
Having said this, I know full well that you are not consciously a coward, a statist and a totalitarian; so much so, that, with complete serenity, you pass from enunciating principles that I find truly incomprehensible, to drawing from them absolutely correct consequences – as you do when you quote Heidegger: ‘We are only what we have the strength to demand from ourselves’. This is an ethical principle, on the basis of which each one of us may only judge one’s self. Consequently, when I pull your ear and you do the same with me, in reality, we are not at all judging one another (and it is precisely this that is so extraordinary!). As far as I am concerned, I am only trying to demonstrate to you what are the consequences of those positions that to you seem to think totally correct.
Naturally, I could be wrong, but so could you.
I now come to the final great question: ‘are we the ‘pentiti’ of psychoanalysis?’ As far as I am concerned certainly not, if with the term psychoanalysis we are referring to the fundamental task (ethical and scientific) of Freud and all the others. But, quite frankly, if, instead, I think of what psychoanalysis continues to become, I must tell you that I feel a thousand miles away from this swamp of stupidity and superficiality that, to top it all, appoints itself with badges of the soul.
With regard to the problem about ethical judgement (a truly complex one), I attach a piece that is due to come out in Arché’s volume on anorexia. It is only a first approach on this problem, but I hope it will be enough to give you an approximate idea of how I think it should be pursued.
In the mean time, I say goodbye to you with affectionate gratitude, not only for your ‘tolerance’, but because we are truly exchanging some ideas (something that, with a confrère, has happened to me only very rarely).