Throughout the years, I have nurtured lasting friendships with people who have diametrically opposed views than mine on many a subject, be it on religion, spiritualism, the economy, social mores, dietary tastes and politics.
Different views mean different paths, albeit sometimes arriving to the same location. At the end of the day, I sincerely believe that, as Lara Lington said to Sadie Lancaster in Sophie Kinsella’s novel, ‘life takes us on different paths…It’s not up to us to evaluate or judge them, merely respect and embrace them.’
But then, in a recent opinion featured in the Times of Malta, a surgical professor and former PN candidate wrote a revolting piece concerning how he unashamedly looks down upon left-wing and Labour voters and sympathisers. It made my blood boil. In a nutshell, this pseudo-intellectual regaled us with the uncanny and shameless concept that Labour in Malta has been enjoying huge majorities in the popular vote in these last ten years or so because, basically, the majority of voters are stupid. Therefore, since one is stupid, it stands to reason that one votes Labour and not Conservative, thus inferring that conservatives are bright, intelligent lightbulbs whilst Labour is merely a sort of Neanderthal playing field for the dimwits and those who fared so badly in Malta’s disastrous educational system.
A surgical professor and former PN candidate wrote a revolting piece concerning how he unashamedly looks down upon left-wing and Labour voters.
If this argument was merely the unhinged ramblings of a lone university professor who merely inhaled an unhealthy amount of anaesthetic whilst performing his surgeries, it would not have mattered so much. But the sorrowful truth is that this Übermensch Syndrome is indeed the key to analysing why the Nationalist Party has not been able to perform its cathartic duty whilst in opposition and understand its failings with the electorate. For a sizeable chunk of a very vocal and powerful segment of the Nationalist Party, they have never done anything wrong. The fact that the electorate has repeatedly abandoned them for these past ten elections has nothing to do with their party’s gross shortcomings but because the electorate is wrong and stupid. And they are always right. Morally superior. Intellectually loftier.
Thus Spoke Kevin Cassar
Considering the fact that the Nationalist Party prides itself in being projected as a Christian Democratic Party and aligned with the tenets of the European People’s Party, this Nietzschian philosophy is not only condemnable but also morally dangerous. The Übermensch Syndrome is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself. The Übermensch represents a shift from otherworldly Christian values and manifests the grounded human ideal. Former PN candidate Kevin Cassar goes one step further than Nietzsche. He already knows for a fact that conservatives are superior to left wing sympathisers. Thus ensuring that the resultant fallacy he conveys is fundamentally akin to stating that all us left wing sympathisers are, in effect Untermensch. The latter word merely refers to a person who is considered as racially, socially or intellectually inferior.
When people expressed their outrage at his nasty, illogical and dangerous stratificational exercise, this pseudo-intellectual had the gall to complain that the former were employing Nazi tactics against him. ‘These were Nazi tactics used against Jews,’ he moaned. One has to be really high on methadone or some other anaesthetic to complain like this when, in effect, his Ubermensch theories are literally taken out from the ramblings of Hitler’s most favourite philosopher. More to the point, it was indeed Hitler’s Nazis who shocked humanity by going one step further in solving their warped beliefs on this subject matter. What did they do? They systematically murdered what they perceived as the Untermensch: the Slavs, the Jews, the Social Democrats, the Communists, priests and nuns, the disabled, the homosexuals…
Kevin Cassar’s above quote is an insult to the Jews and the Holocaust. It falls in the pattern of many a right wing local commentator who are trying so hard to stain and compare Labour with all the horrid absurdities under the sun. It is the same as those other angry, disgruntled portion of the Nationalist Party who project themselves as a pseudo-NGO named Repubblika. The latter have ridiculously donned an anti-mafia projection in order to further amplify and imply another fallacy: that they are the equivalent of Borsellino and Falcone fighting against Malta’s Labour, which is equivalent to the Mafia. Their sense of history on the subject matter is indeed deficient: they would easily have noted that most of the Italian political bedfellows of the Nationalist Party across these last decades were all directly and/or indirectly implicated in Mafia collusion and funding, some of which filtered to Malta during the glorious days of a Nationalist Party government.
