Pier Paolo Pasolini
ABSTRACT: While proclaiming himself to be in favour of the Radical initiative for the calling of the eight referendums (against the Concordat, for the abolition of military courts, against opinion crimes, against the law on mental hospitals, against public funds
for politicals parties, against the “Investigative commission” and for the depenalization of abortion), Pasolini states he is against the referendum for the depenalization of abortion, as a consequence of his being against the false heterosexual liberation forced by the consumer society, which leads to reject all that is sexually different. (Marco Pannella’s reply in the article “The lamb, the zygote and Pasolini” - ARCHIVE RADICAL PARTY, text n. 1188)
(“Corriere della Sera” 19/1/1975)
I am in favour of the eight referendums of the Radical Party, and I would also be willing to back an immediate campaign in favour of them. I share the Radical Party’s eagerness for ratification, that is, its longing to give existing realities a formal shape: which is the prime principle of democracy.
I am however shocked at the idea of legalizing abortion, because, as many others, I consider it a legalization of homicide. In my dreams and in my everyday behaviour - an attitude common to all human beings - I live my prenatal life, my being happily immersed in the waters: I know that I existed then. I will stop here, because I have more urgent things to say on abortion. That life is sacred is an obvious thing: it is a principle even stronger than any principle of democracy, and it is useless to repeat it.
The first thing I would like to say is instead this: the abortion issue is the first and only case in which the radicals and all the purest and most rigorous democratic pro-abortionists refer to a “Realpolitik”, and therefore resort to the “clinic” abuse of facts and common sense.
While they always, especially and ideally (as it is right to do) dealt with the problem of choosing the “real principles” to defend, this time they haven’t. As they are well aware of, there is not a single case in which “real principles” correspond to those which the majority considers its own rights. In the democratic context, we fight for majority, of course, that is, for the entire civil society: the majority however, in its sacredness, is always wrong: because its conformism is always, for its very nature, brutally repressive.
Why do I not consider the principles on which the radicals, and progressivists generally (in a conformist way) base their battle for the legalization of abortion “real”?
For a chaotic, turbulent and exciting series of reasons. First of all, as I said before, the majority is already entirely, potentially, in favour of a legalization of abortion (even though, in the event of a new “referendum”, many would vote against it, and the radical “victory” would be much less sensational).
Legalized abortion - there are no doubts - would be extremely useful to the majority. Especially because it would make copulation - heterosexual copulation - even easier, practically void of obstacles. But by whom, I ask, is this freedom of copulation of the “couple”, the way the majority views it - this wonderful permissiveness as regards copulation - secretly wanted, secretly promoted and secretly made to penetrate irreversibly into people’s habits? By the power of the consumer society, the new fascism. It has seized upon the so to say liberal and progressivist needs for freedom, and has nullified them, has altered their nature. The sexual freedom of the majority today is in fact a convention, an obligation, a social duty, a social anxiety, an inalienable characteristic of the consumer’s standard of living. The false liberation brought about by wealth has created a situation similar if not worse than the one of the times of poverty. First of all: the result of a sexual freedom “given” by the authority is a
true general neurosis. The consequence of easiness is obsession; because it is an “induced” and imposed easiness, coming from the fact that the tolerance of the authority concerns the sexual need expressed by the conformism of the majority only. It protects only the couple (not only the married couple of course): and the couple has ended up by becoming a paroxysmal condition, instead of becoming a sign of freedom and happiness (as in the democratic hopes).
Second point: all that is sexually “different” is instead ignored and rejected. With a violence similar to that of the Nazis in the concentration camps (no one, of course, remembers that sexual misfits ended up in concentration camps). It’s true; at least in theory, that the new authority extends its false tolerance to minorities as well. One cannot exclude that in a near future the subject will be publicly discussed on television. Also, “élites” are much more tolerant toward sexual minorities now compared to the past, and in a sincere way (also because this gratifies their conscience). On the other hand the huge majority (the mass: fifty million Italians) has become of such a coarse, violent and outrageous intolerance as never before in the history of this country. Anthropologically speaking, there has been a major phenomenon of abjuration in these years: along with poverty, the Italian population refuses to remember its “real” tolerance: in other words, it doesn’t want to remember the two phenomenons that
characterized its entire history better than any other.
That history which the new authority wants to erase forever. It is this same mass (ready to use violence, blackmail, to lynch the minorities) which, out of a decision of the authority, is overcoming the old clerical-fascist convention and is willing to accept the legalization of abortion and therefore the abolition of any obstacle in the relations of the legitimate couple.
Speaking about abortion however, everyone, from the Radicals to Fanfani (who, for once, preceding Andreotti with a cunning manoeuvre, is laying the bases for a theological albeit extremely cautious
abjuration to the Vatican’s face) omits to speak about what logically precedes it, copulation…