The scourge of duality

Fair warning: this is NOT a happy post.

The premise to this rambling is that I am certainly not qualified to write about politics. While I’m highly interested in that of the capital P variety, and totally uninterested in the one of the small p ilk, I have no academic background in the matter, nor any scientific one for the matter. I am, simply, an invested world citizen with my own views, but then, aren’t we all?

I’ve shied away from writing about political matters on this blog precisely because of the afore-mentioned premise. But that hasn’t stopped me from commenting on matters I truly care about and that I have at least some sort of more studied learning in, such as human rights, racism, migration, and hunting.

That this world is becoming more and more a place I’m no longer happy to live in has been apparent to me for a very, very long time. It was, in fact, the main reason I preferred to adopt rather than create a new human being. I find it hard to understand how (and I know that I’m on the fringes on this one) one can willing choose to create life in a world which is moving surely and steadily towards the brink of existence.

armageddon
Armageddon may not be confined to Hollywood for much longer

Yes, of course there are beautiful moments and movements; yes, of course I believe we should all do our very best to work hard at making it better and that hope is the last to die; but I do fear that the powers that pull the strings, the ones we are not even aware of, are so self-involved that the momentum may already be too far gone.

Case in point – the recent political developments on this fair isle of Malta.

I really don’t know who to believe anymore, who to look to. I fear that everyone involved, and I mean everyone, is just an opportunistic sod, riding the Trumpian train of grandiose and empty statements as long as there are soundbites that get picked up.

Is this the end of democracy as we know it? Could this be another Kuhnian paradigm shift? Towards what?

I (and together with me, several others) had hoped that the Arab spring could be such a shift. But it fizzled out. Capitalism proved too strong. Is this what we’re seeing here again?

us them
The duality of us versus them is the most insidious of human nature

Well – certainly on the personal level, that is most definitely what we are witnessing. That power subverts and corrupts is clear to all, even on the smallest of levels. From the child in the playground who has more money to spend on treats than others, to the scion of a top family who may start at the bottom rungs but knows s/he is destined for the top, to the over-zealous warden or police officer whose pen and pad gives them a sense of superiority which seems unreal at times.

So it shouldn’t be too far a stretch for us to believe that those in ‘real’ power are even more susceptible to trying to get away with things. Has it happened before? I’m sure it has. Will it happen again? I have no doubt it will. Does that make it ok?

Absolutely NOT.

So what is the first thing someone in such a position, suspected of such behaviour should do? In my books – remove themselves from that untenable position, clear their name, and return with a vengeance if they succeed.

What should they NOT do? Keep holding on to a sinking raft, desperately grabbing on to their last vestiges of power, unable to let go. That certainly doesn’t clear their name; if anything, at least in my eyes, it tarnishes them even further.

octopus
Sucking on for dear life, just like an octopus

And in all this, the worst of it all for me is living in a society where duality reigns supreme, where people are unable to rise above paltry, partisan politics, enslaved as they are to their gods, to their respective ‘saviours’.

st francis
‘Forgive them Lord for they know not what they are doing’ – say all the ‘saints’ of ALL Maltese village celebrations

This duality is ingrained at an early stage, from rival football clubs, to the rival saints within each village (that feels so surreal to write!), with the supporters of one shouting out obscenities against the other during the annual celebration. That, truly, sums up the scourge of this duality that is encouraged and force-fed.

Back to politics, who benefits from this? Who, indeed, if not the party machines at the end of the day?

It certainly isn’t the wo/man in the street and they are all the more poorer if they think they matter at all.

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