• 2009-04-22
The cynical whining of Joao Lopes Marques about an imaginary Baltic "mini-megalomania" reminds one of a Portuguese cat which remembers that it once had a tail. Tails are lost and so are empires but small nations don't succeed in finding independence from powerful ones every day. Ireland is approximately as large as a Baltic state, yet no one refers to it as "tiny," nor to its ambitions as megalomaniacal.

Its endurance in the face of oppression is well regarded, and so should that of the Baltics. It was not long ago that Ireland too was troubled by post independence challenges. But its people's endurance and persistence (in the face of derision by some imperialists) won out. The Balts and the Irish have much in common that is too often ignored. One commonality is the occasional longing of former imperial masters for a time past when derision of subject nations was necessary to placate guilt or justify criminal acts done under the guise of a cultural paternalism.

This derision may now manifest itself among individuals whose sense of personal identity is too closely tied to the past.

Vince Mazeika


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