(1) Italian Section of the European School of Psychoanalysis.
(2) Platonic Academy of the Arts.
From Sciacchitano to Perrella
Milan, 22nd September 1997
Your arguments have touched me. They have nailed me to the ultimate responsibility that we, tolerant people, carry: in evangelical terms, that of tolerating those who are intolerant. For sure, in the scenario prefigured by you, should there be an imposition of ‘State’ psychotherapy tomorrow, I would have the anorexic satisfaction of being able to say: ‘I told you so: the truth of psychotherapy is that it belongs to the State’. At that point, it would be too late to oppose statism, and it would not be an act of great cowardice to surrender the weapons. On the other hand, at that point, it would be a duty to recognise that, ahead of it, we did not fight hard enough against statism.
I shall repeat to you my way of committing myself to the politics of psychoanalysis, which you seem not to have fully understood yet. It is a way that makes practice secondary to theory, at least for as long as we still have time to think and we don’t have to rush to action with the enemy on our doorstep. That is why I do not become agitated, as you do, by a ‘messy’ law. Instead, going round the logical factors that produce laws such as this, I attempt to surprise the legislator from behind.
Therefore, I am speaking of the weakening of binarism, which is not just a nice intellectual programme, but, also, promises a certain practical efficacy. Indeed, in my opinion, one should not fight the laws that regulate conformism directly, but by aiming at the heart of their ideological matrix that have been always the dictates of that Aristotelian logic, for which the contrary of false is truth and the contrary of truth is false – to the exclusion of any possible third. Having established the principle of truth as that of adjustment, this logic, in the hand of the powerful of the moment, judges whether society conforms or not to its ideals. If it does not, it knows what to do (the third is there, within such a logic as within any respectable logic, but cannot be seen – in theory it is metalanguage, in practice it is the master. Of course, if only society knew less dictatorial laws than the binary one… But for society, too, it is more convenient to conform to the powerful so as to appoint itself the title of ‘healthy’ (1).
Dear Ettore, I think that, we could do much more against the statist demands of law 56 by publishing our correspondence, than by associating ourselves with the psychologists’ trade-unions in order to defend their conformist cause. After all, they do not need our little help, nor do they ask for it. And, most of all, they do not wish us to compromise with our idealism their commercial enterprise – the big business of the schools of psychotherapeutic ‘conformation’.