A “Crisis of Values” in Maltese Society
The President of Malta, Dr.Eddie Fenech Adami, was invited to give a speech to students during Freshers’ Week. He spoke about a crisis of values in today’s society, and opened his speech by stating, “I read a book which came out next month…[sic]” However, we shall forgive His Excellency this slip-up; it was probably just the excitement of speaking to such a large audience of youngsters. It would be a long-shot, however, to even try to apply the same excuse to the rest of his speech.
Dr.Fenech Adami stated that the main culprit of this “crisis” is philosophy. As we all know, philosophy is the work of Satan and that is why it is vital for every academic (and politician) to learn it. Rousseau is then accused for starting this “trend” of deviants, because his work was “undermining the fact that one needs to believe in God, and one needs to be Christian.”Got that? No? Alright, let’s just back up for a second and look at that again. Still not got it? Me neither.
See, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a Swiss philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. I repeat, SOCIALIST theory, and NATIONALISM. Say, aren’t they the two political parties we have in Malta? Yes, my friends, we are being told that all we’ve ever known as democratic choice is the work of a terrible man who is responsible for corrupting modern society.
Next, His Excellency alludes to what the late Pope John Paul II had said about there being two ideologies of evil: Communism, and Fascism. However, President Fenech Adami goes on to say that there is an even bigger threat to modern society, and this apocalyptic monster goes by the name of Relativism. Relativism is an umbrella-term for several theories which propose that there exists no one absolute truth, but that truth is relative to the individual’s beliefs and principles. Dr. Fenech Adami blames Descartes for this phenomenon. Descartes is best known for fathering the catch-phrase, “I think, therefore I am.” Now, as most philosophy students will readily tell you, the logic behind this phrase was that Descartes wanted to escape the doubt that comes with Relativism and wanted to find a theory to prove that he existed. He came to the conclusion that thought exists and the fact that he, the thinker, was thinking this meant that thought cannot be separated from the thinker, therefore, the thinker exists.
Instead, Dr.Fenech Adami gave us his own interpretation of Descartes work:
“ The human who is able to think does not need God because he is able to decide for himself what is good for him, what is bad for him.”
He goes on to say, “I think this exists in Malta also, and I think this [philosophy] is very dangerous.”
Now, doesn’t bashing relativism kind of defeat the whole concept of democracy? If there were somebody telling us what to do all the time, that would be tyrrany, or Fascism, which as you recall was said to be an ideology of evil. The root of democracy lies in subjectivism and the belief that a person has a right to decide what is right for him/her.
However, the most ironic part of the entire speech was that His Excellency preceded every statement with the disclaimer, “I believe…”