The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
View E-Paper

Wipe-out or salvation of a nation

Sunday, 2 June 2024, 07:45 Last update: about 2 months ago

Jake Muscat

If liberty is lost it can be regained. The culture once lost is forever gone’ – Enrico Mizzi

The Maltese nation, over the centuries, was subject to a number of different rulers. One thing it almost always had in common throughout these centuries however was its connection to Sicily. This was so in Ancient times and remained true even throughout the Arab, Norman and the Knights periods. This connection with Sicily was important for Malta due to the fact that, although due to its insular nature, it would develop its own distinct character, especially under the Order of St John, it nevertheless remained under the cultural influence of Sicily in terms of linguistics, religion, art (influenced by Rome under the Order), and way of life.

Well into the British era of the 19th century, these cultural aspects began being used as national traits by which the Maltese began requesting forms of self-government from their occupiers. The Colonial era in Malta was marked by subtle alliances between the British and certain segments of Maltese society, which managed to subdue the Maltese population in a quiet manner. In the meantime, over the course of a century, there seeped into the Maltese mind the Colonial mentality of inferiority and servilism. This was occurring during the time in which various questions regarding the character of Maltese society were being asked, notably the language and mixed marriages. Later in the 20th century, Italian would be removed from the official language of Malta and state marriage would be introduced post-WWII.

Following the Second World War, like much of Europe, Malta was devastated in terms of housing and material resources needed to survive. Similar to a number of European countries as well as a number of post-colonial Latin nations, socialism was rearing its head during these times of material deprivation. Although reconstruction and new housing was done, as well as the introduction of the modern welfare system, the spiritual and cultural aspect of the Maltese was beginning to wane. Two notable characters from this era comment on these visible changes.

Lawyer and writer Herbert Ganado notes in one of his writings on Il-Leħen is-Sewwa that although the material needs of the population had been satisfied by subsequent governments, the spiritual needs were brushed aside, creating an increasingly materialistic mindset. Archbishop Gonzi was also a visionary who began to realise that Malta was going down the path of other European nations in losing its Catholic and Latin identity. Archbishop Gonzi also lamented about Malta becoming nothing more than a cosmopolitan rock and also advised against overdevelopment and its consequences.

The main premise here is that if a people does not have an identity, then it has nothing to fight for. Hence, it can easily be eliminated with minimum effort.

When we look back and see all of this in context, one cannot help but admire just how frighteningly accurate these prophecies of our nation’s future were. Today we have come to a point where the concept of Malteseness is questioned. This crisis in identity is something common throughout the West, however on a different note, other Western European countries still have influential political groups which make it a priority to defend the roots of their respective nations. Locally there is no such movement, and even the party of Religio et Patria has long abandoned its nationalist credentials. The identity crisis we face today is not only in terms of cultural practices but also in the surrounding environment, where we have managed to uglify our island with limitless concrete towers and charging exaggerated prices to rent them. This severing of our national roots has coincided with the lowest fertility rate in all of Europe as well as an exploding foreign population of cheap labour. Our fragile economic system, endorsed by the two establishment parties, has been built on this foundation. When combined with a lack of national identity, these factors create a scenario ripe for the complete dissolution of our nation. Both establishment parties are committed to this political manoeuvre of total wipeout, consciously or not. It is for this reason that a significant chunk of voters are abandoning Labour, but not turning to the PN simply because they are not offering a solution and, in doing so, rendering themselves unelectable. Instead, they turn to anti-establishment candidates like Norman Lowell, who is on his way to doubling his votes over the previous European elections.

The political climate in Malta is currently going through a metamorphosis. With both parties in decline, the time is ripe for a truly nationalist movement to start filling the void and taking over. The alternative would be to leave things as they are and wait for us to slowly but surely die out. But if history teaches us one thing it is that out of a crisis, a Caesar can emerge.

  • don't miss