The Malta Independent 17 July 2024, Wednesday
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Unity

Alfred Sant Monday, 17 June 2024, 08:00 Last update: about 1 month ago

People all have a similar physical appearance and share the same material and social needs. This confirms that they are part of the same animal species which necessarily should (or so supposedly) draw them towards similar customs and behaviour. However in no way do they indicate that humans shall live in unity. Nor do they show how unity can be maintained when people live together in the same community.

What is it that enables unity? Family relationships? Sex? Race, language? A shared childhood, youth, old age? Religious faith?

The existence of  social cohesion in human society is a fascinating topic. Over the centuries, many people were prepared to make the supreme sacrifice -- that of their own lives -- to safeguard communal unity even while knowing that they would no longer be able to benefit from it.

Truly the human personality must be imbued with the belief that without unity between people living in the same surroundings, life cannot be lived well, whether at individual or at collective levels. Though other beasts seem to share this conviction, none has brought it as far as humanity has. Not just though in the affirmation and maintenance of unity, but also as well when it came to be betrayed.

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SOCIALISM

With the passage of time, the commitment to socialism became ever more diffuse as explanatory declarations and strategies  evolved to make it more vague and geared to softer aims. Initially its aims had been quite explicit and strictly targeted to cover the defence of workers’ interests. This was when workers constituted that class in society which contributed most to the creation of material wealth while benefitting least from what it had created.

As it set about to achieve its aims, socialism obtained good successes though they remained much less than had been wished for. And as the years rolled by, compromises intended to accomodate social and technological changes that occurred in European and US societies filtered into socialist policies. The latest important compromise was that adopted by Tony Blair and friends. It focussed on how to attract at all costs votes to parties espousing the socialist cause and succeeded in this.

But meanwhile, is socialism still socialism?

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PUTTING THE SHUTTERS DOWN

These days, my activities have largely centred on how to wind down the routines that had been developed over the last ten years in my offices in Brussels and Malta. This was a new experience since up to now, whenever I dropped out of a posting or resigned from some office, there would always be a replacement, physically present, to take over.

Not this time. So, I got to know what happens when one is putting the shutters down on a shop, especially when one needs to clear the furniture. In this case, the volume of papers and newspapers that had accumulated over the years was extraordinary. There is the temptation to try and see what one could retain of them till one realizes that doing so, would require tons of time and it does not makes sense to undertake such a marathon. Better just shred everything. 

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