Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Albania's Childhood

Radio Netherlands has a very interesting post about one man's personal point of view regarding Albania's accession to NATO. Fatos Lubonja was arrested in 1974 under the dictator Enver Hoxha and did forced labour in Albania's work camps. He was not released until 1991.

Lubonja says Albania is "a traumatised childish society, a nation without memories and lacking moral leadership. When the democratic party was founded - this so called anti-communist party, most of its leaders were communists. They do not have the sensitivity towards democracy and our past, and were mainly even responsible for what happened in the past".
This is an observation which I think is tragic but generally accurate. Now I'm not saying that as individuals Albanians are childish but the society and government tends to operate at very childish levels. I wonder if this 'trauma' contributes to the low level of perceived happiness?

It's interesting to compare Erik Erikson's 8 stages of childhood development with the development of a newly reborn country like Albania. These stages don't take the hugely damaging trauma that it has suffered into account however, which would likely prolong each stage for much longer periods of time.

Here's a useful chart of the stages of development. It may well be that Albania is stuck in the very first stage where they learn to trust or mistrust the caregiver!

What do you think?

1 comment:

susanna said...

Hmmm...interesting. I don't really much about Albania to give an educated opinion but it doesn't surprise me that many of the democratic leaders were members of a past oppressive regime. That unfortunately seems to happen time and time again throughout the world. It seems that some of our current and recent American leaders are choosing oppressive and not so democratic tactics (in the media, in business deals) to get what they want ($).