With the law for the demolition of the National Theater introduced in Parliament as an urgent procedure as if it were a real national priority, Prime Minister Edi Rama celebrates the final abandonment of his promises of a civil rebirth (“Rilindja”) of the country.
At its beginning the “Rilindja” campaign seemed a brilliant political process, an extension of the famous façades project that made Rama famous at the beginning of his term as Tirana mayor. This project aimed to trigger, through small but visible signs of change, a confidence in the future and a more “urban” behavior on the part of citizens and voters. It was the beginning of a European story, but it is now ending an Ottoman tragedy, with the sultan killing his relatives in the throes of power for power’s sake.
Now, all that remains of the story of Rilindja is thievery and personal vice, the will of the tyrant who uses his servants and is pleased to see them crawl at his feet, placing his personal whims before the country’s needs and forcing Parliament, which he so despised, into a useless demonstration of his overflowing personal power.
It is the end of any public policy, of any respect for the citizens, and of any social project. It is also an erasure of Tirana’s history and memory. This is the largest political failure: erasing history, deceiving memory, denying one’s roots is the greatest possible loss for a country, a political movement, a political project.
He who has no memory and no respect for his past cannot produce neither history nor future. At most he can steal and pillage what his ancestors have left behind.
However, today, Rama no longer seems so sure of his personal future, and even less so of his government’s. Like an Ottoman sultan, he is now suspicious of every one of his collaborators, demanding constant proof of loyalty, corrupting his servants in order to compromise them, and, having understood that the end is nigh, accelerating his personal urban projects, in order to leave his “mark” on history, a history that certainly will never celebrate his name as a Great Father of the Nation, but, at least, may be able to celebrate him as a great and powerful architect of his city.
Curiously, this is a typical trait of other “exaggerated” men with their overblown egoes, obsessed with the search for immortality via a mark left by them in history, who, upon realizing that the end is near, relaunch their most absurd, useless, and perhaps even most harmful projects, attempting to finalize these works before their personal end.
But in the place of the National Theater, which will be quickly and cowardly demolished, perhaps during the summer vacation, almost certainly at night, only a gaping void will remain, because a poorly thought-out law, passed hurriedly in Parliament, will not easily quiet the typically Albanian fears of those who will risk their money, even if it is stolen, to buy the fruit of sin built on stolen land, to be saddled with after the Rilindja Parliament stops being in charge, and able to ensure the impunity of the thieves and their ill-gotten property.
That emptiness will be the grave and the mausoleum of Edi Rama, as the Pyramid was meant to be to the dictator Enver Hoxha, the mausoleum of a politician masked as an artist, who attempted desperately to appear European but wanted to be a sultan, who called to the people in order to build a state, and instead built only his private and personal dream, founded on the spite the failures and troubles of his life engendered.
The demolition of the National Theater is not public policy, and it cannot be the priority of a government that looks after its country; it’s just business, the price of the corruption of the many protagonists. Meanwhile, for the narco-aesthetic sultan, this is the final gesture of contempt towards Albanian society, towards the artists, towards the citizens, towards a collective memory that he deliberately denies.
This is a gesture of final arrogance, conducted in a hurried and cowardly manner, by his most subservient and corrupt servants, so that he does not even have to officially put his signature on any document, as he hides behind two worthless puppets he created out of nothing, and therefore despises, who now bow to his will quelling any possible revolt against him, the now-dying satrap.
As in a thriller, the circle is tightening, the enlightened politician narrative no longer works, and nearly all of his European partners have now understood the game. Soon the guards will come (the real ones) and the gang that is using the sovereignty of the Albanian state to protect its criminal imperialism will have to capitulate.
Someone will committ suicide, at least so they say happens when a gangster is surrounded. We will be left with the void, Edi Rama’s inverted pyramids, witnesses of a policy based on nothing.