Il-politika Maltija jidher li nqabdet fl-isqaqien tas-soltu magħmula mill-ġlied partiġjan tas-soltu. Imma li qed jiġri hu agħar mis-soltu għar-raġuni li r-regola tar-rebbieħ li jieħu kollox (regola li aċċettajna minn żmien żemżem, ħaġa li dejjem kienet żball) illum wasslet sal-punt li t-tellief – la tilef “kollox”, lest ikisser “kollox”.
Qabel, tellief kien jistenna, jaħdem biex jaqleb iċ-ċirkostanzi u jġibhom favurih. Meta jiġri hekk, jerġa’ jirbaħ “kollox” hu, u d-daqqa tkun tiegħu.
Jidher li dir-rassenjazzjoni, jekk se nsejħulha hekk, kienet mistennija li titħaddem l-aktar mir-rappreżentanti xellugin tal-pajjiż, tal-ħaddiema u n-nies tax-xogħol l-oħra.
Illum dawk li jaraw li tilfu “kollox” m’għadhomx lesti jaħdmu mill-qiegħ biex jerġgħu jiksbu dak li jqisu bħala posthom. Forsi t-tkabbir ekonomiku qawwi li baqa’ għaddej qatagħlhom tamiethom. Żball: għax fid-dijalettika ta’ kull ċaqliqa ekonomika qed jitħejja ċaqliq ieħor li jieħu l-pendlu fid-direzzjoni kuntrarja.
Bħalissa, jidher li qed isiru kalkoli differenti. L-għajta donnha saret: la m’aħniex se naslu, ħalli jinkalja l-bastiment!
Għaddejja fl-Ewropa, speċjalment fi Franza, mewġa ta’ tifkira – biex ma ngħidx nostalġija – għall-ġrajjiet tas-sena 1968, ħamsin sena ilu.
Il-gwerra tal-Vjetnam li żbroffat fl-offensiva tat-Tet mill-Viet Kong. It-tqanqil studentesk fl-universitajiet Amerikani u wara Ewropej. Il-qtil ta’ Martin Luther King. Ir-ribelljoni ta’ Mejju fi Franza li pparalizzat il-pajjiż matul ġimgħat sħaħ ta’ rvelli f’Pariġi u għoddha waqqgħet lill-President de Gaulle mill-pedestall fejn kien jinsab. Ir-rebbiegħa ta’ Praga mmexxija minn Dubċek, li kellha tagħti l-ħelsien lill-poplu Ċekoslovakk u nqerdet bl-invażjoni tal-Unjoni Sovjetika, imbeżżgħa li se titlef mill-ispazju strateġiku li kienet tgawdi fiċ-ċentru tal-Ewropa.
Matul l-1968, xpakkaw it-tensjonijiet li żviluppaw fid-deċennju tas-sittin tas-seklu l-ieħor. Kien qed jimmarka qasma bejn il-ħamsinijiet, pjuttost kalmi u prosperi fejn il-popli tal-Punent irkupraw mit-traġedji tat-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija, u s-snin sebgħin fejn il-kapitaliżmu stejqer u skjara l-forzi li ħolqu l-globalizzazzjoni.
Domt ħafna, wisq, sakemm qrajt sal-aħħar “La Ferocia” ta’ Nicola Lagioia, rumanz b’tema qawwija. Jesplora kif il-kilba imprenditorjali tal-missier fi ħdan familja tferi lill-membri l-oħra tagħha bi tbenġil li ma jistax jitfejjaq. Juri x’jinqala’ meta dan jiġri f’soċjetà fejn jaħkmu l-korruzzjoni u l-omertà.
L-azzjoni tar-rumanz tiżvolġi f’Bari u l-inħawi ta’ madwar. Jinqabdu tajjeb l-atmosfera ta’ dar-reġjun tassew attrajenti, kif stajt nara s-sajf li għadda meta żortu. Il-karattri li jlaqqagħna magħhom Lagioia huma kredibbli anke jekk ta’ sikwit wisq teatrali f’imġibithom.
Ir-rumanz ġie kkritikat għax miktub bi stil goff u opak. Din forsi sservini ta’ skuża għaliex domt daqshekk biex intemmu. Rebaħ il-premju Strega tas-sena 2015.
English Version – Blockages
It seems like Maltese politics have been sidelined towards the usual blockages created by the usual partisan disputes. But what is happening goes beyond the usual stalemates for one reason: the rule that winner takes all (one which we all had accepted from day one, and which always appeared to me to be a mistake) has now led us to the point where the loser… having lost “all”… is prepared to bring the whole house down.
Previously a loser would wait, endeavour to change the situation and turn it to his favour. When that happened, he would again win “all” and acquire total control.
It seems that this resigned acceptance, if one can call it such, was expected mostly from the leftwing sectors of our society, from those representing workers and working people in general.
Today, those who believe they have lost “all” are no longer ready to strive across the board to regain what they consider to be their rightful place. Perhaps the strong economic growth that has persisted has undermined all their hopes. Which is a misapprehension: for in the dialectic of all economic growth, scope is being created through that very growth for further developments that will push the pendulum hard in the opposite direction.
Now, it is apparent that the calculations are being laid out differently. The call seems to have become: since we’re not going to get there, let the ship hit the rocks!
In Europe now, especially France, there is an ongoing commemorative urge – one could say a collective nostalgia – regarding what happened half a century ago, in the year 1968.
The war in Vietnam that erupted again with the Viet Cong’s Tet offensive. The turmoil among students in US universities, then those of Europe. The killing of Martin Luther King. The May revolt in France that paralysed the country as riots took over Paris for weeks on end and President de Gaulle was almost toppled from the pedestal where he stood. Then the Prague spring, led by Dubcek – it was meant to bring freedom to the Czech people but was obliterated when the Soviets, wary of losing the strategic space they had gained in central Europe, invaded.
In the course of 1968, the tensions that had built up during the sixties decade of the previous century simply exploded. That decade marked a discontinuity between the fifties, rather calm and focussed on prosperity as the nations of the West recovered from the tragedies of the Second World War, and the seventies, when capitalism came into its own and the forces which generated globalisation took off.
It took me a long time, too long, to read to the end Nicola Lagioia’s “La Ferocia”, a novel premised on quite a powerful theme. It explores how the entrepreneurial drive of the father damages the other members of his family – they carry wounds which cannot be healed. It also shows the complications that arise when this happens in a society where corruption and omertà prevail.
The novel’s story line develops in Bari and its surroundings. The way of life of this truly attractive region is well displayed, as I could witness last summer when I visited. The characters that Lagioia follows are credible even if they often behave theatrically.
The novel was controversially criticised for having been written in a style that is too clumsy and opaque. This might serve as an excuse for my having taken so long to read “La Ferocia” through. It won the 2015 Strega prize.