Let me tell you a bit about the Mafia. I have worked extensively in Sicily due to my organisation’s management consultancy services. I have worked with various municipalities, regions and with the province. Business networking inevitably turns into long-lasting friendships. One of my cherished Sicilian friends is the Mayor of Troina. It is a town and commune in the province of Enna, Sicily. Fabio Venezia, a Social Democrat, managed to oust the Mafia from his town and his zeal landed most of these criminals in jail.
Italian intelligence picked up, through tapped phone conversations, that Fabio was a marked man and that a contract for his elimination had been issued by the Mafia. From that day onwards (December 2014) to date, Fabio is always escorted on a 24 hours basis by two plain clothes intelligence security officers and is driven around in an armoured car. Everywhere. During the torrid summer months, in order for Fabio to go to the sea with his family, his wife drives her car to the sea and Fabio is escorted in an armoured vehicle to the seaside rendezvous to be with his family. He ALWAYS has to be driven alone. And when I have meetings with him, I am driven in another car as well. Those are the valiant Mafia fighters. Not some disgruntled PN apologists trying hard to turn the clock back to the good old days of a non-inclusive conservative government.
But let me turn back to our Nietzschian surgeon. His article on The Times entitled ‘the Truth is not an Insult’ not only segmented Malta’s citizens into the superior Nationalist supporters and the stupid Labour sympathisers. His article tried to interpolate half-truths and a false narrative by means of his amateurish ‘truths’ regarding how the level of education is worryingly low and that Labour thrives on leaving such a low level of education. ‘The lower the educational level, the higher the gullibility. Those with lower education are more likely to be manipulated. They are more likely to believe lies and to refute established facts’.
Education Facts for Beginners
Well here are some facts for you. Since its inception, the Labour Party was the prime mover in enhancing and spreading education in Malta. Labour ensured that education was compulsory for everyone, irrespective of their financial background. It created the foundations of primary and secondary government schools all over the towns and villages. It increased the age of compulsory education. It ensured that education was available freely for everyone. It created the backbone for paid post-secondary and tertiary education.
His fallacious ‘truths’ on this subject matter are totally destroyed by the latest revelations of the National Statistics Office. The Labour Force Survey shows that the rate of early leavers from education and training (ELET rate) was 12.6%, in 2020, being a drop of 8.8 percentage points from 2010 levels. Among males the rate dropped from 28.3% in 2010 to 14.7% in 2020 while that for females declined by 3.8 percentage points over the last eleven years reaching 10.2 per cent in 2020. Although Malta’s levels for the ELET indicator declined significantly over the years, in 2020, the rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than the EU 28 2020 target of 10%. At the same time, data for 2020 showed that the percentage of persons aged 20 to 24 years achieving at least an upper secondary education was 85.1%. This indicator was higher for females (88%) when compared to males (82.6%).
His fallacious ‘truths’ on this subject matter are totally destroyed by the latest revelations of the National Statistics Office.
Moreover, LFS estimates indicated that, in 2020, the number of persons with a low level of education stood at 203,151, accounting for nearly half of those aged 15 and over. Those having a medium level of education amounted to 129,363 (29.5%) while persons with a high level of education totalled 105,750 (24.1%). The share of persons aged 15 to 64 having a low level of education decreased from 59.6% in 2010 to 37% in 2020. Conversely, the share of persons with a medium or high level of education increased by 8.7 and 14 percentage points respectively in the last eleven years.
Bandying partial statistics to prove a flawed and fallacious argument is certainly not becoming of a university professor or a surgeon. Propaganda supremoes normally engage in such dishonest tactics. True, even the most notorious propaganda high-priest, Dr. Josef Goebbels, held a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Heidelberg. He would have been immensely proud of these opinion pieces.
But then, who am I to doubt the infallible utterings of these God-gifted Nationalist Ubermensch? The fact that I am in possession of a Cambridge post Doctorate in my field is not enough to redeem my inherent ignorance due to my being unashamedly left-wing. Well, at least there is nothing in the PN manifesto implying the ghettoization or worse of Malta’s Untermensch, should the conservatives ever gain power. I am more than certain that these opinion pieces are not only distasteful and repugnant to the majority of the Maltese, but also obnoxious and obscene to a number of Nationalist Party exponents as well. It is high time that the latter clear the stables of such rot.