POLITICS AND POWER IN MALTESE PROVERBS AND IDIOMS / IL-POLITIKA U L-POTER FIL-PROVERBJI U L-IDJOMI MALTIN

Mario Thomas Vassallo

Abstract


Given its centuries-old origins and the inimitable mix of Semitic and Latinized vocabulary, the Maltese language benefits from a massive repertoire of proverbs and idioms that interpret life realities from the perspective of the common folks. The scope of this paper is to decipher a number of Maltese proverbs and idioms that encompass elements of political power and control. Each selected expression is probed in terms of political theory and contextualized from a sociological and anthropological standpoint. Such an analysis provides a cornucopia of diachronic and synchronic insights on how the Maltese perceive power and manipulation, judge the elites and the privileged, assess the art of politics and treat patronage and clientelism. “The wit of one and the wisdom of many” has organically led them to affirm their conviction that power manipulation, greed and elite collegiality, distortion of political virtues and exploitation of power games to the leverage of both the disadvantaged and the privileged are universal realities. In other words, these phenomena involving power and politics exist independently of the locals’ perceptions or interpretations.

Bħala lingwa millenarja b’influwenzi mill-ilsna semitiċi u Latini, il-Malti għandu repertorju għani ta’ proverbji u idjomi li jinterpretaw ir-realtajiet tal-ħajja minn għajnejn il-popolin. L-iskop ta’ din ir-riċerka huwa li janalizza għadd minn dawn il-proverbji u idjomi li jinkorporaw aspetti marbutin mal-politika, il-poter u l-kontroll tal-massa mill-elit. Kull proverbju magħżul huwa diskuss fil-qafas tat-teorija politika u kuntestwalizzat mil-lat soċjoloġiku u antropoloġiku. Din l-analiżi ssawwar riflessjonijiet dijakroniċi u sinkroniċi ta’ kif il-Maltin jaħsbuha dwar il-poter u l-manipulazzjoni tal-massa, kif jiġġudikaw l-elit u l-klassi pprivileġġjata, kif jassessjaw l-arti politika u kif jitrattaw il-patrunaġġ u l-klijentaliżmu.

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Keywords


politics, power, elites, proverbs, idioms, Malta / politika, poter, elit, proverbji, idjomi, Malta

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejlll.v4i4.242

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