Truth and Justice: Joe Pace Asciak

2019-02-17T14:11:34+01:00Sun, 17th Feb '19, 14:11|0 Comments

A translation of this speech follows:

And why should students study History of Art? Why should they study History, Geography, Literature, History of Music and so many other “useless” subjects? And after all, why should they study subjects like Mathematics and Science? And then what about Economics? Isn’t this an area of study that should attract only financial experts?

This is a pragmatic and cursed mentality that took root and grew stronger with the passing of time. It will lead to serious repercussions which our country can ill afford. All is being done and justified in the name of progress. However, progress must be qualified. Let us consider the environment. Malta is not Dubai and Dubai is not Malta. Or are they one and the same thing? The current unbridled building construction will, in a few years, cause irreversible aesthetic damage. Illnesses, like asthma, are on the increase. The lack of open and green spaces, in one of the most densely populated countries and the absence of a minimum code of ethics, are ruining our quality of life. Some basic notions of Geography and History, some knowledge of Aesthetics, Literature and Psychology would make all this evident. However, according to the narrative of Castille and that of its acolytes, this means “progress” that should not be hindered. And then, after all, isn’t having money in our pockets the most important thing? Isn’t it better that we have a flourishing economy based also on gambling, the sale of passports, money laundering and other similarly beautiful and ancillary products? Culture and ethics have no financial and economic relevance, and on this point, there seems to be a silent but widespread consensus. 

And what about Daphne Caruana Galizia? Malta has its hands stained with the blood of a courageous journalist who has never been corrupted and who feared no one. She fought relentlessly against the real, corrupt, criminal and transversal establishment that hijacked our country. Her voice remained powerful until the very end. In my opinion, Caruana Galizia was the person who really understood the root of the problem that Malta has been facing for a long time: the absence of a solid educational and cultural background, in spite of all the progress made. A true elitist strives so that the population remains in the dark and consequently can be cynically exploited. She was vehemently against all this and expressed her anger when watching how people become silent tools of absolute power. Her pungent criticisms need to be read against this backdrop. She couldn’t tolerate the idea that a public figure doesn’t behave and act according to what is expected of them.

We are here, and here we are going to stay, to fight until the whole truth about the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is unearthed. Thanks to a handful of courageous women, this square has become the symbol of resistance against an authoritarian state that can’t even stand the sight of some flowers and lit candles. These brutal acts, for which Malta now holds a world record, are a sign of lack of civilisation.

We are in front of the Law Courts. Laws without civilisation are like a body without a mind, lifeless and soulless. A journalist was barbarously assassinated. She was assassinated because she said the truth. She was assassinated because she understood the workings of a perverse web of corruption that entangled corrupt powers, illegal economic interests and secret agreements on national and international levels. Daphne Caruana Galizia understood all this. That is the reason why she was assassinated.

We are now witnessing the institutional breakdown of this country and of the rule of law. However, worse than all this, we are witnessing the meltdown of the basic notions of civilisation. I would like to give one example. After the last general elections, early ones for the following obvious reason, the number of votes was translated in populist terms as a blank cheque in the hands of the politician who could then do whatever he wanted, enjoying complete impunity. Let me make myself clear. The democratic foundations of this country have been transformed into oligarchical ones and those who have the money to buy votes, can enjoy the protection of the persons who voted for them. The persistent mantra is always: People have elected them. This is how an authoritarian state is established and consolidated. The sale of passports is serving the purpose, among other things, to transform Malta in a Trojan horse, making it possible for oligarchs to operate in Europe, with objectives that one can easily imagine.

Civilised nations try to follow the best examples that human history can offer. The oppressed ones, while speaking incessantly about laws, dismantle the spirit with which they were written. That is to say, dismantle the rule of law.

Caruana Galizia understood well and adhered to a fundamental idea of democratic life: you are free and not a slave if you decide to be free and not a slave. And in this oppressed country, she had to pay with her life. In a country where the word civilisation is becoming always more of a currency with a decreasing demand curve.