The thoughtless slave is a happy slave – Kevin Cassar

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free,” Goethe wrote. Many assume we are free, simply because we miraculously escaped the dystopian hell of Labour’s 1980’s violent oppression.

Most believe Malta escaped tyranny because protesters are no longer physically assaulted by Labour thugs, police no longer fire live ammunition at PN supporters, murder weapons are no longer planted by police at innocent citizens’ farms, the Opposition doesn’t need to transmit its message from Sicily, the Opposition Leader’s residence is no longer ransacked by Labour’s mob, metres away from a police station, and his wife no longer assaulted in her home, thrown to the ground, viciously kicked, her earrings ripped out by Labour’s henchmen.

Or because the Opposition Leader’s children no longer have to escape Labour heavies by jumping over walls into neighbours’ properties as their books and school satchels are thrown out of the balcony into the street where they are publicly burnt. Or because The Times is no longer torched with employees inside. Because PN voters are no longer beaten by Wistin Abela’s canvassers inside the polling booth. Or because the Curia isn’t torn to pieces by the “aristocracy of the workers” led by the prime minister himself. Or because the courts are no longer ransacked and shops looted by Lorry Sant’s supporters.

That however doesn’t mean we enjoy freedom.  We live in a society analogous to Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’.

A combination of pleasurable diversions, state-funded entertainment, government subsidised comforts and legalisation of “recreational” drug abuse has created a citizenry too distracted to bother about, or even notice, Labour’s flagrant abuse.

In 1961 Huxley predicted that “people will have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing.” 

Labour learnt its lesson.  Violence only works in the short term. In the long term, it fuels anger and resentment. That anger condemned Labour to decades in the political wilderness. Labour changed its approach.  It now adopts a new, more covert method of drowning the masses in an endless supply of diversions – some pleasurable, others salacious, most trivial and petty.

In Mintoff’s 1980s the lust for power was quenched by inflicting pain and suffering.  In Abela’s new world it is satisfied by inflicting a hardly less humiliating pleasure.

In the 1950s, the Harvard psychologist BF Skinner conducted a series of experiments demonstrating the power of operant conditioning – a method for modifying behaviour. Skinner found that inflicting pain could eliminate undesirable behaviours in rats for a short time.  It didn’t however remove the animal’s motivation to repeat that behaviour once punitive consequences were removed.  On the other hand, rewarding desirable behaviour led to long term changes which endured even when the rewards ceased. Labour has understood the sociopolitical implications of Skinner’s findings.

Labour conveniently ditched its violent, abrasive intimidation.  It’s now embraced the slick, glamorous approach. It’s now pro-Europe, conciliatory, and open. It’s no longer a Party.  It’s a movement. The change sadly is only skin deep.

Labour is dominated by a controlling oligarchy that learned to condition docility, buy support and minimise protest and rebellion. By careful design, Labour controls not the final behaviour but the motives, desires and wishes of the people. To that end, it resorts to any means.

As in ‘Brave New World’, Labour encourages the systematic drugging of its citizens for the benefit of the Party. Labour’s cannabis legislation is the first step in making drug abuse acceptable, respectable, and even mainstream. Labour surreptitiously transformed the sad reality that drugs destroy lives into the illusion that drug use is everybody’s right to recreation.

Labour’s promotion of drugs provides a “holiday from reality” – exactly what Labour needs to consolidate power. Labour used legislation as a political weapon – to win over those with an established habit and to entice others to form a habit as insurance against dissent. 

Labour used other means to distract. The Prostitution Reform Technical Committee headed by Rosianne Cutajar drafted a framework to legalise sex work.  When Cutajar was asked whether those procuring sex would be criminalised she drily replied: “Buying sex is a transaction between adults”.

Labour condoned the mushrooming ‘massage’ parlours around the island with their links to human trafficking and exploitation. The US State Department repeatedly called on Malta to “improve licence control for massage parlours”. Instead, Labour quietly dropped licensing requirements. It’s now impossible to know how many there are. Until 2016 there were 196. Ten per cent of patients at a GU clinic admitted to having unprotected sex in a massage parlour. Enabling promiscuity is another ploy to ensure everyone enjoys his servitude.

Other ploys include state-sanctioned entertainment.  Even during the pandemic, the Malta Tourism Authority handed over 200 event sponsorships, costing millions of euros. Festivals Malta burns through cash to provide more distraction. Hundreds of thousands of euros were squandered on the Malta Film Awards. Labour blew €650,000 on the Eurovision.

But Labour’s most effective non-stop distractions are provided through social media. The government spent millions on Facebook alone to promote posts. Data tabled in parliament revealed that the government spent €2.62 million on social media ads between 2013 and 2017 alone. Labour flagrantly abuses public funds to dominate the most potent drug of all – the smartphone –  drowning the citizens’ minds in a sea of irrelevance.

A distracted, dumbed-down public lacks the resources to recognise, much less resist, wildly corrupt abuse of public funds and the erosion of personal freedoms by the ruling Party.  The assault on democratic norms and the concealment of information goes unchallenged. 

Labour’s unlimited access to personal data and public funds provides it with the insurmountable advantage of controlling the electorate. Labour has the tools to manipulate, at an individual level, enough voters to comfortably retain its grip on power.

The majority cannot resist.  Those who welcome their pleasurable servitude will always be in the majority.  Those who resist, in order to preserve their freedom and humanity, are an ever-diminishing minority.

The thoughtless slave is a happy slave – Kevin Cassar